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ACL Rehabilitation


Rehabilitation is a critical element in the success of ACL reconstruction surgery. There must be a focus on core stability, balance, and neuromuscular control as well as hip control and knee alignment that avoids excessive knee valgus during both static and dynamic movements. Any programme must focus on proper biomechanical technique and improved awareness and control during standing, running, planting, side stepping, jumping and landing.

The programme consists of three parts. The initial part is running exercises at slow speed combined with active stretching and controlled contacts with a partner. The running course includes six to ten pairs of cones about five to six metres apart (length and width). The second part consists of six different sets of exercises, each with three levels of increasing difficulty. The final part is speed running and sudden changes in direction.

The PEP and FIFA 11+ programmes have been designed to decrease the likelihood of reinjuring your knee when you return to sport after an ACL reconstruction. They take about 20minutes to complete and it takes about 3 months for them to become fully effective. The FIFA11+ prgramme should be performed as a warm-up prior to every training session and in a shortened version (parts 1 and 3) also before each match. This should be done before every training session (at least twice a week) and the running exercises (parts 1 and 3) before every match.

The Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine foundation has designed an ACL prevention exercise programme which may be of interest in prevention of ACL injury. 

FIFA complete warm up programme to prevent injuries

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