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Cruciate Ligaments, Knee Injuries and Physiotherapy

Illustration of the ligaments of the knee, including the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments

Our cruciate ligaments (which are also known as the cruciform ligaments) refers to a pair of ligaments arranged and looks like the letter "X" from the front.

These cruciate ligaments can be found in several parts of the body e.g. the knees; and what they primarily do is that they strongly stabilize the joints and yet at the same time still allows a very big range of motion for the joint(s).

common cruciate ligament injuries

The most common injuries to the human knees and the knees that our senior physiotherapists treat are the anterior cruciate ligament (usually shortened to "ACL") as well as the posterior cruciate ligament (abbreviated to "PCL").

Anterior just means "front", so the ACL is the front cruciate ligament; and posterior means "back" so the PCL is the back cruciate ligament.

These two ligaments are tremendously strong, rounded and extends all the way from our tibia bone to our femoral bone, and from the front/back view, when the ACL and PCL cross each other, it looks like an "X" in the middle of the knee.

These two cruciate ligaments are 100% separate from each other, and have their own synovial sheathe (not shared).

functions of the anterior cruciate ligament versus the posterior cruciate ligament of the knee

  • Anterior cruciate ligament main function is to keep the tibia in position and to prevent it from sliding anteriorly too much
  • Posterior cruciate ligament is the reverse of ACL, its main job is to keep the tibia from sliding backwards too much

physiotherapy and anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injuries rehabilitation

Your best way to avoid anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery is to undertake a comprehensive ACL-Deficient Knee Rehabilitation Program that includes and involves:

  • leg strengthening
  • proprioception and high-level balance retraining
  • sport-specific agility and functional enhancement.

We have senior sports physiotherapists who sub-specialize in knee and ACL management.

Physiotherapy treatments will aim to:

  • Reduce pain and inflammation
  • Normalize your joint range of motion
  • Strengthen your knee: esp Quadriceps (esp VMO) and Hamstrings
  • Strengthen your lower limb: Calves, Hip and Pelvis muscles
  • Improve patellofemoral (kneecap) alignment
  • Normalize your muscle lengths
  • Improve your proprioception, agility and balance
  • Improve your technique and function eg walking, running, squatting, hopping and landing.
  • Minimize your chance of re-injury.

We strongly suggest that you discuss your knee injury after a thorough examination from a knee injury specialist such as a sports physiotherapist, sports physician or knee surgeon.

This is a shortened summarized version of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Physiotherapy, refer to full article.

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