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Updated on March 18, 2020

Knee Surgery Rehab Guidelines

Knee surgery is only a part of your treatment towards a successful recovery for your knee.  You need to do your part and participate in a physiotherapy program to regain your knee function.  It is ideal that you are able to;

  • Visit a Physiotherapy or Rehab Centre to have guided therapy using sophisticated machines at least 2-5 times a week for around 2-6 months
  • Perform regular simple exercises at home by yourself

Click to watch TherapiaPhysiotherapy video on ACL Surgery Physiotherapy

In the 1-2 weeks after surgery, you should

  • Manage your pain and swelling using medication and ice pack
  • Do gentle range of motion exercises
  • Be less dependent on your crutches or walking stick
  • Be able to return to work or school

In the first 2-6 weeks after surgery, you should

  • Do more intensive physiotherapy exercises for joint mobility
  • Work on getting full knee extension
  • Concentrate on exercises to strengthen quads, hamstring, calf, hip and core muscles

In weeks 6-12 after surgery, you should concentrate on

  • Muscle strength
  • Muscle endurance
  • Proprioception and balance
  • Joint range of function
  • Functional exercises

In weeks 12-24 after surgery, you should be able to do functional exercises such as some trial running.  Start SLOW and make sure your knee does not get stiff or swollen.  You should feel stronger with each passing week.  You should concentrate on

  • Functional exercises
  • Single leg exercises
  • Proprioception and balance
  • Power exercises
  • Sport specific exercises

Returning to Sports

Do NOT overexercise to the extent of getting knee swelling or rupturing the newly repaired ligament.  You should be able to return to sports between 6-12 months after surgery.  You should prepare yourself in stages gradually

Stage 1. Conditioning only

Stage 2. Conditioning and Drills

Stage 3. Drills and Scrimmage

Stage 4. Return to Competition

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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