ACL Injury – What Should I Do If I Tore My ACL?

Man with his hands on his knee thinking what should I do if I've torn my ACL.

The sudden, sharp pain of a knee injury can be alarming. If you’re experiencing a painful ‘pop’ in your knee, followed by instability, swelling, and difficulty bearing weight, you might face an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury.

The ACL stabilizes the knee, and its tear often occurs during sudden movements like jumps, twists, or falls. Immediate action is key to minimizing damage and ensuring a smooth recovery from an ACL tear.

Board-Certified ACL Treatment in Southern Tennessee

If you suspect you tore your ACL, immobilize the knee joint, stop any aggravating activity, and apply the RICE Method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation to alleviate pain and swelling.

It’s important to take ACL injuries seriously and seek prompt medical attention. Ignoring or neglecting an ACL tear can lead to instability in the knee joint, increased risk of further injury, and long-term consequences such as osteoarthritis.

At Tennessee Orthopaedics, we understand that knee injuries can happen anytime. Orthopedic Urgent Care and Walk-in Clinics in Bearden, Sevierville, Knoxville, and Oakridge offer convenient walk-in services with flexible hours to fit your busy schedule.

What Are The Symptoms of a Torn ACL?

Not all ACL tears present with the same symptoms; some people may experience a partial tear of the ACL, which can result in milder symptoms than a complete tear. Common symptoms of an ACL tear include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Instability
  • Audible “pop” sound in the knee joint
  • Difficulty bearing weight
  • Limited range of motion
  • Change in gait

If you suspect that you have torn your ACL or are experiencing symptoms consistent with an ACL injury, it is crucial to seek prompt medical evaluation for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. This is especially important if you are having difficulty bearing weight on your knee. Although it is possible to walk with a minor ACL tear, it is not recommended. Walking can aggravate the injury, resulting in further harm. Consult a Tennessee Orthopedics specialist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. You can also visit one of our orthopedic walk-in clinics.

ACL Tear Specialists in Knoxville, TN

Your treatment plan for an ACL tear will be customized to fit its severity, with surgical and nonsurgical options depending on the extent of the injury.

Conservative treatment for an ACL tear includes physical therapy, activity modification, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.

Surgical treatment is often required to repair an ACL tear. The most common surgical approach is arthroscopic surgery, which uses small incisions and a camera called an arthroscope to guide the surgical instruments. This minimally invasive procedure allows for faster recovery and less postoperative pain compared to traditional open surgery.

ACL reconstruction surgery is recommended if the patient is young, active, or has significant instability in the knee. During this procedure, the torn ligament is replaced with a graft, which is typically taken from the patient’s own hamstring tendon, patellar tendon, or cadaver donor tendon. The goal of the surgery is to restore stability and function to the knee joint.

ACL Treatment At Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance

Whether you’re experiencing the sudden onset of knee pain or suspect an ACL tear, our expert team is here to provide timely, personalized care. Make an appointment online or visit one of our Orthopedic Urgent Care and Walk-in Clinics in Bearden, Sevierville, Knoxville, or Oakridge, TN.