If you’re an athlete, you know that knee injuries, such as an ACL tear, can really sideline your game. However, did you know that ACL injuries don’t just happen to athletes? There are many myths that you might not be aware aren’t true about this kind of injury.
At Alpha Orthopedics, our skilled team of physicians can help give you just the facts about an ACL tear. Our doctors will evaluate your injury and create an individual treatment plan for your specific injury.
Symptoms of an ACL tear
Your ACL is the main ligament in your knee joint that helps to give you stability. It also brings your knee joint together at the thigh and shin bones. If you hurt your ACL, you’ll most likely realize it right away due to symptoms, such as:
- Popping sensation in your knee
- Severe pain
- Immediate swelling
- Decreased ability to move the knee
- Inability to put weight on the injured leg
Any of these symptoms can be indicative of a partial tear or a complete tear of your ACL.Our doctors will diagnose your injury with a physical exam and imaging. You may need X-rays and an MRI to determine the extent of the damage done in your knee.
What causes an ACL injury?
Although this type of injury is usually a sports related injury, it can also happen with any kind of blunt trauma to your leg or knee. It could also happen to you from a slip or fall if your leg moves the wrong way.
There are several ways that you can compromise or injure your ACL, including:
- Quickly pivoting with your foot planted
- Suddenly stopping
- Quick changes in direction
- Landing from a jump awkwardly
Even if you don’t play sports, you can still tear your ACL. The ligaments in your knee are very strong, but any kind of wrong movement or trauma can compromise their integrity, leading to injury.
Myths and facts you should know
At Alpha Orthopedics, our main goal is to get you better and back to your busy life. If you think you’ve injured your ACL, it’s important to us that you understand just the facts, and don’t get caught up in misleading information.
Myth 1: Wearing a knee brace prevents ACL injuries
The fact is, a brace can’t stop an ACL injury from happening. If you haven’t been prescribed a brace by our doctors. If you’re just trying to be proactive, it’ll cause you to become dependent on the brace, putting your muscles and ligaments at greater risk for injury.
Myth 2: Strengthening your quad muscles will prevent knee injuries
Your quadriceps are the large muscles located in the front of your thigh. The theory was that if you strengthen these muscles, your knees would be less likely to get injured. The fact of this is that strengthening your core and gluteal muscles is more likely to prevent knee injuries by providing a solid foundation.
Myth 3: Skilled or professional athletes never get injured
Although professional athletes may seem like superheros at times, their bodies can sustain injury too. If they aren’t careful, they can suffer from an ACL injury just like you. Even with training off the field, one wrong move can mean disaster to their knee.
Myth 4: All ACL tears require surgical intervention
The only real way to know if your injury requires surgery is for one of our skilled team members to do a full assessment on your knee. If it’s determined that your knee injury is minor, you may only need rest and ice to the injury. Surgery is sometimes needed if our doctors think you’re a candidate and from the severity of the tear.
Myth 5: Post surgical rehab takes a long time
The fact is, everyone heals differently, so your recovery can be shorter or longer depending on how your body deals with the procedure. Following our doctor’s instructions after surgery can definitely cut down on complications, leading to a much quicker recovery time.
Understanding how your body works is the first defense against injury. Good body mechanics and preventative training strategies can help you fight off injury, but the truth is, your ACL can get injured at any time. Knowing how to react and getting prompt treatment from our amazing team can get you back on the field.
If you’ve hurt your ACL and aren’t sure what the next step is, call one of our three convenient offices in Texas, or request an appointment online today with one of our caring providers.