Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /websites/ss/ on line 16
Sydney Sports & Orthopaedic Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy on Macquarie

02 9252 5770
Level 1, 139 Macquarie Street, Sydney

Physiotherapy on Pitt

02 9264 4153
Suite 1, Level 5, 321 Pitt Street, Sydney
Sydney Sports & Orthopaedic Physiotherapy
Home « Common Injuries « Body Parts « MUSCLES, TENDONS, LIGAMENTS « Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears

 The problem

  • The ACL is the stabilising ligament of the knee, and acts to prevent buckling of the knee
  • The mechanism of injury is usually from a pivoting action on a grounded foot, usually during sport
  • Injury can be as a partial or total rupture and management may change according to degree of damage
  • When the ACL is completely torn, surgery is a strong possibility to reconstruct the ligament

Interesting facts

  • A ‘pop’ or ‘crack’ sound is often heard during injury
  • Usually there is initial pain, although with a complete tear the pain subsides quickly (within minutes) but the knee often feels ‘unstable’, and may give way
  • Often ACL injuries can occur in combination with injuries to other structures such as the medial collateral ligament or medial meniscus

What you can expect/look out for

  • Immediate swelling and bruising of the knee
  • The knee will feel ‘unstable’ and may buckle or give way on you

Hints for self management

  • Initial injury management is as for most soft-tissue injuries;
  • Rest and immobilise, use crutches to assist with walking
  • Ice for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours for the first 3 days
  • Compress the area to manage swelling, with a bandage or tight leggings
  • Elevation, as able, lying on your back with leg elevated
  • Seek diagnosis by seeing your GP or visiting one of the experts at Sydney Sports & Orthopaedic Physiotherapy, and the decision to confirm with imaging such as MRI may be made at that time

Management options 

  • ACL tears require review by an Orthopaedic Surgeon
  • The surgeon will discuss with you both conservative and surgical options
  • With a partial tear or in an individual who does not play high-level sports, it may be decided to manage the knee non-surgically with physiotherapy and exercises – you will want to seek an expert knee physio to guide you through this process
  • A full tear may be managed with a surgical reconstruction, using a patellar tendon or hamstrings graft, or more recently with a synthetic ligament (LARS) 

More information

  • A knee reconstruction will mean time away from sport and significant rehabilitation
  • Return to sport in most cases is after 6 months 



At Sydney Sports and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy our highly qualified physiotherapists specialise in the assessment, treatment and prevention of neuromusculoskeletal injuries.

Contact us today - 9252 5770


This handout was prepared by Sydney Sports and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy and is intended as a general information service. Please note that the information provided is not intended as a substitute for advice from a registered physician or healthcare professional. If symptoms persist, please consult your doctor.


Sydney Sports & Orthopaedic Physiotherapy
Direct access to highly trained physiotherapists is only an email away - email us with your injury related question now.
Sydney Sports & Orthopaedic Physiotherapy


Level 1
139 Macquarie Street
Ph: +61 2 9252 5770
Fax: +61 2 9252 5771
Sydney Sports & Orthopaedic Physiotherapy


Sydney Sports & Orthopaedic Physiotherapy


FacebookIN Share
Sydney Sports & Orthopaedic Physiotherapy