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A 40-year-old member asked:

What is best in acl repair physical therapy, an elliptical machine or stationary bike?

5 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Hermann
Family Medicine 43 years experience
Physical therapy: Physical may include dozens of different exercises including the two you mentioned. Consulting with a physical therapist after surgery is critical to the healing process.
Dr. Allen Lu
Dr. Allen Luanswered
Orthopedic Surgery 24 years experience
Stationary bike: After acl reconstructions, the quad muscles are very much inhibited by a complex protective mechanism in our brain. Because of this, the quad muscles do not function normally and become easily deconditioned. Stationary bike, straight leg raises, and stair climbing, become the most important parts of the rehab program. The elliptical does not help here, but is an excellent cardio workout.
Dr. Alan Ettinger
Podiatry 49 years experience
I: Suggest you check with the surgeon that did the acl surgery.
Dr. Robert Meislin
sports medicine 36 years experience
Acl exercises: I prefer the stationary bike to ensure improved bending of the knee and balance of the hamstrings and quads.
Dr. Allen Lu
Dr. Allen Luanswered
Orthopedic Surgery 24 years experience
All three: Most acl reconstruction patients have quad muscle inhibition after surgery, so controlling quad function is a major part of physical therapy. A stationary bicycle also helps by working on the quad muscle group. The elliptical machine does not specifically help with the quad or knee muscle groups, but is an excellent overall conditioning system.

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CA
A 33-year-old member asked:

What is better for physical therapy after ACL repair - elliptical machine or stationary bike?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Deberardino
Orthopedic Surgery 32 years experience
Personal preference: Both elliptical machines and stationary bikes are great adjuncts to an ACL reconstruction rehabilitation program. They both protect the recovering knee and new ACL from unsafe forces such as rotating and pivoting while also limiting impact loading. Some patients do not like one or the other pieces of equipment, so it is nice to have various options.
A 47-year-old member asked:

How to know what is best for ACL repair physical therapy, elliptical machine or stationary bike?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Galland
Orthopedic Surgery 32 years experience
Stage of recovery?: This answer depends on what stage of recovery you are in. Generally i allow stationary biking (with pt or atc supervision) at 6 weeks, and ellipitcal at 9-12 weeks. There is some variation to this based on individual progress, and in whether or not there were injuries in addition to the acl tear (i.e. Meniscus tear).

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016
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