Recently, Ryan Lochte suffered a sprained ACL in what could only be described as a “freak accident.” The three-time US Olympian swimmer encounter an excited fan who ran into him, sending both flying and sending Lochte’s knee to the curb. As a result, Lochte suffered a torn MCL and ACL sprain, necessitating a break from his practice routines in order to fully recover. Luckily, Lochte’s representatives insist that he will make “a full and speedy recovery.” Though an ACL sprain is a relatively common injury in sports, it can affect anybody and may even require surgery if the injury is severe enough.
At the Joint Surgery Center of Excellence, out team of expert orthopedic surgeons are focused on providing patients with the best care possible. If you would like to schedule an appointment at our Beverly Hills facility, please contact us at (888) 318-2842 today.
Symptoms of ACL Injuries
Unlike Ryan Lochte, most people don’t have a group of personal trainers who can diagnose and treat an injury immediately after it occurs, which is why it’s important to know the symptoms of an ACL injury before it becomes too serious.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is found in the knee and is one of the most important ligaments in the joint. When an ACL sprains, fibers of the ligament are stretched and torn, resulting in tenderness, swelling, and instability. A sprained ACL can result in a weak knee, as well as moderate pain depending on the extent of the injury. Symptoms of a sprained ACL include the following:
- Swelling: The knee will begin swelling within 24 hours of the injury. Sometimes the swelling and pain may reduce on its own, but additional weight being placed on the knee can injure and damage the joint even further.
- Reduced motion: Because the ACL is the main ligament that controls movement of the knee, loss of motion occurs when patients suffer an ACL sprain (even moreso depending on the severity of the injury: whether it’s a grade I, II, or III sprain, the latter of which involves the complete tear of the ligament).
- Tenderness along the joint
- Discomfort: As mentioned, as ACL sprain can be moderate or severe depending on the extent of the injury, and is classified using a grade setting. Patients who suffer from a grade III sprain will feel the most pain, though general discomfort is present throughout all forms of ACL injuries.
In addition, an ACL sprain can be diagnosed by the popping sound made after the knee has been impacted.
Treatment for ACL Injuries
Immediately after suffering an ACL tear, it’s important to limit the amount of weight placed on the knee. Crutches and other devices that assist in walking are good temporary solutions for reducing further injury to the joint. Ice packs can also help reduce any swelling that may occur. However, a serious ACL tear may require surgery, also known as ACL reconstruction surgery.
Because of the swelling an inflammation that occurs directly after an ACL sprain, ACL reconstruction surgery isn’t performed until weeks after the injury has happened. During the surgery, surgeons will create a new ACL ligament using grafts harvested from other parts of your body.
As with any surgery, it’s important to consult with your surgeon before engaging in ACL reconstruction surgery. Only a professional can offer treatment advice regarding ACL injuries, and provide patients with a specialized, comprehensive, and highly-personalized treatment plan.
Contact the Experts of the Joint Surgery Center of Excellence Today
If you’ve suffered an ACL sprain and home remedies have been no help, then please contact the Joint Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles today. Our excellent staff can diagnose and treat a variety of knee injuries, as well as perform partial and full knee replacement surgeries. If you would like to schedule an appointment with our doctors, or if you have any questions regarding ACL sprains and tears, please do not hesitate to call us at (888) 318-2842.
Next read about Jake Locker’s Hip and Knee Joint Injury Recovery.