ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Injury
Also known as: ACL, torn ACL
What is an ACL Injury?
The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a major ligament located in the knee. If the ACL becomes damaged in some way, this is known as an ACL injury. This injury can range widely in severity from a minor sprain to a major tear that makes it difficult to walk afterward.
What causes ACL injury?
ACL injuries commonly occur in athletes. Actions such as quickly changing direction, pivoting with the foot planted, landing wrong from a jump or a blow to the knee are all common causes of ACL injuries.
What are the symptoms of ACL injury?
Common symptoms of an ACL injury include:
- loss of motion
- a feeling of instability in the knee
What are ACL injury care options?
Minor ACL injuries often heal with time and rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Surgery may be required to reconstruct a more severe ACL injury.
The orthopedic surgeons at Nicklaus Children's Hospital offer a variety of surgical techniques, adapting the surgical plan to meet the needs of patients of varying ages. For younger patients, the focus is on making the repair while protecting the growth plates. In most cases rehabilitation and physical therapy is also needed to help a patient heal after an ACL injury.
Reviewed by: Craig J Spurdle, MD
This page was last updated on: December 18, 2020 04:34 PM
Dr. Craig Spurdle is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, explains ACL injuries.
Dr. Craig Spurdle, pediatric orthopedic surgeon explains the signs and symptoms of an ACL injury.
Dr. Craig Spurdle is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, talks about treatment options for ACL injuries.
Patient Success Stories
At only 12 years of age, Colt is already an accomplished motocross racer. In January 2020, Colt went from being at the top of his game to enduring a devastating injury at a moment's notice. During a training event in Georgia, Colt jumped off the side of his motorcycle and felt his knee pop. He had torn his ACL.
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Knee Ligament Injuries
The knee has four ligaments: MCL, LCL, ACL, and PCL. Injuries to one or more of these ligaments can cause a number of problems.
ACL Injury Prevention Screening
ACL injury prevention screening is a biomechanical motion analysis test performed to identify level of risk for an ACL or other lower extremity injury.
ACL Testing For Return To Sports
Because athletes with previous ACL injuries face a 25% chance of suffering a second ACL injury, ACL surgery patients should be cleared by a physician before they begin playing sports again. A prescription is required to receive this test, insurance benefits may be available
ACL Post-Op Reconstruction Exercise Program
This post-operative exercise will improve movement of the injured knee and help the patient return to the former level of function.