ACL rehabilitation protocol: An overview
The 5 Levels are:
- Level 1: Recovery post-surgery
- Level 2: Strength & neuromuscular control
- Level 3: Agility exercise & landing training
- Level 4: Return to Sport and Activities of daily living
- Level 5: Prevention of re-injury
- Encourage early knee straightening within first 2-3 weeks post-surgery
- Knee flexion should be initiated and progressed gradually
- Keep an eye on knee pain and swelling. If present and intensifying, note that your knee is not bearing what you are doing.
- Focus on correct movement and bio-mechanical pattern while exercising as one tends to develop compensation pattern post ACL tear
- Develop muscle strength gradually as knee joint will take time to re-adapt high impact activities.
- The later 1/3rd of the rehab protocol is most critical and aids to lessen the risk of re-injury, enhance the chance of early return to sports and activities of daily living and more likely reduces the possibility of OA knee
- Your ACL rehab is accomplished, once you are back to high impact activities with no pain.