After an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, patients often suffer from instability in their knee in addition to pain and limited motion. Getting back in motion to build up the muscles around your injured knee is an important element of healing from an ACL tear – whether or not you choose to have surgery.
Research shows that the sooner patients strengthen their thigh muscles (quadriceps and hamstrings) and regain knee motion soon after an ACL injury, the better the outcomes of their rehab program or surgery. Quad sets, straight-leg raises, and heel slides are common exercises used after an ACL injury. As symptoms decrease and you are able to bear weight, side-lying leg lifts, glute sets, bridges, mini-squats against a wall, heel raises, and prone hamstring curls might be added.
Check with your doctor before you do any exercises; he or she may want you to tailor exercises to your specific injury. Also, remember to start your rehabilitation slowly, gradually increase the intensity of the exercises, and never push yourself to the point where you feel pain.
For more information about exercises for an ACL injury, talk to your primary care physician, a sports medicine specialist, or a physical therapist!
Sports Medicine Specialists
Each patient who comes to VOSS receives an individualized treatment plan designed to help decrease pain, improve body strength, and restore mobility. From older athletes suffering from recurring overuse injuries to high school players recovering from arthroscopic ACL surgery, most of our patients are able to get off the sidelines and return to the activities they love in record time.