This is one of the most common knee injuries, involving a sprain or tear to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). The ACL is an important stabilizing ligament inside the knee joint. Athletes in soccer, basketball, and football are at higher risk to suffer an ACL injury. This type of injury can also happen off the playing field at your workplace. Surgery may be needed to regain full functional use of your knee. The need for surgery will depend on the severity of damage and the level of activity you anticipate.
Torn Ligament Causes
Any action causing stress on the knee can cause an ACL tear. Some common causes of ACL tears are changing direction too quickly, twisting the knee, landing incorrectly from a jump or fall, or direct trauma.
• Pain and swelling
• Loss of mobility
• Knee instability (buckling or giving way of the knee)
Ignoring any of these symptoms and returning back to your normal activities without treatment puts you at much higher risk of further injuring your knee.
Treatments for a torn ACL range in degree. Commonly, ACL reconstruction surgery is done. This is arthroscopic surgery. A graft is used (either your own tissue (autograft) or cadaver tissue (allograft)), bone tunnels are drilled, the graft is put in place, and screws are used to hold it there. This is done under general anesthesia and is outpatient surgery. Most people require physical therapy after an ACL injury, especially after having surgery.