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Why an ACL Injury Isn’t a Game Ender

Injuries of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) result in severe, immediate pain and cause your knee to lose its weight-bearing ability immediately. These knee injuries can happen under many different circumstances but are particularly common in athletes. If you feel or hear a pop from your knee upon making a sudden stop or changing direction on the court or field, you may have ruptured your ACL. 

While ACL injuries can be intensely painful and limiting, they don’t have to remove you from athletics for good. Many athletes continue successful sporting careers for years or even decades after tearing an ACL. It’s all about how you treat the injury in the moments and months following the rupture. 

Elation Physical Therapy in Houston, Pearland, Cypress, and Katy, Texas, provides dedicated physical therapy and rehabilitation to support your healing after ACL repair surgery. Even if your ACL tear is minor and won’t need surgery, physical therapy can help you restore the function of your knee and return to your favorite physical activities. Our expert team of physical therapists creates a sport-specific recovery program to return you to your peak performance. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about ACL injuries, their recovery, and your eventual return to the game. 

Your ACL and its function

The ACL is one of several ligaments supporting your knee joint. It extends diagonally from the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone), forming an X with a similar band of tissue called the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). The role of the ACL is to connect bones while also providing stability for your knee joint. 

How ACL repair works

ACL tears can be small enough not to sever the ligament or major enough to break the ligament into two pieces. Some ACL injuries simply stretch the ligament beyond its limits, making it loose and unsupportive. 

For this reason, treatments for ACL injuries vary based on the injury’s severity. However, if you live an active lifestyle and intend to stay active, you’ll likely need ACL repair surgery for the best possible treatment outcome. Remarkably, ACL reconstruction has an 80%-90% success rate with improved outcomes after physical therapy and rehabilitation. 

Most ACL reconstruction surgeries are performed using arthroscopy, which makes them minimally invasive. Your surgeon uses a scope instrument to view the inside of your knee through small incisions and makes the repair using small, delicate tools. They may replace the ligament using a tissue graft from a section of tendon from another part of your body. 

Rehabilitating an ACL injury

Elation Physical Therapy provides personalized physical therapy and rehabilitation services to support your recovery after an ACL injury of any severity. Gradually, you’ll take part in physical therapy to restore your knee’s:

Physical therapy also increases ligament healing, reduces inflammation, and reduces pain. 

A customized ACL physical therapy and rehabilitation program can restore your knee’s function to the point where you can safely participate in sports and even retain your competitive edge. To learn more about ACL injuries and what to expect during rehabilitation, book an appointment online or over the phone at Elation Physical Therapy right away.

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