Anterior Cruciate Ligament Home Exercise Program

Congratulations on your recent ACL repair!  Your well on your way to have a fully function and pain free knee - but first comes the sometimes painful rehabilitation to get that knee moving again - which as you can already tell sometimes doesn't happen right after surgery.  Starting these simple exercises that you can complete at home will help you on your way to a fully functional life.  

The key is to NOT overdo it - if there is an increase in swelling and pain 10-15 minutes after the exercises are over - you have overdone it and need to taper off on the exercises.  Do not let pain take control and don't let the negative cycle of pain-decreased movement-pain to persist in your rehabilitation.  What we like to see is pain, more movement and less pain, some pain, but then more movement - until there is a full recovery of movement without pain.  

Always, and above all, be sure to follow the direction of your caring doctor.  
Quad Set
This exercise is your new best friend and should be started right after surgery.  This exercise has two great purposes:

1. Strengthens the quad muscles - which is always weakened after surgery
2. Prevents blood clots by moving blood out of the leg and back up to the heart.

Complete by lying your leg flat and contracting the quadriceps muscle - the muscle that straightens the knee.  Hold for 2-3 seconds, and then relax.

This exercise can be completed while your leg is still in the brace and has the wrap on it.  
ANKLE PUMPS - This is a vital exercise to help prevent blood clots while you are recovering.  Simply lie on your back and kick your foot back and forth - moving the ankle.  This keeps the blood moving through your leg and not pooling.