Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL Injury)


When you suffer from an Achilles tendon injury, such as tendinitis, an Achilles tendon rupture, Haglund's Syndrome or retrocalcaneal bursitis, your knees may experience unbalanced loads as you favour your sore ankle. This can cause excess strain on one of your knees, over working your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and causing it to experience tears.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the key ligament which bonds together the upper and lower parts of the leg at the knee, stabilizing the knee and limiting the rotation and forward/backward motions.

Anterior

In the United States, it is estimated that ACL injuries happen to 1 in every 3000 people and usually occur when the foot is planted firmly and the knee pivots, twists or overextends suddenly. ACL injuries account for more than two-thirds of all knee injuries in skiers and are fairly common in other sports such as volleyball, basketball, and racket sports.

A ruptured ACL is typically diagnosed by a doctor - an MRI exam is advisable, as this can also identify whether the meniscus (cartilage in the knee that provides cushioning) is damaged as well. Some ACL tears caused by a blow to the knee are accompanied by meniscus and MCL tears. When this occurs, it is referred to as the "unhappy triad". If your meniscus is damaged, you should definitely avoid exercises that could aggravate this condition.

To prevent ACL injury it is important to have strong quadriceps and hamstrings muscles. Women experience ACL tears 7-8 times more frequently than men due to hormonal and anatomical differences. Women tend to have stronger quadricep muscles at the front of the thigh compared to their hamstrings at the back of the thigh. This creates an imbalance that can increase the stress on the ACL when landing a jump.

Once the ACL has been damaged, an individual's risk of developing knee osteoarthritis (degeneration of the joint cartilage) later in life is 9 times higher.

If the anterior cruciate ligament is torn, surgery may be recommended by your doctor, however, there are occasions when surgery is not necessary, or not worth the potential for further damage. This is because the ACL is not always crucial for people that do not exercise heavily. As with all recommendations for surgery, it is usually advised to get a second opinion.


ACL Injury Symptoms

Anterior

Minor ACL tears may go unnoticed at first but will appear a few hours later with pain and swelling. Even with a slight tear, your knee may feel unstable and may 'give way' with sudden movements.

More serious ACL tears or ruptures are accompanied by severe pain and often a popping sound. Swelling in the knee usually gets worse for several hours following an ACL tear, with the most rapid swelling occuring within the first 4 hours. The knee may feel as though something has snapped and walking or bending the knee is usually impossible.


ACL Injury Diagnosis

To diagnose an ACL tear, the doctor will move the knee in several positions and examine the knee strength and stability. Common exams used to diagnose an ACL injury include:

    The doctor will palpate and observe your knee and assess the range of motion in your joint to make a diagnosis of your injured anterior cruciate ligament.
  • Palpation and observation is often the first step in diagnosing. The joint will be examined for swelling, bruising and deformities. Next the doctor pressing lightly on the knee to check for the degree of tenderness, swelling and warmth. Some tenderness usually indicates a mild, or grade 1, ligament sprain and acute pain indicates a more serious injury such as a tear.
  • The doctor will also assess the range of motion at the knee. You will be asked to bend and straighten your knee and then the doctor will bend it for you to check for limitations due to pain and swelling.
  • An arthroscopy may also be used to allow the doctor an internal look at the ligament. A tiny camera is inserted into the knee and the doctor can use a small surgical instrument to gently tug at the ACL to determine the extent of the damage. An arthroscopy can be performed on an outpatient basis.
  • After a physical exam has been completed, an x-ray may be required to rule out the possibility of a bone fracture.
  • A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may also be done to determine the extent of the ACL injury and to discover whether the menisci or any other ligaments have been damaged.

If ACL reconstructive surgery is necessary, remember that proper post-surgery rehabilitation is very important, perhaps even more important than the surgery itself. Activities should set out to promote healing, increase flexibility in the knee and strengthen surrounding muscles. Your physical therapist will probably set up a "passive range of motion" program, and put you in a hinged knee brace for a month or two to prevent hyperextension or hyperflexion in the knee. An important point for ACL patients to remember after surgery is that every effort must be made to increase range of motion and flexibility at the knee.


Conservative Treatment Options for ACL Injuries

Treatment differs from case to case depending on the degree of instability in the knee and the patient's activity level. Treating an ACL injury with rest, a Cold Compress or Ice Pack and Circulation Boost will help reduce inflammation and improve the function of the knee so you can return to your normal activities. Once the ACL has improved and activities can be resumed, you will first want to build muscle strength around the knee under the guidance of a physical therapist (PT).

Using these therapies after surgery will also control pain and swelling, reduce tissue damage, and maximize the body's healing rate (via an increase in blood circulation with the T•Shellz Wrap®). The elongation and increased elasticity of soft tissue after a T•Shellz Wrap® treatment will help reduce risk of reinjury during stretching, and overall, help advance your recovery process. You will have a healthier knee with a greater range of motion than if your recontructed ACL was left untreated.


