Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury: Symptoms and Treatment

Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are some of the most common injuries of the knee. And now that summer is just around the corner, orthopaedic surgeons will be seeing more and more ACL issues in adults and children.

The anterior cruciate ligament is the ligament in the knee that connects the thigh bone to the shin bone. Tears of this ligament can require surgery if severe enough. If you think you have torn your ACL, it is imperative that you seek medical attention from a physician such as an orthopaedic surgeon.

An anterior cruciate ligament injury can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you think you might be suffering from and ACL injury, check the following list of symptoms:

  • Severe pain in the knee that often results in loss of movement and activity.
  • A popping sensation in the knee that often produces an audible sound.
  • Swelling that sets in within a few hours of sustaining the injury.
  • Feeling of instability when trying to put weight on the knee.
  • Decrease in range of motion.
  • Feeling of warmth when touching the knee joint.

Treatment for knee injuries varies greatly from one person to another. Depending on the severity of your tear, a surgeon might recommend surgery to repair the ligament. However, in some milder cases, rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) might allow the injury to heal without surgical intervention.

Reconstruction of the ACL through surgery, has a high success rate. The purpose of this surgery is to restore stability of the knee joint and to restore overall function of the ligament. In many cases, athletes will be able to return to sports after surgery and physical therapy.

If you think you have torn your anterior cruciate ligament, make sure to see your doctor or surgeon for proper evaluation. Waiting too long without evaluation could lead to further pain and injury.

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