The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is the main support structure of the knee joint. The ACL is the most common injured ligament in the knee. Injuries to the ACL are typically caused my traumatic events such as collisions in athletics, accidents or severe falls. Patients with ACL injuries often complain of a “pop” sound from inside the joint, immediate, intense pain and a feeling of the knee giving out. Due to strength, size and hormonal factors, females are at increased risk for ACL injuries.
Most patients are able to walk on their injured knee. However, with an acute injury, the knee will likely become swollen and stiff. Symptoms of degenerative tears include chronic pain, stiffness and intermittent swelling. Many meniscus tears cause mechanical symptoms, or catching and locking of the knee.
These injuries can occur due to a traumatic incident or chronic and degenerative activity. Dr. Hecht is a leading knee specialist in Northwest Indiana and a University of Chicago Hospitals trained orthopedic surgeon who brings a compassionate and caring approach to every condition and injury assessment. During your assessment he will perform a thorough evaluation and examination to determine the extent of your injuries, including a complete review of your medical history.
To assist in the diagnostic process, Dr. Hecht may also utilized onsite diagnostic tools such as an MRI, X-ray or CT scan to confirm the extent of your condition.
Dr. Hecht may recommend an arthroscopic technique which is commonly used to repair or replace torn ligaments of the knee. Arthroscopic knee surgery incorporates the use of small poke-hole incisions (portals) around the joint, and the use of a specialized camera (arthroscope) among other specified arthroscopic surgical instruments. The goal of arthroscopic surgery is to repair and restore the joint to optimal strength, while maintaining range of motion. Due to the minimally invasive nature of the arthroscopic technique, damage to surrounding muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and blood vessels is significantly reduced. Ligament surgery involves the removal of damaged ligament fragments and replacement of the ligament with either the patient’s own soft tissue or tissue from a cadaver; known as an autograft or an allograft respectively. Ligament surgery may either be performed as an outpatient, or inpatient procedure with an overnight hospital stay.