Chartered Physiotherapists

Specialists in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

ACL Injuries

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur more commonly in athletes than in the general population, are three times more likely to occur in women than in men, and are more frequently seen as a non-contact injury. The ACL is a very important ligament which stabilises the knee joint and prevents excessive forward translation of our shin bone (tibia) on our thigh bone (Femur). Athletes involved in sports which require landing and/or cutting movements at speed are at higher risk of ACL tears as this is typically the associated mechanism of injury. There is often accompanying damage to the medial meniscus (knee cartilage) and/or medial collateral ligament (MCL) following an ACL injury.


An audible popping or cracking sound is sometimes reported at the time of injury and there is usually but not always diffuse swelling around the knee which builds over the subsequent 24hrs after injury. Severe pain with bending movements and symptoms of giving way and locking at the knee joint are common complaints.


There are two treatment options following an ACL rupture, conservative non-surgical rehabilitation or surgical intervention followed by a lengthy post-operative rehabilitation protocol. For ACL patients who are not looking to return to high level sport, or sports that require cutting and twisting movements, and/or not willing to undergo surgery, conservative treatment is often the best option. However for most athletes looking to return to their sport surgical intervention is required. It is important to understand that the rehabilitation process following ACL reconstruction is a mandatory nine months before an athlete returns to full play. Our Chartered Physiotherapists are very experienced in ACL rehabilitation and will fully rehabilitate you back to full fitness and sport.

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