Rehabilitation from ACL reconstruction takes time, a lot of effort, and careful planning on the part of the therapist/trainer. Although failure rates have decreased as surgical techniques improve, damaging the new ACL graft is still a real posssibility. It is important steps are taken to reduce this risk. The two periods in which failure are likely to occur are firstly during the period 6 to 12 weeks after surgery, and secondly, upon return to sport.
The new graft is generally wekaest 6 to 12 weeks after surgery making this a time where you need to be very careful. Avoid 2 things:
1. Highly dynamic/demanding physical activities eg running
2. Excessive alcohol - this has contributed to the majority of failures I have seen during this time period.
When you do return to sport you need to make sure you have prepared as well as physically possible. This does not just mean spending endless hours in the gym. The final phases of your rehabilitation need to be as relevant to your sport as possible. For example, if you are involved in a sport such as football, you need to make sure you have not only a lot of running and change of direction drills, etc, but also sport specific ball work, opposition challenges, etc.
Many of the sports people that come through our clinic comment that they feel better prepared for their chosen sport than they ever did prior to the surgery. Work hard and you can be as good as you ever were, if not better!
Author - Recovery Guides