Skip to content

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries

Font Size

Home Treatment

If you have an acute (sudden) anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, use the following first aid steps to reduce pain and swelling:

  • Rest and reduce your activity level. If it hurts to put weight on your knee, use crutches until you can see your doctor. Crutches can be rented from most drugstores. Crutches should not be used for long, because a lack of activity can cause muscle tissue to waste away and cause restricted movement of the knee.
  • Ice your knee. To avoid a freeze-burn, don't put the ice directly on your skin. Put a cloth or towel between the ice and your knee.
  • Elevate your knee while applying ice or anytime you are sitting or lying down.
  • Wrap your knee with an elastic bandage or neoprene sleeve (available at a drugstore). This may help ease pain during movement and reduce fluid inside the knee. Don't wrap your knee too tightly, as this may cause swelling below the bandage. Loosen the bandage if it is too tight. Signs of an overly tight bandage include numbness, tingling, increased pain, and coolness in the foot.
  • Take medicine such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce your pain.

After diagnosis of an ACL injury, your doctor may suggest exercises that help strengthen your leg and increase your range of motion. They may be the start of your nonsurgical treatment program or be used to help prepare your knee for surgery.

actionset.gif ACL Injury: Exercises to Do Before Treatment
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 04, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

bloodstream
Tips to help prevent clots.
checking blood sugar
Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
Live and thrive.
gloved hand holding syringe
10 preventable diseases.
psoriasis
How to identify that bite.
man eating meal
Folates, green tea and more.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
Woman with stressed, fatigue
Get relief tips.
restroom sign
Food and drinks that make you go.
two male hands
Understanding RA.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.