Alexander E Weber, MD
Orthopaedic surgeon & sports Medicine specialist

The Crucial Role of Physical Therapy After ACL Surgery

Jul 07, 2023
In this blog post, we explore the numerous benefits of physical therapy in the post-surgical rehabilitation process.

1. Restoring Range of Motion and Flexibility:
Following ACL surgery, scar tissue formation and immobilization can lead to a loss of range of motion and flexibility in the knee joint. Physical therapy exercises and techniques, such as gentle stretches and manual therapy, are employed to gradually restore flexibility, allowing you to regain normal joint movement and prevent stiffness.

2. Strengthening Muscles and Enhancing Stability:
ACL surgery aims to restore stability to the knee joint, and physical therapy is crucial for achieving this goal. Therapists design specific exercises targeting the muscles around the knee, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles. Strengthening these muscles helps support the knee, improves stability, and reduces the risk of future injuries.

3. Improving Balance and Proprioception:
Proprioception, the ability to sense the position and movement of the body, can be impaired after ACL surgery. Physical therapy focuses on exercises that enhance balance and proprioception, such as balance boards, wobble cushions, and dynamic movements. By improving these aspects, you can regain confidence in your knee's stability and reduce the risk of re-injury.

4. Facilitating Scar Tissue Remodeling:
After surgery, scar tissue forms as part of the healing process. However, excessive scar tissue can limit mobility and impede optimal function. Physical therapy techniques, including soft tissue mobilization and specific stretching exercises, can help break down and remodel scar tissue, promoting proper healing and tissue alignment.

5. Guiding a Gradual Return to Activity:
Physical therapists work closely with patients to develop a progressive and customized rehabilitation plan. They help individuals gradually transition from basic exercises to more functional and sport-specific activities, ensuring a safe return to desired levels of physical activity and sports participation.

Physical therapy is an integral component of ACL surgery recovery, offering a wide range of benefits, including improved range of motion, muscle strength, stability, balance, and a structured return to activity. Working closely with a skilled physical therapist maximizes the potential for a successful and complete recovery.

Dr. Weber and his team treat over 200 Los Angeles athletes and weekend warriors with ACL tears each year. We provide personalized treatment for all knee injuries from professional athletes to high school recreational players to weekend skiers. If you are a patient with a knee injury in Los Angeles, please reach out. We can see you within 24 hours.