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ACL Tears

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears: Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL tears are one of the most common injuries of the knee, particularly amongst young and active individuals. ACL tears usually occur in sports that involve sudden stops or changes in direction including, soccer, skiing, football, and basketball. Many times, a “pop” in the knee is heard with subsequent pain, swelling and decreased range of motion. ACL tears may be accompanied by other injuries including Collateral Ligament tears (MCL or LCL) and meniscus tears.

There are 4 ligament stabilizers of the knee:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL): Located inside the knee joint attaching from the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). Helps control back and forth motion of the knee and also provides rotational stability.
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL): Also located inside the knee joint attaching from the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). Forms an X with the ACL. Also helps control back and forth motion of the knee and provides rotational stability.
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL): Located outside of the knee joint. Extends from the medial thigh bone (medial femoral condyle) to the shin bone (tibia). The MCL helps stabilize the knee and prevents it from bending inward.
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL): Located outside of the knee joint. Extends from the lateral thigh bone (lateral femoral condyle) to the head of the fibula. The LCL helps stabilize the knee and prevents it from bending outward.

Injury to the ligaments are divided into 3 Grades and are classified as sprains:

  • Grade 1 Sprain: The ligament is slightly stretched but not torn. In this case your knee joint is still stable if there are no other injuries.
  • Grade 2 Sprain: The ligament is partially torn. The knee joint may be stable or unstable.
  • Grade 3 Sprain: The ligament is completely torn. In this case you will have an unstable knee joint.

Symptoms of ACL tears include pain, knee swelling and effusion, decreased range of motion, and difficulty or inability to bear weight on the knee. Patients may also feel instability of the knee or feeling of the knee “giving out.” The long-term complication for ACL tears is that it increases the chance of developing early onset osteoarthritis of the knee, especially if it is associated with other injuries of the knee, including meniscus tears.

Diagnosis of ACL Tears

ACL tears can be inferred with physical examination including the Lachman Test and the Anterior Drawer Test. X-rays can be obtained to rule out a fracture but they are not able to visualize the ligaments or menisci. MRI is the gold standard as it can accurately identify the degree of ACL injury as well as injury to other ligaments, meniscus tears, and cartilage injury.

Treatment of ACL Tears

Immediate treatment after an ACL injury is focused on reducing pain and swelling with the RICE Protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Further treatment includes physical therapy to restore range of motion and strengthen the regional muscles. Crutches may also be administered for a short period of time if the patient has a lot of discomfort on ambulation.

The degree of the ACL sprain (Grade 1, 2, 3), whether there is injury to other ligament or menisci of the knee, and the patient’s activity level (high level athlete vs. sedentary) will dictate further course of treatment.

At the Advanced Healing Institute, Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is often performed on Grade 1 and 2 ACL tears to stimulate faster healing and get patients back to their active lifestyle. In additional PRP will also help in reducing knee pain and healing other knee structures that may have been involved during the injury.

Grade 3 tears, usually result of higher impact injury, are usually accompanied by other injuries including meniscus tears, collateral ligament injury and cartilage injury. In these cases, knee surgery may be the best option. This is especially important if you are an athlete and want to continue doing high demand sports which involve doing rapid acceleration, deceleration, jumping and pivoting.

Prevention of ACL injuries

Strength training, including strengthening the quadriceps and hamstring muscles and balance exercises can help reduce risk of developing ACL tears. Neuromuscular and proprioceptive treatments also help improve the reflex response during sports activities which can also reduce the chance of developing ACL injuries. Proper techniques when performing twisting or cutting movements and when jumping and landing are also important to help reduce chance of ACL injury. And as always, common sense precautions like proper stretching before sports and proper footwear will help reduce chance of injury.

Contact the Advanced Healing Institute today if you would like to schedule a consultation and treatment. We are dedicated to helping our patients find effective relief from ACL sprains and other painful knee conditions.

Our Patient Reviews

Advanced Healing Institute

5 / 5.0

Based on 34 reviews

Rich G.

Dr. Reza is a genius. My knee has been bothering me for YEARS since I tore my meniscus playing football. Achy, bothersome, with occasionally a limp. I went into to get PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and it was everything I thought it would be and then some. The whole procedure took less than an hour, very little to no pain and in less than 24 hours my knee felt brand new. If you are looking for a quality Doctor who offers PRP -- go here! The rates are very on point. He is literally THOUSANDS of dollars less than some other clinics and believe me he does such an amazing job, he could charge 10x's and it would still be worth it. Don't sit there suffering, get up and get help. I am actually thinking of getting my other knee done and its not really necessary. Lol.. 10 STARS...

E Y.

Dr Reza is FANTASTIC. Staff is friendly and very accommodating. I was in such pain. He diagnosed the issue (Bursitis) and clearly understood everything about it from A-Z. So efficient and understanding, not to mention making the procedure painless. I barely slept a hour the night before, saw Dr. Reza at 5pm and was feeling a million times better by 7pm. It's been 36 hours and I went from practically a frozen shoulder in pulsating pain to gaining back 70% of my movement range and most importantly "NO PAIN". just stiffness which is the normal symptoms as kindly explained to me by Dr. Reza. Everything is as promised, I am fully confident that I will be back to 100% range of motion within 3 days. I'm still gonna take it easy and slowly stretch my shoulder back to full strength. Without his service, I would probably be feeling like I was hit by a truck laying in bed miserable. Thank you very much Dr. Reza for helping my aging old bones. Cheers!

Angel K.

This place is amazing. I took my aunt to Dr. Dehdari since she was in so much pain to her left knee due to Arthritis Dr. Dehdari explained to us about PRP and after the PRP procedure she has no more pain. When we went there she was using a cane but right now she doesn't use it at all. PRP works miracle.

Marina S.

Had the PRP procedure and I have to say no pain at all, going on 6 weeks, if you decide to have the PRP listen to Dr. Dehdari's instructions thoroughly and do the physical therapy, it works and I am so pleased and it's getting better and better as days go on, Dr. Reza Dehdari is the best and very emphatic in explaining all your questions soothing away your doubts, and he checks up on you to make sure all is well, after the PRP procedure. Very trustworthy PRP procedure and his assistant Sandy is also the sweetest caring person you will ever meet. I'm a satisfied customer and patient.

Tara E.

My son went to see Dr. Reza for a shoulder injury he received from repeated use due to training. My son had tried physical therapy and a cortisone shot with little success. Dr. Reza thoroughly explained the benefits of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and he felt confident he could help my son. The procedure itself is amazing and my son was comfortable the entire time. I LOVE the fact that my son's own body was healing itself without the use of drugs. His shoulder is so much better and he was able to resume training after two weeks. I would highly recommend the PRP shot with Dr. Reza and will definitely see him again if the need arose.

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