McACL phase 1 - week 1

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(Time spent : daily)

DAY 1 to DISCHARGE FROM HOSPITAL – on guidance of hospital based physiotherapist.

Weight Bearing (WB) as able – but use your 2 crutches that first days to week – then use 1 crutch in the opposite hand….. eventually short distances around the house without crutches. Better your knee is calm so just put whatever weight feels comfortable through it. 

Avoid prolonged standing on the crutches – sports people are discourage from trying to attend to watch a match or training in those first weeks post op! 


Number 1 goal those first days to week is to get your knee out straight – which medically we call : Extension (straightening). Keep the knee moving and sit with it out straight in front of you – avoid using a pillow under the knee as it will settle in the bent position and that won’t help you.

Number 2 goal Flexion (bending) – aim for 90 degrees flexion by discharge – stretching slow to end range (pain) – no sudden jerks.

Heel slide to encourage bending – tip : using slippy socks helps 

Encourage straight leg raise (SLR). Try build to sets of 10 – if you are too weak to achieve then use a scarf or belt to help pull the leg.

Encourage bending and straightening in sitting over edge of bed – use the other leg to assist initially.


-May have sutures or staples – which may remain in until weeks 2-3 or may have disolvable sutures.

-Take care to keep wound clean

-Previously patients may have had a drain inserted if fluid gathers – normally removed day one post op. We see this less now.

-NORMAL DISCHARGE FROM HOSPITAL 1-3 days – depending on surgeon.

DAY 1 post op discharge on crutches weight bearing as able, partial to full weight bearing (FWB). If painful take GP advice on use of painkillers.

Most surgeons now discourage use of NSAIDS (Ibufren/Iboprofren) as research has shown that they slow the healing of bone and this may affect your screw taking to the bone.

You should be using regular ice: the Cryocuff system pictured below is available for around a £100 from Amazon and others and/or a simple ice bag with a neoprene wrap costs around £15. Ice is advised daily initially and then through out your rehab when you start a new activity for the first time.

Post op you should be SEEN PHYSIO BY DAY 5 or 6.