San Francisco ACL Surgeon Discusses FAQs

If you’ve ever suffered an injury, you’re looking for as many answers you can find. When something as life-altering as an ACL injury occurs, you want to know what to expect and what should be done to begin the healing process. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to ease your mind while you wait to see a doctor.

What is the ACL?

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL for short, refers to one of the four primary ligaments located around the knee. The ACL is responsible for connecting the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). It also provides the knee with necessary stability during pivoting and twisting motions common when playing basketball or football. In addition, it prevents the tibia from sliding forward onto the femur.

What leads to a torn ACL?

In most cases, an ACL is torn when the knee is twisted, either via sidestepping, pivoting, or cutting coupled with deceleration. There is usually no contact between other players or persons when this occurs.

What effect does a torn ACL have on my knee?

From the very onset, patients often feel a pop, followed by a sudden burst of pain. It is then which an inability to resume their sporting activities occurs. Due to the swelling and stiffness in the knee, one may also have problems walking.

Who should I see if I have torn ACL?

Since a torn ACL is a substantial knee injury, it is essential that you seek immediate medical attention from reputable Bay Area ACL Surgeons, who will reduce your chance of experiencing any further harm or damage. These orthopedic surgeons specialize in the care of injured bones, tendons, joints, and ligaments.

Is there a need for me to get an MRI?

In cases of ACL tears, a knee injury doctor will take x-rays and examine your knee to establish its range of motion and stability. However, they may also advise you to take an MRI so that the ACL can be evaluated without having to perform surgery. MRI’s will show the range of damage across the cartilage and other ligament areas..

Do I need to have ACL surgery?

In most cases, whether or not to repair the torn ACL with surgery will depend on your age, degree of instability, and activity level. Many patients might very well be able to build up their strength without surgery, whereas others may require complete knee reconstruction in order to resume their activities.

Will I need to be admitted overnight?

ACL repairs are typically done in outpatient settings. An ACL Specialist in San Francisco will advise you on any matters regarding the treatment and recovery process.

Will it be painful?

Once the surgery is over, the answer is usually, no. With today’s technologies, many techniques can be used to reduce your chance of experiencing most of the severe, post-surgical pain.

Will I have to undergo physical therapy?

Physical therapy is an integral part of the entire torn ACL treatment. In most cases, you will have to go for your first session a day or two after the surgery. Your ACL doctor will then develop an appropriate schedule that will accelerate your quick recovery.

Book an Appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon in San Francisco

Dr. Jeffrey L. Halbrecht specializes in arthroscopic surgery and the treatment of knee and shoulder injuries in San Francisco. Should you be suffering from a torn ACL, or any other joint injury, call Dr. Halbrecht at (415) 923-0944 or book an appointment online.