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Torn ACL Symptoms – Your Basic Information

Torn ACL symptoms are usually the same for everyone who has this type of injury.

There are times when not everyone has every symptom of an ACL injury and there are even rare occasions when someone has little to no symptoms of an ACL injury.

The main thing to remember is that if you are involved in an accident or do anything to cause trauma to the knee, you need to have the knee checked out by a doctor.

What you think maybe just a normal bruise or sore feeling from falling down or being involved in some sort of accident, could actually be a more serious ACL knee injury that needs to be repaired imm

Almost everyone has swelling when they have an ACL injury.

Because of the nature of the ACL joint, when it is injured, it will cause the entire knee to swell rather largely and rather rapidly.

Usually, if you notice any swelling to your knee within five to ten minutes of your accident, that means you have injured your ACL and you need to seek medical treatment immediately before you further damage your knee.

Of course, there are times when an injured ACL does not cause swelling, but those times are very rare.

Pain is next on the list of torn ACL symptoms. A person with an ACL injury almost always has incredible pain with it.

There are very few exceptions when the person experiences no pain with the injury, but it has happened before.

Usually the pain will be incredibly severe, but it can also be mild.

Torn ACL Symptoms – Maybe Something More Serious

Again, people can mistake the pain for just being from the accident or trauma to the knee, but it is an indicator that something more serious happened and you should always seek medical treatment if you have pain along with swelling to your injured knee.

The last thing of the torn ACL symptoms that you may notice is that your knee is unstable.

If the pain and the swelling either do not clue you in or you are one of those rare people who do not have one of those symptoms (or even either of them at all), then the fact that you cannot rely on the stability of your knee should alert you to an ACL injury.

The purpose of the ACL is to keep the femur from rotating on the shin bone.

When the ACL is torn, it cannot stop this from happening so the knee will rotate in an awkward way and cause you to fall.

So, if you have all three of these symptoms, or even just one of them, and you recently fell or injured your knee in any way, you should seek medical treatment as it is most likely a torn ACL.

{ 83 comments… add one }
  • Kathy B.

    I have no ACL left on my left knee; I just had a meniscus tear repaired. My doctor seems to think that I can live without an ACL as long as I’m not unstable. But, everytime I work out I have alot of pain. Again, my doctor seems to think this is arthritis and not the ACL. Should I get it rebuilt? I am a healthy, active 52 year old female

    • Jim

      Hello, thanks for visiting.
      Your doctor is correct. The ACL stabilizes the knee – it controls rotation and protects the knee when performing pivotal movements. Which is why most if not all athletes who suffer an ACL tear always get it repaired. That also goes for individuals who are highly active whether it be work or recreational sports that require pivoting or change of direction.
      If your activities of daily living (occupation, working out, etc…) does not involve pivoting or sudden change of direction within your involved knee then you can go without repair.
      To answer your question fully on whether or not you should consider having your ACL repaired I need some questions answered to help you with the best advice.

      What type of working out are you doing?
      How often? How long?
      Are you icing?
      When was meniscal repair? Date?
      Did you go through rehab after surgery? How long?
      Are you taking any medication? prescribed or over the counter?
      Does your swell? How often? Just after working out? or after being on your feet for an extended period of time?
      What movements aggravate your knee? (stairs, sitting for long time, standing for long, kneeling, etc…)

      If these are too many question to answer via email- you can setup a time to discuss over the phone.
      Just let me know.


  • dan

    I tore my min. And acl on my right knee. The acl is not severed, rather hanging on by a thread if you will. It’s been 4 years since the injury and now my knee is very painful after long walks, pain lasts for several days. Some doctors suggest to deal with it, some suggest surgery. I would like to know if the pain is from the min. Or the acl or both? I’d like to think I’m too young for arthritis… I’m 34 years young.

    • Jim Wnek

      Very good question.
      IS the pain from the meniscus or ACL?
      It’s hard to say. I would say the meniscus. But it’s hard to say for sure.
      Where is the pain? Do you experience swelling? Do you have pain at rest or when standing?

      Dan, have you received formal physical therapy for your ACL/meniscus injury?
      If so, have you continued with any exercises to help strengthen and maintain stability in that knee?

      You may have the start of arthritis. But with proper exercise you should be able to overcome any pain from athritis.
      As you know the ACL is a major stabilizer in your knee. Without proper stabilization from the muscle groups in your knee – you maybe putting additional strain on the ACL and therefore aggravating it.

      With a confirmed torn meniscus and with you having pain. I would be pretty sure its the mensicus giving you the problems.
      Sometimes with formal physical therapy you can decrease the pain, increased the flexibility, improve strength and return to full activities with no pain.

      I would at this time do one of two things.
      1. Get into a formal physical therapy program and see what they can do for you.
      2. Start and continue with your home exercise program you were given at the time of discharge from physical therapy.

      or if you’d like. We do offer an ACL injury prevention program.
      If you would like more info just let me know.
      Good luck.

  • bob

    I recentely had meniscus surgery to remove 30% of my medial meniscus and when the surgeon was in my knee he discoverd a partial acl tear
    Afterwards he didnt tell me exactly how much was torn but all he said is you dont need surgery and most of it is still intact and I play at a highlevel of soccer and I am very worried about this he jist told me to work your hamstring out and its good
    My knee is stable little to no swelling but it pops sometime and I have a little pain lik under my pattela tendon

  • alexis akridge

    i am 17 years old female basketball player i injured leg in oct it was checked and they said i was ok. when i first hurt leg i had some swelling and a little pain. i started rehabing and continued to play the season wearing a brace but no pain and full range of motion. i am preparing to play basketball in college so i wanted to get a check up the ortho checked leg and took xrays and said it doesnt apear there is any major damage. i have no pain i lift weights and run on it with no pain or symptoms. my ortho did his test and stated the le knee is not loose. we did get an mri and almost fell out of seat when it showed a tear in acl. the ortho’s for thought was surgery . we all were shocked!!!! he pulled and poked and twisted that leg with no pain. i spoke with my licensed physical therapist and he strongly disagrees and recommends rehab as a first option.

