Alexander E Weber, MD
Orthopaedic surgeon & sports Medicine specialist

Understanding ACL Tears: Causes, Symptoms, and Implications

Jun 21, 2023
This blog post will provide insights into what it means to tear your ACL, including its causes, symptoms, and potential consequences.

What is an ACL Tear?

The ACL is one of the major ligaments in the knee that helps stabilize the joint. When the ACL is torn, it means that the ligament has been partially or completely ruptured. This injury can lead to instability, pain, and limited mobility in the knee.


ACL tears often occur during sports activities that involve sudden movements or changes in direction. Activities such as basketball, soccer, skiing, and football put individuals at a higher risk of ACL tears. Non-contact injuries, where the knee twists or hyperextends, are common causes. However, direct blows to the knee, falls, and collisions can also result in ACL tears.

Symptoms: Common symptoms of an ACL tear include a popping sound or sensation at the time of injury, immediate swelling, severe pain, difficulty bearing weight on the affected leg, instability or a feeling of the knee giving way, and limited range of motion. Prompt medical attention is crucial to determine the extent of the injury and develop an appropriate treatment plan.


An ACL tear can have significant implications for individuals, particularly those who are physically active. It may require lifestyle modifications, restrict participation in sports or physical activities, and result in a loss of fitness and muscle strength. Without proper treatment, ACL tears can also lead to long-term consequences such as chronic pain, joint instability, and an increased risk of developing knee osteoarthritis.

Treatment and Recovery: The treatment for an ACL tear depends on several factors, including the severity of the injury, an individual's age, activity level, and overall health. Treatment options range from conservative approaches, such as physical therapy and bracing, to surgical intervention, such as ACL reconstruction. Rehabilitation exercises, rest, and a gradual return to activities are crucial for a successful recovery.


Tearing your ACL can be a life-altering event, affecting your mobility, daily activities, and overall quality of life. It is important to recognize the causes and symptoms of an ACL tear and seek appropriate medical attention for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan. With the right treatment, rehabilitation, and support, individuals can recover from an ACL tear and regain strength, stability, and confidence in their knee. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance based on your specific condition and needs. 

Dr. Weber and his team treat over 200 Los Angeles athletes and weekend warriors with ACL tears each year. We provide personalized treatment for all knee injuries from professional athletes to high school recreational players to weekend skiers. If you are a patient with a knee injury in Los Angeles, please reach out. We can see you within 24 hours.