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ACL Tear

What is ACL Tear?
ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear is a common knee injury. Most athletes playing high impact sports like: Football, Cricket, Hockey, Kabbadi, Basketball etc., are prone to injure their Anterior Cruciate Ligament because of the overstretching of the ACL.

The knee joint is a complex structure of bones, ligaments, tendons and other tissues working together. Ligaments, being strong bands of tissue, connect one bone to another and the ACL is one of the two ligaments crossing in the middle of the knee connecting your thighbone (femur) to your shinbone (tibia). It is the knee joint’s internal stabilizer.

Its main function is to prevent Hyperextension, state where the angle between the body parts or joints is really high. ACL also has a secondary function to restrain tibial rotation and varus/valgus stress.

ACL Tear Treatment Bangalore

Anterior Circulate Ligament Tear

Anterior Circulate Ligament Tears or injuries usually occur during sports or fitness activities, when the following happens:

  • Sudden Slowing and changing direction
  • Pivoting with foot firmly placed
  • Sudden slowing or stopping while running
  • Incorrect landing during a jump
  • Direct hit to the knee during a collision or tackle
  • Two wheeler accidents is another common cause of Anterior Circulate Ligament tears in Indian sub-continent.

The patient will have the following symptoms:

  • Loud ‘popping’ sound from the knee and it giving out from under you
  • Severe pain and inability to continue activity
  • Swelling that begins within 24 hours. Might get resolved on its own but will return if
  • the same activity is restarted.
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Joint Line’s tenderness
  • Discomfort while walking

If you experience any of the above symptoms while playing or exercising, then:

  • DO NOT move your knee
  • Use a splint to keep the knee straight till medical help arrives
  • DO NOT return to playing or exercising or running.

Diagnosis And Treatment
In a physical examination, the doctor will check the injured knee for swelling and tenderness, comparing it with the uninjured one. The injured ligament will be subjected to clinical test and integrity will be assessed, and overall function of the knee will be tested.

The following tests will help in confirming the diagnosis:

  • X-rays to get a clear image of the bones to rule out a fracture but it can’t visualize ligaments and tendons.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to see the extent of the Anterior Circulate Ligament tear injury and damage to other tissues of the knees.

Some measures to be taken to prevent ACL tears are:

  • Wear the right footwear for the sport and the surface its being played on.
  • Strengthen and the stretch the major leg muscles: hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles.
  • Learning the right technique for the movement you going to perform like turning, jumping and stopping correctly.
  • In some cases, using of knee braces also helps.
  • Warming up before playing will prevent injuries.


Authored by Dr Banarji B.H - Shoulder Surgeon, Bangalore

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