The Orthopedic Blog

What is the Difference between an ACL Tear and a Meniscus Tear

Posted on Mon, May 20, 2013 @ 15:05 PM

What is the Difference between an ACL Tear and a Meniscus Tear

To find out that one has an ACL or an MCL tear is truly devastating news to receive. This normally means that an athlete has to take several months off from his sports activities or even end his career as a sportsman. An ACL and MCL tear can be extremely painful, and rehabilitation alone can hardly fix it, which is why surgery is constantly recommended. Although these injuries are both a tear to the ligament, they have their own differences.

What is an ACL Tear?

The ACL is one of the four ligaments found in a person’s knee. Its main functions are to steady the knee, keep the knee from turning too much, and allowing the tibia to overextend itself.What is the Difference between an ACL Tear and a Meniscus Tear When a person incurs an injury to the ACL, it is normally because of a sudden twist of the knee or a dislocation.

The difference between an ACL and MCL tear is that when an ACL is torn, the patient will hear a shrill “popping”-type sound from his knee. Soon after, inflammation and swelling will start to show. During this time, the patient will feel extreme pain around his knee. It is advisable to see an orthopedist immediately, so that the medical practitioner can make a clear diagnosis and proceed with the surgical alternative to fix the tear.

What is an MCL Tear?

An MCL or medial collateral ligament is located in the knee's inner region and works on resisting and widening the knee joint. An MCL tear normally happens during rigorous sports activities, such as rugby, soccer, and football. When an athlete clips his knee from the outer side of the knee, it often causes the knee joint to widen in the inner part to the extent that a tear appears. 

Symptoms of an MCL tear are almost similar to the ones of an MCL tear, except that the patient does not hear any distinctive sound, but he will feel extreme pain immediately.

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Topics: ACL and MCL Tear