Sports Therapy Following ACL Surgery

A torn ACL is one of the most common but dreaded and serious injuries an athlete can experience. With a recovery time ranging from six to nine months, ACL surgery can put you out of the sport you love for a substantial amount of time. The rehab one does following ACL surgery is incredibly important for restoring full function to the ligament, and if done correctly, minimizes the chance for future injury. Anyone undertaking the arduous but rewarding journey towards a full recovery should settle for nothing but the best, and Park Ave Physical Therapy is home to the best sports therapy near Northport, NY. 

What is a Torn ACL?

The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the four ligaments in the knee that is responsible for maintaining the stability of the knee joint. The ligament can be sprained or torn when an athlete attempts to make a sudden pivot or dynamic movement on a locked knee. For this reason, ACL tears occur most frequently in athletes playing sports that require quick pivots and sharp cuts like football, soccer, and basketball. Women are also more likely to require ACL surgery due to differing anatomy and muscle function. Those who have torn their ACL describe hearing a loud popping sound followed by intense knee pain. There is also great difficulty in putting weight on the injured knee, and severe swelling makes it hard to bend the knee following the injury. Surgery is recommended to those who want to return to their pre-injury level, but it is not always recommended for those who are less active. 

How is a Torn ACL Treated?

The basic goal of all torn ACL treatment is to return the athlete to their pre-injury condition. A key aspect of rehabbing following ACL surgery is testing the ligament and restoring strength while being careful not to damage it further while it is still healing. Following the initial surgery, the sports therapy near Northport, NY and rehab process tends to follow a few general “phases” that are outlined below.

Phase 1- (the week following surgery):  Mobilization exercises and strengthening exercises for the calf, hamstring, and quadriceps. 

Phase 2- (weeks 3-4): Reduced use of crutches with strong hamstring and quad control.

Phase 3- (five weeks after surgery): Passive mobilization to improve movement, potential to start coordination exercise if the knee is strong enough.

Phase 4- (week 10): Forward and backward dynamic movements as well as isokinetic exercises to build strength.

Phase 5- (month 3): Functional exercises like running and jumping. 

Phase 6- (month 4-5): Improve endurance and strength with plyometrics and sport-specific exercises. Emphasis on acceleration and deceleration.

The Best Sports Therapy near Northport, NY

If you have suffered a torn ACL and are looking to get back to your sport in great shape as quickly as possible, Park Ave Physical Therapy is your choice for the best sports therapy near Northport, NY. Our dedicated team of physical therapists will ensure that your recovery goes as smoothly as possible and that you will return to the field not missing a beat. Contact us to make an appointment and get yourself back to 100% health as soon as possible!