The knee is the most utilized joints in sports. Injuries to the knee are the most devastating and difficult injuries to recover from. The knee joint is also the largest joint in the human body. It is made up of the femur bone that joins a flat bone called the tibia. Those bones are held together by various ligaments. The ACL, anterior cruciate ligament, is often injured during athletic contests and is considered one of the most common sports injuries. The ACL runs from the front of the tibia to the back of the femur, preventing extreme rotation of the knee joint. An athlete quickly changing directions while in motion or hyperextending the knee often tears the ACL.


  • Immediately splint the leg in position.
  • Apply ice for 10-30 minutes.
  • Lightly compress the injured site.
  • Use crutches if there is any pain during standing.
  • Reconstruct the ligament with tissue from other areas of the knee.
  • Surgically reconstruct the ligament using the arthroscope.
  • Physical therapy.

Returning to Sports:

  • Make sure there is no swelling.
  • Full range of motion is feasible.
  • Full strength regained through rehabilitation.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Allowance by physician.

Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional.

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