What Is the Purpose of Rehab After an ACL Reconstruction Surgery?

ACL or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery is serious business. People who have ACL surgery sometimes wonder if they need post-surgery rehab to recover. While some think that getting the surgery takes care of everything, the truth is that post-surgery rehabilitation following ACL reconstruction surgery is the best way to ensure proper recovery.   

Reduce or Eliminate Pain and Inflammation with Post-Surgery Rehabilitation

Although it is normal to experience some level of pain and discomfort following ACL reconstruction surgery, rehab can help reduce or eliminate pain and inflammation. This is important because swelling can negatively affect the muscles around the knee, especially the quadriceps. Excessive fluid buildup around the joints can limit muscle contraction, leading to decreased mobility. Immediate remedies include ice or compression wraps, ankle pumps, compression machines and limiting rigorous physical activity. Engaging in post-surgery rehab, however, can help prevent this from becoming a bigger issue.

Restore Full Knee Extension and Flexion with Rehab Exercises

Every surgery comes with its risks; a common complication of ACL reconstruction surgery is the loss of motion in both extension and flexion. When it hurts for your knee to be entirely straight, the natural response is to keep it bent as much as possible. However, prolonged periods of bending your knee to offset pain can result in the formation of scar tissue. It is therefore recommended to slowly work on restoring full knee motion rather than allow scar tissue to build up; this may require more rigorous and potentially painful treatment programs later on. Physical therapy can help restore full knee extension through hamstring and calf stretches; squats and lunges can help improve knee flexion.

Prevent Impact to Patellar Mobility

Since you cannot achieve full knee extension and flexion without full patellar mobility. It is important to do physical therapy like exercises like soft tissue mobilization for the area around the knee. If you do not pay attention to patellar mobility, you can end up losing essential range of motion.

Restore Full Mobility without Limping or Restrictions

Individuals who undergo ACL reconstruction surgery may start to depend more on the leg that has not been operated on while walking. They may use a crutch in the early days but becoming overly reliant on a crutch can negatively impact mobility. To prevent this, physical rehab programs incorporate exercises that require you to shift your weight, using both legs for support.  

At Excel Physical Therapy, all our therapists are committed to providing the most comprehensive care to help you get back on your feet– quite literally! In addition to the direct support we provide, we are passionate about educating patients on injury prevention and making healthy lifestyle choices. Our extensive knowledge and expertise allow us to personalize treatments according to your individual needs, utilizing only the latest treatment techniques and state-of-the-art equipment.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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