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One of the most common injuries of the knee is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain or tear. If you are a fan of football, baseball, basketball or soccer, you will often hear of athletes that suffer an ACL injury. However, it is not just professional athletes that can suffer an ACL tear or sprain. Twisting the knee just right with enough force can result in an ACL injury. Our orthopedic and sports injury physicians and surgeons at DOCS Health offer advanced treatment for ACL injuries at our medical center in Los Angeles.

To allow the knee to bend and twist, there are four main ligaments that hold the femur, tibia and patella in place. One of these ligaments is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and its function is to control the back and forth movement of the tibia, or shinbone. The ACL is located inside the knee and helps prevent the tibia from shifting forward in front of the femur and stabilizes the knee when rotating.

Causes and Symptoms of ACL Tears or Sprains

An ACL sprain is a stretching or slight tearing of the ACL ligament, and an ACL tear can be partial or complete. An ACL injury is usually caused by the knee suddenly twisting with force, impacting the ACL to the point of it stretching or tearing. This usually happens when playing high impact sports. Pivoting, changing directions, twisting the knee when landing or an impact to the knee can all stretch or tear the ACL. Symptoms of an ACL injury include:

  • Popping sound when the injury occurs
  • Pain and tenderness at the knee joint
  • Knee “gives out”
  • Limited range of motion
  • Swelling
  • Pain when walking

An ACL sprain can be treated with conservative methods, including rest, ice, elevation and NSAIDs for pain and inflammation, followed by physical therapy. However, for most partial or complete ACL tears, surgery is required to restore full function of the knee joint.

If you have suffered an ACL injury and need treatment, contact our medical team at DOCS Health. We offer advanced options in ACL injury treatment and surgery at our state-of-the-art medical center in Los Angeles.