Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

ACL Tear

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of the main stabilizing ligaments in the knee that prevents anterior translation of the tibia relative to the femur. Typically, ACLs are torn by a pivoting mechanism; while the foot and lower leg are planted, the upper leg rotates. The injury presents itself in the form of an acute “pop”, immediate swelling, and pain deep in the knee. X-rays of the knee after an ACL tear are usually normal, but tears are visible on MRIs. Physical therapy constitutes a possible nonoperative treatment plan, however most patients that present with ACL tears must be treated operatively if they wish to maintain active lifestyles since activity modification is not realistic. Meniscus injuries may accompany ACL tears and can be treated in the same operation.