Dr. Heckman's Protocol
Completed with Promotion Physical Therapy
In my experience following the protocol is vital to recovery and getting you back to doing what you love.
Prior to surgery a patient will typically go to physical therapy two to three times a week up until surgery to ensure the patient has full range of movement and minimal swelling, this also gives time for any bone bruising to heal. This is extremely important for post operative recovery to go smooth and quick.
After surgery the patient will stay overnight in the surgical hospital to ensure comfort and minimal pain the first night. The morning after the patient will be assessed and sent to physical therapy for E-Stem, icing, and measurements. The patient is not required to wear a brace during the recovery process or return to sport.
The first week to ten days after surgery, the patient should be attending therapy everyday. The goal is to be off crutches and walking within a week to ten days after surgery. During this time, the main focus is the quad muscle and not allowing it to shut down.
For the next month or so, the focus will be healing with normal activity in mind. At six weeks, if everything is going well, the patient will be released to jog, bike at higher intensity, and engage in pool activities.
At ten to twelve weeks, if everything is going normal, a patient can rapidly accelerate and straight line run. This will then lead to controlled side to side running and then preparation to return to pivoting and sport specific activities.
Before being released a patient will take an ACL final test. Once passed, Dr. Heckman will do a final evaluation before the patient can return to play. This typically happens at six months, but can be sooner.
Everyone's recovery is different, but these are basic guidelines and parameters I followed after my surgery to return to soccer.