Torn ACL


The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of four important ligaments with the function of stabilizing the knee joint and minimizing stress of the knee.


The ACL connects the femur, or thighbone, to the tibia, or shinbone. It prevents excessive forward movement of the tibia, or lower leg bone, as well as limiting rotational movements of the knee.


Injury to this crucial ligament generally occurs during participation in sports involving quick movements and sudden stops. Sports that involve such movements include: soccer, tennis, basketball, and volleyball. Other causes for tearing of the ACL include landing awkwardly from a jump, motor vehicle accidents, and football tackles.


Symptoms of an ACL tear or injury include hearing a loud popping sound at the time of the injury, severe pain and swelling that worsens with time, and a sensation of instability of the knee or “giving away” when applying weight to the knee.


Treatment for an ACL tear involves techniques to reduce pain and swelling, as well as regaining normal movement. The severity of the injury to the ACL and the willingness of the patient to modify their activities will determine whether surgery will be necessary to repair the ligament to return normal function to the knee joint. Additionally, rehabilitation will be needed to aide in the knees healing process. Crutches, knee braces, range-of-motion exercises, and stability exercises may be used.

OrthoNeuro Physicians that Treat this Condition: