An anterior cruciate ligament tear is often referred to as an ACL tear. When you have an ACL tear it is often accompanied by a popping sound and the ‘trick knee’ that is constantly ‘giving out’ from underneath you.
What is the ACL and What Does It Do?
The four ligaments in your knees all play a vital part in the movement, stability, and load bearing.
The ACL is located under the kneecap and is vital for your knee joint stabilization.
ACL injuries often occur when there is a twisting motion that occurs during a collision in sports, rough play, falls, work-related and even literally just ‘moving wrong at the wrong time’ and your weight is bearing down which may result in a torn or damaged ACL.
Even elite athletes have torn an ACL without having contact and not even running.
In the past, the only option for ACL tears was surgery, but now that stem cell therapy has made so many advancements, it is smart to look into stem cell therapy before having a doctor do surgery.
How Do You Know You Have An ACL Tear?
In addition to the pain, there is either a ‘popping’ sensation in your knee or you may actually hear a loud ‘pop’ when you sustain the injury. At the time of the tear, your knee most likely becomes extremely unstable and it gives out from underneath you.
A trained medical specialist will ask you a series of questions while checking the stability of your knee by moving it in various motions while observing the stability as well as your comments as to experiencing pain as a result of the movements.
The movements are designed to ‘stress test’ the knee joint to determine if there is a possible torn ACL.
An MRI will clearly show the extent of a tear if there is one as well as if there may be any other damage to the knee.
Here are some additional facts about ACL injuries.
An ACL tear is by far the most common knee injury. In fact, there are over 200,000 ACL injuries in the US alone each year. Out of those 200,000 injuries, around 100,000 of those are repaired through surgery-that’s a lot of knee surgery!
We all know that surgery is a major decision that results in long recovery times, time away from work or sport, and a dangerous pain medication regime to take the edge of the pain. But what if there was another option? A first line of defense that could help reduce the number of people going under the knife to repair their ACL tear.
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at what it means when you tear your ACL, what treatment options are available, and how regenerative medicine is quickly gaining popularity as a safer, more natural and effective treatment.
What’s an ACL Tear and Who’s at Risk?
Your ACL is a major ligament located within your knee and unfortunately, injuries to this ligament are very common. The first type of person that may come to your mind when you think of an ACL tear is an athlete as this injury is very common in sports.
Any activity that involves cutting, stopping, jumping, and direction changes can put you at risk for tearing your ACL. Soccer, football, and skiing are the main culprits; however, anyone can tear their ACL. Even if you’ve never played a sport in your life, you can tear your ACL by performing one of the actions we named above.
An ACL tear is usually identified with its telltale “pop” in the knee followed by immediate swelling and pain. Essentially, you’ll be aware that something is wrong the second it happens. Other symptoms include:
- Inability to bear weight on your knee
- Inability to continue activity
- Decreased range of motion
What are the Treatment Options?
As is the case with most injuries, the treatment recommended for you will depend on the severity of your tear and whether or not other parts of your knee were injured in conjunction with it. Here are the common options your doctor may recommend for you:
Pain Medications: Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to reduce swelling and ease your pain. We know that these drugs are habit-forming and have played a heavy role in the opioid epidemic we have in the country today.
Cortisone Shots: Another pain management option that you may be given is the option to receive a cortisone shot directly into your knee. Cortisone shots are pain blockers that will temporarily ease the pain and inflammation you’re experiencing in your knee. The keyword here is temporary, as soon as the injection wears off, you’ll still have a painful, torn ACL.
Knee Brace: A knee brace can help to provide stability and support to you when your ACL is damaged or torn. The relief you feel is limited to the time when you’re wearing your brace and should not be considered a long-term solution to your injury.
Physical Therapy: You may be advised to see a physical therapy a few times a week for several weeks or months to get your knee back to working order. Physical therapy will provide you with a series of exercises that help to build and strengthen the muscle around your knee, eventually restoring full range of motion. This is a long-term commitment that can get pricey if you don’t have insurance or have a high-deductible plan.
Surgery: If your ACL is torn badly or you’re an athlete, your doctor will likely recommend surgery as your only option to repair and heal it. During surgery, your surgeon will remove your damaged ACL and replace it with new tissue that will help a new ligament grow in its place. Surgery should be considered a last resort option because the recovery time for full healing is up to 12 months, and that includes regular physical therapy visits and a course of pain medications post-surgery.
Is Stem Cell for ACL Tears a Viable Option?
If you’ve torn your ACL and you’ve been told that surgery is your only option to get back on your feet, you’re likely feeling defeated and filled with dread about your prognosis. After all, who wants to willingly sign up for a surgery that’s going to put you out of commission for months?
The great news is there’s now another option for people who suffer from an ACL tear. One that’s allowing athletes to get back on the field quicker and regular people to resume their daily activities faster, without the pain and recovery time involved with surgery.
Stem cells for ACL tears is a new treatment option that people and athletes of all calibers are now turning to as an alternative to surgery. Stem cells, taken ethically from the tissue surrounding a healthy umbilical cord are a completely safe, natural, and effective way to heal damaged tissues and ligaments like the ACL.
Scientists can take the super-powerful stem cells that are found within the tissue of an umbilical cord, run them through rigorous testing, and then create a powerful, concentrated formula that can be injected directly into the knee.
Once the stem cells are injected, they immediately get to work healing the injured tendon using their regenerative power.
Stem Cell Therapy vs. Surgical Intervention
Although regenerative medicine is still in its infancy, athletes and people all over are celebrating the fact that stem cell therapy may very well eliminate the need for surgical intervention.
With a simple, in-office procedure, stem cells can be introduced to the injury where they will immediately begin naturally repairing your knee without the need for a long recovery period or harmful pain medications.
Of course, surgery will still be an option for the most serious cases, but it’s exciting to know that the advances we’ve made in regenerative medicine are changing the way we look at ACL tears and their treatment.
Why ACL Tear No Longer Automatically Means Surgery.
Reconstructive ACL, which is when you take the ligament from another part of your body and use it to replace the torn ACL used to be the automatic option, but with the advances in regenerative medicine, this is no longer the case.
Stem cell therapy regenerates ligaments, cartilage, soft tissue, muscles and more. Plus, stem cell therapy has a powerful anti-inflammatory component which means that is ideally designed to be the first line of defense if you have an ACL tear.
The degree or grade of the tear will play a part in making the determination as to which path to fix your torn ACL is best, but it just makes sense to try the natural, non-invasive, non-surgical, drug-free option -first – RIGHT?
We would value the opportunity to speak with you and your family about how stem cell therapy from BioLogics Health may be your best option for knee pains and in particular an ACL tear.
Get the facts. Get the truth. Get answers to your questions.
We look forward to speaking with you.