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ACL Injury Symptoms – What You Should Know

If you have ever had an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, you most likely knew it immediately because of the symptoms. ACL injury symptoms are pretty standard from case to case, but there are times when someone with an ACL injury has little to no symptoms to alert them to what is going on.

However, most of the time, you will have at least one of the symptoms if you have a torn ACL. It is extremely rare to not have any symptom at all with an ACL injury.

The most common out of the ACL injury symptoms is swelling of the knee. The knee swelling with an ACL injury is almost always present and usually fairly quickly after the injury occurs.

If your knee swells about five to ten minutes after the incident, then you more than likely have torn your ACL.

Sometimes, a person will disregard the swelling as just a normal thing from injuring the knee and will not seek medical attention for several days or even weeks after the injury.

This is bad in many ways, but most importantly because continuing to put pressure on a torn ACL can cause even more knee damage and will need more extensive knee surgery than simple ACL repair.

Always go see your doctor after injuring your knee, especially if swelling is present.

Pain is the next most common out of the ACL injury symptoms. With a torn ACL, the pain can be moderate or it can be severe. It just depends on the person and their tolerance for pain.

ACL Injury Symptoms Pain + Swelling = See a Doctor

Like swelling, many people do not pay attention to the pain as a warning sign that something bad is wrong with their injured knee. They simply think the pain will go away in time as the knee heals.

Again, this is dangerous because you can cause even more damage to your knee.

So, if you have pain with your knee injury, you should definitely go see your doctor or go to the emergency room in order to prevent any further damage.

The final thing on the list of ACL injury symptoms is knee instability. When there is an ACL injury, it causes the knee to be wobbly and can cause the knee to sort of give out, thus making you fall.

This is usually viewed as a nuisance and is something that a lot of people with ACL injuries think they just have to live with.

This is not the case.

The instability of the knee can be fixed with simple ACL repair surgery.

The quicker you get your ACL injury taken care of, the quicker you will be back up to par and can do all of the activities you once enjoyed.

{ 74 comments… add one }
  • Markel Keys

    i am 19ys old playing football a really tough runner i was draging 4 guys and stopped once i heard whistle everybody else didnt and my knee buckled inward and i fell no popping sound or anything no crazy swelling just a tiny bit and i can still cut havnt tried full speed yet 2 trainers looked and sai no acl tear injury and one other doctor said its torn the only pain i have is the tiny swelling any info to help me im desperate for an answer please!

    • Jim Wnek

      Hello there. First thank you for visiting our site.
      Markel,
      Couple questions.
      1. Have you seen an orthopaedic surgeon?
      2. Did he or she order an MRI?
      3. If so, did you get the MRI done and receive the results?

      Honestly without imaging of the ACL it is very difficult to know of it is torn or not.

      Now, the good things. No popping, no major swelling and you still have ability to run and cut at least at half speed.
      So, what I would do first is see an orthopaedic. Get an MRI. See if there is damage.
      If there is damage then your doctor will go over your options.
      If there is NO damage (which we hope there is not) then email me back and I will let you know how we can help via the website.

      thanks
      Jim

      • Markel Keys

        It was not an orthopaedic surgeon just the team doctor. I have an mri in the middle of next week i do not know if this is wrong to do right now but i have been doing resistant band workouts on my legs also. I am icing 24/7 and streching hamstring and quad muscles threw the day. Im just a competitior and will do anything to be on the field. I really appreciate that you took the time of day to acknowledge my questions and giving me info thank you sir.

  • Markel Keys

    I was just told the worst after the MRI that my acl was torn complete but im not giving up on my dream which is very well insight my question is which is the best way to recover and fastest and in about 7 months if i rehab harder than anyone else would it be possible for me to be back at full form by august? Im willing to do anything to heal as fast as possible but i dont want to accidently overdue it because i have a relentless work ethic and must have limits or i will go over board. i ask the trainers questions and they are not too sure about every little question i have.

  • Isabelle

    Hello,
    I am a 19 year old girl and about a month ago I was playing soccer when I felt my knee pop and slip. I immediately couldn’t put any weight on it and had to come off the field. I iced it pretty much all day for about 6 days and waited about a week to go to the doctor. By this time the swelling had mostly gone down and I wasn’t in too much pain but I decided to go to the doctor due to a feeling of instability and weakness in my knee. She performed multiple physical exams including the Lachman Test and determined that my acl was torn so she sent me to get an MRI to refer me to a surgeon. Surprisingly, the MRI showed an in tact acl so the surgery was canceled. I asked her what could have caused the positive Lachman and the still persisting instability and she had no answer for me. She redid the physcial exam and concluded that it still felt torn but the MRI said it wasn’t, so she released me. It has been three weeks since this with no change in my knee. It still feels very unstable and it definitely feels like something is wrong. My question is: could the MRI be wrong? If not, what could be wrong with my knee?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Jim Wnek

      Hello, first thank you for visiting.
      Well, first I am sorry to hear you injured yourself. Injuries do stink.

      could the MRI be wrong?——-
      MRI’s are not always 100%. Very close 99.9%. So my answer is yes. Very unlikely- but there is a very slim chance it could be wrong.
      I would get a second opinion from another Orthopaedic and explain. Also, see if they can order another MRI to compare.
      MRI’s are expensive and they do expose you to small doses of radiation.