    • Jim Wnek

      Sometimes the body will present that way.
      Fortunately you have had little to no pain.
      You have been able to play with just wearing a brace along with rehab.

      Question- When the doctor informed you of a tear. Exactly what percent of the ACL was torn?

      If it is minimal. You are young and healthy enough that the ACL can heal itself.
      However you will need to really improve and enhance your strength and stability.

      If you are interested in an extensive ACL strengthening program. We do offer as a service.
      If you’d like more information just me know.


  • Erin


    My daughter is an avid softball pitcher. She recently hurt her ankle and knee after sliding into second incorrectly. After the incident, she complained more about her ankle pain, but the next day she told me that her knee hurt when she bent it and she felt a popping sensation. There has been no bruising or swelling and after the incident, she was able to get up (slowly) and walk to the dugout. I didn’t take her to get checked out because there has been no bruising or swelling. What do you think the problem is?? Wouldn’t she have bruising or swelling if it were a serious injury.


    • Jim Wnek

      Hello Erin, first thanks for visiting the site.

      What do I think the problem is?
      No bruising or swelling aren’t the only indicators for what is considered a serious injury.
      Here is what I would tell you.
      First, does she have pain? If so, where? Does it hurt when she walks? runs? stairs?

      When she felt a popping sensation did she have pain associated with it?
      Most of the time in regards to injury the individual will experience pain whether it be at rest or with movement.

      I would think she jammed her ankle and knee a little while making contact with the base. From the contact she caused her ankle and knee to be strained a little bit therefore causing slight pain.
      Not sure what she was doing for her ankle from the time of injury but she may have tightened up a bit in her ankle and knee from the contact therefore when she went to bend her knee she experienced a tight tendon rubbing over a structure. She probably did not have pain.

      So, at this time. Does she have pain? if so, where and how bad is the pain?
      If she does have pain I would perform cryotherapy at home for a couple days. Apply ice for 20 minutes and off for 30 minutes.

      If after a couple days the pain does not subside then i would take her to get evaluated by a doctor.

      If she does not have pain, swelling or bruising and is functional with no pain then looks like she just jammed her ankle and knee a little and should be fine.

      Hope this helps


  • jessica


    I tore my acl and did the recon surgery (hamstring) 6 months ago. Just a couple of days ago I slipped on sme ice and severly hyperextended my knee. Now its swollen, hurts in the join, and catches/clicks when I straighten it. I’m freaking out – does this sound like a retear, or just a little short-term trauma?

  • Lizzy


    I pulled both of my hip flexors recently and I know if you have hip problems it can cause issues with your knees… But about a week ago, while I was being a goalie for a game of water polo I jumped up and I felt my knee pop. I fell almost immediately and it has hurt pretty constantly since, but there are times when it does hurt at all and i cam still walk, again it just hurts when i do.. Does that sound like an acl tear or something else?

    • Lizzy

      Oh I forgot to mention that my knee never swelled.. At least I never noticed it if it did

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Lizzy
      First thanks for visiting.
      Well, I would not suspect an ACL tear from the mechanism of injury.

      You said water polo. Were you standing on the ground of the pool when you jumped or were you swimming?

      No swelling, no pain most of the time and no problems walking.

      I don’t suspect an ACL tear based in the info you presented.

      You should keep an eye on it.
      Ice on and off over the next few days. If pain persists I would then make an appointment to have your knee evaluated by a doctor.

      Keep me posted

      • Lizzy

        I was squatting and jumped up… It hurts most of the time no matter what I’m doing, but I can still wall

        • Jim Wnek

          Okay. It’s hard to determine if it’s your ACL or another structure without any diagnostic tests.
          Keep an eye on it and ice.
          Ice will control pain as well as swelling if you have any.

          Give it a few days and if pain persists then I would get in and see an ortho.

          Keep me posted

  • Alexandria Leiber

    I had an ACL total reconstruction, (including meniscus, and cartlidge), almost 2 years ago. Since then I have had TWO corrective surgeries on the same knee. It still gives out, is almost always swollen and even drving hurts! But since nothing seemed to have been successful so far, (yes, I am still in physcial therapy), I’ve just tried to live with it.

    But, of course, the other day I was chasing my puppy and my knee made a 3 pop sound with a few jolts and shifts. The feeling took me back to the original cause in softball 2 years ago. But just like back then, I don’t feel the pain. It is greatly swollen and loose, but after having the issues for so long, I’m not sure if I re-tore the ACL?

    My doctor has thrown out the idea of getting a full knee replacement because of all the issues I am having. (severe arthritis, ‘knock’ knees, sliding patella, replaced cartlidge and constant torn meniscus). But I am only 18, crazy I know! Should I just wait until the knee replacement procedure or go to the ortho now and see if its retear? Does it seem like it may be?!


    • Jim Wnek

      Hello Alexandria,
      I apologize for not responding right away.
      Well— looks like you have experienced a lot with that knee at such a young age.

      **Q**It is greatly swollen and loose, but after having the issues for so long, I’m not sure if I re-tore the ACL?

      Without an MRI it would be very tough to say that it is re-torn.

      **Q**But I am only 18, crazy I know! Should I just wait until the knee replacement procedure or go to the ortho now and see if its retear? Does it seem like it may be?!

      I agree that you are way too young for a knee replacement.
      I would go to an orthopaedic and have it evaluated. Obviously an MRI will give the most accurate proof of exactly what is going on inside.
      It’s tough to say for sure it is re-torn. It maybe– but couldn’t say for sure. MRI will tell.

