Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL Injury)
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the key ligament which bonds together the upper and lower parts of the leg at the knee. ACL injuries account for more than two-thirds of all knee injuries in skiers and are fairly common in other sports such as volleyball, basketball, and racket sports. To prevent ACL injury it is important to have strong quadriceps and hamstrings. A ruptured ACL is typically diagnosed by a doctor - an MRI exam is advisable, as this can also identify whether the meniscus (cartilage in the knee that provides cushioning) is damaged as well. If your meniscus is damaged, you should definitely avoid exercises that could aggravate this condition. There are occasions where surgery is not necessary, or not worth the potential for further damage, as the ACL is not always crucial for people that do not exercise heavily. As with all recommendations for surgery, it is usually advised to get a second opinion.
Surgery and Recovery
If you have chosen to have ACL reconstructive surgery, remember that proper post-surgery rehabilitation is very important, perhaps even more important than the surgery itself. Activities should set out to promote healing, increase flexibility in the knee and strengthen surrounding muscles. Your physical therapist will probably set up a "passive range of motion" program, and put you in a hinged knee brace for a month or two to prevent hyperextension or hyperflexion in the knee. An important point for ACL patients to remember after surgery is that every effort must be made to increase range of motion and flexibility at the knee. Weakness in the knee can usually be eliminated by extra strengthening exercises, but increased stiffness can sometimes be permanent if not corrected by further surgery.
During the healing process, scar tissue builds on the ligament and can attach the ACL to the PCL or other surrounding tissue in the joint, limiting the flexibility in your knee. Fortunately, you can treat your ACL with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ to soften scar tissue and improve your range of motion. To maximize your BFST® Therapy, you should be using the Knee Inferno Wrap® at least every single day!
Not only does the Inferno Wrap® aid by boosting the bodies own healing process, but it helps to prevent long term complications by making the treated soft tissue more elastic. Pain, scar tissue, lack of mobility and arthritis are some of the more common long term complications from an ACL injury - but by treating your ligament with a Knee Inferno Wrap®, scar tissue growth is minimized which will greatly reduce the risk of chronic problems in the future.
Ask your physical therapist about the Knee Freezie Wrap® and Knee Inferno Wrap® to see if it is right for your ACL treatment! As with all medical devices, make sure your physician is aware of any treatment plan you decide to take.