House Call: ACL Injuries – Prevention & Treatment

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One of the most common knee injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain or tear.

The ACL is one of the four major ligaments that stabilize the knee, and is most important for activities such as running, jumping and changing direction.

More: Orthopedic Injury Statistics Sheet

ACL injuries are more prevalent in athletes or active individuals, especially female athletes, although ACL tears and sprains can occur also in non-athletes. The ACL can be injured in several ways including changing direction rapidly, stopping suddenly, slowing down while running, landing from a jump incorrectly and/or direct contact or collision, such as a football tackle.

To prevent ACL injury, individuals should participate in regular knee strengthening and balance exercises.  Education on proper body mechanics, such as landing properly when jumping in sports, also helps prevent ACL injuries.

Surgery is not always the first line of treatment for an ACL tear; nonsurgical treatment options, such as bracing and physical therapy, may be effective for patients who are elderly or have a very low activity level. To surgically repair the ACL and restore knee stability, the ligament must be reconstructed.  ACL reconstruction is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that must be paired with proper post-surgery physical therapy and rehabilitation to fully repair the ligament.

Fortunately, Cone Health Orthopedic Center of Excellence has an exceptional network of highly-trained orthopedic specialists and related healthcare professionals who are dedicated to treating patients with orthopedic injuries and joint disease throughout the community.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Andrew Collins is an orthopaedic surgeon at Greensboro Orthopaedics and a member of the Cone Health Medical Staff. Dr. Collins earned his M.D. from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, and served his internship in general surgery and his residency in orthopaedic surgery at North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Bowman Gray School of Medicine. While completing his residency, Dr. Collins was an assistant team physician for various high schools, Guilford College and Wake Forest University.