Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

ACL Injury

Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury is an injury to one of the main central intra-articular ligaments of the knee. It’s central role is to assist with the stability of the knee both in multiple planes of movement. Without such stability the knee may be unable to create a stable platform for multi-directional movements similar to those used when turning, changing direction or pushing off explosively in sport or dynamic activity. ACL injuries are common in field and snow sports and are a major burden for return to sport with an average return time of approximately 12 months. Within Australia the majority of people will opt to have the ACL repaired surgically, however non-surgical management of ACL injuries is becoming more common, particularly for people who do not wish to return to activities that require dynamic multi-directional movements.


Rehabilitation for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

Whether you chose to undertake surgery or non-surgical management for your ACL injury the approach to the rehabilitation looks to foster many of the same areas. As suggested the decision to have surgery completed is often determined by the desire to return to a dynamic, multidirectional sport and the stability of the knee that is ACL deficient. In either scenario there is often significant pain, swelling and dysfunction of the surrounding tissues that presents following ACL injury. Further to this following surgery there is a need to allow for the effective healing of the ligament graft that has been reconstructed during surgery. The first three months following surgery the graft is typically at its most vulnerable and the patient must reduce the intensity of loads experienced.

Rehabilitation Steps for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

The rehabilitation with MAD Physiotherapy typically follows a structure of:

  1. Pain and Range of Motion management (This may include input from other health professionals and or exercise loading strategies for pain relief)
  2. Initiation of low intensity activity (as appropriate pool, bike, walking)
  3. Rehabilitation of deficits identified (Range of Motion, Strength, Strength Endurance, Movement Bio-mechanics)
  4. Initiation of running, typically from three months onwards.
  5. Initiation of dynamic strength tasks
  6. Initiation of faster running tasks
  7. Initiation of Change of Direction tasks
  8. Graded Exposure to Sport Skills and Training
  9. Graded return to full contact and game play


Contributors to Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

Given the extensive burden that ACL injuries have on return to activity, significant investment has been made to understand their development. There appears to be multiple internal factors (sex, ligament and joint structure, training exposure to landings and change of direction, previous ACL injury) and external factors (playing surface and shoe interaction, sport) that appear to influence the the development of ACL injuries. Whilst many of these factors can be addressed, given the high number of inputs, ACL injuries continue to present in sports that require dynamic, multi-directional movements.


We work closely with you using state of the art equipment to Assess, Diagnose and Rehabilitate your injury to return you to activity as soon as possible


We work closely with you using state of the art equipment to design and implement a rehabilitation plan for your injury with the aim of returning you back to activity as soon as possible.

Sports Team Physiotherapy Coverage

We have extensive experience working with sporting clubs, schools and elite athletes in the sporting setting. We offered tailored physiotherapy coverage for your athletes in your setting.

Online Injury Reduction Programs

We have created online injury reduction plans for patients that cannot attend the clinic and complete in person training. Just because you are not in our location does not mean your training should suffer. Click to learn more 


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