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All inside ACL reconstruction

An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury is a common knee injury, particularly among athletes who engage in sports like soccer, basketball, and skiing that involve sudden stops, jumps, or changes in direction. The ACL is one of four major ligaments in the knee that connect the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone) and help stabilize the joint. An ACL injury can range from a mild sprain to a complete tear. Symptoms often include a popping noise at the time of injury, severe pain, rapid swelling, and a feeling of instability or “giving way” when putting weight on the knee.
Treatment for an ACL injury depends on several factors, including the severity of the injury, the patient’s activity level, and their goals for returning to sports or other activities. Non-surgical treatments may be sufficient for individuals with a partial tear who do not lead very active lifestyles. This approach typically includes physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve its stability, along with wearing a knee brace during activities. However, for complete tears and in athletes who wish to return to high-demand sports, surgical reconstruction of the ligament is often recommended. This surgery involves replacing the torn ligament with a graft taken from another tendon around the knee or from a donor. After surgery, a comprehensive rehabilitation program is crucial to help restore knee strength and function, with gradual progression back to full activity levels.

Meniscus Injuries

Meniscal injuries involve damage to the menisci, which are two C-shaped pieces of cartilage located between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) in the knee. These structures act as shock absorbers and stabilize the joint. Meniscal tears can occur due to trauma, such as a sudden twist or turn during sports, or through degenerative changes as part of the aging process, especially in individuals over 40 years old. Symptoms of a meniscal tear include pain, swelling, stiffness, a catching or locking sensation in the knee, and difficulty fully extending the joint.

Treatment for meniscal injuries depends on the size and location of the tear, the patient’s age, and activity level. Conservative treatment options include rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE protocol), anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee and enhance joint stability. Physical therapy also focuses on improving range of motion and reducing pain. For more severe tears, especially those that cause mechanical symptoms like locking or persistent pain, surgical intervention might be necessary. Meniscal surgery may involve meniscectomy, where the damaged portion of the meniscus is removed, or meniscus repair, where the tear is sutured. Postoperative recovery typically involves physical therapy to regain knee function and gradually return to normal activities.

Patella femoral

Patellofemoral injuries involve issues between the patella (kneecap) and the femur (thigh bone), specifically where the patella tracks along the femoral groove during knee movement. This category of injuries often includes patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), also known as “runner’s knee,” which is characterized by pain in the front of the knee and around the patella. Common in athletes who engage in sports requiring frequent running and jumping, the pain is typically exacerbated by activities that put pressure on the knee joint, such as climbing stairs or squatting. Factors contributing to PFPS include muscular imbalances, poor alignment, overuse, or trauma. Additionally, the condition can be aggravated by improper footwear or uneven running surfaces.

Treatment for patellofemoral injuries usually begins conservatively. It focuses on alleviating pain and correcting the factors that contribute to the injury. Physical therapy is a cornerstone of treatment, aiming to strengthen the muscles around the knee—particularly the quadriceps and hip stabilizers—to improve patellar tracking and relieve pressure on the knee joint. Therapists may also use taping or bracing to support the patella in its proper position during activity. Avoiding activities that trigger pain is recommended until symptoms improve. In cases where conservative treatments do not provide relief, and symptoms persist, surgical options might be considered. These could include procedures to realign the patella or smooth the cartilage underneath to facilitate better movement within the femoral groove. Surgical interventions are typically followed by a rehabilitation program to restore strength and function to the knee.

Patella Dislocation

A patellar dislocation occurs when the kneecap (patella) slips out of its normal position, usually moving to the outside of the knee. This type of injury is common in sports that involve quick changes of direction and can happen as a result of direct trauma or a sudden twist of the knee while the foot is planted. Symptoms of a dislocated patella include visible deformity, pain, swelling, and an inability to straighten or use the knee. Often, the dislocation is obvious, with the patella visibly positioned laterally outside its usual alignment. Immediate symptoms following the dislocational repair may be necessary to regain knee stability. Post-surgery, a comprehensive rehabilitation program is essential to help the patient return to normal function and activities.

MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament)

MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) An MCL sprain is an injury to the medial collateral ligament, which is one of the four major ligaments in the knee. The MCL runs along the inner side of the knee and helps stabilize the joint by preventing the leg from overextending inward. MCL injuries are common in contact sports such as football and soccer, and can occur as a result of direct impact to the outside of the knee or from a twisting movement. Symptoms of an MCL sprain include pain and tenderness along the inner side of the knee, swelling, and a feeling of instability when bearing weight on the leg. The severity of an MCL injury can range from a mild tear (grade 1) to a complete rupture (grade 3).

Treatment for an MCL sprain depends on the severity of the injury. For mild to moderate sprains (grades 1 and 2), conservative treatments are often effective. These include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE protocol) to reduce swelling and pain. A brace is also be used to stabilize the knee and prevent further injury while the ligament heals. Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the recovery process, with exercises aimed at restoring knee mobility, strengthening the muscles around the knee, and improving balance and coordination. Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP can be used to accelerate healing of the MCL. For more severe sprains (grade 3), which involve a complete tear of the ligament, surgical repair may be necessary to regain knee stability. Post-surgery, a comprehensive rehabilitation program is essential to help the patient return to normal function and activities.