“ACL” refers to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament within the knee joint. It is located behind the kneecap and acts to provide stability to the knee whilst moving and pivoting. An ACL injury occurs when the femur (Thigh bone) moves forward in relation to the rest of the joint, causing the ACL to overstretch and tear.ACL injuries occur more often in non-contact accidents whereby the person is pivoting, decelerating or landing from a jump yet can also occur when someone or something falls onto the knee.
Although the occurrence of ACL injuries is vast, this often devastating injury is largely preventable with muscular and neuromuscular exercise training.
Once the injury is established, the first (and often only) treatment strategy considered is surgical ACL repair. This involves repair of reconstructing the ACL with a graft to provide stability for the knee.With the incidence of surgical reconstructions and revisions (Secondary ACL surgeries) in Australia being amongst the highest in the world and lead studies finding no significant difference in reported outcomes between surgery and conservative (Exercise) treatment, it is high time for considering exercise as the first treatment strategy. This treatment involves gradual progression through evidence based flexibility, balance and strength exercises with an objective of returning to pre-injury function. This has been shown to not only successfully provide stability for the knee, but also allow reconnection of ACL tissue in some cases. It has also been repeatedly proven to improve surgical outcomes. Therefore if function is not achieved with conservative treatment it has increased your chances for success with surgical treatment, making for perfect pre-operative preparation and minimising recovery times.
To discuss ACL injury treatment in more detail, book a consult and discuss treatment options by booking below or filling out the “We’ll call you” section.