ACL Treatment at Orthotics Plus
The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is one of the main ligaments of the knee. Of all the ligaments, it is most crucial to providing stability by preventing rotation and anterior translation of the tibia in relation to the femur.
Orthotics Plus provides professional knee assessments, brace prescription and support through the rehabilitation phase for those who have sustained an ACL injury.
Choosing the Correct Brace for ACL Recovery
The correct choice of brace will vary depending on the specific injury and instructions from the referring surgeon.
Patients living with an ACL injury in combination with another ligament will likely require a different brace than if it was a sole ACL tear. If the patient has, for example, a medial ligament injury along with an ACL tear, we may use a brace to assist with healing the medial ligament while the ACL is treated by the surgeon in the future weeks.
Choosing the correct brace will also depend on the patient’s individual symptoms and condition. For patients experiencing significant pain and swelling, we would typically recommend a knee brace with compression and control to provide a degree of security.
We also consider knee braces with range-of-motion and/or rotational control. This is indicated when the patient has pain during normal ranges of motion or experiences the sensation of knee-buckling when performing a twisting motion.
Multidisciplinary Care for Patients with Knee Conditions
Our team at Orthotics Plus receives referrals from other Allied healthcare providers (physios, general practitioners, surgeons, etc) with the patient’s diagnosis. The patient likely underwent an MRI scan and is referred to us with a plan to address the injury.
For example, we commonly see patients who are instructed to limit range-of-motion with gradual increases over a certain period of time. During that period, we’d provide the appropriate brace, education and follow up support.
An example of an ACL referral is: ACL rupture with pivot twist contusions, Complex tear lateral meniscus MCL Grade 2 injury, Posterolateral Corner injury. Requires hinged knee brace initially fixed at 30 deg.
Our patients are also often working with Physiotherapists as well. The patient may also be pre-rehabbing for further surgery. Orthotics Plus will communicate with all parties as appropriate.
Rehabilitation for ACL Injuries
The path to rehabilitating an ACL injury is variable and depends on many factors.
Patients with initial ACL injuries often experience painful swelling. If surgery is not being considered, they might be on crutches to reduce the swelling and keep weight off their feet. From there, it’s a staged rehabilitation to rebuild strength/function in the lower limb.
After the ACL injury (and assuming the pain is tolerable) some patients may perform strength and conditioning prehabilitation before surgery. This is because it’s ideal to undergo ACL surgery when the patient is in as strong a physical condition as possible.
Following surgery, the knee will likely be swollen and painful once more.
Post-operation, there will likely be a period of time when the patient is instructed to mainly rest, then progress into gentle range of motion exercises to prevent stiffness. This often progresses into single-leg, explosive and weighted exercises.
Patients can then return to sports and appropriate activities at the discretion of the surgeon and physiotherapist. Exact timing will depend on each patient’s individual progress.
Referrals to Orthotics Plus
When a patient or a referring doctor contacts our office, we will try to schedule an appointment on the same day if possible.
During the initial appointment, we will trial the appropriate knee braces with the patient. In the event a custom brace is required, we will take measurements and have it ready asap.
These patients would then likely be booked for regular follow-up visits with their Physiotherapists and surgeons to monitor their progress, whom we may receive feedback from.
Patients are encouraged to contact us at any time during their rehabilitation for any reason, including any sensations of discomfort.
Why Choose Orthotics Plus?
We recommend anyone looking for appropriate knee supports to contact us.
We maintain relationships with surgeons who refer to us, and we work closely with them to address any questions or concerns about the most appropriate brace for each patient.
All our reviews and follow-ups are included in the cost of the brace.
Our focus is on your ACL rehabilitation, so you can return to your healthiest self.
ACL injuries are most commonly the result of sporting incidents.
In some cases, adults can injure their ACL from slips and falls, car accidents, or other injuries from daily activities.
Patients who tear their ACL often sustain an MCL injury at the same time.
ACL injuries usually result in feelings of sharp pain or a disconnected sensation in the knee.
Following the initial injury, they’ll experience intense pain over 20-60 minutes and swelling will occur.
After the acute injury, there is often an aching pain and the patient will experience significant instability.
The ACL brace is usually worn during sleep.
There are occasions when removing the brace to shower or sleep is acceptable, but it will depend on the degree of injury. Patients are recommended to wear sports shorts, shorter skirts or loose-fitting clothing to accommodate the brace.
While the brace can be annoying at times, the purpose is to support partial or full weight-bearing, so that the patient can return to daily activities.