ACL Rehabilitation

We have a very progressive, intensive rehabilitation program for those who have undergone ACL reconstructive surgery. It is designed to restore the patient's abilities within 12 to 14 weeks, as we want the tendon to perform as a ligament as soon as possible. We focus on strength endurance, range of motion, plyometrics, flexibility and power. While each program is designed to best suit each patient, we do have some general guidelines.

We have four phases we use as a general base:

Phase I

  • 0 to 2 weeks
  • Range of motion goal is 0-90 degrees of flexion
  • Focusing on VMO reeducation, effusion management, full extension

Phase II

  • 2 to 6 weeks
  • Range of motion goal is 115 degrees of flexion
  • Focusing on thigh muscle re-education and functional exercises

Phase III

  • 6 to 10 weeks
  • Goal is to reach a full passive range of motion
  • Beginning aerobic and plyometric exercises with functional loads

Phase IV

  • 10 to 14 weeks
  • Concentrating on dynamic strength, dynamic functional exercises, and sport or work-specific activities

Each phase includes progressively harder exercises. For example, moving from wall squats, to squats on the Total Gym, to squats on the Total Gym with weight.

We use care by taking precautions with patients who may have also had meniscal surgery, LCL, or MCL surgery.

  • If medial meniscus repair, ROM goals are limited to 60 degrees of flexion for the first 6 weeks.
  • If lateral meniscus repair, ROM goals are limited to 90 degrees of flexion for the first 6 weeks. We also include whole-body exercises, using equipment such as the bicycle and treadmill.

We incorporate the use of modalities with exercise to achieve desired goals.

We personalize our ACL rehabilitation program for each patient's individual needs.

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