So you had surgery to fix your ACL and were discharged from physical therapy; what’s next?
If you’re like most people, you have no idea.
Does this sound familiar?
You stuck with physical therapy, went to all your sessions, did the exercises, and now you feel pretty good about everyday activities like going up and down stairs, grocery shopping, and getting around at work, but…
You don’t feel confident at all doing the physically active things you love.
Maybe you like to play soccer, but the thought of cutting left or right on the field sounds terrifying.
Maybe you enjoy lifting, but squatting below parallel with a barbell on your back seems like it's out of the question.
Maybe you like hiking, but know your knee will be swollen and tapped out after less than a mile.
If that sounds like you, listen up; This isn’t as good as it gets!
Here’s the truth.
Physical therapy’s job isn’t to get you back to 100%; it’s to get you back to independence.
Once you can take care of yourself and go to work, insurance stops paying, and you get sent on your way.
That means upon discharge, you’re likely 75-80% of the way there.
The last 20-25% of the work must be done outside the clinic.
What should that work look like?
That depends on what you want to do.
If you need to be able to run, jump, cut, and take contact, that’s what your work should prepare you for.
If you need lots of endurance and navigation of uneven terrain, that’s what your work should prepare you for.
In a nutshell, there’s not a cookie-cutter program or solution that works for everyone. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you one of said cookie-cutter solutions.
You don’t have to settle for 80% capacity; you can get it back; it just takes some work.
You can do that work on your own if you understand the principles of load vs. capacity, the rules for exercising with pain, and staying within the parameters prescribed by your physical therapist and surgeon.
If you want more information on those, here are two helpful articles.
If you’re not comfortable navigating those issues on your own and want to get back to your active lifestyle as quickly as possible, we’re here to help.
We’ve helped over 14,000 people get out of pain worldwide, and we can help you, too.