Knee Flexion Ways to Improve After Surgery - Prep Performance Center

11 Steps To Improve Knee Flexion After ACL Surgery

After ACL surgery, rehab can be a slow, painful process – but it doesn’t have to be!

A big part of ACL surgery rehab is improving your knee flexion (bending your knee) and knee extension (straightening your knee).

However, if you properly warm your knee up, these 11 simple steps for improving your knee flexion or helping you bend your knee better should be easy to complete.

Please note that all of these exercises should be approved by your orthopedic surgeon and Doctor of Physical Therapy. In order to protect your knee and the soft tissue that was repaired, you want to be approved to add these exercises.

Below you will find the secret to improving knee flexion, and being able to bend your knee with little to no pain.

If you can follow these steps, I am confident you will meet your range of motion goals in no time and with limited to no pain along the way.

Early Mobilization Is Important For Improving Knee Flexion After ACL Surgery

The key to improving your knee flexion after surgery is Early Mobilization.

I know it sounds crazy, but getting up to go to the bathroom and making your own lunch is part of therapy!

It is imperative that you follow the BUM principle and Be Up and Moving.

Obviously, you want to allow for time to rest and elevate your knee, but being up and moving helps manage swelling as well as assists with tissue healing and remodeling.

We call this Weight Bearing As Tolerated, WBAT.

By progressively moving your knee during normal daily activities and adding more weight throughout the healing process, you will progress your range of motion in no time, experience less postoperative complications, and improved satisfaction with your recovery timeline.

How To Make ACL Surgery Rehab Less Painful

At PREP Performance Center we believe that you need to complete your exercises early and often.

It is key to be up and moving approximately once an hour and complete the exercises below 2-3 times throughout the day. Exercises are expected to be “painful but tolerable”.

Usually if you follow the program as we have set forth, there is minimal pain reported by our patients.

Should you experience excessive pain, swelling or difficulty progressing your range of motion the following day, please discuss with your physical therapist and doctor.

In order to progress timely, you also need to ensure you don’t over do it. Pushing yourself too fast or too hard can cause a setback which can often lead to frustration, excess swelling and possibly tissue damage.

Remember… If you stay within the “Painful but Tolerable” range, your knee flexion will continue to progress each and every day.

NOTE: Self awareness, breathing, and relaxation are key to a successful ACL Recovery.

The 11 Steps To Improve Knee Flexion After ACL Surgery

1 – Pain Management– Mobilization of the swelling will reduce the pain during ROM exercises
a. Elevate your legs for 20 minutes and take your pain medicine at least 20 minutes before

2 – Cryotherapy/Ice – To reduce inflammation and edema
a. Ice one hour before your knee flexion program

3 – Walk – Early mobilization and gentle mobility will help reduce swelling around the knee
a. Walk for 10 minutes prior to beginning your program and bend your knee when walking

4 – Compression
a. Wrap your knee with an ace wrap to minimize swelling after icing

5 – Effleurage
a. Complete effleurage for 3-5 minutes to reduce swelling. Gently massage your leg and pull up towards your heart

Once you have completed the five steps above, you have prepared your knee as best as possible to reduce pain during your ACL surgery rehab exercises.

6 – Heel Slides
a. Complete supine heel slides on bed 3 x 10 repetitions, lie on your back and gently bring your heel toward your bum
b. Try to get one more inch with each and every rep
c. Take a deep breath and gently hold your knee in place and then straighten your leg on the exhale

7 – Heel Slides with Assist
a. Complete heel slides with assist for 2 x 10 repetitions (5 second hold)
b. Lie on your back and use a strap to help you bend your knee
c. Try to get one more inch with each and every rep and pull your knee closer to your bum
d. Take a deep breath and gently hold your knee in place and then straighten your leg on the exhale

8 – Hamstring Curls
a. Complete prone hamstring curls 2 x 10 repetitions
b. Lie on your belly and gently bend your knee
c. Inhale as you bring your heel towards your bum and exhale on the way out

9 – Knee Flexion
a. Complete prone knee flexion 2 x 10 repetitions
b. Using a strap, lying on your belly bend your knee

10 – Quad Mobility
a. Complete prone quad mobility 10 x 10 seconds each
b. Using a strap, lying on your belly, bend your knee as tolerable and hold for 10 seconds
c. Try to get one more inch with each and every rep and pull your knee closer to your bum
d. Take a deep breath and gently hold your knee in place and then straighten your leg on the exhale

11 – Quad Stretch
a. For a deeper quad stretch (reducing knee pain), elevate your knee on a foam roller and      complete the prone quad stretch
b. Complete prone quad mobility 5 x 30 seconds each
c. Using a strap, lying on your belly, put foam roller just above your knee cap, bend your knee as tolerable and hold for 30 seconds.
d. There should be little to no knee pain, but a stretch should be felt in the quadriceps

If you are looking for more information and a customized program, download our app and follow along our ACL Rehab Phase 1 program.

With grader progressions of exercises and various resources to learn from we have everything you need in one place: Click Here To Get Started

Speed Up Your Recovery And Knee Mobility With Physical Therapy

If you have had your ACL surgery, and struggling to move pain-free, and unable to do what you want, our team is here to help.

At PREP Performance Center, we are able to provide a variety of services which will not just speed up your recovery and get you back to exercise, your social activities and taking care of family and your home without pain.

To find our more, we offer Free Discovery Visit, where you can discover the best treatment options available to rehabilitate your knee after your ACL surgery.

Arrange Your Free Discovery Visit or call us on (773) 609-1847

How To Prepare For ACL Surgery

If you are waiting for your ACL surgery, there is a great opportunity to minimise your recovery time – prehab is a very powerful way to ensure you are back on your feet quickly, and able to get back to normal life quickly.

You can arrange a Pre-Surgery Analysis by completing our simple webform or call us on (773) 609-1847 where you can learn the most effective strategies to a much faster recovery with less stiffness, pain and complications.

Arrange your Pre-Surgery Analysis today!

Other Free Resources To Help Your Knee Pain

Read Our Blog – 6 Best Exercises to Eliminate your Knee Pain

Read Our Blog – 6 Items to get before ACL Surgery

Read Our Blog – ACL Rehab: Top 11 ways to improve Knee Flexion after Surgery

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