Step 1 - Reduce Pain and Swelling with Cold Compression

Using cold compression immediately following an ACL tear reduces pain and swelling and reduces the tissue damage that occurs with soft tissue injuries like ligament tears. A Cold Compress or Ice Pack allows you to treat yourself in an effective and convenient way following an ACL tear, if re-injury occurs (which is common due to the instability of the knee), or following surgery if it is required.

The combination of rest, topical pain relief cream and cold is the gold standard in medicine for minimizing tissue damage, reducing heel pain and reducing inflammation after injury or activity. It serves as a critical bridge into the next phase of the healing process.


Step 2 - Enhance Circulation, Soften Scar Tissue & Reduce Risk of Re-Injury with a T•Shellz Wrap®

After the inflammation in your knee has been reduced, moving the tendon and applying a local circulatory stimulation device like the Knee T•Shellz Wrap® is really what is needed for completing the recovery cycle. This is critical because tendons are known to receive very little natural blood flow and blood flow is really how your body is able to heal itself. When the tendon tissue is damaged, the already-reduced blood flow is decreased down to a trickle which is why movement is encouraged - it helps get blood flow to where it is needed.

Blood flow (healthy circulation) is an important part of natural tissue healing. Injured tendons take the nutrients available in local blood flow to get rid of any damaged tissue and start growing healthy tissue.

Knee TShellz Wrap Jumper's Knee patella tendonitis

Increased Blood Circulation = Increased Healing Capability


T•Shellz Wraps® contain a unique Carbon Fiber Energy Pad which is flexible and will shape to conform to your body. This Energy Pad emits a uniform wave of perfectly safe energy over its entire surface. This energy is absorbed by soft tissue in the treatment area, opening blood vessels, resulting in an increase in blood flow. Increased blood circulation is what your body needs to maximize its cabability of healing soft tissue and this is why we recommend the T•Shellz Wrap®.

The Knee T•Shellz Wrap® is an FDA Registered Medical Device and is suitable for use in therapeutic clinics and FROM HOME. It is completely safe for people and patients to use for themselves.

The technology found in a T•Shellz Wrap® has been used for decades in the worlds of professional and amateur sports - a contributing factor as to why athletes seem to recover from injuries so quickly.

Have you ever wondered by an athlete can return to activity after 4 or 5 weeks following a knee injury - while your average person takes much longer to return back to normal? The secret isn't really that much of a secret - it involves consistent treatments (meaning multiple times a day) using a treatment like the T•Shellz Wrap® to stimulate blood flow to the injured tissues. Most athletes have the luxury of using in-house facilities many times per day.

How many us can afford the time and money to visit a clinic multiple times a day? Very few indeed. This is how you can gain some of the advantages that athletes enjoy in their injury recovery - by using a device like the Knee T•Shellz Wrap® two or three times a day on a consistent basis.


T•Shellz Wrap side of knee coverage

Consistent Treatments = Consistent And Long Term Improvement


What Else Makes the Knee T•Shellz Wrap® So Special?

We believe the T•Shellz Wrap® to be one of the most effective home treatments to increase localized blood flow in and around the treatment area.

We can promise that you will receive a product that is designed to be safe and does what it is supposed to do... reduce pain (as stated in "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin) temporarily increase length & flexibility of soft tissue (as stated in "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin) and aid your body in recovering from tendon, muscle and other soft tissue injuries via enhanced blood flow.

The unit plugs into a standard wall outlet to get its power. The nice thing about the power supply is that the same unit can be used in North America and overseas as well. It has the capability to operate between 110v and 230v.

The T•Shellz Wrap® has a special signal controller that can be set for 3 different power levels of application (3=High, 2=Medium, 1=Low). The cord is long enough that you can sit or lie comfortably and watch TV, read or surf the net while you're using it.

We recommend 5 to 10 minute treatments to start; the safety shutoff controller is set to max 30 minutes in duration. The device can be worn over clothing and allows you to use the device at work, at home, or really anywhere you have access to an electrical outlet.

common areas for knee bursitis

Surgery and Recovery

If an injured ligament does not strengthen appropriately or you continue to experience the knee giving way, arthroscopic surgery and ligament reconstruction may be necessary.

If ACL reconstructive surgery is necessary, remember that proper post-surgery rehabilitation is very important, perhaps even more important than the surgery itself.

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear arthroscopic surgery

An important point for ACL patients to remember is that after surgery, every effort must be made to increase range of motion and flexibility at the knee. Weakness in the knee can usually be eliminated by extra strengthening exercises, but increased stiffness can sometimes be permanent if not scar tissue is not treated.

