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ACL Tears


ACL Tear Specialist

People are at risk of ACL tears during sports when the knee is forcefully hyperextended or twisted due to abrupt directional change, sudden stopping, slowing down while running, landing from a jump incorrectly and direct contact or collision such as a football tackle. ACL tear specialist, Dr. Kelechi Okoroha provides diagnosis and individualized non-surgical and surgical management for ACL tears in Minneapolis. Contact Dr. Okoroha’s team for an appointment today!

What is the ACL?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the major ligaments of the knee. It is located in the middle of the knee and runs from the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone). The ACL prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur. Together with the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), it provides rotational stability to the knee.

Causes of ACL Tears

An ACL injury is a sports-related injury that occurs when the knee is forcefully twisted or hyperextended. An ACL tear usually occurs with an abrupt directional change when the foot is fixed on the ground or when the deceleration force crosses the knee. Changing direction rapidly, stopping suddenly, slowing down while running, landing from a jump incorrectly, and direct contact or collision, such as a football tackle can also cause injury to the ACL.

When an ACL tear is suspected, it is important to schedule an orthopedic consultation for proper examination and care. Dr. Kelechi Okoroha is an ACL tear specialist who provides detailed examination and care for patients with ACL tears in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Minnesota and beyond.

Symptoms of ACL Tears

When you injure your ACL, you may hear a pop sound and may feel as though the knee has given way. Within the first two hours after injury, your knee will swell and you may have a buckling sensation in the knee during twisting movements.

Diagnosis of ACL Tears

The diagnosis of an ACL tear is made by Dr. Okoroha by reviewing your symptoms and medical history and performing a physical examination of the knee. Other diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, stress tests of the ligament and arthroscopy may also be ordered.

Treatment of ACL Tears

After careful review of your history and examination, Dr. Okoroha will provide an individualized treatment plan to help you return to your normal function.

Treatment options include both non-surgical and surgical methods. If the overall stability of the knee is intact, Dr. Okoroha may recommend non-surgical methods. Non-surgical treatment consists of rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE protocol); all of these assists in controlling pain and swelling. Physical therapy may be recommended to improve knee motion and strength. A knee brace may be needed to help immobilize your knee.

Young athletes involved in pivoting sports will most likely require surgery to safely return to sports. The usual surgery for an ACL tear is an ACL reconstruction that tightens your knee and restores its stability. Surgery to reconstruct an ACL is performed with an arthroscope, using small incisions. During the surgery, Dr. Okoroha will replace the torn ligament with an autograft (tissue transferred from one part to another in the same individual) from the quadriceps tendon, patellar tendon or the hamstring muscle. For older patients, nonathletic patients, and in some revision settings an allograft (tissue from a cadaver donor) is used.

Following ACL reconstruction, a rehabilitation program is started to help you resume a wider range of activities.

If you have experienced an ACL tear, please contact Dr. Kelechi Okoroha, orthopedic knee specialist treating patients in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Minnesota and beyond.