ACL Rehabilitation is a 12 month commitment (sometimes longer if you don’t have a structured program), it requires both mental & physical strength and dedicated focus from you.
In saying that, you can make your journey easier by picking a physiotherapist who knows how to structure your rehabilitation into a program that makes it easy for you to achieve your goals.
That’s what we do at Optimus Health. At the start of your journey we will sit you down and take you through each goal and milestone. You’ll hit each one, one at a time and focus on the next benchmark, keeping your mind focussed on short achievable goals.
Keep reading to understand how we break down the 12 month journey and then complete our enquiry form. One of our physiotherapists will be in touch by the next business day.
Time frames vary depending on your graft, ideally 4-7 days after surgery (depending on how your swelling is decreasing) and should be completed by 2-3 weeks after surgery.
The goal in this phase is to get you off crutches. Exercises will be targeted to progress you down to only 1 crutch and then only using crutches outside. You’ll finish off the phase with no crutches, we will have started to increase your range of motion and start introducing targeted strength exercises.
During this time we will work closely with your surgeon, keeping him/her up to date on how you respond to hands on treatment and basic exercises.
After successfully leaving the crutches behind, you’ll move onto Phase 2.
This can be anywhere from day 10 post surgery (depending on your surgeon and graft type used) to week 3, and continues right through your rehab process.
Restoring strength involves not only making the muscles that stabilise and power the lower limb bigger, but also focuses on the neurological component to teach your brain that it’s ok to start activating and making use of your muscles again.
During this phase you will join our ACL Rehabilitation Groups, designed to make your rehab both cost effective and results driven by still allowing you to work under the guidance of a qualified physiotherapist at half of the cost of a 1-1 session. You’ll find working with others who are undergoing the same program that rehab can be fun and motivational. You don’t have to do it alone so why choose to?
Returning to the things you love, but limiting the risk of damaging your surgical repair, is very important!
Phase 3 is an excellent opportunity to take up new hobbies, and help to facilitate better strength, coordination, endurance, power and most of all, fun and fitness!
Functional Adaptation is a good way to get you closer to your end goal!
At Optimus this is where your exercises start to incorporate your subconscious coordination, using distraction and brain training techniques to ensure your muscles are being activated in a different manner than focused, controlled activation.
Returning to sports, especially running, jumping and change of direction, can be complex. We break it down into simple goal related tasks. You’ll receive a list of targeted outcome measures that we know reduces the risk of re-injury, or new injury to your other knee.
In Phase 4 you will go through these steps
Simple body movements that mimic your sports movements
Return to training (limited activities, then full training)
Return to sport (managed game time, then full match intensity)
Once you return to sport, the journey continues. Most of the time, you’ll continue on to improve performance with our High Performance Strength & Conditioning Crew. Your goals and our goals are now to make you a fitter, stronger and more balanced athlete than what you were pre ACL rupture.
You can find out more about our S&C by clicking here.