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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

Diagnosis of a Torn ACL

During the physical examination, the doctor will check the swelling in the knee. The doctor may also ask you to change positions of the knee to check if the knee is functioning properly. The diagnosis, in most cases, can be done on the basis of the physical test alone, but if the injury looks severe, the doctor may ask you to take a few more tests such as – X-rays and MRI.

ACL Tear Surgery

The surgery to repair a torn ACL is known as ACL Reconstruction. During the process, the surgeon operates and removes the injured ligament and replaces it with a segment of tendon tissue. The tendon tissue works similar to that of a ligament which connects the muscle to bone.

The surgeon will use a piece of tendon from another part of the knee or a tendon from a deceased donor. After the surgery, the patient can resume a rehabilitative therapy course for recovery.

For recovery, you can do the following self care at home:

  • Icing
  • Proper rest
  • Use compression
  • Keep your knee in elevated position

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 does an ACL injury feel?

When you have an ACL injury, you may hear a loud “pop” sound and feel your knee buckle. Within a few hours after an ACL injury, the injured knee may swell up due to bleeding from vessels in the torn ligament. If you think you have an ACL injury and want to meet the best ACL tear doctor in Mumbai, give us a call.

Why are ACL injuries so common?

The knee joint is vulnerable to injuries. ACL injuries can commonly occur during sports or other such activities because the knee stability decreases as it bends.

When is an ACL tear surgery needed?

The need for an ACL tear surgery will depend on the severity of the tear and the age and lifestyle of the patient. A completely torn ACL will not heal on its own and will require surgery. If you have torn your ACL, it is important to get a proper diagnosis to know the grade of the ACL injury and thus decide the appropriate treatment. Untreated ACL tears can lead to serious complications and impact the individual’s overall quality of life.

What is the ACL?

The knee joint is composed of three major parts: the tibia, the patella, and the femur. The anterior cruciate ligament is responsible for connecting the femur to the tibia and keeping the knee joint stable during movements. The stability and balance provided by the ACL are crucial for movements that involve cutting and pivoting motions in several sports activities.

What does the anterior cruciate ligament do?

The ACL keeps the knee joint stable and aligned by not allowing the shin bone from sliding out of its position. The ligament also helps prevent extreme twisting or rotation of the joint.

How would I know that I have torn my anterior cruciate ligament? 

Only a proper diagnosis can help confirm a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament. The diagnosis is done with a physical examination and diagnostic scans including X-rays and MRI scans.

Why do I need ACL reconstruction surgery? 

In the case of minor injuries in the knee, when there is a partial tear or an extreme sprain in the anterior cruciate ligament, nonsurgical treatment methods may prove to be effective. However, in more serious injuries when there is a total tear in the anterior cruciate ligament, ACL reconstruction surgery is the only way to properly address the condition. You would be a viable candidate for an ACL reconstruction surgery if:

  • You have an active lifestyle.
  • You are an athlete and wish to return to sports after recovery.
  • The injury is affecting your routine life.
  • The ACL tear is accompanied by another knee injury, like a meniscus tear.
Can I delay my ACL Reconstruction surgery?

It’s not advisable to delay ACL reconstruction surgery as it risks worsening the damage to the knee. After diagnosis, you should discuss your treatment options with your doctor, and try to start the treatment as soon as possible.

What happens after an ACL reconstruction surgery?

Post-surgery, your rehabilitation plan will be started, which will go on for about 6 to 8 months. During the rehabilitation period, you would be taught several exercises and stretches by a trained physiotherapist. These exercises will help strengthen the graft and surrounding muscles.

For how long would I need to use crutches after an ACL reconstruction surgery?

Crutches are used to provide additional support while walking and standing and should be used according to one’s requirement. However, in most cases, patients can walk and stand without support within a week.

How to treat medial collateral ligament or MCL injury?

Most MCL injuries can be treated at home with RICE treatment (rest, ice, compress and elevate)and anti-inflammatory medicine. The orthopedic doctor may suggest the patient use crutches and wear a knee brace/ knee cap that protects the knee but also allows for some movement of the knee. The patient might need to reduce the activity for a few weeks until the MCL injury heals.

What is meniscal repair?

Meniscal repair is an outpatient surgical procedure to repair a torn meniscus using minimally invasive keyhole surgery.

Can ligament injury heal itself?

Some ligament injuries can heal with use of medication, exercise, physiotherapy , rest and RICE treatment. Grade 1 and grade 2 ligament injuries can heal on their own but it may take time. The patient would need proper care and an orthopedic specialist’s supervision for proper and quick healing.

Grade 3 ligament injury is a complete tear of the ligament and typically requires surgical treatment.

What are the 4 major ligaments in the knee?

The 4 major ligaments in the knee are-

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
  • Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
What to do in ligament injury?

Standard medical treatment for knee ligament injury typically includes-

  • Rest
  • Ice pack application (to reduce swelling that occurs within hours of the injury)
  • Compression (from an knee brace or elastic bandage)
  • Elevate the affected leg
  • Prescribed pain relievers

Proper diagnosis and examination by an orthopedic doctor is important after a ligament injury. Consult the best knee doctor in Mumbai at your nearest Pristyn Care clinic.

What is the treatment for complete tear of anterior cruciate ligament?

Complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) typically requires ACL reconstruction.

Is knee cap for ligament injury effective?

Wearing a knee cap after ligament injury can help to stabilize the knee and prevent sideways movements that may increase damage to the ligament.

What is ligament repair?

Ligament repair or reconstruction is the procedure to replace or repair a damaged ligament.

What to do in case of a ligament injury at home?
  • Ice the injured knee for 20-30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours to reduce the pain and swelling.
  • Compress the knee.
  • Raise the knee on a pillow while sitting or lying down.
  • Wear a knee brace or knee cap to stabilize the knee and prevent further injury.
  • Take prescribed painkillers.
Can an ACL tear heal on its own?

Partial ACL tear or a sprained ACL can heal with the use of physiotherapy, RICE treatment, rest and pain medication (to manage pain). A complete ACL tear cannot heal on its own as there is no blood supply to the injured ligament. Surgical reconstruction or repair is usually required for a completely torn ACL.

Are braces for MCL tears useful?

A knee brace or knee cap can help to prevent sideways movement of the knee joint and further protects the MCL from instability, strain and pressure. If an MCL tear is severe, the orthopedic doctor may recommend surgery.

Can you walk with a complete acl tear?

It might be possible to walk with a complete ACL tear. However, the person might have a lot of pain and knee instability and a risk of further knee injuries.

When can I go swimming after ACL reconstruction?

It is advised to avoid swimming for 2 to 4 months after surgery. You should get your doctor’s approval before resuming such activities after ACL surgery.

What is the treatment for high grade anterior cruciate ligament tear?

ACL reconstruction or repair surgery is the best treatment for high grade anterior cruciate ligament tear.

What is the success rate of ACL repair?

ACL reconstruction has been a successful procedure, with satisfactory outcomes in 75%- 97% of patients.

What will happen after your ACL reconstruction?

The rehabilitation program begins immediately after the surgery. A physiotherapist will teach you some exercises that will help strengthen your leg and the operated knee. You will also be given some instructions by your surgeon for a proper recovery. These instructions involve ample rest, avoiding sports activities for 4 to 6 months after the surgery, regularly attending the follow-up appointments, and diligently following through with the physiotherapy plan.

ACL Reconstruction- Innovative ACL tear surgery in Mumbai with minimal incisions

If you have had an ACL tear, ACL tear surgery or ACL reconstruction will offer you the chance to improve your knee stability in everyday life and also allows you to return to sports and other physical activities as quickly as possible. With the ACL tear surgery, you will be able to return to the levels of sports and activities that would not be otherwise possible without undergoing the ACL tear surgery.

At Pristyn Care, we have the best ACL tear doctors in Mumbai who have extensive experience and skill for performing ACL tear surgery as a less-invasive alternative to the conventional open knee surgery. Trauma to the surgical area is significantly lessened and recovery time is also substantially diminished with the minimally invasive ACL tear surgery.

ACL tear surgery is a minimally invasive and very successful procedure. In the hands of experienced ACL tear doctors who are well trained in performing such minimally invasive orthopedic procedures, you can expect to get great results. ACL reconstruction surgery would allow you to enjoy playing sports involving running and twisting without the fear of injuring your knee again. Connect with us to make an appointment with a trusted ACL tear doctor in Mumbai for pain-free ACL tear treatment.

What to expect after my ACL tear surgery?

After your ACL tear surgery, rehabilitation will begin immediately in the hospital itself. Your ACL tear surgeon will suggest some specific exercises to do in order to strengthen your knee and restore full knee movement. The aim of physiotherapy is to regain the complete range of knee motion as it used to be prior to the injury and also reduce swelling after the surgery.

Before you are discharged from the hospital, the ACL tear surgeon will prescribe medications to manage pain during the recovery period and will suggest you personalised exercises that suit your needs and goals to boost your recovery. Your rehabilitation after discharge from the hospital will be supervised by the ACL tear doctor and will involve exercises that will focus on muscle strengthening. Activities such as riding an exercise bike, swimming can be very helpful to get back to an active lifestyle after your ACL tear surgery. If you are looking for the best and most successful ACL tear treatment in Mumbai, visit Pristyn Care and get consultation from renowned, board certified ACL tear doctors and surgeons in Mumbai.

When should you undergo ACL tear surgery in Mumbai?

If you have a completely torn ACL, surgery would be needed to repair the torn ACL. For grade 3 or grade 4 ACL tear, ACL tear surgery or ACL reconstruction should be scheduled for between 3 and 6 weeks after having the injury. This will allow the inflammation and swelling in the area to subside. If the ACL reconstruction surgery is performed too early, the patient may develop arthrofibrosis- a complication of injury or trauma where excessive scar tissue response causes painful restriction of joint motion. Typically, orthopedic surgeons scale the appropriate timing of ACL tear surgery based on-

  • Presence of other injuries that may need to be treated first
  • The knee’s physical appearance
  • The level of pain experienced by the patient
  • The knee’s range of motion and quality of muscle control when bending or straightening the leg

To decide the best treatment for ACL tear, the orthopedic doctor will need to thoroughly examine and diagnose the condition. To know the best ACL tear treatment in Mumbai for you or to undergo ACL tear surgery, get in touch with us.

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