ACL Injury – Does It Require A Surgery?
Generally, the knee joint is a combination of four main things – bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. ACL – Anterior Cruciate Ligament is a band of tissues that connects the thigh bone and shinbone of the knee. ACL plays a crucial role in knee your knee joint preventing excessive forward movement and also provides rotational stability to the knee.
ACL also prevents hyperextension(other than the normal range of motion) of the knee joint. By preventing these harmful movements in the knee, it provides stability to the knee joint and also helps for dynamic movements.
What Is ACL Injury?
ACL Injury – Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury is one of the most common injuries that happen to the knee. By any means, if the ligament is damaged, then it is termed as ACL Injury or anterior cruciate ligament sprain or tear. The ligament can be stretched, partially or completely torn. The complete damage of the ACL makes the joint unstable.
Facts About ACL Injury
However anyone can affect by an ACL injury, but mostly they are associated with athletes and others performing physical activities because they occur due to sudden movement changes while playing various sports like football, soccer, basketball, tennis etc. in their day to day life.
ACL Injuries can happen any time but most frequently occurs while playing football, basketball, Soccer etc.
- Nearly 30% of ACL injuries are due to physical contact, and 70% of them are non-contact injuries.
- In athletes, 50% of people are likely to develop osteoarthritis within 10-20 years post ACL injury.
- It is evident that preventive training reduces ACL injuries by 50%
- Females are more likely to encounter these ACL injuries than males
- Surgery for ACL injuries is recommended mostly when meniscus, articular cartilage, or other ligaments in the knee are damaged completely.
- 50% of ACL injuries are associated with cartilage damage or other ligaments in the knee.
- ACL injuries are mostly seen in men aged between 20 to 24 years and in women aged between 15 to 19 years.
Around 70% of ACL tears in young athletes are due to early onset of osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis. This is a condition where the cartilage in knee joints breakdown and worsens over time. Women are 10 times more prone to ACL injury compared to men.
Signs Of An ACL Injury
Unlike progressive conditions of the knee like arthritis, the signs of an ACL injury can be sudden and noticeable. The typical symptoms for an injured Anterior Cruciate Ligament are:
- Hearing a popping sound
- Knee instability
- Pain or discomfort
- Knee swelling
- Loss of full range of motion
- Joint tenderness
Does ACL Injury Require Surgery?
Not all ACL injuries require surgical intervention. The doctor will evaluate ACL tear and decide whether rehabilitation or surgery plus rehab is right for you.
When the ligament inside your knee joint is completely torn, reconstruction is inevitable as ligaments can’t heal on their own. In such cases, the full motion of the knee can be attained only through surgery. However, in some cases, it ends up with sprains, and they can be treated through physical therapies.
You may choose to have an ACL surgery when:
- completely torn ACL or in case partial tear and unstable knee joint.
- unstable knee joint even after a rehab program.
- you are an active sportsperson or involved in a job that requires more knee strength & stability and wants a strong and stable knee as it was before the injury.
- having chronic ACL deficiency, i.e. when the knee joint is unstable and affecting your quality of life.
- other parts of the knee, like meniscus or cartilage, or some other ligaments in knee or tendons got damaged.
Having knee pain, don’t neglect; it might be an ACL tear which is a treatable condition. Dr. Ajay Tiwari being one of the best orthopaedic doctors in Hyderabad provides you with evidence-based treatment ACL injuries and for any knee problem.