Knee Ligament Injuries

Knee ligament injuries, such as a tear of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, are common in the active population. They typically occur as a result of a twisting injury when the foot is planted (such as a soccer player making a quick pivot to avoid an opponent). Athletes commonly describe feeling a pop at the time of the injury after which their knee becomes painful and swollen.

These injuries are significant and can lead to persistent instability which may prevent the athlete from returning to play. Surgery to reconstruct this ligament, however, can eliminate this instability, and allow active people to return to activity.

The injury can be repaired surgically. You do not have to be young, elite athlete to consider surgery for this injury. The fact is that many more “weekend warriors” experience this injury than do the young, elite professional athletes. Furthermore, recent studies show that the success of the reconstructive surgery (by looking at re-injury rates to the same knee or even the opposite knee) are in fact higher in the younger, elite athletes than the rest of the population. This may seem counter to what you might think.

Therefore, if you are active and have sustained an injury to your ACL, you may benefit from having this ligament reconstructed surgically as there is a good chance that it may allow you to return to your active lifestyle.

If you have injured your knee and think you may have torn your ACL (or another ligament), please call us and come in for an evaluation at 206-386-2600.

Contributed by Todd J. Seidner, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon

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