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ACL Rehabilitation and physical therapy
After ACL surgery, most patients will be able to return to their normal activities (including sports) after successful rehabilitation.  Rehabilitation for ACL injuries often includes some of the following:

  • reducing physical activity (for a period of time to allow healing to occur)
  • icing the knee 
  • using a compressing sleeve or wrap around the knee (to prevent swelling and to support the knee)
  • taking ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medications to reduce inflammation and to reduce pain

Common rehabilitation activities include swimming or using a stationary bike.   Successful ACL rehabilitation should a patient’s flexibility, providing pain-free range of motion.  Additionally, rehabilitation should strengthen leg muscles to provide better support for the knee.

In order to obtain a speedier recovery, you should consult with a physical therapist and incorporate a strict rehabilitation regime.

Contact your physician or physical therapist for more information about what rehabilitation activities are most applicable to your injury and when rehabilitation activities should be performed.  However, some initial exercises include:

  • straight leg raises
    • sit on the floor
    • straighten both of your legs
    • raise one leg at a time few inches above the floor
    • hold the leg in the air for 10 seconds
    • repeat 10-15 reps
  • backward leg raises
    • lie on stomach
    • straighten both of your legs
    • lift one leg as high as possible
    • hold position for 10 seconds
    • repeat 10-15 reps

When your rehabilitation has progressed, your physician will most likely advance you to more “normal” exercises such as walking, swimming, and biking.


The information contained in ACL.us is for educational purposes only. 
Always consult your medical professional regarding any specific questions you have about a past, current, future, or potential injury.

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