Knee Physical Therapy in Baton Rouge: What is Return to Sport After an ACL Injury?

Jan27th 2023

An ACL injury can be a devastating experience for any athlete. It means time off the field or court and a lot of time spent rehabilitating your knee with a physical therapist. However, before you can get back in action after an extensive and arduous rehabilitation process, there will be one final step to ensure that you have reached your pre-injury level. Let’s take a closer look at ACL injuries and how a return to sport test is done.

What is the ACL?

The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, runs diagonally in the middle of the knee. It prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur and provides rotational stability to the knee.

How Can an ACL Tear or Be Injured?

ACL sprain and tears are common athletic injuries.  Overextension of the knee, collisions to the side of the knee, and sudden changes in direction or acceleration like jumping or turning are common causes of ACL injuries.

How is the ACL Rehabilitated With Physical Therapy?

Whether surgery is required to repair an ACL tear or if you have an ACL sprain, both conditions will require physical therapy in order to restore the full use of the knee.  Physical therapy can help to reduce pain, swelling, and most importantly, restore the strength, range of motion, flexibility, and movement required to comfortably and safely resume athletic activities.

What is Return to Sport Testing for an ACL Injury?

Return to sport, or RTS testing, is essential in testing the strength and ability of a rehabilitated knee injury.  RTS is the final step of your physical therapy that will allow you to safely and healthily step back on the field or court. Return to sport testing uses specific clinical measures that include joint laxity and the range of motion of the knee joint. Not only is the functional performance of the knee a key consideration, but how it reacts to the entire kinetic system will determine an athlete’s readiness.

If you’ve suffered an ACL or knee injury, selecting an experienced and expert physical therapist is essential in starting your path back to activity. The staff at Evolve Physical Therapy has extensive experience in ACL injury rehabilitation and specializes in getting athletes safely and healthily back in the game.