Carson Palmer ripped ACL – treatment of torn anterior cruciate ligament surgery

carson-palmer-crutches-aclCarson Palmer left the wildcard playoff game against the Steelers on the second play of the Bengals’ first offensive series. The hit to his knee by Kimo von Oelhoffen may or may not have been a dirty hit, but you can watch the Carson Palmer knee injury video and determine for yourself. If it means anything, Carson Palmer doesn’t believe it was a dirty hit.

Carson said, “I don’t know Kimo personally. From what I’ve heard, he’s a classy guy. Football is football. I don’t think it was malicious at all. He’s a guy with a high motor that plays hard and was playing hard. It just happened. I don’t think in any way he was trying to do anything. It’s just part of the game.

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What isn’t a question is that the injury was devastating to Palmer’s knee. Carson Palmer tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. The ACL basically provides a connection between your two leg bones. When it is damaged you can forget about playing, or even walking, without pain. While this is a devastating injury, it can be fixed surgically.

acl-cross-sectionA torn ACL happens when the knee is twisted violently. If you watch the video you’ll see that the bottom of Carson’s leg doesn’t move as the top of his leg twists. The pop you hear in the knee is the ACL literally snapping.

A torn ACL cannot grow back due to the limited blood supply to the area. ACL surgery is designed to fix the torn ACL by using one of three sources: Hamstring ligament, patella ligament or cadaver ligament.

To add to his misery, Carson also has a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL). The MCL is critical to vertical stability in the knee, but it’s treatment and recovery are much quicker than a torn MCL.

The question becomes how fast can Carson Palmer recover from the injury? Since a torn ACL leads to atrophy of the area around the knee, physical therapy is long and painful. Flexibility and strength have to be regained, so a continuous passive motion device is used. This keeps the knee moving slowly even when the patient is sleeping.

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Carson Palmer says he wants to come back and play by the start of the 2006 season. That may have been a very aggressive schedule in the past, but due to advancements in rehabilitation he should be able to make that goal.

The Cincinnati Enquirer quotes Dr. Tim Kremchek of Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, “We used to have them casted for months. Now, my patients, after we do the graft, I’ve got them moving that day.

Carson Palmer’s injury is a challenge for the Bengals, but they know that Carson Palmer is worth the investment.



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