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ACL Repair in Coeur d'Alene

ACL Injury

The ACL is commonly injured whilst playing running ball sports or skiing. Whilst playing ball sports momentum is developed and upon attempting a pivot, side step or propping maneuver, the knee gives way. When skiing, rupture may occur at low or high speeds. Commonly the binding fails to release as the ski twists the leg resulting in a tearing sensation. Patients frequently hear or feel a snap, or crack accompanied by pain. Swelling commonly occurs within the hour, but is modified by ice or compression. Frequently pain is felt on the outer aspect of the knee as the joint dislocates. This dislocation may be felt to reduce with a clunk. Frequently with ski injuries the medial ligament of the knee joint may also be disrupted resulting in severe pain and swelling about the inner side of the joint. It is an ominous sign of major ligament injury when little or no swelling occurs as the swelling is able to leak into the soft tissues of the leg. Initial treatment of any knee ligament injury should consist of ice packs, compression bandages and crutches. It is difficult to weight bear for several days, however, after seven to ten days the swelling settles and walking is possible with the joint gradually regaining a full range of motion. By four weeks following injury the knee becomes almost normal. Patients who return to sport following injury usually notice a weakness or instability. Further episodes of instability result in multiple injuries to the cartilages and the joint surfaces. Damage to these structures eventually leads to osteoarthritis.

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Last Modified: June 24, 2014