The anterior cruciate ligament runs diagonally in the middle of the knee. It prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur, as well as provides rotational stability to the knee. An anterior cruciate ligament injury is the over-stretching or tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. A tear may be partial or complete.
The anterior cruciate ligament can be injured in several ways:
- Changing direction quickly
- Stopping suddenly
- Slowing down while running
- Incorrect landing from a jump
- Direct contact or collision
- Sex: female athletes have a higher risk of the injury due to biomechanical and hormonal differences to males
Treatment for an ACL tear will vary depending upon the patient’s individual needs. If the overall stability of the knee is intact, your doctor may recommend simple, non-surgical options. It’s important to note that both non-surgical and surgical treatment ACL injuries require physiotherapy.
- Exercises to improve balance, strength and proprioception
- Manual therapy techniques to increase the mobility in the tight structures
- Range of motion exercises
- Guided rehabilitation for gradual return to sport/activity