Your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a ligament that connects the thighbone to the shinbone and helps to stabilize your knee. The ACL may sound familiar to you, as you may hear this ligament being injured among many athletes. The ACL typically sprains during one of the following knee movements:
- a sudden stop
- a twist, pivot or change in direction at the joint
- extreme over-straightening (hyperextension)
- or a direct impact to the outside of the knee or lower leg.
During the reconstruction, your torn ligament is removed from the knee. Then, a surgical graft is inserted to replace your torn ligament and help restore its mobile function. Our doctors achieve this by performing an arthroscopic procedure.
To restore your mobility as much as possible, it is usually a three-phase progression in a 6 – 12 month period depending on your activity. The goal within this timeframe is to:
- Eliminate swelling due to inactivity
- Progress from partial weight bearing to full weight bearing exercises
- Regain normal range of motion
- Increase quadriceps, hamstring, and Gastrocnemius strength
- Regain full knee extension
- Regain good balance and control
- Reestablish proper gait
- Regain full range of motion, strength and power
- Increase agility (adaption to direction change, acceleration and deceleration)
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