Understanding ACL Injuries: Symptoms, Treatment, and Recovery

September 25, 2023

ACL injuries, a common knee joint injury associated with sports. ACL injuries can have serious repercussions for both athletes and people who lead active lives because they affect a key knee stabilizing structure. We will discuss the significance, signs and symptoms, available therapies, length of hospital stay, exercises, mechanisms, and causes of ACL injuries. So let’s start our journey to a better understanding of this injury.

One of the important knee ligaments, the ACL, holds the thigh bone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia) together. Its main purpose is to stop the knee joint from rotating and the tibia from moving too far forward. Sports like soccer, basketball, skiing, and football all include rapid stops, direction changes, and awkward landings that frequently result in ACL injuries.

Symptoms of ACL injury:

ACL injuries can cause a variety of symptoms, some of which may include:

– An initial “popping” sound or sensation in the knee.

– Prompt and intense pain.

– Swelling in the initial hours following the injury.

– The knee’s restricted range of motion.

– Unsteadiness or the sensation that the knee is “giving way.”

– Problems supporting weight on the afflicted limb.

You must get medical help right away if you develop any of these symptoms. Schedule a consultation with our orthopedic specialists at Al Hilal Hospitals to assess your knee health and discuss treatment options for ACL injuries.

Treatment options for ACL injury:

The course of treatment for ACL injuries varies depending on a number of variables, including the extent of the damage, the patient’s level of activity, and the presence of additional injuries. There are both non-surgical and surgical therapy options:

a.Non-surgical treatment may be advised for people with partial ACL tears or those who are less active. Physical therapy is used in this strategy to bolster the nearby muscles and enhance knee stability. Bracing and activity changes can also be used to safeguard the hurt knee throughout daily chores and athletic endeavors.

  1. Surgical Intervention: For athletes and others with severe instability or a complete ACL rupture, surgery may be advised. ACL repair is a popular surgical treatment that involves grafting tissue from the patient’s own body or from a donor to replace the torn ligament. With this procedure, the risk of additional injury is decreased while knee stability is restored.

Book your consultation now with our expert Orthopedic doctors at Al Hilal Hospitals.

The length of time it takes to recover from an ACL injury varies based on the injury’s seriousness, the manner of therapy used, and personal characteristics. With an emphasis on physical therapy and rehabilitation activities, the recovery period might be anywhere from a few weeks to several months in non-surgical instances. In surgical situations, a longer recovery period, usually lasting 6 to 9 months, may be necessary to allow the graft to fully integrate and for the knee to restore its strength and stability.

An expert orthopaedic surgeon and cutting-edge facilities are needed for the sensitive ACL reconstruction surgery. Call us to book your consultation at Al Hilal Hospitals. During surgery, a graft, often derived from the patellar tendon or hamstring tendon, is used to repair the injured ACL. Donor grafts from a deceased person may be used in some circumstances. The procedure is frequently carried out arthroscopically, which has fewer incisions, less scarring, and a quicker recovery time than open surgery.

Post ACL surgery rehabilitation:

Physical therapy is essential for managing ACL injuries both pre- and post-surgery. To support the knee joint, the exercises emphasize developing the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles. Typical workouts for ACL injuries include:

– Quad sets: Straightening the leg while contracting the quadriceps.

– Hamstring curls: To tone the hamstring muscles, bend the knee while facing resistance.

– Step-ups: Using the damaged leg to ascend onto an elevated surface to increase stability and balance.

– Single-leg squats: Squats on one leg are performed to increase strength and control.

To ensure a secure and efficient recuperation, keep in mind to adhere to a customized workout regimen under the direction of a licensed physical therapist.

The following factors can increase the likelihood of ACL injuries:

– Gender: Because of anatomical and hormonal variations, female athletes are more likely to sustain an ACL injury.

– Playing activities: High-impact activities that require abrupt pauses and direction changes increase the risk of ACL injury.

– Poor landing techniques, such as landing on one’s straight legs, might put too much strain on the ACL.

– Prior damage: The chance of ACL damage in the opposite knee is increased if there has been a prior injury to the ACL in one knee.

– Muscle Imbalances: Weakness or imbalances in the knee-region muscles can cause instability and increase the risk of injury.

How to prevent an ACL injury:

 Your risk of suffering an ACL injury can be considerably decreased by incorporating specific workouts and techniques into your program. Here are some methods for preventing ACL injuries:

  1. Stretch Properly: Light cardiovascular activities and dynamic stretches should be included in a warm-up to promote blood flow to the muscles. Warming up lowers the possibility of unexpected muscular strains and gets the body ready for more strenuous activity.
  1. Build Muscle Strength in the Lower Body: Quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles that are strong are essential for stabilizing the knee joint. Concentrate on exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, and leg presses that work these muscles.
  1. Boost Balance and Proprioception: Incorporate balance and stability exercises into your routines. Balance and joint control can be enhanced by workouts including single-leg stances, balance board exercises, and stability ball drills.
  1. Practice Landing Techniques: When jumping and landing, ACL injuries can be avoided by using the right landing techniques. To effectively absorb the shock, concentrate on landing with soft, bent knees and a slight forward lean.
  1. Plyometric exercises should be done safely. Plyometric exercises, sometimes referred to as “jump training,” can boost athletic prowess and power. They should, however, be carried out correctly and advanced progressively.
  1. Wear Appropriate Protective Gear: If you have a history of knee injuries, knee braces may provide stability and support while you are engaged in physical activity. To choose the best knee brace for your requirements, speak with a medical expert or athletic trainer.
  1. Modify Training and Playing Surfaces:When exercising, use surfaces that absorb shock well to decrease the impact on your knees. Steer clear of surfaces with a high risk of joint damage.
  1. Gradually Increase Training Intensity: Avoid abrupt increases in activity or training intensity, as they can result in overuse problems and stress on the knee joint. Increase the intensity of your workouts gradually to give your body enough time to adjust to the new demands.
  1. Cross-Train and Rest: Alternating between different types of exercises in your training program will help to lessen the repetitive stress on certain muscle groups and joints. Ensure that you give yourself enough time to rest and recuperate in between rigorous training sessions.
  1. Pay attention to your body’s signals: Watch out for any indications of instability, soreness, or discomfort in your knees. In order to treat any potential difficulties before they worsen, get medical attention as soon as you suffer persistent knee pain or see strange movements while engaging in activities.

To assist you in regaining strength and leading an active lifestyle once more, Al Hilal Hospital is dedicated to offering individualized care and the most recent treatment choices. Take the first step towards recovery right now, and don’t let an ACL injury hold you back!