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ACL Tear Specialist

Michael P. Leathers, MD -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Michael P. Leathers, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon located in Midtown, Sacramento, CA

That loud pop you heard when you injured your knee could indicate a torn ACL. Michael P. Leathers, MD is a skilled orthopedic surgeon in Midtown Sacramento, California, providing treatment for a wide range of sports injuries including ACL tears. If you’ve suffered a knee injury, call Michael P. Leathers, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.

ACL Tear Q & A

What is an ACL tear?

An ACL tear is a damage to one of the ligaments that stabilize your knee joint.

Your knee is made up of three bones that are held together by strong ligaments that control movement. The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, controls the forward and backward motion of your knee and keeps your femur and tibia in place.

When you injure your ACL, they’re typically complete or near-complete tears. Many ACL tears also occur with other damage to surrounding ligaments, cartilage, or meniscus.

What causes an ACL tear?

ACL tears are one of the most common knee injuries and typically occur while playing sports. Actions that can lead to ACL tears include:

  • Stopping suddenly
  • Overextending the knee joint
  • Landing wrong after jumping
  • Pivoting while your foot is firmly in place
  • Changing direction quickly while moving
  • Experiencing trauma to the side of the knee

This type of knee injury is especially prevalent in football, soccer, basketball, and skiing.

How is an ACL tear diagnosed?

If you’ve torn your ACL, you can experience a variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Swelling
  • Severe pain
  • Loss of motion
  • Discomfort while walking
  • Feeling instability in the knee

You may also hear a pop or have a popping sensation at the time of your injury.

How is an ACL tear treated?

Dr. Leathers makes treatment recommendations for ACL tears based on your lifestyle and the extent of your injury.

If you’re older or less active, Dr. Leathers might suggest nonsurgical treatments, such as braces to increase stability or crutches to keep weight off your knee. He might also recommend physical therapy to increase muscular support of your knee and restore its function.

For a full recovery, ACL tears typically require surgery.

What can I expect during ACL surgery?

ACL surgeries usually require ligament reconstruction. During your procedure, Dr. Leathers uses a tissue graft to repair your torn ligament. Tissue grafts can come from other areas of your body, such as your hamstring, or from cadaver tissue.

After your ACL tear surgery, Dr. Leathers creates a rehabilitation and physical therapy strategy to restore your knee’s function, strength, and range of motion so you can return to the activities you love as quickly as possible.

To treat ACL tears and other knee injuries, call Michael P. Leathers, MD or schedule an appointment online today.