      Being so young – I recommend getting it looked at, find out what is wrong inside, then discuss your options.

      questions for you:
      How aggressive has your therapy been? Do you feel like your knee has been pushed to its fullest to regain strength and stability to 100%?
      Do you have and are you performing an home exercise program for your knee?
      Lastly—Have you seen more than one orthopaedic? If not I strongly recommend you do.

      Keep me posted


  • Brandon

    Yesterday at football I injured my knee. It folded under me awkwardly taking all my body weight and another person’s weight as well. I got up and took my free kick but than felt excruciating pain and could not stand and put pressure on it. I had immediate swelling but not a whole lot of it. Today my knee is still fairly sore doesn’t feel stable but I can put some weight on it, I’m using crutches just for support. I’m really not sure what the issue is?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Brandon,

      Not sure of the extent of the damage.
      Could just be a strain or sprain. or Could be structural damage.

      You need to go see a doctor to be evaluated.

      Keep me posted

  • Christina

    Saturday night I was playing in a softball tourney. I slid into home plate to avoid being tagged out. I was safe; however, I now have a giant strawberry on my leg. It is causing me leg to swell up. My foot is swollen. My knee is swollen. And my thigh is swollen. Here is my question: Is that normal? It is super painful and I just want to know if I should go to the doctor. I’ve had strawberries before because of sliding into a base but I’ve never had this issue.

    I’m mostly concerned with my knee. It is swollen mostly on the inside and the backside is pretty swollen. I didn’t feel anything out of the norm when I slid so I’m just confused why my knee is so swollen. I bruised the bone just below the knee a few years ago. Do you think that could be acting up again? I heard a bruised bone never truly heals. Is that right?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hello there
      Thanks for visiting

      Here is my question: Is that normal?

      Pain and swelling is not normal. However, with the mechanism of injury – yes pain and swelling is normal.

      Yes- you should go to the doctor.

      Regarding the bruised bone from a few years ago. I don’t think it is acting up again.
      Reason-is because you were fine prior to this recent injury.

      Bruised bone does and will heal. If it doesn’t then there is a problem.

      Hope this helps
      keep me posted


      • Christina

        Hey Jim,

        I went to the doctor. She said she thinks it’s a sprain. She said because the swelling is pretty much everywhere so she doesn’t think I tore anything. She said it should bruise up in the next couple of days.

        A couple questions for you:
        How long does a sprain knee usually take to heal? Is there a point I should be concerned that it is more than a sprain?

        The swelling is pretty bad. I walk with a limp and I have a pretty hard time going up and down the stairs. When I try to move it around it doesn’t hurt as much as it just feels weird – It’s hard for me to explain the feeling.

        Let me know what you think. Thanks!

        • Jim Wnek

          Hey Christina

          A couple questions for you:
          How long does a sprain knee usually take to heal? Is there a point I should be concerned that it is more than a sprain?

          Everyone is different. There are many variables that can affect the healing process. Age, health, smoker, non-smoker, diabetic, type of work, etc…
          But normally we see someone with a basic knee sprain start to feel pretty good after 2-3x week for 4 weeks of physical therapy.

          With a sprain you will focus on three things in this order.
          1. calm pain/swelling
          2. stretch
          3. strengthen

          If after 4 weeks of skilled therapy and your knee is either the same or worse then I would assume something else may be wrong.

          Note*** When you have swelling in a joint- several thing happen.
          The joint becomes effused– causing pain, limited range of motion and instability.

          Get your swelling under control and your knee will start to feel better.

          Put ice on for 20 minutes while leg is elevated above heart level
          then take ice off for 30 minutes

          You can do this all day if your schedule allows.

          You want old blood out — new blood in

          Good luck
          Keep me posted

  • Craig pratt

    Help my son had 3 ACL. On his left knee 5 yrs ago cand keeps complaing his hip is killing him , any ideas what he can do , he was on crutches for 6 months , can’t get in to see gp as our surgery don’t do app it’s a phone call bot speak to doc and they decide if a doct will see you ??????????

    • Jim Wnek

      Hello Craig

      Sorry for the delay in response.
      Hopefully by now you guys have had some questions answered by your doctor as well as hopefully he is feeling better.

      To answer you question: Is the pain in the hip the same side as he had the ACL surgery? If so, he nay have just overused it while going through his ACL rehab and may have worn down or aggravated it. My ext step would be exactly what you are doing is see a doctor. hopefully get an x-ray, MRI if needed then get some physical therapy ordered and work on his pain, flexibility, strength and function.

      hope all worked out.
      keep me posted

  • SurreshKumar


    I had a sudden fall and i landed on my left feet. Since then i started feeling pain around my left knee when i walk for too long or a slight strain when i did deadlifts and hip abductors ( However, i never felt any pain when i did squats,lunges, leg extension,leg curl. When i got an x-ray and MRI done i was told i had a grade 2 ACL tear and have been out under medication and rest for 8 weeks along with medication. Could you please tell me if i go hit the gym to maintain my upper body and also if i could so anything to strengthening my ACL.

    Suresh Kumar

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Suresh

      Could you please tell me if i go hit the gym to maintain my upper body and also if i could so anything to strengthening my ACL.

      Yes you can definitely got to the gym. Just be careful.
      Yes there are exercises to perform to help stabilize and maintain flexibility in the knee.

      Did you submit your name and email to access a express workout we have? if so, good. If not, do so.

      If you are looking for a more detailed customized program just let me know.

      Keep me posted

  • dave p

    My son tore his acl (complete), no meniscus damage in March. He presented with minimal pain and swelling at the time of injury. He is a competitive soccer player. We have rehabbed the leg and strengthened for the last 6 months. He has been able to return to all sports involving pivoting and has very few, if any symptoms. We are still careful to return to full competition at this time but his activity level is close to pre-injury level. Because of his young age (under 13) we are very fearful of surgery at this time. The fear is an invasive surgery when he feels 90-95% right now with little signs of instability. Am I crazy to think that we could avoid surgery at least for the next couple years. Our physio seems to think surgery should be a last resort. I know others who avoided an operation for years and some that never did it and continued to play soccer and other pivoting sports. Thoughts??

