Looking to shorten your torn ACL recovery time? Try these two exercises!

Torn ACL Recovery Time

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is something that can happen to anyone, but it most commonly occurs in athletes who change direction suddenly. 

Often, ACL tears require surgical repairs to heal properly, and the recovery time after surgery for a torn ACL can be from six to nine months long. Therapeutic exercises are often an integral part of post-ACL surgery recovery plans that physical therapists build. The reason is that such exercises can help reduce your torn ACL’s recovery time when they’re included in a post-surgical rehab plan. 

You should definitely check with your physical therapist before trying any therapeutic exercise, but here are some that you may end up using with your physical therapist’s OK: 

  1. Assisted seated knee flexion exercise

Purpose: This exercise is designed to reduce your torn ACL’s recovery time by improving knee range of motion and improving thigh muscle strength. 

How to do the assisted seated knee flexion exercise: 

  • Sit down on the edge of a chair or bed. 
  • Allow your legs to hang down naturally. 
  • Place the foot of your uninvolved leg behind your affected ankle. 
  • Slowly use your unaffected leg to help raise your recovering leg as high as possible. 
  • Hold this position for five to 10 seconds. 
  • Slowly lower your recovering leg back to the floor. 
  • Repeat this exercise eight to 10 times. 
  • As your leg recovers, try doing this exercise without the support of your uninvolved leg. 
  1. Patellar mobilization exercise 

Purpose: This exercise is intended to help keep your kneecap mobile and reduce the formation of scar tissue, which can help reduce your torn ACL’s recovery time. 

How to do the patellar mobilization exercise: 

  • Sit down on a couch or bed, and straighten your recovering knee as much as possible. 
  • Place a hand on each side of your kneecap. 
  • Gently slide your kneecap up and down. 
  • Hold for two seconds in each position. 
  • Then, gently slide your kneecap left and right. 
  • Hold for two seconds in each position. 
  • Continue to repeat all four movements for about one minute. 
  • Your goal should be to do this exercise three to four times throughout the day. 

Get help recovering from an ACL reconstruction or repair surgery at Excel PT

Motivated to decrease your torn ACL’s recovery time? Our Excel Sports & Physical Therapy team can help you channel this motivation into your recovery. Our physical therapists excel at building highly effective post-surgical recovery plans for ACL reconstruction patients. We also offer pre-surgical rehab services that can help you prepare for surgery and help you recover faster afterward. 

Contact our team today for more information about our pre- or post-surgical rehab services or to schedule an initial appointment.