ACL Surgery in Yuma, Arizona

acl surgery in Yuma, ArizonaOne of the body’s largest and main support-bearing joints, the knee is susceptible to traumatic injury, often in the form of ACL sprains and tears. Athletes in high demand sports are especially at risk for damage to the anterior cruciate ligament; however, anyone can experience such injury, and subsequently require orthopaedic intervention and care. Dependent upon the specific condition present, as well as associated pain and disability, Dr. Henderson and his team will outline the best corrective methods for immediate and ongoing relief.

Knee Anatomy

The knee is formed by the intersection of three bones: the femur, tibia, and patella. At the center of the joint are two pieces of sponge-like, shock-absorbing cartilage, called the menisci. In addition, the bones are stabilized through the range of movements by a series of ligaments. These strong fibrous bands hold the joint together, providing strength during both stationary and active positions.

The knee’s four ligaments are as follows: the anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate, medial collateral, and lateral collateral. Of these, the ACL is especially at risk for damage due to its central location to the front of the joint. While ACL damage can occur as a solo injury, more traumatic events may result in additional meniscal or ligament injury, requiring more complex surgical intervention.

Injury Causes and Symptoms

The completion of exaggerated or unnatural knee movements cause the majority of ACL injuries. Damage is often attributed to a rapid change in direction while running, an awkward land from a jump, or a twist to the knee during a fast turn. Such events are especially common amongst court and field-based athletes. Another cause is the application of direct and blunt force to the knee joint, which may be experienced during a tackle or fall.

An ACL sprain or tear is often heralded by an audible “popping” sound or the sensation of the knee “giving out.” Within a day of initial injury, pain and swelling will grow progressively worse, resulting in increased instability and difficulty in completing joint movements. If untreated, ACL damage will likely worsen, and potentially attribute to injury to surrounding knee components.

Treatment Options for ACL Damage

While an ACL injury will typically not heal without surgical intervention, initial efforts will likely include non-invasive techniques, such as the use of anti-inflammatory medications and bracing. Likewise, following the corrective operation, the same approaches will often be applied in conjunction with rest and formal physical therapy for successful rehabilitation.

ACL repair is typically completed using arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgical technique that employs small incisions and a miniature camera to view the interior of the knee joint. As the majority of tears cannot be sutured back together, a graft will often be used to patch the ligament for subsequent regrowth. Grafts may be obtained either from the patient, or from a cadaver, depending on specific considerations, such as source availability and overarching health considerations.

Rehabilitation and Avoiding Re-injury

Although minimally invasive operations are often associated with reduced post-op pain and expedited recovery, special precautions should still be taken to avoid graft disruption or other re-injury. Dr. Henderson will outline a specific approach to rehabilitation, including a schedule of regular medical check-ins and methods for the gradual undertaking of various activities. In most cases, initial emphasis will be placed on rebuilding joint flexibility and range of motion, followed by a focus on strength building.

While the risks associated with ACL surgery are minimal, any concerns should be reported immediately in order to ensure adequate medical care.

Dr. Henderson and his team offer comprehensive treatment options for the correction of ACL injuries and other forms of knee damage. To schedule an appointment, contact his Yuma, Arizona office at (928) 726-2990.