      What could be wrong with my knee?——
      Well several things.
      1. The ACL could have been stretched. Not torn but stretched therefore weakening it a bit. Overtime it will heal itself but you will have to strengthen the surrounding stabilizing muscles (knee, hip, ankle and core musculature.)

      2. Not doing anything (strengthening/rehab) for your knee for a week or so you became weak. Decrease in strength will cause a sense of instability.

      3. If you still have swelling the knee joint becomes expanded. It’s called joint effusion. When the knee gets swollen there is no where else for the fluid to go so the knee joint gets filled and expands the joint. When that happens the knee joint has decreased range of motion and the knee becomes unstable. If you are having swelling, you need to continue icing as well as elevate like you have been to get the swelling under control. Ice should be applied 20 minutes on 30 minutes off. Then repeat.

      Couple questions:
      Do you have swelling? If so, how much? and when?
      Do you have sharp pain? If so, what are you doing when you have the pain?
      How are stairs? any pain? does you knee give out?
      Have you ran? can you run? what does it feel like?
      Has the doctor ordered formal physical therapy? If not, you should start receiving immediately.
      Next, I would strongly consider a 2nd opinion.

      Any further help please just respond back.

      Thanks
      Jim

  • Lucy

    Hi i am 13 years old and I tore my right acl last year in April (i was 12 at the time) I had a acl reconstruction in July. I have been doing rehab for nearly nine months and my os said I was allowed to do back to sports now. On Thursday I was playing touch rugby in PE. I stopped very suddenly as someone fan in front of me. It almost felt like my thigh went over my shin? I could feel the joint shift i think. There was immediate swelling but it wasn’t very much. It was very painful not not that bad that I couldn’t walk on it. I have been icing it for the last 4 days the swelling came up the most that night. I went to the doctor that night but he said it was too swollen to tell ( he wasn’t a orthopaedic doctor, just saying) and to come back on Thursday to see an orthaedic . I still have 3 days before the next visit so i was wondering if anyone could help me? Is it possible that I have torn my acl graft? If it helps i had a hamstring graft last time.
    My symptoms:
    No popping with the injury but something moved
    Swelling
    It feels a little unstable but it might just be in my head
    It has been popping at random times like when I straighten my leg
    I can not bend it past about 90 degrees because it feels like it is being blocked.
    This has really been bugging be and I am hoping it will just be a sprain. Thank you !

    • Jim Wnek

      Hello Lucy
      First thanks for seeking out info and landing on our site.

      I’ll be straight forward with you.

      From everything you explained there is a chance you may have re-tore it.
      **NOW** I would just wait until you see the ortho. He or she will most likely order another MRI.

      Wondering a couple things:
      When you stopped suddenly – was your leg rotated at all? was your involved knee straight or bent?
      I am hoping (for you) it is just a sprain.

      Swelling will limit your range of motion as well as make your knee feel unstable.

      For now you are doing everything you can. Rest, elevate and ice. Wait till doctor’s opinion and testing.

      Keep me posted

      Hope this helps
      Jim

  • Melissa

    Hello,

    I was just curious if the symptoms of an ACL tear would be different if it was torn a 2nd time (same knee).

    Thanks!

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Melissa

      I am so sorry for such a delay in response.
      Yes and no. Pain, swelling instability are the 3 main symptoms.
      Everyone is different, everyone’s body will respond differently.

      thanks
      jim

  • Ben

    I was paying basketball 2 weeks ago, and I went for a ball, I landed on my knee and my knee gave out, it swelled on the way to the emergency room, then they did X-rays no break was shown, and they said if its still swollen then go see a doctor, so I did then my doctor sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. I got an MRI today, and my knee still has swelling and is still in moderate pain. I jog and somewhat cut on it. What should I do?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Ben
      First thanks for visiting the site.
      Second sorry for delay in response

      I definitely would see what the results of the MRI are and see if there is anything damaged.
      I’m sure by now you would have found out.

      What happened? Get me up to date?

      thanks
      jim

  • Jim R

    Hi,

    Thanks for the helpful info on your site.

    I’ve had recurring minor instability and minor swelling in one knee over the last few years. When this happens, I just rest it and slowly try to strengthen it back up on my own. It usually seems to get better after several weeks and I go through periods when I can run a hard basketball game or go for a 10 mile run with no pain, no swelling, and no noticeable instability. But every now and then it comes back. Would you bet that I am making things worse over time, or could it be that this rest and recovery cycle is a reasonably safe strategy?

    Thanks!
    Jim R

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Jim, thanks for visiting and sorry for delay in response.

      Question: Would you bet that I am making things worse over time, or could it be that this rest and recovery cycle is a reasonably safe strategy?

      Yes in the respect that you are aggravating something in that knee. Not sure what but sounds like something doesn’t like all the stress. Good news is that you have a regimen to keep things under control. Problem is- is that your rest and recovery may start be longer and more often. So be careful.

      I think it is a safe strategy- however if it was me I would want to know if anything is damaged. You don’t want to what be only be a small injury and turn it into a very significant one.

      Keep me posted
      jim

  • Lauren Nikirk

    Hello,

    My name is Lauren Nikirk. About two years ago skating it felt as a dislocated my knee I couldn’t put any weight on it for about a month. I let it heal, a year later I got kicked in the knee and it began to swell and gave out as well for about a month or a month and a half. Recently four days ago I got ran into by a pitbull and my leg was in so much pain and began to swell and feel very unsteady. What do you think it could be? Often if I run or anything it feels as if its popping and gets a fluid added up. Is this serious or should I just ice it?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Lauren
      Sorry for delay in response.

