The distressing knee injury – the ACL tear is caused by the hyperextension of the knee which typically occurs in sports while jumping, quickly changing direction or making a sudden stop. These high-risk sports include football, rugby, tennis, volleyball, skiing and even golf. Unfortunately, a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can leave you suspended for months. However, following these simple protocol for Rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction surgery in India could aid in your early ACL recovery.
ACL rehabilitation protocol: An overview
The ACL rehabilitation protocol is a guide to the patient who underwent Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery. Though, there is no pre-determined timeline for the Rehabilitation, you need to follow the ACL protocol at your own pace and let your body decide how quickly you can recover.
Your orthopedic surgeon and expert physical therapist will design an appropriate exercise rehabilitation program and advice you through each Level of ACL rehab protocol. This ACL Rehabilitation protocol gives a brief idea about the standard exercises for each level, however, the programs should always be individualized.
The ACL rehabilitation protocol has been divided into 5 levels, each with definite goals and outcome measures that need to be accomplished at the end of each level to progress on to the next level.
The 5 Levels are:
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
Here are the guideline to monitor your progress through an ACL rehab protocol after ACL reconstruction surgery:
- 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.
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