Your knee joint is the most complex joint in your entire body. It’s a focal point where multiple bones, muscles, and ligaments come together, and it’s responsible for bearing an enormous amount of pressure. When the anterior cruciate ligament tears, you can experience severe pain and swelling, as well as significant mobility issues.
Dr. Philip Regala practices orthopedic medicine in Naples, Florida. He can diagnose and correctly treat knee injuries, including an ACL tear. While you may need surgery for a major tear, small tears can often be managed nonsurgically.
What happens when you tear your ACL
Posterior and anterior cruciate ligaments create an X inside your knee joint, providing stability while allowing back-and-forth motion. Athletes are prone to ACL tears caused by participation in sports like football, soccer, and basketball, but anyone can tear an ACL. Common causes of ACL tears include:
- Sudden stop or change of direction
- Landing wrong after a jump
- Slowing down abruptly from a fast run
- Colliding with someone with your knee
You may just slightly stretch your ACL, or you can rip it partly or all the way through. You may also suffer damage to other knee components, like your kneecap or meniscus (cartilage). The more components that are damaged in your knee, the more likely it is that you’ll need surgical intervention to repair the damage.
ACL tear prognosis
Minor injuries to the ACL might heal on their own. Dr. Regala consults with you about your pain and mobility levels, and whether or not you need to return to a high-demand sport. If the tear is minor, and you don’t need to play competitively, conservative care may be recommended.
Dr. Regala can help you lay out a rehabilitation program for your knee, and provide treatments to help reduce pain and swelling. For ACL tears, this can include limiting activity, wearing a customized leg brace, and undergoing specialized physical therapy, as well as injections to the knee to reduce inflammation.
If the tear is significant and/or you have a sports career on the line, you may need surgery to correct the damage done to your ACL. Surgery for ACL injuries is highly specialized and usually minimally invasive, which means Dr. Regala completes the procedure with limited incisions using a tiny camera and small, precise tools. He can reconstruct the interior of your knee, then guide you through rehabbing your leg so you can get back to the activities you love.
If you’ve suffered an ACL tear, you have options. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Regala by calling 239-325-1131, or book online.