Symptoms of an acute ACL
- Feeling or hearing a pop in the knee at the
time of injury.
- Pain on the outside and back of the
- The knee swelling within the first few hours of the injury.
This may be a sign of bleeding inside the knee joint. Swelling that occurs
suddenly is usually a sign of a serious knee injury.
- Limited knee
movement because of pain or swelling or both.
- The knee feeling
unstable, buckling, or giving out.
After an acute injury, you will probably have to stop
whatever you are doing because of the pain, but you may be able to walk.
The main symptom of chronic ACL deficiency is the knee buckling or
giving out, sometimes with pain and swelling. This can happen when an ACL
injury is not treated.
Your doctor can
tell whether you have an ACL injury by asking questions about your past health
and examining your knee. The doctor may ask: How did you injure your knee? Have
you had any other knee injuries? Your doctor will check for stability,
movement, and tenderness in both the injured and uninjured knee.
You may need
X-rays, which can show damage to the knee bones. Or
you may need other imaging tests, such as an
MRI. An MRI can show damage to ligaments,
tendons, muscles, and knee cartilage.
Arthroscopy may also be done. During arthroscopy, your
doctor inserts surgical tools through one or more small cuts (incisions) in the
knee to look at the inside of the knee.
Start first aid right away.
These first-aid tips will reduce swelling and pain. Use the RICE method. The
letters stand for Rest the knee, put Ice on it, use an elastic bandage to give gentle
Compression to the knee, and Elevate the leg by propping it up above the level of your
heart. And at first it's also important to move your leg as little as possible. Take
over-the-counter pain medicine.