Once the early pain and swelling have subsided, after a week or so after a cruciate injury, then it becomes more easy to evaluate the disability.

Symptoms that may appear at this stage include:

 

Instability

There may simply be a feeling that the knee cannot be trusted. This may be especially so during twisting activities. Frank instability may be indicative that more than one cruciate is damaged, or that another structure is damaged in addition to a cruciate ligament.

Giving way

Although walking in a straight line may be quite easy, a torn cruciate may allow the knee to suddenly give way and collapse.

 

Symptoms of damage to other structures after a cruciate tear

One of the problems of evaluating a cruciate tear is that other stabilising structures may also be torn in the original injury, or the laxity due to the cruciate tear may secondarily lead to damage of other stabilising structures.

Damage to the meniscus

Associated damage to a meniscus may add the symptoms of joint line tenderness, or locking.

Damage to the joint surface

Damage to the joint surface may add the symptoms of achy knees and noises in the knee.

Damage to the posterolateral corner

Damage to the structures of the posterolateral corner may add the feeling of the knee thrusting outwards with walking, and there may be other disturbances of gait.

 

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