ACL Tear

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) can be torn if the knee is pulled or twisted in an unnatural way. Injuries to the ACL are especially common in sports where side-to-side or pivoting movement of the knee is required; soccer, basketball, skiing, and football are frequent culprits. An injured ACL is associated with the following symptoms:

  • An audible pop or snapping upon injury
  • Immediate and sustained swelling in the knee
  • Instability in the knee that can cause it to give out
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Significant pain that does not diminish in the hours following the injury
  • A feeling of fullness in the knee

Elderly, less active patients may not require surgery following an ACL injury—if the overall stability of the knee is healthy and the patient has a low activity level, the physician may recommend non-surgical options. For young athletes, however, surgery is usually needed. The torn ligament must be replaced with a tissue graft, which will then form the base for the new ligament to grow on.

Videos: Preventing and Recovering from ACL Tears

Meet our Primary Doctors

Our teams of medical specialists are dedicated to helping you.

Meet our Orthopaedic Surgeons

You don't have to be a pro to be treated like one.

Related Information

Concussion

A concussion is a type of brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can occur in any athletic activity, as well as a motor vehicle crash or fall. Most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness. A healthcare provider with expertise in concussion management should evaluate all concussions. The primary risks of not receiving a medical evaluation may include:

  • Increased risk for severe brain injury or death (Second Impact Syndrome)
  • Prolonged symptoms
  • Difficulties with schoolwork and other activities
  • Delayed return to sport

During recovery, exercising or activities that involve a lot of concentration (such as studying, working on the computer or playing video games) may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or get worse.

If you suspect a concussion, seek medical attention right away and call a MedStar Sports Medicine athletic trainer at 855-463-3318.

Video: Causes of Concussions

Knee Injuries

The knee joint is formed by the upper leg bone, one of the lower leg bones (fibula) and the kneecap. The knee’s primary purpose is to extend, flex and rotate the lower leg.

The knee is a complex joint made up of many parts and is therefore injured easily and frequently.

In most instances, knee injuries don’t require immediate medical attention. Many injuries can even be treated with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medications. However, if you still have symptoms after two days of self-treatment or if your pain gets worse, you should see a doctor.

On rare occasions, knee injuries can be more serious. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately:

  • Tingling or numbness in your toes
  • Unstable joint
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Weakened pulse in the ankle area

Common Knee Injuries

  • ACL Tear
  • Anterior knee pain: Patella Femoral Syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Dislocation
  • Fractures
  • Impingement, injuries of the fat pad
  • Meniscus tear
  • Overuse injuries
  • Partial & total joint replacement
  • Patella instability
  • Pediatric growth plate disorder known as Osgood Schlatter’s Disease
  • Shin splints
  • Strains and sprains of the muscle, tendon, cartilage, bone and soft tissue
  • Subluxation
  • Tendon rupture
  • Tendonitis
  • Torn and displaced supporting structures, such as cartilage and meniscus

Hip Injuries

The main purpose of the hip is to connect the leg to the lower body. Similar to the shoulder, the hip is a ball and socket joint. But, it is far more stable because of the large muscles that surround it. However, just because it’s protected doesn’t mean that it can’t be injured.

In most cases, injuries to the hip do not require immediate medical attention. In fact, many injuries can be treated simply with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medications. However, if you still have symptoms after two days of self-treatment, or if your pain gets worse, you should see a doctor.

Hip injuries can sometimes result in a much more serious condition. If you have any of these symptoms after a hip injury, you should see a doctor immediately:

  • Groin pain
  • Severe pain while moving your hip or difficulty moving your hip
  • Difficulty standing or walking

Common Hip Injuries

  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Strains and sprains
  • Bruising of the hip muscles, known as hip pointer
  • Fractures
  • Inflammation of the lining of the hip, known as synovitis

Spine Injuries

The spine is the skeletal structure that runs from the base of the skull to the tail bone and acts as protection for the spinal cord. The spine is as a flexible tube made up of vertebra and discs through which the spinal cord travels, carrying nerve messages to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and organs of the body.

The spine is composed of four main sections: the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral segments. Injuries to the spine can range from a mild musculoskeletal sprain or strain to the catastrophic, including permanent paralysis or even death. Due to the potential for permanent or life threatening consequences, all spinal injuries should be treated immediately by qualified medical professionals. While most serious injuries to the spine result from forceful impact, others are congenital (present at birth) and postural in nature. Some of these are indicators of more serious injury to the spine.

Common Spine Injuries and Conditions

  • Sprains and strains
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Ruptured or herniated disc(s)

Congenital/Postural Conditions

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolysis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Lordosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Kyphosis

Please note: If you notice any change in sensory or motor function anywhere in the body after a neck and/or back injury, prompt medical attention should be consulted before resuming any further physical activity.

