Knee pain, swelling, and instability are common signs of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. To understand the extent of your injury and get treatment, visit the specialists at Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. With decades of experience in diagnosis and surgical ACL reconstruction, you can get the relief you need and return to the activities you love. Schedule a consultation today by calling the office or booking online.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a major ligament inside the knee — located between your femur and tibia — that provides support to your knee joint. Abruptly stopping or changing direction when running and direct trauma to the knee during sports, car accidents, or falls may sprain the ACL.
ACL sprains are divided into three categories or grades. These include:
In a grade 1 sprain, the ACL is overstretched, but not torn.
With a grade 2 sprain, the ACL is overstretched and partially torn.
During a grade 3 sprain, the ACL is stretched far enough to tear completely.
The team determines the extent of your injury with a consultation and exam.
In about half of ACL injuries, other structures in the knee are also affected, including the ligaments on the sides of the knee and the menisci inside the knee. Common signs of ACL injuries include:
When the ligament is torn, you may also hear or feeling a popping sensation inside your knee when the injury occurs.
To diagnose an ACL sprain or tear, the team begins with a thorough consultation and physical exam. The team first asks about your symptoms and specific injuries to your knee. Next, they perform orthopedic tests to check the range of motion and stability of your knee.
After your exam, the team refers you for X-rays or an MRI. Based on your exam and imaging, the doctors explain your diagnosis and outline a treatment plan.
If you have a grade 3 sprain — complete tear — or previous conservative treatments didn’t work, the team may recommend an ACL reconstruction surgery. During the surgery, the team uses arthroscopy to access the inside of your knee and replace the torn ACL with a tissue graft.
Over the next six months, a new ligament grows over the tissue graft to improve stability in your knee. A rehab program during your recovery improves your range of motion and prevents knee stiffness.
For more information about ACL reconstruction, call or book an appointment at Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic.