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About ACL Tear

A tear in the anterior cruciate ligament is known as ACL tear. It is one of the major ligaments in the knee. Athletes and women who wear high heels for long hours are likely to suffer from an ACL tear often. ACL tear is commonly witnessed in players related to soccer, football, cricket, basketball etc where sudden jumping, landing and other such body movements are required. The surgery to reconstruct a torn or injured ACL is known as ACL Reconstruction.

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Overview

ACL Tear
ACL Reconstruction Recovery
  • Surgery healing takes 4 to 8 weeks.
  • Full recovery usually takes 4 to 9 months
Swelling after ACL Reconstruction
  • Swelling typically persists for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Elevate your leg and apply ice packs to the knee, for 20-30 minutes every 2 hours.
Most common choices of graft for ACL reconstruction
  • Patellar tendon autograft
  • Patellar tendon allograft
  • Hamstring autograft
  • Quadriceps tendon autograft
Return to sports after ACL Reconstruction
  • Athletes can return to pivoting sports after 4 to 8 weeks
  • Athletes can return to regular sports after about 8 months. Make sure to take your orthopedic surgeon’s approval before returning to sports.
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ACL Tear Treatment

How is ACL Tear Diagnosed?

ACL injuries are always acute. For diagnosis, the orthopedic surgeon performs the following tests:

  • Physical exam: During the physical exam, the doctor checks the swelling and tenderness of the knee in comparison to the uninjured knee. They also assess the overall function and range of motion of the joint. This is often enough to reach a preliminary diagnosis of an ACL tear.
  • X-rays: X-rays are generally performed to rule out the possibility of a fracture.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRIs help assess both the soft and hard tissues of the knee to determine the extent of damage to the ligament and its surrounding tissues.
  • Ultrasound: Ultrasounds are used to visualize the internal structures and assess them for any damage or injuries.

ACL Tear Treatment

ACL injuries are always acute. For diagnosis, the orthopedic surgeon performs the following tests:

  • Physical exam: During the physical exam, the doctor checks the swelling and tenderness of the knee in comparison to the uninjured knee. They also assess the overall function and range of motion of the joint. This is often enough to reach a preliminary diagnosis of an ACL tear.
  • X-rays: X-rays are generally performed to rule out the possibility of a fracture.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRIs help assess both the soft and hard tissues of the knee to determine the extent of damage to the ligament and its surrounding tissues.
  • Ultrasound: Ultrasounds are used to visualize the internal structures and assess them for any damage or injuries.

ACL Surgery

Treatment for ACL injuries can be performed via physiotherapy in some cases, but in most cases, surgery is the only viable treatment option to regain limb movement. ACL surgery, or ACL reconstruction, involves the surgeon removing the damaged ligament and replacing it with a tendon graft to restore complete joint function. Surgery is followed by intense physiotherapy to reduce the chances of re-injury, especially in athletes. Doctors evaluate the joint’s strength, stability, and movement patterns before allowing the patients to return to their sport. A longer rehabilitation period is often linked with a lower chance of recurrence of the injury.

Pristyn Care provides minimally invasive ACL reconstruction treatment in Chandigarh to help facilitate recovery in patients. Minimally invasive surgery is often preferred over open surgery because it uses smaller incisions and causes less harm to the surrounding tissues, making the recovery much smoother and faster.

In Our Doctor's Word

Dr. Ashish Taneja

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics

17 Years Experience

"ACL tear is one of the common orthopedic conditions among teenagers and sports player. And yet a common fear I encounter is, 'If I will be able to play sports again?'. Well yes, you absolutely will. All my patients have. The only four pointers are- 1.) Early diagnosis, 2.)Timely treatment, 3.) A little rest, 4.)Basic physiotherapy. Once all four are met, you will be absolutely fine and fit to return to sports again. "

Frequently Asked Questions

How is an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury caused?

