Knee Ligament Injuries: ACL and MCL Tears
- Hearing or feeling a pop in the knee (ACL)
- Swelling in and around the knee
- A feeling that the knee may give way or may catch
What is a Knee Ligament Injury: ACL and MCL Tear?
The Anterior Cruciate and Medial Collateral Ligaments (ACL and MCL) cross the knee joint to attach the tibia (shinbone) to the femur (thighbone). These ligaments help stabilize and protect the knee by keeping the knee bones from side to side and back and forth motions, while at the same time allowing movements that are necessary for walking and running. Most often, ACL injuries occur from the shear force that is caused by changing directions quickly or pivoting quickly, which often occurs in sports injuries. The MCL, on the other hand, most commonly becomes injured from a direct blow to the outside of the knee, most often while playing sports such as soccer or football. Ligament injuries in the knee vary in severity and may include injuries to multiple ligaments simultaneously. Depending upon the severity of the injury, the knee may become very unstable and require surgery to repair. Both Dr. John Hoffman and Dr. Tuvi Mendel, our orthopaedic surgeons, use minimally invasive techniques to get you back to activity quicker and with less pain.
For the mild cases of ligament injuries, conservative treatments such as icing, rest, wearing a knee brace, physical therapy, cortisone injections and/or icing, may work well to relieve the pain and swelling associated with these injuries. For the more severe cases or if the symptoms continue to worsen, surgery may be necessary.
Leah – ACL Repair CMC
Both Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Mendel perform minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to repair the ACL. The typical ACL surgery involves grafting with a patella tendon, hamstring tendon or using a donor tissue graft. The patella tendon surgery is generally considered the most secure type of graft while the uses of a donor tissue graft is considered the least painful post-surgery. Dr. Hoffman also performs a procedure known as a Double Bundle ACL.
With an MCL repair, a small incision is made at the site of the injury when surgery is required. Depending on the location, severity, and type of ligamentous injury, the surgeon will reattach the ligament to the bone using stitches, staples or metal screws. The minimally invasive techniques used by sports medicine specialists at Orthopaedic Specialists allow our patients to experience faster pain relief, shorter recovery times, and minimal scarring.