What kind of Rehab comes after ACL reconstruction?

If you’re scheduled for ACL reconstruction, you’re likely wondering what kind of rehab and recovery you can expect. At the Allen Therapy Center — your specialist in sports specific rehabilitation, degenerative conditions, and pre and post-operative orthopedics — we’re here to provide all of the information and assistance you need regarding your ACL reconstruction rehab. Following are some helpful questions and answers to assist you – and also always feel free to call our office if you have any other concerns.

When does rehab begin after an ACL reconstruction?
Rehab for ACL reconstruction typically begins the day of surgery. Patients are given a set of exercises to start immediately in the recovery room.

Will I need to be on crutches after surgery?
Yes, but only initially and only for comfort. Full weight bearing is gradually increased as tolerated by the patient. It typically takes seven to 10 days after the procedure, until the patient is comfortable without the assistance of a crutch. An exception to this rule is if the patient also underwent a meniscal repair or other reconstruction of an additional ligament. In these cases, weight bearing may be restricted for several weeks.

What do I do in the first few weeks after ACL reconstruction?
The first two weeks after surgery concentrate on decreasing the swelling in the knee and regaining knee extension, with less concern about knee flexion. This is accomplished by elevating/icing the leg and riding the stationary bike.

Two weeks after surgery, the goal is for patients to achieve and maintain full knee extension and increase quadriceps muscle function. While knee flexion of only 90 degrees is the goal for this stage, obtaining full extension is more of a priority.

How soon can I drive?
Usually by two weeks after ACL reconstruction, patients are off crutches and demonstrate adequate muscle function, mobility, and comfort to allow driving. This is dependent on what leg has been operated on and how fast the patient recovers.

How is rehabilitation after an ACL reconstruction typically structured?
Although different surgeons and therapists have slightly different protocols, the goal for all forms of post-operative ACL reconstruction rehab is the same: to return the patient to a normal and complete level of function in as short a time possible – without compromising the integrity of the surgically reconstructed knee.

What type of follow-up is done after an ACL reconstruction?
You will typically be seen within the first week, at two weeks, six weeks, three months and six to eight months. Your physician will look at and measure the presence of continued pain and swelling, the range of motion of your knee, the laxity of the graft strength of the leg, and knee function during routine activities of daily living.

Call Allen Therapy Center today!
At Allen Therapy Center, we’re always striving to meet and exceed our patients’ goals. Our experienced staff offers expert care and personal attention throughout the recovery process. Again, if you have any additional questions regarding rehab after ACL reconstruction – or any other therapy, treatment or training – please feel free to contact us at 972-359-1288. We’re always available to assist! Contact us today!