What is an ACL Injury?
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is a ligament in your knee which helps in stabilising your knee and preventing excessive rotation or forward movement of your tibia. An injury to the ACL can either be a full tear of the ligament, or a partial tear. It is commonly talked about in sporting aspects as it can be a very lengthy rehabilitation to return to full performance following surgical repair (9-12 months). However, depending on what your goals may be, rehabilitation following surgery may be shorter or you may not require surgery at all.
How is an ACL Injury commonly treated?
Depending on the severity of the tear to the ACL (full or partial tear) and the overall goals of the individual, the first decision is whether to opt for a surgical or non-surgical path. Having a surgical repair will use part of either a muscle or tendon of your own body to replace the ligament. The allow for safe healing and return to the person’s goals, rehabilitation can be quite long, but when done correctly, the safest route.
The non-surgical option is for those who do not wish to return to higher level function or activity. However, this route does require ongoing work on the client’s part, as to support the knee correctly, the client does need to remain strong and be conscious of moving well, to avoid any further injury.
How can an Exercise Physiologist help?
With both surgical and non-surgical options, the individual being treated will need to be taught how to correctly strengthen the surrounding muscles of the knee and hips to ensure they are able to move safely again. Equipped with vast knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics, an Exercise Physiologist can teach you how to strengthen the body correctly and move in a safe manner. More importantly, an Exercise Physiologist can help in guiding you through to the final stages of your rehabilitation which is in line with your goals, whether it be returning to sport, playing with your children or doing everyday tasks around the house.