You’re coming down from a jump, or pivoting to shift direction, and you hear or feel a pop, feel immediate pain, and lose stability in your knee. Chances are good that you’ve injured your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) at the front of your knee.
ACL strains and tears are some of the most common sports injuries out there, especially if you compete in a contact sport like soccer. And when you’re determined to return to active athletics, it’s essential to heal properly after an ACL injury. Damage to your ACL can destabilize your whole knee joint, affecting your ability to compete at your personal best.
Stephen R. Fisher, M.D., and his expert team diagnose and treat sports injuries, including ACL tears and other knee problems, in Cumming, Buford, and Braselton, Georgia. Here’s what you need to know about recovering from an ACL injury.
Your knee joint depends on tendons and ligaments for flexing and extension. You can injure bones and cartilage and any of the ligaments in your knee, including the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) at the back of your knee joint.
But, especially for athletes who frequently jump or change direction at speed, the ACL at the front of the knee is the most commonly injured part of your knee joint. Your ACL injury can vary in severity, from a milder strain or sprain to a full tear.
When evaluating your ACL injury, Dr. Fisher conducts a thorough physical exam to look for bruising, swelling, and reduced range of motion. Diagnostic imaging scans like X-rays can provide more information about the severity of your ACL injury.
If you don’t plan to return to active sports, you can often recover from many ACL injuries with an extended period of rest and relaxation. However, after an ACL tear, your knee joint remains vulnerable to future problems and even re-injury.
If you intend on returning to training or competition, your treatment requires active steps to fully repair your knee joint, regardless of the severity of your injury, so you can depend on your knees under pressure after recovery.
For athletes who want to get back in the game stronger and faster following an ACL tear, two things are a must: surgical treatment to repair the torn ligament and a commitment to physical therapy to maintain conditioning and hasten full recovery.
With the right approach, you can safely get back to the track, field, or court about 9 months after ACL repair surgery. Whenever possible, Dr. Fisher performs minimally invasive surgeries with knee arthroscopy to reduce cutting and trauma to your knee tissue, meaning less pain and a faster recovery.
If you’ve experienced an ACL injury and want to return to your sport with confidence, get in touch with Stephen R. Fisher, M.D., today. Call or book your appointment online now.