ACL tears are one of the most dreaded injuries an athlete can suffer and have been increasingly common in sports such as basketball, football, soccer, and many more. One of the most daunting aspects in recovering from an ACL tear is that it is extremely painful and the rehabilitation is long and arduous. However, rehab is key to regaining full strength and having patience and perseverance can go a long way in helping your knee recover.
One aspect that can sometimes be overlooked in an ACL tear recovery – and needs to be stressed more – is how important physical therapy is to your recovery. Physical therapy is equally as important as the surgery. If your rehab does not go well, then your knee will not get much better, you will feel less healthy, and you will be more likely to reinjure it. If you prioritize your rehab, the outcome will be very good and your knee may even be stronger than before. Many professional athletes have been able to fully recover from ACL tears and perform at high levels thanks to rigorous rehab. You can return to full health if you do the same.
Immediately after your surgery, your physical therapist will give you non-weight-bearing exercises and weight-bearing exercises. He or she will also try to help you improve your range of motion and regain strength in your quadriceps. Through the first four weeks after surgery, you will try to add more pressure on your knee while also focusing on strengthening your quad and hamstrings. During weeks five through twelve, you will be allowed to walk without crutches and also regain a normal walking pattern. Your physical therapist will begin to incorporate balance activities while also increasing the intensity of your other exercises. You may also be allowed to begin jogging once you have reached the twelve week mark. After 4-6 months, your physical therapy will start planning higher-level activities to help you prepare to return to physical activity. You should have a full and pain-free range of motion and enough strength in your legs. After 6-12 months, you should be able to return to your sport if you do not have pain or swelling, feelings of instability during sport-related exercises, and almost or complete strength on your injured side.
ACL tears can be an extremely scary injury to suffer from. Having a good rehabilitation and physical therapy program is crucial to your recovery. If you remain positive and persevere through your rehab, the outlook on the health of your knee will be very good.
Did you know that you have Direct Access to Physical Therapy? No referral is needed. We offer the best Physical Therapy on Long Island where you can get help from our trusted and expert Physical Therapists. We have several locations on Long Island including Massapequa, Valley Stream, Wantagh and Lindenhurst. To start your Physical Therapy evaluation, call Advance Physical Therapy and The Physical Therapy Alliance at (516) 568-4444.