Online anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation
A successful rehabilitation consists of several stages and steps. A good strength, stability and control of the knee is necessary to eventually be able to practice your sport again. Research shows that total rehabilitation can take up to 15 months before you are competitive again!
Fysio Fitaal has a lot of expertise in the field of anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation, this knowledge we want to spread widely. We do this by sharing our rehab process. This online rehabilitation runs together with the physical rehabilitation of your personal coach or physiotherapist. In this way, the right choice can always be made in the rehab process. And more importantly, complications can be spotted in time to prevent worse!
During the assessment we collect all the information necessary to paint a good picture of the current situation. Fysio Fitaal stands for transparent physiotherapy. Together we come to a main goal to which several sub-goals can be linked. By means of our app, we will make the progress transparent and we will adjust where necessary. The content of the rehabilitation depends on the specific situation and wishes. Evaluations are scheduled at fixed times so that there is a clear timeline to full recovery!
Rehabilitating 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. On the outside it looks reasonably clean but inside your knee is still working hard to recover. So it is important that your knee gets some rest. This means that 80% of the day you let your knee rest / recover the other 20% you are busy with exercises or movement indoors. Being able to properly stretch the knee is the main goal of rehabilitation. For a normal walking pattern, a 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 walking 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 much as 50 to 70%. But also your non operated leg can have lost up to 40% in strength. After 6 weeks you can actually start with strength training. The training will then also be heavier than in the first weeks. There will be more use of fitness equipment, but also loose exercises like squats and lunges will be 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 coordination of the body about the movement. Therefore, it is very important to optimize these movement patterns again. For this reason, we start early with training coordination in rehabilitation. From this moment on, exercises will also be tuned more and more to the actual movement pattern of the own sport.
Online anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation
Return to sports
Return to running: the past period has been about regaining strength of both your operated leg and nonoperated leg. We also started with the preparation for running. The reason for this is to be able to start running towards the 12-week mark. Running is part of many different sports often combined with rapid abrupt changes in direction, we must prepare our bodies for this again after an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
We know from different literature that the rehabilitation schedule should not be based on time but on clear criteria. These criteria have to be met before moving on to the next phase of the rehabilitation process. After about 12 weeks, the first real test moment will take place where important pillars such as pain, swelling and range of motion will be checked. It is also time for some physical tests. When these tests are passed you can safely start running. We do not want you to get more complaints or take irresponsible risks during your rehabilitation.
Return to play: you have arrived at the final phase of your rehabilitation. We know that about one third of all athletes do not return to their original sport level within 2 years after surgery. In elite athletes, the percentage that does return to original level is significantly higher, namely 83%. A good last phase of rehabilitation is crucial! It is still unclear how to determine when someone can make his return. But a clear test protocol to get insight about this is advisable. This means that there is no pain/anxiety/feeling of instability during his or her sport 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 give a clear picture of whether you are ready to return or if different factors such as strength, coordination or stability still need to be worked on.