ACL Injuries with Dr. Scott Zehnder

Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 in Videos

The anterior cruciate ligament is vital to keeping your knee stable. Unfortunately, ACL tears are common sports injuries. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Scott Zehnder of Signature Orthopedics West County explains ACL injuries and what to do if you have one.


Hi, I'm Scott Zehnder, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. Today I'm going to talk about the ACL also known as the anterior cruciate ligament. It's one of the main important stabilizing structures of the knee and also one of the most commonly torn ligaments of the knee.

Most commonly, the ACL is torn with young patients who participate in cutting and pivoting sports such as soccer and lacrosse. In this model we can see that the ACL is one of the main ligaments important for overall knee stability. In the front here are two ligaments that form a crisscrossing pattern: the ACL and the PCL. The ACL is this ligament in the front whereas this ligament behind it is the PCL.

Knee model

On the outside of the knee here is the LCL also known as the lateral collateral ligament and on this side, the inside of the knee, is the MCL also known as the medial collateral ligament. The main function of the ACL is to prevent the shinbone, also known as the tibia, from sliding forward on to the thigh bone, also known as the femur.

Frequently when athletes have an ACL tear, they will experience a pop and a swelling sensation in their knee that gradually develops over the course of 24 hours. This is frequently associated with pain and an inability to continue to play their current sport.

An ALC rupture can accelerate the degenerative arthritic process of the knee and can also lead to feelings of instability or buckling of your knee. It's best to consult with an orthopedic surgeon to see if ACL reconstruction is the appropriate procedure for you.