Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction

Blogs, / By Shi Qi Yap

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are commonly seen in sports athletes. Most of the athlete patients I met have heard of ACL but are not exactly sure where is it and what’s the function of it.

This article will help you to understand more about ACL and the ACL reconstruction surgery.

What is ACL tear?

ACL stand for anterior cruciate ligament. It’s one of the main ligaments situated in the middle of our knee, connected thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia) bones together. Besides, it is important for maintaining stability of the knee joint, particularly in activities involving weaving, pivoting, or kicking.

What is ACL Reconstruction?

ACL reconstruction is a surgery procedure that use to replace a torn ligament in your knee. It’s a recommended treatment option for athletes who suffered from knee instability following an ACL tear. However, surgery should not be the first and only option for an ACL tear. The management options can be different, depending on the grade of ACL tear and your personal future goals. Discuss with your doctor and physiotherapist before making any decision.

The rehab process after ACL reconstruction?

Week 1-2

  • It’s important to start physiotherapy soon after the operation.
  • Focus on reducing knee swelling by icing and elevation.
  • On crutches and knee brace.
  • Passive movement of the knee.
  • Light strengthening exercises for the buttock, thigh, and calf muscles.

Week 3-4

  • Improving gait and slowly working towards walking with one crutch.
  • Return to office-based work after 2 weeks.
  • Passive and active movement of the knee.
  • Continue the strengthening exercises for the buttock, thigh, and calf muscles.

Week 5-6

  • Use of the knee brace is progressively reduced
  • Increasing the exercise intensity, general movements of the knee
  • Progression of exercises according to the muscle strength, pain and swelling

Month 2-3

  • Functional exercises such as running and jumping
  • Quicker changes in direction will be introduced as proprioception and coordination improves

Month 4-5

  • Maximize strength, endurance and neuromuscular control of the knee muscles
  • Acceleration and deceleration exercises with variations in running, turning and twisting movement

We have posted a short video ‘Simple Exercises for Post-ACL Reconstruction’ on our instagram and youtube. Click here to watch.

If you have any more questions or would like our physiotherapists to assess or treat your problem, feel free to drop us a question or talk to us. Do check out our Instagram page too.

Yap Shi Qi
Rehab Therapist

Shi Qi graduated with Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons), awarded by Anglia Ruskin University, UK. Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP®). She practiced as a physiotherapist in a Malaysian private physiotherapy center with a special interest in musculoskeletal and neurological rehabilitation. Her previous experience inspired her to combine active approach along with patients’ education to optimize the rehabilitation outcome in sports related injuries and postural pain.

In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, singing, and playing piano.