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Buckling Knee Physiotherapy



Experiencing the knee ‘giving way’ (aka buckling knee) is actually a pretty common complaint by athletes who have twisted their knees in sports like basketball, netball, soccer or badminton. Or just have had a bad fall on the knee.

This experience of your knee ‘giving way’ is an indication that you might have torn your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) located deep inside your knee.

Our anterior cruciate ligament is a very strong rope-ligament located between the knee-joint (refer to the image above), and it's #1 responsibility is to block and limit the forward movement (anterior translation) of our leg bone (tibia) on our thigh bone (femur).

So when athletes and sports enthusiasts change direction quickly during games, what happens is that their knee is subjected to a very powerful, inward twisting motion. 

This loads and strains the anterior cruciate ligament a lot, and increases the risk of tearing...and ACL tears happen when the knee is force downwards and inwards beyond the ligament’s ability to hold the strain and load.

Athletes (and anyone) who had experienced a 100% ACL rupture (torn) often report hearing a ‘pop’ on injury. For partial tears, at most an experience of tearing.

Solving the buckling knee Problem

Unfortunately, the torn anterior cruciate ligament doesn’t heal on its own due to the poor blood supply to the ligament (also if it's 100% torn already, it needs to be repaired surgically by tying the torn parts together). Often, ACL surgeries would involve your ACL having to be reconstructed surgically by using either your hamstring tendon or patella tendon.

Physiotherapy and knee rehabilitation after surgery will normally takes about 6-9 months before the athlete is able to go back to full training. For most regular non-sports patients, 3 months of rehab to basic normal life, but for active living and sports, at least 6 months.

That being said, there are about 20% of people with ACL tears who are able to go about their day-to-day activities without having their ACL reconstructed. 

To cope with life of injured ACL without surgery, the following muscles need to have good strength and control:

  • Hamstrings (behind the thigh muscles)
  • Quadriceps (front of thigh muscles)
  • Gluteus Medius (buttock muscles)
  • Gastrocneumius (calf muscles)

Besides doing ongoing strengthening exercises, we recommend that you slowly ease back into sports specific training is essential. This is so that your muscles can develop an anticipatory reaction (feed-forward mechanism) to prevent injury.



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Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and specialist rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.

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It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

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Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired , tight and tense muscles to accelerate recovery and shorten downtime. It also helps prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and future ruptures), and increases muscle performance. When done regularly it will keeps your muscles and you healthy and fit and have body/movement-confidence.

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See our entire team here by location and specialization.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session. 

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