Knee Ligament Injury Treatment in Lafayette, LA, Can Help You Make a Comeback
A knee ligament injury affects one or more of the four strong bands of tissue that connect the upper and lower leg bones at the point where they come together in the knee joint. These ligaments include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), and the medial collateral ligament (MCL).
ACL injuries – by far the most common type of knee ligament injury – often occur during activities that involve jumping, sudden stops, or abrupt changes in direction. Therefore, individuals who participate in sports such as basketball, soccer, football, tennis, downhill skiing, volleyball, or gymnastics are particularly susceptible to ACL tears.
What are the symptoms of a knee ligament injury?
In addition to sudden, severe pain, a knee ligament injury may produce:
- A popping or snapping sound when the injury occurs
- Swelling that develops within 24 hours after the injury
- A sensation of looseness or instability in the knee
- An inability to bear weight on the leg without pain
How is a knee ligament injury treated?
A mild to moderate knee ligament injury can potentially heal on its own with time. To promote recovery, a physician may suggest:
- Resting the knee – Weight bearing should be resumed gradually as comfort permits. In the meantime, crutches may be used to aid mobility.
- Applying ice – To relieve pain and swelling, an ice pack can be applied to the knee for 10-15 minutes every 3-4 hours as needed.
- Compressing the knee – To help control swelling, an elastic bandage, strap, or sleeve may be applied to the knee.
- Elevating the knee – A pillow can be used to raise and support the knee while in a seated or lying down position.
- Protecting the knee – A brace may be worn to stabilize the knee and help prevent further injuries.
- Taking medications – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help reduce pain and swelling.
Additionally, a physician may recommend stretching and strengthening exercises, or an alternative activity (such as swimming for a runner) that can be safely performed during recovery.
Most LCL and MCL injuries do not require surgical treatment. However, if an ACL or PCL is completely torn or stretched beyond its limits, reconstructive surgery may be discussed.
If you’re interested in exploring your treatment options for a knee ligament injury, Peter D. Vizzi, M.D., can help. As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist – as well as an avid athlete himself – Dr. Vizzi treats many patients from the Lafayette, LA, area and beyond. Contact his office today to learn more or schedule an appointment.