Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is located in the center of the knee joint. The ACL is one of the primary ligaments providing stability to the knee and, therefore, is one of the most commonly injured knee ligaments.
ACL tears typically occur:
- In non-contact sports or situations
- With an unexpected change of direction while the foot is planted
- When landing awkwardly
- An ACL tear is a major injury. Patients describe falling to the ground and knowing immediately that they had done something bad to their knee.
Common symptoms of an ACL tear
- Significant swelling soon after the injury
- Hear/feel a “pop” during the injury
- Feeling like the knee “comes apart” during the injury
- Walking on your toes immediately after the injury
- Unable to continue with the sport or activity you were doing at the time of the injury
- Feelings of instability or fear that the knee will give way (particularly during rotating or pivoting movements) even after the immediate symptoms resolve
Treatment of an ACL tear
A normal ACL provides stability to the knee joint during activities such as cutting, pivoting, and jumping. A patient who wants to return to their previous level of activity in sports that require these types of movements should have the torn ACL surgically reconstructed. For patients with lower activity levels, ACL surgery may not be needed. We will review these options with you during your appointment.
ACL reconstruction replaces your torn ACL and restores stability to your knee. Click here for detailed description of our ACL reconstruction technique.