The doctor usually checks for swelling or tenderness of the knee, and moves your knee at certain directions to check for your knee’s entire function and range of motion. On the other hand, your doctor may order the following test to confirm the injury:
- X-ray. Checks for any broken bones
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Shows images of both hard and soft tissues, as well as the cartilage using radio waves and a powerful magnetic field. MRI shows how broad is the ACLinjury and other indications of injury to other tissues in the knee.
- Ultrasound. Views ligament, tendon and muscle injury using sound waves.
A home remedy known as R.I.C.E is used to decrease swelling and pain from damaged knee.
- Rest. Promotes healing and prevents knee from weight-bearing activities.
- Ice. Apply ice for 20 minutes every 2 hours while awake.
- Compression. Compress your knee by wrapping it in an elastic bandage.
- Elevation. Elevate your knee on a pillow while lying down.
You will be instructed by a physical therapist with exercises that you can do with or without supervision to decrease swelling and pain, restore knee movement, and gain muscle strength. This usually resolves ACL injury if done properly. Braces can also be used for a more stable knee movement, together with crutches for a while in order to protect your knee from weight-bearing activities. Physical therapy is usually provided along with medical treatment.
Surgery is recommended in situations such as if you are an athlete and still wants to continue playing your sport, if the damage is in more than one ligament or cartilage, and your knee problem hinders you from activities of daily living.
ACL reconstruction is recommended for an ACL injury. It gets rid of the injured ligament and replaces it with a part of the tendon (from your other knee or a cadaver’s knee) called grafting. The tendon is used because it has the same function as the ligament connecting the muscle to the bone.
You will be able to carry on with your physical therapy after a successful ACL reconstruction surgery to be able to regain your muscle strength and stability. Also, do not forget to take the prescribed medication by the doctor.
Athletes may return to play their sports safely as early as one year or more. Make sure that you have had ample physical therapy guided by your doctor and physical therapist to guarantee that you regain your best range of motion, strength and stability when you return to your game.
If you follow the doctor’s recommendation and comply with your physical therapy, you will be able to regain the normal life you used to live.