A torn acl and meniscus can lead to tremendous amounts of pain and a lengthy recovery program. Individuals suffering from a torn acl and meniscus injury will normally undergo surgery if they wish to regain optimal knee function. A torn acl and meniscus will prevent an individual to play sports unless the person received arthroscopic surgery and establishes a post surgery rehab program. The timeline for recovery after surgery may vary depending on the aggressiveness of the physical therapy and the individuals natural healing potential. Normal activities like jogging and slow low impact sports can begin around 6 months post op. If a person feels any type of pain while performing these exercises they should stop the activity immediately. A proper torn acl and meniscus post surgery recovery program should consist of increasing leg strength, increasing motor function and stability, obtaining full range of motion, and reducing all swelling. Typically this type of rehab will last 3-6 months with a minimum of 2 visits to the physical therapist each week. In addition to physical therapy work individuals suffering from a torn acl and meniscus should be following a post surgery home exercise program.
Anterior cruciate ligament information
The knee has extensive ligamentous support. The primary stabilizer of the knee is the anterior cruciate ligament. There are two cruciate ligaments in the knee. The primary stabilizer of the knee is the anterior cruciate ligament. The anterior cruciate ligament sits anterior to the posterior cruciate. The ligament attaches is to the central aspect of the tibial plateau and to the distal femur in the intertrochlear groove. The cruciates act to restrict rotation and anterior/posterior glide of the tibia beneath the femur. The medial and lateral collateral ligaments provide support to their respective aspects of the knee. The collaterals limit valgus and varus forces at the knee. Knee ligaments are commonly injured in cutting, running, and twisting activities. Untreated or repetitive injury to the ligaments of the knee may result in increase joint laxity and eventually instability in the joint. This instability may manifest itself as giving way with athletic activities, tendinitis/bursitis, and arthritic changes in the knee.
Torn acl and meniscus injuries and other knee injuries include: patello-femoral syndrome, anterior cruciate ruptures, meniscal injuries, degenerative joint disease, patella tendon rupture, tibial plateau fracture, and total knee,replacement. Before training any clients with the above conditions a physician’s clearance should be obtained.
Patello-femoral syndrome (PFS) can be very painful and debilitating. Patello-,femoral syndrome is characterized by anterior knee pain with stairclimbing, after prolonged sitting and athletic activities. Often the cause of PFS is quadriceps weakness or imbalance. The imbalance usually involves a weakness of the vastus medialis, a much stronger vastus lateralis and a tight IT Band. Activities that produce compression in the patello-femoral joint with the knee in flexed positions will cause PFS.
People suffering from PFS should work to increase the strength and muscle recruitment of the vastus medialis along with stretching ilio-tibial band and other lateral structures of the thigh. Exercises such as quadriceps sets with hip adduction, manual stimulation of the vastus medialis, eccentric loading of the quadriceps, and lateral step-ups done on a three inch block increase strength and recruitment of the vastus medialis. Low resistance should be used within a pain-free portion of the range of motion.
A torn acl and meniscus occurs when the knee is in extension and a rotary force occurs that exceeds the physiologic limits of the ligament. The rupturing force is in excess of 1200 pounds. The resultant tear compromises the integrity of the joint. Surgery is indicated if the individual wishes to continue playing sports. The reconstruction of the cruciate is a demanding procedure.
The new ligament could come a from the patella tendon, the hamstrings, or the gracilis. The rehab process following ACL reconstruction is usually 6 months. The last three to six months may be done with a personal trainer if the physician and physical therapist have given clearance. The development of overall leg strength is the key to recovery following ACL reconstruction. Closed chain activities should be utilized to increase quad, ham, hip and leg strength in functional patterns. Performing open chain terminal knee extensions may damage the ACL graft. (Resisted knee extension in the last 30 degrees of knee extension should only be done via closed chain method.) Care should be taken to avoid the last 30 to 45 degrees on the knee extension machine. Contrary to common belief, the vastus medialis is not specifically strengthened in the last 30 degrees of knee extension. Optimal firing of the knee actually occurs at between 55-70 degrees of knee extension. Also, the ACL graft is subjected to high shear forces when performing open chain knee extension. Closed chain activities such as the leg press, the lateral step-up and mini-squats are more effective, safer and far more functional for the client. Clients undergoing a meniscus recovery or torn acl and meniscus recovery program should follow the directions of their physician and physical therapist. It is very important to listen and follow the direction of your knee doctor.