On Track Physiotherapy


ACL Recovery Mistakes

May 7, 2020

5 Biggest Mistakes Made During ACL Recovery

Today’s video we discuss the 5 biggest mistakes that people make during the ACL recovery process.

Be sure to listen all the way through as #5 is perhaps the most important.

Mistake #1 – Focusing too much on bending the knee and not enough on straightening the knee. The knee bend will come with time and strengthening of the hamstrings. However if knee extension (symmetrical to the other knee) is not made within first 2 weeks to straight and by 2 months to equal hyperextension, often gaining anymore range of motion in that direction will be a struggle. As opposed to knee bending which makes gradual progress month after month.

Mistake #2 – Only strengthening with squats, lunges, and step ups. The knee extension machine and hamstring machine are both VERY valuable tools to build hypertrophy back into the quad and hamstring. If you don’t have machines, you should be using bands. There is no excuse not to include these simple exercises.

Mistake #3 – Failing to load the knee over the foot. Many clinicians and coaches will tell you not to let your knees over the toes. However, this isn’t realistic as if you were to go down the stairs. Your knee HAS to go over the foot. So the knee should be fully capable of going over the foot and it is imperative that you load the knee to be able to tolerate the forces that it will encounter when accomplishing this. If you have any aspirations to play a sport or be fairly active after this surgery, then this is a MUST!

Mistake #4 – Starting too soon with plyometrics or not spending enough time strengthening. You only have so much time during the day and during a therapy session. You should spend the majority of this on strength until FULL symmetry is restored. If you focus too much on plyometrics you will struggle down the road because you do not restore full strength and capacity.

Mistake #5 – Not mentally preparing before the surgery. This surgery is a process. It is not comfortable! The knee will be swollen, weak, and irritable. For a couple months, even after that the process will be slow! Research has shown that 65% of people who undergo the surgery do not return to previous level of function. Don’t fall victim to the couple pro athletes you see making a successful recovery. As they have unlimited resources and time during the week to work on improvement. Likely, that is not your scenario so you must take your time if you want to give yourself the best shot at a FULL recovery!

If you are around the Ann Arbor, MI area we would love to see how we can help you out with a FREE Discovery Session!

If you do not live near Ann Arbor, MI no worries! We work with distant clients all the time!

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