While playing basketball, you went up for a rebound, but moments later, after you came down, you felt sharp knee pain, rapid swelling, loss of range of motion, and a feeling of instability. What just happened?
You might have torn your anterior crucial ligament (ACL) – a ligament in your knee responsible for connecting your thighbone to your shinbone and helping provide stability to the joint.
Now, you may be wondering what to do and whether the injury, if indeed is ACL, can heal on its own. Find out the answers below.
What to Do
If you suspect that you’ve torn your ACL, see an orthopedic doctor as soon as possible for proper evaluation and treatment. The instability and other symptoms caused by an ACL tear can prevent you from playing safely and render you susceptible to other types of injuries.
Your orthopedic doctor will perform a physical exam and order certain tests to confirm a diagnosis as well as the determine the severity of your injury and the specific treatment you need. Your doctor may use the following grading system to figure out whether what you need is nonoperative or surgical treatment.
- Grade 1: the ligament has been stretched but not torn
- Grade 2: the ligament is partially torn
- Grade 3: the ligament is completely torn
When Is Surgery Necessary for ACL Tears?
Grades 1 and 2 ACL tears respond well to conservative treatment, such as R.I.C.E. therapy (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), bracing, and physical therapy. However, your orthopedic doctor may consider surgery if your injury causes your knee to buckle during everyday activities, or if it doesn’t heal with a lengthy course of nonoperative treatment.
Complete ACL tears cannot heal on their own, and therefore, almost always require surgical intervention. The ligament, given its location in the knee, cannot spontaneously heal because it has poor blood supply to it.
ACL Tear Treatment in Bismarck, ND
For top-notch ACL tear treatment in the Bismarck area in North Dakota, look no further than The Bone & Joint Center. We have a team of board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons whom you can count on to help you bounce back from your injury and move freely again!
Book your visit today. Contact us at (800) 424-2663 or (701) 946-7500. You may also use our secure online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you at one of our 11 convenient locations!