12 Weeks ACL Post Rehabilitation Program after Surgery

Before we talk about the ACL post-rehabilitation program, We should learn about knee Anatomy and its functions. The knee is the weight-bearing joint that means it carries all your body weight, helps in extension and flexion of legs. A knee has bones, ligaments, tendons, and meniscus. Knee connects femur, tibia, and patella bones with the help of ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL ligaments. The knee comprises 2 types of cartilages namely, meniscus and articular cartilage, that reduce the pressure on the knee because of joint lubrication.

According to a search, The knee is the most commonly injured joint by adolescent athletes with an estimated 2.5 million sports-related injuries annually (Reference).

In this article, we will highlight the ACL issues. ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament, it helps to provide support to your knee. ACL Provide balance by connected femur to the tibia bone. You may have heard sportsperson, such as football players, basketball players having a tear in ACL that causes too much pain. Later, if athletes actively want to participate in these sports, they have to undergo the post-rehabilitation procedure after surgery.

ACL post rehabilitation program
Knee Anatomy

Purpose of Post-rehabilitation

The basic purpose of post-rehabilitation is to make the person fully recovered or pain-free after surgery. In other words, the aim of the Post-rehabilitation program for ACL surgery is to help the athlete to move his knee joint freely, enhanced functional stability, and muscle strength repairment.

ACL Post Rehabilitation Program

Week 1: Full extension, and 70 degrees of flexion

What to do: wearing knee brass, get the supports from crutches during the walk. Continuous use of icing helps to lessen swelling. A patient has to focus to get full extension within 1 to 2 weeks.

Week 3 to 4: Better control

During this week patient should have more control over quadriceps and hamstring muscles and must reduce the crutches use.

Week 5: Exercise Time

Now it is the actual time to do hamstring and quadriceps exercises by starting closed chain exercises. Intensity should be 50 percent and gradually increases to 60 percent.
warming up with jogging, stretching for hamstring, thigh, and calf, strengthening exercises such as toe raises.

Week 10: Dynamic Movements

Now it is time to do some dynamic movements and isokinetic exercises like a stationary bike.

Month 3: Functional Movements

After 3 months a patient can perform some functional movements such as running and jumping. It can be more challenging by increasing resistance, enhancing the speed and making the task tougher.
As time progress, you can add some plyometric moves as well that will help to increase the strength of quadriceps and hamstring muscles.

Read more: Rehabilitation Guidelines for ACL Reconstruction in the Adult Athlete


9 months rest is enough, now the patient is free to start doing normal activities of life.
Till 15 months after The Post rehabilitation of ACL, the patient should examine the knee.

Following factors having a good impact on the knee movement later on

  • Focus on knee extension is the basic thing that cooperates with successful ACL post-rehabilitation.
  • Weight-bearing gives a patient a huge benefit to decrease patellofemoral pain.
  • The inclusion of closed kinetic chain exercises recovers the patient rapidly.


Hence, the ACL post-rehabilitation procedure takes time to heal the patient completely. The patient has to listen to his therapist. He should perform exercises within limits and must follow the exercise order. Moreover, it is better to monitor the exercise intensity on each phase or a week before moving to the next phase. In short, the patient should have patience throughout the rehabilitation time period to get astonishing results.

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