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Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear

Basketball players, skiers, soccer players, and football players know all too well just how quickly, and frequently ACL tears can occur.

The reason athletes are so often prone to an ACL tear is due to the fact that quick changes in direction, abrupt stops from moving, or an incorrect landing from a jump are just a few of the ways this crucial ligament can tear. However, an ACL tear can also affect runners, via simply slowing your pace after a quick stride. Regardless of the cause of your ACL tear, it can be a very painful injury. Your knee will typically begin to swell following a ligament rupture and will be accompanied by pain. You will likely experience a feeling of knee instability. In most cases an ACL tear is not an isolated knee injury.

When the ACL tears, it is likely that you will also have a damaged meniscus, and/or damage to cartilage and other ligaments in the knee. ACL tears should not go untreated. The ACL itself is responsible for preventing the shinbone (tibia) from slipping in front of the thighbone (femur), so it’s important that you have a proper diagnosis to prevent further injury. If an ACL tear is suspected, Dr. Nadel will use onsite X-rays in his office and likely order an MRI of the knee in order to evaluate the grade of the injury. ACL tears are graded in terms of the severity of the injury, referred to as 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree tears. In some cases, Dr. Nadel will only need to perform minimally invasive Arthroscopic Surgery to repair the torn ACL. However, in some cases a complete ACL reconstruction will be the best course of treatment.

Dr. Nadel specializes in performing Anatomically Correct Reconstruction surgery. This method of reconstructing the ACL will require a graft, and he will position the graft in the most anatomically correct way, as opposed to using older, dated methods of ACL reconstruction.