What Tests are Done to Determine if I have an ACL Tear or a Meniscal Tear
Ligaments are components that stabilize the thighbone, which are situated just above the shinbone. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of four significant ligaments that are needed to maintain knee stability. If an ACL tear occurs, the sufferer will often experience unsteadiness in his knee area. In addition, he will feel as if his knee is ready to pop out of place. Often, patients who sustain this type of tear will choose to have surgery in order to treat it. As with any type of injury, it is best to first determine if surgery is necessary or if other treatments are a better alternative.
Tests Done to Determine Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear
If a person experiences all the symptoms of an ACL tear, it is best to visit a specialist as soon as possible to determine if it is indeed a tear. Typically, the medical practitioner will evaluate the knee through clinical tests, such as an MRI and X-Rays. An MRI is important because it will show if a patient has any injury associated with the meniscus, articular cartilage or other local ligaments.
To validate if the patient’s Anterior Cruciate Ligament is unharmed, the doctor will carry out the Lachman’s test and other tests may also be done, such as the Pivot Shift Test. Increased forward movement is normally felt in relation to a patient’s femur and tibia, which is a soft, mushy feeling. This is a result of an ACL tear.
Degree of ACL Injury
Grade One – This degree of injury does not involve a tear, but simply a minor stretched ACL. Swelling and tenderness in the knee area are common. However, patients are essentially able to continue their daily activities.
Grade Two – It represents a partly torn ACL, normally one out of the two bundles. Soreness and inflammation will be present in the knee area and this degree of injury is deemed as more severe. Walking will be a challenge and surgery is typically recommended.
Grade Three – This is a completely torn ACL. It causes inflammation, relentless pain, and swelling. Walking will be impossible.