Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) - Torn Ligament in Knee

The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL, is critical to knee stability as it is one of the main restraining ligaments in the knee. The ACL runs through the centre of the knee, from the back of the thigh bone (femur) to the front of the shin (tibia). Its role is to act as a link mechanism between the thigh and the lower leg.

A torn ligament in the knee is more often than not a sports related injury as it is synonymous with rough play, but can occur as a result of a fall, collision or twisting of the knee. Most ligament tears occur when pivoting or landing from a jump and when you least expect it.

There are different degrees of ACL knee injury, which is why is it very important to make sure you seek professional advice if you suspect you may have an injury.

Symptoms of an ACL Knee Injury

The symptoms most people feel are a sense of their knee giving-out from under them. The stability of the knee is lost and often results in the first instance of limping to compensate from the instability being experienced. There are many expressions given to describe tears, such as popped, torn, ruptured and snapped. Once an ACL knee injury has occurred, the ligament can partially heal and many patients with an ACL tear start to feel better within a few weeks of the injury through rest. 

These people may feel that their knee is normal again as the patient is usually able to return to walking or straight line running following a torn ACL, but in most cases however, the ligament will not heal tight enough to be fully functioning, for example for sports involving rapid change of direction, or over uneven ground. It may be that the cruciate ligament is not functional in controlling stability in rotation activities. Very often diagnosis is delayed because near normal activities are recovered giving a false sense of security. Therefore, without proper advice and investigation, problems with stability may persist and the condition made worse.

Back View of the Knee, ACL in green. Image courtesy of Primal Pictures

Consultation Process 

If you are experiencing problems with your knee, then a proper consultation with a qualified and experienced Knee Specialist is essential. Mr Guido Geutjens will always take you through a thorough examination and investigation process before providing a diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been given, and if an ACL tear is confirmed, Mr Geutjens will then discuss with you the correct procedure to ensure a successful recovery from the condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to the questions we are most asked. If you have a query that isn't covered, please do get in contact.