An ACL injury is a condition where there is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament which is 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.
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 a break from the sport and a rehabilitation regimen to help restore strength and stability or even surgical intervention to substitute the torn ligament followed by a rehabilitation regimen.
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
Anyone who previously sustained an ACL injury in their life has an increased risk of developing a disease known as knee osteoarthritis, this causes the joint cartilage to deteriorate while its smooth surface becomes rough. Arthritis can also occur if surgery was done to restructure the ligament.
The severity of the original injury, the presence of related injuries in the knee joint, and/or the level of activity after the treatment are also factors that can influence the risk of arthritis.
With proper training of the sport you’re playing and good exercise, this can lower the risk for the injury.
Wearing the appropriate gear for your sport will also help reduce the risk of an ACL injury.
The details posted on this page on an ACL injury is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs and how it is treated, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.