How to strengthen quad after ACL surgery

Returning your quad to full strength is one of the key steps in ACL surgery recovery. It is a very common question to receive from the readers of this blog. Such as the question below where Marianne had questions about her quad strength 3 months after ACL surgery. Below is the question from Mariaane then I will give my advice as to how to strengthen quad after ACL surgery.

I had ACL reconstruction surgery on January 10, 2011 so I am around my three month mark. Right now, my biggest concern is my quad strength. I’ve been working at physical therapy to increase the strength but it is difficult, painful, and it’s hard to see the improvement right now. Is this how it was on your 3 month mark?
I play competitive soccer and I really want to improve the strength of my quad. When I do the exercise where I stand on a platform with my injured knee and lower my body down (keeping my hips aligned), as to work on the strength of the quad and the knee, I can only lower myself until my knee is about 40 to 50 degrees bent.
I just wanna know how your quad strength was around this time of your rehab and what I can do more to increase the strength of my quad and my knee. Thanks.

Strengthen Quad After ACL Surgery

Well it sounds like you are doing a lot of the right things now and working hard. To answer your question about me at the 3 month mark, at 3 months after ACl surgery I was able to do squats with both legs and full weight single leg step ups and step downs.

Here are my tips to help you improve your quad strength.

1. Doing full weight step ups/step downs can be difficult to keep your knee behind your toes, if you are doing this exercise make sure your knee remains behind your toes.

2. Take a step back and get on the bike. One of the best exercises for returning quad strength after acl surgery is biking after acl surgery

3. Start going lower using your good leg as a spotter, making sure you stay in balance. So use both legs and do a full range squat(90 degree) and try to make your bad leg do as much of the work as possible.

4. Stay motivated…remember how weak your quad was right after surgery where just doing some quad sets was difficult.



The Top 5 At Home Exercises
I did that helped get me walking 4 days after surgery

Click Here to see the exercises
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