Not only will the TShellz Wraps help boost the flow of blood in your knee, but heat from the device will improve range of motion in the joint by increasing flexibility and elongating tissue in the treatment area. Ask your physician about the Knee TShellz Wrap to see if it is recommended for your reconstructed ACL. As with all medical devices, make sure your physician approves of any treatment plan you decide to take.


Conservative Treatment Step 3: Recognize That Healing is a Process

With dedication, the right tools, and the right information - you will achieve your goal of a sustainable recovery. A combination approach of cold, heat treatments, and functional movements will make it happen much more quickly. Healing takes a comprehensive approach and will differ from person to person.

Have you seen what happens when you add water to a flower wilted from drought? In essence, your injured knee is much like a "wilted" flower; your body wants to heal its injury, but needs lots of nutrients to do it. Blood brings life to your tissue by delivering healing nutrients and oxygen that are vital for their growth and survival. In addition, the blood carries away toxins and waste cleaning the area and healing it faster. Without a good supply of blood, your knee simply won't heal as quickly, opening it up to greater risk of re-injury and/or tendonosis.

Pain and Anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs - Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can be used if required to help manage your pain. However, these aren't recommended for long term use, as they can cause gastrointestinal difficulties and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The use of cold packs and Circulatory Boost in conjunction with NSAIDs can greatly improve the effect of this medication and can help to heal quicker.

Conservative Treatment Tools Our Clients Have Used to Help
Limit Damage & Boost The Body's Soft Tissue Repair Process to the Knee at Home:

  • A Cold Compress or Ice Pack to reduce inflammation wherever there is pain and/or swelling (as soon as possible).
  • A Knee TShellz Wrap to increase blood-flow to the treatment area (Circulatory Boost).
  • MendMeShop Arnica Pain Cream for temporary relief of pain due to sore muscles and joints.
  • An Exercise & Stretching Plan to prevent muscle atrophy and shortened tendons in the Knee joint. A proper plan will increase elasticity and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the hip, knee, and ankle.

Conservative treatment tools just like these have been used successfully by thousands of knee injury sufferers - just like you.

T•Shellz Wrap® = Enhanced Blood Flow in the Treatment Area

We believe the use of T•Shellz Wraps® for boosting blood flow to soft tissue in the area of application is one of the most under-utilized home treatment options available on the market today. We have client after client that have tried many options out there and have been amazed at how effective and fast the TShellz Wrap treatment can relieve pain and increase blood flow in the knee.

With regular use of the Knee TShellz Wrap:

  • Your pain will be reduced*.
  • Due to increased blood flow, soft tissue in the treatment area on the knee will be expected to recover at an accelerated rate with reduced potential for re-injury*.
  • Tissue in the treated area should experience a larger range of motion and increased extensibility of collagen tissue* due to the heat effect on soft tissue. This should translate into a reduced rate of re-injury occurrence as soft tissue is known to lengthen and become more flexible when exposed to warm temperature. (*Chapter 9 of "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. (amazon.com link - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin)

*Know that every personal soft tissue injury is unique and the TShellz Wrap may not work for everyone. This is why we offer a 60-day money back return on all our TShellz Wrap devices.


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Use a Knee T•Shellz Wrap®:

  • After swelling and inflammation have been reduced with cold compression.
  • BEFORE getting out of bed in the morning. BEFORE going to bed at night.
  • BEFORE exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to increase elasticity of knee tendons, ligaments and muscles and decrease the chance of re-injury.
  • Anytime you feel the tissue in your knee has stiffened up, is tight and your mobility is reduced causing you more pain.
  • Anytime you have sore or aching tissue around your knee.
  • AFTER surgery (once the skin wound has healed over and swelling has reduced - basically at least 6 weeks after the surgery) to boost blood circulation, helping surgically repaired tissues recover for long-term health and minimize scar tissue growth at the surgery location.
  • Any other situation where you need to increase blood flow to your knee to relax your soft tissue, relieve pain, prevent re-injury and enhance flexibility of your tissue.

Use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack:

  • 24 to 72 hours after your initial injury or when you first notice pain and swelling in your knee to stop tissue damage, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
  • After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to prevent re-injury of your knee.
  • Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
  • Anytime you feel your knee is painful or you're having a flare-up of an old patellar tendon injury.
  • Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation in your knee.
  • Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of your knee.

If your knee is unstable or weak, wearing a brace during exercise and activity can reduce the risk of reinjury to the ligament while your knee is regaining strength.


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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition.


 
 

Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before using any of our outstanding products to make sure they're right for you and your condition or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Always see your doctor for a proper diagnosis as there are often many injuries and conditions (some very serious) that could be the cause of your pain.


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