Danielle's Knee Clinic #2 - ACL Rehab

To surgery or not to surgery?

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Contrary to popular belief surgery is not always necessary with an ACL rupture. The answer depends on what type of sport you want to play and how intensely you want to do it. If for example you plan to cycle for a few hours per week you can take the option of conservative management and engage in rehab only. In the case of someone who wants to ski regularly a reconstruction is generally a preferable option given the intense plyometric agility nature of the sport.

If I get surgery can I avoid rehab?

No, you MUST rehab! Regardless of the initial management route you take, a good stint of rehabilitation is crucial to preventing both re-rupture and damage to other structures of the knee.

Aims of rehab:

  • Eliminate pain and swelling

  • Achieve full range of motion of the knee

  • Improve whole body coordination/proprioception

  • Regain quads/hamstring strength superior to the pre-injury state

What can I expect post surgery?

Phase 1: Initially on crutches wearing a brace. The focus is on regaining range of motion and normal gait (0-4 weeks)

Phase 2: Regaining strength and Neuromuscular Control (4-12 weeks)

Phase 3: Initiation of running (approx 12+ weeks), Agility and Landings

Phase 4: Return to Sport (9-12 months)

Phase 5: Prevention of Re-injury (maintenance phase)

How long until I can return to my sport?

The usual return to sport duration post rehab is 9-12 months. This varies depending on the amount of rehab done, the type of surgery and the sport you want to return to. Your sports Physiotherapist will discuss this with you and come up with a rehabilitation plan to get you to your goals.

It may seem daunting but don’t worry; we at Bonne Santé are trained, fully registered, sports Physiotherapists with plenty of experience in ACL rehab. We believe in creating a specific and individualised progressive rehab plan to get you back to your sport as soon as possible.

The purpose of this blog is to provide general information and educational material relating to exercise, physiotherapy and injury management. Bonne Santé Alps has made every effort to provide you with correct, up-to-date information. In using this blog, you agree that information is provided 'as is, as available', without warranty and that you use the information at your own risk. We recommend that you seek advice from a fitness or healthcare professional if you require further advice relating to exercise or medical issues.

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