      Question: What do you think it could be?——–Really not sure without x-rays or imaging. Also maybe a little too early to tell if it is just a sprain or strain.
      I woudl give a few days, ice the heck out of it and the re-assess it and then make a determination if a visit to the doctor is warranted.

      Often if I run or anything it feels as if its popping and gets a fluid added up. Is this serious or should I just ice it?——Definitely ice it. But if this happens every time I would think a good month of therapy could help (because it may just be chondromalacia or patella-femoral pain due to patella tracking issues) and or a visit to the doctor to see if anything is damaged which would be causing the popping and fluid build up.

      good luck
      keep me posted
      jim

  • Caitlyn

    Hi,
    I tore my left acl about two years ago, so it is close to being fully healed. 5 days ago, I was playing soccer and I planted my foot to pivot and it felt like it shifted. It gave out and I fell down, but it felt like my knee caught itself. Also, I did not feel pops like the first time, I would compare it more to my knee shifting and rubbing against itself. It was not nearly as bad as when I tore it the first time. Also, I immediately got up and walked off the field. It did swell and bit, but again, not as much as the first time I tore it. Also, the pain doesn’t even compare. Today, (5 days later) I can walk perfectly normal and with no pain. It feels a little weird when I walk, but the swelling is very small and therefore my range of motion may only be a few degrees off from normal. I am hoping I just sprained my knee or just stretched the tendons based on the fact that the symptoms are so much more mild compared to the first time. I have an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon/doctor, but any opinions until then?

    does it sound like an acl tear or just a sprain?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Caitlyn

      Sorry for delay in response.
      By now you have probably have seen a doctor and have figured it all out.

      But from the sounds of what you explained. It would be hard to determine.

      Quick question: when you said you tore your ACL 2 years ago, did you have surgery?

      Due to you bouncing back that quickly from the injury it looks like it is pointing towards just a tweek but cannot be for certain.

      What did the doctor say or what happened?

      thanks
      jim

  • Lowell

    Jim,
    I have been searching high and low for a site like this. Right now I am looking for a second opinion regarding an ACL injury. Little history: my right knee has hurt on/off for around four years. I am an active runner, triathlete, participate in taekwondo, and have been serving in the military for 24 years (male, 42). Anyway, I hurt my right knee during taekwondo sparring around eight weeks ago. Pain was 6 of 10 and no external swelling, but certainly internal tightness and limited range of motion.

    I seen a doctor two weeks afterward when it was not getting better. He prescribed an NSAID and an MRI referral that was completed four weeks later (28Aug). I just seen the doc again today for the MRI results and he is now referring me to ortho. My results are as follows (I have had other MRIs on the knee 2009 & 2011):

    Technique: Multiplanar, multisequence imaging of the knee was obtained using a 1.5 T magnet without contrast.

    Findings/comparisons:

    ACL: There is linear bright fluid signal among intact fibers of the ACL consistent with a low-grade partial tear or mucoid degeneration.
    PCL: Intact
    MCL: Intact
    LCL: Intact
    Posterolateral corner: Intact

    Medial meniscus: Intact
    Lateral meniscus: Intact

    Extensor mechanism: The quadriceps and patellar tendons are intact. There has been interval worsening of edema and thickening of the superior patella tendon consistent with tendinopathy.

    Fat pads: Normal

    Cartilage:
    Patellofemoral compartment: Intact
    Medial compartment: There is heterogeneity with superficial fraying of the cartilage on the medial femoral condyle.
    Lateral compartment: Intact

    Bone marrow: Normal

    Other: No significant joint effusion

    Impression:
    1. Interval worsening of mild patellar tendinopathy
    2. Low-grade partial tear/sprain or mucoid degeneration of the ACL.
    3. Chondromalacia of the medial femoral condyle cartilage.

    Is the above something that would normally require surgery? I wish to return to my full activity level without changing my lifestyle. My knee is currently not significantly painful, but when I try to do any activity it returns to a mid-range level of pain (causes obvious limping and discomfort). Doc told me to do what I feel like I can physically in the interim, but basically the pain is not worth it. Will this heal on its own with time? Is surgery right now worth the longterm benefits?

    Not sure what to do and I get very little face time with any doctor. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.
    Respectfully,
    Lowell

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Lowell
      First SO SORRY for not getting back to you right away. My website plugin was ushing all incoming comments to my spam folder.

      Second thank for serving our country. I was in the Air Force for 8 years (2 active & 6 in the national guard)

      Is the above something that would normally require surgery?
      —-yes but you could manage without surgery.

      I wish to return to my full activity level without changing my lifestyle. My knee is currently not significantly painful, but when I try to do any activity it returns to a mid-range level of pain (causes obvious limping and discomfort). Doc told me to do what I feel like I can physically in the interim, but basically the pain is not worth it.

