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ACL Tear Specialist

Rapid City Orthopedics

Joseph L Humpherys, D.O.

Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine located in Rapid City, SD

An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear is a common sports injury requiring expert treatment to fully recover. Fellowship-trained sports medicine expert Joseph Humpherys, DO, at Rapid City Orthopedics in Rapid City, South Dakota, has helped many college athletes and NFL and MLB professionals return to their sport after an ACL tear. Dr. Humpherys uses advanced surgical techniques to reconstruct a torn ACL, restoring its function and relieving your pain. Call the office today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online to benefit from his expertise.

ACL Tear Q&A

What is an ACL tear?

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) goes across your knee joint. It’s one of the four ligaments that connect the bones in your knees and stabilize the joint. Movements like sudden stops and fast direction changes can sprain the ACL, stretching it beyond its limit. Severe strain on the ACL can tear it.

You might also tear the ACL if you land badly after jumping or overextend your knee when running. ACL tears are common sports injuries. In many cases, damage to the other ligaments or the meniscus (a wedge of cartilage in your knee) happens at the same time as an ACL tear.

What are the symptoms of an ACL tear?

If the ACL tears, you might hear a popping sound and experience sudden pain in your knee. You could also:

  • See swelling
  • Have loss of motion
  • Have difficulty walking
  • Experience knee-buckling
  • Feel tenderness in your knee

The swelling and pain might ease even without treatment. However, natural healing can leave the joint unstable, and you won’t trust it to function normally.

When you first injure the ACL, you should follow a first-aid measure called RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). This treatment includes resting the knee, using ice packs, wrapping the knee in a compression bandage, and raising the knee above the level of your heart. Doing this helps to reduce the pain and swelling.

How is an ACL tear treated?

Treating ACL injuries might be possible without the need for surgery. Dr. Humpherys begins by assessing the joint and looking at diagnostic images like a CT scan or MRI. These images allow him to see the damage in detail.

If the ligament is sprained or partially torn, you might recover with rest and physical therapy. To promote healing, Dr. Humpherys also uses advanced biologic treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) injections.

If you’ve suffered a more severe tear or need full knee function restored, you’ll require surgery.

What does ACL surgery involve?

When a ligament tears, you can’t stitch the ends together as you can with some tendon injuries. Dr. Humpherys needs to perform ACL reconstruction surgery to give you full use of the knee. ACL reconstruction involves using a graft — typically a section of tendon from your hamstring or another part of your body.

Dr. Humpherys has extensive experience and additional training in advanced ACL reconstruction techniques and recovery. He uses cutting-edge approaches, including ACL primary repair with TightRope® RT implants and InternalBrace™ ligament augmentation and All-Inside ACL reconstruction with Arthrex® GraftLink®.

If you suffer an ACL tear, you can be sure of expert treatment at Rapid City Orthopedics. Call their office today or book an appointment online.