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Jul 20, 2022

Does ACL Injury Requires Surgery-What Are the Risks?

Posted by Dr Manu Bora

One of the four ligaments includes an Anterior cruciate ligament, and the others include PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament) besides LCL (lateral collateral ligament).  The ACL aims to stabilize your knee when it is likely to rotate, and it is located behind your kneecap. Therefore, the ACL injury is mainly defined as overstretching or tearing of your ACL ligament.

Who can get the ACL injuries?

Ideally, the ACL or anterior cruciate ligament is often sudden and can be seen in sports and non �sports. It mainly occurs when you land on one leg while jumping or playing some sport. It happens with athletes when they plant their legs and suddenly shift direction while pivoting. It also happens when you hit the tree directly or bent it slightly inwards. Your ligament can lose elasticity in no time when you have stressed it repeatedly. Several factors can increase your risk to ACL:

if you are a female, you are more prone to ACL; even though the exact causes remain unknown, some reasons mainly include hormonal influences, muscle strength, and anatomy. ACL also happens when you participate in sports like baseball, volleyball, etc., often.

Signs of injury:

  • Restricted range of motion
  • Inability to bear weights
  • Severe pain
  • Severe pain
  • Rapid swelling
  • Severe pain and inability to continue activities

When does one need to go for ACL surgery?

If your knee's stability is intact overall, your doctor might recommend non-surgical options, including bracing or physical therapy. If your anterior cruciate ligament is torn, then it might not heal without surgery. You might experience some swelling instantly after ACL injury and, of course, some severe pain. If you have suffered an ACL injury, you are likely to experience some tenderness and loss of motion along your joint line. 

The doctor might examine and ask you to get an XRAY done to look for any fractures besides a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to check the ACL and check for any potential injury regarding knee ligaments or r meniscus articular cartilage. He might also perform some tests, including pivot shift and anterior drawer test, Lachman's test to check if your anterior cruciate ligament is fine or no.

The surgeon might recommend ACL surgery:

  • Quadriceps tendon autograft
  • Patellar tendon autograft
  • Hamstring tendon autograft

The risks under ACL surgery:

ACL surgery is ideally an arthroscopic surgery that holds minimum risks, including temporary numbness on your upper leg's exterior part aligning with the incision.

Above all, you must know that recovery after the ACL process tends to take time, but you can surely get back to your regular activities soon if you choose a proper surgery. You must know the main aim of the surgery is to restore the ACL quickly and safely, and hence it is vital to stick to the plan recommended by your surgeon. After surgery, the recovery period takes at least three months, so you must be mentally prepared for the same. Physical therapy is mainly recommended to help your knee get motion.

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