ACL Recovery Knee Rehab
If you have had reconstructive surgery on your knee, a good knee rehab program is important for helping you to make a full recovery. Knee injuries are common, especially for those who play sports or are otherwise physically active – although regular exercise is almost universally beneficial for everyone, sometimes our knees aren’t up to the task. Activities that include bending and twisting, pivoting, jumping, or overextending the knees can cause a variety of different injuries; ligament injuries are the most common. There are four important ligaments associated with each knee: the ACL (anterior cruceate ligament), the PCL (posterior cruceate ligament), the MCL (medial collateral ligament) and the LCL (lateral collateral ligament). All of these ligaments function to join the thigh bones with the bones of the lower leg and to stabilize the knee. Sports activities like basketball, football, soccer, gymnastics, and downhill skiing often lead to excessive stress on the ligaments, causing tearing injuries. While painful, these injuries can be treated, and most people eventually make a full recovery.
Knee replacement rehab is critical for regaining the full use of your knee following reconstructive surgery. Your orthopedist can recommend a physical therapist experienced in knee rehabilitation, or you may have friends or family members who have undergone physical therapy and can recommend a good specialist. You will be spending a great deal of time with your therapist for the next several months, so you should choose someone with whom you feel comfortable. On your first visit, the therapist will evaluate your physical condition and work with you to design a rehab program that will help you resume your normal activities. Your program may include sessions of exercise, massage, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation.
How long will I have to keep doing my knee rehab exercises? While this depends on the nature of your injury and your overall physical condition, you should plan on attending therapy sessions for several months. You will also be given exercises to do at home, on your own; you may need to continue them for a full year.
Do I need to attend physical therapy for ACL recovery? Whether or not you have reconstructive surgery, physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process after an ACL injury. You will need to participate in therapy to restore strength and mobility to the injured joint in order to return to your normal activities and prevent further injury.
Will my insurance cover my physical therapy? In most cases, yes. However, you may need a referral from your primary care physician in order to receive coverage. Before you join a knee rehab program, make sure that the facility is approved by your insurance policy – otherwise, you may find yourself being held financially responsible for your care.