ACL tears arise when the anterior cruciate ligament suffers injury as a result of:
Sprained ligaments may stretch to an extent where they partially tear so the knee joint is loose, or tear completely so the knee joint is unstable. On most occasions, ACL injuries are complete tears.
We will examine your knee and compares it with your uninjured limb. In most cases, we can diagnose an ACL tear from this examination, but we may order additional imaging tests such as X-rays to check for any broken bones.
Treatment for an ACL tear is likely to involve surgery, as a torn ACL can’t heal without surgical intervention. Some patients who are elderly or not very active may benefit from nonsurgical treatments such as bracing and physical therapy if the knee isn’t unstable. Younger patients and people who are physically active need to have the ACL rebuilt surgically, as it’s not possible to repair most ACL tears. Surgery involves replacing the damaged ligament with a graft taken from another part of your body, or a donated graft.
Our doctors will carry out the surgery using an arthroscope, which is less invasive than open surgery and results in less tissue damage and faster healing times. Even so, it takes at least six months for the knee to heal sufficiently for you to return to your normal activities.