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Physical Rehabilitation for ACL Injuries

Overview

Rehabilitation (rehab) is needed after most ACL injuries, with or without surgery. It'll help you regain normal range of motion and flexibility in your knee. Rehab programs also strengthen the knee and the muscles around it, leading to better knee stability.

Your doctor or physical therapist will design a rehab program for you that considers your normal level of activity, your physical fitness, and the extent of your injury.

A rehab program should include exercises for:

  • Flexibility.
  • Strength.
  • Endurance.
  • Coordination and agility training (for serious athletes).

How quickly you recover from your ACL injury depends on how severe the injury was, how extensive any surgery was, and how consistent you are to follow the program. The rehab program usually lasts from several months to a year.

The function of muscles in the injured leg should be as strong as in the uninjured leg before you return to normal activities.

Credits

Current as of: July 1, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Freddie H. Fu MD - Orthopedic Surgery

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