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Physical therapy plays an important role when recovering from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Rehab can help both before and after ACL surgery. Knee ligament injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury are one of the most common sports injuries. While mild to moderate injuries can be effectively addressed with non-invasive modalities, reconstructive surgery is necessary for certain types of tears. In reliable healthcare centers in New York, the orthopedic surgeon works with the physical therapist to develop a customized treatment program for each patient based on the nature of the injury. 

ACL Injury – Symptoms and Diagnosis

The ACL runs crossways in the middle of the knee and connects the thigh bone to the lower leg bone in the knee. In many cases, ACL tear occurs along with injury to other structures in the knee, such as articular cartilage, meniscus, or other ligaments.

The typical symptom of the injury is a "popping" sound with the knee giving out. Other symptoms include pain and swelling, loss of full range of motion, tenderness at the line of the joint and difficulty walking.

ACL tears can usually be diagnosed with physical examination of the knee. X-ray and MRI scan may be used to confirm the diagnosis made by the physical exam, and to help trace related injuries.

Treatment of ACL Injuries – Role of Physical Therapy

Young players usually need surgery or ACL reconstruction to continue to stay active. Rehab centers in NY provide non-surgical therapies as well as surgery for sports injuries. Whether surgery is required or not, physical therapy is a crucial aspect of the treatment. In established healthcare centers, the orthopedic surgeon and the physical therapist work together to develop the appropriate rehab program to address this knee injury.

Rehabilitation is important not only after but also before ACL surgery. According to an article published by Healio in December 2015, one study showed that athletes who participated in a pre-rehab program before having ACL surgery returned to sport quicker than those who did not take part in pre-rehab.

Patients are provided with a customized treatment program that would include flexibility exercises, strengthening exercises, endurance activities, and patient education. The main goals of physical therapy to treat knee injuries are to

*     Strengthen the joint

*     Restore range of motion and reduce stiffness caused by immobilization during recovery and surgery

*     Protect the knee from further injury

Multispecialty health care centers in New York also have pain management doctors who support the healing process with effective strategies to manage pain. These include medication, injections and TENS, and novel cold therapy systems like Game Ready which are based on active pneumatic (air) compression to ease swelling, muscle spasms, and pain after surgery, during rehab, and throughout training and competition.

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Article By: Igor Stiler

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