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ACL Tear: Michelle's Story


While pivoting for a kick during a martial arts grading examination, Michelle felt a painful pop in her knee and knew something was terribly wrong. She had torn her ACL.

Michelle was determined to get back to her active lifestyle and find a doctor who understood her goals. She traveled to Johns Hopkins for ACL reconstruction surgery under the care of sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon Andrew Cosgarea, M.D. Now Michelle is back in action and feels stronger than before surgery. Watch her inspiring story.

Meet Michelle's Sports Medicine Specialist

Photo of Dr. Andrew John Cosgarea, M.D.

Cosgarea, Andrew John, M.D.

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
The Drew Family Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery in honor of Alec J. Cosgarea
Head Team Physician, Johns Hopkins University Athletic Department
Appointment Phone: 410-847-3735
Expertise, Disease and Conditions: ACL Reconstruction, Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair, Baseball Injuries, Elbow UCL Reconstruction, Knee Meniscus Repair, Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedics, Patellar Instability Stabilization, Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Injuries, Shoulder Instability Stabilization Surgery, Shoulder Joint Dislocations, Sports Medicine, Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior (SLAP) Lesions

Learn more about our team of sports medicine experts.

Michelle's knee after surgery

Ligament Injuries to the Knee

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most common ligaments to be injured. The ACL is often stretched and/or torn during a sudden twisting motion (when the feet stay planted one way, but the knees turn the other way). Often, an ACL injury does not cause pain. Instead, the person may hear a popping sound as the injury occurs, followed by the leg buckling when trying to stand on it, and swelling. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

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