Exercises After ACL Surgery
If you’ve recently had ACL surgery, exercises are an important part of your recovery, in addition to a physical therapy program. These Level 1 exercises should be done for 1-4 weeks after surgery. The goal of these exercises is to regain neuromuscular control of the quadriceps, strengthen the hip and maintain knee and ankle range of motion on the affected leg.
Perform these exercises 1-3 times per day, only within pain-free range of motion. Stop the activity if it causes increased pain.
Please consult with your doctor before starting any home exercise program. These exercises should not replace instructions from your doctor.
Post-Op ACL Exercises (Level 1)
1. LONG SITTING TOWEL CALF STRETCH
Sit up with good posture and place towel on the bottom of your foot, while holding on to the ends.
Now pull the towel across the foot, so that your toes are being pulled towards you. Repeat for 2 sets for 30 seconds.
2. SUPINE HAMSTRING STRETCH
Sit up and place towel over your foot, while holding on to the towel with both hands.
Lie down on your back and bring your leg up until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg. Hold this for 30 seconds. Repeat twice, 30 seconds each time.
3. QUAD SETS
Lie down on your back, place a small towel roll behind your knee.
Tighten the muscles at the front of your leg, and hold 3-5 seconds. Repeat for 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
4. ANKLE PUMPS
Lie on your back, or sit in a chair.
Life your ankles and toes up, then point them down. Repeat this for 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
5. HEEL SLIDES
Sit down with a towel over your foot.
Slide your foot back by pulling the towel with your arms, bend your knee as far as you can. Hold it bent for 3-5 seconds. Continue to bend and straighten your knee for 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
6. PRONE HIP EXTENSION
Lie on your stomach with your head on a pillow.
On your stomach, lift your leg up with your knee completely straight.
Continue this for 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
CHOC Rehabilitation Services
The Rehabilitation Services Department at CHOC is designed especially for children. Using a comprehensive team approach, our physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech and language pathology specialists work together to provide complete care for children of all ages—from premature newborns to young adults.
To schedule an evaluation, call 714-509-4220. Learn more about Rehabilitation Services.