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Old 04-08-2008, 11:10 AM   #1
Jonathan Pollard
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Pre-surgery Workout Routine for Torn ACL

I've found some good stuff searching through the threads already posted, but am wondering if anyone has some more ideas for a pre-surgery workout routine for a torn ACL? Basically, what is going to be safe/good for my knee? I can't have surgery for at least 6-8 weeks (maybe longer because of concerns with school/work), so I want to do as much as possible in the meantime to build strength, regain range of motion, etc.

Thanks.

JP

Last edited by Jonathan Pollard : 04-08-2008 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:04 PM   #2
Caz Berkowitz
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Re: Pre-surgery Workout Routine for Torn ACL

How's your range of motion? Does it match your uninjuried leg? Can you warm it up and get a few more degrees out of it?

That's your first and most important goal.

I'm looking for the same info as you - pre-surgery strength training.
I don't have any range of motion issues so I want to know if air squats, lunges, weighted squats and rowing stress the damaged ACL or if I can do them if I'm careful to not twist or overextend.

In my limited understanding of the role of the ACL, it acts like a limit to prevent you from bending too far or twisting too far. So if I'm >careful< I can still do weight training and row, correct?
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:25 PM   #3
Steven Low
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Re: Pre-surgery Workout Routine for Torn ACL

ACL prevents forwards translation of the tibia (compared to the femur).

Lunges are definitely one of the better exercises. Squats, theoretically, do not require the ACL so you should be able to do deep squats without it. Stairs also work. Some stability work might be good as well.

After, as Caz has said, is to get ROM back. Then stability/endurance. Then strength. Then power. If you're involved with a power sport like football it should take more or less a year to regain full power. The first couple steps should be accomplished within the first few months at the very least if you have a good PT.
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Last edited by Steven Low : 04-11-2008 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:51 PM   #4
Caz Berkowitz
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Re: Pre-surgery Workout Routine for Torn ACL

Thanks Stephen.

As this is my second go-round I am going to have a better informed rehab this time.

There was a lot I could have added to what my therapist had me doing had I known. For example, he NEVER had me doing any kind of lunge or squat.

I'm going to be working a lot more around/with his program rather than solely relying on it.

The Concept II wouldn't stress a damaged ACL or ACL reconstruction, would it?
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:39 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: Pre-surgery Workout Routine for Torn ACL

Hmm, C2 shouldn't although I wouldn't use the legs as aggressively to row at least at first until you get some work under your belt and feel you can do a bit more.
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Old 04-11-2008, 06:26 PM   #6
Jonathan Pollard
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Re: Pre-surgery Workout Routine for Torn ACL

Hey guys, thanks for the responses. Some interesting developments.

I had a ton of blood drained off the knee on Monday. I still couldn't walk without the aid of crutches. It's been exactly 5 days since the injury, and I am able to walk around without my knee feeling to unstable. I sought a second opinion from a trusted friend/physical therapist. He did some pretty intense stim work on the knee, then went through a complete range of diagnostic tests (Lachman, Anterior Drawer, Pivot Shift, etc).

Literally, he sat on my foot, extended my knee to roughly 30 degrees, and began pulling rigorously on my tibia. Slight movement. His diagnosis: grade 2 ACL tear. He says there's no way I can have a complete tear without much more movement on my Lachman and Anterior Drawer test. So, basically, I'm to go through with my original plan. Rehab the knee and evaluate it in a month or two. If all indications are that I don't have an ACL tear/instability, then no surgery. If it's unstable (I'm more concerned about what the clinical tests indicate as opposed to the MRI), then I'll get reconstruction.

Caz--- there was this high school running back in Texas who rehabbed a very significant ACL tear through something called ARP Wave (some electro stimulus) and tons of lunges. Apparently, lunges are good.

I've been doing
- passive full extension (laying my leg out on a chair)
- passive flexion (90 degrees hanging on the edge of a chair, progressing to probably 60 degrees as of today)
- quad flexes (just trying to fire my quad muscles 250 times a day)
- standing hamstring curls (no weight, just curling my leg up to my butt - 250 times)

From what I gather, hitting the exercise bike ASAP (once the ROM is back) could be very helpful. It's my goal to do that tomorrow or Sunday.

After that, partial squats. Apparently, "closed chain" exercises like squat (feet firmly planted) are safe. I'd work with a swiss ball just to be safe.

I'm staying off the rower-- to much stress on my knees when I use it.

If anybody has only a partial tear, look into prolotherapy and this ARP Wave machine.

JP
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Old 04-11-2008, 06:53 PM   #7
Caz Berkowitz
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Re: Pre-surgery Workout Routine for Torn ACL

Sounds like you are on this. Get your ROM back. Bike will help, even with no resistance, just keep it moving.
I'm asking about the rower for cardio after my knee stabilizes.
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