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ACL Tear

Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine -  - Orthopaedic Surgery

Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine

Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located throughout Greater Cincinnati, OH

When you injure your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), chances are it’s a complete tear and other structures in the knee joint are damaged. The physicians at Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine have extensive experience successfully repairing this type of complex injury at their four locations in Cincinnati, as well as their offices in Oxford, Sardinia, and West Chester, Ohio. If you’ve developed knee pain, call the office that’s most convenient for you or schedule an appointment using online booking today.

ACL Tear Q & A

What Causes an ACL Tear?

Your knee joint is supported by four ligaments that hold the bones in place and stabilize the joint. The ACL runs diagonally through your knee joint, connecting your femur with your tibia. Your ACL prevents your tibia from sliding away from your femur. It’s also responsible for giving your knee rotational stability.

Out of the four knee ligaments, the ACL is the one most often injured. While the other ligaments are generally injured following a direct blow, the ACL is usually injured by specific movements, such as:

  • Making a sudden stop
  • Quickly changing direction
  • Landing a jump incorrectly
  • Pivoting and sidestepping
  • Suddenly slowing down while running

You’re most likely to tear the ACL if you engage in sports such as basketball, skiing, football, and soccer.

What Symptoms Develop Due to an ACL Tear?

Many patients notice a popping sound or sensation when they first injure their ACL. You’ll also likely experience one or more of the following:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Knee instability
  • Loss of movement
  • Difficulty walking
  • Knee buckling
  • Tenderness along the joint

Pain, swelling, and knee instability often appear immediately. In about 50% of all cases, patients sustain other injuries in their knee along with an ACL tear, such as meniscus and cartilage damage.

How is an ACL Tear Treated?

Your doctor at Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine begins with a detailed history of your injury and complete physical examination of your knee.  Diagnostic imaging studies may be needed to determine the location and extent of your ACL tear. The type of treatment you receive depends on the severity of your injury and the degree of your knee instability.

  • Nonsurgical Treatment: When your ACL injury is mild or a partial tear, and your knee joint is stable, the first line of treatment is nonsurgical. This treatment includes rest, a brace to immobilize your knee, and activity modification.
  • Surgery: Your doctor may recommend surgery when the ACL is completely torn, your joint is unstable, or other parts of your knee were damaged. Undergoing surgery helps ensure you’ll recover full knee function. ACL tears are seldom stitched together, as that technique doesn’t deliver long-lasting results. Instead, your doctor reconstructs the torn ligament using a tissue graft taken from a healthy tendon.


When you develop pain, swelling, and other symptoms of an ACL tear, call Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine or book an appointment online for expert care.