• Broadway Physical Therapy

ACL Injuries, What You Need To Know

Updated: Feb 12, 2019


Grade 3: This is described or referred to as a full tear of the ligament. With this grade sprain or tear the ligament tends to separate into two pieces and the knee becomes very unstable.  


What is the ACL?



The ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament is a ligament that is inside your knee. The cruciate ligaments criss cross in an "x" pattern with the ACL being in the front of the knee. The primary function of cruciate ligaments are to control the forward/backward motion of the knee.  

How do you injure it?


ACL injuries are most common with sports related tasks especially: soccer,football and basketball. The mechanism of the injury is force to the leg in either a forward of backward motion. Examples of such are: hyperextension of knee from being tackled in football, hyperextension of knee from landing awkwardly during a basketball game as well. 

The force creates either a sprain or a tear depending on the severity. 

How do I know the Severity?



There are typically 3 grades or levels of severity when it comes to an ACL injury.  Partial tears of the ACL are considered rare as it usually full or no tear.

Grade 1: Mild damage to the ACL due to stretching of the ligament however it is still  able to function and keep the knee stable. 

Grade 2: Usually described as a "partial tear" to the ligament due to stretching the ligament with more force leading to loosening of the ligament and instability of the knee. 

Grade 3: This is described or referred to as a full tear of the ligament. With this grade sprain or tear the ligament tends to seperate into two pieces and the knee becomes very unstable.

 

What is Treatment?



For the lower grade injuries of the knee Rest, Ice and even Physical Therapy are possible treatment options. Physical Therapy can help by providing edema control modalities as well as exercises for strengthening, range of motion, and balance.

For complete tears depending on individual's level of function surgery is typically required to improve the stability of the knee. Once surgery is complete Physical Therapy will be needed to help regain range of motion, strength, and balance. 

If you have sustained an ACL injury or know someone who has sustained that injury Physical Therapy will be your best choice of treatment. If you are local and need Physical Therapy give us a call @ 781-284-0559 as we are specialists in treating ACL injuries.

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