Knee Ligament Sprain
Anterior Cruciate Sprain (ACL)
Russell Gunner, C.A.T. (C)

ACL Sprain

Definition: The ligaments in the knee (connection between the femur and tibia) are stretched or sprained due to an excessive force placed upon the area. This may due to falling feet first into the boards, twisting the knee awkwardly on the ice or hitting knee-to-knee at centre ice.
Signs and Symptoms:
1. Pain very diffuse around the entire knee joint.
2. A feeling of popping or tearing inside the knee.
3. Extremely tender to touch around the front and back.
4. Swelling (Edema – warm to touch) around the whole knee (will usually appear very quickly – within 30 minutes).
5. Decreased movement, especially with full bending and straightening.

Treatment:
1. You should always consult your physician, athletic therapist or physiotherapist following an injury for further evaluation.
2. P.I.E.R. (Pressure, Ice, Elevation, Rest) for at least 48 hours. Icing every hour for 15 minutes over a wet towel
3. Depending upon severity, the use of a brace may be recommended.
4. After 48-72 hours, exercises can begin to very gently improve range of motion.

Exercises:
Wall slides – Lie with your foot up against a wall. Let the foot slowly slide down and bending your leg in the process. You should go to the point before the pain starts, and return to the top (10 reps).
Wall squat (standing) – While leaning (sitting position) against the wall, slowly slide down and tighten the quadriceps pain-free. (Hold 15 seconds, 5 times)