What is a torn ACL? MCL?

There are four ligaments in the knee: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL). The ACL and PCL stabilize front-to-back knee movements, while the MCL and LCL stabilize side-to-side movements.

The ACL can be sprained or torn if the knee is straightened beyond its normal limits (hyperextended), twisted, or bent side-to-side. A sprained or torn ACL is common in sports and usually results from a hard stop or aggressive twisting of the knee. The PCL is the least common ligament to be injured.

The MCL is injured when a force is exerted on the outside of the knee, pushing it inward, while the LCL is injured by a force exerted on the inside of the knee that pushes it outward. This type of hit is frequent in contact sports like football or hockey.

A torn knee ligament is usually accompanied by feeling or hearing a pop in the knee at the time of injury, severe pain and swelling, and joint instability.

Our Locations

Affiliated Orthopaedic Specialists, PA, has two offices conveniently located in central NJ.

North Brunswick Office

2186 Route 27 | Suite 1A
North Brunswick, NJ 08902

(732) 422-1222

Manalapan Office

50 Franklin Lane | Suite 102
Manalapan, NJ 07726

(732) 617-9500

AOS Locations