The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) runs from the top of the knee straight to the bottom and is located directly behind your patella (kneecap). A torn ACL is a very serious injury suffered mainly by athletes. The athletes that are most at risk for tearing their ACL’s are soccer players, basketball players, lacrosse players, gymnasts, and skiers. Women are more likely to tear their ACLs than men.
An ACL tear can be caused by many different factors. Due to the fact that the ACL allows us to rotate, it is most often torn by twisting your knee while your foot is on the ground. However, it can also be torn by shifting your weight from one leg to another suddenly, stopping short while running, being hit directly in the knee, and landing on a straightened knee. Most people that suffer from ACL tears need to undergo surgery to repair the tear.
If you opt for physical therapy over surgery for an ACL tear, your physical therapist will design a program based on the seriousness of your injury. Your therapy plan will likely include electrical stimulation to the quadriceps (the front of your thighs), exercises to rebuild muscle strength, and balance training.
In order to increase the chances of a more successful surgery, Physical therapy will help to bring down swelling, increase the strength of your quadriceps, and increase the range of movement in your knee. Directly after the surgery, you will be given a brace and be required to use crutches to avoid putting too much weight on your knee. You will also probably be given a sleeve, that goes over your knee that can be packed with ice. The ice and compression help to keep the swelling down.
At physical therapy, you will do three different types of exercises in order to rebuild strength, increase mobility, and assimilate your body to a particular sport or activity. Due to the severity of the ACL tear, full recovery typically takes an athlete anywhere between 6 and 12 months.
We feel like we have the best physical therapists around. Did you know you don’t need a referral to get help from a Physical Therapist? Direct access is available for you, please call us and set up an evaluation so we can help get you back on your feet. In Orange County we offer Physical Therapy in Chester, Goshen, Monroe, Port Jervis, and Montgomery. Westchester County has Physical Therapy in Armonk, Bedford, and Hawthorne. In Ulster County we offer Physical Therapy in Wallkill, while in Sullivan County you can get Physical Therapy in Liberty. To round out our 12 locations in New York, those living in Rockland County can go to Physical Therapy in New City as well as Pomona. If you happen to live in PA, we also have Physical Therapy in Milford and Dingmans Ferry of Pike County. Give us a call today!