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Rehabilitation for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Workup

  • Author: Tarek O Souryal, MD; Chief Editor: Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD  more...
Updated: Mar 01, 2016

Laboratory Studies

Laboratory studies are not indicated in the evaluation and diagnosis of anterior cruciate ligament injuries.


Imaging Studies

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the knee usually is recommended prior to surgery for evaluation of the other ligaments and the menisci, because findings can influence the treatment plan.

MRI helps the surgeon to have the correct equipment at hand prior to beginning the surgery.

The sensitivity of MRI has been shown to be greater than 95% and the specificity to be approximately 98%, with a positive predictive value of 95% and a negative value of nearly 99% with fast spin-echo techniques.



Perform aspiration of any large hemarthrosis, if indicated, under aseptic conditions, to alleviate patient discomfort. The presence of fat globules suggests an intra-articular fracture. Radiographs may demonstrate an avulsed fragment just lateral to the tibial plateau. This type of fracture, referred to as a Segond fracture, represents an avulsion of the middle third of the lateral capsule from the tibial plateau; it is also known as a lateral capsule sign.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Tarek O Souryal, MD Head Team Physician, Dallas Mavericks; Director, Texas Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Group; Staff, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas; Clinical Professor, Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Tarek O Souryal, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Michael T Andary, MD, MS Professor, Residency Program Director, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Michael T Andary, MD, MS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, American Medical Association, Association of Academic Physiatrists

Disclosure: Received honoraria from Allergan for speaking and teaching.

Chief Editor

Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD Medical Director, Senior Products, Central North Region, Humana, Inc

Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Robert E Windsor, MD, FAAPMR, FAAEM, FAAPM President and Director, Georgia Pain Physicians, PC; Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Emory University School of Medicine

Robert E Windsor, MD, FAAPMR, FAAEM, FAAPM is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American College of Sports Medicine, American Medical Association, International Association for the Study of Pain, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Kenneth Adams, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

Kenneth Adams, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Medical Association, and Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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