Many people that indulge in sports and high physical activity in their lives know that a torn ACL means a knee injury due to one four types of ligaments being damaged. A torn ACL is one of the most common types of injuries to the knee people encounter throughout their lifetime.
5 Signs of a torn ACL may include:
- A distinct popping sound as soon as the injury has happened
- Difficulty standing without the leg giving out due to pressure on the knee
- Swelling and pain in the injured area
- Bruised patterns around the knee caused from internal bleeding
- Severe to mild tenderness
Possible causes of a torn ACL
- Twisting the knee in a different direction while the foot is facing another way
- Major trauma or blunt force to the knee
- An injury sustained while MCL injury (Medial Meniscus Ligament) is already present
- Hyper extending of the knee during activity or movement
Once a torn ACL is suspected, a doctor should be consulted to confirm this is the injury that was sustained. Prolonging a doctor visit will create further damage to the knee over a period of time. If taken care of immediately, it could allow a person to recover more quickly and prevent surgical treatment. If any of these symptoms are felt in even small amounts, a torn ACL may be present. People with high tolerances for pain may want to pass the injury off as not serious enough to warrant a physician visit. This type of thinking could be the difference between a knee brace for a few weeks and surgery that takes several months to recover.
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A torn ACL of minor damage may be treated with a knee brace and physical therapy as well as exercise. A more extensive injury may need surgery and a longer recovery period. The most common types of surgery for a torn ACL will require pain management medications, particular diets, exercise, physical therapy and follow up visits to your surgeon and primary health care physician.
Recovery time for a minor torn ACL without surgery may only take a few weeks and a recommendation of a knee brace or crutches with physical exercises. More severe injuries may require months of exercises before a surgery to ensure healing time is quicker after the operation. Some individuals require over a year to be able to go back to their normal lives or need ongoing medical attention with a strict regiment of instructions and changes in their daily lives. A reconstruction of the ACL can be done by a doctor if they feel it is the only possible solution to fix the problem. Although many athletes and people who are highly active in sports may return to their normal routines once the knee is repaired, there is a very high probability the injury will happen again. Many people choose to lessen the activities or change their lifestyle due to possible injury again. Consulting a physician about the limit of activities in the event of surgery or without it is recommended if not imperative to someones health. If any of the symptoms mentioned appear again after a torn ACL has occurred or is suspected, report it to your primary care physician immediately. The longer someone waits, the worse the symptoms will become.