Myths and Facts About the ACL

An injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee is one of the most common sports injuries. But this happens to nonathletes and coach potatoes, too. If you tear your ACL, trust Dr. Steven E. Nolan in Sugar Land, Texas, to help you get back to the activities you love. Whether that’s playing basketball or tennis, or just walking around the block. 

Here are some myths and facts about ACL injuries to help you decide if surgery’s the right treatment option for you.

Myth 1: Only athletes get ACL tears

Professional athletes and ordinary people can get an ACL tear. All it takes is a sudden movement in the wrong direction, and you’ll hear and feel a snap or a pop. You may also have sharp pain. Then, it’s game over — basketball, football, baseball, tennis, running, or even walking — for a while.

Myth 2: These injuries are only caused by blunt-force trauma

All it takes is a turn in the wrong direction when your foot lands to cause an ACL injury. 

Myth 3: An ACL tear will end your sports career

Sometimes, a torn ACL can ruin an athlete’s career. Other times, it may sideline you for a while but then you have a full recovery and come back stronger than ever. Everyone is different; there’s no way to be sure. Following Dr. Nolan’s advice and committing to a rehabilitation program ensures the best possible outcome for your knee.

Myth 4: Surgery is the only option for an ACL tear

Dr. Nolan assesses your injury and considers your age and activity level before giving you a recommendation for surgery or not. He explains your situation and provides the facts so you can decide what’s best for you.

Myth 5: The knee has to be cut wide open

A minimally invasive technique called arthroscopy is used to reconstruct a torn ACL. With this method you have less scarring, less blood loss, and less down time. Since your knee won’t be cut wide open, you should be able to heal faster, too.

Myth 6: Rehabilitation takes a long time

Every body is different and some people have underlying health conditions, which may mean longer healing times. In general, ligaments take longer to heal than bones or muscles because they have fewer blood vessels. This means less blood and nutrients to help the tissue heal.

Myth 7: You will have large scars and stiffness

With arthroscopic surgery, the scars are very small. You may have some stiffness at first but it should subside. Dr. Nolan lets you know what to do if your leg gets sore or stiff. 

Myth 8: You can never run again

It’s hard to tell. Some people can resume normal activities after surgery and rehab, while others can’t. 

If you’re having knee problems, it could be your ACL. Make an appointment with Dr. Nolan to get the best orthopedic care in Texas. Request online or call 281-720-6910 today.

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