An ACL injury is a condition where there is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, a major ligament in the knee. This kind of injury is common to those who play sports that involve sudden stops, changes in direction, or jumping – such as basketball, football, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and gymnastics.
People who get an ACL injury often hear or feel a “pop” in their knee accompanied by swelling, a feeling of instability and pain that becomes unbearable when bearing weight on the injured leg.
The treatment for an ACL injury depends on the severity of the injury. The treatment may include rest and a rehabilitation regimen to restore strength and stability back or surgery to replace the damaged ligament followed by a rehabilitation program.
Signs and symptoms of an ACL injury:
- A loud “pop” sound or “popping” sensation in the injured knee
- Severe knee pain which prevents you from continuing what you were doing
- Loss of range of motion
- Instability or a sensation of “giving away” when bearing weight on the injured leg
What causes an ACL injury?
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the two ligaments that cross in the middle of the knee which connects your femur to your tibia and helps stabilize your knee joint. Most of the ACL injuries occur during sports or fitness activities that put a lot of stress on the knee, examples are:
- Abruptly slowing down and changing directions
- Turning with your foot firmly fixed on the ground
- Landing from a jump erroneously
- Abrupt stopping motion
- Sustaining a direct strike or heavy force to the knee, such as a collision
The details posted on this page on ACL injury is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage – enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.