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    Learn about rehabilitation post ACL reconstruction surgery.

    Our registered physiotherapists and orthopaedic surgeon provides you with a summary of the phases of


    Learn about rehabilitation post ACL reconstruction surgery.

    Our registered physiotherapists and orthopaedic surgeon provides you with a summary of the phases of rehab following your knee surgery.nnACL rehab video transcript:nMy name is Adam Brown, I am an experienced Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and the CEO of Therapia.

    I’d to discuss your rehabilitation following ACL reconstruction surgery.nSo you have torn your ACL.

    At Therapia we have put this video together to help you navigate your recovery to help you to get the best possible outcome following your injury.nThe first question patients usually have is “Do I need surgery?”.

    And the answer is “maybe”.nNot everyone who tears their ACL needs to have it repaired.

    Following a well-constructed rehab plan, many patients can return to all of their previous activities without having to undergo surgical repair.

    nThe question we need to ask is “Is the knee “functionally stable” enough to do all of the things you normally do without an ACL?”nFunctionally unstable knees will “give way” or “collapse” when you plant your foot and try to pivot or change direction.

    These instances of giving way may be present at first and then go away after your swelling goes down and your physiotherapist teaches you how to get your muscles properly supporting your knee.

    If your knee continues to “give way” even after the swelling is down and your muscles are working well – this is a good indication that you will need surgery.

    nEach time a knee “gives way” it is a subluxation of the tibia on the femur and it can potentially damage your other cartilage as well as the menisci inside your knee.

    nIf you participate in sports, like soccer, that require “cutting” or rapid changes in direction, there is a higher likelihood you will need to have your ACL reconstructed in order to return to those sports.nIf you participate mainly in sports and activities that do not require “cutting” and after your initial rehabilitation phase your knee stops giving way, there is a good chance you will not require surgery.

    nFor more detailed information on the surgical reconstruction of an ACL please have a look at the great video by Dr.

    Jas Chahal entitled ACL Reconstruction Surgery.nAn ACL rupture is a significant injury and its reconstruction is quite invasive.

    You will need to commit yourself to a lengthy physical therapy process in order to come out the other side with a great knee.

    It takes about 1 year before patients begin to feel like the knee is “normal’ again and it takes 6 months of intense rehabilitation in order to return to sport.

    nYour Physiotherapist will guide you through this process using established protocols and considering your own specific needs as well as your reponse to treatment.

    nWeeks 1 - 2nManage pain and swellingnGentle ROM exercisesnStop crutchesnReturn to worknOver the first two weeks you will be managing pain and swelling, as well as beginning some gentle exercises to restore joint motion and muscle function.

    nMost patients are able to stop using crutches and return to work or school within the first two weeks.

    This of course depends upon your specific job.

    nWeeks 2 – 6nMore aggressive physio for joint mobilitynWork on full knee extensionnStrengthen quads, hams, calves, hips, corenWeeks 6 – 12nMuscular strengthnMuscular endurancenProprioception and balancenJoint range of motion (if needed)nFunctional ExercisesnOver this time the focus will be on;n• Muscular strengthn• Muscular endurancen• Proprioception and balancen• Joint Range of Motion (if not already full)n• Functional exercisesnYour Physiotherapist will progress your program based on how your knee is responded to the increases in stress.

    It is critical at this time to progress exercises at the appropriate pace to avoid having the knee swell up creating a temporary setback.

    nWeeks 12 – 24nFunctional exercisesnSingle legnProprioception and balancenPlyometricsnSport specificn• Functional exercises (squats etc)n• Single leg exercisesn• Proprioception and balancen• Plyometric or power exercisesn• Sport specific exercisesnReturn to sport stagesnConditioningnConditioning + DrillsnDrills + ScrimmagenReturn to CompetitionA good way to think about the stages of return to sport is;n• Conditioning onlyn• Conditioning and drillsn• Drills and scrimmagen• Return to competitionn5-10% tear ACLnStrengthen core, hip, legnConsult your physiotherapistnBetween 5 and 10% of people who undergo an ACL reconstruction will tear their new ACL at some point.

    Ongoing strength training of the core, hip and leg muscles can help reduce your likelihood of re-injury and the future development of knee arthritis.

    It is important to have your Physiotherapist teach you these exercises before your rehab is complete.

    The Physiotherapists here at Therapia are always standing by to help guide you through the rehab process.

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