Often with knee injuries, the ACL becomes damaged or torn. In fact, this is quite common. Each year, about 300,000 people worldwide undergo surgery to repair a damaged ACL. The injury is common among athletes, and it can also occur in the workplace in jobs that require physical exertion. Women are more susceptible to such injuries than are men. Studies have shown that the reason for this may be that in sports, women tend to hold their trunks and hips in a more erect posture while performing running and jumping maneuvers.

When an ACL injury occurs, the knee becomes less stable. Such instability will make sudden pivoting movements difficult. This type of damage to the knee may also make you prone to developing arthritis and cartilage tears. While you may still enjoy daily activities with little discomfort, pivoting activities or sports may prove difficult. The symptoms of an ACL injury may include a sudden giving way of the knee, a “pop” at the time of the injury, or a sudden swelling of the knee joint and pain in the knee when walking.

An ACL injury may be treated without surgery through rehabilitation and bracing. This is primarily effective for people who do not participate in pivoting activities or who are willing to give up high-risk sports and focus on low-impact activities like cycling and swimming. Although such a change may eliminate your ability to enjoy the sports and activities you love, it also significantly reduces your chances for further injury. A custom-made brace may also ease the pain associated with an ACL injury.

If the soccer field, tennis court, or ski slopes continue to beckon you after you’ve suffered an ACL injury, arthroscopic surgery may provide the best treatment option to restore your active lifestyle.