Simple Exercises For Better Recovery After ACL surgery

ACL injury recovery

After ACL surgery, relearning to move and bend and walk can be frustrating, frustrating to the point that you may want to give up. But don't! With simple exercises, you can take charge of your recovery and build the foundation for a new life of health, fitness, and movement, and get back to normal as quickly as possible.

1. Calf Stretch

Calf stretching is one of the five simple exercises you need to recover after ACL surgery.

  • Sit up on a flat surface
  • Place a long towel over your foot while holding the ends one on each hand
  • Lie down on your back slowly as you lift your leg until you feel a stretch at the back of your leg
  • Hold on to this position for about half a minute.
  • Repeat the exercise twice

This exercise will help stretch your gastrocnemius muscle and improve the range of motion in your knee joint. Calf stretch exercises will help you improve your blood flow, gain movement back and rebuild the ligaments in the knee. Stretching is hard work, don't see it as something you want to avoid. Stretching is not just critical for recovery after ACL surgery, but it will be good to maintain the flexibility in your knee.

2. Knee Extension Exercises

Tons of knee extension exercises can help you after ACL surgery. One way of performing knee extension exercises is in a seating position;

  • Seat on a comfortable chair
  • Set your feet on the floor about 11/2 feet apart
  • Get your back straight; do not lean if your chair doesn't have a straight back.
  • Extend your right knee to lift the right leg slowly not to cause injuries
  • Put your right leg down to the original position and redo with the left leg
  • Repeat the cycle about four times. You can repeat the exercise twice a day.

 The knee extension exercises will help you stimulate your quadriceps and relax your knee after ACL surgery

3. Leg Slides

Leg slides are an elementary yet effective exercise for ACL recovery. Heel Raises are knee rehabilitation exercises that help you recover more quickly. These rehab exercises focus on building up your calf and thigh muscles.

  • Sit on a clean flat surface
  • Lean slightly backward and use your both hands for support
  • Relax your knee and pull the knee slowly towards the buttocks
  • Hold the position for about 5 seconds
  • Straighten your knee by sliding your heel forward 
  • Maintain the position for about 5 seconds

Stretch and do leg slides daily; let them work your hip flexors, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Leg slides also help rehabilitate and strengthen soft tissue surrounding your knee joint. Later as your leg gets more robust, you can grab your leg with both hands to help you do leg slides.

4. Partial Squat

Partial squats are a simple, non-weight-bearing exercise that provides an excellent means for improving knee extension.

  • Place your feet on the floor in a standing position
  • Place your feet shoulder length apart
  • Lean slightly forward and hold a table for support and stability
  • Push your buttocks outward and downward and hold for about 10 seconds
  • Perform three repeats. You can do this about five times a day.

Partial squats exercises will help you develop muscular control and attain stability and strength more quickly after ACL surgery.ACL injury recovery

Conclusion

After an ACL surgery, you want to get back to your daily routine and get back on the field, court, or course on your terms; you need a plan. However, you know you are ready to work out when your doctor permits you. Guidance Physical Therapists have developed a dynamic set of safe and effective exercises for your optimal recovery after an ACL surgery.

About the Author

Dr. Tony
Hi, I’m Dr. Tony and I provide at-home, mobile, and telehealth physical therapy in Phoenix Arizona to patients with needs ranging from Parkinson's treatment to athletic recovery! Whether I am working with elite NBA athletes, Boston Marathoners, or MS patients with heavily limited mobility
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