PATIENT INFORMATION SHEETS
CHRIS SERVANT
ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT (ACL) RECONSTRUCTION

What can I expect if my ACL is torn?
After a few weeks the pain and swelling usually settle, but people returning to sport may find the knee gives way with twisting movements or sudden changes in direction. A few people may also find that the knee is unstable during normal daily activities.
If the knee continues to give way, further damage to the joint may occur over time and this may lead to osteoarthritis (arthritis due to ‘wear and tear’).
ACL arthroscopy
Arthroscopic view of a torn ACL

What are the treatment options?
The aim of treatment is to make the knee stable enough to allow the patient to return to their desired level of activity without risk of further injury to the knee. Each patient has different requirements.

Initial treatment
The early treatment of any joint injury, especially if there is swelling, is known as R.I.C.E.:
  • Rest: crutches may be needed for a short time to help rest the knee joint while it is painful
  • Ice: regularly applying ice to the knee can help to reduce any swelling – use ice cubes in a plastic bag or a bag of frozen peas for 10-15 minutes (do not place ice directly against the skin)
  • Compression: a firm bandage also helps control the amount of swelling
  • Elevation: rest with your leg up to allow any swelling to drain away
A brace may be used, particularly if there has been an injury to the medial (inner) ligament.
Avoid H.A.R.M. for the first 2-3 days after an injury:
  • Heat: avoid hot baths, showers or saunas, heat packs and liniments
  • Alcohol: alcohol increases bleeding and swelling and delays healing
  • Running: any form of exercise will cause further damage
  • Massage: avoid massage which causes increased bleeding and swelling
Mr Servant may use various methods to diagnose an ACL injury and to decide how best to treat it. These include:
  • Clinic assessment: asking about how the injury was caused and examining the knee carefully
  • X-ray examination
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
  • Arthroscopy (keyhole surgery to look at the inside of the joint)
 

KNEE REPLACEMENT

KNEE ARTHROSCOPY

ACL RECONSTRUCTION

KNEE EXERCISES

HIP REPLACEMENT

HIP EXERCISES

SHOULDER ARTHROSCOPY

SHOULDER STABILISATION

SHOULDER EXERCISES
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