Care for ACL Injuries in Central GA

What is an ACL Injury?

One of the four main ligaments in the knee joint, the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) helps maintain the knee’s rotational stability. This ligament serves an important role in the function of the knee, but it is easily torn if the knee is bent or twisted past its normal limit. ACL injuries, which usually include sprains or tears, are some of the most common knee injuries, especially for athletes. Sports that involve sudden stops or changes in direction, like soccer, basketball, and football, put athletes at a higher risk for ACL injuries. An ACL injury can cause significant pain and can occur along with other injuries to the knee, making it extremely important that you seek medical care as soon as possible. At OrthoGeorgia, our total joint and sports medicine specialists work with athletes at all levels who are facing ACL injuries, helping them get back on the field quickly and safely. No matter what type of knee injury you have sustained, we are here to help you. Keep reading to learn more about ACL injuries and ACL tears, and contact the OrthoGeorgia location nearest you for comprehensive sports medicine care today.

How Do I Know if I Have Torn my ACL?

Patients who have torn their ACL often report hearing and feeling a loud popping sensation in the knee at the time of the injury. The knee might also become unstable and quickly begin to swell. Obvious knee swelling will occur within six hours of the injury. Other symptoms of an ACL tear include pain (especially when putting weight on the knee), weakness in the knee, and loss of range of motion. ACL injuries can range from a minor sprain to a complete tear. If the injury is less severe, symptoms may be mild. Patients with mild ACL injuries tend to notice that the knee feels unstable and “gives way” when they try to use it. If you suspect that you may have injured your ACL, you should stop participating in sports or other activities until you have been assessed and treated. Ignoring the pain and swelling associated with an ACL injury can lead to further damage in the knee, especially to the meniscus. Our specialists at OrthoGeorgia are proud to help athletes not only heal from sports injuries, but also learn how to prevent them moving forward. We create personalized treatment plans for each patient that take their individual needs, goals, and injuries into account.

How is an ACL Injury Diagnosed?

When you come to OrthoGeorgia with a suspected ACL injury, your doctor will first perform a physical examination of the knee. They will check the structures of the knee and compare them to the non-injured knee while also asking you about your symptoms, medical history, and what led to the injury. In most cases, ACL injuries can be diagnosed with just a physical exam. However, your doctor might order imaging tests to rule out other causes of injury and to assess the severity of the sprain or tear. X-rays can be used to check for fractures. Digital X-ray services are available at all OrthoGeorgia locations. Additionally, your doctor may recommend an MRI scan of the knee, which can be used to evaluate the knee’s cartilage and meniscus tissue, ultimately guiding your treatment plan. MRI results can also show the extent of the ACL injury and signs of damage elsewhere in the knee. Patients can schedule an MRI scan at our offices in Macon and Warner Robins, GA.

How are ACL Injuries Treated in Central GA?

Treatment for an ACL injury depends on the severity of the tear and the individual patient’s needs. For example, a young athlete looking to get right back on the field might require surgery, while a less active individual may be able to manage with conservative treatment methods. No matter what your treatment plan entails, we will ensure that your questions are answered every step of the way.

Nonsurgical ACL Injury Treatment

There are two main conservative treatment methods for an ACL injury – rest and medication. The RICE method – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation – should be followed at home after the injury has occurred. This treatment process is helpful for a wide variety of sports injuries. From there, your doctor may recommend that you use support devices such as a leg brace or crutches as you heal. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are crucial for supporting your knee post-injury and helping prevent future injury. Patients in Central GA can work with our physical therapists in Macon, Warner Robins, and Kathleen. The members of our team provide the highest quality of care for all types of orthopaedic injuries, working closely with our orthopaedic surgeons to ensure a true team approach and continuity of care. As your knee heals, your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter pain medications to reduce pain and swelling.

ACL Tear Surgery in Central GA

Surgery is not necessary for all ACL injuries, but it may be recommended for active athletes or those who have injured more than just their ACL. The choice to have surgery for an ACL tear is based on the patient’s lifestyle, and is often needed for those who wish to continue their sport. Surgery should be performed within six months of the injury. A torn ACL is usually repaired via ACL reconstruction surgery, which utilizes a substitute graft made of tendon from another part of the body. ACL reconstruction can be performed arthroscopically – using smaller incisions and tiny tools to repair the damage to the ACL. Arthroscopic surgery is less invasive and allows for a faster recovery time. Physical therapy and rehabilitation will continue after surgery. The combination of these efforts can normally restore stability and function to the knee and allow the athlete to return to play. It can take up to a year or longer for a safe return to sports. Your care team at OrthoGeorgia will give you updates on your knee’s stability, strength, and functioning throughout your recovery. Waiting until you are fully healed to return to physical activities is crucial in preventing future injury to the knee.

Other Knee Conditions We Treat at OrthoGeorgia

Whether you have injured your ACL or broken a bone in your knee, our total joint and sports medicine specialists in Central GA are here for you. We work with patients each day to provide an accurate diagnosis and create personalized treatment plans. Our surgeons have years of experience addressing all manner of orthopaedic issues at our offices throughout the state. Orthopaedic knee conditions and injuries we regularly treat include:

Total Joint Replacement Specialists at OrthoGeorgia

Dr. Jonathan Harris headshot
Jonathan S. Harris, MD
Jorgenson 500px
Dennis K. Jorgensen, MD
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Todd E. Kinnebrew, MD
Dr. Gregory Lee headshot
Gregory P. Lee, MD
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Brian J. Ludwig, MD
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Wood D. Pope, MD
Dr. Joseph Slappey headshot
Joseph E. Slappey Jr., MD
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Timothy R. Stapleton, MD
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Richard J. Thomas, MD
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Robert M. Thornsberry, MD
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Matthew J. Toth, MD
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Zaneb Yaseen, MD

Total Joint Care Locations

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Macon Urgent Care

3708 Northside Drive, Building A, Macon, GA 31210

Call (478) 745-4206

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Spine Center

3708 Northside Drive, Building B, Macon, GA 31210

Call (478) 745-4206

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Warner Robins Urgent Care

301 Margie Drive, Warner Robins, GA 31088

Call (478) 971-1153

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Kathleen Orthopaedic Center

2510 GA-127, Kathleen, GA 31047

Call (478) 971-1153

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OrthoGeorgia Milledgeville office

2803 North Columbia Street, Suite D, Milledgeville, GA 31061

Call (478) 414-5820

Location Icon HeroHawkinsville


222 Perry Hwy, Bldg B, Hawkinsville, GA 31036, USA

Call (478) 971-1153

Awards and Affiliations

Viewers Choice 2020
The Telegraph Best of 2021
Greater Macon Business of Year
Go Beyond Proffit Member
Top 100
AAAHC Accreditation
ACR Radiology Computed
ACR Radiology Magnetic
ACR Radiology Magnetic
TheOrthoForum Member
Greater Macon Business of Year