While ACL tears are most common in sporting environments, you don’t have to be an athlete to suffer the injury. According to a report in the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institute of Health, more than 350,000 ACL repairs are made annually in the United States. Anyone can tear their ACL, but you’re at higher risk if:
- You’ve experienced a previous ACL tear
- You’re female
- You’re between 15 and 45 years of age
- You play specific sports that require deceleration
At Next Step Orthopedics, our highly skilled orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Dominique Nickson, regularly diagnoses, treats, and repairs ACL tears at his state-of-the-art clinic in McKinney, Texas. Today, he describes what happens when you tear your ACL, outlines some of the most common causes of the painful knee injury, and shares more about treating it.
Understanding the knee joint
Your knee is one of the most intricate hinge joints in your body formed at the intersection of your thigh bone, shin bone, and kneecap. It’s also the largest joint in your body. Powered by muscles and tendons, it’s instrumental in helping you straighten, flex, run, jump, walk, and stand.
When you tear your ACL
Your ACL is responsible for stabilizing your knee and keeping it from buckling. It works to keep your tibia from overextending in front of your femur. Tearing your ACL causes pain, swelling, a loud popping noise, and loss of mobility.
Common causes of ACL injuries
If you bend your knee joint backward, twist it, or wrench it from side to side, you can injure your ACL. They frequently occur when you:
- Land on one leg
- Repeatedly stress your knee
- Sustain a direct hit to the knee
- Suddenly start or stop running
- Make sudden shifts or pivots in your movements
ACL injuries frequently occur during skiing, football, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and gymnastics, but you can tear it in an accident also, such as a fall or vehicle crash.
Treatment options for ACL injuries
No matter the cause, your recovery period and process will be the same. At Next Step Orthopedics, Dr. Nickson takes the most conservative approach possible and tailors your treatment to your individual needs. He may recommend:
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Arthroscopic surgery
- Reconstruction of your knee
With proper treatment, you can fully recover from your ACL injury. Turn to our team of comprehensive care. Call us at (972) 547-0047 or book an appointment online.