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Knee Ligament Sprain

There are four major ligaments in the knee that connect the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shin bone). They include the following:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)

These ligaments give stability to the knee and help control forward, backward and rotational movements of the knee.

Physical therapy treatment includes:

  • Manual therapy and exercises to improve knee range of motion
  • Continuous passive motion in the immediate postoperative period to decrease pain after ACL reconstruction
  • Exercises to increase knee strength and hip muscles
  • Neuromuscular re-education to improve your knee control/coordination and neighboring joints (such as the hip)
  • Progressive weight bearing exercises
  • Graded return to activity (such as running)
  • Dry needling to decrease muscle tension
  • Modalities to reduce pain
  • Treatments to decrease swelling

For patients who are athletes or participate in recreational fitness, sport-specific training will assure your safe return to the desired activity. 


  1. Logerstedt, David S. et al. “Knee Stability and Movement Coordination Impairments: Knee Ligament Sprain Revision 2017.” Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, Vol. 47, No. 11, 2017, pp. A1-A47. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT), https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2017.0303.

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