Did I Tear My ACL?


If you watch sports regularly, you’ve likely seen an athlete suddenly fall to the ground, writhing in pain and anguish, clutching their knee before being carried off the field or court. Soon after that, the news breaks that the reason the stricken athlete was so upset was not only because of pain or the inability to put any weight on their afflicted knee, but because they realize that they will be out of commission for a long time because they tore their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Injuries in ACL

A torn ACL is one of many injuries that can occur to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints in and around your knee. But it is also one of the most debilitating, often requiring surgery to fully repair, and usually taking months of recovery and physical therapy before full mobility and function are restored.

When you injure your knee in any significant way, you’ll know it because of pain, swelling, limited range of motion, and/or because you can’t put any weight on that leg. But how do you know if that means you tore your ACL?

The fact is that you won’t know whether you have a torn ACL until you’re properly diagnosed by your physician after a full examination, including x-rays, MRI, ultrasound, and other diagnostic tests. But there are common symptoms that should lead you to seek medical attention, evaluation, and treatment.

The ACL connects your thighbone (femur) to your shinbone (tibia) and helps to stabilize your knee joint. When sudden and severe stress is put on the knee, it raises the chance of tearing the ACL. That is why it is so prevalent in sports, where individuals who play football, basketball, tennis, or other physically demanding activities like CrossFit training often:

  • Suddenly stop, slow down, or change direction (cutting)
  • Pivot with a firmly planted foot
  • Land hard and awkwardly after a jump
  • Receive a direct blow to the knee

Symptoms after a Knee Injury

If you experience any of the following symptoms after a knee injury involving the kind of trauma described above, there’s a good chance you have a torn ACL:

  • A loud \”pop\” or a \”popping\” sensation in your knee
  • Severe pain and inability to continue activity
  • Rapid swelling
  • Loss of range of motion
  • A feeling of instability or \”giving way\” when you attempt to bear weight on the affected leg

Schedule an Appointment at OrthoMiami Today

While a torn ACL is a serious injury, in most cases the damaged ligament can be fully repaired with minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery on an outpatient basis followed by rehabilitation and physical therapy. At OrthoMiami, Miami’s leading orthopedic surgeon, Cesar E. Ceballos, MD, can diagnose the nature and extent of your knee injury. If, in fact, you tore your ACL, he can provide you with the care and treatment that will have you back on your feet as quickly as possible.

As an all-inclusive orthopedic facility, OrthoMiami can get patients their essential imaging, required surgery, and critical follow-up care, including physical therapy Miami, all in one convenient office. The OrthoMiami team always welcomes new patients and can generally schedule new patient appointments within a couple of days.

Please contact us today at (305) 596-2828 to schedule your appointment. We look forward to meeting you.

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