Re: Pre/Post-Surgery Strengthening
Most pre-surgical strengthening for someone about to have an ACL reconstruction is usually targeted at quadsets and hamstring sets.
Traditionally I've had patients focus on straight leg raises and terminal extension. (Terminal extension is the last 30 degrees of extension.) Hamstrings can be strengthened for these patients by going back to the old gym equipment and using the hamstring curl. We do this because for many ACL Recon patients, straightening the knee after surgery takes a lot of work. The hamstrings, if properly strengthened, may make up for a blown ACL if they can be strengthened to the point that they inhibit forward tibial translation. After surgery, nice strong hams will take up the slack in the knee while the graft,(new ACL), is healing.
Patients who have just ruptured the ACL will, as your friend does, have difficulty with most squatting and lunging. Their body has not adjusted to the lack of ligamentous tension in the knee, and the knee is full of blood from the injury. Both of these problems throw off your bodies proprioception, (sense of position).
Has she thought of seeing a Physical Therapist?