Knee sport injury and ACL tear

Knee sport injury and ACL tear

By Dr Tony Setiobudi BMedSci, MBBS, MRCS, MMed (Ortho), FRCS (Ortho)

ACL injury Sports injury

“John injured the left knee while playing soccer last month. He heard a “pop” sound when he kicked, followed by severe knee pain and swelling. He was not able to continue soccer. He could not even walk properly. The pain and swelling gradually subsided but his knee gives way when walking.”

Knee injury is very common during sporting activities. Most of injury is mild and does not cause any significant disability. Sometimes, the injury can be significant like in the case above causing knee pain, swelling and instability. The knee pain and swelling usually subsides with time. If the knee gives way, there is high probability that the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is torn.

ACL is an important ligament that stabilises the knee. When ACL is not functioning after an injury, the knee becomes unstable. The person is not able to do pivoting movement. High level athletes cannot perform optimally without functioning ACL.

ACL reconstruction surgery is performed to replace the torn ACL. This operation is done with keyhole method. The acl reconstruction operation can be done as a day surgery procedure or the patient can stay one night in the hospital after the operation for observation. Post-operatively, the patient needs to do intensive physiotherapy to have the best result.

Dr Tony Setiobudi is an Orthopaedic & Spine Surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Orchard), Singapore. He treats bone, joint, muscle and ligament problems in adults and children. He has a special interest in nerve compression and spine problems such as back & neck pain, scoliosis, kyphosis, spine tumor & infection, spinal cord injury, osteoporosis fracture, spinal stenosis and slipped disc.

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