Three Telltale Signs of an ACL Tear

Running on a Track

An ACL tear is a common sports injury that affects the anterior cruciate ligament, which is one of the knee’s main support structures. Damage to the ACL typically results from impact that occurs when you suddenly stop or change direction while playing football, soccer, basketball, or another high-impact sport. Explore some of the common signs of an ACL tear.

A Loud Popping Sound

If you injure your ACL, you might know right away. When the tear occurs, it often causes a loud popping sound. Other people who are nearby can usually hear this sound as well.

Severe Pain and Instability

An ACL injury usually makes it difficult to walk or stand because of intense pain in your knee. If you try to walk or run, you probably won’t be able to do so comfortably. When you try to stand, you may feel like your knee is unstable and cannot support your weight. Sometimes, a torn ACL occurs in conjunction with a torn meniscus, which will cause a sharp pain in the back of the knee joint.

Immediate Swelling

You might also experience significant, rapid swelling if you have an ACL tear. This is caused by blood rushing to the knee to respond to the injury. Your knee may also be red and feel warm to the touch. Unlike minor sports injuries, swelling after an ACL tear persists even after 48 hours of rest, elevation, compression, and icing.

Please note: In some instances, you may not experience any swelling or severe pain when you tear your ACL. We’ve had patients come in with discomfort, not realizing it was an actual tear because they didn’t experience any of these common symptoms.

The team at 360 Orthopedics can diagnose the cause of your knee pain and recommend the appropriate treatment for your sports injury. If you think you might have torn your ACL, you can stop by one of our three Sarasota-area locations to receive an MRI and an X-ray, as well as a physical examination, to assess the damage. Schedule your appointment today by calling 941-951-2663 or completing our online form.

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