Damage to the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is a common injury that can happen to both professional and recreational athletes.
There are two main types of ACL injuries:
- Contact injuries involve a direct blow to the knee, often with damage to other ligaments as well.
- Non-contact injuries are the source of more than 70 percent of ACL ruptures. They usually occur during deceleration or pivoting of the knee.
Swelling occurs in nearly all ACL injuries. If you experience swelling within 24 hours of a knee injury, you should seek medical attention.
In most cases, the treatment for ACL tears is surgery. The good news is, current surgery techniques have a better than 90 percent success rate of restoring stability to the knee.
After an ACL surgery, you're looking at an extensive rehabilitation program that could last six to eight months or more. But if you stick with your program and don’t try to rush your return, you have an excellent chance of being able to get back on the court or field again.
Learn more about knee injuries.