Dr. Johnson shares if women should have physical therapy before anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery.
Once you have your ACL torn, and typically the female athlete that has their ACL torn, that tears their ACL, it’s often a trivial event, which is another misconception. Everybody thinks that tearing your knee ligament is something, “Well, I had to be playing a football game and somebody ran over me,” or “I got in a car accident,” or “I was skiing and I tumbled down the mountain.” Actually the most common reason we see when somebody tears their ACL is a non-contact event, particularly in the female athlete, and what do I mean by that?
Well, think about the female soccer player running down the soccer field, and she just gets the hint that somebody is coming up on her back side, so she takes a misstep. Or the basketball player, the female basketball player who was rebounding the basketball and just comes down a little awkward because that person standing a little too close to her. Believe it or not, that’s the most common way you tear your ACL.
So then you go into the doctor’s office and your knee is big and swollen, and they diagnose you have a torn ACL. What happens today is you do go to physical therapy before your surgery because you need to get your knee ready to undergo that operative procedure, and what do I mean by that? Well, we need to get your swelling down. We need to get your motion back. We need to get all the major muscle groups in your leg firing again. So we actually get the knee ready to undergo this operative procedure. It’s very important.
About Dr. Johnson, M.D.:
Dr. Darren L. Johnson, M.D., received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. He completed his residency at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles and his fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Dr. Johnson is currently Professor and Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery and Director of Sports Medicine at the University of Kentucky. His clinical interests include arthroscopy, knee and shoulder reconstruction and the double-bundle procedure for ACL repair.
Dr. Johnson was named among the Top Doctors for Women by Women’s Health magazine in 2008.