An athlete having suffered from injury to their ACL may be worried about their future career in the sports arena. However, sports injuries like strains and tears are typical and treatable with proper rehabilitation and surgery.
What is an ACL tear?
An ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear is a common sports injury typically caused by a sharp twisting or otherwise unusual motion in the knee. Injury to the ACL requires a visit to a sports injury rehabilitation center wherein the athlete will undergo physical therapy. Nearly always physical therapy includes exercise including weight lifting, walking, core exercises, and stretching. However, if the injury has caused enough damage to the ACL, surgery may be necessary.
How can you determine the best treatment for your ACL injury?
Oftentimes, to determine the best way to treat your ACL injury, an arthroscopic surgeon will perform an ACL arthroscopic surgery. Arthroscopic knee surgery is a minimally invasive surgery utilizing a tiny camera, which is inserted via an incision in the knee. The camera, called an arthroscope, allows the surgeon to see the damage of your ACL on a screen up-close, allowing the injury to be assessed for optimal treatment.
What types of surgery may be performed?
After recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery, your surgeon may determine whether you may need physical therapy, ligament replacement, or if there may be an additional injury to your knee. In the event of ligament replacement, the ACL is replaced utilizing a graft. This can be done using the patient’s own tissue, called an autograft, from the hamstring tendon, patellar, or quadriceps. If an autograft is unable to be performed, an allograft, in which the ligament is taken from a cadaver, can also be performed. However, studies show allografts are not the best choice when it comes to young athletes.
What happens after surgery?
After recovering from surgery, the athlete can then proceed to physical therapy, typically as a sports injury rehabilitation center. While a physical therapy center will allow for the athlete to heal effectively with stretches and exercises aimed at the recuperation of their ACL, a sports injury rehabilitation center caters to an athlete’s specific intention to return to the field. Therefore, if the athlete has been given the A-Okay from their surgeon to return to sports after proper recovery, a sports injury rehabilitation center may be the best choice for recuperation after ACL surgery.