physical therapy of ACL

One of the most common knee injuries we see is the tearing or overstretching of the ACL. This happens when the knee is extended beyond it’s normal range of motion or when it twists sharply. The results can be a partial or complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is one of the main ligaments in your knee which holds the bones inside your knee together.

Have you recently experienced an ACL injury and are struggling to get back to normal? Has it slowed your once very active lifestyle and you’re wondering if you will ever get back in the game?

We’re here to say that there is hope! It is possible to heal from your ACL injuries and regain your active lifestyle with the right treatment.

Symptoms and Grades of ACL Injuries

There are many signs of an ACL injury, however the most common ones include:

  • Quick sharp pain right after the injury
  • Snap or pop sound at the time of injury
  • Swelling soon after the injury or up to a full day later which can last up to 7 days
  • Numb feeling down the affected leg
  • Unstable feeling in the knee while walking or turning
  • Sensitivity around the knee joint
  • Aching pain inside the knee which can get worse when using stairs, running or walking

Some knee injuries heal naturally on their own, but ACL injuries rarely heal without treatment and can have a negative long-term effect on your knee.

There are three different grades that healthcare professionals refer to in classifying ACL injuries.

Grade 1:

In this grade, the ligament has encountered mild to minimal damage. While the ligament has been stretched, it still maintains the stability of the knee joint.

Grade 2:

This grade is a partial tear of the ligament. It’s when the ligament has been stretched and some of the fibers in the ACL have been partially torn. This grade happens less often.

Grade 3:

This represents the most severe ACL injury. It refers to complete tears in the ligament fibers and it is no longer able to give stability to the knee.

AllCare Physical Therapy for Torn ACL

We specialize in treating knee injuries and medical conditions as well as sports injuries here at AllCare PT. Whether you are going through rehab for an ACL tear, or rehab for an ACL surgery, physical therapy can help improve your leg strength and joint motion.

For grade 1 and grade 2 ACL injuries, therapy can also help improve hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles which allows stress to be taken from the knee.

Elements of your physical therapy treatment plan following an ACL injury can include the following:

  • Pain Control
  • Management of Swelling
  • Gait Training
  • Range of Motion Exercises
  • Strengthening Exercises
  • Balance Exercises
  • Quadriceps Contraction Work

The key element of rehab for ACL is to learn how to prevent future issues with your knee. We work with you to help determine what may have contributed to your injury and create a strategy to prevent any future injuries.

Physical therapy for an ACL injury can help give more function and range of motion to your knee while decreasing the pain and swelling.