An ACL tear is an injury of the anterior cruciate ligament, which is located in the knee joint. A common injury among athletes, it compromises the stability of the knee joint, restricts mobility and flexibility, and causes pain and discomfort in the knee.
Types of ACL Tears
ACL tears and injuries typically involve damage to other structures in the knee, including the meniscus, articular cartilage, as well as other ligaments. Based on how damaged or sprained the ligaments are, these injuries are then categorized into three types:
Grade 1 Sprain: This describes an injury in which the ligament undergoes minor stretching and if mildly damaged. The knee is still mostly stable, and you can continue with most of your activities without much disturbance.
Grade 2 Sprain: This refers to an injury in which the ligament is stretched to the point where it gets damaged and becomes loose. It’s also known as a partial ACL tear.
Grade 3 Sprain: This is the more severe type of ACL tear in which the ligament is torn completely into two fragments. The knee joint becomes very unstable and significantly restricts your movement.
Treating ACL Tears
Many people who sustain an ACL injury recover within a few weeks. If the injury is less severe, then your doctor may recommend a combination of elevation and rest, medication, and other forms of conservative treatment. Painkillers are usually prescribed to reduce the swelling at the knee. Ice packs may also be used to alleviate pain and discomfort. You should also keep your foot elevated so as to prevent the knee muscles from further pressure or exertion.
If conservative treatment doesn’t help, physiotherapy is another popular treatment method to help you get back on your feet. Your physiotherapist will incorporate a number of strengthening, range of motion, and balance exercise to help you regain your mobility and functionality. You may also have to wear a knee brace for the duration of your treatment for quicker recovery.
For more severe cases, ACL tears may need to be treated surgically. ACL reconstruction surgery involves using a ligament graft to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament. However, this procedure has risks of infection, instability, and pain and stiffness.
An alternative to surgical procedures is platelet rich plasma therapy. This involves using the PRP component from the patient’s own blood and injecting at the affected site, i.e. the knee joint. Doing so stimulates a natural healing response within the body and increases the production of collagen fibres that help with the recovery process.
At RegenerVate Medical Injection Therapy, we use PRP therapy to treat musculoskeletal injuries such as ACL tears. Call our team at 1 855 847-3975 to make an appointment at our clinics in the greater Toronto area!