Are ACLs Game-Ending Injuries?

Athletes who jump, land, and pivot with high speed and intensity are especially at risk for knee injuries. The ligament in the front of your knee, your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), is particularly vulnerable to strains, tears, and other athletic injuries.

An ACL injury requires rest and treatment to heal properly, so you’re going to be sidelined, but for how long? Does an ACL injury take you out of the game for good?

At the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine of Kingwood and Tomball, Texas, our sports medicine specialists are here to help. Dr. Michael L. Blackwell and his team can help adult and teen patients put together an ACL treatment plan that takes the pace of athletic recovery into account, getting you back to your sport as soon as possible.

Understanding ACL injury

Your knee joint has to regularly bear the brunt of twisting and impact forces. The collateral and cruciate ligaments that hold your knee joint together can suffer from injuries if your knees take too much sudden force.

Your ACL can suffer a strain, or it may tear completely if the forces acting on your knee joint are too strong and sudden. Sudden changes in momentum, twisting motions, and bad landings are all high-risk for ACL injuries. You might hear a popping sound, or feel pain, when you experience ACL damage.

You need professional medical care to repair an ACL injury, whether mild or severe. A serious ACL injury can destabilize your knee joint, making you more prone to further injuries, including those that could end your career.

When you suffer an ACL injury, it’s important to take a break from athletic activity, even if you don’t experience major symptoms right away. Your knee joint needs time to fully heal.

Ready to get back in the game?

For athletes who are champing at the bit to get back to the field, court, track, or pool, Dr. Blackwell recommends customized treatment to maximize healing and minimize overall recovery time.

Less-active people who suffer an ACL injury might be able to recover sufficiently with rest, but for athletes and those who need their knee joint back at peak performance, surgical treatment may be best.

In ACL surgery, Dr. Blackwell reconnects your torn ACL. He uses a graft from your patellar or hamstring tendon, or a donor graft, and you need about six months to recover from surgery. Dr. Blackwell recommends physical therapy regimens to keep you in good condition and support the healing process.

To learn more about how you can boost your chances for a full recovery from an ACL injury, get in touch with Dr. Blackwell at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine now. You can book your consultation over the phone, or use the online tool to schedule at your convenience.

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