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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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Last year I tore my left ACL. I decided to try rehab and avoid surgery. Since I'm not a high-end athlete, this plan seemed to work pretty well. Once in a while, my knee does buckle and give way underneath me. Is there some way to prevent this from happening?

It sounds like your joint still has some instability. Under the right circumstances or conditions, it gives way or buckles. This may be a sign that you need to continue your rehab program indefinitely. This is especially true if you don't ever plan on having reconstructive surgery.

A home exercise program (HEP) can be very successful in stabilizing the knee when there is an ACL tear but no other ligament, cartilage, or joint injuries. Usually the HEP is a continuation of the exercises done in rehab.

But muscle strengthening, cardiovascular training, agility drills don't always improve knee stability. You may need to carry out perturbation-enhancement exercises. This is a way to restore joint proprioception (sense of position) and quick response to changes in joint position.

Perturbation-enhancement rehab can help the athlete resume pivoting, cutting, and jumping activities without fear of buckling or instability. If you worked with a physical therapist during the first phase of rehab, you may want to contact him or her about adding this key feature to your HEP.


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