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What Are 3 Signs And Symptoms Of An ACL Tear?

What Are 3 Signs And Symptoms Of An ACL Tear?

An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear is a significant knee injury that can cause various signs and symptoms. If you suspect you have an ACL tear or experience any of the following symptoms, seeking medical attention for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment is crucial.

Here are three common signs and symptoms of an ACL tear…

  • Sudden, Severe Knee Pain: An ACL tear is often accompanied by sudden and intense pain in the knee. The pain may be sharp and may cause you to stop or change your activity immediately. The pain can be located in the front or deep inside the knee joint.
  • Swelling: Within hours of the injury, the knee may swell significantly due to internal bleeding and inflammation. The swelling can be substantial and may make bearing weight on the affected leg challenging.
  • Instability or Feeling of “Giving Way”: Many people with an ACL tear experience a sense of instability in the knee as if it is “giving way” or unable to support their body weight properly. This feeling can be particularly noticeable when walking, running, or changing direction.

These symptoms can also be associated with knee injuries, such as meniscus tears or ligament sprains. A proper diagnosis requires a physical examination by a healthcare professional and imaging tests like an MRI, which can confirm the presence of an ACL tear and assess its severity.

If you suspect an ACL tear or experience symptoms after a knee injury, it’s important to follow the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and avoid putting weight on the affected leg until you can receive medical evaluation. Early diagnosis and proper treatment, such as physical therapy or surgery if needed, can lead to better outcomes and assist with regaining knee function and stability.