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Dave P.
      So sorry for my response for not being posted.

      Am I crazy to think that we could avoid surgery at least for the next couple years.
      — NO you are not crazy

      Our physio seems to think surgery should be a last resort.
      — yes and no

      I know others who avoided an operation for years and some that never did it and continued to play soccer and other pivoting sports. Thoughts??
      —This is a tough one. First- I do recommend surgery. Here’s why: As he gets older and becomes stronger he will be applying A LOT more force and pressure through his knee when running, cutting, pivoting, jumping, etc…. Sooooo you would want a stable intact ACL stabilizing.

      However, he is young enough to where he can perform at a high level with just relying on strength to stabilize the knee. BUT don’t know for how much longer.

      Good luck and wish you guys the best. Please just keep your doctor informed.


  • Heather

    I had a tear in my meniscus and my ACL is completely torn. I had my meniscus fixed but not the ACL. I am still experiencing pain in my knee, sometimes my thigh and hip. Do you think this is from the ACL. Would you suggest getting it fixed. I am a nursing assistant so I am on my feet all day. Please help with any suggestions.

    Thank you

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Heather,
      Thanks for visiting.

      Do you think this is from the ACL.

      Would you suggest getting it fixed.
      ——Yes, I would. Reason being is because due to the nature of your job demands you need your legs a lot. If you continue to push through pain and discomfort I am afraid it will only worsen.

      You can maybe go through a bought of skilled physical therapy to see if you can strengthen and stabilize to sustain full work duty days as a NA.
      Then see if you can out surgery off till a later date.

      hope this helps
      keep me posted


  • Mary

    I am 62 years old and tore my ACL about 13 years ago. No surgery, just a lot of PT. Knee has been fine. When it tore, I fell on my left butt cheek. Actually fell twice. Focus was on knee, but eventually had X-ray of hip and nothing broken. My chiropractor has adjusted my hip for years, but lately it has been painful even with adjustment. At one point, it was suggested that the Piriformis muscle might have been injured during the fall with the ACL tear. Any suggestions? It isn’t excrutiating pain, but annoying mainly while sitting and sometimes walking. Doing light aerobics seems to be fine!

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Mary
      So sorry for my reply not being posted.
      Just realized my replies never posted.

      Any suggestions? It isn’t excrutiating pain, but annoying mainly while sitting and sometimes walking. Doing light aerobics seems to be fine!

      —Sorry to hear you are in that much pain. Based on what you stated at this point I would recommend an MRI. Could be a hip labrum (labral tear?)

      Hopefully you get it resolved.

      Keep me posted

  • Scott

    Hi, Jim. I’d like your advice, if possible. I am mid-50’s and physically fit and active, although I work in an office most of the time. I tore my ACL about 5 or 6 years ago while skiing. I had the surgery to replace it with a cadaver tendon, and it seemed to work fine. However, for about the past 6 months or so, the knee gets swollen and stiff when I sit for long periods of time, but usually feels better with exercise, like running on the treadmill, hiking, or just walking around. Do you know what is causing the swelling and why only recently? Also, I played some easy-going touch football with some friends the other day for the first time in years, and although my knee felt mostly okay during the activity, it has been very swollen and stiff ever since, much like it was when it used to pop out sideways after my first ACL injury. Any thoughts or suggestions before I start paying money for doctor visits or PT?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Scott
      Thanks for visiting and sorry for delay in response.

      Do you know what is causing the swelling and why only recently?
      —-Not really. Can you remember twisted it or tweaking it at all? or maybe a little overuse?
      —-Question for you. is it just in the knee you at ACL surgery or is the swelling in both knees?

      Any thoughts or suggestions before I start paying money for doctor visits or PT?
      —-Well, I am sure you went through rehab after your ACL surgery 5-6 years ago. I would tackle all those knee exercises you use to do at the therapy as well as all thse home exercise program exercises they gave you to perform.
      Definitely ice everyday. Preferably 20 minutes on 30 minutes off 2-3 times a day.

      Try this and see if you can get it under control.
      Let me know how your doing.


  • Kathy

    I got my skis crossed with my boyfriend’s and I fell (no real momentum). My skis did not come off of my boots, and my left leg bent out to the left from my knee. I heard a pop, and felt a quick sharp pain. After becoming untangled, I was able to get up and walk to a safer place (so I did not get run over). I was taken to first aid on a sled, initially felt like my knee would not straighten. No pain, no swelling. X rays negative, diagnosed as possible torn ACL. Went to ortho next day, he sent me for MRI. MRI shows complete tear, although stable, no give outs, no pain, no swelling. Can walk stairs l/r, no pain to walk or stand for long periods of time (taught kindergarten today, 8 days after, for 8 hours, bending, standing, walking, sitting in short chairs). Everyone says I should have surgery. Active, 53 year old, moderate hiker, biker, skier . Would rather try rehab and strength conditioning. I can’t believe that it is torn…..basically no symptoms of a complete tear. Why have surgery ??

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Kathy

      Sorry to hear that.

      Would rather try rehab and strength conditioning. I can’t believe that it is torn…..basically no symptoms of a complete tear. Why have surgery ??
      —–Well that is a tough one to answer. Honestly, you are very active and I am sure you will continue to be very active such as hiking, skiing, etc… You have 2 options surgery or no surgery.

      If you really have your heart set on not having surgery then I would go through some very intensive rehab with enhanced focus on strength and stability and get that knee and lower extremity as strong as possible. Get yourself a custom fitted ACL brace to wear when you are hiking or skiing and see how it feels.

      If it bothers you and it hinders what your activities are then get the surgery.

