Login - or - Learn
Contact Us     Maps & Directions     About Us
Find a Provider
Your Medical Home
Find a Facility
Plan Your Visit
Find a Provider
Mother Frances Hospital
Heart Hospital
Neuroscience Institute
Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Search Health Information    Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can be injured if the knee is straightened beyond its normal limits (hyperextended), twisted, or bent side to side. ACL injuries may include tears of the ligament, a complete rupture of the ligament, or a separation of the ligament from the upper or lower leg bone (avulsion). Injuries to the bone, other knee ligaments, or a cartilage ( meniscus ) often occur at the same time as ACL injuries.

Symptoms of a severe and sudden (acute) ACL injury include:

  • Feeling or hearing a pop in the knee at the time of injury.
  • Pain that may be mild or severe.
  • A sudden feeling of instability in the knee after a jump, change in direction, or after a direct blow to the side of the knee.
  • Knee swelling within 1 to 2 hours of an injury.
  • Swelling that is severe enough to limit movement.

Symptoms of a chronic ACL injury include a feeling of instability and sometimes pain and swelling.

Treatment for ACL injuries will depend on the severity of the knee injury and your activity level. The goal of treatment is to stabilize the knee and prevent further damage to the knee. Treatment includes rehabilitation exercises and possibly surgery.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD
Last Revised August 5, 2011

Last Revised: August 5, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Trinity Clinic

Trinity Clinic is the area's preferred multispecialty medical group, with over 350 physicians and mid-level providers representing 40 specialties in 36 clinic locations serving East Texas.

Find a Trinity Clinic ProviderMedical Providers Directory  About Trinity Clinic MyChart

TMFHC app on iTunes

TMFHC app on Android Market