Maplewood, MO

Maplewood, MO

Our expert team provides personalized care to help you recover from ACL injuries and return to the activities you love

ACL Rehabilitation in Maplewood, MO. Coping with an ACL injury may be intimidating and difficult, but the right ACL rehabilitation program is essential in your recovery journey. At Axes Physical Therapy, we recognize how difficult it can be to have your ability to be active compromised. Our goal is to assist you in regaining your muscle strength, flexibility, and self-confidence, so you can return to the activities you love, whether that means getting back on the field or picking up your grandkids without pain.

With locations throughout the Greater St. Louis area, our team of licensed Maplewood, MO physical and occupational therapists has an average of 15 years of experience. We are committed to offering personalized therapy care tailored to your unique needs. Leveraging state-of-the-art treatment techniques, we collaborate with you and your doctor to guarantee the best possible outcomes for your recovery.

Prepared to begin your ACL rehabilitation journey? Get in touch with Axes Physical Therapy, schedule an appointment, or call the closest Axes location and initiate your recovery process. Let us help you return to the activities you love with assurance and vigor.

About ACL Injuries

Common Causes and Risk Factors

An ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear is a prevalent knee-related injury that is prevalent among sports enthusiasts and active people, often resulting from specific movements or traumatic events. During an ACL tear, the anterior cruciate ligament, connecting the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone), is overstretched and ruptures. The ligament fibers partially or completely tear, causing knee instability and impaired function. Understanding the common causes and risk factors can help in preventing and managing these injuries.

  • Quick Deceleration and Changes in Direction: One of the most frequent causes of ACL tears includes quick slowing down combined with a sudden direction change. These movements exert considerable pressure on the knee, making the ACL vulnerable to tears.
  • Direct Trauma: Direct blows to the knee, particularly from the side, can cause ACL injuries. This is often seen with contact sports injuries in sports such as football and soccer.
  • Higher Incidence in Females: Women are at a higher risk for ACL injuries due to structural differences such as a wider pelvis, increased ligament laxity, and differences in muscle strength and coordination.
  • Risky Sports: Participation in sports that involve frequent and quick deceleration, changes of direction, and jumping, such as basketball, soccer, and skiing, increases the risk of ACL injuries.
  • Previous ACL Injuries: Having a previous ACL tear raises the chances of re-injury, especially if the initial injury did not fully heal or the rehabilitation process was incomplete.
  • Weak Musculature: Insufficient strength in the muscles around the knee, particularly the quadriceps and hamstrings, raises the chances of an ACL tear. Well-developed muscles help stabilize the knee joint.
  • Improper Footwear: Wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support or traction can lead to slips and awkward movements that could result in an ACL injury.

By recognizing these common causes and risk factors, you can be proactive to protect your knees, such as engaging in targeted strength training, increasing flexibility, and employing proper techniques during sports and physical activities in Maplewood, MO.

ACL Rehabilitation Maplewood, MO | Physical Therapy Near Maplewood | Rehab for ACL Injuries and Surgery


Identifying the symptoms of an ACL tear is essential for quick diagnosis and proper treatment:

  • Popping Sensation: Many individuals mention hearing or feeling a “pop” in their knee at the moment of injury.
  • Pain: Sudden and intense pain often is associated with an ACL injury, making it difficult to continue activity.
  • Swelling: Swelling typically occurs within the first few hours after the injury as the knee joint accumulates blood.
  • Loss of Range of Motion: The injured knee may have limited range of motion, restricting movement in bending or straightening the leg.
  • Instability: The knee may feel unstable or collapse, particularly when you try to put weight on the knee, due to the lack of support from the damaged ligament.
  • Tenderness: The knee may be sensitive when touched, especially along the joint line.
  • Inability to Bear Weight: Severe pain and instability often make it challenging to support weight the affected leg.
  • Muscle Weakness: Weakness in the muscles around the knee, especially those in the thigh, may develop due to inactivity and soreness.