      Good luck and please keep me posted.


  • Jaclyn

    Hello, I just would like to list some of my concerns. Last night I got into bed to relax, and I was in the process of getting comfortable. I was sitting in an upright position, and my body was turned halfway around because I was trying to fix my blankets, then I turned back around and my knee twisted and made a snapping/popping noise, there was no pain, it just was unexpected and uncomfortable for a moment, then I stood up and stretched my knee a bit and I felt very slight feeling of weakness and felt like my knee was loose, but it wasn’t a very severe feeling. there was no swelling or bruising either. But I am very scared to put pressure/weight on it again in case there is any mild damage (which I hope not). my concerns are for my future, will I be able to put the usual weight and pressure on it like always, I’m not a generally active person and I don’t do sports, I like to walk sometimes. but I’m concerned that my knee will get worse or give out on me. this uncertainty and fear is killing me. I don’t know what to do :(

    • Jim Wnek

      Hello there
      Thanks for visiting.

      Well from what I read I am leaning towards just a strain.
      However, I would give it a few days with rest, ice and maybe some over the counter pain meds. If the pain and swelling persists and does not feel better then I would go have it looked at.

      Keep me posted


  • Aaron Proffitt

    I was running an stepped in a hole an i hyperextended my knee an it hurts in the back of the knee an on the sides an sometime in the front an im a healthy basketball player

  • Renee

    Hello I have a question. I fell about a yr in a half ago and completely tore my acl. I had surgery and had it replace and went through pyhsical theraphy. Well iam a very active person and was walking up hill and after wards my knee was very sore and swelled up on the back of my knee and it hurts if im on it to much or have been walking to much. Well me and my husband went on vacation and i was pushing my husbAnd in his wheelchair when my knee locked up and swelled up very bad on the back oc my knee. So i iced and elevTed my knee and went got my knee brace out for more support and now my knee hurts on the out side of my left knee is swellon and im having muscle spasms bad in my upper back thigh above my knee and lower calf just below my knee. What is this do u think i tore my acl again or maybe something else. Plz help im still on vac and got my leg elevated with ice and i have been taking 800mg of motrin for the pain and swellling and wearing my brace when i am on my feet is there any thing else i need to do? Oh and i forgot my ahole leg swellls up from mu upper thgh to the tip of my toes… The cramping of the back thigh is so painful.
    Thank you

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Renee

      I know this response finds you after your vacation.
      Sorry for delay in response. I have had issues with my comments and posts.
      All should be fixed and my replies will be in a timely manner from now on.

      What is this do u think i tore my acl again or maybe something else.
      –Not sure
      Plz help im still on vac and got my leg elevated with ice and i have been taking 800mg of motrin for the pain and swellling and wearing my brace when i am on my feet is there any thing else i need to do?
      — Everything you did was perfect.

      Hopefully your pain decreased and you are back pain free.


  • Jamie

    Hi, I’d like to here your opinion on my situation. A Few weeks ago while diving in a softball game I injured my knee. I had moderate pain immediately ,and could not put wait on it for about a minute. However, that quickly subsided and I was able to run home. The next couple days it was very sore, stiff, and swollen. About two weeks ago I thought it was better ,but twice while I was throwing it gave out on me and caused intense pain. I went see the doctor and he said it could be and ACL tear and too get an MRI. I know I shouldn’t have but I played this weekend with a brace and everything was fine except for slight pain. Mostly my only problem now is it does not straighten and it is still swollen about three weeks later. Do you think this is an ACL tear? Should I keep playing until the MRI? Thank you for your feedback!

  • Aditya

    I want to know whether my acl is torn or not
    I feel
    . Pain on the outside and back of the knee
    . I don”t have swelling
    . Limited knee movement because of pain
    . hearing a “pop” in the knee

    I am not able to walk properly and i face difficulty in climbing the stair

  • Kris H.


    I compete in MMA/BJJ and hurt my knee tonight at the gym. I was working on a particular submission hold with my leg in an awkward position and my knee made a loud cracking sound, somewhat like crushing a bag of chips or when a chiropractor cracks your neck. My knee was rotated in an awkward angle, somewhat like if you were to grab your ankle and pull it towards your chest to stretch it. However someone else’s weight was on my shin bone, causing my knee to over-extend accompanied by the loud noise I previously described. This was accompanied immediately by pain and a soreness below my kneecap which extended from the front of the kneecap (above my shin) to around the outside of my knee and to the back of it. I’ve had an injury with my MCL/meniscus of my other knee before and comparatively the pain was MUCH worse in my previous injury (I couldn’t walk at all and my knee completely dislocated). With this injury I can walk on it (with quite a bit of pain). The range of motion isn’t bad, but it gets really sore when I try to fully extend it or fully retract it. Stability is hard to tell because it’s painful to stand on but I feel like it might be weak and give out. The swelling also wasn’t bad at all, just a little puffy below the kneecap and I put ice on it right away.

    I initially thought I might have just over-extended it because of the relatively lower amount of pain that I had, but a lot of people told me they had ACL ruptures without even knowing it until later when their knees gave out on them doing some other athletic activity. I plan on getting it checked out as soon as I can get an appointment, but in the meantime I was wondering if this could possibly be an ACL injury considering the pain/swelling isn’t bad and I can walk on it? Or is that a more rare possibility?

  • chris

    I injured my knee on Friday riding a dirtbike I came off a jump and landed and my knee gave out and I heard or felt the pop and was in serious pain and got back to the truck and got loaded up under pain. My knee swelled up almost right away and was super painful to take a step on. I am at day four and still in pain and very swollen still and can walk with a limp but feels like my knee could give out it is definitely easier to walk on it with a knee sleeve on for compression, without it my knee feels wobbly. I can bend it and straighten it out very slowly but under pain. Can you tell me in your best advice what you think is wrong? ACL?

