Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear (ACL Tear)
An anterior cruciate ligament injury is extreme stretching or tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. A tear may be partial or complete. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that attach one bone to another. The ACL connects the thighbone to the shin bone, crossing the knee. For an unknown reason, women are more susceptible to ACL injuries. ACL tears may be caused by contact or non-contact injuries. A blow to the side of the knee, like during a football tackle, may result in an ACL tear. However, coming to a quick stop, combined with a directional change while running, pivoting, landing from a jump, or overextending the knee joint, can cause injury to the ACL. Sports like basketball, football, soccer, and skiing have regular occurrences of ACL tears.
- Feeling or hearing a pop in the knee at the time of injury
- Pain on the outside and back of the knee
- The knee swelling within the first few hours of the injury
- Limited knee movement
- Knee wobbling, buckling, or giving out
Total Knee Replacement (TKR)
TKR can help relieve pain and restore function in the knee joint. The surgeon cuts away damaged bone and cartilage from your thighbone, shinbone, and kneecap and replaces it with an artificial joint (prosthesis). More than 95 percent of people who receive a TKR experience significant pain relief, improved mobility, and a better overall quality of life (from MayoClinic.com).
Symptoms that may lead one to consider a knee replacement:
- Knee pain that doesn’t respond to therapy (medication, or therapy for 6 months or more)
- Pain that limits or prevents activities
- Inability to sleep through the night because of knee pain
- Arthritis of the knee
- Decreased knee function caused by arthritis
- Some tumors involving the knee