ACL tears are one of the most common injuries for sports people that involve running and changing direction. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a ligament that provides stability for the knee and stops the thigh bone sliding too much over the shin bone.
There are certain factors that predispose someone to getting an ACL tear. Some of these factors you cannot help such as being female, having ligament laxity, playing on synthetic turf and for those who are interested in women’s health (Me!) being in your phase of your cycle before ovulation also increases the risk of an ACL tear. There are risks that you CAN change that can also determine the risk of a tear such as poor hip and trunk control, your propensity to land with a relative straight knee as well as a knee that points inwards, weak quads and gluts as well as poor timing of your quads.
This leads to why physiotherapy is so important in preventing tears as well as rehabilitation before and after surgery.
Exercises need to target range of motion particularly if surgery is involved, strength, correcting movement patterns, balance, jumping and running exercises as well as learning about the common mechanisms for injury. This program needs to be graded according to the needs of the particular client. Ignoring an ACL injury can increase your risk of osteoarthritis and cartilage wear. ACL tears are not to be ignored. Book in with your physiotherapist as soon as you can.