ACL Tear

Manhattan Orthopedics

Orthopedic Surgeons located in Midtown West, New York, NY & Astoria, NY

Athletes push their bodies to the limit and place extra stress on their muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, and joints, making them more susceptible to injuries. If you play basketball or football, you are at risk of developing an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, a common knee injury that often requires surgery. Board-certified orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists Edmond Cleeman, MD, and Dr. Craig Dushey, MD, at Manhattan Orthopedics, with locations in Midtown West Manhattan and Astoria in New York, specializes in the repair of ACL tears and can help get you back to doing the things you love. For a consultation, call your nearest New York City office or book online today.

ACL Tear Q & A

What is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)?

Ligaments are the connective tissue, small cords,  in your body that attach bone to bone. Your knee is made of three bones, your thighbone, shinbone, and kneecap, which are held together by strong ligaments.

The ACL is found in the center of your knee and helps keep your knee from buckling or slipping out of place. It’s responsible for helping to provide stability within the joint when pivoting or twisting. 

What is an ACL tear?

An ACL tear indicates an injury to the ligament. These ligament tears, referred to as sprains, are graded based on the severity of the tear:

  • Grade 1 sprains: slightly stretched
  • Grade 2 sprains: stretching of the ligament that makes it loose
  • Grade 3 sprains: complete tear of the ligament

You may tear your ACL if you land a jump poorly, change your direction too quickly, or stop short. After the injury, you may experience knee pain and swelling within 24 hours, followed by loss of motion and difficulty placing pressure on the affected knee.

How is an ACL tear diagnosed?

Dr. Cleeman diagnoses an ACL tear during an evaluation of your knee. To confirm a diagnosis and assess the severity of your ACL tear, he may recommend diagnostic imaging, such as an X-ray or MRI.

What are the treatments for an ACL tear?

Treatment for your ACL tear requires surgery. Dr. Cleeman is an experienced orthopedic surgeon who specializes in arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgical technique. Arthroscopy uses a surgical camera and small incisions that allow Dr. Cleeman to evaluate the structures in your knee and reconstruct the damaged ACL. 

an ACL tear can’t be stitched back together. Dr. Cleeman must use a tissue graft, which may be taken from your hamstring tendon or from donated tissue called an allograft, to reconstruct and make you a new ACL. 

After you’ve recovered from surgery, Dr. Cleeman refers you to physical therapy to improve strength and motion in your knee. 

While an ACL tear can’t heal without surgery, Dr. Cleeman may take a nonsurgical approach for the management of an ACL tear in sedentary older adults or less active individuals. 

This may include physical therapy to improve the muscle support around the knee and bracing to improve knee stability. 

Athletes must have surgery if they want to return to their sport without the risk of further injury. 

For a consultation with an experienced orthopedic surgeon for your ACL tear, contact Manhattan Orthopedics by phone or online today.