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injury to ACL

How do I know I injured my ACL?

Injuring your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) can be quite painful and impactful. Here are some common signs and symptoms that may indicate an ACL injury:

  1. Pain: You may experience significant pain in the knee at the time of injury or shortly after.
  2. Swelling: The knee typically swells rapidly after an ACL injury due to bleeding within the joint.
  3. Instability: Many people report a feeling of their knee giving way or being unstable, particularly during activities that involve pivoting or changing direction.
  4. Audible pop or snap: Some individuals hear or feel a pop or snap at the time of injury, which is often followed by pain and swelling.
  5. Limited range of motion: Difficulty fully bending or straightening the knee, along with discomfort when doing so.
  6. Bruising: Bruising around the knee joint can occur, though this might not appear immediately.

If you suspect you've injured your ACL, it's essential to seek medical attention promptly. An orthopedic specialist can evaluate your knee through a physical examination and possibly imaging tests like MRI to diagnose the extent of the injury and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include physical therapy or surgery depending on the severity. Early diagnosis and treatment can often lead to better outcomes and recovery.