ACL Tear

What is the ACL?

Your anterior cruciate ligament (also known as the ACL), is one of the most important ligaments located in your knee, which connects the lower back part of your thigh with the upper front part of your shin. Due in part to its location, your ACL holds your shin in position and offers rotational stability for your knee.

Injuring Your ACL

An ACL tear is a moderately common, yet severe, knee injury, which can be caused by the following:

  • A strong blow or force to the knee
  • Knee hyperextensions, which can put too much pressure on the ligament

A large number of ACL injuries occur in conjunction with injuries to the meniscus, articular cartilage, and other knee ligaments (like the PCL and/or MCL). Surgery is often required to bring back full knee mobility, but the need for surgery will depend on the serverity of your injury.

Torn ACL Symptoms

If you are playing sports or excercising, injured in a car crash, or slip and fall on a slippery surface, it's quite possible that you may hyperextend a knee in the process, which could cause an ACL tear.

Here are the symptoms that can signify a full or partial ACL tear following a knee injury:

  • Hearing a "pop" sound or feeling the sensation of a "pop"
  • Intense pain in the affected knee
  • Immediate swelling of the knee
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Knee instability when trying to put weight on it

Can You Walk with a Torn ACL?

If you have severely hyperextended your knee or twisted it in an unnantural position, it is entirely possible that you have torn or partially torn your ACL, especially if you notice an immediate sharp pain or hear any sort of "popping" sound.

While you may immediately assume that you will not be able to walk with this type of injury, you may be suprised to learn that you will more than likely still be able to walk on the injured knee (though if it is very severe or there are other injuries involved, you may not). Since there are a multitude of other tendons and ligaments involved in the stability of the knee, their presence should be enough to allow for labored mobility, though you might feel your knee start to give out if you bend or extend it in certain directions.

Keep in mind that just because you can walk on your torn ACL does not mean that you should. Doing so may exacerbate your injury, causing additional pain or complications.

Seek Professional Treatment for a Torn ACL

If your ACL has been torn, the best way to get the proper treatment you will need to make a full recovery is to seek the professional medical attention of an orthopedic specialist. Schedule an appointment with our highly skilled and experienced orthopedic specialists today to learn about your recovery options.