The first symptoms of torn ACL can include an audible snap or some sound at the time of the strain. Pain can also be a major symptom in an ACL injury which can range from moderate to more severe pain. When minor tears occur, it is sometimes hard to notice because the victim might carry the task at hand to completion while experiencing only a mild pain. After the tension or tear, the pain will increase in severity and the knee area may swell or become stiff.
The anterior cruciate ligament is a strong structure made of connective tissues, which interconnect the bones of the knee joint. One bone is connected to the next across this joint with the help of these ligaments. The anterior articulate ligament therefore stabilizes the knee joint while minimizing stress at the same time. Ligaments are flexible structures, only that they do not stretch very far.
Tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament occurs when certain movements exert too much strain on the knee, leading to overstretching of the ligaments. This tear is a very common injury to the knee which mostly befalls soccer players, athletes, basketball players and skiers.
An ACL tear occurs in three different levels of severity. A complete rapture of this ligament is the most dangerous because it causes a lot of pain and the knee joint can barely function after such a tear. The slightest tear involves a few fibers but the knee joint will still function in a relatively normal way. In the second of level of severity, a higher number of ligament fibers are torn and the knee joint will lose a greater proportion of its functionality.
The ACL tear is a result of stress on the ligaments. This stress is consequently brought about by too much twisting of the knee joint. Any sport which involves a rapid change in direction, could easily strain this joint and cause a complete rapture or slight tear.
If there is a long resting period after a minor tear, swelling and excessive pain may be experienced fast. If the second grade of tear is experienced, someone may not necessarily get the pop sound but rather a feeling of instability when trying to stand on the affected leg. Some pain at the back of the knee may also be indicative of a light tear to the anterior cruciate ligament.
If the tear involves some bleeding inside the knee joint, a victim will see a blue or black discoloration. There could also be a feeling that the knee will give away or buckle. A difficult point comes when trying to differentiate an ACL tear from other sporting injuries such as a tear in the meniscus. In case of the meniscus tear, however, someone is soaked in severe pain to the extent that he or she will not be able to continue with the sporting activity. With this thin line, it is imperative to seek the services of a trained doctor immediately.
Diagnosis involves immediate attention from a qualified therapist. Because it is difficult to conclude on a probable ACL tear, the medical professional could be forced to take your medical history and incidences leading to the suspicion. He or she may want to know whether you experienced some symptoms of torn ACL or if you have symptoms of a torn meniscus instead
The therapist may also require knowing whether you experienced a swelling of some sort or the feeling that your knee will give away. Once diagnosed, it takes the combined effort of a surgeon and a therapist to determine the most effective treatment method for you. It could be a surgery in extreme circumstances, or the services of a physical therapist who will slowly manage the condition to recovery.
Grade one and two tears are mostly treated using a combination of physiotherapy and rest. To earn a full resting potential and provide absolute support to the knee, you may require a brace. Complete rest is often prescribed because it is hardly possible for the condition to heal fully when continued damage is done through light tensions which are brought about by everyday activities. Ice compression could also be recommended by the therapist who will as well elaborate on the most appropriate pain-free stretching that one will engage in.
In summary, the anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most essential supportive tissues to the knee joint and could bring impairing effects if it is left unattended so if you have the Symptoms of Torn ACL you should seek medical attention.