Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Physiotherapy

acl ligament
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a band of dense connective tissue which courses from the femur to the tibia. The ACL is a key structure in the knee joint, as it resists anterior tibial translation and rotational loads.


The ACL provides approximately 85% of total restraining force of anterior translation. It also prevents excessive tibial medial and lateral rotation, as well as varus and valgus stresses. To a lesser degree, the ACL checks extension and hyperextension. Together with the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the ACL guides the instantaneous center of rotation of the knee, therefore controlling joint kinematics. While the anteromedial bundle is the primary restraint against anterior tibial translation, the posterolateral bundle tends to stabilize the knee near full extension, particularly against rotatory loads.

After ACL injury, regardless of whether surgery will take place or not, physiotherapy management focuses on regaining range of movement, strength, proprioception and stability.

RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) should be used in order to reduce swelling and pain, to attempt full range of motion and to decrease joint effusion.

Exercises should encourage range of movement, strengthening of the quadriceps and hamstrings and proprioception.

You might be able to avoid surgery with the help of PhisioTherapy and a Personal Trainer / Strength & Conditioning coach by working closely with the patient to strengthen the quadriceps and hamstring muscles group & gaining mobility in the knee joint.

If you have weight bearing pain in your knee, commonly in football players or any other sports that requires sudden sprint/stop, quick turning movements, get a Physiotherapist to have a look at it and diagnose the knee joint as it could be a carrier ending situation.