ACL tear symptoms

Medically Reviewed By : Dr. Sravya, MBBS, MS 


One of the four primary ligaments—tough bands of tissue—the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is in charge of protecting the integrity of your knee joint. It not only offers stability but also makes it easier to control different knee movements. The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and this ligament, which attaches your thigh bone (femur) to your shinbone (tibia), allow your knee to move forward and backward.

When the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a strong fibrous tissue connecting your thigh bone (femur) to your shinbone (tibia), is damaged or strained, it is referred to as an ACL injury. These accidents frequently occur in sports that include sudden stops, direction changes, and acts involving jumping and landing. Soccer, basketball, football, and downhill skiing are a few of these sports.

A considerable majority of people who have had an ACL tear describe hearing or feeling a “popping” sound in their knee. This frequently causes the knees to swell, feel unstable, and experience excruciating discomfort that makes it impossible to hold any weight.

ACL injuries are divided into three severity categories, with Grade 1 being the least serious. A Grade 2 injury happens when the ACL is partially torn after being stretched beyond its normal range. Grade 3 denotes the ligament’s total rupture. People who participate in particular sports have a higher risk of suffering an ACL sprain or tear. Sports with frequent abrupt changes in direction, such as football, basketball, and soccer, are more prone to result in an ACL injury. ACL injuries can also happen as a result of direct knee contact.

Your ACL injury’s severity will dictate how it is treated. Rest periods and rehabilitation activities to regain strength and stability may be necessary. If the injury is bad enough to require surgery to replace the torn ligament, a rehabilitation strategy is then necessary. Participating in a structured exercise programmer can help to reduce the chance of suffering an ACL injury.

Acl tear symptoms

Acl tear symptoms

The signs of an ACL damage typically include:

It’s critical to get quick medical help if you have any indications of an ACL injury as a result of a knee injury. The complex interaction of bones, ligaments, tendons, and other tissues that makes up the knee joint allows it to move. A quick and accurate diagnosis is necessary for determining the injury’s severity and determining the best course of therapy.

ACL injury symptoms

Ligaments act as tenacious connective tissues connecting two bones. The ACL, one of the two primary ligaments in the knee, connects the femur and tibia and gives the knee joint stability.

The following sports and physical activities are known to increase the risk of developing an ACL injury:

Damage to the ACL frequently causes a partial or total tear of the ligament tissue. In less serious cases, the injury could cause a ligament to extend while largely keeping it intact.

Risk Factors

There are a number of things that can make you more vulnerable to suffering an ACL injury, including:

The increased risk of ACL injuries in female athletes may be reduced by developing leg, hip, and core strength, as well as leaping and landing techniques and avoiding knee inward movement.

Potential Repercussions

People who suffer an ACL tear are more likely to develop osteoarthritis in the knee that is injured. Even when surgical intervention is sought after for ligament restoration, this risk still exists.

The degree of the initial injury, the presence of concurrent injuries inside the knee joint, and the level of physical activity after treatment are all likely to have an impact on the likelihood of developing arthritis.

Prevention Techniques

The risk of ACL injuries can be decreased with appropriate training and exercise. A valuable assessment, recommendations, and feedback can be obtained by seeing a sports medicine physician, physical therapist, athletic trainer, or other sports medicine specialist to lower risk. Programmes for preventing ACL injuries include:

The increased risk of ACL injuries in female athletes may be reduced by developing leg, hip, and core strength, as well as leaping and landing techniques and avoiding knee inward movement.


Injury prevention depends on choosing the right protective gear and footwear for your sport. To ensure effective ski release in the event of a fall during downhill skiing, make sure a qualified specialist fixes your ski bindings properly. It’s important to note that using a knee brace does not appear to be helpful in preventing initial ACL injuries or lowering the risk of reinjury after surgical intervention.

Some people experience partial ACL tears, which fall under the category of intermediate injuries. According to studies, this partial tear type of ACL injury makes up between 10 to 27 percent of all ACL injuries. In certain situations, the ACL may stretch or become loose, or one of the two bundles that make up the ACL may tear. Even if it’s only a partial damage, it will probably still hurt and result in edoema. This kind of injury can result in varying degrees of knee joint instability.

Surgery is frequently necessary to treat ACL tears and restore your knee’s stability and functionality. Many times, doctors will choose arthroscopic surgery, a minimally invasive procedure that can hasten your recuperation. Physical therapy could be used after the treatment to help you regain strength and complete range of motion. Your treatment plan for a mild injury would likely include resting, elevating your leg, and applying ice to minimize swelling and ease pain. A knee brace may also be required to temporarily steady you.