If you have or suspect you have an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear, seek out a qualified physical therapist. Your physical therapist will perform special tests to check the stability of your injured knee in non-weight-bearing and, if safe and appropriate, weight-bearing positions. If one or more of your special tests is “positive,” your physical therapist may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon specializing in knee injuries.
The majority of our referring orthopedic knee surgeons at MovEvolution Physical Therapy use 3 main criteria in determining whether or not a client is a good candidate for an ACL surgical repair.
- ACL health and integrity — What degree of injury is present at your ACL, other knee ligaments, meniscus, or articular cartilage?
- Stability — How unstable is your knee? Is it buckling because of weakness or pain? Are you hesitant going down stairs? Are you locking the knee to maintain stability? When you squat, are you shifting your weight to the “good” leg?
- Functional needs — How much do you need to cut, jump, pivot, sprint and land? Is your function, performance and livelihood dependent upon improved knee stability?
“Active adult patients involved in sports or jobs that require pivoting, turning or hard-cutting, as well as heavy manual work, are encouraged to consider surgical treatment. This includes older patients who have previously been excluded from consideration for ACL surgery. Activity, not age, should determine if surgical intervention should be considered. A patient with a torn ACL and significant functional instability has a high risk of developing secondary knee damage and should therefore consider ACL reconstruction.” — http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00297
CONTACT US to set up a sports screening to determine if you are an ACL surgical candidate or need a referral to an orthopedic knee surgeon.
See more about ACLs in our next post WHAT TO DO RIGHT AFTER YOUR ACL SURGERY!