Accurate diagnosis of an ACL injury often includes a combination of physical examination and imaging techniques in Maplewood, MO:

  • Clinical Assessment: A physical examination by a healthcare provider entails tests like the Lachman test, anterior drawer test, and pivot shift test to evaluate the integrity of the ACL. You can visit Axes for a free injury screening (and initiate your ACL rehab with our Direct Access Physical Therapy.).
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): An MRI scan gives comprehensive images of the soft tissues in the knee, verifying the presence and extent of an ACL tear.
  • Ultrasound: This imaging technique is used to view the ligament and assess any damage.
  • X-ray: While x-rays do not reveal soft tissues like ligaments, they are used to rule out any associated bone fractures that might have occurred during the injury.

Early and accurate diagnosis is crucial for developing an appropriate treatment plan and guaranteeing optimal recovery in your ACL rehabilitation in Maplewood, MO.

Phases of ACL Rehabilitation in Maplewood, MO

Recovering from an ACL injury or surgery with rehabilitation is a structured process that aims to restore function, strength, and stability to the knee. This process is typically divided into several phases, including rehabilitation before and after surgery, each with specific goals and activities designed to systematically advance recovery. Here are the key phases of ACL rehabilitation in Maplewood, MO:

1. Pre-surgery Preparation (Prehabilitation)


  • Alleviate swelling and inflammation.
  • Regain full range of motion, particularly extension.
  • Build strength in the muscles around the knee.
  • Boost proprioception and balance.


  • Mild range of motion activities (e.g., heel slides, wall slides).
  • Strength-building exercises (e.g., quadriceps sets, straight leg raises).
  • Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) to boost muscle strength.
  • Low-impact cardiovascular activities, such as swimming and cycling.

2. Immediate Post-surgery Recovery (0-2 weeks)


  • Control pain and alleviate swelling.
  • Protect the surgical repair.
  • Start early mobility and muscle activation.


  • Utilizing ice, compression, and elevation to reduce swelling (POLICE method: Protect, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
  • Light passive and active range of motion exercises.
  • Weight-bearing as comfortable, with crutches if required.
  • Ankle pumps, quadriceps sets, and heel slides.

3. Early Rehabilitation (2-6 weeks)


  • Achieve full range of motion.
  • Commence strengthening and stabilizing.
  • Normalize walking pattern.


  • Advancement of range of motion activities.
  • Beginning closed kinetic chain exercises, including mini squats and step-ups.
  • Balance training exercises.
  • Use of stationary bike for gentle cycling.

4. Intermediate Rehabilitation (6-12 weeks)


  • Enhance muscle strength and endurance.
  • Improve proprioception and dynamic stability.
  • Begin low-impact cardiovascular training.


  • Strengthening exercises for quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes (e.g., leg press, lunges, hamstring curls).
  • Proprioceptive training (e.g., single-leg balance, balance board exercises).
  • Low-impact aerobic exercises (e.g., elliptical, swimming).
  • Water therapy can benefit certain patients.

5. Advanced Rehabilitation (3-6 months)


  • Enhance strength, power, and agility.
  • Prepare for return to sport or high-level activity.


  • Plyometrics (e.g., jump training).
  • Athletic drills (e.g., agility ladder, cone drills).
  • Incremental running program, initiating with jogging and moving to sprints.
  • Functional exercises replicating sport-specific motions.

6. Return to Activity (6-12 months)


  • Safely return to sports or activities.
  • Keep strength and avoid re-injury.


  • Maintaining advanced strengthening and explosive exercises.
  • Active engagement in sport-specific training.
  • Ongoing proprioceptive and balance training.
  • Frequent consultations with your Maplewood, MO physical therapist to track progress and make adjustments.

All phases of ACL rehabilitation in Maplewood, MO, from pre- and post-surgery rehab to a return to activities, is vital for reaching full recovery and reducing the risk of future injuries. Sticking to a structured rehabilitation plan under the guidance of skilled physical therapists helps patients regain confidence and strength to return to their activities. For personalized ACL rehabilitation plans in Maplewood, MO, contact Axes today.