ACL injuries can occur in many different ways, even without any contact. Most ACL injuries happen due to high-speed twists or unusual bending/extending of the knee joint beyond the normal range or landing wrong from a jump. If your joint is bent backward, twisted, or bent to either side, there is a high chance that you might have an ACL injury.

ACL injuries mainly occur during sports, especially soccer, skiing, football, and other sports with lots of stop-and-go movements, jumping, or weaving. Other than that, you can even get an ACL injury if you miss a step, especially in old age due to the weakening of the ligament in old age.

How can Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injury occur?

The posterior cruciate ligament is situated at the back of the knee and joins the thigh bone to the lower leg bone. PCL injuries are very common in athletes that play baseball, football, or soccer, though they are much less common than ACL tears. Surgery is generally required for Grade 3 and Grade 4 PCL tears. For mild injuries, PCL can heal in 2-3 weeks, however, for severe cases, surgery might be required and the postoperative recovery can take about 4 to 5 weeks.

What is the first-aid for ACL tears?

Immediate first-aid is very important for ACL injuries. Proper first-aid can prevent the worsening of the injury. For ACL injuries, first aid can be provided through the RICE method:

  • Rest: Do not put pressure on the injured knee.
  • Ice: Ice your injured knee as it can help reduce swelling. Ice the knee for 20 minutes every two hours.
  • Compression: Wrap your injured knee with an elastic bandage or compression wraps to limit the swelling.
  • Elevation: Keep the knee elevated using proper support such as pillows, etc.
What is a meniscus tear?

A meniscus is a wedge-shaped fibrocartilage in the knee joint that acts as a shock absorber between the femur and the tibia. It is very important to maintain knee stability. Meniscus tears are common in athletes. They often occur in conjunction with ACL tears. Meniscus tears mostly present with symptoms like:

Similar to ACL tears, meniscus tears can be managed with physiotherapy, but in severe cases, surgical treatment is necessary. Since they often occur with ligament tears, they can be surgically treated at the same time.

  • Pain during daily activities, like kneeling and squatting
  • Tenderness in the affected region
  • Knee instability
  • Joint getting stuck in the same position
  • Stiffness of the joint
  • Inflammation
Is ACL tear surgery necessary?

The necessity of ACL tear surgery depends on the type of injury. Partial tears can be managed using stretching and strengthening exercises. Therefore, for athletic people, surgery is recommended so they can resume their sports.

Long-term instability of the knee can even promote arthritis, so it is crucial to keep up-to-date with strengthening exercises and wear a brace whenever you are moving your joint.

Where does the surgeon obtain the graft for ACL reconstruction?

ACL reconstruction surgery is performed by replacing the damaged ligament with a graft made of tendon. Tendons are soft, strong, and flexible tissues that connect muscles to the bones. Knee surgeons typically consider patellar tendon grafts as the best choice of grafts for ACL reconstruction. However, hamstring grafts are preferred for athletes and cadaver grafts for older patients. Grafts allow uninhibited rehabilitation and help return full range of motion to the joint.
For patients who can’t provide a graft tendon for their surgery, the surgeons can even obtain a graft from other people. These are called “allografts.”

What is the cost of ACL reconstruction surgery?

ACL reconstruction surgery in Chandigarh costs about 1.2-1.4 lakhs per knee. This cost is not fixed and depends on a lot of variables like:

  • A torn meniscus or PCL
  • Doctor’s experience
  • Choice of graft
  • Hospitalization fees
  • Insurance coverage
Is ACL surgery covered under insurance?

Anterior Cruciate Ligament surgeries are medically necessary as they improve the patients’ lives by getting rid of the pain and improving the knee’s range of motion. As such, most insurance policies fully cover ACL reconstruction. However, the extent of coverage regarding hospitalization and rehabilitation depends on the exact policy terms.

If you are unsure about the terms of your insurance policy, Pristyn Care has a team of insurance experts that help you understand the policy and file a claim based on it. You can also get in touch with us to know the insurance coverage for ACL tear surgery in Chandigarh.

Why are ACL injuries common?

