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Going Back to Sports After an ACL Injury

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a major ligament that provides stability to the knee joint, but this tough band of tissue can tear or sprain, causing enormous knee pain and instability. An ACL injury is debilitating and traumatic, but unfortunately common among athletes who play sports that involve pivoting motions, most often in high-impact sports like basketball, soccer, or football. Any movements that put stress on the knee can cause an ACL injury, though, from landing awkwardly from a jump or receiving a direct blow to the knee.

Athletes typically want to return to their sport as soon as possible, not to mention their coaches. For younger athletes, their parents may wonder when they will be able to get back in the game. Even the media will ask when a professional athlete will return to gameplay. To return to a sport without risking re-injury, it’s important to follow the guidance of a sports medicine doctor who can adequately assess the patient’s condition and whether they can go back to playing their sports safely. However, any athlete who has torn an ACL in the past is at risk of tearing their reconstructed ACL in the future.

Should I Have ACL Surgery?

Treatment usually begins with rest and rehabilitation exercises to help you regain strength and stability. Not all patients need surgery to regain full range of motion, but surgery may be recommended if you want to continue a sport involving movements such as jumping, cutting, or pivoting.

If the ACL injury is severe, surgery becomes necessary, followed by physical therapy. ACL reconstruction surgery helps stabilize the knee and reduces the subsequent risk of injury, and the ACL is usually reconstructed with patellar tendon grafts. Usually those who require ACL reconstructive surgery have to wait 4 to 8 weeks until full range of motion is restored and swelling has subsided.

Need Physical Therapy for an ACL Injury? Contact QualCare Rehabilitation and Allied Medical Centers.

We understand that an ACL injury is traumatic for an athlete, both physically and emotionally. We can help you with your post-surgical rehabilitation program, so you have the optimal outcome after you’ve injured your ACL. It’s important to seek the help of a qualified physical therapist to ensure you have the best shot of a full recovery and a lowered risk of ACL re-injury.

Contact us at QualCare Rehabilitation and Allied Medical Centers today for an appointment with our physical therapists.