New Medical Advances Heal Torn Ligaments Without Surgery
If you are an athlete, know an athlete or have ever been involved in sports, you’ve probably heard of the ACL. Most people are familiar with the term ACL, but don’t know exactly what its purpose is or that it is just one of four ligaments that provide stability to the knee joint.
A ligament is what connects bones to each other and keeps the joint moving only in the proper directions. In the knee, there are four ligaments; the ACL, the PCL, the MCL and the LCL. The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and the PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) cross to form an ‘X’ inside the knee where they connect the tibia (the shin
bone) and the femur (the thigh bone). The ACL and PCL are responsible for keeping your knee from moving too far forward or backward. The MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) and the LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament) run up and down along the outsides of the knee and control the side to side movement of the joint. The MCL is located on the inside of the knee and the LCL is located on the outside of the knee.
Together, these four ligaments keep the knee joint moving properly and provide stability in all directions. They inhibit your knees from bending backwards are allow you stability while standing. Injury can occur with contact to the knee in any direction as well as with hard muscle contraction, like if you rapidly change direction while you are running. When one of these ligaments is injured, in sports or general activity, the stability of the joint becomes compromised; difficulty standing or walking, a feeling of looseness, pain, and swelling can all be symptoms. Many people even hear or feel a pop or snap followed by severe pain when it is injured.
The knee is a complex joint, and there are several injuries that can occur when participating in sports, physical activity, or sometimes just household chores. Less severe injuries, such as sprains or strains, are generally easier to recover from with rest, ice, and over the counter medications. If you experience a more severe injury though; such as a tear to a ligament, tendon or the meniscus; you may have to decide if surgery is the right decision for you. Joints do not have a blood supply, and blood contains essential healing agents, so when a ligament or tendon is damaged healing on your own is very difficult.
Surgical intervention for torn ligaments is usually performed arthroscopically and involves a graft of tissue from your own body or a donor. If you chose to undergo surgery, even arthroscopic surgery, physical therapy rehabilitation will be necessary. Usually this process starts with 2 weeks of rest and exercises to prevent blood clots. After 2 weeks you will be able to put weight on your leg, most likely be fitted for a knee brace and may start physical therapy. Physical therapy can last anywhere from 2 to 6 months to rebuild strength and stability. Surgery is a scary thought for many people, and even with the simplest operations there are risks of complications.
Athletes, especially those in contact sports, face the very real possibility of knee injuries every time they decide to play. Severe injuries could result in surgery and missing out on time in their sport of choice or the chance that they may never be able to play again, especially at the level they are at before an injury.
If you have suffered an injury to your knee or other joints, have pain that has not been diagnosed, or your doctor has told you that you need knee surgery, you have options for care. Non-surgical treatment options are now available for ligament, tendon and meniscus injuries as well as other joint disorders. These treatments are non-invasive, don’t require harsh medications or physical therapy, and require little down time before returning to normal activities.
Every case is different and evaluation of imaging and physical examinations are needed to determine if the procedures we offer are right for you. If you haven’t had x-rays or MRIs taken, we can determine what is needed and send you for those specific images. If you have had images taken, you can bring them in for a free image consultation and our doctor will review them with you. We work to find the cause of pain or dysfunction and find the most beneficial treatment to not just treat your symptoms, but eliminate why you are experiencing them.
We offer no cost consultations to discuss your case and review imaging as well as free informational seminars hosted in our office. Our informational seminars are in the evenings, usually last about an hour and offer you the opportunity to learn more about what types of problems these procedures can treat as well as ask the doctor questions or schedule your consultation that evening.
To find out if you are a candidate for these procedures, call us at (636) 272-8888 to reserve your spot at our next
INFORMATIONAL SEMINAR or set up your no cost consultation to review your case with our doctor. No obligation, just information!
8633 Mexico Rd
O’Fallon, MO 63366