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Choose Dr. Morton as your Anterior Cruciate Ligament Surgeon Today!

  • Board-certified, Fellowship-Trained Knee Surgeon
  • Experienced Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Nonoperative and operative treatments available
  • High success rate in treating sports injuries
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Understands the needs to get back to a high level of activity
  • Athlete himself
  • Trauma Surgeon at Level 1 Trauma Center – Queen’s Medical Center

What is an Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear?

The knee is composed of multiple ligaments, cartilage, and bones. One of the ligaments responsible for stabilizing the knee, the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, is also the most commonly injured ligament. Orthopedic surgeons can offer multiple treatment options based on the patient’s goals.

Specialized Sports Care

Content

Anatomy
Causes
Diagnosis
Treatments
All-Inside ACL Reconstruction
Summary
Frequently Asked Questions
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The Anterior Cruciate Ligament and the Knee

The knee is a joint where different bones meet. The thigh bone, the femur, meets the two shin bones, the tibia, and the fibula. The patella is a small bone that sits on the front of the knee. The ends of the thigh and shin bones are covered in cartilage, which helps the bones glide smoothly while walking.

There are several ligaments that provide the entire joint with stability. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament, otherwise known as the ACL, is the most well-known. It prevents the shin bones from sliding forward. There is also a Posterior Cruciate Ligament, the Medial Collateral Ligament, and the Lateral Collateral Ligament. They provide stability for different parts of the knee.

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Causes of ACL Injury

Most people have heard of an ACL injury, often in a sports context. While it is true that most ACL injuries occur in athletic events, there are multiple mechanisms of injury. In an athlete, an ACL injury most commonly occurs while running or jumping and changing direction or pivoting that involves rotation and lateral bending of the knee. ACL injuries may also occur when the patient suffers a blow to the side of the knee. Lastly, ACL injuries can occur through high-energy impacts, like motor vehicle collisions.

People who have an ACL injury often feel a “pop”, have immediate swelling, and experience the sensation of an unstable knee. While they can often still walk, they have difficulty with other movements, like squatting or pivoting, that require more stability in the joint.

ACL Tear Diagnosis

When you come into the clinic, Dr. Morton will obtain an x-ray of your knee. This is to look for any other causes or injuries you may have sustained at the same time. After examination, he will evaluate if your knee feels unstable. Based on clinical exam, we will discuss whether you need to have an MRI performed to evaluate your injury. An MRI would also be able to look for other causes of your knee pain such as another ligament injury, cartilage injury, or menis