An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is a serious condition.
Without seeking proper treatment for the injury, it can cause extensive knee and muscle damage that requires major surgeries to correct.
It is important to know what exactly the ACL does in order to better understand why you need to seek medical treatment if you have an ACL knee injury.
The ACL serves as a barrier between your thigh bone and your shin bone.
It stops them from rotating onto each other. When they rotate onto each other, it causes your knee to wobble from side to side and can cause you to be unbalanced.
There are basic symptoms that should alert you if you have an ACL knee injury.
Those symptoms include pain, swelling and knee instability. Swelling is the most common symptom and it usually occurs about five minutes after the injury happens.
Pain is sometimes not present at the onset of the injury, but almost always occurs the longer the injury is left without treatment.
The pain with a torn ACL is different depending on the person, but it is usually very severe in nature.
Knee instability means that your knee gives out regularly while walking or even standing.
ACL Knee Injury – The Next Step
This symptoms is more annoying than anything, but should still be checked out by a doctor.
Once it is established that you have an ACL knee injury, your doctor will refer you to a surgeon who will perform an outpatient surgery on your knee.
The surgery entails getting rid of the remaining ligament on the knee and replacing it with other muscle tissue.
The surgery is minimally invasive and you will be home by the afternoon in most cases.
The recovery period after surgery, however, is rather lengthy. You are looking at a minimum of four months of not doing your regular activities.
In many cases, it takes up to six months before you can start fully participating in sports again.
It is imperative to get the okay of your doctors before going back to sport activities again so you do not run the risk of re-injury.
After you have had one torn ACL, you are going to want to be extra careful not to get another one.
Remember to take it slowly when you first get back to your regular activities and slowly work your way up to your normal level.
If you remember to do this and to incorporate warm-up exercises and wear a knee brace, then you should not get another ACL knee injury.