Thursday, January 19, 2023
HomePhysical TherapyAnterior Knee Ache After ACL Reconstruction

Anterior Knee Ache After ACL Reconstruction

Anterior knee ache is among the extra widespread issues following ACL reconstruction surgical procedure, particularly if utilizing a patellar tendon graft.

There are numerous the reason why this will happen, however by conserving this in thoughts from the start, we hope to attenuate this from occurring.

Right here’s what we do.

To view extra episodes, subscribe, and ask your questions, go to

#AskMikeReinold Episode 310: Anterior Knee Ache After ACL Reconstruction

Hear and Subscribe to Podcast

You need to use the participant under to take heed to the podcast or subscribe. If you’re having fun with the podcast, PLEASE click on right here to depart us a assessment in iTunes, it is going to actually imply lots to us. THANKS!


Jake Woodridge: We’ve got Jeff from New Jersey. “I’ve been working the quad extra after ACL reconstruction, incorporating issues like full vary, open kinetic chain knee extension, and earlier progressive loading. I’ve observed that I’m seeing extra folks expertise anterior knee ache, particularly after a patellar tendon graft. How do you steadiness gaining power and never flaring up a knee?”

Mike Reinold: Superior. That’s an excellent query. I assumed that was an actual related query as a result of I feel lots of people are most likely doing this, proper? Social media is pushing them a little bit bit to get extra aggressive, and I wager for lots of people, it’s most likely the primary time they’ve began to get a little bit bit extra aggressive and also you’re seeing a little bit little bit of a bounce again.

So why don’t we begin with that? And possibly Lenn, you can begin off a little bit bit. How widespread is anterior knee ache after ACL reconstruction, particularly patellar tendon graft? And do you suppose a part of this development and getting a little bit bit extra aggressive goes to make that worse, or is there one thing we are able to do higher? What do you concentrate on this? I do know you concentrate on this lots.

Lenny Macrina:
I give it some thought lots. Really, I discuss it a good quantity as a result of once we all the time have college students coming in, I allow them to form of suppose via a few of our ACLs and write applications for them. And it’s all the time fascinating to see the variations in what they suppose ought to be occurring. However I undoubtedly suppose the social media development of loading it, and now the open chain factor, is socially acceptable on social media.

Mike Reinold:
I like the way you phrase that.

Lenny Macrina:
Full open kinetic chain, which I agree with. I’m not in opposition to that. It’s timing it. Whenever you load the tissue early, particularly a patellar tendon graft, you have got an opportunity of irritating it. And bear in mind, you have got a patellar tendon and that’s like three centimeters broad and so they take the center third of it. So now that space has to scar down, and so they took bone and bone plugs out from a patella and the tibia… There’s lots that may get irritated very simply.

If we are attempting to indicate the affected person that we are able to load them, we need to load, you need to get the quads again and we hold loading, loading, loading the extensor mechanism, one thing’s acquired to provide, whether or not it’s the fats pad, the patellar tendon itself, and even worse case, is the bones, the tibia or the patella, the place you may get a fracture of the patella. Knock on wooden, that’s by no means occurred to me. However should you load it too early too shortly with single leg squats or squats, and even knee extensions, I might think about it’s all going to annoy the realm and it’s by no means going to heal accurately. And then you definately run the danger of that. So I don’t get loads of…

Mike Reinold:
Lenn, you possibly can go knee over toes. It’s a truth now, it’s science.

Lenny Macrina:
I’m going to create a social media account referred to as “Knees Over Toes, Lenny.” I need to load it, belief me. I need to load my sufferers. It’s going to be a window the place you’re getting the knee to settle down. And for me that’s about 4 to 6 weeks is that window.

What am I doing in that meantime? I’m getting swelling out, I’m getting patella mobility, I’m getting flexion vary of movement, I’m getting extension vary of movement. I’m slowly getting them to bear weight on their extremity. And I’m monitoring. I’m performing some comfortable tissue work at that space to get the tissue to maneuver higher, and I’m slowly including stuff to see how they’re doing as a result of I do know that at 6, 7, 8 weeks, I can then be a little bit bit extra aggressive and never fear about anterior knee ache.

My sufferers get anterior knee ache very hardly ever. And whether it is, it’s very transient, very short-lived. So you bought to slowly deliver them alongside and have a scientific strategy to what you’re doing. And your experiences will information it. You’ll determine it out, hopefully. If not, you’re simply going to maintain getting the anterior knee ache in these sufferers, however you possibly can’t load it too shortly. Give that 4 to 6 week window an opportunity for issues to heal down and get that movement again and get the knee to settle down.

Mike Reinold:
It’s not that we’re in opposition to all these items. Sure, you’ll want to do progressive loading stuff. Perhaps you one way or the other tip the scales, proper? Perhaps you simply did a little bit an excessive amount of too quickly or too typically or no matter, possibly. Dave, what do you suppose?

Dave Tilley:
Yeah, I can simply communicate to a case that Chris and I have been working with. This woman’s tremendous aggressive, ACL, and he or she got here to us a little bit bit later, so it’s extra like she got here within the three-month section and it was only a combination of all the elements, simply form of ramped up her quantity simply too quick, too fast.

I by no means need to communicate in poor health of previous therapists. She did an ideal job, but it surely looks as if if you take a look at her program, it was simply tremendous quad heavy. It was like squatting, step-up, step-down, knee extension, and there wasn’t loads of combined programming occurring together with doing stuff. So she was doing a extremely quad dominant program that was just about all quad and he or she acquired cleared to run simply objectively on a protocol. So she began working, and naturally she’s so aggressive, she was going laborious on her runs when she shouldn’t have been.

