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Post-Op ACL Rehab

At Shift, we know what’s involved in the recovery process after ACL surgery and understand how it can affect many aspects of your life — your energy, activity levels, work, emotions, hobbies, relationships, and social life. That’s why we have created an integrative model, one that acknowledges all of these components of your health and wellbeing to support the whole you. We also offer you the best of eastern and western therapies side by side. Our compassionate team, collaborative model, and open, light-filled environment further promote deeper healing.

Our goal at Shift is to listen to your story and your goals so that together we can develop an individualized plan for post-op ACL rehab and to help you achieve optimal health. The first step is to call us for a free phone consultation so that we can guide you to the right therapist and help you set up an appointment.

During your initial appointment, you will have the opportunity to share what you are hoping to achieve while at Shift. Our expert Physical Therapist will perform a full evaluation and together you will come up with a customized treatment plan. Physical Therapy appointments are always one-on-one with a licensed Physical Therapist for 45 minutes in length. We never use physical therapy aides and we won’t keep you waiting. It’s what you want and what you deserve.

What is the ACL and Why is it Important?

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is an important ligament of the knee that connects the femur to the tibia. The ACL contains 2 bundles that collectively assist in maintaining stability of the knee joint.

Common Causes of ACL Injury

ACL injury is one of the most common orthopedic injuries occurring approximately 200,000 times annually in the United States, resulting in approximately 100,000 ACL reconstructions (Wilk KE et al. 2012).

Risk factors for ACL injury (Anderson MJ et al. 2016):

  • Biomechanics
  • Intrinsic / Anatomical Factors
  • Extrinsic Factors
  • Hormonal Factors
  • Specific Populations

Post-Op ACL Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty or pain with range of motion (i.e. bending and straightening the knee)
  • Difficulty or pain performing weight­-bearing activities with your involved leg (i.e. walking, standing, squatting, stair negotiation)

Post-Op ACL Treatment

The specific treatment may vary depending on the individual and the surgeon’s discretion, but you will most likely be placed in a locked knee brace in full knee extension (full straightening) and be allowed to place weight on the leg immediately following surgery.

You will start with 2 crutches and gradually increase the amount of weight placed on the leg until you’re able to walk without crutches with good form (i.e. not limping) over the course of 1­3 weeks.

Some specific treatment goals include (Wilk KE et al. 2012):

  • Restore full passive knee extension and range of motion
  • Restore Patellar Mobility
  • Reduce Post­-Operative pain and swelling
  • Range of Motion (ROM)
  • Re-­establish Quadriceps Control
  • Restore Neuromuscular Control
  • Gradually Increased Loads
  • Progress to Sport Specific Training

Post-Op ACL Recovery

It’s important to know that the post-op ACL rehabilitation process and returning to sports (if desired) is a lengthy process. According to Wilk KE et. al 2012, approximate timelines for returning to:

  • Running activities – 10­-12 weeks
  • Cutting activities – 16­-18 weeks
  • Running and Cutting sports – 6 months
  • Jumping sports – 6-9 months

Post-Op ACL Rehab and Treatment Program at Shift

At Shift, we believe that injury is an opportunity for transformation. During your initial evaluation, a licensed Physical Therapist will ask questions to get to know you and understand what you want to be able to do that you’re currently unable to do. After a full assessment, together you will create an individualized comprehensive plan of care to address your goals.

Treatment will include:
● Education
● Manual Therapy
● Movement
● Injury screening to ensure you return to sport or fitness with decreased injury risk


The Shift Model of Care:

  • Shift treats the whole you—body, mind and spirit because these elements of your health are always connected.
  • Shift uses a collaborative model to inform and empower you with multiple perspectives.
  • Shift is a supportive environment where you are invited to notice your own shifting self-awareness.


95 University Place, 8th Floor
New York, New York 10003

Shift is conveniently located between 11th and 12th Street, just 2 blocks from Union Square. Nearby Subway lines include L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6.

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