Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m
gonna show you some stretches and exercises for an ACL Tear that’s either non-operative
or a pre-op workout. Alright, let’s get started. So the ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament.
And it is the ligament in your knee that prevents it form sliding forward and backward to give
you that stability. So if it’s torn, besides a lot of pain, a lot of times you have instability
in that knee. And it feels like it’s wobbling when you walk and it can be really painful.
So even if you’re gonna have to have surgery, a lot of times it’s a really good idea to
do the stretches and exercises before because the more motion and strength you can have
before surgery, the better your recovery is gonna be afterwards. So let’s just start off
with some simple stuff to get that knee moving and get some of that swelling and irritation
out of there. The first one is just gonna be a heel slide. So the leg that you’re gonna
work, you’re gonna put it all the way down. And it’s gonna be just like it sounds, you’re
gonna slide your heel up towards your bottom. So just bringing it up this way and then slowly
coming back down. Now if it’s hurting, you might only be able to get to about here. And
that’s ok. Just go, give it a little push and then come back down. But you don’t really
want to force it through pain right now. Especially if you have that tear in there, you just want
to keep that movement that you can and get that circulation in there to help some of
that swelling get out. So just start off with about 10 of these and then work your way up
to more sets of 10 and then 20 – 25 if those become easy. And then coming back down. Then
next one is gonna be a quad set. With a quad set, what you’re doing is squeezing that quad
muscle. Tightening it up to push that knee down into the ground. Sometimes people take
a little towel to roll it up. If you have that tear and it’s just happened recently,
it might be really painful to straighten it all the way out, so putting a little towel
roll might help. But otherwise you’re gonna contract that muscle there, squeeze down just
like you’re trying to push your knee down into the ground. If you pull your toes up,
that helps do that setting as well. Hold it for about 3 – 5 seconds and then relax. So
you see how it’s squeezing there to push down into the ground. Holding it, coming back up.
Again, just start off with about 10 of those and work your up from there. The next one
is just gonna be an ankle pump. Because even though stuff is going on at your knee, the
muscles that move the ankle also come up around that knee. So you want to make sure all that
stuff is working and moving so it doesn’t get tight on you. Just prop it up on something.
Foam rollers work really well, you don’t have to use a foam roller, you can just put it
off the edge of the bed, or prop it up on a stool on the ground, but you want your heel
to be free moving because you’re just gonna push down and then come all the way back up.
Try and keep your knee straight if you can, you saw mine try and bend a little bit, but
just push down and then come up. And you’re gonna be working these calf muscles in the
back, the anterior muscles in the front, and just getting those moving. Again, making a
natural pump, that’s why it’s called ankle pump, to get that irritation, swelling, inflammation
out of the leg back in to your body. So with these, you can start off with more than just
10, you can go ahead and start off with 15 – 20 of them. And do them several times throughout
the day just to keep that swelling out of there. Alright. The next one we’ll still use
the roll for that, is gonna be, we call it a short arc quad, SAQ. Put the roll, or you
can roll up a big towel, and put it up under the knee. Just relax the knee. The knee is
not gonna come up off of the roll. So this is nice cause it helps to support the knee
a little bit. And then you’re just gonna try and straighten out your leg as much as you
can. And then slowly come back down. Really try to control the coming back down. Don’t
just plop it back down. Besides it hurting a little bit, it’s not actually working the
muscles. So come up, kind of squeeze at the end, again squeezing that quad muscle, and
then slowly come back down. Just start off again, with 10 of these and then you can slowly
work your way up after that. The next one is gonna be a straight leg raise. Most of
the time you want to start lying all the way down, but you can kind of prop yourself up
as well. The higher up you go, the harder it is, so I’m just gonna kind of prop up on
my elbows. Again you want to keep your knee as straight as you can, so kind of squeezing
that quad muscle to lock the leg out. Also pull up your toes cause that helps keep everything
nice and straight. And then just slowly lift it up to about even with the other side, and
really controlled coming back down. Again the coming back down is just as important
as the going up. So make sure going nice and slow and controlled. Again just starting off
with 10 of these and then work your way up to about 20 – 25. If 20 -25 becomes easy,
then you can put a little bit of weight on your ankles just starting off with 1 pound.
And then the last one is just a prop. A knee prop. And the reason you want to do this is
to try and get the motion in your knee here cause a lot of times after you have that tear,
your knee doesn’t want to straighten out anymore. So again, taking a roll or sit in a chair
and put another chair in front of you or ottoman or a stool. And just let it prop up there.
So, if you’re knee is feeling like this. Gravity will help kind of straighten it out while
you’re propping it up there. Now again, this might be very uncomfortable when you first
do it. You might just want to do it for 30 seconds to a minute. But then eventually work
your way up to 2 minutes, 5 minutes and hopefully it will just start straightening out for you.
There you have it, those are your stretches and exercises for an ACL Tear non-operatively
or pre-operatively. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section. If you’d
like to check out some other videos, go to AskDoctorJo.com and remember, be safe, have
fun and I hope you feel better soon.