So here we are! You can now finally return to your sport after an ACL/R!
Before any return to sport (RTS), we will need to assess a few components to ensure you are fully cleared to safely get back to your sport.
Phase 4 ACL rehabilitation should be highly individualised. You can finally start to engage in some of your normal pre-injury activities!
The focus is not JUST your knee, it is to get your whole body primed for the demands of your sport. Yes, your knee needs to be stable and strong, with optimal neuromuscular control and biomechanics in order to return to sport safely. However, that is not all that matters! On top of that, you need to be confident and mentally ready to return to sport, and this will come with the repetition of training drills and match play situations.
A background of strength, balance, landing, and agility work needs to be done during this phase (and this will continue on to Phase 5 – Prevention of Re-injury).The emphasis of Phase 4 ACL rehabilitation is on progressive training – from restricted to unrestricted, and the eventual return to competition when ready.
In this phase, you will go through a series of exercises that are sport-specific (i.e. the exercise program prescribed would be different between a netball player, football player and a rugby player).
How do I know I am safe to return to sport after an ACL/R?
There are three main criteria to be met:
- Successful completion of the assessment test
- Adequate confidence and comfort, in addition to eagerness to return to sport
- Implementation of an ACL injury prevention program
What kind of exercises can I expect in Phase 4?
Since this phase is highly individual and customised to the demands of your sport.
For example in a sport like Rugby:
A lot of cutting and external impact forces is involved. Hence, some exercises a Rugby player could expect include:
As for Netball:
A lot of jumping and landing is involved. Hence, some exercises a Netball player would expect include:
Book now or give us a call to schedule an appointment to see our Physiotherapist who will be able to partner you to recovery after your ACL reconstruction.
DISCLAIMER: These exercises should not replace the need for a consultation with a Physiotherapist, especially if your condition doesn’t improve with these exercises. Therapeutic exercise should be carefully selected to suit your condition.
Cooper, R. and Hughes, M., 2018. Melbourne ACL Rehabilitation Guide 2.0. [pdf] Available at: https://www.melbourneaclguide.com/brief.
Filed under: Knee