What are the Symptoms of an ACL Tear?

ACL ligament tear

ACL Tear

An ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear most often occurs during sporting activities when an athlete suddenly pivots causing excessive rotational forces on the ligament. 

Other mechanisms that can cause an ACL tear include severe trauma and work injuries. Individuals who experience ACL tears usually describe a feeling of the joint giving out, or buckling. You'll commonly hear a "pop."

Signs You May Have Sustained an ACL Tear:

  • Sudden giving way of the knee
  • Hearing a 'pop' at the time of injury
  • Sudden swelling of the knee joint
  • Pain in the knee when walking

How is an ACL Tear Diagnosed?

A well trained Sports Physiotherapist, Sports Physician or Orthopaedic Surgeon will normally be able to confirm the diagnosis of an ACL tear within the clinic and from your injury history. 

An MRI scan can be arranged to confirm your ACL tear and identify other knee injuries that may have occurred when your ACL was ruptured. These accessory injuries commonly include meniscal tears, bone bruising and collateral ligament injuries.

Confirmation of an ACL tear is important since the treatment differs from a common knee ligament strain or a meniscus tear.

What to do if have a Ruptured ACL?

Professional guidance is highly recommended for any ACL tear. Successful rehabilitation options vary depending on your age, activity level and extent of injury.

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ACL FAQs

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • When Should Diagnostic Tests Be Performed?
  • What is the Normal Function of the ACL?
  • What are the Symptoms of an ACL Tear?
  • How Does Kinesiology Tape Reduce Swelling?
  • What should you do if you think you have an ACL Tear?
  • Will You Need an Operation for an ACL Tear?
  • What about the Rehabilitation following ACL Reconstruction?
  • ACL Brace?
  • How Can You Prevent a Future Leg Injury?
  • How Do You Improve Your Balance?
  • How Much Treatment Will You Need?
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What Can You Do To Help Arthritis?
  • What Happens when there is an ACL Injury?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • When Can You Return to Sport?
  • Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker
  • More Information

  • ACL Injuries
  • Knee Ligament Injuries
  • ACL Braces & Supports
  • ACL Products

    ACL- Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries

    Related Conditions

  • ACL Injury
  • Bursitis Knee
  • Chondromalacia Patella
  • Corked Thigh
  • Discoid Meniscus
  • DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
  • Fat Pad Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • ITB Syndrome
  • Knee Arthritis
  • Knee Ligament Injuries
  • Knee Replacement
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament
  • Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain
  • Meniscus Tear
  • Muscle Strain
  • Pes Anserinus Bursitis & Tendinitis
  • Plica Syndrome
  • Posterolateral Corner Injury
  • Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome
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    Last updated 23-Oct-2014 06:26 PM

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