After which she began to return to leaping and touchdown as a result of she was cleared. So it wasn’t that anybody did something notably flawed, but it surely wasn’t a well-balanced program. And so she acquired actually flared up. We needed to again off a month as a result of she additionally had some stuff that was a little bit irritable. I simply suppose, sadly, it was simply not wanting holistically, “Can we get a hinge, a squat, a break up pelvis, a step-up, a step-down, some hamstring, some quads, some calf, some steadiness.” Simply making an attempt to unfold out her quantity throughout all of it.

After which just a few recommendation to folks is that there’s loads of methods you possibly can load the quad. You are able to do it with squatting, sleds, break up squats, step-ups. You will get loads of completely different mechanisms and actions. She simply didn’t tolerate squats. However she does nice with step-ups, doesn’t tolerate step-downs. She does nice with sleds. So we’re simply making an attempt to do stuff that she feels snug with and provides her form of mini wins.

Mike Reinold:
I prefer it. Dan, what do you suppose?

Dan Pope:
Yeah, loads of great things right here. I’ll attempt to be temporary. I feel generally with clinicians, now we have a protocol. We’re at week 4 or week eight, we acquired to do lunges, we acquired to squat, that is the subsequent step. After which generally sufferers get to it and it’s form of provocative and aggravating and it’s like, “Nicely, you’re at week eight, so we acquired to do it.” However I don’t suppose that all the time must be the case.

I requested loads of inquiries to the purpose the place it’s form of annoying to the affected person. They’re like, “You’re the boss, you resolve what’s occurring.” And it’s like, “I need to know the way this feels as a result of if it’s not going properly, we have to again off.” And I set that expectation with sufferers. It’s like, “All proper, we’re ramping up and I feel that is the suitable selection, however let me know the way you are feeling tonight. Let me know the way you are feeling tomorrow. Take notes on this, and should you’re not doing very well with it, we are able to again off or progress ahead, relying.”

I feel the final piece too, and I simply point out this as a result of I’ve carried out loads of ACL form of deep dive analysis these days, and blood stream restriction has form of been studied a good quantity with ACL of us. And it’s fascinating since you take a look at these research and after they evaluate BFR coaching for the quad versus common power coaching, it looks as if they’re fairly comparable. So it’s not just like the BFR is crushing and doing method higher.

However I feel the opposite factor to remember is that you simply’re coping with somebody who has ache or some kind of irritation. And should you use blood stream restriction over heavier loading, you’re most likely going to get a really comparable change in hypertrophy and power. It’s most likely going to be a lot much less aggravating, most likely, as a result of you possibly can actually cut back the masses.

I feel making an attempt to be sensible about your progressions and be prepared to alter them if it doesn’t work properly. After which in case you are getting a ton of irritation, simply do some BFR. I don’t suppose it’s going to set you again.

Mike Reinold:
That’s a great way of simply peeling again.

Lenny Macrina:
There’s an analgesic impact of BFR too. I do a BFR two weeks after surgical procedure after which I try this for the remainder of their rehab, whether or not it’s in the course of the starting of their rehab after they’re doing all their leg raises, or if it’s on the finish after they did a full program, squat, deadlifts, all that. After which I do BFR knee extensions on the finish to essentially lock within the quads as a result of we don’t have a knee extension machine. I feel the BFR actually has an help in analgesic impact to that extension mechanism to that anterior knee.

Mike Reinold:
Yeah, I like that. I feel the one factor I’d simply warning in opposition to with BFR early after that is that we don’t have to leap proper into an aggressive set rep scheme. And generally you get locked into 30, 30 30, or 30, 15, 15, 15. That could be aggressive too. You bought to get there. However I like Dan’s idea on reducing the load.

After which Jeff, I’m simply going to take a step again and provide you with a little bit credit score right here and say that possibly this isn’t essentially that you’re overworking the quad. Perhaps you’re doing every thing and possibly you probably did enhance your aggressiveness and quad power in a helpful method. I might say the first purpose that I’ve gotten anterior knee ache in ACLs in my profession has virtually all the time come to movement, not from overdoing their quad. So possibly you’re emphasizing power rather more, and possibly they don’t have full knee extension or possibly their patellar mobility is down and that’s inflicting among the points.

I might say to verify their movement remains to be good. Perhaps it’s not that you simply’re doing an excessive amount of, however possibly their patellar mobility or their knee vary of movement is down a little bit bit. I feel these can result in anterior knee ache, generally much more typically in my expertise.

I feel placing that every one along with what everyone mentioned might actually assist although, simply ensure that we’re being clever with our utility of load and never being aggressive simply to be aggressive, however be clever and progressive.

This can be a lengthy progress. You don’t should be as tremendous aggressive the primary two to 4 weeks. You’re going to be doing this with months with this particular person. The secret’s that you simply’re gradual and loading up over time, and that you simply’re getting them to that interval the place they will stimulate a little bit little bit of their load. I feel that will be unbelievable.

So nice query, Jeff. Actually recognize it. When you have a query like that, head to, click on on that podcast hyperlink and you’ll fill within the kind to ask us a query. And please head to Apple Podcast, Spotify, to subscribe, price, assessment. We’d actually recognize it. We’ll hold doing these episodes so long as you retain asking some questions. We’ll see you on the subsequent episode. Thanks a lot.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments