Knee Flexion Ways to Improve After Surgery - Prep Performance Center

ACL Rehab: Top 11 ways to improve KNEE FLEXION after Surgery

We are here to help you make this part of your rehab as painless as possible. Range of motion is often the dreadful part of therapy. However, if you properly warm your knee up, these range of motion exercises 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 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.

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.

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.

    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- Said 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
    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

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

Pre Post Surgical Rehabilitation Prep Performance Center

Regaining Function: Post-Surgical Rehabilitation for ACL Injuries

In our last blog, we discussed anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries and how to prevent them. However, the unfortunate truth is that they are not always entirely avoidable. For athletes in high-impact sports, or those that require sudden stops or changes in direction, ACL injuries are all too common. In fact, many of these injuries may even require surgery, resulting in a lengthier recovery period. So, you undergo your surgical procedure, you’re on the mend… what now? At PREP Performance Center, we understand how frustrating sitting out of the game can be. Our post-surgical rehabilitation services can help you achieve the quickest recovery possible for such a complex injury. Contact our Chicago, IL clinic today for more information on how we can help you regain your function.

What to expect on post-surgical:

Post-surgical rehabilitation is a lengthy process following a surgical ACL correction. It typically requires 6-9 months of extensive physical therapy and hard work. We understand that this can be physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging on a young athlete. There are a lot of ups and downs to the rehab process – you go from being a star athlete to sitting on the sidelines for as long as a year. However, PREP Performance Center works hard to make your rehabilitation process as smooth as possible, so you can get back to playing the sport you love. In order to achieve this, some important aspects of your treatment plan will include:

– Strength training

– Balance

– Body awareness

– Leg symmetry

– Jumping and landing techniques

Exercise Post-Surgical Rehabilitation_ Prep Performance Center

This is all done to make sure that you are performing optimally and not compensating. Our mission is to provide the proper techniques and resources to you so you can get back to the game with regained function and a significantly decreased risk of sustaining another injury. Doctor of Physical Therapy Mary Kate Casey says, “Rehabbing an athlete after an ACL injury is multifactorial.  As a former athlete who sustained the injury as well, I understand the mental, emotional and physical challenges that come along with this injury.  It is imperative to address all of these concerns in therapy to ensure the athlete is prepared and ready to play at elite levels. This involves a lot of reps, sets, and helping the athlete regain confidence in their body”

Statistics for ACL injuries:

There are some intimidating statistics regarding ACL injuries – according to the National Institutes of Health, it is estimated that approximately 350,000 ACL reconstructions are performed annually across the nation. Despite surgical repair, those who sustained an ACL injury in need of correction are 79% more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis in the future and 20% more likely to suffer a re-injury within 2 years of their procedure. In addition, athletes may not be able to return to their sport with the same level of play, and they may struggle with confidence issues or fear of re-injury when they return.

Post-surgical rehabilitation can help decrease these statistics. If you are in need of surgical correction for your ACL injury, contact our Chicago, IL physical therapy center today. We will get you set up on a treatment plan following your surgery so you can begin your recovery process as soon as possible. Don’t let your injury hinder your life or take you out of the game for good – regain your function and get back to the sport you love with physical therapy.

Contact PREP Performance Center for more information.


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Treating ACL Injuries in Young Lacrosse Players

Treating ACL – Are you passionate about lacrosse? Do you have a child who is passionate about lacrosse? This sport is a great way to get exercise, but the fast nature of it also poses a risk for sustaining an ACL injury.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is located in the knee and can be injured or torn when it is harshly twisted in the wrong way. ACL tears are especially common for lacrosse players, as the sport requires sudden stops and changes in direction. This increases the risk of twisting the knee the wrong way and sustaining an ACL injury.

An ACL injury is painful, debilitating, and a long road to recovery. Treating ACL those who undergo ACL reconstruction require 6-9 months of physical therapy prior to returning to the sport. Fortunately, Doctor of Physical Therapy Mary Kate Casey is well versed in rehabbing this injury, not only as a physical therapist but twice herself as an athlete and now a Four-Time National Champion Lacrosse player.

Doctors of Physical Therapy are the leading health care providers offering programs that can help reduce ACL injuries and can even prevent them from occurring in the first place. For more information on how physical therapy can help you or your athlete recover and prevent injuries, contact PREP Performance Center today.

Treating ACL Injury and Stats:

According to GetPT1st, “research shows that 26% of non-contact ACL injuries could be prevented by specific exercise programs.” At PREP Performance Center, we are dedicated not only to helping you recover from your ACL reconstruction, but we are also able to help you prevent further injuries from occurring in the future.

During our movement assessment, in treating ACL our physical therapists determine your strengths and weaknesses and can often identify areas that increase your risk of an ACL injury. We utilize balance, jumping, and landing tests such as the Y balance, Broad Jump, Triple Hop, and Landing Error Scoring System (LESS). The battery of tests assesses strength, power, balance, body awareness, leg symmetry, and jumping and landing mechanics to determine whether or not you are at high risk for a non-contact ACL injury. After diagnostic tests and physical examinations are complete, our physical therapists will design a specialized program based on your specific needs.

ACL Injury Prevention:

Treating ACL Injuries in Young Lacrosse Players

In a study examining the effect of ACL injury prevention programs, female athletes demonstrated a reduced ACL injury risk of 52% after incorporating the program into their fitness regimens. Even better, male athletes demonstrated a reduced ACL injury risk of 85% after incorporating the program into their fitness regimens. With such overwhelmingly positive odds, it is no secret why athletes take advantage of these programs.

For the past two decades, ACL injury prevention programs have been a strong focus in the field of sports medicine. Various programs have been created as a way to encourage and promote proper techniques for athletes who may be at high risk of sustaining an ACL injury. For lacrosse players, treating ACL for such prevention programs include targeted exercises for the sport that address muscle strengthening, muscle recruitment patterns, proprioception and plyometrics.

Most ACL injury prevention program sessions last approximately 20-30 minutes, making it very easy to incorporate into a practice setting. It is important that lacrosse athletes strongly consider participating in an ACL injury prevention program, due to the increasingly positive statistical evidence supporting their effectiveness.

ACL prevention programs have been proven to work, helping hundreds of lacrosse players everywhere, not only while they are on the field, but also while they are training. Our practice is dedicated to helping athletes recover from ACL injuries, in addition to preventing further injury in the future. If you’re a youth athlete, parent or coach and are interested in our ACL injury prevention program, contact our Chicago, IL physical therapy center today to find out how our services can benefit you. We can help you reach your optimum physical function and keep you on the field playing the sport you love!

Contact PREP Performance Center for more information.

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