Recovering After an ACL Tear

Recovering After an ACL Tear

Knee injuries are common in car accidents, and one of the most serious is a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The anterior cruciate ligament rests on the front of the knee. It prevents the kneecap from sliding too far forward over the bones of the lower leg, which are the tibia fibula. While many people associate ACL tears with contact sports such as soccer and football, they can also occur in traumatic accidents. Some of the symptoms of an ACL tear include:

  • A popping sensation that is felt in the knee
  • Swelling in the knee itself immediately after the injury
  • A feeling of instability in the knee
  • Trouble walking after the accident
  • Difficulty changing direction while walking or running

An ACL tear is severe and typically requires surgical correction. In this procedure, a part of the hamstring is generally removed and used to fashion a new ACL. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning of the recovery process.

Physical Therapy for an ACL Tear

After the ACL tear repair is completed, the next step is for people to enroll in physical therapy. There are several goals of physical therapy for an ACL tear. These include:

  • Helping the new ACL graft to the bone itself.
  • Strengthening the muscles in and around the knee to support the new ligament.
  • Improving the flexibility of the leg to relieve the stress on the new ligament.

Physical therapy will gradually progress from stationary exercises to running over several months. During this time, the ligaments will be strengthened. The ultimate goal is to get the muscles of the knee to do more and to remove weight from the ligament.

Watch YouTube Video: Physical Rehab Following ACL Reconstruction. In this video, physical therapist Carole Netter provides information on a home exercise program for the first six to 12 weeks after surgery.

Preventing a Reinjury of the ACL

Once individuals have returned to their baseline level of activity, it is essential to avoid a repeat injury of the knee. Some of the ways that this can be prevented include:

  • Improving the flexibility of the leg.
  • Wearing a brace while engaging in recreational and competitive athletics.
  • Looking at biomechanical devices that can prevent an ACL tear.

These tools are part of a comprehensive approach to guarding a knee that has undergone an ACL tear. Unfortunately, the rates of repeat ACL tears are high.

Contacting an Injury Lawyer

A tear of the ACL is a severe knee injury that can prevent people from returning to work or enjoying the activities that they love. It is a good idea to reach out to a Sacramento personal injury lawyer who can help with:

  • Serving as an objective presence who can help families review all of their options and make the appropriate decision for their recovery.
  • Assisting families to seek damages that are related to the complications of the injury as well as their pain and suffering.
  • Shifting a case to the courts when needed.

You are not alone during this difficult time. Help is available from an experienced personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. You and your family could be deserving of a financial reward.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. An ACL tear is both a common and a serious knee injury that is accompanied by prolonged recovery time. If you or someone you love has suffered a torn knee ligament, please give me a call at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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