Staying Open-Minded About Your Healthcare

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn't know what I was going to do. After the devastation subsided, I decided to take a very standard, western approach to my healing. Although initial efforts were successful, my cancer recurred a few months later. I endured many additional months of treatment before I started focusing on myself. I decided it was time to incorporate complimentary alternative treatments into my healing regimen, including massage therapy. I can't even begin to tell you how much it changed my life. My healing became a process, instead of something I simply had to endure. I hope that the articles on my website can inspire you to stay open-minded about your own healthcare.

Torn ACL: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Health & Medical Blog

Maybe you were about to kick an amazing goal in soccer, or you were simply stepping off the porch. Either way, you landed wrong and heard a pop, followed by intense pain—something that usually indicates a torn ACL.

What does the ACL do?

The knee has several ligaments that help stabilize it and aid in motion. One of those ligaments is the anterior cruciate ligament-- also known as the ACL. The ACL keeps the knee from sliding over surrounding bones, and prevents the knee itself from moving when pivoting.

Sometimes, during sports or in an accident, the ACL will stretch to the point where it tears.

What are the symptoms of a torn ACL?

At the initial time of injury, a pop may be heard and felt, followed by excruciating pain. The knee may become very swollen and red, as well as tender to the touch. The swelling may get to the point that fully bending or straightening the knee is difficult, if not impossible.

In the days and weeks following the injury, the pain and swelling will likely continue. If the injured person is active, they may find it difficult to play their sport, particularly if it involves running or making sudden turns. The knee may randomly give way during normal activities

How is it diagnosed?

A torn ACL is diagnosed initially through a physical examination of the knee, where the doctor will observe any swelling, feel how the knee shifts as it turns, and check for tears of surrounding ligaments in addition to the ACL. To confirm the diagnosis, X-rays or an MRI may be ordered.

How is it treated?

The treatment for a torn ACL depends heavily on the injured person's desired activity level. If the knee was injured during normal activities and the person is older or mostly sedentary, surgery may not be necessary. However, if the person is athletic or tends to be highly active, surgery is usually required.

Non-surgical treatment may revolve around physical therapy, rest, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Surgical treatment usually involves replacing the tendon. Post-surgery, the injured person may need an upwards of six months to fully recover. During that six months, the patient usually undergoes physical therapy to regain strength in the injured knee.

If you think you may have torn or injured your ACL, it's important to see an orthopedic doctor like Orthopaedic Associates Of Rochester as soon as possible. The longer you postpone treatment, the longer the road to recovery will be.


4 June 2015