More than 50 walk-in locations

With the new school year around the corner, kids will be getting back to sports team practices and afternoons on the playground. With the increased activity comes the possibility of knee injuries. It’s important for players, coaches, trainers, teachers, and parents to know the symptoms of a torn ACL. If a knee injury is accompanied by a loud pop, swelling, or severe pain and instability, it may be necessary to seek treatment for a torn ACL immediately.

Signs of an ACL Tear

The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is the most commonly injured ligament in the knee. Torn ACLs are on the rise among children and teens, and in addition to being a common sports injury, a torn ACL is also among the most serious knee injuries.

The most common symptoms that accompany a torn ACL include:

  • An audible pop
    When an ACL tears, it can often be heard by the victim and bystanders.

  • Intense pain
    The pain from a torn ACL is sharp and immediate.

  • Swelling
    Within a couple hours of the ACL tearing, the knee will swell due to blood from the ligament filling up the knee joint.

  • Instability
    Even if the pain is tolerable, a knee with a torn ACL is difficult to walk on due to a lack of support. And because of all the fluid in the joint, fully extending the knee can be difficult.

First Aid Treatment for a Torn ACL

Torn ACL Symptoms and TreatmentThe ACL connects the tibia (shin) to the femur (thigh). If a person is showing the signs of a serious ACL injury, the first response should involve the RICE method:

  • Rest
    The victim should immediately stop walking or standing.
  • Ice
    Wrap ice in a towel or bag (never place ice directly on the skin) and apply for 15-20 minutes and then remove for 15-20 minutes. Repeat as often as possible.
  • Compression
    Tie an elastic bandage, tape, or piece of clothing around the knee. The wrap should be snug but not so tight that it cuts off circulation.
  • Elevation
    The injured knee should be kept above the height of the person’s heart to keep an excess of blood from flowing to the joint.

A torn ACL is a significant injury that can require surgery. If you or a person you know may have suffered a torn ACL, seek out your local FastMed Urgent Care immediately. Our medical professionals strive to provide compassionate and quality healthcare, and our clinics are equipped with on-site labs and X-rays.

We accept most major insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. Check out our Insurance page to verify that your plan is accepted.

Don’t let a possible torn ACL go untreated! Come in and visit the healthcare professionals at FastMed Urgent Care.


Chicago Tribune:
University of Wisconsin:

Sign up for email offers

Sign up to receive coupons, health tips, and more–directly to your inbox.