Understanding ACL Injuries
ACL is fully described as Anterior Cruciate Ligament, and it is one of the most commonly injured ligaments in the knee. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is one of the ligaments within the knee that connect the femur to the tibia. The ACL stands diagonally within the knee promoting rational stability and preventing the tibia from moving out of position. As compared to other cases, ACL injuries, mostly occur to those involved in high-risk sports such as football, soccer, basketball among others. Approximately, half of all the ACL injuries manifest themselves in combination with damage to the meniscus, articular cartilage or other ligaments. These injuries cause the knee to degenerate faster than it should.
An MRI can help diagnose bruises of the bone beneath the cartilage and the extent of damage to the ligament.
What is an ACL Injury?
An ACL injury is a type of knee injury acquired when the Anterior Cruciate Ligament is stretched, partially or entirely torn. Entirely or completely torn ACL injuries are commonly diagnosed in patients and symptoms include; instability of the knee, pain, swelling, and a popping sound in the joint.
Causes of ACL Injuries
Although ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect one bone to another, they are liable to tear down in case of twisting or other aggressive physical activities. The ACL, one of the ligaments in the joint connecting the thigh bone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia) can get damaged or tear down in case of;
- Dangerous landing
- Sudden deceleration
- Falling off a ladder
- Pivoting while the foot is firmly planted
- Receiving a direct blow to the knee
Various Grades of ACL Injuries
ACL injuries are basically categorised into three grades, generally depending on the extent of the damage
In this category, the ligament is stretched, but not torn.
In this, the ligament (ACL) is partially torn.
In this, the ACL is completely torn and there is instability or looseness of the joint.
If I tear my ACL, Is Surgery Necessary?
An ACL injury is more complex since there are various ligaments within the ACL.
However, in case necessary steps are taken to allow the injury to heal, there is no need for surgery, but in case the injury is severe, a surgery is necessary.
According to studies, more than a half of the ACL injuries require surgery and this surgery is termed as “ACL Reconstruction”. Due to the severity of the injury, tendons from the patella or hamstring are used to reconstruct the ACL ligament since the original ACL ligaments can’t be reconnected.
Do I have a Serious Knee Injury? This is How to Know (4/5 Signs)
Instability of the knee
A popping sound is usually one of the immediate signs of a severe knee injury. This is because most ACL injuries come from twisting or pivot.
This is an immediate sign of a severe knee injury and may be witnessed immediately or shortly after the injury. At least 85% of victims experience swelling and a popping sound and later on a severe pain that may hinder them from walking.
Just as explained earlier, the severe pain and swelling may make it hard for an individual to walk and this requires attention.
The Inability to Straighten the knee & Weakness
In case you can’t straighten your knee, this can prove that you have a locked knee. A meniscus tear is the commonest injury.
Weakness occurs due to patella dislocations, patella tendons tears or quadriceps tears. You will find it hard to straighten your knee a few days after the injury.
Treatment Approaches for ACL Injuries
Fortunately, ACL tear treatments have evolved with time and recovery is faster and offers more desired results than before. The ACL Reconstruction Treatment In India currently focuses on.
- Restoration of the normal function
- Preventing loss of function of the knee joint
- Preventing arthritis
- Preventing cartilage damage
- Restoring normal stability of the knee joint
Surgical ACL Repair
The reconstruction surgical procedures are made possible through extensive research that enable the re-creation of the original anatomy of the ACL “Anatomical ACL Reconstruction.”
Having undergone a pre-operative evaluation that includes X-rays and MRI, the surgeon will plan your surgery. Normally, torn ACLs are replaced with a substitute graft made of tendon since ACLs repaired with sutures normally fail. The various choices in ACL construction include;
- Hamstring tendon autograft
- Patellar tendon autograft (the autograft is attained from the patient)
- Quadriceps tendon autograft
- Allograft; normally taken from a cadaver.
ACL Reconstruction Procedure
Depending on the surgical choice, anaesthesia is administered which may help block the nerves to the leg and this reduces postoperative pain.
The surgeon will then examine your knee and observe the affected ACL and also ascertain the looseness of the other ligaments, which may require repair during surgery. The surgeon will then extract the selected tendon for an autograft or thawing and the graft is prepared.
Once the graft is prepared, the surgeon will place an arthroscope into the joint through the small incisions known as the portals. Via the portals, an arthroscope is placed which is used to examine the knee’s condition and later on, Meniscus and the cartilage injuries are repaired or trimmed and the torn ACL stump is later on removed.
The Commonest ACL Reconstruction surgical procedures required drilling of the bone tunnels into the tibia and the femur in order to place the ACL graft in the right position.
Dr. Tanveer Singh Bhutani- An ACL Reconstruction Specialist
Dr. Tanveer Singh Bhutani is a pioneer in the Anatomical ACL Reconstruction in India having trained with the best Orthopaedic surgeons in the world. He is the first Indian orthopedic surgeon to have won the Prestigious ESSKA and SICOT scholarships. The ACL Reconstruction Treatment Cost In India and specifically at Eva Hospital is considered reasonable when compared to other countries and hospitals. Therefore, meet Dr. Tanveer for the best ACL reconstruction surgery since he has worked on hundreds of patients including international and national athletes.