Slight ACL Tear Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis
The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is a ligament situated in a person’s knee and it connects the femur to the tibia. It is one of the four ligaments that can be easily torn through active participation in sports and any other vigorous activities. Knee injuries such as ACL tears can range from a complete to a slight ACL tear. Without proper treatment, the injury could cause the ligaments to struggle with controlling the knee’s movement and the bones are more aptly to rub against one another.
Causes of ACL Injuries
The ACL can be injured if the knee joint is bent from side to side, backward, or twisted. The possibility of injury is greater if more than one of the aforementioned movements happens simultaneously. Being hit by an object or another person can also cause an ACL tear. A slight ACL tear can occur during sports, even if the foot firmly lands on the soil and a sudden force thumps the knee while the leg is slightly bent or straight.
ACL tears can also occur when an athlete changes his direction swiftly, lands from a jump, or slows down when running. These injuries are very common in sports, such as football, rugby, skiing, and soccer. Other sports that require multiple stop-and-go movements, weaving, and jumping can cause this injury as well. At times, unexpected mishaps like missing a step or falling off a chair or ladder can cause a slight ACL tear.
Symptoms of ACL Tears
- The knee buckling, giving out, or feeling unstable
- Restricted knee movement due to swelling and/or pain
- The knee engorged within several hours of injury occurrence
- Pain in the back of the knee and on the outside
- Hearing or feeling a loud pop in the knee when the injury occurs
Diagnosis of ACL Tears
Athletes who injure their knee should consult a sports medical doctor as soon as possible. If the doctor is unable to diagnose the injury, he will refer the athlete to a knee specialist. Typically, an orthopedist will examine the knee and run a few significant tests to determine the severity of the slight ACL tear. Tests normally include X-rays, MRI scans, and even arthroscopy.
For more information about ACL tears, please call us at 646-593-7305 or click the link below to receive a call from our specialists.