You may have heard of ACL & MCL tears being a “career-ruining injury” back in the day for football players, soccer players, basketball players, and other athletes. Fortunately, recent advances in both diagnostic and therapeutic techniques have allowed many people suffering from ACL & MCL tears to enjoy full or near-full recoveries and a return to the sport they love.
At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our Northern New Jersey pain management team works with hundreds people every year suffering from ACL and MCL tears. Lead by Ramsey pain doctors Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, we’ve helped everyone from young student athletes to older adults find customized and comprehensive care for their knee ligament damage.
The Function of Your ACL and MCL
Your knee is a mobile, yet very stable, hinge joint. It gleans its stability largely from two major ligaments, your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament). These ligaments connect your femur to your tibia, which form the upper and lower articular surfaces of your knee.
While they are 2 distinct ligaments, the ACL and MCL are close enough together and serve a similar function that they will often both become injured at the same time.
How ACL and MCL Injuries Occur
The mechanism of injury of an ACL or MCL tear is often some sort of sudden stop or change in direction. As you can imagine, this often happens during sports like basketball, soccer, or gymnastics, when a person jumps or pivots. Ligament damage can also occur if the knee is directly hit or if it is exposed to repetitive stress.
The severity of ligament damage depends on the injury itself as well as other factors like general ligament laxity, age, weight, and overall health. Minor ligamentous injuries are considered “sprains,” whereas severe injuries can lead to a full on tear in the ligament fibers.
Of course, you don’t have to be an athlete to suffer from an ACL/MCL tear. Any sort of trip or fall may lead to stress and strain on the knee and lead to ligament damage. Symptoms include:
- Mild, moderate, or severe knee pain, especially along in the inside of the knee
- Swelling and tenderness around the knee
- The sensation of instability, as if the knee will lock, catch, or give way
Diagnosing & Treating ACL & MCL Tears at Progressive Spine & Sports
Our team at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine can diagnose an ACL/MCL tear through a variety of techniques, including physical exam, symptom assessment, and musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging. Depending on the degree of your injury, we’ll implement an individualized treatment plan which may include:
- Regenerative treatments, including platelet rich plasma injections and stem cell injections
- Physical therapy
- Interventional pain injections
Together, these services can heal your injured ligaments, reduce your pain, reduce excessive scarring, and increase stability and strength of your knee.
Is Your Knee Injury Keeping You From the Active Lifestyle You Love? Our Ramsey Pain Doctors Can Help
If you live near Ramsey, NJ and are looking for someone to help you or a loved one recover from an ACL & MCL tear, then call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. To schedule an appointment or speak with one of our Ramsey pain doctors, call us today at (201) 962-9199.