Knee ligament injuries are very common, especially among athletes. Such injuries can come in various stages of severity, affecting different ligaments of the knee, for which the symptoms will differ as well. With a knee sprain or ligament tear you may experience pain, tenderness, swelling, difficulty walking, instability, a popping noise, or your knee may give out. Your treatment will depend upon the severity of the tear, as well as your age and activity level.
If your injury is less severe, your treatment will most likely be non-surgical. If the ligament tear is more severe, it may be necessary for you to undergo reconstructive surgery wherein the torn ligament is replaced with a substitute graft. This surgery is performed arthroscopically, and is followed by an exercise and rehabilitation program to strengthen the muscles and restore full joint mobility.
The most common type of ligament reconstruction is of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). The ACL is a ligament in the center of your knee that can become damaged or torn when twisted too far. The tissue that will replace your damaged ACL will come from your own body or from a donor. Tissue taken from your own body is called an autograft. The two most common tissue sources are the patellar, a tendon in your knee, or a hamstring tendon. Tissue may also be used from a donor, this is called an allograft. The best decision for ACL surgery varies from person to person and you and your doctor will discuss what is best for you.
Hoag Orthopedic Institute is recognized for utilizing the most advanced technology in ligament reconstruction. In fact, there are a number of orthopedic surgeons aligned with Hoag who have chosen the knee, and sports injuries of the knee as their sub-specialty. Hoag is recognized for its orthopedic dedicated physical therapy team as well. Their expertise will be essential in helping you regain full motion and optimal use of your knee.