ACL Surgery

Should I have ACL Surgery? Do an ACL Rehab Program?

ACL Rehab Program

Once the knee has settled following an ACL injury, consistent evidence that we're seeing in the ACL literature from the Delaware-Oslo ACL research team is that the athlete/patient should perform at least 5 weeks of high quality rehabilitation prior to a decision regarding ACLR vs ongoing exercise rehabilitation is made.

Looking at the pre-op ACL program recommended by Eitzen et al 2010, you can see there is quite a handful of exercises that if completed appropriately, safely under the guidance of a physiotherapist, can indeed assist an athlete or patient is making a clear decision about whether or not they feel comfortable with the physical function and capacity of their knee.

Note: The only exception are those ACL tears who also have high grade concomitant injuries such as full thickness cartilage lesions and complex meniscus tears; these extra injuries need a surgical opinion.

ACL Surgery

Regardless of the eventual treatment pathway chosen, these rehab sessions are certainly not a waste of time and can set the athlete up for future knee health and RTS success; even if it's decided that an ACLR is to be performed (Thoma et al, 2019 & Failla et al 2016).

For those keen on pursuing a non-operative plan; continue these rehab sessions (and progressively build on them) indefinitely.