The ACL Recovery Journey: What to Expect from Effective Physical Therapy - Pursuit Physical Therapy
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One of the most common sports injuries is an ACL tear. According to the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, about 200,000 ACL injuries occur annually in the U.S. Some require surgery, others physical therapy, or a combination of the two. The good news is that with expert physical therapy, with or without surgery, the recovery rates are good. The team at Pursuit Physical Therapy is comprised of expert physical therapists skilled at ACL rehabilitation. Our extensive experience in treating sports injuries can help you understand what to expect during your ACL recovery journey. Our goal is to give you the information you need for a successful rehabilitation.

ACL Tear Injuries Explained

An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear is a common sports-related injury affecting the knee joint’s stability. An ACL tear recovery timeline varies for each patient, but the main elements of the process include pain management, swelling management techniques, and restoring functional movement.

How Is an ACL Tear Diagnosed?

After conducting a thorough physical examination and imaging studies like an MRI or X-ray, a medical professional can determine whether an ACL tear is present and the severity of the injury. This provides a basis for a personalized recovery plan.

Types of ACL Sprains

ACL injuries are classified into three types based on severity: Grade 1 (mild sprain), Grade 2 (partial tear), and Grade 3 (complete tear). Each grade has its own implications for targeted treatment and prognosis.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

Physical therapists are essential for successful ACL tear rehabilitation. These highly trained professionals create a tailored recovery plan for pain management, range of motion restoration, and muscle strengthening. One of the first things they’ll address is minimizing discomfort and inflammation. Various techniques like ice treatments, electrical stimulation, or manual therapy will be administered. Next, they’ll begin gait training to restore proper walking technique after surgery if that’s part of your recovery. This ensures a smooth transition from crutches or other walking aids to full independent mobility. Wearing a brace is common with ACL recovery. A physical therapist will show you how to wear it correctly and determine its optimal duration, giving you the support you need as your recovery progresses. Building strength is equally crucial to prevent future injuries. Your physical therapist will develop a carefully crafted exercise plan targeting the injured muscles around the ACL and surrounding muscles like your quadriceps, hamstrings, and hips. This approach improves stability and function while lowering future injury risk.

What Happens During Physical Therapy for an ACL Injury?

After your physical therapist makes a professional diagnosis and injury assessment, they lay out a detailed plan taking you from injury to full recovery. This plan could include manual therapy techniques to stabilize joints, ice and heat packs, home exercise routines for strength and flexibility, and functional movement training, among other therapies.


Recovering from an ACL injury can be a challenging journey that an expert physical therapist can help you overcome. Using a well-planned ACL rehabilitation program, a physical therapist helps you regain strength, stability, and confidence in your knee.

Learn More: Customized ACL Rehabilitation Plans at Pursuit Physical Therapy

Recovering from an ACL tear injury might seem like a long road, but at Pursuit Physical Therapy, we tailor accelerated ACL recovery programs to your individual needs. We’ll partner with you to help you regain confidence in movement. At Pursuit Physical Therapy, effective rehabilitation starts with a genuine connection between the patient and therapist. Our expert approach to care is filled with motivation, support, and one-on-one attention designed to enhance your healing process.

Contact Us

Make your ACL injury a thing of the past with the help of our experienced team! Contact us today for more information or to schedule your assessment.