Most of the time, we feel the stress and anxiety of seeing an athlete injure their ACL on our television screen. However, if you are active professionally or just for fun, chances are an ACL injury is one of your biggest fears. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how ACL injuries occur. Knowing the symptoms of this type of knee injury can help you better protect yourself. 

At South Shore Orthopedics, we see ACL injuries often. They are considered the most frequent injury to the knee, resulting in approximately 1 in 3500 injured people annually. Many people don’t know much about the ACL; we are here to change that. First and foremost, let’s talk a bit about what the ACL is and where it is located.

The Location of the ACL

To understand how people injure their ACLs, it is important to know where it is. ACL stands for the anterior cruciate ligament found in the center of the knee. It is one of the four main ligaments that connect the femur to the tibia. The ACL, with the help of the MCL, LCL, and PCL, holds the knee properly.

How ACL Injuries Occur

There are many ways in which an ACL injury can occur. In most cases, ACL injuries occur without physical contact, such as a collision with another player or object. Most ACL injuries occur due to a sudden deceleration or a maneuver such as a pivot, sidestep, or awkward landing, sometimes making them unavoidable. This is part of the fear connected to them, as they seemingly occur when nothing is going wrong. 

Symptoms of an ACL Injury

Like most conditions, an ACL injury in one person may not demonstrate the same symptoms as an ACL injury in another person. However, often patients with an ACL injury experience the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain and tenderness along the joint
  • Inability to continue with the activity
  • A loud “pop” sound and a “popping” sensation in the knee
  • Swelling that worsens after several hours
  • Instability
  • Discomfort walking

If you experience a knee injury and have any symptoms above, do not hesitate to contact a knee expert, such as the team at South Shore Orthopedics. It is essential to seek medical treatment promptly to minimize the effects of your injury and ensure your knee returns to its pre-injury state as quickly and safely as possible. Your doctor will potentially use X-rays, MRIs, or an ultrasound to figure out if there is something wrong with your ACL. 

Treatment of an ACL Injury

While some cases of ACL injuries only require rest, ice, and compression, others may lead to surgery. Your doctor will only consider surgery if it is an extensive injury that prevents your typical everyday activity. This also includes people who play a sport and want to continue to play after recovering from the surgery and injury. Your doctor can give you further insight into whether surgery is something you may need to consider. 

Learn More With South Shore Orthopedics 

Do you think you may have an ACL injury? Regarding a knee injury, accurate diagnosis and treatment are critical for proper recovery. For this reason, you want to work with a doctor who is an expert in knee injuries and their treatment. 

South Shore Orthopedics has a team of sports medicine doctors specializing in treating knee injuries, such as ACL tears. There is no time like the present to start your journey with us. We invite you to explore our website and learn more about why patients choose South Shore Orthopedics for orthopedic care. Request an appointment or give us a call today!