What is the treatment for an ACL injury or tear?
The ultimate goal of treatment is to both reduce pain and swelling and for the patient to regain stability and function of the injured joint. Not all ACL injuries require surgery. A strain or sprain may heal on its own with proper rest and rehabilitation. The severity of symptoms, and the condition of the ACL will determine if surgery needs to occur.
Non-surgical treatment of an ACL injury:
If the anterior cruciate ligament injury does not cause instability in the knee joint, is mildly sprained, and does not include a complete tear of the ACL. Dr. Williams may prescribe non-surgical treatment. The RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) can be helpful in eliminating pain and swelling. A regimen of modified activity may be recommended, as well as joint support (bracing), and physical therapy may be enough to heal the joint.
Surgical treatment of an ACL injury:
In most cases, an ACL tear will not heal on its own because there is poor blood supply to the ligament. The goals of surgery are to restore knee stability and normal knee function, Dr. Williams employs an arthroscopic assisted method to reconstruct the ACL with a new ligament graft; the fragment of the original ACL are removed during this procedure. There are many types of grafts available to patients. Dr. Williams will discuss all of these options, as well as the pros and cons of each type of graft. Grafts used for ACL reconstruction include those taken from the patient’s own tissues (autografts) and those obtained from a donor source (allografts). Dr. Williams tailors his recommendation for ACL surgery based on the patient’s desired level of activity and sport following their full recovery