thanks for the advice so far, truly appreciate it.
I guess the reason I thought lower body training is out is because I still don’t have a full ROM. I can almost straighten my leg completely, but can only bring it back close to 90 degrees (not quite). I will have to ease into it and see what I can do. So far, I have been doing physical therapy stuff including wall squats, very low step ups, etc.
I will have to test the waters with the suggestions above, but if it’s going to help with the surgery and rehab, I am all for it.
thanks again fellas[/quote]
Sorry, of course you want to make sure you get full ROM but you also want to maintain the strength. If you have already started PT, hopefully they will have you completing bodyweight squats much sooner rather than later (no reason to be completing wall squats - absolutely no functional value). Also, they should have started you on single leg press, through an ever increasing active range of motion. You could also be completing hamstring/gatroc stretches with belt while lying on your back, could also complete standing gastroc stretches with or without a slant board/ball of foot elevated. Extension is the most important motion to regain both before and after surgery, flexion is easy to get down the road, but extension is the most difficult if left unaddressed. Also, hopefully they have started you with straight leg raises in order to facilitate full extension and quad activity.
Also, if you have already started to look into physical therapy. Make sure you find a therapist that has a pretty strong background in ortho/sports rehab especially post-surgical ACL reconstruction. You have no idea how many therapists have really no idea what they are doing when it comes to any surgical rehab especially the ACL. They are unaware of just how much you can push a reconstruction (safely of course) for the optimal benefit. You will find a lot of therapists who rarely, if ever, see any post-surgical patients especially ACLs and their overly cautious and out dated methods definitely show it. Also, find a rehab center that has at least a leg press, knee extension and hamstring curl. A squat rack would be even better. It is unfortunate but far too many places don’t even have the basics for proper rehabilitation and it is only you that will suffer. You may even want to meet with a few therapists to find one that you mesh with (athletic interests etc) as you will be spending a lot of time with them. Also, you want to make sure they have experience with the surgery, know you want an aggressive rehab as you have athletic interests. Rehabbing an over weight mother with knee pain is a lot different that a post-surgical athlete looking to return to a high level of performance.
Sorry for the long winded post. I just spend a significant amount of time fixing other therapists mistakes with ACL reconstructions since they don’t have the experience. I also field quite a few phone calls on a daily basis regarding the proper exercises for these ACL reconstruction patients. It is quite scary the limited amount of knowledge that most physical therapists possess when it comes to post-surgical rehabilitation.
Just want to make sure you have the best rehab possible since an ACL reconstruction is a highly
successful surgery when rehabbed properly.
One final thought, make sure you train the uninvolved leg just as strenuously as the involved leg. You have a much higher incidence of tearing the other ACL and you get some carryover to the surgical leg while training the non-surgical leg. Don’t let a therapist tell you it is unneeded or that the uninvolved leg will get too strong. It all evens out over time and you don’t want to make the surgical leg appear stronger in comparison to the non-surgical leg by making the non-surgical leg weaker over the course of the rehab.
Again, sorry for the long winded post. I will now step off my soap box.
Good luck with surgery and rehab.