Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
An ACL tear occurs when your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is stretched beyond its limit causing partial or complete tearing. Your ACL is a strong ligament–band of tissue connecting two or more bones at a joint–that helps maintain stability of your knee.
ACL tear commonly occurs in active or athletic people who perform sudden twisting motion their knees when they step or land after a jump. People who participate in sports like basketball, football, soccer or tennis are at risk of getting an ACL tear.
- Knee Structures: Showing the ACL
- Knee Structures
- ACL Injury Causes – ACL Tear Causes
- ACL Injuries Risk Factors
ACL Tear Symptoms
If you tear your ACL you may experience
- A popping sound
- Buckling of your knee when you try to move it.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe symptoms for proper diagnosis and prompt treatment.
- ACL Tear Grading – Severity Scale
What You Can Do
Stop your activity, apply ice pack and go to an emergency room immediately, especially if you experience severe pain or are unable to move your limb.
ACL Tear Treatment
For partial or incomplete tear, your doctor may recommend you to a physical therapist who can teach you how to strengthen the muscles supporting your knee. Your doctor or therapist may also recommend you wear a brace to protect your knee during activity.
Your doctor may recommend ACL surgery if you have a complete ACL tear. After your ACL surgery, physical therapy is often recommended to help get you back on your previous level of activity.