  • Deja

    Hello , I have a question . I’m a 15 year old basketball player & I hurt my knee at practice . I went down too hard on it and my knee popped multiple times before I fell . I felt instant pain and I couldn’t get up to walk . There was no swelling , just intense pain . The coach made me walk & everytime I walked my knee popped a little . I went to the doctors 2 days later , my doctor said I just strained a muscle . Is she wrong ? I think I did more than just that because my knee still pops & I sometimes fall depending on how bad it pops . all she did was subscribe me pain medicine & an Ace Brace . ( when my knee does pop it feels like it goes out of place ) I also cannot straighten out my knee without feeling pain .

  • Gilberto

    I have a question
    I had acl reconstruction surgery 7 months ago I returned to do my regular sport which is skateboarding, but two days ago I was trying to land a trick on my skateboard but I bailed, as soon as I started falling I heard a really loud snap, not sure if I damage my knee or not, there was no swollen parts on my knee but now 3 days later I have some pain on the back of my knee , should I call my surgeon to get it checked out ?

  • Kristen

    Hello! I really hope you can set my mind at ease with this. Several years ago (about 5), I tore my right acl and had surgery. Everything was completely fine and healthy until the past 6 months in which I tore my left knee acl and had surgery. My left knee is healing very well, however my right knee has been experiencing frequent pain and shifting and popping/cracking feelings. I have brought this concern to my surgeon/orthodox doctor and he seems to think it is tendinitis from overcompensating for my other knee. Even though my acl in my right has been checked several times by my surgeon and therapists due to my paranoia about tearing it again and I have been told that my knee is completely solid, I still feel weird twinges on pain and awkward shifting that it was not doing before my left knee had been injured recently. Is it possibly that with my overcompensating and exercise that I am stretching my acl or harming my other ligaments in my right knee? Also, when I do my physical therapy exercises, my right knee ( the old acl rehabilitated knee) tends to hurt more then my left knee which was just reconstructed. Thoughts?

  • Lara

    About 3.5 years ago I had ACL reconstruction surgery with an allograft. In early spring this year, I came down on it wrong in step class and hurt it. Since then, little things will set it off. I am very active, I play kickball, take step class and lift weights. Today, my orthopedic surgeon said he thinks I tore my allograft. My question for you is, if this is true, what are my options? If I have surgery, what will that involve: A new allograft or will they mend the one I have now? Also, what will recovery be like?

    Thank you for your time.

  • Sandeep Bista

    Hello, i am not a professional footballer.But, while playing football i have gone through injury. In MRI report it mentioned “poorly visible femoral side of the Rt Anterior cruciate showing hyper signal intensity in T2W and STIR sequences s/o Rt Acl tera. please suggest me whether i should go for Arthroscopic treatment or it can heel with rehabilitation activities.

  • karen

    I have a torn acl in my left knee, torn completely. I opted not to do the surgery. I had pt to strengthen the leg after my injury. My question is, I sometimes feel pain at the top of my shin, just under my knee to the outside of leg. Is this a result of the torn acl ? Also, there is pain in the top of my leg, front at the hip flexor, wanted to know if this is a result of the torn acl also?

    Thank you

  • Randy P



    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Randy,

      First-thanks for visiting.
      I think he will be okay.

      Question: Did he look like he was favoring the injured leg when practicing or playing?

      If not, I would continue to ice for the next several days and keep an eye on it.

      At this time I do not think a visit to the doctor is warranted.

      Good luck and keep me posted.


  • Gabriella

    I’m simply going to list what issues I have with my knee.
    My knee has had this grinding for quite some time now (it started sometime last year). I never went to the doctor about it because of the fact that my dance coach simply said that it is normal to have some popping, but I think that mine is more than just “popping.” Going up and down stairs is rather painful, and sometimes getting up from sitting is too when I’ve been sitting for a long time. I’ve kind of ignored my knee for the most part, especially since several of my friends have knee pain sometimes.
    I’ve been looking it recently, and don’t really know what to do.

  • Junnu

    Sir, it’s one week since my knee got injured while stretching in football…my knee cap just moved and came back to position..I.had no swelling then..showed to an ortho he said acl tear
    next morning I had swelling but no pain.. pain was less even when I fell.. I could stand properly then but had difficulty walking..
    now after 3-4 days I can walk properly almost fully fold my knee.. and there is no swelling…
    do I still have acl tear and do I still have to get surgery..??
    I want to get back to playing football soo to n please help ?????

  • Kellie M

    My husband was recently diagnosed with a torn ACL and possible meniscus tear. They recomended reconstruction surgery. He is in extreme pain and the knee is still swollen after more than a week. He has a brace but works in a profession where he has no choice but to be on his feet and doing a lot of walking. His doctor says he should be using his knee and bareing weight with the brace on so that he can get more range of motion pre surgery but it seems counter productive when being on his feet all day puts him in severe pain and more swollen then in the morning. We are a bit confussed and frustrated with whst he should be doing. What do you suggest? Should he not be working until he can manage the pain and swelling or just push through?
    Thank You!

  • Derrick Barnson

    Hey! I was playing basketball last night. I jumped up and blocked a kid. At the peak of my jump I felt a pop on my knee. When I came down my knee just felt kinda awkward small discomfort. No swelling has came and I can walk just fine. This morning it has a very small amount of pain when I move it. What do you think?

  • Darragh

    Hi there. I’m writing in about a possible ACL re-tear; reconstructed 3 years ago. While playing a soccer game two days ago, I was jogging backwards and made a quick spin to run after the ball. My knee popped out and back in just as it had when I oiginally tore the ligament. The difference this time is, there was no pain. It’s swollen and quite sore right now. Range of motion is limited. I’m going to see my doctor next week. I know that tests and MRI will tell all, but my question is……would I have felt the extreme pain that I felt when I tore my original ACL?


