Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

The Impact of Pre Operative Physical Therapy on ACL Recovery

January 21, 2017

ACL injury-surgery-physical therapy-pre operative physical therapy

ACL injuries  are becoming more common among both recreational and professional athletes.  The majority of these athletes who sustain complete tears of their ACL ligament will undergo ACL reconstruction and intensive post operative Physical Therapy.  Often, the ACL surgery is delayed after the injury to allow the athlete to regain their lost range of motion and strength, as well as, reduce signs of swelling and inflammation.  This pre operative period is an excellent opportunity for the patient to work with a Physical Therapist to address these impairments and improve their post operative recovery.  An athlete’s condition entering surgery has a significant impact on their condition following surgery.

A recent review article studied 8 previous articles on pre operative Physical Therapy prior to ACL reconstruction (Alshewaier et al. Clin Rehab. 2017).  The 8 studies included 451 patients who underwent pre operative Physical Therapy from 3 up to 24 weeks.  The authors reported pre operative Physical Therapy was effective for improving strength and function prior to ACL surgery.  They concluded pre operative Physical Therapy is beneficial to patients with ACL injury and should be utilized to improve recovery and functional outcomes.