How to tell if acl is injured?

Oh no, did your knee just make a funny sound while you were playing basketball with your friends? Don’t worry; it’s just the birds chirping. Wait, birds don’t chirp indoors or in crowded places, do they? That’s when it hits you – Did I tear my ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament)?

ACL injuries are not uncommon among athletes, especially those who play sports that involve a lot of jumping and turning. You may have heard of famous sportspersons suffering from ACL injuries and having to sit out games for months.

But how do you know whether it really is an ACL injury or something less severe? Worry not! Here’s what you need to know to figure out whether your ACL has taken any damage.

What is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)?

Let’s get this straight before we start delving into ways of injuring our precious little top ponytail holder. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one among four ligaments that connect the femur (thigh bone) with the tibia(shin bone). It forms a cross-like structure along with its counterpart PCL(Posterior Cruciate Ligament).

The role of the knee joint’s cruciate cross-shaped ligaments involves stabilizing lower leg bones by preventing them from sliding back and forth relative to thigh bone movement. They also enable rotation at the knee joint.

Tearing off an anterior cruciate ligament usually happens due to excessive twisting/rotation or pivoting motions coupled with deceleration such as planting and quickly changing direction/pushing off all too fast.

There are different grades ranging from Grade 1(mild sprain), Grade 2(partially torn), Grade 3(complete/full tear);depending on severity levels so there’s usually no crowd surfing immediately after tearing one;especially if you’re a footballcough soccer enthusiast.

How do I know if my ACL is injured?

An ACL injury can be identified usually by the following symptoms:

The POP!

Nobody knows how or why the sound came to define tearing of an ACL, but that’s what you usually hear. Sometimes it’s a dull POP, other times it sounds like someone popping balloons (Loud pop! Ahhhh!).

You may have this greenish stagnant look vividly replacing your red-hot demeanor post hearing some such noise in your knee. That feeling of unease and immediate stiffness sinking in with extreme pain would make even grandpa John spit out his chewing tobacco.


Swelling around the kneecap indicates that there has been damage to one or multiple ligaments surrounding the area. Often, most people describe their knees looking “like a tennis ball!”
Yea right Poppetty- No ,but seriously,your affected knee will balloon up within hours after injuring yourself as blood vessels underneath start pooling up before dispersing into lymphatic system .

So when you notice gross swelling, keep calm; grab some ice packs but wait…

FYI about ACLs: About thirty percent of ACL-injured patients feel no swelling symptoms on their knees immediately.However,before nursing any hope of being part of these lucky statistics,J-Lo shall sing her song -‘Ain’t Your Mama”.

Ahem..That was our very own cough[Inspirational musical interlude]cough. We were just saying, (J.Lo please go).Where were we? Oh yeah ice packs yay!Using an Ace bandage variation for compression works well especially keeping down inflammation build-ups,but try not tightening until things get lumpy (don’t wrap circular bands above/below joints/less elastic areas) cause then you’ll end up having more issues than merely trying to keep the cold pack in place.


The knee joint may feel weak, lose its balance or wobble. With torn ACL, there’s always going to be a sense of your leg giving away and not feeling entirely stable especially during any activity that involves sharp turns, pulls or twists like trying out King Louie’s monkey dance moves from the jungle book (not advisable before severe introspection)

Pro Tip: It is best practice to immediately stop engaging in such activities after experiencing one episode.

Even Walking stretches without proper protection make you vulnerable;anything can happen so with each step gait should usually becomes more uneasy / awkward.
While this part may sound funny & comical it is important to take control of such situations instead of considering it an entertainment circus trailer!!


Pain levels will vary depending on the severity level.Intermittent tingling/numbing sensations when small nerves/tiny blood vessels get injured are also common.They aren’t calluses/pimples they’re just zits you would’ve rather foregone occurring for sure thus walk gingerly & let’s hope nobody sneaks up behind you while playing Marco/Polo Tag! It’s easy enough

However,Apart from this mild discomfort anything beyond that warrants immediate medical attention.

When should I visit a doctor?

Given how crucial our knees are towards normal body functioning,a checkup by physicians shall ensure appropriate precautionary measures which might involve surgery or non-surgical rehab methods as prescribed/advised taking into account severity level paired accordingly with imaging studies(e.g -CT scans,magnetic resonance imaging).

Success chances remain high if diagnosed early,since repeated injuries could worsen recovery outcomes too extensive sustained damage measurement periods affect overall treatment effectiveness significantly.
In short- Whether it’s determined injury grade 1/3 ,get thee hence to thy physician straightaway(without passing go)!

May we suggest calling them uptight old magistrates hailing to order injury court?

Wanna hear something strange? A person can tear their ACL while being relaxed and stretching in a mundane pose as well! Then why go on with this article you might ask if the knee will tear unfairly anyways;Read On Bud, We’re educating not fear mongering

How is an ACL diagnosed – Fun & Games!

