Knee anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
The knee is one of the strongest joints in the body. However, the ligaments are prone to injury. The most common type of sprain or tear of the knee is in the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. This type of injury occurs when the ACL is stretched too far or tears.
A ligament tear may be partial or it can be complete. A torn or sprained ACL can happen when you make a sudden, twisting movement that causes your feet to stay planted one way but your knees to turn a different way. It may also be caused by a direct hit to the knee or overextension of the knee joint. Basketball, football, soccer and skiing are sports commonly linked to ACL sprains and tears.
Knee sprain, strain and tear symptoms
Signs and symptoms of a knee sprain, strain or tear may include:
A popping sound at the time of injury
Discomfort when walking
Inability to use your knee in a normal manner
Pain, especially when attempting to bear weight on the affected area
Swelling and irritation of the knee
Knee sprain, strain and tear diagnosis
Diagnosis of sprains, strain and tears of the knee typically begins with a thorough examination and medical history. It may also include:
Arthroscopy—a procedure that uses a small tube containing a tiny video camera and light inserted into your knee to allow your doctor to view the damaged area internally.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)—uses a large magnet, radio frequencies and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs and structures of the knee.
X-ray—uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams that make images of your knee bones and their surrounding soft tissues.
Knee sprain, strain and tear treatment
At The Christ Hospital Health Network, we have the years of experience, training and the advanced technology it takes to treat sprains, strains and tears of your knees. Whether it’s a mild strain or a full-blown torn ACL, our nationally recognized physicians put together an individualized care plan that gets you on the road to good health and wellbeing as quickly as possible.
In minor cases, the RICE method may be used:
If additional treatment is needed, it may include:
A brace or cast to immobilize the affected area
Arthroscopy to treat sprains, strains and tears, in addition to its diagnostic uses
Crutches or a wheelchair to aid in movement
Limits or restrictions on activity
Medication for pain control
Physical therapy - to stretch and strengthen the area surrounding the injury and improve the quality of movement
Surgery to repair the injury or damage
At The Christ Hospital Health Network, we provide exceptional care for knee sprains, strains and tears.
Find a knee specialist near you.