A torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is an injury that commonly affects athletes who participate in any sport or physical activity involving a lot of sudden stops, pivoting, or jumping. These movements can cause damage to the ACL because of stress on the knee. The anterior cruciate ligament is the strong band of tissue located in the knee that connects the shinbone to the thighbone. There’s usually a popping sensation when the ligament tears, followed by pain and swelling. It may be difficult to put weight on the affected knee without a feeling of instability. Women have a higher risk of experiencing ACL injuries but strengthening the muscles of the legs, hips, and lower torso may reduce this risk. Complications of an ACL tear include knee osteoarthritis. Recovery from ACL surgery can take up to six months and an additional three months to resume physically demanding sports and activities. Get to know tips on treating and recovering from a torn ACL now.
This form of therapy is usually prescribed after anterior cruciate ligament surgery, and it’s an important part of recovery. A physical therapist will help patients rehabilitate their injured leg with a series of exercises. This type of therapy is also beneficial before surgery to maintain muscle tone in the quadriceps and minimize a loss of range of motion in the affected area. Physical therapy is required after the ACL reconstruction, and a therapist will show patients how to do the necessary exercises while they are recovering. The exercises performed in the first few weeks should increase the range of motion in the knee area without disturbing the reconstruction. A graft is used to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament, so knee movement has to be very controlled to avoid ripping the graft. It needs time to heal in place, even though the knee has to be rehabbed. The aim of selected exercises for the beginning weeks is the full extension of the knee and bends at a ninety-degree angle.
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