Hey Doc ,you wanna play Connect The dots? Let’s start at my left kneecap!!

No,no, no. That’s not how it goes.

History taking

The diagnostic process begins of course by way of procedural history taking- pointing out onset times due to activity or otherwise,numbing sensations that manifest itself once back on your feet,gait related limping etc . This is like going down memory lane only without whipped cream/hair spray and lotsa probing questions thrown right back at ya !

NotePlease remember Our acl jokes ends here where a physician takes on a serious role assessing extent/scope/antecedents & nature of injuries carefully for maximum recovery prospects”.(Sorry :)- we got slightly carried away)

Physical exam

A physical examination such as ligamentous testing shall try recreate painful movements/report any discomforts experienced when certain positions are attainted.You also may need to perform movement tests like hopping on affected leg (Icarus Dreams completely avoided), which help show whether the bones slip/dislocate in reaction.
There are several types such as anterior drawer test,lachman test, pivot shift tests often performed along with mobility checks followed thereafter(including range-of-motion checkups).

Some elements explored could include “Yank” maneuvers too,ninjas would probably switch over these segments real quick;But keep trying since particular movements sport different cues/exercise techniques picked up by skilled trainers still maintaining safety/rehab protocols.

Imaging studies

Finger tracing/magnetism measuring/kneecap poking yielding inconclusive results? It’s time for Mr. Scanner to come into action!

Want good news??Not all ACL injuries require an Imaging study;however they help trauma specialists observe detailed views of potential damaging conditions/disease including haematomas/fractures.

The following are common imaging test types that give different and valuable information about the injury:
X-rays: use radiation that passes through dense objects such as bones providing details like bone fractures only
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): involves surrounding patient with magnetic + radiowaves pulses & can help visualize soft tissues/even captured pictures show tiny ligaments/precise site of damage.

Remembering these things would bring to mind Kool & The Gang classic-“Too HOT! TOO HOT!”

Treatment options

If your ACL has been injured, you have various treatment options depending on how severe the injury is:

Non-surgical treatment

Rehabilitation protocols paired along with non-invasive methods may be prescribed those who still maintain full range-of-motion management/control over their limbs without aggressive pain symptoms.Normally no surgery required in grade 1 mild sprains/partial tears too.

Physiotherapy might begin after inflammation reduction.The focus falls primarily focusing restoring motion health /development so stretching/mobility building exercises are conducted while keeping track via medical charts/records & progress tracking reports along each session accounted diligently for future reference :From personal fitness trainer to athletes well-being advocates,it takes a village..Hopefully one Tlazolteotl can nod her head upon in supportive agreement.

Pro tip: Try setting achievable short-term physical activity goals daily rather than long term or complete reflection outcomes at once.Gurantee it makes recovery feel more manageable within gradual expectations if not adhered,discuss the changes/suggested techniques improving on targets/results with your instructor.


In high-grade injures,surgery remains most probable treatmen modalities ,based on severity, as traditional physiotherapy/embedded practices fail to keep progress in check. A surgical intervention may become necessary for athletes returning back to top-level activity.

Orthopedic Surgeons follow particular protocol guided by presurgical evaluations with prescription painkillers managing anxieties comfortable sedation before anaesthetics administered during operation (which could take just under hour)followed thereafter by vigilance cool down periods

It is often beneficial to perform a Hamstring Autograft reconstruction using tissues harvested from their own body which heal faster/better than synthetic grafts.

This can help surfers/FIFA MOE’S giving more confidence levels even out of the playing field cause we all know they dance break in Siam square sometime or other;).

What about knee brace?

You might have heard about knee braces used after an ACL injury.

Whether its prescribed or not,the most popular support appears based on medical science research if moderate instability’s been detected- post op stage 1/2 when performing single-limb jumps/sports requiring fast change drive like basketball.Can’t say that you’re running through spritzes and fast footwork drills without adequate preparation causes unnecessary stresses blamed wrongly to Bracing efficacy!).

Point being well-fitted soft/hard specialized designed bracings aid discomfort reduction/stabilization options ‘with love’ enabling smoother rebounding movements/transitions from sitting-walking rather than resulting overly anxious panic reactions every few seconds.


ACL injuries are painful but also common due to the immense stress experienced by the ligament while playing intense sports.

If you suspect you’ve injured your ACL, don’t hesitate and seek medical attention at once since prompt recovery increases chances yielding regain Confidence! regardless of treatment option(s).

Just remember – jumping off sand piles with no crash mats aren’t worth it unless there’s a camera around capturing Baywatch suitable shots.Hey,you ain’t exactly David Hasselhof!. Stay safe and protect your knees at all times.

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