By Paul Fadale, MD, Rhode Island Hospital orthopedic surgeon and sports injury specialist
Typically, and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury occurs when an athlete performs a twisting or cutting movement, or less commonly with direct contact.
The knee "gives way" and an audible pop or snap may be heard. This injury may be quite painful, but not necessarily so. Swelling follows soon thereafter.
If you suffer a knee injury, you should apply ice (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off) and elevate the leg in order to reduce swelling. Crutches are beneficial. Early and full range of knee motion is essential. Although there is often some improvement early on, returning to sports brings out the feeling of instability again. Further injury to the knee may result.
What is the ACL?How much do you know about your knees? Learn the anatomy of the knee joint.
Women and ACL InjuriesStudies have shown that female athletes suffer ACL injuries more frequently than males. Find out why.
Making the DiagnosisLearn the difference between an ACL injury and a sprain. Find what tests are needed to make the correct diagnosis.
Treatment OptionsFind out if surgery is right for you. Learn about different options available to treat an ACL injury. Modify your activity.SurgeryFind out what is involved, when surgery is the best option for treatment. Learn the pros and cons.
Physical TherapySurgery and physical therapy go hand-and-hand. Find out why this is the most important aspect of your recovery.
Returning to Normal ActivityGet back in