The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) helps keep the knee joint stable as it bends, twists and pivots. When this important structure is stretched or torn – as is common in athletes – it can compromise the normal functioning of the entire knee. This can lead to pain, swelling and discomfort while walking. While the pain and swelling associated with a torn/stretched ACL may resolve within a few weeks, these injuries generally do not heal completely on their own. Thus, patients typically require some form of ACL treatment to achieve full ACL injury recovery and regain total stability in their affected knee.
ACL Injury Recovery
Surgery will not be a necessary part of the ACL injury recovery process for every patient. In fact, physical therapy and range-of-motion exercises may be successful in restoring normal movement, stability and strength in the knee following an ACL injury. An ACL brace may be helpful in some patients during the rehabilitation process.
However, there are many cases in which surgery will be a required step for complete recovery. In the event that conservative, non-surgical rehabilitation methods fail to adequately treat a patient’s knee instability and other ACL injury symptoms, surgical ACL reconstruction may be recommended.
This procedure involves the replacement of the damaged ACL with a graft from part of another ligament or tendon. The graft is typically taken from the knee or hamstring. ACL reconstruction surgery can be completed in an arthroscopic or traditional “open” manner. The arthroscopic method allows ACL reconstruction to be done through small incisions. Therefore, it offers the following advantages:
- – Minimized chance of side effects like infection and bleeding
- – More comfortable healing
- – Less scarring
- – Less trauma to connective tissue
- – Faster rehabilitation and return to regular activities
For these reasons, minimally invasive arthroscopy is the preferred ACL reconstruction method of most orthopedic surgeons. Additional surgical procedures on the meniscus or other ligaments may be performed at the same time as ACL surgery, if needed.
See Dr. Soffer for Assistance with ACL Injury Recovery in Berks County
If you are suffering from knee instability that is impacting your quality of life after an ACL injury, a sports medicine doctor can help you create a recovery plan designed to meet your individual needs. Dr. Soffer is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician serving patients in Berks County and the surrounding area. Dr. Soffer has been fellowship trained by world famous Dr. James Andrews.
Whenever possible, Dr. Soffer strives to use minimally invasive techniques to treat orthopedic injuries such as ACL tears. Through this approach, he aims to help each and every one of his patients recover as quickly and painlessly as possible.
When you see Dr. Soffer for your knee care, he will conduct a thorough examination (which may involve the use of an MRI or X-rays) in order to determine the extent of your ligament and cartilage damage. Based on his findings, he will then discuss your treatment options and help you devise an ACL injury recovery strategy that is appropriate for you.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Soffer, call our office at 610-375-4949. We look forward to aiding in your recovery so that you can resume an active, rewarding lifestyle.