ACL Tear Specialist

Smith Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Jarrod R. Smith, MD

Sports Medicine Physician & Orthopedic Surgeon located in Ashland, KY

If you’re an athlete with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), chances are you’ll need surgery to get back to your active lifestyle. Orthopedic surgeon Jarrod R. Smith, MD, treats ACL tears with advanced techniques at Smith Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Ashland, Kentucky. For expert care in ACL reconstruction surgery, call today to book an appointment.

ACL Tear Q & A

What is an ACL tear?

The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is one of four main ligaments in your knee. The ACL crosses over the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), forming an X in the middle of your knee. These ligaments work together to stabilize your knee joint.

An ACL tear happens when this ligament ruptures partially or completely. Though any ligament in your knee can tear, the ACL is the most common.

What causes an ACL tear?

ACL tears most often occur during sports or exercise that puts stress on the knee. Common causes of an ACL tear include:

  • Slowing down and changing direction when running (cutting)
  • Stopping suddenly when running
  • Landing awkwardly after a jump
  • Turning with your foot planted

Direct trauma to your knee, such as a motor vehicle collision or football tackle, can also result in a torn ACL.

What are the symptoms of an ACL tear?

You may hear a loud pop or feel a popping sensation in your knee as soon as you tear your ACL. Other signs and symptoms of a torn ACL include:

  • Immediate, intense pain
  • Loss of mobility
  • Rapid swelling

If you try to bear weight on the injured knee, you may experience instability, or feel like your knee is giving out.

It’s important to see Dr. Smith at Smith Orthopedics & Sports Medicine right away if you think you have an ACL tear. Don’t try to continue playing sports. If you do, you may risk further damage to your knee.

How is an ACL tear diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Smith carefully examines your knee. He may move your knee into different positions to evaluate your range of motion. He may also take tests, like a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, to determine the severity of your injury.

Then, Dr. Smith recommends the best course of treatment for your particular condition. If your injury is severe, or if you’re an athlete who wants to return to your sport, surgery may be necessary.

During ACL reconstruction surgery, Dr. Smith removes the damaged ligament and replaces it with a segment of your patellar tendon. This is called patellar tendon grafting.

Dr. Smith may augment your surgery with regenerative medicine, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or stem cell injections, to speed the healing process.  

If you think you have an ACL tear, call Smith Orthopedics & Sports Medicine today to book an appointment.