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5 Tips for Recovering from an ACL Surgery

ACL recovery

Many athletes as well as those who are very active may sometime in their life require anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery. This is a common knee procedure required for athletes who have injured their knee, and it can make activity following surgery seem a long way off. Without the proper therapy to help you regain your mobility it can be a long haul before you are back to your peak performance. Here are five tips to aid you in ACL recovery:

  1. Diminish the Pain
    As long as there is pain it will be impossible to begin your recovery exercises. You should be icing it as often as required, as this will play a key role in reducing the swelling and inflammation. You can also use compression wraps as well as the use of compression machines at your physiotherapist’s office during ACL recovery. Physiotherapists can also assist with electrotherapy and prescribe you a proper exercise program. Baby steps and constant attention will help reduce pain so you are ready to move to step two.
  2. Range of Motion
    You are going to be anxious to return your knee extension and range of motion as soon as possible. Your physiotherapist will assist with improving your range of motion using manual therapy techniques as well as a number of stretching exercises you can do at home. You will be required to exercise your knee as recommended by your physiotherapist so you do not experience loss of motion. Knee extension is the main focus of your home recovery exercises.
  3. Patella Mobility
    You do not want scar tissue to form as this will limit patella mobility. If your ACL surgery involved a patellar tendon graft this is even more likely. Again soft tissue mobilization must be performed immediately after surgery and range of motion and knee flexion exercises must be done as instructed to avoid range of motion loss.
  4. Volitional Control
    Your physiotherapist will use neuromuscular stimulation to help restore volitional control of your quadriceps following ACL surgery.  This will restore your quad’s strength to improve and return range of motion.
  5. Weight Bearing
    Within a week your physiotherapist will want you to begin weight bearing, using exercises such as weight shifts. Using drills with a focus on shifting weight as well as backward walking using cones to assist with knee extension.

Following these five steps will help you recover more quickly from ACL surgery so you are able to get back to your regular level of activity.


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