Van Grinsven et al 2010 completed a review of a decade of RCTs concerning ACL rehab post-surgery. It was found that minimal bracing, range of motion work, strength and neuromuscular control lead to reductions in pain, swelling and inflammation faster than any other protocol.
In the event of an ACL reconstruction; regaining terminal knee extension, quad strength, hamstring strength, popliteus control, gastrocnemius control and range of motion are of paramount importance. Several studies support increasing the strength of the surrounding musculature before entering the surgery.
Terminal knee extension, weight bearing with crutches and AROM to 30 degrees should be achieved within 5 days of the surgery. Increasing independent mobility, balance and motor control are the next concerns. After independent gait is achieved, full range of motion and strength should be the goal with 90-100% of normal range and strength being reclaimed 14 days post-surgery