Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Mark Romanick


Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries -- therapy; Case Reports


Background and Purpose. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most commonly injured ligaments in the knee. It is thought that reconstructive surgery of the ruptured ACL is the best way to return to functional activities, but not every patient wishes to have this surgery with the lengthy recovery. The purpose of this case report is to investigate the outcomes of conservative physical therapy treatment for an ACL rupture over the traditional reconstructive surgery.

Case Description. The patient fell off her bike on a gravel road and suffered a primary diagnosis of a ruptured ACL. She elected to use conservative treatment with Physical Therapy instead of reconstructive surgery for her ruptured ACL.

Intervention. The patient was given a home exercise program for strengthening of the dynamic stabilizers around the knee as well as strengthening of the hip abductor muscles. Interventions in the clinic included further strengthening of the knee stabilizers around the knee as well as involving proprioceptive training for balance and stability. Cryovasopneumatic treatment was also used to aide in the pain and swelling.

Outcomes. The results showed improved range of motion, stability, and functional mobility as well as decreased pain and edema in the joint space.

Discussion. In conclusion, after eight weeks spent with this patient in the clinic, she experienced a positive outcome while receiving conservative treatment for her ruptured ACL.