Online anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation

Team Fysio Fitaal Physiotherapy tilburg

Online anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation

Successful rehabilitation consists of several stages and steps. Proper strength, stability and control of the knee is necessary to eventually return to your sport. Research shows that total rehabilitation process can take up to 15 months before you are competitive fit again! 

Fysio Fitaal has a lot of expertise in the field of anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation, we want to share this knowledge widely. We do this by sharing our rehabilitation process. This online rehabilitation runs together with the physical rehabilitation of your personal coach or physiotherapist. This way you can always make the right choice in the rehab process. More importantly, complications are spotted in time to prevent worse!

During the assessment we gather all the information needed to paint a good picture of the current situation. Fysio Fitaal stands for transparent physiotherapy. Together we arrive at a main goal to which several sub-goals can be linked. By means of our app, we make the progress transparent and adjust where necessary. The content of the rehabilitation depends on the specific situation and wishes. Evaluations are scheduled at set times so that there is a clear timeline to full recovery! 

Rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament surgery

In the first phase, recovery is the key word. your knee needs 4 to 6 weeks to recover from the surgery. From the outside it looks pretty neat but inside your knee is still working hard to recover. So it is important that your knee gets rest. This means that 80% of the day you let your knee rest/recover the other 20% you are doing exercises or moving indoors. Being able to stretch the knee properly is the main goal of rehabilitation. For normal gait, full extension in the knee is incredibly important. On average, you will use the crutches for 4-6 weeks. This depends on the quality of the gait pattern. Only when these crutches are gone is driving allowed again. (There are exceptions but discuss this with your physical therapist).

At this point you have lost a lot of power. Research shows that this can be as high as 50 to 70%. But even your non-operated leg may have lost up to 40% of strength in your past period. After 6 weeks you may actually start strength training. Training will then become more strenuous than in the first few weeks. More use will be made of fitness equipment, but loose exercises such as squats and lunges will also become part of the rehabilitation process. During this strength training it is important that you always get the maximum out of it. It is necessary to keep challenging your muscles! Otherwise, no structural increase in strength will take place.  

In 70% of the cruciate ligament injuries, there is a non-contact injury. From this we can perhaps conclude that during these moments there was insufficient body coordination over movement. Therefore, it is very important to optimize these movement patterns again. For this reason, we start training coordination early on in rehabilitation. From this point on, exercises will also be increasingly tailored to the actual movement pattern of one's sport.

    Online anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation

    Return to sports

    Return to running: the past period has been all about regaining strength in both your operated leg and non-operated leg. Also, preparation for running has started. The reason for this is to be able to possibly start running towards the 12 week mark. Running is part of many different sports mostly combined with fast abrupt changes of direction, this is what we need to prepare our body for again after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

    We know from various literature that the rehabilitation schedule should no longer be based on time but on clear criteria. These criteria must be met before moving on to the next phase of the rehabilitation process. After about 12 weeks comes the first real test moment where important pillars such as pain, swelling and range of motion are checked. It is also time for some physical tests. When these tests are passed, it is safe to start running. After all, we don't want you to develop more symptoms or take irresponsible risks during your rehabilitation.

    Return to play: you have arrived at the final phase of your rehabilitation. We know that about a third of all athletes do not return to their original level of sport within 2 years after surgery. In elite athletes, the percentage that does return to original level is significantly higher at 83%. A good final phase of rehabilitation is crucial! It is still unclear how to determine when someone can make their return. But a clear testing protocol to gain insight into this is recommended. This includes no pain/anxiety/feeling of instability during his or her sports activities. Force difference between both legs should be minimal and there should be a good quality of movement. Fysio Fitaal uses a test protocol developed with the help of the latest technological developments. This allows us to paint a clear picture of whether you are ready for your comeback or whether various factors such as strength, coordination or stability still need to be worked on. 

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