Patients facing knee surgery — especially knee replacement surgery as well as surgery to reconstruct the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) will benefit from Prehabilitation.
Prehabilitation involves getting your knee... and you ready for surgery. The stronger and more flexible you are heading into surgery, the stronger and more flexible you will be after the surgery — usually.
Prehabilitation for ACL Tears or Total Knee Replacements involves:
- reduce swelling
- retain range of motion
- retain muscle size and strength
- maintain cardiovascular fitness
After an Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury (ACL injury), your first step is to get the swelling down. During the initial 48 hours, be sure to ice your injured knee for 15–20 minutes at least two to three times a day. While you’re icing your knee, keep your knee elevated above your heart as much as possible. To decrease inflammation, provide compression for your injured knee with a knee sleeve or ACE bandage — but not too tight!
In addition to reducing swelling with ice, elevation, and compression, you’ll want to REGAIN your range of motion and minimize the risk of muscle wasting or atrophy. Prehabilitation also improves your strength and maintains your cardiovascular fitness. To do this, you’ll need to keep exercising. Physical therapists and certified athletic trainers can work with you (with certain limitations) to create an individualized exercise plan that will help you prehabilitate your knee and minimize the risk of reinjuring it.