The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is the main ligament in the knee, and prevents shearing of the tibia (shin bone) on the femur (thigh bone).  The ACL provides stability to the knee with activities involving pivoting or twisting such as soccer, football and netball. The most common mechanism of injury for the ACL is hyperextending and twisting the knee.

This image shows the leg of a client who is recovering from surgery on their ACL. Their knee has bandages and a practitioner is assessing their range of movement.

Symptoms of ACL Rupture

* A “pop” sound
* Severe pain and inability to continue activity
* Knee Swelling
* A feeling of instability or ‘giving way’ in the knee


A Physiotherapist can assess the severity of a knee injury. This may or may not require additional imaging such as an MRI to confirm diagnosis.
A partial tear of the ACL will usually involve rehabilitation exercises prescribed by your Physiotherapist. Complete tear of an ACL will usually require surgery followed by rehabilitation of nine to twelve months. Rehabilitation times of synthetic grafts may vary.
Because of the severity of ACL injuries and their potential to cause disability, it is important to seek medical assessment and treatment as soon as possible following injury. If you have further questions please call our clinic.