ACL Tear and Other Knee Injuries | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries can happen to anyone at any time. Athletes get hurt on the court, and we all can slip, twisting our knee and causing a sprain or a more complicated injury.

Treatment for a knee injury may require repairing bones, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, muscles and joints. The fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopedists at Norton Orthopedic Institute specialize in rehabilitation strategies as well as arthroscopic surgery and other minimally invasive procedures that are used if necessary. Our aim is to help you return to the activities you enjoy most.

ACL Tear

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects your thighbone (femur) to your shinbone (tibia) and runs under your kneecap (patella). A sprain or tear is most common during activities involving sudden starts and stops or sudden changes in direction. It’s very common in activities such as basketball, football and soccer, but can affect nonathletes as well.

Pain on the Outside of the Knee

Lateral pain, or pain on the outside of the knee, can be sharp and defined, come and go, and change over time. It can be caused by several different reasons including:

  • Activities such as running or cycling long distances every week, or when you suddenly increase distance or frequency of running or cycling
  • Injury, especially one that pushes the knee outward from the opposite leg
  • The way you walk, as it may be putting strain on the outer knee
  • Arthritis, bursitis or tendinitis in the area

Pain on the Inside of the Knee

Medial pain, or pain on the inside of the knee, can be sharp and defined, come and go, and change over time. Inner knee pain is often the result of deteriorating cartilage in the joint, but there are other causes as well, including:

  • Activities such as running or cycling long distances every week, or when you suddenly increase distance or frequency of running or cycling
  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury — the MCL runs along the outside of the inner knee and can be strained or torn
  • The way you walk, as it may be putting strain on the inner knee
  • Arthritis, bursitis or tendinitis in the area

Nonsurgical Treatment for Knee Pain

Minor knee pain often can be treated at home. The first home remedy is the “RICE” method:

  • Rest the knee.
  • Ice the area three or four times a day for about 20 minutes at a time.
  • Compress the knee using an elastic compression bandage.
  • Elevate the knee with pillows or blankets to the same level or higher than your heart.

You also may take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen to reduce swelling and pain.

If symptoms worsen over the next few days, or if the above remedies don’t make you feel better, see your health care provider.

You may need an assistive device such as a brace or crutches. Or your provider may prescribe physical therapy to help strengthen and stabilize the knee.

Other nonsurgical treatments include injections such as corticosteroids.

If you do not respond to nonsurgical treatments, your doctor may recommend knee surgery to repair or replace the knee joint or surrounding tissue, ligaments or tendons.

Surgical options can include:

  • A tiny camera and tools can be inserted into your knee in a minimally invasive procedure. With the camera providing detailed visibility, your orthopedist can trim damaged cartilage, remove loose debris, irrigate the inside of the knee and even repair an ACL tear or other damage.
  • Joint damage can be treated by removing a small amount of bone from the top of the shinbone or the bottom of the thighbone. Bone is cut and reshaped to shift weight off the damaged side of the knee.
  • Partial knee replacement. The surgeon removes either the inside or outside of the knee joint and replaces it with artificial parts.
  • Total knee replacement. The surgeon will replace the ends of the femur (both inside and outside parts of the joint) and tibia with metal and plastic pieces. The surgeon may place a plastic button on the back of the kneecap to replace worn-out cartilage.

Care That’s Focused on You

  • Minimally invasive procedures can have you home quickly with less pain and faster recovery.
  • Sophisticated pain management aims to keep you comfortable and safe.
  • We have a deep commitment to getting you moving again and managing your pain so you can keep up with your physical therapy.
  • With 30 orthopedic locations in Louisville, Southern Indiana and surrounding communities, we have specialists near you.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more, anytime, from a computer or mobile device with a free MyNortonChart account.

About Norton Orthopedic Institute

Norton Orthopedic Institute has more orthopedic specialists caring for more patients than any other health care provider in Louisville, Kentucky, or in Southern Indiana.

  • We have more than 50 providers, including board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons at 30 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
  • We offer same-day appointments.
  • The Norton Orthopedic Institute hip and knee replacement program has been certified as a center of excellence by DNV GL Healthcare USA as meeting guidelines of the American College of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.
  • Our hip replacement specialists are pioneers in minimally invasive surgeries focused on minimizing pain and recovery time.
  • State-of-the-art minimally invasive surgical techniques improve precision for a more natural-feeling knee replacement to get you moving again.
  • Participate in online seminars from home to learn what to expect before, during and after a hip or knee replacement.
  • We have sports medicine specialists who understand the stresses on an athlete’s body and have the expertise to provide the right treatment for your injury.
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