Date of Award


Document Type



Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Emil Henneman


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), knee joint, Physical Therapy, Sports Medicine


Background and Purpose: Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are one of the most common in sports medicine. This structure provides stability to the knee joint. Depending on the level of ligament injury, this injury can be treated conservatively or surgically. The purpose of this case study is to explore a preoperative treatment plan for a patient looking to have a future ACL surgical repair.

Case Description: This case study describes the 13-week treatment plan for a 21-year-old patient that had plans for a future surgical repair. This was the second time this patient tore the ACL in that extremity within 3 years. He also presented 2 weeks post knee arthroscopy, bone grafting of femoral tunnel, debridement and medial meniscus repair and deflexion of the proximal tibial osteotomy to prepare the knee joint for ACL repair.

Intervention: The physical therapy interventions for the patient included blood flow restriction, neuromuscular re-education, lower extremity strengthening, gait training and mobility activities.

Outcomes: The patient following the therapy episode discharged himself. He no longer had pain at rest, was functional and independent with all activities of daily living, no longer needed an assistive device, was able to tolerate full workdays while standing and felt comfortable continuing on with the home exercise program independently leading up to the ACL reconstruction. This case study demonstrated that physical therapy treatment can be sufficient for returning a younger patient to be functional and independent without repair