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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

What is Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury?

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is an important ligament that is located inside your knee. It is essential for knee stability especially in an active knee and it often injured in a pivoting, twisting or landing injury with the foot fixed on the ground. Your may hear a ‘crack’ or feel a ‘pop’ inside your knee. 

In some cases the immediate pain you will feel may subside quickly however you will not be stable on your knee and should NOT continue in sport. Your knee will swell immediately and you may feel like your knee wants to give way. You may have also injured your cartilage or other ligaments around the knee and this will also determine what management is best for you. You should consult our practitioners immediately for assessment or contact us for after hours assistance for immediate direction.

How long will it last?

Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears do not heal and the decision to have a reconstruction is based on your chosen future activity and your age. Rehabilitation following knee reconstruction is advised for 12 months and our practitioners follow you through to the completion of your program working closely with your surgeon. If ACL reconstruction is not performed, you will be required to follow a regime of progressive exercise for 12 weeks.


The symptoms of ACL Injury are:

  • An inability to fully bend or straighten the knee.
  • Pain/giving way on twisting.
  • Weakness or apprehension with landing.
  • Swelling in the knee.
  • Muscle wasting at the front of the thigh (the quadriceps). This starts to happen within the first 72 hours.

Suggestions for managing ACL Injuries

  • Commencing Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Use crutches if unable to weight bear without pain.
  • We recommend a Physiotherapy assessment to assist in diagnosing your ACL injury and determine if you need referral to a Sports Physician or Orthopaedic Surgeon. Surgery can be performed within the first 7 days, if not, then you may have to wait until after the 6 weeks mark for surgery. This will be dependant on the presence of other injury within the knee.
  • If you are injured at work or in sport, our practitioners have approved knee conditioning programs for your ACL Injury that will get you back on track sooner.
  • Rebuilding your muscles is imperative for a full return to activity or sport. Do not assume that your muscles automatically return after knee reconstruction.
  • Walking with a limp is not advised and you must consult a professional immediately.

Professional treatment options

Contact us now for immediate advice regarding ACL injury.