Symptoms that you may notice at the time of ACL injury may include:
- A sudden "pop" sound in the knee
- Swelling of the knee within minutes to hours of the injury. This is caused by bleeding into the knee
- Moderate to severe pain in the knee
Symptoms that may occur days to weeks after the injury include:
- Giving way: After the swelling improves you may feel a sense of 'instability' in the injured knee. This means the knee moves around too much and may lead to the knee giving way. This is often felt during activities such as squating, walking down stairs, pivoting on the knee or stepping sideways.
- Ongoing knee pain
- Ongoing swelling (usually less severe than at the time of injury)
Diagram of a tear of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament
When to see your doctor
If you experience any of the symptoms of ACL injury it is important to go and see a doctor. Generally the longer you take to seek treatment the longer it will take to recover.