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  • Dr. Leanne Komoda

What is an ACL?

The ACL or anterior cruciate ligament is a ligament in the knee that resists tibial anterior translation. The ACL helps to prevent rotation or forward motion of the tibia and any varus or valgus stress. The ACL connects the tibia to the femur. ACL injuries are more common in females than males. A common mechanism of injury is cutting or a sudden pivot, and can often be non-contact injuries. Common sports with cutting or pivoting include basketball, soccer and football. In the moment when the injury occurs, sometimes a “snap” or “pop” can be felt or heard. A common symptom is instability of the knee. Rehabilitation for an ACL injury can occur for both conservative and surgical options. The primary goals for a patient with an ACL injury include:

  • Restore knee ROM

  • Improve strength and stability

  • Improve functional activities such as walking

The different phases of ACL rehabilitation include:

  • Acute stage

  • Conservative or pre-surgical stage

  • Post-surgical stage

  • Return to sport

Physical therapy can help a patient with an ACL injury regardless if they want conservative treatment or decide to have ACL reconstruction surgery. The physical therapist will evaluate the patient by taking measurements of the knee. The physical therapist will then provide a treatment plan based on the measurement findings which may include mobility and therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, strengthening, flexibility, and improving functional daily activities. -Leanne Komoda, PT, DPT

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