What happens when you tear your ACL? – And how quickly can it be fixed? – Renowned sports medicine expert Dr. Keith Feder knows the answer.

Associated Press photo from Wikipedia

It happened so fast. Within seconds and right before the end zone, Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz got crushed by two defenders. Wentz suffered a season ending injury, tearing his left ACL. “This is a devastating injury to any athlete”, says the Director of Sports Medicine at the West Coast Center of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine in Manhattan Beach, Dr. Keith Feder.

“Not only might this injury diminish the Eagles’ chances of making it to the Super Bowl, this injury will also require major surgery and reconstruction for the young man”, says Feder. Wentz was a valid candidate for MVP this year. Before his injury, he threw a league-leading and franchise-record 33 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.

Wentz’ injury brought new attention to the ACL. Dr. Keith Feder and his medical staff are experts in dealing with these kind of serious sports injuries. Feder has more than 20 years of experience with elite athlete injuries. He has performed many single ACL reconstruction as well as many multiple ligament knee reconstructions that has allowed return to elite division 1 and professional athletics.

If you suffer from such an injury or feel you need to get your knee checked out, the West  Coast Center of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine in Manhattan Beach is the clinic to visit. It’s easy to schedule an appointment. Just call (866) 591-4844. Here are some answers to questions not only Football fans are asking themselves these days.

What is the ACL?

The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the major ligaments in your knee. Ligaments are the bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones, cartilage or joints. Says Dr. Feder,  “The ACL is one of two ligaments that cross in the middle of the knee and help stabilize the knee joint. It connects the thigh to the lower leg.” It is most commonly injured during sudden stops or changes in direction. The ligament is crucial for starting, stopping, changing direction and landing.



How do you know you injured your ACL?

When the injury occurs, people often hear a “pop” and feel their knee give out. The severity of an injury to the ACL varies from small to complete tears in the ligament to a separation of the ligament from the bone. The most common injury is a complete tear in the middle. Most often, it’s an all or nothing injury. While ligaments in other parts of the body can heal, this one can’t because fluid in the knee impedes healing. There is an estimated 100,000 ACL tears a year in the United States. Female athletes are about five times more likely to get them than men.

What happens in ACL surgery?

For many people, a surgeon likely would replace the torn ligament with a piece of the patient’s patella tendon, quadriceps tendon, or hamstring tendon tissue from a cadaver.

Elite athletes are on a different protocol. In their case, surgeons utilize the patella tendon and remove a two-inch-long piece of a tendon that runs under the kneecap along with bone on either end and screw it into place. The tendon is a little wider than an inch. The surgeon makes a strip for the new ligament out of the middle third. Over the next few months, the tendon regenerates itself and the cellular structure of the reconstructed strip changes from tendon to ligament.

Why does it take so long to recover?

It takes time to rebuild strength in leg muscles and for the tendon and new ligament to heal and generate a new blood supply. To restore strength and to restore muscle coordination as well as what’s called proprioception which is kind of knowing where your joint is in space.

Why call the West Coast Center for Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine?

Dr. Feder and his team here at the West Coast Center for Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine are experts in the diagnosis and treatments of ligament injuries. When surgery is required, we are among the best in the world and have successfully performed thousands of these surgeries. We will also always look for minimal to non-invasive treatments and solutions.

We are experts in aiding the post-operative healing process with the help of cutting-edge medicine such as stem cell therapy and PRP therapy. Please call us today for a personal consultation 866-591-4844.

CategoryACL, Sports
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