By Parkway East Hospital

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Football is one of those sports that sees many start-stop movements, pivoting and sudden changes in directions. This can lead to torn ACLs for players during a game. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)


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Injuries to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), one of the four major ligaments in the knee, is very common among people who are involved in sports that have start-stop movements, pivoting and sudden changes in directions. These include sports like soccer, netball, tennis, dancing and skiing.

Miss Xavier was visibly upset after finding out that hers was torn. She was an active young lady who had injured her knee during a session of beach volleyball.

A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan confirmed Dr Michael Soon’s diagnosis and also showed an associated meniscal (shock absorber) tear in the knee joint. This meant that surgery to reconstruct the ACL was warranted.

“ACL reconstruction is one of the most frequent surgeries that is being done,” said Dr Soon, an orthopaedic surgeon at Parkway East Hospital. “It is also generally successful, with more than 95 per cent of patients noting an improvement.”

“However, not many patients are able to return to the pre-injury level of sports participation, with approximately two out of three being able to do so,” he added.

When the ACL is torn, surgery to reconstruct this ligament is required if any patient wants to return to sports or to prevent further instability from occurring. In addition, if an ACL remains torn and the knee is unstable, it can lead to further injuries to the knee.

ACL reconstruction has continued to evolve in the past decade as surgeons worldwide are constantly striving to improve the success statistics, knowing that not all patients are able to return to sports after ACL surgery. Along with more advanced techniques, the implants to fix the reconstructed ligaments have also improved.

In addition to that, physiotherapy is crucial for patients to recover and return to sports quickly. Said Dr Vincent Chia, CEO of Parkway East Hospital. “At our hospital, doctors work closely with physiotherapists to ensure that each patient receives the most suitable treatment, thus representing the type of holistic medicine practiced here.

“We treat our patients as part of our family and wish to see them restored to health in the shortest time possible, which is why we will be setting up a Sports Injury Management Centre at Parkway East Hospital to meet each patient’s sports injury needs.”

Surgery for Miss Xavier was uneventful and progressed smoothly. When Dr Soon followed up with her the second week after her surgery, she was walking well, with minimal pain and good range of motion. By the sixth week, Miss Xavier’s reconstructed ACL was “rock-solid”, and Dr Soon advised her to continue physiotherapy and to return for a review subsequently.

“As an orthopaedic surgeon, I not only wish for my patients to just get better, but return to their pre-injury level of sports. When I saw Miss Xavier six months after her surgery, I asked if she had returned to beach volley ball. She said she had not, but started salsa dance classes instead! Needless to say, I was very satisfied with her full recovery,” shared Dr Soon.

Tip: How to avoid Knee Ligament Injuries
Be nicer to your knees. Wear shoes that are appropriate for your foot type and the surface that you are exercising on. This way, your footwear will bear the brunt of the impact rather than your knees.

For enquiries or to schedule an appointment, please contact:
Parkway East Patient Assistance Centre
321 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427990
24-Hour Helpline: +65 6377 3737 Email: [email protected]