From an interview with
Dr. Zachary DiPaolo
McLeod Orthopaedics Florence/Hartsville
One of the most common knee injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain, or tear. According to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Zachary DiPaolo, athletes who participate in high demand sports that involve physical contact are more likely to injure their ACL. Dr. Zachary DiPaolo explains:
“Most ACL tears occur as the result of an injury while playing sports such as football, soccer or basketball. Some ACL tears occur after the athlete is hit directly on the knee, while others occur due to a non-contact twisting injury.
Athletes typically feel or hear a pop in their knee, followed by immediate pain, swelling and the inability to continue playing. In about half of all ACL tears, the meniscus (cushioning cartilage in the knee) is injured as well.
Even though ACL tears are a serious injury, most athletes are able to return to their previous level of sport within 9 – 12 months after surgery. Any athlete that feels or hears a pop in their knee followed by immediate pain and swelling should be examined for an ACL tear or possible meniscus tear.”
When you injure your anterior cruciate ligament, you may feel your knee give out from under you. Other typical symptoms include:
The best course of action for this type of injury is to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. They will perform a physical examination of your knee. Other tests may include X-rays and an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan, which can provide your doctor clear images of the soft tissue structures in your knee. This will help them determine whether or not surgery is necessary.
To learn more, speak with an orthopedic surgeon near you.