An ACL tear or injury can be responsible for muscle stiffness and swelling which can last for a considerable amount of time. It is crucial to get rid of these symptoms prior to having surgery. People who have a limited range of mobility in their knee before surgery are likely to have a hard time regaining the full range of movement after surgery. Physical therapy before operation enables in the recovery of movement and avoids this problem later on. In most cases, it takes three to four weeks and might require you to put on a knee brace meanwhile.  

If you are already suffering from an ACL tear or anterior cruciate ligament tear, and are considering surgery, physiotherapy and therapy exercises will be good for preparation for the procedure. It is seen that preparing yourself for the surgery with the guidance of a physiotherapist improves overall results post-surgery. 

ACL sprains can be responsible for a number of symptoms. However, your physiotherapist can help you get back to the normal functioning after the tear.  Some common symptoms of ACL include:

  • Pain in the knee
  • Swollen knee
  • Limited mobility and range of movement
  • Loss of strength in hamstring and quadriceps muscles
  • Instability in the knee joint
  • Inability to walk, run or climb the stairs etc.

In case you experience the above-mentioned symptoms and suspect that you might have an ACL tear, you should consult a doctor and get an expert’s opinion so that a proper diagnosis can be made. A few tests might be run to determine an ACL injury, including an MRI.

What exercises should you do before ACL surgery?


You are most likely to undergo around three to four weeks of physiotherapy before being operated on. The aim of the surgery is to dial down the swelling and pain, recover full mobility in the knee, and strengthen muscles. Undergoing surgery without prior physiotherapy will not let you regain your full range of movement post-surgery.

Some common exercises done in the preparation for ACL reconstruction surgery include straight leg raises, heel slides, and quad sets. Doing these exercises will reduce your symptoms and you will be able to do glute sets, mini-squats, bridges, heel raises, hamstring curls, etc. However, your exercises will be personally curated by your doctor according to your injury, so consult before trying on anything new. 

The process of physiotherapy is quite easy here. You should start slow with easy exercises, and once your body adapts to them and the symptoms reduce, you can increase the intensity of the exercises. Keep in mind that you should not push yourself into exercising till the point that it starts hurting. Again, your doctor can best guide you as to how to proceed ahead. 

Some exercises which are mostly recommended include the following.

  • Glute sets
  • Heel slides
  • Heel raise
  • Bridges
  • Quad sets
  • Shallow standing knee-bends
  • Straight leg raises

ACL Reconstruction Surgery

ACL Reconstruction is the surgery done to repair a torn ACL. In this procedure, the injured ligament is surgically removed and replaced with a segment of the tendon. The tendon works like the ligament that had been replaced and connects the muscle to the bone. 

The tendon which is used to replace the torn ligament is usually from either a deceased donor or another part of the knee. Post-surgery, the patient has to undergo a rehabilitative physiotherapy course for recovery. 

For better and faster recovery, the following things can be done at home:

  • Frequent icing
  • Ample rest
  • Compression
  • Keeping the knee in an elevated position

ACL reconstruction surgery has been preferred by many people to get rid of an ACL tear. This holds true especially for people who suffered total tears in the ACL and wanted to get back to their normal life. This surgery has been highly effective in helping people regain their active lifestyles.  Consult the best orthopedic surgeons for ACL surgery at Pristyn Care.

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