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ACL Tear

What is an ACL tear?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a specific structure in the knee that aids in providing stability. The ACL originates on the back portion of the thigh (femur), and inserts on the front portion of the lower leg (tibia). The ACL restricts the tibia from sliding forward and turning out excessively. It helps athletes with the ability to make quick cuts and twists while staying on their feet. An ACL can be sprained, partially torn or fully torn. When this happens, a person is at higher risk for further injury due to instability.

What causes an ACL tear?

  • Changing direction rapidly
  • Landing from a jump incorrectly
  • Direct contact or collision, such as a tackle

What are symptoms of a ligament tear?

  • Swelling
  • Instability
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Tenderness along the joint
  • Discomfort with normal activities