How Long Does ACL Recovery Take?
Approximately over 250,000 people tear their ACL every year, with the most at-risk population being young female athletes.1 Despite being a common injury, every ACL reconstruction rehabilitation is different. Protocols depend on graft type, concomitant injuries like meniscus or MCL, and surgeon preference. For this reason, ACL protocols need to be a combination of both criteria-based and time-based. From a criteria-based perspective, physical therapists need to make sure athletes can get back to squatting, jumping, landing, cutting, and all other sport-related tasks with good mechanics to set them up for success as they return to sports. From a time-based perspective, physical therapists need to consider tissue healing time and appropriate tissue loading. Each athlete achieves their objective criteria at different times. It can take anywhere from 6 months to 24 months post op for athletes to get back to full participation, with a majority of athletes returning to sport between the 9- and 12-month mark.
How to Succeed in PT following ACL Reconstruction Surgery
“I don’t really have the words right now, definitely not the right ones at least,” this was the quote from Odell Beckham Jr. following his 2nd ACL tear during Superbowl LVI. Most people know that an ACL tear is a common knee injury that requires a long, tenacious recovery. Once an ACL is torn, the risk of re-tear or tearing the opposite side is 20-35% more likely4. The above statistic may be alarming and is why ACL reconstruction rehabilitation needs to be taken very seriously.
5 Exercises to Relieve Knee Pain
In 2018, Bunt and his colleagues found “knee pain affects approximately 25% of adults, and its prevalence has increased almost 65% over the past 20 years, accounting for nearly 4 million primary care visits annually.”1 There are a number of causes for knee pain, and in many cases, physical therapy and exercise can help address the pain. Let’s take a look at five common exercises that can help reduce knee pain.
Stretch of the Week: Wall Calf Stretch
It’s week 3 of loving our calves, and this week is one of my favorite stretches! I call this the Wall Calf Stretch. It’s slightly an inversion (upside down) so please be careful if you have a blood pressure issue or get vertigo easily. For the Wall Calf Stretch you’ll probably need a little wall space. 🙂 (more…)
Stretch of the Week: King Arthur Stretch
Week 2 of this months quadriceps stretches is the King Arthur stretch. Hopefully you have tried week one, frog stretch I, and you have gotten some insight as to how tight your thigh muscles really are. If you have not tried that stretch yet, please go back and attempt it, as it is a good warm-up for this stretch. I do not recommend this stretch for people that have knee injuries or severe chronic knee problems, as it is hard on the knee. The benefits of this pose are: it stretches the hip flexors and the quadriceps. (more…)
Stretch of the Week: Frog Stretch I
This month we will be focusing on stretching our quadriceps and hip flexors. These group of muscles can be very tight on quite a lot of people because of all the sitting and driving we do as a society. This can sometimes lead to knee pain or hip pain. Even just the simple act of sitting back on our heels can cause a great deal of discomfort for some, so please be patient with yourself this month! Practice these regularly and the front of the thighs will eventually loosen up! Please listen to your body as always, and back off if you feel pain that is not a “stretchy” discomfort. (more…)