ACL Injury & RepairPhysical Therapy for ACL Inury and Repair
ACL Tear and Injury Treatment
Although it is commonly associated with athletes, such as basketball and soccer players, an ACL injury can happen to anyone. Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is responsible for stabilizing your knee. Depending on the severity of the injury, a physician might recommend surgery to repair the knee, but even if you do not need surgery you will need physical therapy.
What Causes an ACL Tear?
Some of the common ways people have suffered an ACL injury include:
- A blow to the knee
- Knee gets hyperextended
- Coming to a sudden stop
- Pivoting while your foot is firmly planted
- Landing awkwardly after jumping
Partial ACL Tear
ACL injuries are measured in three different grades. Grade 3 is a complete ACL tear. Grades 1 and 2 are considered partial ACL injuries. In a grade 1 ACL sprain, the ligament has suffered only minor stretching and your knee is still fairly stable. Grade 2 is considered a partial ACL tear. This is when the ligament becomes loose and damaged.
Non Surgical ACL Injury Treatment
Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery may not be required, but your physician will recommend physical therapy for rehabilitation. If you’ve been diagnosed with an ACL injury, we will work with your physician to develop a personalized course of treatment. The goal is to improve muscle strength, balance, and agility. Some components of a treatment plan might include:
- Techniques to reduce pain and swelling
- Exercises to strengthen hip, quadriceps, and other leg muscles
- Range of motion exercises
- Wobble board and other exercises to improve balance
When working with athletes, we also include exercises and techniques to prepare them for athletic performance.
Torn ACL Symptoms
The first sign of an injury involving the ACL is a sharp, intense pain in the knee during an activity. Additional symptoms of a torn ACL include:
- A loud pop sound in your knee
- Sharp, intense pain in your knee
- Swelling in your knee
- Unstable or minimal range of motion
If you have experienced an ACL injury or torn ACL, contact New Heights today to schedule an appointment. Our physical therapists have extensive experience and knowledge treating this type of injury, and our goal is to not only heal the injury but to strengthen the injured site to prevent future injuries from happening.
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Physical Therapy Following ACL Tear Surgery
We work together with the orthopedic surgeon to create a post-surgical treatment program specific to the needs of each patient. Treatment following ACL repair surgery might include the following:
• Help patients adjust to use of crutches
• Work with patient to gradually eliminate the need for crutches
• Treatment techniques to reduce swelling
• Fitting patients with knee braces when recommended by the surgeon
• Exercises to regain strength and range of motion
• Balance exercises
• Exercises to help athletes return to sports.
Torn ACL Recovery Time
Depending on how severe your ACL injury is and if you had reconstruction surgery, it can take anywhere between 6 to 9 months for you to return to normal activities. Our goal is for you to be able to extend your knee a full 90 degrees.
- During the first 3 weeks, we’ll focus on gradually increasing your range of motion.
- By the 6th week, your knee should have full range of motion again. It’s during this time patients will be able to use a stair-climber machine or stationary bicycle to begin strengthening their muscles.
- The following 4 to 6 months are when we focus on restoring agility and more strength to your knee so it can function as it did before your ACL injury.
At New Heights Physical Therapy, each program is customized to maximize its benefit to the patient with services performed in a caring and nurturing environment. If you have questions about our clinic, our physical therapists, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today!
ACL Injury & Repair in Portland OR and Vancouver WA
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