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Weak in the Knees: Protect your ACL
With winter sports in full swing, it’s important to be mindful of potential injuries. We spoke with Ed Hellman, MD, about one of the most common sports injuries, the ACL tear.

Q: What is an ACL tear?
An ACL tear is a severe sprain or injury of the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, which runs behind your kneecap. In an ACL tear, the ligament is either stretched or completely split to the point where the knee becomes loose.

Q: What causes an ACL tear and how can you prevent it?
Certain motions can cause an ACL tear, including suddenly stopping or changing direction, landing incorrectly from a jump, or colliding with a person or object. To prevent ACL tears, it’s critical to stretch properly and to strengthen the quadriceps during conditioning.

Q: How can you tell an ACL tear from a milder knee injury?
With an ACL tear, you’ll often immediately hear a “popping” noise and feel your knee give out beneath you. Within 24 hours, there will be swelling of the knee, severe pain while walking, and loss of range of motion.

If you think your ACL is torn, seek medical assistance right away. Georgia Sports Medicine offers a wide array of orthopedic care—for more information, call 229-386-5222.