The Ultimate 5 Minute Video Guide to ACL Tears

The Ultimate 5 Minute Video Guide to ACL Tears

ACL tears are one of the most frequently discussed injuries, mainly because they always need surgery in order to fully heal. As Dr. Sterett mentions in one of the videos below, it's impossible for an ACL tear to heal on it's own, which makes it one of the most dreaded injuries for pro, collegiate, and amateur athletes at all levels of sports. 

We recently caught up with The Knee Doc on a visit to Southern California (where he was consulting on the topic of knee injuries to female athletes) to create a series of short videos to answer some of the most common questions about acl tears.

(For more on the specific topic of female athletes and acl tears, please visit Dr. Sterett's site dedicated solely to the topic, at

Answering some of the most common questions about ACL Tears

Each of the videos below answers a specific question related to acl tears. In the interest of brevity, Dr. Sterett gives quick answers to the questions so you don't have to dig through a long video to get your question answered. For more in-depth knowledge on each individual topic, please browse this site or visit Dr. Sterett's professional site at

Ok, on to the questions.

1. Did I tear my ACL?  How do I know I have an ACL tear and what does it feel like at the time of injury?

An acl tear is not the type of injury that you'll just wake up with. It's more than likely that you'll know you've injured your knee at the time it happens.

So how do you know if you have an acl tear and what does it feel like at the moment of injury? Watch this video to find out.

What does an acl tear feel like after the initial injury

Ok, so you've been injured and it may or may not be an acl tear. For those who have torn their acl, this it what the injury will feel like in the days after it occurs.

Okay, so I've definitely torn my acl. Can I let it heal without having surgery?

We mentioned this earlier-- an acl tear needs to be operated on to fully heal. Here's why.

I want to finish the sports season before I get ACL surgery. Can I do this?

If you are an athlete such as a football player, soccer player, basketball player or skiier and you've torn your acl, you might be wondering if you can play out the season. Though we've mentioned some brave athletes who have played on after acl tears, we don't recommend it to anyone. Here's why.

Will an acl tear end my playing career?

Ok, so you tore your acl and your'e scared this injury will end your athletic career. Will you be able to play again? Heck ya! 

So I know I need surgery for my ACL tear. I'm confused about ACL reconstruction vs ACL repair.

If you are confused as to the difference between acl reconstruction and acl repair, watch this quick video. 

Ok, I need to have my knee reconstructed. How long will it take to recover from acl reconstruction surgery?

Recovery from an acl reconstruction is an important topic, especially for athletes or those seeking to get back to their activity of choice as soon as possible. Here's some general info about what we look for in a successful recovery.

What about stem cell treatments and PRP for ACL surgery recovery?

Stem cell and platelet-rich plasma treatments are a hot topic. But do they help with recovery from an acl tear?

Why Do Loose-Jointed People Have More ACL Tears?

Why Do Loose-Jointed People Have More ACL Tears?

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