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  1. #1
    Registered User PitbullJR's Avatar
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    Lifting Program for a person 8 weeks out of ACL Surgery

    I am assuming its not safe to try to do deadlifts or any exercises standing? Any programs you recommend? Out of the Big 3, (Bench, Deads and Squats) Bench only seems suitable at 8 weeks out. Any help would be appreciated.
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    Hey Pitbull

    Just joined this forum so I could respond to your post. I am at 9 or 10 weeks post hamstring graft ACL reconstruction. I have been pondering your question too. I'm probably nowhere in your lifting league, before my injury I used to lift for a bit for fitness to supplement soccer/football. I used to find full squats such a great exercise for all over quads and glute strength and I felt, more importantly flexibility. Of course I cannot do them at the moment. I have been working on overhead squats but as much as I would like to push myself, I think I would be doing myself more harm. If I'm honest with myself I still need to build up my other knee structures in isolation before going more "compound". I found cycling extremly useful pre op, (9 month op wait here in uk), and I have been static cycling for a few weeks now. I know that isn't lifting but at least I can get all the structures working, if not toned or pumped as well. This is worked alongside all the balance/hamstring stuff to. I'm not sure I am exactly offering motivation or wisdom of any other previous acl ops, but I feel for your situation. Be honest with yourself because everyones recovery and mechanisims from this op are often very different. Wiill be interested to hear what others say. Good luck with it. Rob UK
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  3. #3
    You are on ignore CookAndrewB's Avatar
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    This is a question that is a little outside the scope of the kind of help you can get here.

    People may answer you, but the truth is that you are recovering from surgery, and what you need is the help of an actual medical professional, not a 17 year old that thinks he is a bodybuilder.

    The best course of action would be to seek out a physical therapist that deals with athletes, as they will have the best idea what can/can't be done at this stage in your recovery. Do not seek out a PT that works with the elderly or normal populations as I think you will find a very different answer, and probably one that won't help you much.

    As an example, I injured my ACL during a football game. Majority tear, but not complete and I had options which looked like "surgery and don't play football, or no surgery and don't play football." I, and my parents, listened to this and my football career was over. No, I'm not NFL material, but I could have played small college ball, no doubt. This PT was not used to dealing with athletes, and his advice was completely offbase. I could have rehabbed and played again, or had surgery and played again. So get GOOD advice from someone that really understands what you are going for.
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    Registered User jayman33's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CookAndrewB View Post
    This is a question that is a little outside the scope of the kind of help you can get here.

    People may answer you, but the truth is that you are recovering from surgery, and what you need is the help of an actual medical professional, not a 17 year old that thinks he is a bodybuilder.

    The best course of action would be to seek out a physical therapist that deals with athletes, as they will have the best idea what can/can't be done at this stage in your recovery. Do not seek out a PT that works with the elderly or normal populations as I think you will find a very different answer, and probably one that won't help you much.

    As an example, I injured my ACL during a football game. Majority tear, but not complete and I had options which looked like "surgery and don't play football, or no surgery and don't play football." I, and my parents, listened to this and my football career was over. No, I'm not NFL material, but I could have played small college ball, no doubt. This PT was not used to dealing with athletes, and his advice was completely offbase. I could have rehabbed and played again, or had surgery and played again. So get GOOD advice from someone that really understands what you are going for.
    I'm going to agree with the above statement. I've played sports all my life, I was in a Basketball tourney when I tore my ACL, MCL, PCL and meniscus. I used my hamstring for the ACL and cadaver for the rest and they took out 25% of my meniscus. (yeah this operation sucked). My surgery was Jan 2006, my operated knee is now better then the other and there is only one reason for this. I listened to the therapist and I was strict on obeying her and the doctors directions. It took me 6 months til I could start jogging again, not running but jogging. Now let me clarify one thing everyone heals differently, I had major problems with my hamstring, not my knee.

    If you dont have a PT, get one I promise you with proper medical advice you will be happier ten years down the road. The last thing you want is to have another operation because you decided to rush into things and not wait. Your knee effects everything in your body, you take that knee out and there goes your hips and back. Just be patient, waiting a few months will not kill you. If your going to workout, stick to upper body. If your two months out you should be able to use a stationary bike, maybe even an elliptical, but seek a medical professional first.
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  5. #5
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    I'm 9 weeks post op patellar graft ACL surgery. As already stated it is beyond most individuals scope on these boards. Definetly mine. For what its worth, I've been seeing a PT for the last 8 weeks and started body weight squats 3 weeks ago. According to my doc closed chain exercises (those where the foot is in contact with the floor/surface) shouldn't put too much stress on the ACL.

