ACL reconstruction surgery is a significant surgery that requires a commitment to post-operative rehab to ensure successful outcomes.

The Injury Clinic physiotherapist, Sam O’Connor has a special interest in both pre and post operative management of ACL injuries. Following completion of further professional development specific to ACL injuries and an extensive knowledge of the best available evidence, Sam has created a guideline to assist clients in returning to pre-injury functional levels. 

Sam works closely with The Injury Clinic strength coach to ensure that strength goals are achieved and appropriate progressions are made with consideration to tissue healing time frames and individual capabilities. 

Testing is performed with both Sam and Ben (strength coach) at appropriate intervals to ensure a targeted team approach to your rehab. 

The Alter-G Treadmill is integrated into your rehab, allowing a faster return to more functional exercises, inclusive of running. 


Phases within this guideline include:

Phase 1: Healing and movement

Goal –  To allow healing, promote movement, and normalise gait

Phase 2: Proprioception and Patterning

Goal – To increase range of movement, improve general conditioning and establish key motor patterns

Phase 3: Strength and function

Goal – To develop strength and improve function. 

Required dosages need to be adhered to (strength, hypertrophy/endurance); A focus is given to improve single leg control, commencing early plyo/landing mechanics and light jogging.

Phase 4: Power and plyometrics

Goal –  Sport specific preparation; Development of power/speed with a focus on improving jumping/landing/directional change; High speed running mechanics and responses to external stimuli/perturbations are included dependent on client goals and chosen sport

Phase 5: Returning to sport 

Goal – Return to competitive play; This phase may not be appropriate for all clients