May 29, 2023

The surgery to reconstruct your ACL ligament is nothing to be scoffed at. It is a fairly substantial operation that is traumatic to your knee. The graft, whether it be hamstrings, patella or quadriceps tendon needs to be harvested, tunnels drilled into your femur and tibia for the graft to be inserted and then secured with screws. Sounds pretty full on, and it is! Due to this you can often end up with a lot of swelling and soreness immediately post-surgery.

In this initial period it is important to allow your knee to rest and recover.  However, this does not mean you can kick back on the couch and do nothing for a month. Of course, there will be a bit of Netflix, reading books and trawling social media involved, but you also have to earn this time off! Your physiotherapist will instruct you on the exercises that you need to navigate through this period.

Key goals of this phase include:

  1. Allowing pain and swelling to settle
  2. Regaining your range of motion
    1. Crucially getting your knee to straighten completely
  3. Getting your quadriceps muscle to fire
  4. Normalising your gait pattern

Consulting with your physiotherapist 7-10 days post surgery is ideal to get the ball rolling. They will assess how much movement and swelling you have and give you exercises targeted at improving these important things. You may also need some soft tissue therapy to free things up and get you moving.

Pain and swelling management techniques include routine icing, wearing compression and elevating the knee regularly. To get your range of motion going you will be required to work pretty hard to bend and straighten the joint regularly throughout the course of the day – once you have sufficient ROM, getting onto a spin bike can be an excellent way to get the knee moving.

You will also be given some exercises to get your quadriceps muscles firing – this becomes very important as you attempt to wean yourself down off your crutches. If your quadriceps are not activating well you will find it challenging to hold your knee strongly throughout the stance phase of gait – so get those quads firing and ditch the crutches!

Once we have a ‘quiet’ knee, you can start the next phase of your rehabilitation. ‘Quiet’ means that there is minimal pain and swelling within the knee, you have sufficient range of motion and your quads are activating sufficiently to allow you to perform a number of different strengthening exercises.

The more diligent you are throughout this phase, the faster you will transition onto the more fun stuff of stage 3 !

 

Make sure your give us a call on 94315955 or book online to see a physiotherapist who will help you through your ACL journey. 





More Optimal Tips

The 2024 Concussion management guidelines have hit the press, what do I need to know?
The 2024 Concussion management guidelines have hit the press, what do I need to know?

May 13, 2024

With winter sport re-commencing over the last months there is always an influx and increase in the presentations and discussions around concussion. Did you hear fresh guidelines on concussion hit the press this year? And yes there is changed in the management of this sport injury! So, what are the newest management guidelines and what does it mean if someone does suffer from a concussion?

Continue Reading

Nutrition and hydration for peak sports performance
Nutrition and hydration for peak sports performance

May 13, 2024

Good food and fluid intake can be your biggest asset when it comes to performing at your best. Nutrition is vital to ensure you get the most out of your body – this means fuelling properly so you have the energy to last the game, recovering properly so your body can heal, and maintaining hydration for concentration, muscle coordination, and body temperature regulation.

Ready for some quick tips from an Accredited Practising Dietitian? Emily Drew is here to share some evidence-based tips for budding athletes!

Continue Reading

From RICER to PEACE + LOVE: The Evolution of Injury Management
From RICER to PEACE + LOVE: The Evolution of Injury Management

May 13, 2024

Did you hear there has been a shift from the acronym from RICER to PEACE + LOVE in recent years. Learn more about this elevated acute treatment protocol in this 2minute read.

Continue Reading