Treatment for ACL Injury in Kansas City
ACL, MCL, LCL, & PCL injuries in Kansas City.
The knee is comprised of our main ligaments that function as stabilizers for the knee joint. These ligaments include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL). The cruciate ligaments (ACL and PCL) are responsible for controlling forward and backward translation of the shin bone, while the collateral ligaments (MCL and LCL) stabilize the knee with side to side force at the knee. All four ligaments aid in controlling rotation of the knee. Any one of these ligaments can be injured in high level athletes or people participating in sports recreationally. The most commonly injured ligaments of the knee are the ACL and MCL.
ACL Injury Symptoms
Symptoms of an ACL injury may include:
- Unable to fully bend or straighten the knee
- Muscle aches
- Feeling of instability in the knee or feeling like the knee is going to give out
Treatments for ACL Injuries
Due to anatomy and development of kids and adolescents, teenage females are most at risk for injury to a knee ligament. Prevention is key for high school athletes when it comes to knee sprains, focusing on proper muscle activation and muscle balance, especially between the hamstrings and the quadriceps. In addition, hip strength and control of the thigh also play a major role in knee stability.
Treatment for knee ligament injuries depends on the severity of the injury. With a mild-to-moderate grade 1 or 2 sprain, conservative treatment for an ACL injury, such as those provided at F.I.T., can get you back on your feet and return you to your normal activities and sports. Grade 3 sprains are more likely to require surgical intervention, however, not all tears need surgery. Even with a complete rupture of a ligament people are able to adapt and perform their normal daily activities with the help of physical therapy and rehabilitation.
If you have concerns regarding whether surgical intervention is your best course of treatment, we encourage you to speak to your doctor; the providers at FIT are sure to offer you our best recommendations when it comes to orthopedists.
Our Treatment Process
F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic will focus on first and foremost minimizing pain and swelling while achieving full knee range of motion. We utilize a variety of techniques such as A.R.T., dry needling, and instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (“Graston”) in the early stages of your injury to reduce soft tissue restrictions. As treatment for your ACL Injury progresses, our doctors will emphasize not only normalizing your walking again, improving your strength and control of the leg, but we will maximize overall function of your whole body to return you to your pre-injury level.
Should you receive surgery, FIT is here for your entire course of rehab – as soon as two to three days following your intervention. Our physical therapists are highly trained in post-operative care, from changing your wound dressings to restoring range of motion and returning you to the field of play or just the field of life. A normal course of post-surgical therapy for an ACL repair is 4 to 6 months, which can vary depending on your goals and what you are looking to get back to. We emphasize normal joint mechanics and tissue pliability surrounding the knee in the early stages, and progress to gross strength and sports performance once all tissue is healed. We are in the business of getting you back to the speed of life as quickly as we can.
Treatments for ACL Injuries
Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Exercise that favors quality movements over quantity of reps is key to restoring proper function.Learn More
Dry Needling is the process of using a thin needle inserted into a trigger point to relieve a contracture within a muscle.Learn More
Frequently Asked Questions
Can physical therapy help with an anterior cruciate ligament injury?
Whether it is a ligament sprain or rupture, physical therapy can help with your injury. Our physical therapists at F.I.T. work with athletes at all levels who have experienced an ACL injury, from getting patients back on their feet with conservative treatment, to rehabilitating those who have undergone an ACL reconstruction both before and after surgery.
What are some of the most common ways to tear your ACL?
While ACL tears commonly occur during team and contact sports, they are usually non-contact injuries. ACLs can be torn due to excessive force placed through the knee, such as when planting your foot to turn or trying to stop suddenly. Teenage females are the most at-risk population for tearing an ACL.
What's an average ACL injury recovery time?
Normal recovery time for an ACL injury is very dependent on the severity of the injury and whether or not surgery is required. For a grade 1 or 2 sprain, it takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks to return to full activities due to the normal tissue healing time. With a grade 3 sprain, it may take 12 weeks for recovery. If surgery to repair a torn ACL is in your best interest, then you can expect 6 to 9 months of recovery and physical therapy before a full return to sport-specific activities. Physical therapy following your surgery will also help prevent a re-injury to your repaired tissue.
Do you treat an MCL/PCL/LCL injury the same as an ACL injury?
Our treatment interventions will target your specific injury and dysfunction based on our full evaluation and functional assessment to determine where our treatments need to target. While no two injuries are the same, when a knee ligament (ACL, MCL, PCL, and LCL) is injured, there are generally similar interventions to reduce pain, restore range of motion and mobility, correct muscle imbalances, and strengthen the leg.
Tell us about your pain.
Take a couple of minutes to tell us about your symptoms and pain areas. Prefer to chat over the phone? Call us for a free phone consultation.
Visit your local F.I.T. Physical Therapist
Meet the team at any of our 6 locations: Lee’s Summit, Crossroads, Blue Valley, Olathe, Overland Park & Shawnee.