Torn ACL Symptoms

By Matt Paulus, Certified Athletic Trainer


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Torn or Sprain of the ACL Symptoms

A very common injury today is an injury to the ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament of the knee. People usually can notice a loud popping sound as the ligament tears. Pain is almost immediate after injury. The knee starts to swell within an hour or two as blood from the ruptured ligament fills the knee joint. Some people find that walking is difficult, and the knee feels unstable. Because of the fluid within the joint, it may be difficult to fully extend or straighten the knee. Pain and swelling in the knee is never normal, especially if it happens immediately after an injury, and it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible. In addition to pain and swelling, warning signs of potential ligament damage include giving way and limping. Initial treatments including RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Anyone having symptoms associated with this injury should seek out further evaluation from an orthopedic physician who treats this condition.  The most common sport involved with an ACL tear is football.  Go to this link, if you want to learn more about football injuries.

To learn more about ACL injuries and knee pain in general, you can go to 

The JOI Library on has many articles about knee pain and ACL injuries. For an appointment with a JOI MD, please call JOI-2000.

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