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ACL Injuries

What Are ACL Injuries?

An ACL injury is a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is one of four major ligaments of your knee. It connects the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone). The ACL provides stability to the knee for many activities, including deceleration, pivoting and change of direction with assistance from the surrounding muscles.

Torn anterior cruciate ligament graphic

Torn anterior cruciate ligament

A torn ACL can result in stiffness immediately after acute injury, and limits your ability to return to many common activities and sports. ACL injuries may occur with any sport, including soccer, football, gymnastics, basketball, skiing or tennis. Activities that put athletes most at risk include:

  • Landing incorrectly from jumps

  • Stopping suddenly

  • Quickly changing directions

  • Collisions or falls

Often, individuals feel or hear a popping noise in their knee when the ACL is injured. The damage to the ACL may be a partial or complete tear across the tissue. Research suggests there can be many factors contributing to increased likelihood of ACL injury including:

  • Hamstring muscles are often weaker than the quadriceps muscles. The hamstring muscles assist in stabilizing the knee and preventing the shin bone from translating during pivoting and cutting activities.

  • Landing from jumps in a manner that creates stress and rotation at the knee.

When to Seek a Specialist

If you suspect you have an injury to your ACL, contact an experienced sports medicine provider immediately. Symptoms of an ACL injury include sudden popping sound or feeling in the knee, collapsing or “giving way” sensation in the knee, and inability to finish your activity. View all symptoms of an ACL injury.

Expert Care to Treat Your ACL Injury

At Temple Health, our sports medicine providers understand the unique structure of the knee and offer understanding, care and support throughout your entire treatment and recovery journey.

With six convenient locations across Philadelphia, we’re making it easy to get the care you need. We offer:

  • A multidisciplinary team, including specialists, physicians, surgeons, physical therapists and rehabilitation specialists, that works together to treat your injury and help you recover

  • Highly qualified physicians who understand the drive and desire athletes have to return to sport

  • Ability to see a sports medicine specialist within 24 hours of injury or referral

  • Latest advances in treating and rehabilitating ACL injuries, including nonsurgical and surgical options

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of ACL injuries, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat ACL injuries.

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