After an ACL injury it is very important to start exercising as soon as possible. This is helps retain your muscle strength around the ACL, range of motion and control swelling. These functions are vital to prepare an injured athlete for ACL surgery. These exercises can begin immediately after an ACL injury.

After prehabilitation, the knee will feel and look normal. However, IT IS NOT! DO NOT run, cut, jump, land, return to ANY sports that will involve any changing of direction. If one does, the knee will go out and will likely sustain further serious injury.

Retain Range of Motion

Leg Extensions

Forced Leg Extensions

(5-20 minutes, 1-2 times per day)

Sit on the ground with both legs out in front. Try to let the back of the knee lay flat on the table. If it does not, apply gentle pressure to the top of the knee and gently force the knee to straighten. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then relax. Repeat 3 to 4 times.


It is optimal to have full range of motion prior to having your surgery.