Treatment for ACL Injury: Your Options

January 7th, 2015

 Have you or a loved one experienced an ACL injury? A tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can be extremely painful and often requires medical intervention. Fortunately, expert treatment for an ACL injury is available from the knee experts at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. Take the time to discover your options now in order to help yourself or your loved one onto the path toward recovery.

Limitations to Treatment
Although tearing the ACL is a common injury, it is not one that is easily remedied. The ACL is a fibrous band which stabilizes the knee. Because of its unique makeup, the ACL has an extremely limited blood supply which means that it does not heal naturally. Because of this, medical treatment is required to remedy the injury. 
ACL Reconstruction Surgery
Active or athletic patients who have torn their anterior cruciate ligament may require a surgical treatment for ACL injury. In this procedure, the ACL is typically reconstructed using a graft from either the patient’s body or from a donor. In each case, the doctor will determine whether an autograft (from the patient’s own body) or an allograft (from a donor) is appropriate. The selected graft will then be threaded through the knee joint and secured in the place of the original ligament, attached to both the thigh bone and the lower leg bone. 
Over the following months, this grafted ligament biologically heals, taking on the role of the ACL. During this healing process, the patient will typically wear a brace and undergo physical therapy to assist with the healing process. This surgical procedure often allows the surgeon to evaluate other injuries to the knee joint at the same time. 
Non-Operative ACL Treatment
For patients who do not participate in pivoting sports and activities, nonoperative treatment for ACL injury may be an option. Often, this manner of treatment includes weeks of bracing, along with ice, elevation, and possibly anti inflammatory medications. Then, physical therapy may begin which works toward the goal of restoring the patient’s range of motion and knee strength. Even with this therapy, a sports brace may also be helpful if the patient does need to participate in more vigorous activity.
For more information about your options for treatment for ACL injury, contact the knee experts at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute today at 1-800-321-9999 or make an appointment.
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