Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

When Do You Need An ACL Brace:

1. Post Injury- Just after you injure the Anterior Cruciate Ligament an ACL brace is vital to help relieve knee pain, provide needed support and protect the ligament and the rest of the joint from further damage as there is considerable time between the injury, the doctor’s evaluation, the MRI and the surgery.

2. Post Surgical- Whether you have a knee scope or an ACL graft, it’s important to stabilize the knee after surgery to allow proper healing, protection and if necessary to limit the amount of knee range of motion.

3. Post Healing- After you have had an ACL injury or surgery it’s important to protect your knee during heavy work loads or while participating in sporting events. It’s just not fun to go through it a second time!

ACL injuries are graded according to the following severity scale:

Grade I ACL Sprain (Mild ACL Sprain)

– The Injury- The ACL has only been stretched and there is no tear.

– Symptoms: mild pain, tenderness and swelling.

– Physical Effects: The knee feels stable and you are able to walk on it with little discomfort.

– ACL Brace Needed: A mild support brace that provides compression to mildly protect and help reduce swelling. View All Knee Braces

– Other helpful treatment:

Rest the knee as much as possible for 1-2 weeks and avoid strenuous sporting events or training activities.

Ice the knee for 10-15 minutes 2x/day using knee ice packs until the swelling and pain have dissipated.

Elevate: If swelling increases after activity or towards the end of the day, elevate your foot above heart level for 30 minutes.

Grade II ACL Sprain

– The Injury: The ACL has a slight tear.

– Symptoms usually include mild pain with moderate amounts of swelling about the knee.

– Physical Effects: The knee feels mildly unstable at times and may “give out” unexpectedly

– ACL Brace Needed: To protect the partial tear in the ACL it’ important to wear a brace that provides moderate support and that can help keep the knee from going past it’s normal range of motion because when your knee gives out, further ligament tearing may occur. View All Knee Braces

– Other helpful Grade II ACL treatment:

Resting the knee by utilizing crutches is beneficial until a doctor’s visit is possible, then follow weight bearing instructions by your physician.

Ice the knee for 10-15 minutes 2x/day using knee ice packs until the swelling and pain have dissipated.

Elevate: elevate your foot above heart level for 15-30 minutes 2-3 times per day or as the swelling level demands.

Topical Analgesics: Temporarily reduces pain and discomfort and can be very worthwhile in helping get through a painful knee episode.

Grade III sprain

– The Injury: The ACL has a complete tear and needs medical attention.

– Symptoms: Pain and swelling of varying degrees from mild to intense.

– Physical Effects: The knee feels unstable or gives out intermittently.

– ACL Brace Needed: A very supportive ACL brace is necessary for this injury to protect the other sensitive tissues in the knee such as the meniscus, joint surfaces and other ligaments. This brace should be able to limit range of motion of the knee or provide complete immobilization. View All Knee Braces

– Other helpful Grade III Knee Injury treatment:

Resting the knee with crutch use is mandatory until a doctor’s visit is possible, and then follow weight bearing/crutch use instructions by your physician.

Ice the knee 2x/day using knee ice packs until the swelling and pain have dissipated.

Elevate: elevate your foot above heart level for 15-30 minutes 2-3 times per day or as the swelling level demands.

Topical Analgesics: Temporarily reduces pain and discomfort and can be very worthwhile in helping get through a painful knee episode.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the “guard dog” of the femur, tibia, and meniscus. They relate to each other in the following way:

– The femur stands atop the tibia. The two long bones could not stand for long by themselves and most certainly could not allow for movement and weight- bearing.

– The padding between the tibia bone (the lower leg bone) and the femur bone (the thigh bone) is called the menisci. Its purpose is to absorb shock as well as to protect the bones from riding one upon the other.

– The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) helps keep the structure erect and vertical. It is much like a bungee cord or a very strong and thick rubber band that runs vertically, holding the bones and the padding (menisci) together. It provides balance, stability, and flexibility, allowing the body’s “dance of resiliency” to continue.

Knee Pain Tips

Ice Packs For Knee Pain- Ice Relieves Pain Better Than Heat!

Correctly icing the knee is very effective at relieving most acute injuries and it’s no different with knee pain. Whether it’s an acute knee injury or chronic knee pain, knee ice packs, knee ice wraps and knee ice coolers that circulate cold water to the painful area.

Ice helps reduce pain in two ways. First it helps reduce inflammation in the tissues which in itself reduces pain, however icing also helps “numb” the area and the brain does not feel the pain over the amount of sensory cold signals.

Icing Instructions: ice the knee as needed for severe pain, but not more than 20 minutes every hour unless instructed by your doctor. Remember to always protect

Compression For Knee Pain & Swelling

Compression knee braces help relieve knee pain and reduce knee swelling by helping prevent fluid build-up. Compression knee braces are usually very comfortable and can be worn daily as needed for pain or swelling.

The information, including opinions and recommendations, contained in this article is for general educational purposes only. Such information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. No one should act upon any information in this article without first seeking medical advice from a qualified medical physician with whom they have a confidential doctor/patient relationship.

Elevating the Knee

While standing inflammation and swelling tend to drain towards the feet, and if you have an injured knee, the swelling can increase when you are sitting, standing and walking. When you get your feet above the level of the heart the excess fluid can drain away from the injured area which helps to relieve pain.