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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Bones, Joints, and Muscles

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

Alternate Names : ACL Injury

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the injury?

The initial treatment is rest, ice, compression, and elevation. A knee immobilizer may be used for a short time. Medications used to treat the knee pain and swelling include:

  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen
  • COX-2 inhibitors, such as rofecoxib or celecoxib
  • If the knee is very swollen, fluid can be drawn from the joint to help relieve the pain and prevent further damage.

    Physical therapy is very helpful in restoring the range of motion of the knee joint. It can also help the person regain strength in the thigh muscles. Initially, the person is advised to avoid weight-bearing activity. As the knee heals, the healthcare provider may recommend crutches and eventually a cane.

    After physical therapy, some people decide to stop activities that might cause reinjury. Others continue modified activities with the support of an ACL knee brace. Still others undergo surgery for reconstruction of the torn ligament.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Medications used to treat inflammation may cause stomach upset or allergic reactions. Surgery may cause bleeding, infection, or allergic reaction to anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the injury?

    Surgery is usually successful, but sometimes the knee continues to be unstable, with pain, swelling, or stiffness. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: John A.K. Davies, MD
    Reviewer: Warren Katz, MD
    Date Reviewed: 06/01/01

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