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How to Rehab an ACL Injury: Melbourne Protocol

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries are a common sports injury, often debilitating, and can have a profound impact on an individual’s physical well-being. However, advancements in physiotherapy techniques have paved the way for innovative protocols, such as the ACL Melbourne Protocol, that are transforming the rehabilitation process for patients recovering from ACL injuries. At Excellence Physio we like to ensure the best service by using the latest evidence based treatment methods and rehab programs. In this blog, we will delve into the ACL Melbourne Protocol and explore its numerous benefits.

Understanding the ACL Melbourne Protocol:

The ACL Melbourne Protocol is a comprehensive rehabilitation program specifically designed for individuals recovering from ACL injuries and returning them back to sport as quickly and safely as possible. Developed through extensive research and clinical expertise, this protocol focuses on a systematic approach to rehabilitation, emphasizing personalized care and evidence-based practices.

Key Components of the ACL Melbourne Protocol:

  • Individualized Assessment: One of the fundamental aspects of the ACL Melbourne Protocol is the personalized assessment of the patient’s condition. Physiotherapists evaluate the extent of the injury, the patient’s overall physical condition, and their specific goals to tailor the rehabilitation plan accordingly.

  • Progressive Exercises: The protocol incorporates a series of progressive exercises that target muscle strength, joint stability, and flexibility. These exercises are designed to challenge the patient gradually, allowing them to regain strength and functionality in a controlled manner.

  • Neuromuscular Training: ACL Melbourne Protocol places a strong emphasis on neuromuscular training, which involves exercises aimed at improving proprioception, balance, and coordination. By enhancing these skills, patients can regain confidence in their movements and reduce the risk of re-injury when returning to sport.

  • Functional Rehabilitation: Unlike traditional rehabilitation methods, the ACL Melbourne Protocol focuses on functional rehabilitation. This means integrating exercises that mimic real-life movements and activities, ensuring that patients are better prepared to resume their daily activities and sports participation.

Benefits of ACL Melbourne Protocol from a Physiotherapist’s Perspective:

  • Personalized Approach: Physiotherapists can customize the rehabilitation plan based on the patient’s unique needs and goals, ensuring a more effective and targeted recovery process.

  • Optimized Recovery: By incorporating evidence-based techniques and progressive exercises, physiotherapists can help patients recover more efficiently, reducing the overall rehabilitation duration and ensuring a safe return to sport with a reduced risk of re-injury.

  • Structured Progression: The rehabilitation plan has specific targets for the patient to achieve at each stage of the rehab process. Once these have been achieved we know that the knee is strong and stable enough to progress to the next level, reducing the overall risk of re-injury.

  • Enhanced Patient Engagement: The tailored approach of the ACL Melbourne Protocol fosters higher patient engagement. Patients are more motivated to participate actively in their rehabilitation, leading to better outcomes.

  • Reduced Risk of Re-injury: Through neuromuscular training and functional rehabilitation, physiotherapists can help patients develop better movement patterns and reduce the risk of ACL re-injury, promoting long-term joint health. The final phase of the protocol focuses on maintianing strength and control once returned to sport, further reducing the risk of injury.


The ACL Melbourne Protocol represents a paradigm shift in ACL injury rehabilitation, offering a personalized, evidence-based approach that empowers patients to regain their strength, mobility, and confidence. As a clinic we believe that by following an evidence based structured program such as the Melbourne protocol, we offer our clients the safest and quickest way to return to sport as possible.

If you have suffered an ACL injury or would like some advice then get in touch with us below.

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