We humans have a natural tendency to take our bodies (and their healthy functioning) for granted as we go about our daily lives. It’s only when we get sick or injured that we really appreciate the incredible complexity of our anatomy and physiology. Knees are no exception. Most of the time they’re working just fine, bending and absorbing shock like they’re supposed to. We’re barely even conscious of their presence — that is, until we hurt ourselves playing softball and have to go to see our local White Plains knee surgeon to get patched up. Here at the practice of Dr. Andrew Rokito MD, one of the most common knee injuries we see are torn ACLs. While you’ve probably heard of people getting ACL injuries and ACL surgery, you may not know exactly what this entails. If you have a moment, we’d like to give you a little more information.
Your “ACL” (short for “anterior cruciate ligament”) is one of four primary ligaments in your knee. Located behind the patella and posterior cruciate ligament, it has the extremely important job of connecting the tibia to the femur, preventing the former from sliding out in front of the latter as we walk, run and jump around. The ACL injuries we see here at the White Plains knee surgeon practice of Dr. Andrew Rokito MD are the result of a number of causes, including sideways impacts to the knee (as with a football tackle) and hyperextension. Unfortunately, the only way to repair a torn ACL is with surgery and — because ligaments take even longer to heal than bone — a long period of keeping the injured knee immobile. Performed under regional or general anesthesia, ACL repair surgery involves grafting tendon tissue from another nearby tendon to the damaged tendon. Thankfully, arthroscopic techniques mean risks and recovery times are reduced.
We here at the White Plains knee surgeon practice of Dr. Andrew Rokito MD would like to emphasize that if you believe you’ve sustained an injury to your ACL you need to be very careful and seek professional attention immediately. Even if the team “really needs you,” don’t try to get back out there on the field. Doing so puts you at risk not only of experiencing excruciating pain, but also of seriously exacerbating the damage done. In fact, you really shouldn’t even put weight on or bend your knee at all. If you can, splint your leg and have a friend or two help you hop to the hospital. Then, once you’ve gotten a real splint and a pair of crutches, give us a call.