What is it?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee is a strong band of tissue connecting the thigh bone to the shinbone. The ACL ligament may suffer from injuries, which happen mostly during sport activities which include a sudden stop or change in direction such as skiing, playing soccer, football and basketball. When the ACL is injured people may hear a "pop" sound or feel it and after some time the knee gets swollen and painful.

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Anterior cruciate ligament tear.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- ACL tear

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include a pop sound or popping sensation in the knee, severe pain, rapid swelling, loss of range of motion, and a feeling of instability.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include imaging tests of the knee such as an MRI and an ultrasound.


Treatment for ACL tear depends on the severity of the injury as well as on the preference of the patient. It includes rest, icing, compression with an elastic bandage and elevation of the leg.
Then, surgical procedures may be recommended. A rehabilitation with physical therapy for several weeks is always necessary.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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