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Wisconsin River Orthopaedics

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy located in Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprains are common knee injuries, especially in athletes who play high-demand sports like football and basketball. Specializing in sports medicine and orthopaedic surgery, the team at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics provides expert and comprehensive care for ACL injuries. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, or click the online booking button today.


What is the ACL?

Ligaments are a type of connective tissue that attaches bone to bone. The ACL is one of four primary ligaments in your knee. It attaches your tibia to your femur.

It runs diagonally in the middle front part of your knee joint, forming an X with the posterior cruciate ligament found in the back of your knee. 

These ligaments allow you to move your knee back and forth and prevent the tibia from moving in front of your femur. 

What are the types of ACL injuries?

At Wisconsin River Orthopaedics, the team calls all ACL injuries a sprain. However, sprains are graded based on the severity of the stretch or tear in the ligament.

Grade 1 sprains

With a grade 1 ACL sprain, you have a slight stretch in the ligament and no instability in the knee joint.

Grade 2 sprains

A grade 2 ACL sprain means your ligament is loose. A grade 2 sprain also means you have a partial ligament tear.

Grade 3 sprains

With a grade 3 ACL sprain, you have a complete tear in the ligament. Your ligament is split in two and you have joint instability. 

How is an ACL injury diagnosed?

When you come in to see the experts at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics with complaints of knee pain and swelling, your provider conducts a comprehensive exam to determine the cause of your symptoms.

They ask detailed questions about your pain, including the cause and symptoms. Then, they examine the knee.

In most cases, the orthopaedic experts at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics diagnose ACL injuries after a physical exam of your knee. To confirm a diagnosis, the team conducts diagnostic imaging.

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics is a state-of-the-art orthopaedic practice with an on-site open MRI, allowing the team to get clear images of your knee and ACL. 

How is an ACL injury treated?

An ACL tear won’t heal on its own, but surgery isn’t always necessary. Treatment for your ACL injury depends on the severity of your sprain and your lifestyle.

Non-surgical treatment like bracing and physical therapy may be recommended if you have a grade 1 sprain and lead a fairly sedentary lifestyle. The team may also take a non-surgical approach for older adults, even if they have a more severe injury.

For grade 2 or 3 sprains, the team performs ACL surgery. The surgeons can’t stitch the torn pieces back together but must rebuild the ligament using a tissue graft. 

ACL injuries require expert care. Call Wisconsin River Orthopaedics or book an appointment online today.