Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the bands of connective tissue in your knee that provide stability and facilitate movement. ACL injuries are common, especially among athletes. At Bay Oaks Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Houston, Texas, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon Anthony S. Melillo, MD, diagnoses ACL injuries and offers expert treatments and surgical options to repair your knee and relieve pain. Call the practice or schedule a consultation online today if you have knee pain or a suspected injury.
Your femur, tibia, and patella meet in your knee and are held together with a network of ligaments.
Your cruciate ligaments, including the ACL and posterior (PCL), are inside your knee. They cross your knee from top to bottom, forming an X to provide stability and allow the back-and-forth motion of your knee.
The collateral ligaments are on the outside of your knee (medial and lateral). They facilitate sideways movement and brace your joint against abnormal motion.
Most ACL injuries are sprains. Grade 1 ACL sprains are the mildest. You stretch your ACL, but it can still provide stability.
Grade 2 sprains stretch your ACL to the point of looseness. Dr. Melillo might also call a Grade 2 sprain a partial tear.
Grade 3 sprains are the most severe. Your ACL stretches to the point that it tears into two pieces. It causes instability. Most ACL injuries are full or complete tears.
ACL tears are common sports injuries. They’re often caused by:
In some cases, you can even sprain your ACL by decelerating your run.
You might hear or feel a “pop” when you tear your ACL. Other signs include pain, swelling, instability, reduced range of motion, and tenderness. The instability in your knee can increase stress on your cartilage and other ligaments, increasing your risk of additional injuries.
If you think you’ve injured your ACL, make an appointment at Bay Oaks Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine right away. Dr. Melillo asks about your symptoms and what you were doing when you injured yourself. He feels your knee and gently moves your joint.
Dr. Melillo might order additional testing, such as an MRI, to confirm your diagnosis or identify the severity of your sprain.
Dr. Melillo creates a customized treatment plan to heal your ACL. Depending on the severity of your injury, your program could include:
Dr. Melillo discusses your treatment options and may combine therapies to optimize the healing process.
Call Bay Oaks Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine or make an appointment online today if you think you have an ACL injury.