Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Rehabilitation

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What is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)?

The ACL – or anterior cruciate ligament – is one of the main ligaments in your knee that is important for stabilising your knee joint. Its main functions are to limit twisting forces through the leg, and prevent the tibia moving forward on the femur.

Common causes of ACL injury

Most commonly we see ACL injuries in sports people like footballers, netballers and soccer players, due to the erratic twisting, turning and fast changing nature of the sport.

ACL injuries are also common in non-contact sports such as skiing, basketball and tennis. In fact, any time the body is subject to sharp changes in movement, there is an increased strain on the ACL, which means an increased risk of an ACL injury.

When we see ACL injuries at Trained Physio & Fitness they are commonly in the form of a torn or ruptured ligament. When this happens, the knee becomes vulnerable to collapse or give way more easily, especially when twisting and turning.

As you might expect, this can become extremely problematic in our general everyday lives, let alone on the sporting field, and it is important that you have this type of injury assessed and treated by a professional physiotherapist.

Undergoing a comprehensive rehabilitation program will assist you in getting back to your best – whether that’s on the footy field, netball court, ski-slopes or just everyday life.

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What are the signs of a torn ACL?

Some of the common symptoms of a torn or ruptured ACL include:

  • A loud popping sound
  • Pain in the knee, especially under weight
  • Swelling of the knee (usually within 1-4 hours)
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of functionality range of motion in the knee
  • An unstable feeling in the knee, or knee giving way

You may not always experience all these symptoms, as it can depend on the severity of your injury. However, if you have injured your knee it is always recommended that you see a health professional such as a physiotherapist to assess the damage and advise the best strategy for recovery and rehabilitation.

What should I do if I suffer an ACL injury?

If you think you have an ACL injury, you should see a health professional such as a physiotherapist or sports doctor as soon as possible. This will allow you to have the injury assessed and treated quickly, which can aide in a more successful rehabilitation.

If you cannot get in to see a physiotherapist straight away, we recommend you try to control the knee swelling and prevent further damage by following the RICER approach:

  • Rest: Reduce movement as much as possible, especially anything that involves weight bearing on the injured knee.
  • Ice: Use ice on the injured area to help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Compression: Use a compression bandage to apply pressure to the injured knee (but not too tight!)
  • Elevate: Keep your knee elevated, above the hips – for example resting on a pillow or chair.
  • Referral: See a physiotherapist for ongoing care and rehabilitation.

You may not always experience all these symptoms, as it can depend on the severity of your injury. However, if you have injured your knee it is always recommended that you see a health professional such as a physiotherapist to assess the damage and advise the best strategy for recovery and rehabilitation.

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When should I start ACL rehabilitation?

You should seek an appointment with your physiotherapist as soon as possible to address your rehabilitation. Depending on the severity of your ACL injury, your physiotherapist may start rehabilitation exercises with you immediately, or they may refer you to a sports doctor or orthopaedic surgeon for further investigation such as an MRI.

How long does ACL rehabilitation take?

Recovery and rehabilitation time depends on a number of factors, and varies between each individual patient, along with the severity of their injury.

Factors that influence recovery time include:

  • Severity of injury
  • Age of patient
  • Activity level of patient
  • Physical condition of patient
  • Desired outcome of patient.

Most patients begin to feel significantly better within the first few weeks where they feel a reduction in both pain and swelling.

The time taken to return to sport after suffering an ACL injury for most people is usually around 9-12 months, however some cases can be shorter, around the 6-9 month period.

What type of rehabilitation do Trained Physio & Fitness undertake with clients?

Our experienced sports physiotherapists will create an individual rehabilitation program for you. We’ll aim to get you back on the field in great shape.

We aim to build a lasting relationship with our patients so we can help you feel better and be more mobile, in the long term.

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Why Choose Us

Qualified Experts

Our team is highly qualified and experienced to provide you the very best in physiotherapy and we are experts in muscoloskeletal issues.

Fully Equipped Gym

We offer a full range of brand new top quality fitness equipment available 24 hours a day for workouts, rehabilitation and training.

Private Treatment Rooms

All massage and dry needling treatments take place in our modern, comfortable and private treatment rooms in our brand new fitness centre.

Close To CBD

We are located in East Perth, just five minutes drive from the CBD. With onsite parking and easy public transport you’ll find our location very convenient.

No Referral Needed

You do not need a referral from a GP to visit a physiotherapist.  We can diagnose and treat musculoskeletal issues and injuries without referral from your doctor.

Holistic Approach

We take a holistic approach to helping our patients. We treat your issues at the source and we provide strategies for preventing future injuries too.

Musculoskeletal Experts

We can treat you immediately for many conditions and our Physios are experts in musculoskeletal health.

Private Amenities

For your convenience and comfort, our clients have access to male and female toilets and shower facilities.

Trained Physio & Fitness is the only Physiotherapy clinic in Perth with its own fully functional 24/7 gym for patient rehabilitation and new members. With a capped membership of 120 people you’ll never feel crowded again.

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