ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament is an important ligament that stabilizes your knee joint. ACL connects your thigh bone called femur to your shinbone known as the tibia.
An ACL injury usually happens during sports such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, or athletics. The ligament gets torn due to the sudden change or pause in the movement. Your knee can become unstable due to the torn ligament.
ACL Rehab: In most sports the stepping, running or an awkward fall is common. If you wish to return to sports after an injury, the ACL has to be treated immediately. Often the condition is treated surgically. It is observed that females have greater risks of ACL when compared to males. But the ACL injuries can be prevented as well as treated through physical therapy.
The physical therapists will not only cure the injury but also restore the functionality. It is possible to perform the physical activities of everyday life with ease and comfort. ACL rehab is a complete program that enhances recovery, stability, preparation for sports or athletics and precautions to avoid ACL injury. There is a chance of second ACL injury immediately after the first due to the inappropriate post-surgery therapy. Hence it is important to undergo Rehab and Return to the sports program.
Guide to ACL rehab: The rehabilitation of anterior cruciate ligament involves 5 phases:
- Achieving normal gait
- Reducing swelling and severe pain
- Healing the wounds
- Restoring muscle control
Phase 2-Loads, Quads and Stability
- Control of quads and hamstrings
- Achieving a better range of motion
- To be able to show normal gait
- To be able to perform at least four hops in a straight line
- Performing the drinking bird exercise on the mini-tramp
- To be able to jog in a straight line
- Single leg bridging should be easier at the end of this phase
Phase 4- Sport Preparation
- Ensuring the progressive range of motion
- Completing some challenging tasks on mini-tramp
- To be able to perform sports activities like running, jumping or pivoting
- Building leg strength
Phase 5-Return to sports and everyday activities
- Successful recovery, to be able to perform all types of physical activities and return to respective sports.
Results and Recommendations
- Functional testing
- Undergoing complete training prior to any sport competition
- Facing no difficulties in performing all activities with ease even with increasing loads
- Increased strength and endurance must be visible during the performance