What are the Symptoms of an ACL Tear?

- Article by John Miller

What are the Symptoms of an ACL Tear?

ACL Tear Symptoms

An ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear frequently occurs during sporting activities when athletes suddenly pivot, subjecting the ligament to excessive rotational forces. The most common symptoms of an ACL tear include:

  • The joint feels unstable, giving out or buckling.
  • An audible “pop” is heard at the time of injury.
  • The knee joint experiences rapid swelling.
  • Pain is felt in the knee when walking or bearing weight.

If any of these symptoms are experienced, it is crucial to promptly seek medical attention from a well-trained Sports Physiotherapist, Sports Physician, or Orthopaedic Surgeon. Additionally, they may diagnose the ACL tear during your clinic visit by carefully evaluating your injury history and performing some ACL laxity clinical tests.

Furthermore, an MRI scan can confirm the presence of an ACL tear and detect other potential knee injuries resulting from the rupture, such as meniscal tears, bone bruising, and collateral ligament injuries. Acute confirmation of an ACL tear is vital because the treatment differs significantly from a common knee ligament strain or a meniscus tear. Moreover, ACL injuries often have multi-structure damage.

Should you have a ruptured ACL, successful rehabilitation options will vary based on factors like age, activity level, and the extent of the injury. Consulting an experienced knee physiotherapist, knee surgeon, or sports doctor is paramount for tailored advice on your next steps. With their expertise, you can begin appropriate treatment and commence rehabilitation promptly.

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