      Will this heal on its own with time?
      —– not necessarily. with proper maintenance (stretching, strengthening, icing, over the counter meds) you could maintain your current lifestyle. but unlikely all will heal itself

      Is surgery right now worth the long-term benefits?
      —based on your current lifestyle – YES- I would consider surgery. Right now you do have some damage but it is only a little damage.
      I would be afraid that if you tried to continue with current lifestyle (without surgery) you will continue to wear the knee down more and more. Also with the knee having slight damage now you will start to compensate and who knows what else (hip, ankle) might start to have issues.

      I hope this helps.
      I know its been sometime you submitted but let me know what has happened since.
      If I can be of any further help just hit me back.

      thanks
      jim

  • Ernie

    Hi
    about a year and a half ago i was playing basketball and i was going up for a lay up and somebody pushed me from behind my back unexpectally i immediately fell to the ground hearimg numerous pops in my left knee i could not bend it at all i couldnt walk took me along time to walk somewhere immediately swelling and sharp pains… in the past year and a half my knee has not gotten better my left knee keeps giving out on me i cant count how many times my knee has given out on me and each time it feels like the first time i injuryed its the most worst pain i could every have.. my doctor sent me to the sports doctor to evaluate my knee the Dr gave me 2 months of physical threapy to stregthen my knee and ankle. in the time i was in threapy i wasnt playing any sports i could tell my knee wasnt getting any better after i got through with threapy they told me to keep doing my stretches and my knee should be fine and shouldnt give out anymore well my knee is still giving out on me on three differnet occasions. one from running to get the basketball before my oppenent did, another time was from a jump shot and another was jumping over a friends lil fence.to the point where i dont play anymore sports because my knee ends up giving out on me i never know when it will but it does. When the knee gives out where the LcL and tibia are located at i can feel it slide to the side then comes back in place its been a year and a half going on two with this injury and it keeps giving out on me making me fall the pain is outrageous cant walk cant bend my knee any movement from my knee hurts when it gives out the pain is everywhere back of my leg the sides and front everytime my knee gives out i know its causing greater damage to the ligiments around it when my knee doesnt give out on me my knee feels normal no kind of pain at all thats why the doctors didnt give me a referral to get a mri i had no kind of pain in my knee when she was evaluated me no signs of a bad knee injury and gave me threapy that she told me that would help i would like to get some thoughts of what kind of injury i might be dealing with and any other information that you can explain to me i would greatly apperciate it
    Thank you

  • Cassie

    Hi,

    My name is Cassie and during a cheerleading stunt I came down on my knee. I had a little bit of swelling and sharp pain so I went to the doctor a week later. He informed me that he believed I had torn my acl and I had to have an MRI. When I received my results, it showed signs of being torn but the Doctor wasn’t sure so he just diagnosed it as a stretched ACL. I went to therapy and here I am about five months later and I am still having some problems with it being weak and sharp pain at times. What do I need to do from here?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hello Cassie
      Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. My website security was pushing all comments to my spam folder.

      So, here is what i recommend.

      Get another opinion. Ask around and see who your friends or friends of your parents recommend.
      See what the other orthopaedic recommends.

      Maybe another MRI is warranted since it has been 5 months and not much progress.

      In meantime I would continue with your rehab exercises by getting that knee as strong and stable as possible.

      I hope this helps
      please keep me posted

      jim

  • Andrew

    Hey,
    So I tore my ACL and had surgery with a graft last June. I was playing basketball the other day and was pivoting and a felt/heard my knee pop pretty bad. I’m wondering if I retore my acl. The only symptoms I have are the inside of my knee feels bruised and my knee feels a little weak/unstable. Since it doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t seem to be swelling, could it be that my knee cap just popped?
    Thanks!

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Andrew,

      Yes, it could only be that your knee cap just popped.
      What I will say is this. You know your body better then anyone. If you truly feel it was just a “pop” withthe knee cap then I would listen to your body unless you experience any other symptoms.

      So for now just listen to your body.

      If you feel it was more than just a “pop” then i would follow up with your physician.

      keep me posted

      jim

  • Emma Pearce

    Hi, my son tore his ACL in rugby a few days ago. He has seen orthopaedics and is waiting for an MRI to see if there’s any more damage and where to go from here. But I just had a couple of questions, a few weeks back he had tenderness under the knee cap and couldn’t kneel down properly. Could this have been anything to do with it or does the cruciate just go because of the tackle?
    Also he was playing a very high level of rugby, will he be able afterwards to go back to that or is there a chance that it will be weak and prone to injury?
    Any help would be great, thanks a lot
    Emma

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Emma
      Thanks for visiting.

      Could this have been anything to do with it or does the cruciate just go because of the tackle?
      ——-Yes and no. If there was swelling within the joint- which sounds like he may have had some – would make the knee a little unstable – which may have had an affect.
      If he just had tenderness on the patella tendon this in itself wouldn’t have anything to do with his ACL tearing.

      Also he was playing a very high level of rugby, will he be able afterwards to go back to that or is there a chance that it will be weak and prone to injury?
      ——-If he has surgery and properly goes through rehab and gets back to sport function there is no reason why he couldn’t return.