    • Tom

      Exact same thing happened to me last week after 3 years. Seems like it could vary depending on the person and if you damaged other stuff.

  • Danielle Oconnor


    I had a Hamstring graft ACL Recon when I was 16. Everything was fine following surgery and I as a keen Netball player I have never had an issue, except for the occasional aching.

    It is now 7 years on, with no problem. However over Christmas I was skiing, and I fell coming off a chair lift. Landed straight on my back with my knees in a massive valgus position, unable to move. Small amount of swelling followed with a little bit of pain, but other than that the knee felt fine, with no pain a couple of days later.

    Coming back to England, playing netball, my knee keeps giving way from under me. But with no pain. I have had all MCL, LCL tests all negative. Anterior drawer and lachmanns have always had some laxity. There is no locking or grinding but just a persistent feeling of instability.

    Is there any chance I could have torn or ruptured my graft? Without there being as much pain with my original ACL injury?

    Many Thanks


  • KW

    Hi. I fell on the ski hill and twisted my knee. Felt a snap and pulling sensation in my knee. Was near the bottom of the hill so very slowly skied down and saw ski patrol. Felt I had no power in my knee. Dr. at the ski patrol diagnosed with complete ACL tear and Grade 3 MCL as well. On crutches, ice, elevation, advil until I saw my dr a few days later after I flew home. Dr. sent me to orthopaedic at emergency who said I have a mild MCL tear with no ACL injury. Follow-up in 2 weeks at ortho clinic. I have some pain, and some swelling in knee. Is it possible for the dr at the ski hill to be that wrong? I would think they see it fairly often. Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Abbi H

    Okay, so I went roller skating and fell on someone and then I landed straight on my right knee and it started swelling and it got bigger the next day so I went to the ER and they gave me an X-ray and they said I sprained my knee and the doctor was feeling my leg asking me if it hurts and he finally got under my knee and started pushing and it hurt really bad and heave my mom a bad look like I did something bad to my knee and I have to go to an orthopedist this week and I have a cast and crutches and mow when I feel under my knee I feel something like rock hard and my mom told me I tore my acl and we all think that but I need advice. Did I tear my ACL?

  • Hey, I’ve been reading and reading about what I have in my knee 5 days ago I had a soccer game and I had a major hit in the side of my left leg. My left leg around my knee it’s been swollen for 4 days not as much now I can stretch it and move it around but when I try to walk I can’t bend it because it hurts in the back of my leg behind my knee and it also hurt on the side of knee left side I’m thinking I have a meniscus tear idk what do you think I need help?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Fabian
      Thanks for visiting.

      Not sure. Without ruling out structures by performing different tests or imaging (MRI) it would be tough to say based just on symptoms.

      I would consult a physician preferably an Orthopaedic specialist and see what he or she thinks.

      Good luck and keep me posted.


  • Josh

    Hi my bursa sac was inflamed an when I was playing softball an slide into the base I heard a loud pop an had some pain then looked down an my bursa sac was gone an my knee started to swell. The swelling went down after 2 days can walk fine but still have real bad pain in front of my knee an popping swelling comes an goes. Didn’t know if I tore my acl or my meniscus??

  • Sushree

    I am sushree 26 years of age.I have undergone an ACL reconstruction surgery 14 months ago.I had resumed playing from last 2 months but yesterday while playing I got an injury in the knee that was operated,I was wearing a knee cap while playing, after the injury I was able to get up and played again for 30 mins with little pain. But from morning I am experiencing pain on my upper part of the knee.It has swollen up, I am not able to bend my knee beyond 90 degree, experiencing pain in doing that but I am able to straighten it up and bend it till 90 degree.Do you think I have retorn my acl graft?

  • Nicole

    I’m 22 years old and back in 2009 I tore my ACL and meniscus in my left knee playing basketball. I had the surgery and, because I was so into basketball, I started playing again before I should have. Now when I play or work out, Ive been starting to get severe pain again, especially when jumping, squatting, or moving laterally. It’s kind of hard to tell where the pain is coming from, all I can tell is its behind the kneecap. After working out, my knee swells up a little bit, mostly behind my knee. What could be wrong?

  • Jessica M

    I am 34 yo. I work in a prison as a nurse. I was learning defensive techniques when I tore my ACL completely while practicing outside of work. I also have 4 boys ranging in ages from 11-18. They are all bigger than me and like to wrestle, etc. my Dr. At first told me I need PT to regain mobility, and then I should have it replaced after because of my occupation and having 4 active boys. I finished PT and my knee felt much better. My doctor decided not to do replace my ACL. That was 2 weeks ago. I played Cornhole at a BBQ the other day and my knee started bothering me. I also find myself pivoting while messing with my boys or cleaning (I didn’t realize I did that) which also hurts it, but not bad. I went to a wedding July 3rd. I didn’t dance, but I did have to wear shoes with short heals. Now my knee pops constantly, with every movement. It feels more uncomfortable than painful… But weird. It also feels tight and stiff again, though I haven’t lost my mobility. It hurts at night and I am icing it again. Is this normal? Also, if they don’t replace it, will I still be able to hike in the mountains to see waterfalls? Will I be able to do Yoga and take paddle boat rides? I am overweight… I want to be more active, not stop. Thanks for listening and providing advice!!

  • Leslie


    I had ACL surgery December 23, 2015 and I believe I retore my ACL (patellar tendon graft) just yesterday July 4th, 2016. I heard a poping sound when the incident occurred with little to no pain/swelling.

    I was performing a head stand on the beach and when I landed back down I was in a wide stance (V: like this but upside down and wider). As I lifted my back up to stand up my feet ended up slipping and I almost did the splits and that’s when my knee popped.

    My knee does feel a little unstable but I don’t know if that is me freaking out. Could the reason I have little to no pain/swelling in my knee be because it is a graft and not the native tissue? Does hearing a “popping” sound almost always guarantee a torn ACL? Will I have different symptoms with a torn graft?


