Park Hills, MO

Park Hills, MO

Our expert team provides personalized care to help you recover from ACL injuries and get back to your favorite activities

ACL Rehabilitation in Park Hills, MO. Managing an ACL injury is often overwhelming and challenging, but the right ACL rehabilitation program is essential in your recovery journey. At Axes Physical Therapy, we understand how challenging it can be to have your ability to move normally compromised. Our goal is to support you in regaining your power, mobility, and confidence, so you can return to the activities you love, whether that means playing sports again or enjoying time with your grandchildren without pain.

With numerous locations across the Greater St. Louis region, our team of accredited physical and occupational therapists serving Park Hills, MO averages over 15 years of experience. We are committed to offering personalized therapy care suited to your specific requirements. Utilizing advanced treatment techniques, we collaborate with you and your doctor to ensure the best possible outcomes for your recovery.

Eager to commence your ACL rehabilitation journey? Get in touch with Axes Physical Therapy, make an appointment, or call the Axes location nearest you and start your recovery journey. Let us support you in getting back to the activities you love with assurance and vigor.

Understanding ACL Injuries

Common Causes and Risk Factors

An ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear is a prevalent injury to the knee that is prevalent among sports enthusiasts and active people, commonly due to certain movements or injuries. During an ACL tear, the anterior cruciate ligament, joining the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone), is overstretched and ruptures. The ligament fibers tear either partially or completely, causing knee instability and impaired function. Understanding the usual causes and risk factors can help in both preventing and managing these injuries.

  • Quick Deceleration and Changes in Direction: One of the most prevalent causes of ACL tears includes fast deceleration combined with a sudden direction change. These movements exert considerable pressure on the knee, making the ACL vulnerable to tears.
  • Direct Trauma: Direct knee trauma, particularly from the side, may result in ACL tears. This is often seen with injuries in contact sports in sports such as football and soccer.
  • Higher Incidence in Females: Women are at a higher risk for ACL injuries due to biological variations 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, heightens the likelihood of ACL injuries.
  • Previous ACL Injuries: Having a past ACL injury raises the chances of re-injury, especially if the initial injury did not fully heal or the rehabilitation process was incomplete.
  • Weak Musculature: Lack of strength in the muscles around the knee, particularly the quadriceps and hamstrings, can increase the risk of an ACL tear. Well-developed muscles help stabilize the knee joint.
  • Improper Footwear: Wearing shoes that do not provide adequate stability or traction can contribute to slips and awkward movements that may result in an ACL injury.

Understanding these usual causes and risk factors, you can take proactive steps to protect your knees, such as engaging in targeted strength training, improving flexibility, and employing proper techniques during sports and physical activities in Park Hills, MO.

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


Identifying the indications of an ACL tear is essential for early diagnosis and appropriate treatment:

  • Popping Sensation: Many individuals report hearing or feeling a “pop” in their knee at the moment of injury.
  • Pain: Sharp and significant pain often accompanies an ACL injury, preventing further activity.
  • Swelling: Swelling usually 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, making it difficult to bend or straighten the leg.
  • Instability: The knee may feel unsteady or buckle, 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 sore to touch, 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, particularly the quadriceps and hamstrings, may develop due to inactivity and soreness.


Correct diagnosis of an ACL injury generally involves a combination of clinical assessment and imaging techniques in Park Hills, 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 come to Axes directly for a no-cost 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, confirming the presence and extent of an ACL tear.
  • Ultrasound: This imaging technique may be used to see the ligament and assess any damage.
  • X-ray: While x-rays do not show soft tissues like ligaments, they are used to rule out any associated bone fractures that might have occurred during the injury.

Prompt and correct diagnosis is essential for creating an appropriate treatment plan and securing optimal recovery in your ACL rehabilitation in Park Hills, MO.

Phases of ACL Rehabilitation in Park Hills, MO

Recovering from an ACL injury or surgery with rehabilitation is a structured process that focuses on restoring function, strength, and stability to the knee. This process is typically divided into several phases, including preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation, each with specific goals and activities designed to gradually improve recovery. Here are the key phases of ACL rehabilitation in Park Hills, MO:

1. Pre-surgery Preparation (Prehabilitation)


  • Minimize swelling and inflammation.
  • Achieve full range of motion, particularly the ability to fully extend the knee.
  • Build strength in the muscles around the knee.
  • Boost proprioception and balance.


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

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


  • Manage pain and reduce swelling.
  • Protect the surgical repair.
  • Begin early movement and muscle activation.


  • Applying ice, compression, and elevation to manage swelling (POLICE principle: Protect, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
  • Mild passive and active range of motion activities.
  • Bearing weight as tolerated, using crutches if needed.
  • Ankle pumps, quad sets, and heel slides.

