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Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament
While a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is common in athletes, such as running backs, it can also happen to workers who perform manual labor and to those who experience a sudden slip and fall. The ACL is one of the four major ligaments of the knee and is critical to knee stability. The ACL prevents excessive motion of the knee joint. The ACL can be injured if the knee joint is bent backward, twisted, or bent side to side too far. The most common cause of ACL rupture is a traumatic force being applied to the knee in a twisting moment. Symptoms of an ACL tear include the feeling or noise of a “pop” in the knee at the time of injury, pain on the outside and back of the knee, swollen knee, limited movement of the knee, and a feeling that the knee is unstable, buckling or “giving out.”
Treatment for ACL tears can involve non-surgical and surgical treatment. Non-surgical treatment involves physical therapy to rehabilitate the knee to a condition close to the pre-tear state. However, many people who opt for this treatment may experience second injury to the knee due to further incidents of repetitive instability. Surgical treatment involves the replacement of the torn ACL with a substitute graft made of tendon, usually from another part of your body, such as the quadriceps or hamstring tendons. The goal of surgery is to prevent instability and restore the function of the torn ligament, thereby creating a stable knee. Surgery will often allow the patient to return to their normal activities.
Each of your knees has two menisci, the medial and lateral menisci, which are two large C-shaped cartilages that sit on the top of the tibia and act like a cushion between the shinbone (fibula) and thighbone (femur). A meniscus tear can occur when there is forceful twisting or hyper-flexing of the knee joint. Symptoms of a torn meniscus include pain, swelling, stiffness and a feeling like the knee will “give way” and collapse. Non-surgical treatment includes rest, ice, medication and physical therapy. More serious tears will require surgery. A meniscectomy is a procedure to remove the torn portion of the meniscus and is more commonly performed than a meniscus repair. A meniscus repair involves surgery to repair the meniscus, but the healing process is much longer and is not always possible. Some tears can be fixed through arthroscopic surgery. Arthroscopic surgery uses a tiny camera called an arthroscope to examine or repair the tissues inside or around your knee. The arthroscope is inserted through a small incision in your skin near the knee.
Fractures to the leg can be the result of workplace responsibilities such as heavy lifting. Fractures can also occur as the result of a fall or crush injury. There are many types of fractures, but the main types are displaced, non-displaced, open, and closed fractures. Displaced and non-displaced fractures refer to the way the bone breaks. In a displaced fracture, the bone snaps into two or more parts and moves so that the bone is no longer aligned properly. In a non-displaced fracture, the bone cracks either part or all of the way through, but does move and remains aligned.
A closed fracture is when the bone breaks but there is no puncture or open wound in the skin. An open fracture is one in which the bone breaks through the skin. This is an important difference from a closed fracture because with an open fracture there is a risk of a deep bone infection.
Contact John F. Renner when you or a loved one need a New Jersey personal injury lawyer.
Additional Leg, Knee and Foot Injury Resources> Knee Injury Flow Chart
> Foot Injury Flow Chart
> American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons - Leg Information
> American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons - Foot Information
> WebMD - Knee Problems and Injury Information
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