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  • PCL surgery

Rehabilitation

It is important to understand that both healing and rehabilitation have to occur in the post-operative period. We believe that healing of the reconstructed ligament takes precedence and that intensive rehabilitation should not commence before 3 to 4 months.

Guidelines concerning post-operative management and rehabilitation will be provided by both ourselves and the physiotherapist. It is important that you follow this carefully. The rehabilitation programme consists of 4 phases:

Phase 1 (0-6 weeks post-operatively)

The ligament is busy healing. The knee is kept in a brace limiting knee flexion. You can walk bearing full weight on the leg.
Once a day while lying prone the knee is passively flexed to 110°. The principle is to passively flex your knee without contracting your hamstring muscles. The hamstring muscles put excessive stress on the freshly repaired ligament and might damage it. For this exercise you need help from someone. Lie on your stomach with the operated leg flat on the bed. Ask your assistant to slowly bend your knee with the one hand while pushing down on the calf just below the knee joint with the other hand. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

Isometric quadriceps exercises are also of the utmost importance at this stage.

Phase 2 (6-14 weeks)

The ligament is healed but not strong. The brace is removed and intensive quadriceps and calf muscle rehabilitation exercises are started. Knee flexion is still passive and no hamstring exercises are allowed. You can swim and do some gym exercises.

Phase 3 (14-28 weeks)

Continue with the rehabilitation. A lot of attention should still be paid to quadriceps strengthening, but progressive hamstring strengthening commences. Start agility exercises at approximately 22 weeks.

Phase 4 (After 28 weeks)

Depending on muscle strength and agility you can start with your chosen sport. Healing of ligaments is a slow process and it takes at least 18 months. You can expect progressive improvement in your knee function and general playing ability for at least 18 months after the operation.

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