I am now 4 and a half months into my ACL rehabilitation after my right knee Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction with hamstring tendon graft.
So…what’s happened since my last blog on my ACL rehabilitation? I’m pleased to say that particularly during the last three weeks, my pain and swelling have reduced dramatically. I now usually only have pain or swelling at the end of the day, after being on my feet for long periods. The range of movement in my right knee ACL has improved and I can now bend my knee to 120 degrees flexion. I can almost straighten my knee fully, however I am still about 3 degrees away from reaching full knee extension. The strength of my right leg has noticeably reduced, particularly in my vastus medialis oblique (VMO) muscle.
The VMO is part of the quadriceps muscle group which is an integral muscle for relieving knee pain and preventing tracking of the patella (knee cap). Weakness of the VMO can lead to a common condition called patellofemoral pain syndrome. Because the strength of my VMO is severely reduced, most of my current knee pain is a result of this patellofemoral dysfunction.
My current ACL rehabilitation program, as prescribed by the physiotherapists at Enhance Physiotherapy, is aimed at VMO strengthening, core and hip stability, and balance retraining.
Some of these ACL rehabilitation exercises include:
3 minute wall sit (see photos)
5 minute single leg balance on a wobble cushion (see photos)
I am also attending regular Enhance Physiotherapy Pilates and hydrotherapy classes.
Overall, the progression of my ACL rehabilitation in these first few months post-surgery has been slow and at times frustrating. However, because I now have adequate knee range of movement, I will be starting to train on the stationary bike this week and am very very excited! I am also hoping to commence running again in the next 2 to 3 months.
I’ll let you know how the patellofemoral dysfunction goes in my next blog.