 

Shoulder Injuries

The shoulder is a joint that is made up of muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments that work together to help you move. Any one of these tissues can become injured due to trauma or simply from overuse.

Most shoulder issues and injuries don't require immediate medical attention. In fact, many injuries can be treated solely with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medications. If you still have symptoms after two days of self-treatment, however, or if your pain gets worse you should see a doctor.

Some shoulder injuries can unfortunately be much more serious. If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek medical care immediately:

  • Tingling or numbness in your arm
  • Loss of motion in your shoulder
  • Cold/clammy skin
  • Weakened pulse

Common Shoulder Injuries

  • Bursitis
  • Clavicle fracture
  • Dislocation
  • Fracture
  • Overuse injuries
  • Pinched tissue
  • Rotator cuff tear 
  • Shoulder separation
  • Sternoclavicular dislocation
  • Strains and sprains
  • Tears
  • Tendon rupture
  • Tendonitis
  • Torn cartilage
  • Unstable shoulder joint

Foot and Ankle Injuries

Injuries to your feet and ankles are quite common and can even result from overuse.

The good news is that they’re usually not serious so, in most cases, foot and ankle injuries don’t require immediate medical attention. In fact, many injuries can simply be treated with rest, ice, splinting, and over-the-counter medications. But, if you still have symptoms after two days of self treatment, or if your pain gets worse, you should see a doctor.

On rare occasions, foot and ankle injuries can become more serious. For example, if you have a wound on your foot or ankle that does not heal or becomes infected, you should see a doctor immediately.

Common Foot and Ankle Conditions

  • Ankle sprains
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Turf toe
  • Blisters, calluses and bunions
  • Fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot
  • Planters warts
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Runners toenail

Common Foot and Ankle Injuries

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Running injuries
  • Sprains and strains of the muscles,
    tendons and ligaments
  • Overuse injuries
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Avulsion fractures
  • Lacerations
  • Sesamoiditis
  • Neuritis
  • Contusions
  • Pediatric Growth Plate Disease,
    known as Sever’s Disease

Elbow Injuries

The elbow is one of the most complex joints in the body because of its many functions. Without it, you couldn't bend or extend your arm, or rotate your palm upward or downward.

Because of the elbow's many uses - and misuses - it can easily become injured due to overuse.

Usually, an elbow injury doesn't require immediate medical attention. In fact, many injuries can be treated simply with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medications. But if you are still in pain or if your pain worsens after two days of self-treatment, you should seek medical care immediately.

Although it is rare, elbow injuries can become more serious. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately:

  • Tingling/numbness in the fingers
  • Loss of motion in the elbow and forearm
  • Cold/clammy skin
  • Weakened pulse
  • Significant loss of grip strength

Common Elbow Injuries

  • Tennis Elbow
  • Golfer's Elbow
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Tendon rupture
  • Sprains of the muscle, tendon,
  • cartilage, bone and soft tissue
  • Ulna nerve irritation
  • Dislocation
  • Fractures

How to Reduce Your Child’s Need for Tommy John Surgery

Head Injuries

Injuries to the head or face can be very serious since they have the potential to damage the brain and the eyes. If you've suffered a head injury — no matter how minor it might seem — see a doctor immediately to avoid long-term complications.

Common Head Injuries

  • Broken nose
  • Broken or displaced teeth
  • Concussion
  • Eye injury
  • Throat injury

Hand and Wrist Injuries

Dr_Curl_Patients_Rehab

Injuries to the hand or wrist are the most common among sports, exercise and recreational activities. They range from serious trauma, like a fracture, to an overuse condition, like carpal tunnel syndrome.

In most cases, hand or wrist problems don’t require immediate medical attention. In fact, many injuries can be treated simply with rest, ice, splinting and over-the-counter pain medications. However, if you still have symptoms after two days or if your pain gets worse, you should see a doctor.

Common Hand and Wrist Injuries

  • Amputations
  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Contusions and crushing traumas
  • DeQuervain’s disease
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Lacerations
  • Overuse injuries
  • Skier’s thumb
  • Sprains and strains of the tendons, ligaments and muscles
  • Tendonitis
  • Trigger finger

Surgeon Saves the Hand of a Competitive Wakeboarder

After a saw cut his hand in half during a home remodeling accident, competitive wakeboarder, Michael Stellabotte, was not sure he was going to be able to use his hand again. Thanks to Dr. Kenneth Means and The Curtis National Hand Center at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Michael is able to use his hand to compete again.