      Hope all works out
      Jim

  • Braeden

    Hello I’m a 15 year old hockey player I was just recently kneed really badly in a game. I felt immediate pain. I could put a little bit of weight on it just enough to state a few feet off the ice the. I could barely move my knee. I don’t remember hearing a popping sound it was really loud so I didn’t hear any. My knee didn’t hardly swell up but it looks out of shape from the healthy one. It’s been 3 days since and it still hurts like hell to walk like normal and when I do walk no have a limp. I can’t yet put full weight on the injured leg and when I try it just buckles and gives out. It gives me hardly any support. I’ve been read reaserching knee injuries for a couple days and I think it might be an ACL tear. I’m going to see a physiotherapist in a couple days. I was just wondering if it could be anything else. Cause I really hope it’s not an ACL tear so I can finish the hockey season and not have to get sugery
    Braeden

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Braeden
      Sorry for delay in response.

      Without an MRI it would be hard to tell if anything is damaged.

      I know its been awhile
      What has happened?

      thanks
      jim

  • Braeden

    It also doesn’t hurt as much anymore the pain seems to be going down slightly

  • Braeden Mitchell

    Hello I’m a 15 year old hockey player I was just recently kneed really badly in a game. I felt immediate pain. I could put a little bit of weight on it just enough to state a few feet off the ice the. I could barely move my knee. I don’t remember hearing a popping sound it was really loud so I didn’t hear any. My knee didn’t hardly swell up but it looks out of shape from the healthy one. It’s been 3 days since and it still hurts like hell to walk like normal and when I do walk no have a limp. I can’t yet put full weight on the injured leg and when I try it just buckles and gives out. It doesn’t hurt as much as it initially did. It gives me hardly any support. I’ve been read reaserching knee injuries for a couple days and I think it might be an ACL tear. I’m going to see a physiotherapist in a couple days. I was just wondering if it could be anything else. Cause I really hope it’s not an ACL tear so I can finish the hockey season and not have to get sugery
    Braeden

  • Jim Wnek

    Hey Ruby

    First thanks for visiting. Second I am sorry to hear of your injury.

    Is it possible to continue playing basketball even if my ACL is torn?
    —-Yes but not recommended.

    Also is there any exercises i can do to make my knee stronger?
    —–Yes there are many.

    Thank you so much for your advice. I prayed so so so much about this and I knoe something has to be wrong here, The MRI said I tore my ACL but I wont believe it cause I prayed to God that it will never ever everrr happen again. And my God answers prayers!
    —-Have you thought about getting another opinion? Maybe, just maybe the MRI could have been (not likely) wrong.

    You never know.

    Keep me posted

    Jim

    p.s. If you are interested stay tuned and keep an eye out for customized programs.
    I have had an overwhelming response of individuals just like you wanting customized ACL training programs.
    So I will be offering this very soon.

  • Prasad

    Hi,

    I have a ++ Lachman’s on the right knee and the MRI says ACL predominantly intact. Doc says do exercises. No OA, but joint space is reduced and + for MJLT with a bakers cyst. Do I need another opinion on the ACL ? Thanks. Prasad

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Prasad

      Sorry for delay in my response.

      2nd opinions never hurt. Usually if you have 2 people telling you the same thing – then you know.
      If the two opinions differ. Then you really need to see which way you’d like to go.

      Hopefully everything worked out.

      Jim

  • Declan Kneafsey

    Hello, I injured my left knee a week ago playing football (I’m English so soccer ) as a keeper I was running out towards the oncoming attacker and due to his position I had to suddenly change direction to try prevent him scoring. It’s at this point the injury occurred, I felt a somewhat cracking sensation come from my knee and to me and the attacker an audible pop was heard, within the time it took for me to get off the floor and to the sidelines my knee had swollen to almost double the size of my right knee, I went to The emergency room about an hour later as my knee continued to swell, and pain was increasing,, also I couldn’t weight bare or move my knee in any direction, I was concerned. X-rays proved inconclusive only showing that I had no fractures to the surrounding bones and therefore I was sent home with crutches and a Tubi-grip bandage, I have an appointment with my knee specialist who has done previous surgery and I was just wondering if my symptoms sound like an acl tear as I am quite worried.

    Thanks

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Decian

      Sorry for delay.

      By now I am sure you’ve figurd out what was wrong.

      But to answer your question.
      Yes and no. I’ve seen people with same symptoms as you have an ACL tear and I have seen people with same symptoms who did not.

      Only the MRI will tell.

      Let me know what ended up happening?

      Jim

  • Tania

    I hurt my knee a year ago and have had an MRI showing a tear in the main ligament behind the knee , the one that goes straight, not the criss crossed one. It’s been a year, I have done all the recommended exercises and my doctor still won’t do surgery. This is affecting my life greatly for I can not do my routine at the gym, competitively dance, I can’t even go up and down my stairs without my knee buckling. I don’t know what to do any more. I suffer from PTSD and anxiety and since this has all happened I feel my depression is worsening. Help!!

  • Danny

    Hi Jim,
    I am a 27 year old footballer, a few days ago while playing football I stretched out to tackle but the force of the ball and opposing player jarred the bottom of my leg from inside to outside twisting my knee, the pain was instant and I dropped to the floor. I tried to carry on but it was too painful and felt unstable. I can’t recall hearing any popping just some little swelling around the inside and bottom of my knee. I managed to ice it very quickly to limit the pain and swelling. The next day it was very stiiffness and tender but I managed to see my GP who suspected I torn my medial meniscus and has now booked me into see orthopaedic surgeon(still awaiting appointment). The same day I saw my GP I was examined by our teams physiotherapist who suspects I’ve torn my medial collateral as I have no knee locking and not much swelling. Now a day later the swelling as almost gone but I still feel pain and stiffness, if I was to relax and move quickly I feel it would give out. When I swing my heel (bottom half of leg) back and forward it’s painful but also feels almost like it wobbles around the knee…? It’s painful too walk up steps but not painful just to walk slowly in a straight line. If I twist my knee it feels like it has more range and the joint feels it opens more than the healthy one..

