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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear (ACL Tear)

About ACL Tear

Active adults sometimes unintentionally put their bodies at risk. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a devoted fitness fanatic, you may suffer a leg injury such as a ligament tear in your knee. The anterior cruciate ligament is the one most often injured in a sports-related injury, but there are many other ways to suffer an ACL tear. Fortunately, you can get ACL tear treatment without surgery at the Spine & Rehab Group with offices in Manhattan and across three counties in northern New Jersey. Call today for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

How Common Is an ACL Tear?

Anterior Cruciate Ligament

In the US alone, there are between 100,000 and 200,000 ACL tears every year. Tearing your ACL or anterior cruciate ligament is a knee injury that causes sharp knee pain initially. An ACL tear is a common sports injury, as it happens mostly to people who play high-impact sports, such as football, basketball and skiing. Despite the sports connection, active women between the ages of 15 to 45 years are three times more likely to get such a knee injury than men.

Your knee specialist has to determine if your injury is an ACL tear or a meniscus tear. Each requires a different form of treatment. You can trust a specialist like Dr. Amr Hosny and his team at the Spine & Rehab Group. Visit any of the eight convenient locations, including Greenwich Village and Paramus, NJ. These experts have the tools and experience to correctly diagnose and treat any problem you have with your knees.

What Causes an ACL Tear?

The anterior cruciate ligament is a strong band of tissue that connects your thigh bone to your shin bone. It’s located in the front of your knee; it lets you rotate and kick your shin bone forward. Along with the other three knee ligaments, the ACL helps stabilize the knee joint, enabling your knee to be fully functional and flexible.

When you damage this ligament, the result is either a partial or complete tear of the ACL tissue. Once you’ve torn the ACL in a knee, it’s highly unlikely you can regain full athletic strength and stability of your knee without surgery to rebuild the ligament. The primary causes of an ACL tear include:

  • Changing directions rapidly, such as when you’re playing a sport like football or basketball
  • Stopping suddenly, using your knees, feet and weight to halt your forward momentum
  • Using your knees to slow down while running
  • Landing awkwardly on your feet after a jump
  • Being hit directly on your knee, such as in a football tackle or block
  • Spinning with one foot firmly planted
  • Experiencing blunt force trauma, such as from a car accident or a fall
  • Using improper exercising techniques, such as squatting with your knees turned inward
  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes when you run
  • Banging your knee on a hard surface such as cement
  • Experiencing muscle fatigue in or around your knee
  • Feeling weakness in the knee joint or in your hamstring
  • Playing on artificial grass, which has less give than real grass

When Should I Consult a Knee Specialist?

Knee injuries can vary from patellofemoral pain syndrome, commonly known as runner’s knee, to patellar tendonitis, which affects the tendons. You may even have bursitis in your knee, which means the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the knee joint have become inflamed. Consulting a knee specialist like Dr. Hosny is the first step toward treatment, as an ACL tear is just one of many reasons your knee is hurting.

At the Spine & Rehab Group, your knee specialist has access to the latest medical knowledge and technology. Whether you need an x-ray or MRI, you can have it done right there, giving your spine doctor the information required for an accurate diagnosis of your knee pain. To get the ACL tear treatment you need, the right diagnosis is crucial because:

  • Sometimes, knee pain is accompanied by hip pain or back pain, which can mean you’re suffering from sciatica, not an ACL tear.
  • Arthritis in your knee can cause severe pain and swelling, making any movement, including walking, difficult and painful.
  • You may have a form of spondylosis called ankylosing spondylosis. This is another form of inflammatory arthritis that causes knee pain and lower back pain in some people.
  • If you heard an audible popping sound when you hurt your knee, it’s likely you tore your ACL.
  • You’re unable to stand or walk properly because of your knee pain.
  • The injured knee joint feels loose and unstable.

Is There an ACL Tear Treatment without Surgery?

Surgery as an ACL tear treatment is usually the last option. Most people just need to follow the RICE model: rest, ice packs, compression and elevation. Relax with your injured knee elevated. Apply an ice pack to the knee every two hours for 10 to 15 minutes to keep the swelling down. If the pain is severe, you can take over-the-counter pain medications.

Your specialist may suggest that you wear a compression bandage or brace to limit your knee movement temporarily to allow the damage to heal. If your knee pain is connected to a back or hip problem, you may need other forms of pain management, such as:

  • Acupuncture or massage
  • Prescription pain medications
  • Trigger point injections
  • Targeted exercises to strengthen your back, hip, knee and leg muscles

If you’ve hurt your knee and fear you may have suffered an ACL tear, book an appointment at the Spine & Rehab Group office nearest you. Serving Manhattan, as well as Bergen County, Morris County and Union County in New Jersey, Dr. Hosny and his team provide not only pain relief, but also effective treatment to resolve the source of your knee pain, even if it’s a torn ACL. Contact the team today.

Page Updated on Nov 15, 2021 by Dr. Hosny (Interventional Spine Specialist) of The Spine & Rehab Group
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