ACL physical therapy – causes, diagnosis and treatment
ACL physical therapy is mainly used for cases where the anterior cruciate ligament or the cruciate ligament is injured. The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the large ligaments that help support the movement of the knee. The ligament is connected to the femur and the tibia also. ACL physical therapy is a therapy that is much in demand due to the fact that an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most common knee ligament injuries that occur.The injury is extremely common among athletes, especially those who play basketball due to the amount of pressure that is exerted on the knees in this game. It can happen due to a sudden movement that causes dislocation or an extreme pull that takes place. The injury can also happen when someone tries to turn suddenly or twist the leg at the knee. There is generally some bleeding in the internal areas surrounding the ACL and is manifested by a swelling in the knee area. The pain itself is not so severe and therefore many patients opt for non-surgical ACL physical therapy options that surgical ones. The causes of an anterior cruciate ligament injury can be environmental, anatomical or hormonal in nature. Sports is considered to be an environmental cause of ACL injury while anatomical causes are based on aspects like whether you keep your kees locked or not when contacting the ground after a jump. Hormonal issues refer to the fact that women (with higher estrogen levels) are at a higher risk and may need ACL physical therapy.
Before ACL physical therapy is prescribed by a physician there is a need to confirm that the patient actually needs the ACL physical therapy exercises. For this the protocol diagnosis procedure for ACL tear needs to be performed. This can be done by conducting an anterior drawer test where an anterior force is applied to the tibia while the knee is at the 90 degree position. Another common test for diagnosis before ACL physical treatment can be prescribed is the Lachman test.
Non surgical reconstruction options for ACL physical therapy can be adopted if the cartilage of the knee is not worn out or damaged. It is a possibility only if the patient is fine with not indulging in high risk activities and serious sports. ACL physical therapy becomes extremely important in such cases since almost the entire treatment is based on therapy. You may also have to wear a knee brace and some exercises.
Surgical options for treatment are recommended when the knee totally collapses during the injury and looses functionality. Sometimes surgery is also suggested when the cartilage is damaged. Arthroscopic techniques are used for the surgery and the decision should take into account the pros and cons of opting for it. There is a fair amount of ACL physical therapy that is required after the surgical procedure to ensure proper rehabilitation of the knee.