How soon should I see a doctor if I suspect I have an ACL injury?

If you think you have an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, you have a severe injury to your knee, so the sooner you get checked out the better. Often, the doctor will need to examine you in person. If you're too sore to be examined and can’t tell if it's torn, sometimes your doctor will ask you to come back in a week or two. But a torn ligament certainly isn't something to put off for a few weeks or months to see if it gets better. ACLs will not heal on their own—they never do. The problem with waiting is that because your knee is unstable, it slides around. This allows any healthy cartilage in your knee to be chewed up. So you're really damaging your knee further if you don't get it taken care of as soon as possible.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.