ACL Knee Injury  by David Bowser

First, off a little information about the hat, an ACL Knee Injury is: An ACL knee injury is a tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament, more commonly they happen during sudden stops, jumping, changes in direction. Many sports are the causes such as basketball, football, tennis, volleyball, and gymnastics. Another interesting fact is whenever the ligament is damaged there is either a partial or complete tear of the tissue. Some mild injuries of ACL can overextend the ligament.

Now onto what to look for if you are in the situation of an ACL injury, these include :

A popping sensation in the patella (Knee)

Severe pain in where you can no longer continue the activity

Swelling that has begun within a few hours

And lastly the feeling of “giving way” with putting weight on the knee

Previously torn ACL

Direct blow to the side of the leg or the knee

Age (typically between the ages of 15-45 is an average)

and lastly gender (females are 4 to 6 times at higher risk than males)

Now that you have a little more information about what are the symptoms of an ACL we can move onto how a massage would treat the affected area.

Firstly if there is an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) then review it and see how extensive it is. If it beyond the point of massage doing anything good, recommend that the client go see their practice and have them assess the extent of the injury. Now what massage can do in order to help an ACL injury is the following : It can reduce inflammation and pain of the patella (if needed you can use cryotherapy to farther help reduce inflammation), Normalize the ROM (Range of Motion), Assist to strengthen the knee and surrounding thigh muscles, also improves the patellofemoral alignment, as well as minimise chances of re-injury and proprioception. Most techniques that are used for ACL are Rolling and cross-fiber friction, as well as MFR and lymphatic drainage. The average recovery time for an ACL Injury is often about two to nine months.

And for the treatment plan can usually consist of

Reducing Inflammation by lymphatic massage

If inflammation is reduced you can begin to increase the TFL, IT, and hamstring muscles in order to get ROM back to normal

If inflammation does occur again while massage is being performed you can use cryotherapy in order to assist in reducing it.

The most treatment session can be either 30 minutes – 60 depending on the condition of the ACL injury and the client’s tolerance.

Interesting facts: There are about 150,00 – 200,000 cases of ACL injury each year! That’s a lot!

There are on average about 100,000 ACL reconstruction surgeries per year.