Treatment of Knee Injuries

My name’s Michael Carlson. I’m a board certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports injuries. I have a sub certification in sports. Some of the common knee injuries,ligament injuries that I see are ACL injuries, MCL injuries,which is the medial collateral ligament, PCL injuries, which are posterior cruciate ligament,and then a lateral collateral ligament,referred to as an LCL injury.

Signs and symptoms of an ACL injury most commonly are swelling. About 70% of the time, they’ll experience swelling. Most people will experience a pop in the knee. Others will have difficulty bending the knee or putting pressure on the knee as well. So ACL injuries can be treated most commonly surgically.

On occasion, there’ll be times when an ACL injury is treated without surgery and that may be those that are older in age that are not involved in athletics or maybe even those that are two young to have their ACL reconstructed,that are waiting for their bones to develop sufficiently, that they can have an ACL reconstruction. The surgery itself is the most likely outcome when someone tears their ACL and that is to reconstruct the ACL because the ACL cannot be just be fixed or sutured together.

It needs to be reconstructed and we need to put a new ligament in place of the old one. So, the recovery time after you’ve sustained an ACL injury and had surgery is about six to seven months. In that time, you’re doing a lot of rehabilitation on the knee. Initially working on motion and then subsequently on strengthening the knee up. The knee needs to be back to near close to its original strength prior to going back to activity or sports.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

A rotator cuff tear essentially is where the tendon detaches from the bone on the shoulder. When that happens, the muscle which is attached to that tendon then starts to retract and is unable to contract or raise the arm up above about shoulder heighth.

A lot of people will find that they have difficulty raising their arm up in the air or even just weakness with, you know, grasping a gallon of milk out of the fridge. Those tears that are large tears, those tears which have, which are causing weakness in the arm or shoulder, those are tears that are more likely to require surgery rather than a very small tear which doesn’t cause a lot of symptoms.

I think it’s important to know for patients that do have rotator cuff tears that these are very common. You know, the surgeries can be can be very successful when done properly. If someone does tear their rotator cuff and does have it fixed, one of the ways to fix that is orthoscopically. I perform that procedure most commonly.

It’s very rare nowadays to have an open rotator cuff repair. So when you do have that done, after surgery, essentially you’ll be in a sling for about four to six weeks. But, subsequently, those next few months afterwards,you’ll be working on motion of the shoulder as well as strengthening. And it’s really just gentle strengthening at first,but the overall recovery time for rotator cuff tear may be anywhere from four to six months.