    Hopefully with you experience Jim you can give me and idea of what you think has happened, many thanks Dan.

  • Ashleen

    My MRI says I completely tore my cal and have a posterior horn tear in my medial meniscus. Is there a chance that my MRI can be wrong?

  • Hi!
    I just got my MRI results back and they say I have a “obliterated” ACL and a posterior horn tear in my medial meniscus . Is there a possibility that my MRI can be incorrect?
    Thank You

  • Cam Reid

    hey im 15 male and play basketball i have been having troubles with my knees ( both right and left) for the past month or so… the knee doesn’t look swollen although i struggle to sprint and stop and suddenly change direction… I get Sharp pains in my knees often.. i have sat out for a week and had my first training back today and had sharp pains afterwards… any thoughts on what this could be?

  • Carry Wiseman

    I was playing soccer today when somone fell into the side of my knee (outside). It has hurt really bad since then (3 days) and I don’t know what to do. I haven’t talked to anyone about it. It hurts the worst when I walk or run or extend my lower leg back and forth (straight forward). It doesn’t hurt as much when I swing it side to side. It could just be a bruise but I don’t see anything at all except VERY little swelling (if any). Just wanted to check.

  • Amber

    Somone fell into the outside of my knee. It has only been two days since then and I don’t know what to do. I haven’t talked to anyone about it. It hurts the worst when I walk or run or extend my lower leg back and forth (straight forward). It doesn’t hurt as much when I swing it side to side. It could just be a bruise but I don’t see anything at all except VERY little swelling (if any). Just wanted to check.

  • Adriana

    Dear Jim,
    My name is Adriana and I tore my ACL a year and a half ago.
    The other day at work, a lady ran into me and knocked me over, I put pressure on my legs to stop myself from falling backwards and my knee with the torn ACL completely just like how Caitlyn from above described it, and I quote her:
    “it felt like it shifted. It gave out and I fell down, but it felt like my knee caught itself. Also, I did not feel pops like the first time, I would compare it more to my knee shifting and rubbing against itself. It was not nearly as bad as when I tore it the first time.”

    However, my swelling keeps going down then back up again. My knee tenses up and becomes very stiff and my range of bending is really bad compared to being almost perfect (time after ACL tear but before recent injury). I have never had surgery. Also, my knee just feels really funny, like it could fall over at any moment. Should I be worried about this or will this straighten out with exercise?
    Your help is extremely appreciated.
    Adriana

  • Miami Whitehouse

    I had ACL surgery 5 months ago and I was getting back into playing soccer and I heard a dull pop. I immediately sat down, I got up and walked away 5 mins later with no swelling and a little pain . The next day still no swelling and the pain is mediocre but I can still walk and it doesn’t feel unstable. It hurts on the inside of my knee when I bend it . Does this sound like a full ACL tear or can I just rest it and keep doing my rehab ?

  • Michelle

    Hello.

    I live in SA and here we do not have insurance but medical aids, and the ones that do cover ACL surgery is sooooo pricey. Therefore I don’t have medical aid right now.

    I tore my ACL in 2009 and went to see a sports specialist who instructed that I do not need surgery as long as I stop playing Netball, which is how I originally injured it. I instead, with his permission, started dancing and corrected my posture as well as playing style to lessen the occurrence of injuring my knee. I finally stopped playing netball and only continued with ballroom dancing as this does no harm to my knee.

    Ever since every now and again, every few months I’d say, if I am not paying attention and for example standing askew on my knee or sitting weird it pops (I distinctly feel the torn ligament moving “out of place” and back in after a while). This results to a lot of pain and swelling and in severe cases struggling to walk.

    What can I do until I can afford medical aid to have surgery?

    I hope you can help me, there are no sites to assist like this, or people for that matter, for free where I live.

    Regards,
    Michelle

  • Lyn Clarke

    Hi I was wondering if u could tell me your thoughts on this. 25 years ago I had a skiing accident whereby I fell & my bindings didn’t unclip. I suffered immense pain and at the time thought I had broken my leg, my knee swelled & I was unable to weight bear. A few tests were done at the ski resort & they concluded I had ruptured my acl, but On return home following an mri the Doctors couldn’t mske up their minds so I was left with Physio. Roll on 21 years and I have been having back pain & tightness in the opposite hip to the injured knee for approximately 4 years & then another collapse during an exercise class whereby I placed my leg on the floor but there appeared to be no bone to support which caused me to fall. I have had limited swelling with on & off pain tightness in the joint & struggle to fully straighten the knee. Following the injury I couldn’t weight bare but I can walk now but I’m limping what r u thoughts ? Is it possible that the mri was wrong 20 years ago ? Do all acl injuries cause lots of swelling & pain? Thanks

  • Sean

    Hi,

    I was playing football about 12 days ago and when I went from jogging to sprinting on a poor pitch I felt my knee give way and heard a sound. The knee didn’t swell up until the next day and there was no pain unless I tried to move the knee. I could also put weight on it. My doctor told me that it was just a bad sprain and that she was confident the acl wasn’t torn. As the swelling and discomfort of the sprain has subsided, my knee occasionally gives way, as if it’s going to bend the opposite way? I also am still finding it dofficult to walk down stairs. Going upstairs is absolutely fine though.

