Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury | Chiro & Sports Med
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Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury

Home > Conditions > Knee > Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury

Essentially the most common knee injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain or tear. Athletes who engage in high intensity sports like soccer, football, and basketball are more inclined to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments. It is highly likely that surgery is required to regain full use of your knee for those who have injured their ACL. It all depends on several factors, including the seriousness of your injury along with your level of activity.

Anatomy of the knee

Cruciate ligaments are found within your knee joint. They cross one another to make an “X” – where the anterior cruciate ligament lies in front and the posterior cruciate ligament lies in the back. The cruciate ligaments control the back and forth motion of one’s knee. The anterior cruciate ligament runs diagonally in the centre of the knee. It prevents the shinbone (tibia) from sliding out in front of the thigh bone (femur). Both together provide rotational stability for the knee.

An ACL injury is the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which is one of the major ligaments in your knee.  An ACL injury or rupture is the most debilitating knee ligament injury.

Grades of Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) sprains

About 50 % of anterior cruciate ligament injuries occur together with other structures inside the knee. These include articular cartilage, meniscus, and other ligaments. Injured ligaments are viewed as “sprains” and therefore are graded on the basis of severity.

  • Grade 1 Sprains – usually only mildly damaged. The ligament is slightly stretched and remains capable of keeping the knee joint stable.
  • Grade 2 Sprains – known as a partial tear. This sprain stretches the ligament enough where it becomes loose.
  • Grade 3 Sprains – known as a complete tear.  The ligament has become separated into two pieces. Resulting in the knee joint being unstable.


ACL injuries commonly occur during sports that involve sudden stops, jumping or changes in direction.  For instance sports such as netball, basketball, soccer, football, tennis, downhill skiing, volleyball and gymnastics. Your speed – combined with the way that you twist or turn your knee – makes it likely that you’ll stretch or tear your ACL.

Often injury can happen in the following ways:

  • Changing direction rapidly
  • Stopping suddenly
  • Slowing down while running
  • Landing from a jump incorrectly
  • Direct contact or collision, for example, a football tackle
  • Pivoting with your foot firmly planted


After you injure your anterior cruciate ligament, you would possibly hear a “popping” noise and you’ll feel your knee give out from under you. Other typical symptoms include:

  • Pain with swelling
  • A decrease in the full range of movement
  • Tenderness over the joint line and discomfort while walking
  • Bruising, limping, or pain when standing
  • Severe pain and inability to continue the activity


Treatment for an ACL tear can vary – based on a person’s individual needs.  The young athlete associated with agility sports, for example, will most probably require surgery to soundly resume sports. The less active, usually older, individual might possibly get back to a quieter lifestyle without surgery.

  • Bracing. Your chiropractor may recommend a brace to guard your knee against instability. You may be given crutches to help your knee and keep you from putting weight on your leg.
  • Physical rehabilitation. As the swelling decreases, a careful rehabilitation program commences. Specific exercises will restore function to your knee and strengthen the lower limb muscles that support it.
Our practitioners are on hand to treat you