ACL injury: Symptoms and Causes

ACL injury: Symptoms and Causes

What is ACL?

The Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one out of the four main ligaments in the knee that join the top and below leg bones. Any kind of injury here is known as ACL injury. The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is one of four basic ligaments that give power and balance to the knee. ACL happens when the ligament’s bio-mechanical boundaries surpass, often with a process of hyperextension. This damage is almost always linked to plays such as football.

After the physician diagnoses an ACL injury with examinations like an MRI or an arthroscopy, the doctor will guide with medications that could be either rest or restoration or operation. Injuries vary from light, such as a minute tear to difficult, such as when the ligament and the role of the bone divide from the bottom of the bone or when the ligament tears off entirely.


If you have damaged your ACL then there are certain signs that you will encounter. The anterior cruciate ligament limits the tibia from slipping in the anterior of the knee. When you cut this ligament there are many signs that will almost invariably follow this injury. Such as:

Symptoms of a sharp and immediate anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury include:

  • Pain on the back and edge of the knee by Contact or traumatic mechanisms
  • Immediate weakness in the knee. The knee exhibits an unstable feeling. This can transpire after a dive or after a straight blow to the rear area of the knee or a shift in direction
  • Poor knee mobility because of inflammation or injury
  • Knee blistering within the first few hours of the injury. This can be a symbol of bleeding inside the joint. Swelling that happens suddenly is normally a symptom of a severe knee injury


Ligaments are strong tissue bands that connect one bone to another. The ACL is one out of the two ligaments that cross in the middle of the knee, connects one’s thighbone (femur) to one’s shinbone (tibia) and helps to stabilize one’s knee joint.

Most ACL injuries occur during sports and fitness activities that can put stress on the knee:

  • Rotating with one’s foot securely set
  • Quickly checking down and reversing direction (cutting)
  • Landing from a jump incorrectly
  • Taking a direct blow to the knee or collision, like a football tackle
  • Stopping suddenly
  • Rapid slowing down

The majority of these have the pivot-shift mechanism which is the most common non-contact injury and a primary cause of ALC.

Medicines can alleviate pain from a new anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury or from a long-term (chronic) ACL deficiency. It also lessens pain during the rehabilitation period. “No steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen, and non-prescription pain medicines like Acetaminophen, are commonly used”. Surgery is often the recommended choice of recovery for an ACL tear. The recovery process for ACL surgery can be long and time-consuming but there are advanced recovery techniques that can greatly reduce the recovery time.

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Dr. Lalit Modi

MBBS, MS, DNB, MNAMS, Gold Medalist,
Knee, Hip & Shoulder Specialist 10+ Year Experience
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