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Frequently asked questions - ACL Injury

Why did I get an ACL Injury


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) Injury occurs due to twisting of the knee while foot is planted on the ground. It is not due to direct blow to the knee. Partly it can be due to poor landing technique particularly while playing raquet sports or basket ball. 

Does ACL tear heal naturally with time? 

Ligaments, meniscii and cartilage inside the joint have poor blood supply and lack the capacity to self heal. Hence, ACL does not heal naturally with time. The initial symptoms of acute pain and swelling will settle giving a feeling of improvement in the first few weeks. The symptoms which persist post the first 6 weeks will remain and persist. 

Can it be treated without surgery? 

If you have a partial tear of ACL, PRP (platelet rich plasma) injection can be considered. If you are less active physically and/or having some wear and tear (arthritis) in the joint already, then you may opt for non surgical treatment. However, you have to factor in the risk of recurrent instability and pain, further injuries and higher risk of arthritis in the longer run. 

Is ACL surgery safe? 


ACL surgery is a day care surgery now. It is safe and effective. Small risks associated with any surgery are applicable to ACL as well. When surgery is performed in an appropriate way and undergoes proper rehabilitation, one can expect good outcomes out of this surgery.

Why is my knee swollen post surgery? 


During arthroscopy we need to shave off the fat pad for better visibility and also need to shave off the remnants of the torn ACL. When shaved, a lot of micro particles are formed. The shaver has got the suction mechanism and sucks out most of these particles. However, some particles may remain inspite of the best effort. These irritate the joint lining (synovium) and causes inflammation. This can last for even 3 to 4 months. This is not infection and will eventually settle down. 

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