5 Signs Of a Torn ACL

Many people that indulge in sports and high physical activity in their lives know that a torn ACL means a knee injury due to one four types of ligaments being damaged. A torn ACL is one of the most common types of injuries to the knee people encounter throughout their lifetime.

5 signs of a torn acl

5 Signs of a torn ACL may include:

  • A distinct popping sound as soon as the injury has happened
  • Difficulty standing without the leg giving out due to pressure on the knee
  • Swelling and pain in the injured area
  • Bruised patterns around the knee caused from internal bleeding
  • Severe to mild tenderness
 If you suspect you tore your ACL here are the first six steps to do immediately!

Possible causes of a torn ACL 


Once a torn ACL is suspected, a doctor should be consulted to confirm this is the injury that was sustained. Prolonging a doctor visit will create further damage to the knee over a period of time. If taken care of immediately, it could allow a person to recover more quickly and prevent surgical treatment. If any of these symptoms are felt in even small amounts, a torn ACL may be present. People with high tolerances for pain may want to pass the injury off as not serious enough to warrant a physician visit. This type of thinking could be the difference between a knee brace for a few weeks and surgery that takes several months to recover.

For a detailed post on signs and symptoms of a torn acl – click here

A torn ACL of minor damage  may be treated with a knee brace and physical therapy as well as exercise. A more extensive injury may need surgery and a longer recovery period. The most common types of surgery for a torn ACL will require pain management medications, particular diets, exercise, physical therapy and follow up visits to your surgeon and primary health care physician.


Recovery time for a minor torn ACL without surgery may only take a few weeks and a recommendation of a knee brace or crutches with physical exercises. More severe injuries may require months of exercises before a surgery to ensure healing time is quicker after the operation. Some individuals require over a year to be able to go back to their normal lives or need ongoing medical attention with a strict regiment of instructions and changes in their daily lives. A reconstruction of the ACL can be done by a doctor if they feel it is the only possible solution to fix the problem. Although many athletes and people who are highly active in sports may return to their normal routines once the knee is repaired, there is a very high probability the injury will happen again. Many people choose to lessen the activities or change their lifestyle due to possible injury again. Consulting a physician about the limit of activities in the event of surgery or without it is recommended if not imperative to someones health. If any of the symptoms mentioned appear again after a torn ACL has occurred or is suspected, report it to your primary care physician immediately. The longer someone waits, the worse the symptoms will become.

The Top 5 At Home Exercises
I did that helped get me walking 4 days after surgery

Click Here to see the exercises


  1. Thanks for posting these, I know when I tore my ACL it was tough to determine what it was I had done.

    If I had found your site when it first happened I am sure I would have been better off!

  2. One of the symptoms I had was I could not bend my knee and if I tried it was excruciating pain. I was able to stand on my leg and could walk if I locked my knee. According to my othopedist and the PA my ACL was shredded and there was nothing left of it.

  3. Michelle Collins says:

    Jon, very helpful and a real good read. Thanks again, all is well 5 months on the 29th. Hope you are doing well also buddy Michelle

  4. Michelle, thanks for taking a look at the article. Good job on getting to 5 months! Jon

  5. Alison, that sounds like it would have been very painful. Thanks for sharing since everyones experience is always different. Do you have any tips for what you did to manage the pain?

  6. Jeff, thanks – I am glad you find my posts useful. I really hope that people that can use it find it when they need it!

  7. Hi Jon,
    Thanks for your new post! I knew that I had hurt my knee when I fell skiing and my bindings didn’t break, but I didn’t realize that I had completely torn my ACL. I didn’t hear a popping sound and it didn’t hurt that much (I iced it immediately and took anti-inflammatories). However, my knee had no side-to-side stability (big clue) and I couldn’t bend it all the way. After limping around on it for 2 weeks with no improvement, I finally went to the doctor and an MRI confirmed a complete tear of the ACL. Bummer!

  8. Raja Sekhar, Paluru says:

    Hi, I find this site very detailed and helpful. In my case, it’s been almost 4 months since I had my ACL Surgery on my left knee. I’m walking without ant help of walker or brace and able to get full ROM. But my worry is that I still have little bit of swelling and my knee gives out crackling sounds when I move the lower part. Also, there seems to be little bit of slackness, as per my doctor words…Somebody please advise as to how the slackness can be healed…Does it go away as the tissue develops around…Please advise…

  9. Robert Joeboy says:

    Thanks Jon, for your kind support and guide for ACL tear through mail. It is very helpful for ACL torn person. I personaly saluit from my heart for doing this job.

  10. Lois Brown says:

    Thanks Jon, yes that’s all the signs and a problem I had was I couldn’t stand at all because I dislocated it too so if it is dislocated you could have torn it too, so went straight to hospital in a ambulance, which I think is the best way as they notice you and help you straight away instead of waiting for hours.
    So my point is if you are in pain and it feeling dangerous get a ambulance!

  11. Terrific thread! I certainly appreciated it. I’ve looked over much the same web site with regards to athletics medicine. It’s most definitely worth checking out.