Over 250,000 active people and professional athletes sustain ACL injuries annually in the United States.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is in the knee. ACL injuries typically occur in sports that require a sudden change of direction, like soccer or football, but they can also happen during regular physical activity.
Almost half of all ACL tears are complete ruptures, so you need prompt treatment from sports medicine specialists like our team at Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center in Henderson and Las Vegas.
ACL tear symptoms
Some people experience little to no pain with an ACL tear, while others have severe pain. If you tear your ACL, you may feel like you could still participate in sports, but doing so could cause further damage.
The most common symptoms of an ACL tear or injury include:
- Inability to bear weight on the leg
- A loud popping sound during the moment of injury
- Severe pain when the tear occurs
- Increasing pain when you try to stand after the injury occurs
Most ACL tears and injuries cause swelling around the knee within six hours of the injury. Use RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) to treat the injury until you make an appointment at Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center.
Our compassionate staff examines your knee and asks questions about what happened during your injury. We order imaging tests, such as X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to determine the extent of your injury and diagnose a torn ACL.
ACL tear treatment
Unfortunately, an ACL tear can’t heal on its own because the ligament lacks blood supply. Most athletes require surgery for ACL tears to continue participating in sports and perform sharp movements.
Treatment for ACL tears depends on the severity of the tear, your future activity goals, and whether your joint is still stable. If you don’t plan to return to intense physical activities, you may only require nonsurgical treatment like braces, anti-inflammatory medications, or physical therapy to heal your ACL injury.
For severe tears or for people who want to continue participating in high-contact sports and intense physical activities, most ACL tears require surgical treatment to restore their strength and function.
Our experienced surgeons reconstruct your ACL with a graft, using a piece of tendon to build a new ligament in your knee. Recovery involves physical therapy and rehabilitation to strengthen the ACL and restore function and mobility.
Get treatment for ACL injuries
If you suspect an ACL tear, schedule an appointment online or call the Henderson or Las Vegas location nearest you for a consultation.