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Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

  • What is Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury?

    The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the main stabilising ligaments in the knee. An anterior cruciate ligament injury is a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament.

  • Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament are common among people who play sports that involve start-stop movements, pivoting or sudden changes in direction. These sports include football, netball, tennis, dancing and skiing.

  • Symptoms of anterior cruciate ligament injury include:

    • A popping sound when the ligament ruptures
    • Difficulty with knee movements
    • Feeling of instability, with the knee ‘giving way’ during daily activities
    • Pain immediately after an injury
    • Swelling of the affected knee within 4 – 12 hours
    • Walking with a painful limp
  • Nonsurgical treatment methods include:

    • Rest and immobilisation
    • Physiotherapy to restore function to your knee and strengthen the leg muscles that support it

    The aims of treatment are to:

    • Increase muscle strength
    • Increase range of knee movement
    • Increase stability of the knee
    • Reduce knee pain and swelling

    If your ACL is torn badly, reconstruction surgery may be needed. Consult an orthopaedic surgeon to determine the treatment method most suitable for you.

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