Dr. Johnson discusses the common symptoms of an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear.
Well, typically if, and it does happen, a female tears their ACL, they blow it off because it was a trivial event. “You know, I just tweaked it. I was playing soccer last night, no big deal,” or “I was skiing and I caught my edge skiing and my knee swelled up,” which is a very common way to do it skiing. Lot of first-time skiers in females tear it that way, and they just blow it off, and their swelling goes down and they get better.
But then they go, maybe they are on an uneven ground. Maybe they live on the East Coast, and it’s snowy and icy. Maybe they are hiking on an uneven ground, and they are going down on a hill slide. Maybe they are trying to play with their kids - common thing for moms to do - and they just plant that leg and all of a sudden they feel the shift. And often what the patients will do, they will come into my office, and they will do what we call the “double fist” sign.
The patient will go, “Yeah, I was playing with my kids and my knee buckled.” And I’ll say, “Well, what do you mean, your knee buckled?” And they’ll go, “Well, my knee went like that.” We actually in the medical world, we call that the “double fist” sign. So when a patient walks in and gives you the double fist sign, they are not saying something nasty to you, they are telling you their ACL is torn. So the double fist sign is just a way of saying, my ACL is not there.
About Dr. Johnson, M.D.:
Dr. Darren L. Johnson, M.D., received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. He completed his residency at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles and his fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Dr. Johnson is currently Professor and Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery and Director of Sports Medicine at the University of Kentucky. His clinical interests include arthroscopy, knee and shoulder reconstruction and the double-bundle procedure for ACL repair.
Dr. Johnson was named among the Top Doctors for Women by Women’s Health magazine in 2008.