The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most commonly injured ligaments in the knee. Ligaments are strong non-elastic fibers that connect our bones together. The ACL crosses inside of the knee, connecting the thighbone to the leg. It provides stability to the knee joint.
ACL tears most commonly occur in very active people or athletes. The ACL can tear when people abruptly slow down from running, land from a jump, or change directions rapidly. These types of actions are frequently performed during sports, such as football, basketball, skiing, and soccer. Athletes are especially at risk for ACL tears, although they may occur in active workers and the general population as well.
The ACL can tear completely or partially. It is unable to repair itself. When the ACL is injured, it is common to see other surrounding knee structures damaged as well. Some cases of ACL tears are treated with non-surgical methods. However, there are several surgical options that successfully restore knee strength and stability.