ACL Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear Injury?
What You Should Know
What is an ACL Tear?
The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a strong ligament that helps keep the knee stable by connecting the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). It is a commonly injured ligament, particularly caused by sports such as skiing, soccer, volleyball, gymnastics and basketball. ACL tears typically occur with running – especially when planting one’s foot while changing directions quickly, such as in basketball – or landing from a jump while off balance and twisting your knee. In these cases, pain is usually felt right away. In addition, it is also common to injure the MCL (medial collateral ligament) of the knee and the medial meniscus at the same time, while suffering an ACL rupture.
If I Rupture my ACL, What are my Options?
If you rupture your ACL, the first step would be a surgical consultation with an orthopedic surgeon who would determine if you require surgery to repair it. If you don’t need surgery, you would be referred to a physiotherapist to begin rehabilitation immediately.
If I do Need Surgery, When Should I Start Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy would be required before and after surgery. Before surgery, it’s important to begin “pre-hab” to strengthen and balance your muscles to optimize the surgery and your recovery. Following surgery, physiotherapy would begin to help with pain management and swelling. Further, specific rehabilitation exercises would be prescribed to build and support the surrounding muscles and ligaments.
Which Physiotherapy Modalities Help Combat Pain after Surgery?
Physiotherapy would consist of hands-on treatment, ice, laser, acupuncture and other methods that help to reduce pain and promote healing.
Which Knee Brace Should I get After I Tear my ACL?
If you tear your ACL, you will likely require an ACL brace regardless of if you undergo surgery. The best and most common knee brace is the DonJoy Defiance ACL brace. This brace is custom-made and takes about 10 business days for it to arrive after measurements are taken. This brace has a lifetime warranty. Some patients require this brace before surgery and after surgery, in which case they would get re-measured and the brace would be adjusted following surgery.
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