You may have noticed that I have used the terms “ACL rupture” and “ACL injury” interchangeably. That is because the vast majority of the time, ACL’s either rupture or don’t. In rare cases, the ACL is truly torn partially. When treating an ACL injury, whether partially or completely torn, it's important to understand that the medical community believes the ACL has essentially no self-healing capacity. It is believed that this is the case because the ligament is bathed in synovial fluid surrounding the joint and does not have access to a rich blood supply necessary for healing. With this in mind, we can begin to rationalize treatment.
The dreaded ACL tear. We have seen it sideline our favorite athletes countless times. Tom Brady, Derrick Rose, Megan Rapinoe, and Conor McGregor; all prolific athletes in their respective arena who have suffered the same injury. Its prevalence in professional sports is well documented, yet the average viewer has little understanding as to what the ACL is, why it is important, and how it is treated when injured. After reading this article, you will be able to answer these questions and impress your friends with this newfound knowledge the next time an ACL injury plagues your fantasy team.
As a surgeon who sees between 50-100 shoulder patients a week, I see lots and lots of rotator cuff tears. Interestingly, most patients have no injury at all. They simply wake up with shoulder pain that doesn't get better. In these cases we assume the tear is degenerative in nature. That is to say, the tissue of the rotator cuff (a tendon) becomes less healthy with aging and gradual wear and tear. Eventually the tendon tears completely and pain and weakness are the result.