How can I avoid re-tearing my ACL after surgery?
If you’ve torn your ACL, you’re probably very aware of the surgery and the long 6-12 month rehabilitation program required to get you back into the game again.
There’s no doubt that after your long recovery, re-tearing your ACL is something you would prefer to avoid.
Unfortunately, re-tearing a past ACL injury is possible. In fact, tearing your ACL increases the possibility of tearing it again, either on the same or even the opposite knee.
The good news is that there are some steps you can take to help prevent a repeat tear to your ACL.
Respect the rehabilitation process.
While you might find your pain has gone and your knee movement is returning quicker than the rehabilitation period set by your surgeon, it’s important to give your knee the time it needs to regain strength and balance before returning to your previous activities. If you return to sport and exercise too soon, your ACL graft may not yet be strong enough to handle the physical stress of the activities you are doing, making it more at risk of re-tearing.
Follow an ACL injury prevention program.
Speak to your physiotherapist about an ACL injury prevention program designed to improve the neuromuscular control of your knee during movement. Programs like the PEP (Prevent injury, Enhance Performance) program incorporate specific plyometric, balance and strengthening exercises that target problem areas and provide you with strategies to avoid injury.
Make warm-ups a key part of any activity you do.
Always give your body and knee time to warm up ahead of playing competitive sport and undergoing a strenuous activity. A simple warm-up incorporating dynamic stretching has been shown to reduce injury by over 80%.
Wear a brace to protect the knee.
A lightweight or heavy-duty knee brace can further protect and support your knee and ligaments during activity.
Another great tip to help prevent an ACL injury is to get a real understanding of how the ACL works. One of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley’s top Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr Stuart MacKenzie has created a free guide on ACL injuries and knee reconstructions to help you to understand your injury and how best to support its treatment.
1 Jul 2018
Published by Default Admin