Here is an ACL Rehabilitation Programme guide that you can follow to help you manage your rehabilitation effectively. Having your ACL repaired is a big operation but the work begins following the reconstruction.Its always best to work with a physiotherapist and use this information as a guide.
- Reduce Swelling – Cryo cuff or similar product
- Exercises little and often 5-10min every hour
- Walking normally with crutches
- Full extension and start working on Flexion
Stage II –
2 to 6 weeks
- Swelling control- keep icing
- Come off crutches
- Normal walking and get the knee used to a normal day
- Weight bearing through that leg
- Keep working on extension and flexion.
- Start conditioning work- Static bike or swim (not breaststroke)
- Movement patterns for squats, step ups, standing on one leg, strengthen hamstring.
- Start Core work.
Stage III –
6 to 12 weeks
- Strength phase work on movement patterns developed in Stage II and increase resistance
- Swelling monitor post exercise.
- Work on strengthening Hamstring, Quads and Calf
- Start gentle stretching.
- Increase balance work – 1 leg balance
- Slow Drills lateral steps/step up/down.
- Increase conditioning work on the bike so more resistance and building a cardio workout.
- 2-3 x strength sessions per week
- 2-3x conditioning session
- Daily balance and flexion/extension work Full ROM
Stage IV –
3 to 6months
- Start running
- Agility programme
- Plyometric work sport specific – box jumps/ hopping/ skipping/ landing work
- Start turns/ cutting/ speed work
- 2-3 strength sessions building bulk – power
- 2-3 x conditioning work
- Balance progressed
- Core progressed
- Reactive work
- Warm up Drills daily
Single leg landing
Multi- directional work
Sled drills lateral stability
Med ball over head
6 to 9 months
- Start non-contact training
- Agility work to continue
- Strength and power final stage
- Return to sport
- Symmetrical strength
- Drop jumps
- High speed running
Prevention work x2 per week
Turning with a planted foot
- Core strength to control trunk on leg
- Leg strength Hamstring/ quads/ glute then power into fast feet
- Lunge Drills
- Landing competence
- Balance and Single leg perturbance (med ball throws)
- Running Drills and turning
- Lateral strength with sled work