Anterior Cruciate Ligament
1. What is causing the pain and how did I get it?
Injury to the ACL is cause either by trauma (eg. Impact force to the side of the knee during a game) or by poor control of the knee during single leg task. The ACL is a ligament that controls and prevent rotation of the knee. Like any ligament, it will tear when there is excessive force to the knee (especially twisting force).
The pain is usually excruciating and patient often reports of a popping sound and knee giving way after that. ACL is diagnosed via clinical tests and through MRI.
2. How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy is helpful right from the time the injury hits you to before and after ACL reconstruction surgery.
Acute ACL injury:
- Pain management
- Gait assistance
Pre and post-surgery:
- Pain and swelling control / management
- Walking aids
- Knee movement and muscles control with electrical stimulation kits
- Return to daily and sporting activities with specific muscles strengthening routine
3. How can I help?
ACL is best treated right from the start to prevent secondary problems such as stiffness and loss of muscles control. Every physiotherapy session will come with mini home exercise programme to help you improve further in between sessions.
4. How long will it take to recover? (ie. prognosis)
BMJ comprehensive ACL rehab programme is 6 to 7 months long.