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Injuries or tears to your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can happen at any age as a result of sports activities or accidents. Treatment options will depend on the severity of the injury and may include physical therapy alone or in combination with surgery. We understand it can be frustrating to be sidelined by an ACL injury. Our experienced knee specialists at UF Health Jacksonville will create an individualized treatment plan to help you resume your active lifestyle as quickly and safely as possible.

ACL injuries: What you need to know

  • Your knee movement relies on the ACL, one of four major ligaments that stabilize your knee joint.
  • The ACL prevents the knee from sliding forward, so an injury may make it feel as though your knee is buckling or giving way.
  • Injuries can vary from stretching the ligament to minor tears to tearing it completely.
  • If you experienced a popping sound or sensation along with knee swelling during physical activity, or some level of pain, it’s likely that you have torn your ACL or had another knee injury and should seek immediate medical attention.
  • To determine the type of knee injury you have, our specialists will perform a thorough examination that may also include an X-ray and an MRI scan.

ACL injuries: Treatment

Treatment options will be based on your symptoms and the severity of the injury. Your age and activity level will also be considered.


For mild damage to the ACL including a tear or some stretching of the ligament, our specialists may recommend a brace and limited weight on the knee as you heal. Your treatment may also include physical therapy and a gradual transition back to physical activities.


Surgery is often needed for more serious ACL tears. In most cases, our skilled orthopaedic surgeons use arthroscopic surgery techniques that use smaller incisions to minimize the risk of infection, reduce pain and speed healing. For significant tears, you may need ACL reconstruction, which would require a graft to replace the damaged ligament. Your surgeon will discuss all the needed procedures with you.

ACL injuries: Our expertise

Many specialists, one goal

Our orthopaedic surgeons are highly trained in performing reconstructive surgeries and treating your emergency needs and sports injuries. These physicians will also collaborate with other hospital specialists and physical therapists to implement therapy programs specifically designed for your needs.

Advanced surgical techniques and facilities

In the operating room, surgical skills matter. Our team of orthopaedic surgeons have years of training and expertise with using the most advanced techniques. As a part of a leading academic medical institution, these specialists also have access to state-of-the-art facilities and innovative research-based treatments to offer you the best possible outcomes.

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