Skip to main content


Working out and participating in sports will almost inevitably lead to some wear and tear. When that “tear” involves the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL, however, it can be quite painful. The ACL is one of the four major ligaments in the human knee, connecting the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). It can be injured in sports that include fast stops, sudden turns, or jumping and landing – such as basketball, football, soccer, or downhill skiing. If you have pain that seems to be a sign of an ACL tear, don’t ignore it. Instead, see if it matches some of the following symptoms.

ACL Tear Symptoms

  • A loud noise at the time of the tear: A lot might be going on when the tear happens, but pay attention. If you notice a distinct “popping” noise, you may be dealing with an ACL tear. Also pay attention to any sudden pain that accompanies the noise, since that’s a clear sign that it probably isn’t just a sprain and won’t go away.
  • Difficulty moving: Once the ligament has been torn, you probably won’t be able to move your knee fully without some difficulty. Just because you can walk doesn’t mean that there isn’t some serious damage that needs treatment. Remember that stress and sudden movement are what often cause the ACL tear in the first place: this is what makes it a common incident for athletes, when running and kicking is frequent.
  • Swelling: Keep watching the joint and notice if swelling is making movement more difficult. This swelling can begin very shortly after the tear and continue during the gradual healing process. It could also come with pain and tenderness, making the area around the ACL particularly sensitive.

What should you do? One answer to an ACL tear can be chiropractic care. Your Bronston chiropractor offers expert and affordable sports medicine services, whatever your sport. We’ll help you get back in motion fast with drug-free, non-invasive care. Contact us or call 608.781.2225 to make an appointment at Bronston Chiropractic Clinics in Onalaska and La Crosse.

Dr Leo Bronston

Author Dr Leo Bronston

More posts by Dr Leo Bronston