An ACL tear is a common injury that can cause severe pain, along with many other uncomfortable symptoms. Dominique Nickson, MD of Next Step Orthopedics is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who offers comprehensive treatment to patients with ACL tears. Patients experiencing the symptoms of an ACL tear in McKinney, Texas, and surrounding areas including Frisco, Allen, Plano and Prosper, Texas should contact Next Step Orthopedics to schedule an appointment.

request an appointment

What is the ACL?

The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a ligament responsible for stabilizing the knee when the patient is running or jumping. This ligament connects the knee to the thighbone. Without a strong, intact ACL, the knee can’t support the patient’s weight properly or provide balance.

What are the symptoms of an ACL tear?

ACL tears vary in severity from a small, mild tear to a complete tear. Some of the symptoms of an ACL tear may include:

  • Popping sensation in the knee at the moment of injury
  • Severe pain in the knee
  • Swelling
  • Inability to continue activity
  • Feelings of instability
  • Diminished range of motion

What causes an ACL tear?

In most cases, patients develop an ACL tear when they twist or hyperextend the knee. Patients may also develop this injury if they bend the knee backward. ACL tears are common during sporting events but patients can develop this injury even when they aren’t participating in contact sports. In fact, any action that forces the knee to move in an awkward way or puts too much stress on the knee can lead to an ACL tear.

How does Next Step Orthopedics diagnose an ACL tear?

When a patient comes in with the symptoms of an ACL tear, Dr. Nickson will begin by performing an examination of the patient’s knee and listening to the patient’s description of symptoms. In some cases, he may be able to diagnose the torn ACL based solely on this information. However, in other cases, he may need to order tests to rule out other possible causes of the patient’s symptoms. Depending on the situation, he may order an ultrasound, X-ray, and/or MRI.

How does Next Step Orthopedics treat ACL tears?

Dr. Nickson is an experienced orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the treatment of knee injuries. He customizes knee injury treatment plans to meet the needs of each individual patient. Some of the treatments he may recommend include:

  • Rehabilitation of the knee
  • Wearing a brace
  • Taking pain medication
  • Arthroscopic surgery
  • ACL reconstruction

Each of these treatments offers different advantages. Dr. Nickson will explain all of the patient’s options in detail so that they can make the right choice.