ACL Physical Therapy and ACL Tear Recovery
What is an ACL tear?
An ACL tear is a knee injury affecting the anterior cruciate ligament, which is a ligament in your knee that keeps your upper leg bone and lower leg bone connected and strong. The ACL keeps the tibia from sliding too far forward. When this ligament is torn due to a sudden twisting movement or blow to the knee, it can leave you in pain and unable to participate in sports and other activities you enjoy. Often, physical therapy is recommended as part of a full recovery following an ACL injury. Our team of providers has extensive experience in treating athletes and patients of all ages who need treatment for an ACL tear.
What causes an ACL tear?
An ACL tear typically occurs when the knee is suddenly twisted or bent – a movement that is quite common during sports or any vigorous physical activity that involves quick changes of direction. However, an ACL injury can occur due to many possible scenarios, including:
- A sudden blow to the knee while the leg is straight
- Falling on the knee from a height
- A sudden change in direction
- A sudden slowing down from a fast pace (e.g. running)
- Landing from a jump
- Losing footing while walking on an uneven surface
What are the symptoms of an ACL tear?
ACL injuries often occur during athletic activity and many people hear or feel a “pop” in the knee when the injury occurs. However, symptoms of an ACL tear will vary from patient to patient. The symptoms associated with ACL injuries may include the following:
- Popping sound or feeling during the injury
- Knee pain in the back or side of the knee
- Knee swelling
- Knee discoloration
- Inability to move the knee
- Feeling that your knee is loose or unstable
- Knee “giving out” when walking
Do I need PT for an ACL tear?
Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery may be needed for an ACL repair – particularly for athletes, as well as young patients and active patients. Regardless of surgical intervention, torn ACL treatment often includes rest and rehabilitation exercises. PT is sometimes utilized before surgery, as well as after surgery, in order to help aid in your recovery. Our team of therapists at can develop a personalized plan of recovery for you. We emphasize compassionate, one-on-one care and personalized treatments using the most current approaches to get you back to the activities you love.