  • Lyn Clarke

    Hi I have been told I have torn my acl from the thigh bone, I have bone bruising & swelling into my joint. I was recently told by a friend that I shouldn’t be weight bearing with a bone bruise is this correct & what is a bone bruise?

  • Joe

    Hi I was playing football last week and I got tackled from behind and my body bent backwards and I heard 2 pops in my knee. It still hurts to bend and lift and it has giving out on me 1 or 2 times since then. I have reoccurring pain throughout the day in my knee and it is a little swollen on the medial side of my knee. What do you think happened? Thanks

  • Tina Lemmond

    Hi,
    I have had 2 prior ACL reconstructions on my right knee the most recent was October 2014. I am worried I may have retorn my ACL yet again as I now have little to severe knee pain and my knee tends to buckle or flat out feel weak. What are the chances I am going to need a third ACL surgery

    • Tina Lemmond

      Sorry it was 2013 on my second ACL reconstruction

  • Karrie. Rutecki

    About 20 year ago during high school I played softball got nailed I. The knee with a pitch. It hurt . went to team Dr she sent me to get looked at by a specialist. All he did was move my knee cap told me it wasn’t broken and keeped me out of PE class for a week. Always clicked and pained through the years. Developed spider veins around the knee.
    Now 20 years later, I went to a physical therapist for my hip sciatica. After my 3 rd week of thumbs of steal my knee has been throbbing, piercing pain going to my heal. My knee pops and just sore . it’s tolerance but at the end of the work day I take advils just to take the edge off. It doesn’t take all the pain away. Therapist felt behind the knee said he felt rock like sensation. That the ACL healed wrong. He said surgery than back to him? You think it’s ACL??

  • Hey,
    I am a freshman at Eastern University. I play soccer for the women’s team and about 2 weeks ago I tore my ACL but I haven’t had surgery yet. I was jumping over a fence and I jumped on my right leg which is the one with the torn ACL and it popped. My question is what was that pop I heard?

  • Hey,
    I am a freshman at Eastern University. I play soccer for the women’s team and about 2 weeks ago I tore my ACL but I haven’t had surgery yet. I was jumping over a fence and I jumped on my right leg which is the one with the torn ACL and it popped. My question is what was that pop I heard?

  • Max Kohmann

    Hi, I’m 12 years old and tore my acl just over a year ago. It has had a few incidents where swelling happened but I got over it in a few days. About 4 days ago I was at basketball practice and I came down for a rebound and my knee popped. It did not hurt bad but it got swollen within a half an hour. It has shown no signs of unstableness but is still swollen even after icing it and has a little pain but not much. What do you think?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Max

      Couple questions.
      Did you have surgery a year ago?
      Was it a partial tear?

      Regarding how you’re feeling and the swelling even after icing.

      I would go see your doctor for an evaluation. Hopefully he or she will test the integrity of the ACL and the determine is an MRI is recommended to truly see if the ACL in damaged and or if any other structures are damaged.

      Good luck and keep me posted

      Jim

  • madz

    Hi I’m maddy. I am 15 years old. about a week ago, i fell while i was skiing and my knee was hyperextended. there was immediate pain and swelling in the knee and i could not bend or straighten it without it hurting a bunch. I went to the hospital and i got an x-ray and nothing was broken. the doctor said he thought something was torn (my ACL) and i should follow up with my doctor at home. Its been a week and the swelling hasn’t gone down, i still can’t straighten fully or bend my leg without it really badly hurting but i can walk on it with a slightly bent knee with no pain. It feels a little unstable and buckles in a bit and i can’t walk up stairs or run but is it possible that i just stretched it and i don’t need to go to my doctors and i just need to rest it? I just don’t want to waste my moms and my doctors time.

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Maddy
      First thanks for visiting.
      Second sorry for delay in response. Questions keep pouring in everyday and I am trying to keep up.
      Third I am sorry to hear about your injury.

      So, it does sound like something maybe damaged. Now I am not sure it is your ACL or other structures.
      But seeing that you are only 15 years old. I would definitely get your knee looked at by a Orthopaedic.
      Based on your symptoms I think going to the doctor is justified.

      I wish you luck and please keep me posted.

      Thanks
      Jim

  • Conroy

    So I had ACL reconstruction with hamstring graft on Aug 2014 (right knee). It’s been 1 year and 7 months post op. I was playing basketball and did a layup down court. I planted and my knee slipped with I tried to decelerate, a move I’ve done many times in rehab. I felt a shift in my knee(right knee), but no pop sound at all. My knee swelled and all the pain is on the inside of my knee. The inside of my knee is tender to touch, and I can’t bend my knee or straighten it. I have an appointment with an knee specialist 3 days from now.
    Do you think I re torn my ACL..?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Conroy
      Thanks for visiting.

      Sorry for delay in getting back to you.

      By now you probably have seen the knee specialist.

      I would have said that it is to hard to tell if it was your ACL.
      Could be meniscus or just a bad sprain.

      Hopefully it all worked out fine for you.

