Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) functions as the strong band of tissue that intersects over the middle of your knee and connects your thigh bone to your shinbone. An ACL injury is usually brought about by extreme physical activity such as sports or other activities that involve fitness.

What are the Symptoms of a Torn ACL?

  • Severe and rapid swelling
  • Severe pain
  • Complete lack of range of motion
  • The feeling of something popping in your knee
  • Not being able to feel stable or put your full weight on your knee

What Treatment Options are Available?

There are appropriate nonsurgical options our physicians can recommend to you if you have torn your ACL. Surgery is usually necessary, however, not every individual with a torn ACL will be a prime candidate for a procedure such as this. Speaking with your physician to determine which method of treatment works for your injury is what we suggest.

Rehabilitation and physical therapy are also very important components of torn ACL treatment.

Non-surgical Treatment

  • Rest
  • Utilizing products for compression purposes (helps to alleviate swelling)
  • Keeping the affected area elevated
  • Ice-pack (aids in reducing pain and swelling)

Surgical Treatment


This procedure involves removing the impaired ligament and changing it out for a portion of tendon. A tendon shares similar characteristics with a ligament in the sense that it connects your muscle with your bone. Your surgeon will take the tendon from your other knee that is not damaged or from an individual that has elected after death to donate their organs.

ACL reconstruction is generally recommended if:

  • You're an athlete and want to continue in your sport, especially if the sport involves jumping, cutting or pivoting
  • More than one ligament or the cartilage in your knee is injured
  • You're young and active
  • The injury is causing your knee to buckle during everyday activities

With ACL reconstruction, the torn ligament is removed and replaced with a piece of tendon from another part of your knee or from a donor. This outpatient procedure is performed through small incisions around your knee joint. The procedure is performed by orthopedic surgeons, who are doctors specializing in surgical procedures of the bones and joints.


Arthroscopy is a procedure for diagnosing problems you may be having with your joints. Your surgeon inserts a narrow tube attached to a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision. Then your joint function is easily viewed on a high-definition video monitor.

Surgeons can even repair some types of joint damage during arthroscopy, with tiny instruments inserted through small incisions. Your doctor might use arthroscopy to help diagnose and treat a variety of joint conditions, most commonly those affecting the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip and wrist. This is particularly helpful if x-rays and other radiology tests do not answer the important questions.

The conditions your doctor might treat with arthroscopic surgery include loose bone fragments, damaged or torn cartilage, inflamed joint linings, joint infections, torn ligaments or scarring within the joints.


Your physician will generally place you on treatment plan of several weeks of rehabilitative therapy. Our center provides exceptional physical therapists that will aid you in working on exercises you can do at our facility at home. These exercises serve the purpose of alleviating pain, swelling of the knee, restoring movement and fortifying muscles in the leg for stability.