ACL Rehabilitation

By: Health Sense Group  06-Aug-2015
Keywords: Rehab, Exercise Physiologist, Knee

Health Sense Group, in conjunction with The Knee Clinic (The City Baths Spinal and Sports Medicine Clinic) has developed this evidence based ACL Reconstruction Rehabilitation Program. Timeframes are soft tissue healing dependent and individual’s progress based on function, allowing a safer return to vocational and sports related activities as soon as the patient is ready. ACL Return to Sports (ARTS) is a criteria based 4 phase rehabilitation program. In order to progress to the next phase, the patient must achieve the goals outlined at the end of each phase. The patient will be encouraged towards self-managing their rehabilitation with regular reviews with their therapist to ensure they are progressing accordingly and performing the set exercises with correct technique. It will be possible to complete most of the exercise programs at home; however access to gym facilities may facilitate and improve compliance. Individual variations will occur depending on surgical technique, age, pre-injury health status, rehab compliance, tissue quality and injury severity. The following factors will be taken into consideration: Teenage patients may be progressed more slowly due to their physiological immaturity and an apparent higher risk of re-injury (Lind, Menhert& Pederson, 2012) If a meniscus repair is performed in conjunction with the ACL reconstruction, other restrictions including the use of a post op brace may be required and a slower progression initially is often necessary Secondary complications of patello-femoral pain, hamstring strain, neural pain, persisting swelling, etc. Broad goals of the program are: Controlled loading of graft/joint Addressing deficits of muscle activation and strength throughout rehabilitation Reduce biomechanical risk factors such as: Dynamic valgus during impact on landing, walking, squatting Leg strength imbalance Lumbo-pelvic control Quadriceps/hamstring imbalance Ensure dynamic stability of the trunk, pelvis, hips, knees and ankles Build the patients confidence in their ability to safely return to their chosen activity/sport We will achieve these goals through: Targeted individual muscle activation and strengthening Regular testing and progression of functional exercises Neuromuscular and proprioceptive training Training and education regarding proper landing and cutting techniques There are a total of four phases of rehabilitation to complete before a return to competition can be considered. Estimated time frames are not outlined as not all patients will progress equally as there may be complicating factors that may hinder or accelerate rehabilitation. Progression will be based on the achievement of functional and objective goals. To receive the full ARTS program or for more information on how you or a patient can benefit from the ARTS program, please email

Keywords: Exercise Physiologist, Knee, Knee Surgery, Rehab

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