The most commonly injured ligament in the knee that undergoes surgical repair is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). We see numerous people throughout the year who walk gingerly into the clinic with a referral from their surgeon to start their rehab journey after an ACL reconstruction. This article will outline the importance of early-stage ACL rehab, and the role that stretching and strengthening plays in ACL rehab.
What does the ACL do?
The ACL is a ligament – a body structure made of strong fibrous material that works to control excessive motion by being a limit to the mobility of a joint. It is located within the knee joint capsule.
ACL injury is often seen in all football codes, skiing, basketball, netball and any other sport involving change in direction running.
The ACL is the main restriction to forward motion of the tibia or shin bone. It stops the tibia sliding too far forward – or when the foot is planted, the femur sliding back. The ACL also contributes to stabilising the amount of angulation and rotation at the knee joint. It is called a cruciate as anatomically it crosses with another ligament in the knee – the posterior cruciate ligament.