ACL Tear Specialist

ROC Orthopedics

Orthopedic Surgery located in Tualatin, OR & Oregon City, OR

An ACL tear is a common sports injury. This knee ligament injury can steal your knee function and cause severe pain, but ROC Orthopedics has good news. The team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons treats ACL tears using advanced techniques to restore full function. There are two offices in Tualatin and Oregon City, Oregon, so call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online for Portland area orthopedic care today.

ACL Tear Q & A

What is an ACL tear?

An ACL tear occurs in your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one of the main ligaments in the middle of your knee. Stop and start movements, fast direction changes, and jumps can increase the risk of ACL tears, so ACL tears are often sports injuries.

In about 50% of ACL tears, additional damage occurs in the cartilage, meniscus, or other knee ligaments. Whether the injury occurs on its own or with different tissue damage, an ACL tear is a serious injury and requires diagnosis and treatment right away.

What are the symptoms of an ACL tear?

If you experience an ACL tear, you'll feel it right away. The most common symptoms include:

  • Severe knee pain
  • A popping noise
  • Severe knee stiffness
  • Immediate knee swelling
  • Significant knee weakness or instability

An ACL tear can be very painful, so you may be unable to walk or stand. 

How are ACL tears treated?

Treatment for ACL tears depends on how severe your tear is. An ACL tear won't heal naturally, but that doesn't necessarily mean you need surgery. Your current lifestyle and physical activity goals can help to dictate treatment plans. 

Non-surgical approach

If you have a mild ACL tear and you have a low activity level — as in, you don't make twisting, jumping, and pivoting movements regularly — physical therapy and other conservative measures like bracing might be the best approach. 

With physical therapy, you build strength in the muscles around your knee. That helps to compensate for your damaged ACL and improves your knee joint stability.  

Surgical approach

If you're an active young person or adult and want to reclaim full physical function without restrictions, ACL repair surgery is the best option. Where possible, the surgeons at ROC Orthopedics perform ACL repair in their outpatient surgical facility.

During ACL repair surgery, your ROC Orthopedics surgeon reconstructs your ligament using a tissue graft. The graft tissue can come from another part of your body, for example, your patellar or hamstring tendon, or from donated tissue. 

The surgeons perform ACL repair using minimally invasive techniques whenever possible, which means small incisions, less pain, and faster recovery than traditional surgical methods. 

After your ACL repair surgery, you essentially have a new ligament. Your new ligament isn't as strong as the native one was, and thus you need to build strength in the surrounding muscles through physical therapy. 

ROC Orthopedics offers both non-surgical and surgical ACL care based upon your unique needs and goals.

When can I return to my sport after ACL surgery?

Your surgeon designs your recovery plan for your unique case. Allowing enough time to heal completely is very important for ACL injuries, so it could be up to six months before you can safely do so.

For ACL tear help from orthopedic experts, call ROC Orthopedics or schedule a consultation online today.