About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

3 comments on “The Role of Physical Therapy Before ACL Surgery .. Our Expert Series Continues

  • Hey Howard,

    Great to find your useful and informative website.

    A week ago I injured my knee surfing. I got myself in an award position and my right legs got forced into the splits, I felt a crack on the the inside of my knee and it was extreme painful. I saw a physio 3 days later. she was very good and thorough. She seemed pretty sure I had minor mcl and pretty bad acl tear due to the laxity in the joint. She encouraged me to go to hospital, get a brace and work on healing the mcl before working on the acl. I got brief assessments from 3 people in the hospital. They all noted more laxity in my right knee but didn’t think the acl tear was so likely, but none of them were as thorough as the first physio I saw.

    I personally feel a lot of stiffness and pain on the inside of my knee. There is only a little swelling. I don’t have a comfortable range of movement but in the walking i can do i feel no instability. I’ve got at least two weeks to wait on the scan and I’m hell of a worried. Just wondering what I can do as a self assessment in the mean time, it’s gonna be a long two weeks!

    Many thanks Rob UK

    • Sorry Rob … usually the exam means more than the MRI. Many of us simply get the MRI to confirm our findings and look for concomitant injuries to the cartilage. A sports doc should be able to tell you if the ACL is torn or not.

  • Hello. Thank you very much for posting information above. It helps a lot. 4 days ago while falling I twisted my right knee and I felt that something cracked inside. The knee is swollen and hurts. I can’t fully extend it. I went to ED, got a knee brace and crutches. Yesterday I went to Orthopedist. Tomorrow I am starting PT. My ACL brace should come soon. I am a pediatrician, but it is completely different to be a patient. This pre op information really gave me some idea what I have to do to help with treatment. I am on my legs in office all the time. I wonder how soon I can drive and go back to office. I am trying to walk using crutches, relax my knee, massage, put cold compress… I know…I have to see what PT is going to do tomorrow. I didn’t have an MRI, but as you said, clinical picture, history and exam are as important. as MRI. I have to work on my physical and psychological recovery. This is going to be a very long 3 weeks. till next visit.

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