My client had ankle surgery on his left ankle. He also has two bad knees. I would like to know information on strengthening and stretching the ankle without hurting the knees. I would also like to know how to speed recovery of the ACL of the knee.
It is important to remember the foot/ankle and knee are inter-related. What will affect the foot/ankle will affect the knee; ex:the gastrocnemius (major calve muscle) eccentrically controls subtalar joint pronation (foot/ankle) AND eccentrically controls femoral internal rotation when you walk, run,etc. With this understanding it is essential DEPENDING ON THE SPECIFIC INJURY to lengthen shortened structures of the foot/ankle, knee, etc. to optimal relationships and strengthen known weak structures throughout the entire kinetic chain. If you isolate because of a specific problem, you must then integrate so the client can return to everyday function.
Pinciples to remember include:
- Static strengthening before dynamic.
- Never train if in pain. Find positions that are NOT painful and strengthen maintaining optimal alignment through the entire body.
- Always use an integrated approach (i.e. flexibility training, balance training, core strength training, reactive neuromuscular training, functional strength training) and base your exercise selection on an individual profile.
We can only address questions that seek to educate, not diagnose and/or prescribe for a client medical condition. It is important for you to refer to a physical therapist if your client’s doctor has not done so. The above comments is some general advice on the issue, which may be useful depending on the advice of your client's physical therapsist on this specific condition.