• Mick Hughes

Pre-op ACLR Rehab Program


There's often a belief that the knee has to be rested following ACL injury.


However there's strong evidence that supports high load strengthening exercises - such as this program developed by Eitzen et al 2010.


This program has been shown to be well tolerated and importantly, shown to improve many post op outcomes including function, quality of life and increased chances of returning to pre-injury sport compared to patients who didn't do this program prior to surgery.


This program can also be used as a framework for ongoing rehab if one is choosing a non-operative plan.

Ideally it is performed 2x per week for a minimum 5 weeks leading into ACL surgery. Importantly, one should wait until the knee has restored full ROM, has minimal swelling and the person has good activation of the quads.

Load is encouraged as able, and load should be added once the person can perform 2 more reps than the target reps (not including hopping exercises).


Full text reference here


What do you think of the program? Like all plans, there is wriggle room for creativity if you don't have access to regular gym equipment.


If you're interested in learning more about ACL rehab, including pre-op rehab and non-operative ACL management, consider taking Learn.Physio online ACL courses here

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