ACL Tear Specialist

Michael Trice, MD -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Complete Orthopaedics

Michael Trice, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Cartilage Repair and Total Joint Specialist located in Houston, TX

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is one of the most common knee injuries, especially among people who engage in high-demand sports like football. Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Michael Trice, MD, provides patient-centered care for ACL injuries at Complete Orthopaedics in Houston, Texas. If you think you have a torn ACL, call or book an appointment online today.

ACL Tear Q & A

What is an ACL tear?

The knee is a large, complex joint that forms where your thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) meet. Four main ligaments hold your femur and tibia together: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL). 

The ACL is a strong band of tissue, but when stretched beyond its means, this ligament can tear partially or completely. As a fellowship-trained sports medicine physician, Dr. Trice provides comprehensive care for many knee injuries, including ACL tears. 


How do I know if I tore my ACL?

ACL tears often occur suddenly during sports and physical activities that put a lot of stress on your knee, including basketball, football, and soccer. Signs and symptoms of a torn ACL include:

  • Severe knee pain at the time of injury
  • Rapid swelling within 24 hours of the injury
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Knee instability or feeling like your knee is giving out


You may also hear a loud pop or feel a popping sensation in your knee when your ACL tears. It’s common for ACL tears to happen at the same time as other knee injuries, such as a meniscus tear. 


How are ACL tears diagnosed?

Even if you can still walk on the injured knee, it’s important to see Dr. Trice as soon as possible any time you suspect an ACL tear. Without an accurate diagnosis and timely treatment, an ACL injury can worsen and lead to further knee damage.

To diagnose an ACL tear, Dr. Trice asks you to describe how the injury occurred. He carefully examines your knee and may take tests, such as an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. These tests also check for other knee injuries, like fractures and cartilage damage.


How are ACL tears treated?

After he diagnoses your ACL tear, Dr. Trice develops an individualized treatment plan. He always tries nonsurgical treatments first, such as knee bracing and physical therapy. 

However, severe ACL tears may require surgical treatment. Dr. Trice uses minimally invasive techniques, such as arthroscopy, to perform ACL reconstruction surgery.

For advanced treatment of ACL tears at an orthopedic practice that treats patients like family, call Complete Orthopaedics, or book an appointment online today.