Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is the most commonly injured ligament of the knee.
When is ACL reconstruction performed?
The risks of not treating a fully torn ACL can lead to tissue damage, cartilage degeneration or early arthritis. ACL reconstruction may be recommended for these knee problems:
- Knee gives way or feels unstable during daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs
- Knee pain and swelling
- Inability to continue playing sports or other activities
- Gross knee instability and frequent giving way symptoms despite regular physiotherapy or strengthening exercise
ACL reconstruction surgery is usually performed to replace the torn ligament (ACL) with a substitute graft made of tendon: autograft from patient (patella tendon, hamstring tendon, or quadriceps tendon) or allograft (taken from a cadaver- patella tendon, achilles tendon, semitendinosus, gracilis, or posterior tibialis tendon).
The success of the surgery depends on how well you stick with your rehabilitation program
When can physiotherapy start for ACL reconstruction?
Physiotherapy can begin immediately after post ACL reconstruction. The 1st 6 months of rehabilitation is very important if patient wants to get back full recovery to sports or active lifestyle.
Physiotherapy Protocol for Pre- ACL Reconstruction
Stage 1: Pre-operative physiotherapy goals:
- Restore your full range of motion and muscle flexibility
- Good Quadriceps and hamstring strength
- No swelling of the knee
Stage 2: Post- operative physiotherapy Goals:
- Reduce swelling and knee pain
- Restore range of movement 0-90deg knee movement and patella mobility
- Gait training with walking aids
- Continue reduce swelling and inflammation
- Increase range of movement 0-130deg knee movement
- Improve strength of the hamstring and quadriceps and control
- Commence proprioceptive exercises
- Normal walking gait with full weight bear
- Full range of movement
- Increase quadriceps and hamstring strength
- Improved proprioception
- Preparation for return to sport and skills specific training
- Improve agility and reaction time
- Increase total leg strength and fitness
- Rehabilitation to sports
Physiotherapy treatment will be customized to individual depending on symptoms and level of function to improve mobility and increase confidence with daily activities.
At Physioclinic, our physiotherapist will help ACL reconstruction patients to get back activities as soon as possible.