AFTER THE PROCEDURE
It is very important to regain the ability to do a strong quadriceps contraction and obtain full extension of the knee in the first few days of surgery. These exercises will be demonstrated to you prior to the surgery and will be reinforced prior to discharge postoperatively.
A brace is not usually used except if needed to protect an injured or repaired ligament other than the ACL. No cast is needed. Crutches will be required for a total of 4-6 weeks and may be discarded at that time if you have regained sufficient strength and motion, usually when you can walk without a limp. Crutches are needed to protect you and the graft. Although you may feel that you do not need the crutches prior to the 4-5 weeks, it is strongly recommended that you continue to use them until instructed otherwise.
Certain activities can begin at different time frames. You can ride a stationary bicycle and swim at the end of 2-4 weeks. At the end of 4-6 weeks, you can advance to a regular bicycle, or you can continue to use a stationary bicycle and begin some walking or brisk walking if desired. Running can begin at 3-4 months without sudden starts or stops.
Resumption of most athletic activities can begin after 4-6 months depending on the patients’ sport, desires, and state of rehabilitation.
Depending on your doctor, post operative office visits are usually 10-14 days from the time of surgery, one month from the time of surgery, then monthly for the next five months, then nine and twelve months from the time of surgery. ou will absolutely need to be seen by a physical therapist prior to your surgery and instructed in proper pe-and post-op exercises.
We strongly suggest that you be seen by the same physical therapist about 3-5 ays post-op and again at the first post-op physician visit at about 10-14 days after the surgery. The number and requency of post-op visits is extremely variable from one patient to another, and depends on motivation, age, desired time of return to which sport, etc.
You will have a program individually tailored to your neds and desires. After the first two visits, further physical therapy visits can be arranged in any facility you deire as long as they are willing to follow our instructions and protocol.
It is important to remember that pysical therapy is YOU, the patient, doing the appropriate exercises, and you must do them at home, on your own, in addition to the supervised physical therapy visits.