The ACL is the most common ligament in the limbs to suffer an injury. This is because the knee ligaments experience high amounts of strain during jumping, landing, and cutting motions due to the peculiar anatomy of the knees and hips. It is also located in a vulnerable spot and does not receive much support from the surrounding muscles. As a result, when the shin bone moves or bends beyond its permitted range of motion, the ligament prohibits these movements, and that’s what leads to the ACL injury.

Which doctor should be consulted for an ACL injury?

ACL repair surgeries are performed by orthopedic doctors or surgeons. Pristyn Care has a team of the best orthopedic surgeons in Chandigarh specializing in knee surgeries, including ACL and meniscus repair. You can easily book a free consultation with them through our website or mobile application.

What happens when you ignore an ACL injury?

Ligaments do not receive adequate blood supply to heal on their own. Therefore, ACL injuries do not heal on their own. If left untreated, they will progressively get worse and lead to:

Instability of the knee joint: An injured ACL joint cannot sustain any weight and progressively becomes more and more unstable till the knee becomes too unstable to even walk.
Pain: ACL injuries are riddled with pain. Without treatment, the pain increases over time, and the knee swells up so much that the person starts having difficulty even moving it.
Disability: Without due treatment, the knee joint permanently loses its ability to bend and straighten, leading to permanent disability.
Arthritis: As the ligament cannot function properly in an ACL injury, its functional load is born by the surrounding tissues such as bones, tendons, and muscles. This additional strain can promote arthritis development in many people.

Why should you get ACL reconstruction surgery at Pristyn Care?

Pristyn Care is one of the finest ACL surgery providers in Chandigarh. We go to great lengths to ensure complete care and comfort for all patients. Some facilities provided at all Pristyn Care centers are:

  • Easy appointment booking: You can easily book an appointment at any Pristyn Care facility with the best knee specialists near you at your convenience.
  • Cab and meal facility: We provide cab and meal facilities for all patients on the day of the surgery to ensure their complete comfort.
  • Documentation and insurance help: Our care coordinators are always in touch with you throughout the treatment. They help with the documentation for hospital admission, insurance, and other stuff to ensure a seamless treatment journey.
  • Affordable treatment: To ensure that the treatment is completely affordable, we also provide patients 30% off on diagnostic tests, along with free rehabilitation therapy for some time.
  • Dedicated care buddy: Each patient is assigned a dedicated care buddy that takes care of them and ensures that their hospital stay is completed without any hurdles.

What does rehabilitation for ACL injury for athletes entail?

Typically, rehabilitation for ACL injuries lasts for around 4-5 weeks, but since athletes put more strain on their joints, they need longer rehab periods for better movement and to prevent recurrence of the injury.

Rehabilitation for knee injuries mainly focuses on treating the injuring and providing the patient their desired range of motion for the joint. The treatment is performed with three goals in mind:

  • Stabilizing the joint to promote healing
  • Strengthening the joint to increase the range of motion of the joint
  • Increasing joint flexibility to decrease the chances of re-injury following the return to sports.

Most athletes can start training for their sports about 4-6 months after the surgery, but doctors recommend a full rehabilitation before they start participating in the sports again. The rehabilitation period can be divided into:

  • Phase 1: 3-4 months after surgery- Regain strength and improve the flexibility of the joint
  • Phase 2: 4-6 months after surgery- Low-level fitness and performance agility drills
  • Phase 3: 5-8 months after surgery- Jumping exercises
  • Phase 4: 6-9 months after surgery- Single-leg jumping exercises with sports-specific cutting
  • Phase 5: 9-12 months post-surgery- Steadily increase sports drills till former skill is achieved while focusing on preventing re-injury.

How to book an appointment with knee specialists in Chandigarh?

  • Fill in the “Book an Appointment” form on the website. Our care coordinators will reach out to you momentarily and book an appointment for you based on your symptoms and location.
  • You can call us directly and talk to our medical coordinators to book your appointment.
  • Download our dedicated app from Google Play Store and browse through our list of specialists and choose the right doctor for you.
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