The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most commonly injured ligaments of the knee. High impact sports involving sudden movement or changes in direction can cause the ACL to become stretched or torn. Athletes playing tennis, basketball, football, or soccer are typically at a higher risk for developing an ACL injury. Treatment for an ACL injury is often dependent upon the type of injury, the patient’s activity level, and symptoms.

Symptoms

Individuals with an ACL injury may notice a sudden “pop” noise at the moment of the tear. The knee may give out and is usually then followed by rapid swelling and limited movement over the next few hours.

Treatment

Whether an ACL injury requires surgery varies from patient to patient. It is often dependent upon the type of tear, the activity level, and the age of the patient. Dr. Goldberg can help assess and determine the best treatment options for your injury, and if you may be a candidate for ACL surgery.

Surgery involves reconstructing or, in some cases, repairing the ACL. Generally, this is an outpatient minimally invasive procedure performed under general anesthesia. Patients return home the same day.

Recovery

Recovery after an ACL surgery may take a few months and largely depends on the injury and the patient’s overall health. After the procedure, the knee may be placed in a brace to protect the repair. Some discomfort, pain, and limited mobility should be expected several weeks after surgery. Most patients can resume full sporting activity in one year.