14 Sep Pain Caused By An ACL Injury
Did you know September is Pain Awareness Month? One of the most painful injuries an athlete can face is a torn Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). A torn ACL has derailed the careers of many high-profile athletes and can be extremely painful and debilitating. While these injuries can be detrimental, recovery is possible. At New York Sports Medicine Institute, our team specializes in treating ACL injuries. Our goal is to get you back to the sport you love as soon as possible.
What Is An ACL Injury?
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one ligament that connects the thigh and shinbone to stabilize the knee. When this ligament stretches beyond its capacity and tears, an ACL injury occurs. ACL injuries frequently occur during sports that involve rapid changes in direction, jumping, and rapid starts and stops. Along with excruciating pain, a clear indicator of an ACL injury is an audible “pop” at the onset of the injury. Some of the other symptoms include:
- Difficulty extending the knee.
- Pain when walking.
- Feeling as though the knee will give way.
- Inability to bear weight on the affected leg.
Treating Pain From An ACL Injury
At New York Sports Medicine Institute, our team will assess the grade and extent of your injury and examine your range of motion before making a diagnosis. Imaging tests may also be used to search for signs of bone damage. Treatment approaches for ACL injuries depend on the severity and the fitness and age of the patient. Conservative treatment measures will typically involve elevation, icing the knee, and taking anti-inflammatory pain medication to reduce swelling and pain.
As a healthy athlete, surgery may be recommended to ensure that you can fully resume your activities. We provide minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to repair or replace the ligament. If the knee has retained stability, surgery may not be necessary. Our team may recommend using crutches to keep weight off the injured knee and wearing a brace to further stabilize the area. Physician-guided exercises can also help strengthen the muscles in the legs and restore range of motion and flexibility.
ACL injuries are universally dreaded by athletes for a reason. While these injuries can be debilitating, it does not mean they can’t be prevented. Taking preventive measures can dramatically reduce your risk of experiencing an ACL injury and ensure a safe and healthy sports season. Here are some ways you keep your ACL intact:
- Strength Training – Weak leg and knee muscles can make you more prone to ACL problems. Implementing targeted strength training into your knee can increase resilience against this injury. Our team can help you find the best exercises to keep your muscles and joints strong while improving your overall athletic output.
- Warm-Up Before Training – Stiff muscles and ligaments are more prone to experience injuries. Warming up before exercise can loosen up tight muscles and ligaments. Stretching is also an essential part of your workout routine.
- Proper Technique – Focusing on your form and utilizing proper techniques is essential for avoiding damaging motions. Our physical therapist can show you how to improve your form and agility so you can stay safe.
- Consult With A Sports Medicine Doctor – If you are noticing any muscle weakness or pain, working with an expert in sports medicine and undergoing a physical evaluation can help target any weaknesses or vulnerabilities within your musculoskeletal system. We can advise you on the exercises and activities that improve these areas.
At New York Sports Medicine Institute, our team is proud to offer highly effective treatment options for ACL injuries and pain. From surgery to physical therapy, our staff provides the comprehensive care athletes need to make a successful recovery. Whether you require treatment or would like to meet with one of our specialists for advice, our team is available to help. Be sure to contact us today to request an appointment.