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Knowing the Signs of An ACL Tear

Knowing the Signs of An ACL Tear

Knowing the Signs of An ACL Tear 800 600 Dr Gregory Difelice New York | Sports Medicine Surgeon Paramus | NJ

ACL Tear Diagnosis & Symptoms

Sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear can be a devastating blow to an athlete. As there’s nothing an athlete would like to do more than play their sport, having to sit it out for a season or risk losing the skills they’ve acquired after years of dedicated training can be particularly traumatic.

Specialized athletes and active individuals are usually vulnerable, as any abrupt shifts in direction, a sudden stop, or impact from repetitive jumping and pivoting can easily cause the ACL to tear. The sudden onset of pain or hearing that infamous “pop,” may be good indicators that something is wrong; however, a consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon and an MRI scan are usually required to make the final diagnosis. As the tear can vary from patient to patient, treatment options will depend on the severity of the trauma.

Here are four signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • The rapid development of swelling, warmth, and redness
  • Pain in the joint or swelling lasting more than 48 hours
  • Difficulty walking or weight-bearing limitations on the injured knee
  • A deformity on the side of your knee

While there are several methods to diagnose an ACL tear, your orthopaedic surgeon will evaluate your ligaments by examining their stability, along with the following imaging tests:

  • Pivot shift maneuver. This test assesses for rotational instability. To perform this Test, Dr. DiFelice will rotate your shin while bending your knee. A knee with a torn ACL will cause a “clunking” sensation.
  • Anterior Drawer test. This test assesses for inappropriate anterior movement. Holding your knee at a 90-degree angle, Dr. DiFelice shifts your tibia, or shin bone, in a forward and backward motion.
  • Lachman test. This test also assesses for inappropriate anterior movement. Dr. DiFelice will bend your knee at a 20-30 degree angle, and pull your tibia, or shin bone, forward as your femur, or thigh bone, is held stable.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI will give you a clear image of whether the ligament is torn, where the tear is, and even detect if there was any cartilage damage.

Coming to terms with your ACL injury and your impending road to recovery does not have to be met with dread. Whether you are looking for an initial consultation or a second opinion, Dr. Gregory DiFelice has options for you.

Having a passion for sports himself, Dr. DiFelice has pioneered a Preservation First approach to treat ACL injuries to help athletes get back in the game. With this “trust the body, less is more” approach Dr. DiFelice will try to help the body to heal, rather than force it to heal. Using the Preservation First approach, Dr. DiFelice will provide you with a spectrum of surgical options depending on the degree of injury. To learn more please visit www.gregorysdifelicemd.com or contact the office of Dr. DiFelice 212-746-4993.