The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a ligament responsible for stabilizing the knee when the patient is running or jumping. This ligament connects the knee to the thighbone. Without a strong, intact ACL, the knee can’t support the patient’s weight properly or provide balance.
ACL tears vary in severity from a small, mild tear to a complete tear. Some of the symptoms of an ACL tear may include:
In most cases, patients develop an ACL tear when they twist or hyperextend the knee. Patients may also develop this injury if they bend the knee backward. ACL tears are common during sporting events but patients can develop this injury even when they aren’t participating in contact sports. In fact, any action that forces the knee to move in an awkward way or puts too much stress on the knee can lead to an ACL tear.
When a patient comes in with the symptoms of an ACL tear, Dr. Nickson will begin by performing an examination of the patient’s knee and listening to the patient’s description of symptoms. In some cases, he may be able to diagnose the torn ACL based solely on this information. However, in other cases, he may need to order tests to rule out other possible causes of the patient’s symptoms. Depending on the situation, he may order an ultrasound, X-ray, and/or MRI.
Dr. Nickson is an experienced orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the treatment of knee injuries. He customizes knee injury treatment plans to meet the needs of each individual patient. Some of the treatments he may recommend include:
Each of these treatments offers different advantages. Dr. Nickson will explain all of the patient’s options in detail so that they can make the right choice.
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