    Leslie N. Siegel

  • Elena

    Hi there,

    I was playing soccer and another player kicked my leg and I fell on it very awkwardly , I felt a pop . When I stood up I was sore but still able to walk on it . The next morning I woke up and couldn’t stand on it or bear any weight in it I was in excruciating pain . I went to the hospital that day and the doctor told me she’s 90% sure I tore my acl .. I can’t move it at all , I can’t bend it , put weight on it . When I do my leg almost goes in panic mode and gives out on me . I have also torn my acl in the same leg 5 years ago , I never had surgery because the doctor said I was still young and recovery time would be quick and efficient without it . I’m on day 5 now and still no change . If I don’t wear my knee brace I feel as if my leg is always giving out on me , and very unstable . And I use crutches at all times . I have a specialist appointment in a couple days and the doctor said he will book me my mri. I’m just wondering , if it is a tear in my acl .. And I don’t do surgery .. Typically how long does it take until I can start walking again

  • Kelly Jo

    I injured my leg during a cardio workout. I mediately went to my primary care physician which they’ve been referred me for an MRI. When I receive the radiology report it’s stated that I had an ACL complete tear as well as to horizontal tears in my meniscus. I am 46 years old and work as a waitress. I was referred by the primary care doctor to see an orthopedic surgeon which I am waiting for. I still have after a week and a half pain swelling and bruising. It might be another week before I can get into see the surgeon because of insurance purposes should I go to the hospital? I’m trying the best that I can to stay off of my knee and to ice it along with anti-inflammatory medicine. Help

    • Jim Wnek

      Hello Kelly Jo

      Thanks for visiting.

      I am sorry to hear of your ACL injury and meniscus tears.

      As of right now there is no need to go to the hospital. However, you do need to rest it, ice it and elevate it.

      Elevate the whole leg to just above heart level and apply ice to your knee 20 minutes on and then 30 – 60 minutes off.

      Ice will constrict blood vessels and flush that old used blood out and then when you take the ice off your blood vessels will then dilate and new blood will rush back in.
      New blood has nutrients which helps.

      Keep me posted.

  • Skylar

    I slid home in a softball game in March, now it is August and I still experience some pain and my knee is constantly swollen. Also, it has no feeling. It’s numb almost like I have had a numbing shot in my knee. I’m a healthy 16 year old.

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Skylar
      My recommendation is to have it evaluated by a doctor to see if anything is damaged.

      Sounds like you may have done something but without an evaluation or imaging it would be hard to tell exactly what is wrong.

      Good luck and keep me posted


  • Rebecca

    I had a minor tear on my acl on my right knee two years ago. Now sometimes after I work out or even toss around in bed, I have a popping sensation. After that happens I can’t straighten my leg out without it hurting. I am still able to walk and there is no swelling. I am an avid skier and wear a knee brace every time I ski. But the popping seems to be happening more often. What exercises can I do, and possibly what vitamins can I take to prevent this from happening?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Rebecca
      Sorry it’s been a while.
      This site gets an amazing amount of questions.

      What exercises can you do?
      Your typical rehab protocol ex’s.
      Quads sets, SLR’s glut sets, single leg isolated squats, standing 4 way hip, DBL romanian deadlifts heel raises, etc..

      Stay tuned. We are rolling out an membership style portion of this site that will give you access to strengthening protocol, rehab protocols and much, much more…

      As far as vitamins
      I would stick to a multi as well as get your omega 3’s (preferably naturally i.e flax seed, fish, etc..)

      Good Luck

  • Linda Compton

    I had ACL replacement surgery 4 yrs ago, allograft. 6 weeks ago, I mis-stepped getting out of a van. Pain and swelling by the next morning. MRI revealed complete tear of ACL Met with potential surgeon this week who said that he “can’t see my ACL” and considers it dissolved? Really? Does that mean, a second replacement would dissolve too? I can’t find any literature on this. Can you give me your perpective. Thanks

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey linda
      Welcome and thanks for visiting.

      Sorry for delay.
      he “can’t see my ACL” and considers it dissolved? Really?
      —- YES this happens. The ligament tears and then your body starts to absorb it.

      Does that mean, a second replacement would dissolve too?
      —- NO because it will be intact not just floating around inside your joint.

      Good luck

  • John

    Hi I tear my acl and meniscus 4 weeks ago the doc said I need to do surgery since.

    The swelling is gone away now but still hurts when I’m walking.

    My question is once the surgery is done how long is the rehab before I can start running and play soccer ?

    I know the rehad could a be a while but what about running and jogging to stay fit ?

    • Jim Wnek

      Hey John
      My question is once the surgery is done how long is the rehab before I can start running and play soccer ?
      — Normal protocol is 12 weeks post op you can start jogging. However with good quad control and doctors approval you can start jogging as early as 8 weeks.

      I know the rehab could a be a while but what about running and jogging to stay fit ?
      –do not run until 12 weeks or sooner if you have doctor approval

      Good luck

  • Melanie

    Hi I’m new here just wanted some advice.

    2 months ago I fell down some concrete stairs and landed on my knee very hard. seconds later my knee swelled up like a balloon and was black, I when to have it x-rayed and they said it was fine just bruising.

    its been 2 months and I get a twinge pain in my knee when I walk I’m a bit confused

    many thanks


    • Jim Wnek

      Hey Melanie
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Sorry to hear about your fall and hurting your knee.

      I would follow up with a doctor (preferably an orthopaedic) and have it evaluated.

      Hard to say exactly what is wrong. It may not be anything.
      However, you could have damaged a structure(s) from the fall.

      With all the swelling you had – the x-rays may not have showed everything.
      An MRI will show a lot more.

      I would go see a doctor and have it evaluated.

      Good luck
      Please keep me posted

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