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Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Rehab


ACL rehab is hard. ACL rehabilitation is not only time consuming but also physically and emotionally demanding. Appropriate rehab requires a significant commitment over a long period. End stage rehab is largely not well executed and often patients are not pushed hard enough.

What is a successful outcome following ACL reconstruction?

  • Long-term knee joint health
  • Return to sport (RTS) – appropriate counselling & education in regards to safe parameters about RTS considering age, gender, tissue health, family history, psychological readiness
  • Prevent 2nd knee injury

Is testing important?

Increasing muscle strength of the quadriceps and hamstrings is a key factor for successful return to sport after ACL reconstructive surgery. Research has shown that after ACL reconstruction, athletes have demonstrated muscle strength deficits, decreased stability and force generation for up to 2 years. This may have an influence on risk factors for future knee injury.

Biomechanical abnormalities and movement asymmetries can persist despite high levels of functional performance. Good neuromuscular control (knee joint co-ordination and alignment) is crucial for tasks such as jumping, landing and changing direction.

WSC ACL Rehabilitation Testing

We are the only clinic in SA to provide isokinetic dynamometry as well as an evidenced-based comprehensive RTS assessment. The decision on when to return to play should be a shared one between the patient, the surgeon and the treating physiotherapist. This assessment will assist with information gathering to help with these discussions. This comprehensive assessment will include:

    • Isokinetic strength testing

Isokinetic dynamometry (also known as Cybex, Biodex, Kincom or Humac Norm) provides an objective measure of muscle strength and is used in sport, research and a variety of clinical settings. Isokinetic dynamometry is considered the ‘gold standard’ for measuring muscle strength.

    • Neuromuscular strength testing
    • Psychological readiness

Fear of re-injury and a lack of trust in your reconstructed knee is very common. However, building strength, and gradually increasing the demands you place on your knee, realistic goal setting, will help you to feel in control.

We have also teamed up with Dr David Opar, a world leading hamstring injury prevention expert and his team at Australian Catholic University & will be asking patients to consent to their unidentified data being used for research purposes for the project “ Assessing hamstring function throughout rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery: association with age and gender”.

Recommended time points for testing:

  • Test 1: 4-6 months post operation. We would recommend testing at 4 months with information used to assess suitability for running & moving to Phase 3 of our rehab program
  • Test 2: 6-8 months
  • Test 3: 9-12 months (prior to be cleared to return to unrestricted training)

Assessment cost: $180 (private health rebates apply)

This includes:

  • Testing, analysis & patient education from our team of experienced APA Sports Physiotherapists specialising in ACL rehab.
  • Comprehensive report to patient, surgeon & treating physiotherapist
    Including recommendations

Key points:

  • Testing occurs at our WAKEFIELD ST Clinic & will be conducted by Kate Beerworth, Chris Hampel & Natalie Tyson, all experienced clinicians in ACL rehab.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to scheduled appointment time
  • Change into appropriate attire (gym wear – shorts/tights, singlet/t-shirt) prior to appointment
  • Allow 1 – 1 ¼ hrs for testing, analysis & review of results

For any further questions, please contact us on 8232 5566

Please read the information below concerning COVID-19 and Wakefield Sports and Exercise Medicine Clinic’s approach to the situation.

The Clinic is regularly monitoring the Australian Government’s information and advice on COVID-19. Up-to-date information can be found here. This information is updated regularly and anyone who is concerned should check this site for the most current information. Patients or any visitors to the Clinic who have recently travelled overseas must follow the Australian Government’s guidance.

All travellers must isolate for a period of 14 days after they have entered Australia.

If you have entered Australia within the last 14 days, you must not enter the Clinic.
If you have been in close contact with a proven case of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of last contact with the confirmed case.

Regarding Consultations: If you are isolated, susceptible or concerned about attending your appointment, please call and discuss tele-health options that may be available.
If you are seeking information on COVID-19, please call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. This line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Wakefield Sports and Exercise Medicine Clinic – 8232 5833