    But I would get a professional opinion before you try anthing crazy. I am currently doing squats holding a 45 plate. Seems to bother my patellar tendon the most.

    As far as bench/pull-ups I've been doing them since 3 weeks post op. They shouldn't hurt anything. No deads yet though. Good luck with the recovery.
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    Originally Posted by PitbullJR View Post
    I am assuming its not safe to try to do deadlifts or any exercises standing? Any programs you recommend? Out of the Big 3, (Bench, Deads and Squats) Bench only seems suitable at 8 weeks out. Any help would be appreciated.

    Pitbull..please be very careful!

    I had my ACL repaired 4 months ago with a hamstring graft.

    For the first two months i spent a heck of alot of money for physio. I went two times a week. I must say that its the best money i have ever spent. Towards the end, each physio session was almost three hours. she had me doing multiple excercises.my physio therapist has been doing the job for 30 years and she knows the ins and outs of acl surgery.

    Unfortunatley due to the limited amount of equipment i cant perform as many exercises at my gym as id like..

    Im told that it takes about a year to fully recover for acl surgery. Im 4 months out and i still cannot run for much longer than 5 minutes at a time. So what i do is...i jog for 2 minutes on the tred mill and then walk for 1. i do that for about 15 minutes. I recommend for someone like you who is still very fresh out of surgery to ride the stationary bike.

    just remember that it takes time for the new graft to heal its self to the femur..so please be patient and dont rush things
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  7. #7
    Registered User myke's Avatar
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    i went to the gym when i was still on crutches...I just did light weight and only used machines just to keep my body a bit active.
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  8. #8
    Equipment Geek Mod Wildtim's Avatar
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    Just litlle bit about PT's when you are there don't be afraid to talk to them, ask questions, even ones unrelated to your injury, they can be a great resource about all things muscle. You will be paying to be there so use the heck out of that person. They might even be able to help you put together a routine you can do for the rest of your workout that won't stress the injury but will push you.
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    Seems like you're getting good advice all around.

    Keep in mind that it takes most ligament repairs a good year before you're back to full functional capacity with sports and lifting. If you rush it, that year might not ever come.

    I'd be totally surprised if you aren't already getting "timeframe" advice from your PT. What are you hearing from him/her when you ask them the same question?
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    Originally Posted by Wildtim View Post
    Just litlle bit about PT's when you are there don't be afraid to talk to them, ask questions, even ones unrelated to your injury, they can be a great resource about all things muscle. You will be paying to be there so use the heck out of that person. They might even be able to help you put together a routine you can do for the rest of your workout that won't stress the injury but will push you.
    I couldnt agree anymore! I know alot of people think that they are a waste of money..but if you can find one that you like they are worth every penny!
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    Registered User myke's Avatar
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    I actually just went this morning for my 4 month check up with my surgeon and he said everyone is looking great and that i can start playing golf (with my knee brace) again. im very excited..i didnt think that i would be playing any golf this summer!
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  12. #12
    Registered User PitbullJR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by celc5 View Post
    Seems like you're getting good advice all around.

    Keep in mind that it takes most ligament repairs a good year before you're back to full functional capacity with sports and lifting. If you rush it, that year might not ever come.

    I'd be totally surprised if you aren't already getting "timeframe" advice from your PT. What are you hearing from him/her when you ask them the same question?
    Well I have a NFL Pro Day in Feb and he said I should be ok by then. The doctor said that I heal veryyyy fast and is way above schedule. But he still wants to be very cautious with me. But I want to push myself so when Pro Day comes around I will be in tip top shape. I can actually hack squat with 2 45's on. The PT couldnt believe it untill he saw it. They are worried that since I am one of the rear people who recovers fast that I will start to do too much. On monday he said he is going to have a long talk with me (doctor). On aug 27th it will make 3 months exactly Post-Op
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    The smart thing to do, regardless of how fast you are recovering, is to warm up twice as much as you think you should. Also, be sure your progress is very systematic, especially with things such as closed chain exercises like hacks, squats, lunges, etc.

    For example, just because 2 plates was easy for hacks, doesn't mean that you should do 3 plates next time. I'm talking do your working sets with 2 plates plus 10 or 15 pounds added tops per session. I think you get what I'm talking about.
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    Registered User PitbullJR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by celc5 View Post
    The smart thing to do, regardless of how fast you are recovering, is to warm up twice as much as you think you should. Also, be sure your progress is very systematic, especially with things such as closed chain exercises like hacks, squats, lunges, etc.

    For example, just because 2 plates was easy for hacks, doesn't mean that you should do 3 plates next time. I'm talking do your working sets with 2 plates plus 10 or 15 pounds added tops per session. I think you get what I'm talking about.
    Yes I do, thanks for your input.
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