ACL Rupture In Children Treatment Post Surgery Information

The following can be expected following ACL reconstruction surgery:

  • On discharge the large outer dressing is removed leaving the water proof dressing in place
  • Tube-grip bandage may be applied

  • No brace or immobilisation will be needed

  • An ice pack should be applied regularly for 20 minute intervals until swelling subsides

  • Usually there will be a wound check after 14 days performed in Professor Munjed Al Muderis’ rooms

  • Physiotherapy should start at two to five days after surgery with the goal of a quick return to a full range of motion and the strengthening of both quadriceps muscles and hamstrings muscles.

  • Recovery from ACL surgery is a lengthy process and physiotherapy is required to restore full range of motion and function of the knee. A full rehab program complete with daily strengthening exercises will be prescribed and it is crucial that this part of the recovery is not neglected.


Range of Motion:

Passive and active range of motion exercises should be preformed to order to ensure full extension is achieved and maintained within one week post surgery. 90 degrees of flexion is the goal by week two followed by progression to full flexion as tolerated.


Weight bearing:

Weight bear as tolerated, initially with crutches. Crutches can be discontinued when full extension of the knee can be achieved without an extensor lag and the patient is able to walk comfortably without a flexed knee gait pattern.


Muscle rehabilitation:

  • Static quadriceps and co-contraction will commence immediately post operatively
  • Closed kinetic chain exercises are advised for the first two to three months which will be demonstrated and prescribed by the physiotherapist
  • Cycling on an exercise bike, swimming and leg presses may commence after two weeks and proprioception training will begin four weeks after surgery



Return to full activity should be eased into with care not to overdo it and over stress the knee.

  • As the swelling settles cycling on a stationary exercise bike can begin 
  • Low impact exercises such as swimming can commence after two weeks
  • After six weeks jogging can be commenced
  • Return to sport specific training at 12 to 16 weeks and when quadriceps strength is back to at least 80%.? When quadriceps strength is at least 90% and tolerating sport specific skills without symptoms a full return to sport can occur