Rehabilitation of ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in high school track athlete: case report




Hu, Justin

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Angelo State University. Department of Physical Therapy.


Background and Purpose: ACL Ruptures are some of the most common sports injuries among youth athletes. Because this ligament is critical to an athlete’s knee stability during dynamic movements, this injury often requires a surgical intervention known as an ACL Reconstruction, which is repairing the impaired structure using tissues from either the athlete’s own body (autograft) or from a cadaver’s (allograft). The role of the physical therapist after this repair is crucial to the athlete’s prognosis so that they can safely return to their prior level of sports performance, while also learning preventative measures for future re-injury. The objective of this case is to emphasize proper ACL rehabilitation methods that are both safe and effective. Case Description: The patient presents status post left ACL reconstruction, using an auto graft from their quadriceps tendon. The patient shows left side weakness in their lower extremity MMT, limited left side lower extremity ROM, and antalgic gait upon their initial evaluation. The interventions used for this patient were therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, and neuromuscular re-education to address the impairments mentioned. Outcomes: The outcome measures used to track the progress of this patient were lower extremity MMT, ROM, 10-meter walk test, lower extremity functional scale (LEFS), and a 30 second sit to stand test. Discussion: The main take-away from this case study is that it is very important to follow ACL protocols for precaution of not retearing the repair, while also making sure the patient is working with an adequate load to promote hypertrophy and strength. The urgency of regaining knee extension should also be emphasized to promote adequate quadricep strength during rehabilitation.



ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), ROM (range of motion), MMT (manual muscle test), PT (physical therapy), LEFS (lower extremity functional scale)