Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears

Sports Injuries

ACL tears are a very common sporting injury. They are most frequent in twisting and cutting sports such as football, basketball, netball, volleyball, rugby, skiing, waterskiing and so on. They are much more frequent in women than in men.

Typically they are a non contact injury and occur when landing awkwardly from a jump and the knee gives way. The other classical mechanism is to be running, then suddenly to decelerate and change direction and the knee twists and buckles. You will commonly hear a ‘pop’, fall to the floor, the knee will swell up immediately, you will be unable to continue with the game and you will have to be helped off limping on your injured leg. Normally you will attend the A&E Department where your knee will be x-rayed. You will be told that nothing is broken and you will be sent on your way. Within about 4 to 5 weeks the knee starts to feel normal, except that every time you twist or something unexpected happens to your leg your knee gives way. Unfortunately ACL tears are all too commonly missed.

ACL tears used to be career ending injuries, not that many years ago, but now we have very reproducible surgical techniques to reconstruct the ACL. It is important to stabilise the knee and prevent giving way episodes as this lead on to further damage to the meniscal cartilages and chondral surfaces, ultimately leading to accelerated arthritis development.

TheKneeDoc surgeonis highly trained in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of ACL tears. We offer KT1000 biomechanical knee assessments to confirm diagnosis quickly. We use aggressive accelerated rehabilitation programmes following surgery to get you back to your sport, at the same level you were playing prior to your injury, within 6 to 12 months. Many surgeons within the United Kingdom try and manage ACL tears non operatively but unfortunately this does not work in the vast majority of cases as it leads to recurrent giving way, causing further damage to the knee. Following surgery, we have aggressive rehabilitation protocols to get you back quickly and safely by monitoring your strength and co-ordination using state of the art equipment. All of this allows earlier return to full activity.

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