Don't ignore the "popping" noise from your knee… Blog tip by: Dr. Alvin Dike
Are you hearing a "popping" noise and feeling as if your knee is giving out from under you? Pain and swelling (usually within 24-hours), loss of range of motion, tenderness along the joint line and discomfort when walking are common symptoms of an anterior cruciate ligament tear. This is an injury to the knee that commonly affects athletes of various sports. Fact: Majority of ACL tears are non- contact injuries, and women are more likely to than men to experience a tear.
The anterior cruciate ligament can be injured in several ways:
- Changing direction rapidly
- Stopping suddenly
- Slowing down while running
- Landing from a jump incorrectly
- Direct contact or collision, such as a football tackle
Once diagnosed with an ACL tear, your Orthopedic Surgeon will determine whether you should have surgery or if the injury can be managed conservatively. If surgery is not indicated, your physical therapist will work with you to restore muscle strength, endurance, balance, and coordination so that you can return to your activities of daily life. A brace may be recommended to protect your knee from instability. If surgery is indeed indicated, your surgeon will provide post-surgical guidelines as well as guidelines developed by physical therapist themselves. Both guidelines typically recommend progressive weight bearing, ice and compression, bracing, therapeutic exercises to increase your mobility/strength, and ultimately returning you pain free to your sport or physical activity.