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ACL Surgery Post-Op Rehabilitation: Your Roadmap to Recovery
ACL Surgery Post-Op Rehabilitation: Your Roadmap to Recovery
Supapong (Boss) Juntharin
Supapong (Boss) Juntharin
Physiotherapist

Recovering from ACL surgery can be a challenging journey, but with the right post-operative rehabilitation process, it's possible to return to athletic activities with full strength and confidence. At Form Recovery and Wellness, we're dedicated to guiding athletes through a comprehensive rehabilitation process to achieve a complete recovery and regain their pre-injury performance level.

Pre-op Phase: Preparing for Surgery

Before ACL surgery, it's crucial to allow the knee to recover from the injury and regain strength. Achieving full range of motion, strong quadriceps and hamstrings, and reducing swelling are key indicators of readiness for surgery. This phase typically involves icing, range of motion exercises, low-impact aerobic activities like cycling, and a progressive strength routine.

Goals:

  • Eliminate swelling
  • Regain full range of motion
  • Achieve 90% strength in quads and hamstrings compared to the other side

Phase 1: Post-Surgery Recovery

The initial phase post-surgery focuses on allowing the knee to rest and recover. It's important to concentrate on simple range exercises, quadriceps setting drills, ice, and compression during the first 1-2 weeks.

Goals:

  • Achieve full knee extension
  • Reduce swelling to a mild level
  • Reactivate the quadriceps

Phase 2: Building Strength & Neuromuscular Control

Working with a physical therapist, this phase aims to regain strength and control in the injured knee. Exercises focus on building muscular support and learning to control knee movement. This phase usually lasts around 6 weeks.

Goals:

  • Restore single leg balance
  • Regain muscle strength
  • Perform a single-leg squat with good technique

Phase 3: Running, Agility, and Landings

This phase involves practicing running, agility, and landing exercises to regain the ability to run and jump safely. It typically lasts around 3 months and includes exercises like leg press and lunges.

Goals:

  • Progress through hopping training with good technique
  • Complete an agility program
  • Regain full strength and balance

Phase 4: Return to Sport

Phase 4 is highly individualized, focusing on incorporating sport-specific exercises and training activities. The goal is to prepare the knee for sports, ensuring it's stable, strong, and exhibits ideal neuromuscular patterns.

Phase 5: Prevention of Re-Injury

The final phase emphasizes the prevention of re-injury. It involves maintaining strength and incorporating plyometric, balance, and strengthening exercises into your routine to avoid re-injury.

ACL Surgery Rehabilitation at Form Recovery and Wellness

At Form Recovery and Wellness, our mission is to safely guide you back to your sport, minimizing the risk of re-injury. Our clinic implements a world-class post-op ACL Rehab Program, designed by specialists from Australia, to ensure the highest standard of care and effective rehabilitation.