Rehabilitation for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Workup

Updated: Jan 26, 2023
  • Author: Tarek O Souryal, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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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.