      Keep me posted

      Thanks
      Jim

  • Carissa

    I have a question. I am 23 years old and work in a nursing home as a occupational therapy assistant. I was completing a stand pivot transfer with a heavy patient and felt a pop in my left knee. I have torn this ACL before. I got a MRI and it said that I tore my medial meniscus and a partial tear of the MCL. The MRI concluded a abnormality with the ACL a possible tear. The doctor will not know until he performs the surgery for my meniscus. I want to know if a abnormality really means it could be torn again? My knee does not feel unstable however I still have pain.

    • Jim Wnek

      Hello Carissa

      It is unknown if it truly is a tear.
      Doctor will perform a scope to see firsthand exactly what is going on in there. It actually is the best way to see if anything is damaged.

      Hopefully all is well and you are on your way to recovery.

      Keep me posted
      Thanks
      Jim

  • Nicole

    Last week I fell and heard a loud pop and went to the doctor the next day and they said I dislocated my knee cap and it had been out of place for two days. I went to the ortho and he did a few tests and said my ACL doesn’t feel normal, but I don’t have very much swelling and it doesn’t hurt that much. Is it possible I tore it?!!

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Nicole

      I am not sure. Yes its possible however we hope it is not.

      With situations like these my advice is just wait and see. Keep an eye on your pain, swelling, strength.
      If it doesn’t feel right then I would strongly encourage you to get an MRI ordered.

      Good luck
      Jim

  • Lauren BUEHLER

    HI
    I’ve had 2 Acl Surg, last one was two years ago. Recently I have had sharp and aching pain all in my knee. I find myself limping alot as well. I have been running but only about 2 miles a day. Is this normal or should I get it checked out. Lower back pain has developed as well does my knee effect this

  • Tom

    hi, i injured my knee early last month and had an MRI which showed i had an acl tear. i went and did an acl surgery and the doctor said it was just a partial tear which he repaired. a week after surgery i barley feel any pain and there’s no swelling,i can walk on the leg but there’s a certain discomfort when i release weight on the leg while walking as if there’s something skreching

  • Tom

    hi, i injured my knee early last month and had an MRI which showed i had an acl tear. i went and did an acl surgery and the doctor said it was just a partial tear which he repaired. a week after surgery i barley feel any pain and there’s no swelling i can fully extend my leg,i can walk on the leg but there’s a certain discomfort when i release weight on the leg while walking as if there’s something skreching inside the knee. is it normal to feel this way after surgery ? t

  • brady

    Hi i did the acl reconstruction 9 months ago the surgeon used the lars technique and also removed some meniscus from the medial side. I have been training and playing soccer for the last 3 months. 1 week ago i tried to kick the ball however i ended up kicking the head of another player. My knee feels a little bit of aching from the inside but no swelling and no instability. Full range of motion is still there. Why i am in a little bit of pain when i try to pass a ball?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Brady
      Thanks for visiting.

      Why i am in a little bit of pain when i try to pass a ball?
      – Well you probably still have some swelling and soreness from when you kicked the head of the other soccer player.
      I would rest, elevate and ice as much as you can.

      Good luck and keep me posted.

      Thanks
      Jim

  • Hustlin

    Hi,

    Its been a year now since I’ve officially popped my knee during an outdoor volleyball scrimmage game. From that injury, I didnt think much of going to the hospital or anything but to straighten my injuried knee and iced it to decrease the swelling. Ever since that day on, I’ve been putting off playing volleyball for 9 months now. However, during that 9 month period, I’ve noticed that my knee is unstable and sometimes at the weirdest moment my knee would pop. Such as if I’m squatting down to look for something or if I’m walking and making a left turn, my knee would pop. I’ve bought a temporary knee brace at my local store to reduce the pain and sudden movement, however, my knee still pops. There are moments where I can play light sports and my knee wouldn’t pop and when I run, my knee will give out and pop. Is it possible that my injury is related to an ACL tear? Is this something that I should go into the hospital and have the doctors to check what is really going on with my knee?

    Thank you!

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Hustlin
      Thanks for visiting.

      Is it possible that my injury is related to an ACL tear?
      –YES

      Is this something that I should go into the hospital and have the doctors to check what is really going on with my knee?
      –YES

      Good luck
      Jim

  • Steven Bussell

    Okay so im a 15yo male and about a month ago i was at wrestling practice and i went to throw my partner and when i planted my foot i twisted my knee but my foot didnt pivot. As soon as did that o felt and heard my knee pop. I immediately went to the ground in pain,but i quickly got up because my coach was walking towards me and i didnt want to look like a sissy. The day after it was swelled up to the size of a cantaloupe and i couldnt bend or straighten it, and being my stubborn self i didnt use any crutches and walked on it all day at school ( which caused tremendous pain) I walked on it for a week before i went to the doctor and he ordered a mri and set up an appointment to an ortho. i got the mri 5 days ago and they said the ortho would get a reading in a week.I can walk on it now but not without something to hold on to, I can barely walk up stairs and i use crutches at school otherwise i would fall but i do use the elevator. I am dealing with IHS and they take forever to do anything and i was hoping you could help me

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Steven

      Sorry to hear of your injury.

      Not really sure about your question and how I can help.

      Please let me know when you receive the results from yoru MRI.

      Mainly I need to know what the impression states.

      Thanks Steven
      Please reply back if you have any other questions

      Jim

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