Role of Maplewood, MO Physical Therapy in ACL Rehabilitation

Personalized Rehabilitation Plans

Physical therapy is key in ACL rehab by providing tailored rehabilitation plans that address the specific needs of each patient. Every ACL injury is unique, and recovery programs must be customized to ensure optimal outcomes. Experienced Maplewood, MO physical therapists evaluate your condition, determine practical goals, and develop a structured program that includes workouts, hands-on therapy, and modalities to promote healing and restore function.

Early Mobilization and Pain Management

During the early phases of ACL rehab, physical therapy focuses on reducing pain and swelling while promoting early mobilization. Techniques such as ice therapy, compression, elevation, and light range of motion activities assist in controlling pain and decreasing inflammation. Early mobilization is vital to prevent joint stiffness and boost blood circulation to the affected area, which supports healing.

Strengthening and Stability

As you progress through the ACL rehabilitation phases in Maplewood, MO, the emphasis shifts to strengthening the muscles around the knee, particularly the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Building strength in these muscles is crucial for knee joint stability and injury prevention. Physical therapists use a variety of exercises, including closed kinetic chain exercises like squats and lunges, to increase strength and stabilize the knee joint.

Proprioception and Balance Training

Reestablishing body awareness—the body’s ability to detect movement and positioning—is a critical aspect of ACL rehabilitation. Maplewood, MO physical therapists incorporate balance and coordination exercises to enhance proprioception and reduce the risk of re-injury. These exercises may consist of balance boards, single-leg stands, and dynamic activities that test the patient’s stability in a safe setting.

Advanced Functional Training

In the final phases of ACL rehabilitation, Maplewood, MO physical therapists concentrate on advanced functional workouts to prepare patients for a return to sports or daily activities. This includes sport-specific drills, agility training, and plyometric exercises that replicate the motions and stresses of the patient’s chosen sport or activity. Functional training ensures the knee can withstand the pressures and strains of actual movements.

Ongoing Support and Education

Maplewood, MO physical therapists deliver ongoing educational support throughout ACL rehabilitation. We’ll teach you about proper techniques, injury prevention strategies, and the importance of adhering to your rehabilitation program. Education empowers patients to take an active role in their recovery and maintain the health of their knee joint long after formal therapy has ended.

With the help of a skilled physical therapist in Maplewood, MO, patients can more effectively handle the challenges of ACL rehab, achieving a full recovery and a return to the activities they love. For personalized ACL rehabilitation plans and expert care, visit Axes Physical Therapy.

Call Axes for Your ACL Rehabilitation in Maplewood, MO Today

Healing from an ACL injury can feel intimidating, but with the right ACL rehabilitation program in Maplewood, MO, it is possible to restore full function and get back to the activities you enjoy. At Axes Physical Therapy, we are focused on delivering personalized, expert care throughout every phase of your recovery. Our experienced Maplewood, MO physical therapists use state-of-the-art techniques and tailored programs to secure the best possible outcomes for your specific injury, goals, and lifestyle. By focusing on strengthening, stability, and functional training, we help you build a solid foundation for long-term knee health.

Ready to start your Maplewood, MO ACL rehabilitation journey? Contact Axes Physical Therapy today to schedule an appointment or call the nearest Axes location. Let us support you in reaching your recovery objectives and maintaining an active lifestyle with confidence and strength.

Services Offered

Services Offered
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pre/Post Surgical Rehabilitation
  • Acute Injury Management
  • Chronic Injury Management
  • Work Conditioning/Hardening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Vestibular Therapy and Post-Concussion Rehabilitation
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Our Team

Antoinette Ghoston
Front Office
John Teepe
Partner, MPT
Jennifer Szydlowski
Clinic Director, PT, CMPT


Begin Your Recovery Today

Injuries and pain shouldn’t keep you from moving and doing the things you love.