Otis R. Drew, MD
Orthopaedic Surgeon located in Lafayette, LA
If your knee is forcefully twisted or hyperextended, you can suffer damage to the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, of the knee. If you fear you may have suffered this injury, contact Dr. Otis Drew, who offers his expert orthopedic and surgical experience to men and women in Lafayette, Louisiana. Call his office or book an appointment online to begin regaining your mobility as quickly as possible.
ACL Surgery Q & A
What is the ACL?
The ACL is the anterior cruciate ligament, one of the major ligaments of the knee. It runs from the femur, or thigh bone, to the tibia, or shin bone. Together with the posterior cruciate ligament, or PCL, it gives your knee rotational stability.
What are the symptoms of an ACL injury?
If you abruptly change direction or come to a quick, forceful stop, you can experience damage to the ACL. Symptoms of an ACL tear include:
- A popping sound at the time of injury
- A feeling that the knee has given out
- Swelling within a few hours of the incident
- Weakness and buckling in the knee joint, especially when twisting
What can cause an ACL injury?
An ACL injury commonly happens as a result of certain movements in sports, but isn’t reserved for athletes. You might injure your ACL when you:
- Stop running suddenly
- Land incorrectly from a jump
- Have a direct collision, such as during a football tackle
- Twist or pivot while your foot or lower leg is fixed, such as while skiing
How is an ACL injury diagnosed?
Dr. Drew carefully reviews your symptoms and medical history when considering whether you have a possible ACL tear. In addition to a thorough physical exam, he orders diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, and a stress test of the ligament, and may recommend arthroscopy, a type of diagnostic surgery.
How is an ACL injury treated?
If your knee still retains its stability, Dr. Drew may recommend nonsurgical treatment methods. You can control your pain and swelling with the RICE protocol, which involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
You may need to wear a knee brace to provide extra support and prevent excess mobility in the joint. Physical therapy can also help improve the strength of the muscles surrounding the knee and maximize range of motion in the joint.
Surgery is an option for people who want to return to sports competition, especially young athletes. During surgery, Dr. Drew makes small incisions and inserts an arthroscope — a small robotic device — to tighten the joint and restore its stability. He replaces the torn ligament with a tissue graft obtained from your patellar tendon or hamstring.
Following the surgery, you undergo a comprehensive rehabilitation program that includes physical therapy so you can return to full function.
If you suspect you’ve suffered an ACL knee injury, call Dr. Drew’s office or book an appointment online for diagnosis and effective treatment today.