ACL injuries represent one of the most common knee problems and, in most people, the best way to ensure optimal healing is with surgery, followed by physical therapy. At Elite Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, in Purchase, New York, Cleopatra Espinosa, MS, DPT, and Soujaniya Konada, DPT, work with patients before and after surgery, creating treatments that gradually restore the movement and stability needed to get back into action. If you need help with an ACL injury, don’t wait to schedule an appointment by calling or using online booking.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments that stabilize your knee. The ACL’s primary responsibilities include controlling back and forth movement and giving your knee rotational stability.
Though you can injure the ACL from a direct hit to the knee, most ACL tears happen during the following movements:
High-demand sports like soccer, football, skiing, and basketball frequently result in ACL injuries.
Most patients hear a popping sound when the ACL tears. You may also experience symptoms such as:
About half of all patients injure other structures in their knee at the same time as their ACL injury.
If you have a mild ACL injury, your therapist at Elite Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation may only need to immobilize your knee or modify your activities to give the ACL time to heal. After the swelling goes down, they start physical therapy to fully rehabilitate the knee.
However, when the ACL tears, it often requires surgery, especially if you want to return to athletics or competitive sports. If you don’t have surgery, the ligament doesn’t regain optimum strength, and it can’t support rigorous activities.
After ACL surgery, your physical therapist designs a program that gradually allows you to bear weight on the knee so you can stop using crutches.
Your post-operative physical therapy treatment also includes:
During your first post-op week, the team at Elite Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation implements gentle exercises that help you regain motion. They slowly increase your regimen until the full range of motion returns.
As you heal and regain movement, your treatment intensifies to include exercises that strengthen the muscles supporting your knee. Finally, you start a physical therapy regimen to restore balance. Your physical therapist also implements a return-to-sport program with exercises geared toward your individual sport.
If you need to rehabilitate from an ACL injury, call Elite Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, or schedule an appointment online today.