ACL Reconstruction - Listen to your Knee
Sporting Enthusiasts & Athletes: Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear and the importance for patients to ‘listen to the knee’
One of the main goals after a torn ACL for sporting people is to return to pre-injury sport activity level. Although the general guidelines for the rehabilitation show it is possible to return to sports within 9-12 months, the importance of patient’s own feeling of the knee is crucial to return to sporting activities.
The ACL rehabilitation progress through over the course of 4 phases in which the patient must achieve:
Reduction of inflammation and pain,
Restoring the natural range of motion (ROM) of the Knee
Strengthening and neuromuscular control (Proprioception) of the limb
Return to sport or pre-injury activity level.
Despite the outcome of each phase needs measurement, tests and tailored programs; feel and observe the knee is extremely important. The patient should be encouraged towards self-managing, here few tips to keep the healing process on track:
Use knee pain and knee swelling as a guide
Use cold therapy or natural therapies to control inflammation
Protect the knee from unnecessary stresses
Be patient during physical therapy.
Discuss any concern with your therapist.
The risk of sustaining an ACL graft rupture is greatest in the first 12 months after reconstruction. The success and return to an optimal level of sport activity patients should ‘listen to the knee’ and pay attention if they notice any unusual change!
Post Written By:
Vincenzo Cambria - Remedial & Sports Massage Therapist