Are you suffering from an ACL tear? This knee injury is common, especially among active people. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help you get back to the activities you enjoy.
How do physical therapists help in ACL tear recovery? Let’s find out.
Physical Therapy And Ligament Tears
An anterior cruciate ligament tear (ACL) injury is one of the ligaments deep in the knee. This ligament prevents excessive forward sliding of the shin bone from thee thigh bone. Sports activities and suddenly stopping and twisting can lead to an ACL injury. It is an injury known as a “pop” in the knee from too much or sudden movement.
An ACL tear can have different levels of severity. The ACL may be completely torn, partially torn and loose, or stretched but stable. This ligament has no blood supply, so it cannot heal itself. Severe ACL tears almost always require surgery. However, physical therapy and bracing are among the standard treatments for ACL tear recovery.
Physical therapy is a rehabilitation field in medicine. Physical therapists are movement experts who can help restore function and mobility after an ACL tear. They may also help reduce pain and risk for further injury through exercises, manual therapy, and other modalities.
Physical Therapy As A Non-Surgical Treatment For ACL Tears
If surgery is not an option, physical therapy is a viable alternative treatment for an ACL tear. Strengthening your knee muscles is the goal of physical therapy in this situation. With physical therapy, your quads, hamstrings, and other knee muscles can do the heavy lifting required for daily movement.
While effectively strengthening your muscles, you must still observe caution to avoid harming your knee. Doing physical therapy alone for ACL tears should depend on a few factors. First, milder ACL tears are more likely to improve with physical therapy alone compared to severe tears. Also, the other structures that support your knee must be stable enough to hold it together during PT exercises. Lastly, it will also depend on your activity levels and personal preference if you wish not to undergo surgery.
Physical Therapy Before ACL Surgery
Several studies show the benefits of physical therapy before an ACL tear surgery. This intervention is known as pre-rehabilitation. Physical therapy before ACL surgery may last about six weeks, and sessions may occur four times a week. Therapy will help strengthen and condition your knee before surgery for quicker recovery.
Physical therapy before ACL surgery focuses on strengthening the muscles around your ACL. Physical therapy exercises will condition your leg despite pain and loss of mobility after injury. A physical therapist will help restore your knee’s range of motion and reduce swelling — essential for full recovery after surgery. They will also work on the strength and stability of your hip and thigh to help with knee movement.
Physical therapy before ACL surgery can also help maximize mobility and function, even with complete tears. Your physical therapist will need to monitor if you are performing the exercises safely to reduce the risk of further injury.
Physical Therapy After ACL Surgery
Surgery in a torn ACL is known as ACL reconstruction. In an ACL reconstruction, your orthopedic surgeon will graft a tendon onto the torn ligament or replace it. Reconstruction is usually an outpatient procedure. However, physical therapy after your surgery will help in your recovery.
You will do gradual and progressive exercises until you recover completely. These exercises will aim to improve your knee strength and flexibility. Aside from regular therapy sessions, you may also need to follow through with some home exercises. Sticking to your rehabilitation plan will help produce the best possible outcome for proper healing and recovery.
Complete recovery from ACL surgery may take eight to twelve months. With the help of your physical therapist, you may gradually return to your activities, especially if you are active in sports.
ACL Physical Therapist in Blue Springs, MO
Surgery alone will not be effective for your knee to recover from an ACL tear. Physical therapy is an effective supplementary treatment to strengthen your leg after surgery. It offers numerous benefits, including strengthening your limb, improving range of motion, and shortening recovery.
If you are looking for a reliable physical therapy clinic near Blue Springs, MO, look no further than Core Medical Center. We are a team of experts in physical rehab care specializing in pain relief and recovery. Our comprehensive treatment program in ACL management can help speed up your recovery process and improve your quality of life.
If you need to schedule an appointment for a physical therapist near Blue Springs, MO, contact us today! Feel free to contact our friendly staff by calling (816) 427-0201 or fill out our request for an appointment form. We look forward to serving you!