Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury: The ACL is one of four main ligaments of the knee. The ACL forms a cross shape with the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (hence their ‘cruciform’ labels) connecting the thigh bone to the shin bone.. An ACL injury occurs when the tibia(shin bone) moves forward of the femur (thigh bone) generally at an excessive force, for example during a rugby tackle or with a sudden change of direction when running, landing or jumping. This excessive force can over stretch or tear the ACL often with a popping sound, excessive knee swelling within 1-4 hours and pain/instability when attempting to use the knee as normal.

A quick diagnosis is very important so the correct physiotherapy treatment techniques can be applied to reduce swelling, restore muscle mass and initiate a rehab programme if surgery is required. A sports physician will write up a letter of referral for an MRI and may also reduce the swelling by draining he knee. Post surgery, immediate physiotherapy is vital for a successful recovery which may also include nutritional consultation for optimal return.

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