ACL Damage

ACL Damage is an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament that can be a debilitating musculoskeletal injury seen most often in athletes. Non-contact tears and ruptures are the most common causes of ACL injury.

ACL injuries occur when an athlete rapidly decelerates, followed by a sharp or sudden change in direction (cutting). ACL failure has been linked to heavy or stiff-legged landing; as well as twisting or turning the knee while landing, especially when the knee is in the valgus (knock-knee) position.

Illustration of normal knee anatomy.

Illustration of normal knee anatomy.


Complete tear of the ACL.

Complete tear of the ACL.

Symptoms Of ACL Damage

Symptoms of an ACL injury include hearing a sudden popping sound, swelling, and instability of the knee (i.e., a “wobbly” feeling). Pain is also a major symptom in an ACL injury and can range from moderate to severe. Continued athletic activity on a knee with an ACL injury can have devastating consequences, resulting in massive cartilage damage, leading to an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life.

Service Providers

Henry Small, M.D.

Dr. Small is a board certified orthopedic surgeon. He has 23 years of experience.