As a knee doctor in Gaithersburg, MD from an office like the Pain Arthritis Relief Center can tell you, there are many different types of knee pain, and all of them have different causes. Among the most common causes of knee pain are severe knee injuries: These can take months for a full recovery, and it can be difficult learning how to live with a lack of mobility and intense pain while you try to get better.
One of the most common types of knee injury is a torn ACL. But why is it so common? And who is most at risk? Read on to learn more about ACL injuries, and how a knee doctor can help you recover.
What is an ACL Injury?
The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is an essential ligament that connects your femur (your thigh) to your shinbone. It runs through your knee joint, and provides extra stability and mobility. However, because of its placement in your knee (and because of how much we use our knees every day) the ACL is particularly vulnerable and easy to injure.
The ACL can be injured through any kind of strenuous activity, but it’s most frequently experienced by those playing sports. It’s not exclusively a sports-related injury, though: You can experience a torn ACL just by stopping and pivoting too suddenly when going from point A to point B in a hurry. And when you tear your ACL, you’ll know it.
One of the most often reported signs of an ACL injury is a loud “pop”, and (of course) extreme pain. There will be swelling and tenderness, and you won’t be able to put any weight on your knee. Additionally, your knee will have a much-reduced range of motion, making it almost impossible to walk on the affected leg. Fortunately, your doctor knows how to recognize the signs of a n ACL injury, and can help you develop a recovery plan that works.
Recovering From an ACL Injury
First aid is key when it comes to minimizing the impact of a torn ACL. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by sticking to the RICE formula: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation: It’s the first step to making sure your ACL injury is recoverable. When you reach out to your knee doctor, they will work with you to develop a recovery plan that is best for your situation, and they’ll help you stick with it, too.
When it comes to an ACL injury, recovery takes time. It can take anywhere from six to nine months to make a full recovery, and in the meantime you’ll have to avoid putting too much weight on your knee. You might need to use a brace, as well as crutches, and you definitely won’t be able to do anything too strenuous while you’re recovering.
An ACL injury isn’t the end of the world, however. You and your doctor can work together to ensure a full recovery, so if you’ve recently suffered a torn ACL, the right knee doctor can make all the difference.