More than 11 million people in the U.S. see a doctor each year for knee problems. Orthopedic Surgeons spend more time treating knees than any other part of the body. Since the stability of the knee joint depends on the four bone-wrapping ligaments or connective tissues that surround it, and is most heavily dependent on the anterior cruciate ligament, which controls twisting and forward knee motions, ACL tears can be common, especially for very physically active people.
To learn more about the treatment options you can receive to enjoy relief from the struggles caused by anterior cruciate tears, please call (713) 480-6254 to speak with the experienced medical professionals at Americana Injury today!
How ACL Tears Happen
Experiencing the common injury of tearing an anterior cruciate ligament involves over-stretching and stressing it. The knee is pushed past its ability to bend and straighten by hyperextension or harsh rotational movements like pivoting, landing hard or sudden stopping, often required for play in certain sports. Less likely, partial or full ACL tears occur through direct knee injury. About 40 percent of ACL tears are audible, accompanied by a “pop” sound. Knees become swollen and unstable, a condition ACL tear patients describe as “trick knee” or a knee that “gives out.”
Diagnosis and Surgery
Physicians sometimes use stress tests or MRIs to determine the severity of the ACL tear before recommending care. The R.I.C.E. treatment or rest, ice, compression and elevation is used for immediate relief, while knee braces, to protect and de-stress the knee, and physical therapy are often employed during the healing process. Depending on a patient’s lifestyle, job requirements and physical activities, the degree of injury and the stability of the knee, ACL reconstruction surgery may be advised by some physicians, but it is not always necessary for complete healing to take place.
At Americana Injury, we provide the individualized care necessary to truly understand the best method of treatment for each individual and will assist you in receiving the benefits of a pain management plan developed to assist you in moving forward with your lifestyle.
One of the reasons some surgeons may suggest reconstructive ACL surgery is if knee damage involves more than the anterior cruciate ligament. Knee injuries aren’t always isolated to the ACL and the shock-absorbing knee cartilage called the meniscus is frequently torn at the same time.
The success rate for the estimated 50,000 scheduled reconstructive ACL surgeries each year in the U.S. is better than 90 percent. Much of the post-surgical recovery, however, is dependent upon a patient’s full participation in a long rehabilitation process. Knee braces may still be required during post-operative care and it may take as long as six months following surgery before a knee is returned to a fully healed and stable state.
ACL Tears and Prevalence
Most ACL tears are sports-related. Professional and amateur basketball, soccer and football athletes, females more than males, are especially prone to ACL injuries due to the stop-start-turn-twist nature of the games’ movements, but there are many other sports like skiing, tennis and martial arts that contribute to a high number of ACL problems. Off the athletic field, ACL tears are often the result of accidental personal injury or motor vehicle accidents.
The specialists at Americana Injury are here to help you enjoy an improved physical state after experiencing an anterior cruciate tear, a sports-related injury or any number of other common injuries in Houston, Texas. Please call us at (713) 480-6254 to schedule your appointment with one of our experienced professionals today!