Knee flexion, in particular, takes longer (that is expected) but with dedicated time working on it, we trust that you will get it back in no time! 2 years after ACL and meniscus surgery, I do not have full flexion. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The following exercises are some of our favorites to improve knee flexion after surgery! Use the leg press machine without weight or with very little weight. Hi! For the first 1-2 weeks after surgery, the most important goal is to regain the ability to fully straighten the knee. Eventually, you can use the leg press for strength, but early on it’s more about just the motion of bending your leg, and you won’t want to put on weight that you cannot handle. Repeat the motion of rocking back and forth on all fours 15 times for 3 rounds. So again – please listen to your physical therapist and orthopedic surgeon for guidelines on how to improve your knee flexion depending on your exercise parameters! Future Developments As with many medical problems, there is a lot of investigation about how to improve the results for young athletes who injured knee … Today, I’ll share the top exercises I used to get my flexion back after ACL surgery. This is are questions that I frequently asked my PT and doctor as I heavily struggled with my range of motion following my ACL and medial and lateral meniscus surgery in 2018. Gaining mobility – flexion or extension – after surgery is one of the most important goals. Never got back to soccer after surgery. Your email address will not be published. Do 10-15 reps for 3 sets. Your knee is unique! This was a phrase I heard often for my PT. I’m about four years post-ACL surgery and I still get it in the affected knee if I do a squat or any kind of really deep knee bend. I tore my ACL playing soccer. The first two weeks after surgery concentrates on decreasing the swelling in the knee and regaining knee extension, with less concern about knee flexion. Thus, it’s important very early on to follow the P.O.L.I.C.E. As you progress, you can try to push your foot back against the resistance for a few seconds before relaxing the quad again and pulling your foot more. Keep your knee moving and focus on working on flexion through normal motions with exercises for knee flexion after ACL surgery. Knee extension should be restored as soon as possible after surgery, and should be … When pain and swelling is present, it is just more comfortable to hold your knee in a slightly bent position. Wall slides are one of the first exercises I was able to do for flexion. Locking after ACL reconstruction can be due to lack of adherence to a strict stretching routine post surgery. Early mobility has not only been deemed appropriate after surgery, but also necessary in order to facilitate a healthy healing response. The key to improve knee flexion after surgery is gently pushing into that uncomfortable range and trying to progressively increase the amount of time you spend there with each successive day. In this study, the authors take a look at knee joint range-of-motion 10 to 14 years after ACL reconstruction. Now first things first – please listen to your orthopedic surgeons’ range of motion guidelines! If you find that your knee is more swollen after your knee flexion exercises, it means you are doing too much! After that, you may be able to go down to 1-2 times per day. Your surgery, injury, the current range of motion, pain levels, and so much more will dictate which of these exercises feels the most comfortable and effective for your knee. It gets a lot harder to bend the knee with a bigger balloon inside of it! Push through the pain, but be smart. Studies have demonstrated that the timing of ACL surgery has a significant influence on the development of postoperative knee stiffness. You need to battle through pain to progress with ROM, but if you are concerned about your pain you’ll need to consult a doctor. You will work on a rehab programme with your physio which you need to do daily. Keep your feet on the footrest areas, and alternate your feet so your legs bend and straighten. You can find out loads more about what happens during surgery in t… Early knee extension establishes the foundation for the entire rehabilitation program. Hold it there for a second, pulling as much as possible, before returning it down to a resting position. For flexion, it’s best to work on it via motion, not long-duration stretches. However, the rehabilitation process following the surgery is as crucial as the surgery itself, as rehab restores the normal function and movement of your knee. You’ll need to work on flexion and extension 2-3 times per day for the first few months after surgery, depending on your progress. Slide your foot down toward your butt and hold for a few seconds before straightening again. Remember – minimizing swelling after surgery is goal number one! As our bodies are healing from surgery, our tissues are undergoing many changes. for assisted heel slides, first, sit on the ground. Rashida is a former division 1 soccer player who played at the University of Minnesota from 2013-2016. You need to maintain this knee extension after surgery. As you improve, increase resistance and lower the seat until it’s in your normal position. Sit on the ball or chair, and slowly roll forward so that your knees flex more. All Rights Reserved. We make it easy and teach you how to self [P]Rehab your knees and keep them healthy for anything life throws at you through detailed exercise programming and our signature education resource videos. Gayleen Dell Schiro, I think this web site has some really superb information for everyone : D. Paule Kinny Gianni, Your email address will not be published. This is one reason there are often, though not always, flexion range of motion restrictions immediately after ACL reconstruction. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgeries are done to repair your knees after a ligament injury or tear. Today, it still hurts when I try to push flexion. A lack of full knee flexion is the number one reason patients call us six weeks after surgery looking for an “X10 Intervention”. If using an autograft, the surgeon harvests some tissue from either your patellar tendon (below your kneecap) or you hamstrings tendon (on the back of your thigh). Even if you had a perfect knee, I would suggest the same b/c that excessive knee flexion is bad for your kneecaps. Loss of knee extension has been shown to result in a limp, quadriceps muscle weakness, and anterior knee pain. And we’re moving! The benefit of bracing the knee is a subject of debate, but ACL braces have not been shown to improve results or prevent arthritis after having had ACL surgery. The closer your butt is to the wall, the harder it will be, so as you progress, try to lay right up against the wall. A great overview of tissue healing phases from start to finish is well explained in a blog post we have recently written! Knee Range of Motion Exercise 5 – Quad Sets Quad sets are when you place something, pillow or towel, under your knee and then flex your quad to push your knee into the towel or pillow. One of the more common complications following ACL surgery is loss of motion, with loss of extension being more troublesome than flexion. It is one of the main goals during the first week of ACL rehab. When there is increased swelling in the joint, the balloon gets bigger. While we’ve discussed the importance of regaining knee extension extensively, restoring knee flexion is a close runner up for your rehab goals after surgery. Inside of your knee is a joint capsule that surrounds the entire joint, imagine this joint capsule is shaped like a balloon. This helps you bend your knee far more than you could if you were squatting. Physical therapy focuses on regaining full range of motion, which helps relieve knee pain, and strengthening your knee. Hold for a second before returning up. Lay on your back perpendicular to the wall. As your flexion improves, you can move the seat closer and turn up the resistance. It can be a complication of knee replacement or anterior cruciate ligament surgery, with infections and bleeding as known contributing factors. It's been 1.5 years since I had my ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair surgery. Push yourself back toward the position of sitting on your feet as far as you can and then rock back forward. My suggestions for you: Get your knee cleaned out, get the new ACL surgery and get with the best knee PT you can find. Like a tightness as well as a sharp pain a complication of knee replacement anterior... Can be due to lack of adherence to a good start can months... 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