ACL Injury: Diagnosis and Treatment

Not too long ago, a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) was a serious setback for many athletes, both amateur and professional. It often spelled the end of their careers. But in the present day, thanks to innovations like those seen at Oklahoma City ACL Tear centre, the majority of athletes hold the promise of regaining their former pinnacle of performance. 

Therefore through this article, we’ll shed some light on ACL injuries diagnosis and treatment. So, let’s begin…

Diagnosing ACL Injury Issue

When you see a doctor, they will assess your knee through a physical examination. They’ll look for signs of swelling and tenderness, making comparisons between the injured and unaffected knee. Additionally, they might gently maneuver your knee into various positions to gauge its range of motion and overall function.

In many cases, the doctor can determine the diagnosis from the physical examination alone. However, there might be a need for further tests to eliminate other potential causes and gauge the extent of the injury. These tests could encompass:

X-rays: These are conducted to rule out any fractures in the bones. But keep in mind that X-rays don’t show soft tissues like ligaments and tendons.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI employs radio waves and a powerful magnetic field to create detailed images of both hard and soft tissues in the body. It’s particularly useful for revealing the extent of an ACL injury and indications of damage to other knee tissues, including cartilage.

Ultrasound: This technique uses sound waves to generate visuals of internal structures. Ultrasound can be utilized to examine ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the knee for injuries.

Treatments for ACL Injury

Taking quick action with first-aid care can immediately alleviate pain and swelling after a knee injury. Follow the self-care approach called R.I.C.E. at home:

Rest: Allowing your knee some rest is essential for the healing process and helps avoid putting excess weight on it.

Ice: Ice your knee at least every two hours for about 20 minutes each time while you’re awake.

Compression: Apply an elastic bandage or compression wrap around your knee.

Elevation: Lie down and prop up your knee using pillows.

Rehabilitation: Medical treatment for an ACL injury commences with several weeks of focused rehabilitative therapy. A physical therapist will guide you through exercises that you can perform under supervision or at home. It’s possible that you might need to wear a brace to stabilize your knee and use crutches temporarily to avoid putting too much weight on the injured knee.

Surgery: Your doctor might suggest surgery if:

  1. You’re an athlete aiming to continue with your sport, especially if it involves actions like jumping, cutting, or pivoting.
  1. More than one ligament or the fibrous cartilage in your knee is also injured.
  1. The injury is causing your knee to give way during your daily activities.