ACL POST-OP REHAB
The ACL post-operative rehabilitation program we use in our physiotherapy clinic, is based on current research, the patient’s individual needs and our clinical experience.
The rehab program has 5 goals, which succeed one another, however they often overlap. For example, when the patient begins strengthening exercises, he or she will also begin some simple balance and proprioception exercises.
The 5 goals are as follows:
- Pain and inflammation control
- Restore range of motion
- Increase strength and aerobic capacity
- Balance – proprioception
- Sports-specific exercise
However, the rehabilitation process is divided into 4 functional phases, in which the athlete must meet specific functional criteria in order to proceed to the next level. The 4 operational stages and the criteria for moving to the next stage are as follows:
- When do I walk without crutches?
- Absence of contraindications by the surgeon
- The extension ROM of the knee is the same as the healthy side
- Edema 0/1 +
- Restoration of the normal walking pattern
- When can I start running?
- No pain in walking
- Active knee flexion ROM> 120 °
- Satisfactory muscle tone in the torso and the extremities
- When can I start “on field” rehabilitation?
- Isokinetic evaluation: strength> 80% compared to the healthy side
- The patient can run on the treadmill at 8 km / h for 10 minutes
- When can I return to the team?
- The orthopedic surgeon’s agreement
- Isokinetic evaluation: 100% strength compared to the healthy side
- Aerobic capacity test: S2> 11.5 km / h, S4> 13.5 km / h
- Complete the “on field” phase of the recovery program
The success of the recovery program is based on:
- The communication between the members of the rehabilitation team (orthopedic surgeon, physiotherapist, gymnast, etc.), in order to achieve fast and safe recovery of the athlete, without relapses or unjustified delays
- The succesful completion of all the rehabilitation phases
- Using functional criteria to enter the next phases