3. Early Rehabilitation (2-6 weeks)


  • Regain full range of motion.
  • Begin to build strength and stability.
  • Normalize walking pattern.


  • Gradual increase in range of motion exercises.
  • Introduction of closed kinetic chain exercises such as mini squats and step-ups.
  • Stability exercises.
  • Riding a stationary bike for gentle exercise.

4. Intermediate Rehabilitation (6-12 weeks)


  • Enhance muscle strength and endurance.
  • Boost proprioception and stability during movement.
  • Commence low-impact cardiovascular workouts.


  • Exercises to strengthen quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes (e.g., leg press, lunges, hamstring curls).
  • Balance and proprioception activities (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.


  • Plyometric exercises (e.g., jump training).
  • Athletic drills (e.g., agility ladder, cone drills).
  • Gradual return to running program, starting with jogging and progressing to sprints.
  • Functional training to simulate sport-specific movements.

6. Return to Activity (6-12 months)


  • Return to sports or activities safely.
  • Maintain strength and prevent re-injury.


  • Ongoing advanced strengthening and plyometric exercises.
  • Complete involvement in sport-specific training.
  • Sustained proprioceptive and balance activities.
  • Periodic visits to your Park Hills, MO physical therapist to review progress and modify the program.

Each phase of ACL rehabilitation in Park Hills, MO, from pre- and post-surgery rehab to resuming activities, is essential for completing a full recovery and reducing the risk of future injuries. Sticking to a structured rehabilitation plan under the guidance of skilled physical therapists ensures that patients can return to their activities with confidence and strength. For tailored ACL rehabilitation programs in Park Hills, MO, contact Axes today.

Role of Park Hills, MO Physical Therapy in ACL Rehabilitation

Personalized Rehabilitation Plans

Physical therapy plays a pivotal role in ACL rehabilitation by providing tailored rehabilitation plans that cater to the individual needs of each patient. Every ACL injury is unique, and rehab programs need to be tailored for the best outcomes. Experienced Park Hills, MO physical therapists examine your situation, establish achievable goals, and create a detailed plan that includes exercises, manual therapy, and therapeutic methods to support healing and regain function.

Early Mobilization and Pain Management

At the beginning of ACL rehabilitation, physical therapy aims to reduce pain and swelling and encourage early movement. Techniques such as ice therapy, compression, elevation, and light range of motion activities assist in controlling pain and decreasing inflammation. Prompt movement is crucial for preventing joint stiffness and encouraging blood flow to the affected area, which aids in the healing process.

Strengthening and Stability

As you move forward in your ACL rehabilitation journey in Park Hills, 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

Regaining body awareness—the body’s ability to perceive movement and position—is a critical aspect of ACL rehabilitation. Park Hills, MO physical therapists integrate balance and coordination exercises to boost proprioception and lower the risk of re-injury. These exercises may consist of balance boards, single-leg stands, and dynamic exercises that test the patient’s stability in a safe setting.

Advanced Functional Training

In the final phases of ACL rehabilitation, Park Hills, MO physical therapists focus on advanced functional training to ready patients for resuming sports or everyday activities. This includes sport-specific drills, agility training, and plyometric exercises that imitate the actions and requirements of the patient’s chosen sport or activity. Functional training guarantees the knee can cope with the demands and forces of real-life actions.

Ongoing Support and Education

Park Hills, MO physical therapists also provide ongoing support and education throughout the ACL rehabilitation process. 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 Park Hills, MO, patients can navigate the challenges of ACL rehabilitation more effectively, attaining complete recovery and getting back to the activities they enjoy. For custom ACL rehab plans and professional care, visit Axes Physical Therapy.

Call Axes for Your ACL Rehabilitation in Park Hills, MO Today

An ACL injury recovery can seem daunting, but with the right ACL rehabilitation program in Park Hills, MO, it is possible to restore full function and get back to the activities you enjoy. At Axes Physical Therapy, we are dedicated to offering personalized, expert care throughout every phase of your recovery. Our experienced Park Hills, MO physical therapists use cutting-edge methods and tailored programs to guarantee optimal results for your specific injury, goals, and lifestyle. By focusing on muscle strengthening, stability improvement, and functional exercises, we help you build a solid foundation for long-term knee health.

Ready to start your Park Hills, MO ACL rehabilitation journey? Contact Axes Physical Therapy today to book a session or call the Axes location nearest you. 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
  • Occupational Therapy
    • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Work Conditioning/Hardening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Spine Specialty – Certified Manual Therapy
  • Vestibular Therapy and Post-Concussion Therapy
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Our Team

Stephen Brunjes
Cassandra Wadlow
Front Office
Dena Rose
Anthony Meyer
Derrick Wolk
Partner, Clinic Director, MPT, CMPT
Kimberly Helm
Front Office Supervisor
Lisa Bell
Front Office


Begin Your Recovery Today

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