Tips for Recovery After ACL Surgery
- Posted on: Nov 15 2019
We’ve been talking about injuries suffered in baseball and football or soccer over the past few blogs, things such as rotator cuff tears, shoulder bursitis, and the ubiquitous ACL tear. Because we’re getting into the meat of football season, let’s talk about recovering after having ACL surgery with Dr. Floyd or Dr. Rowland.
What will recovery be like?
Surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is usually performed to repair damage to the ligament that connects your femur (thighbone) to your tibia (shinbone) with the goal of returning full function. An important part of the entire process is your recovery. This will include rest, physical therapy, and a progressive increase in activity. It’s important that you stick to the rehabilitation plan we provide.
Here’s some of what to expect.
You’ll return home the same day as your surgery. When you wake up from anesthesia, we’ll help you practice walking on crutches and will fit you for a knee brace or splint. To keep swelling down, you’ll follow the RICE model: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Within two to three weeks, you’ll likely begin putting weight on your leg. You’ll regain full use of your knee within one to two months. Physical therapy goes will all of these surgeries to regain motion, and to help you know what you can and cannot do. This will last as long as six months in some cases.
We’ve found that with our Urgent Orthopedic Specialists patients, just under half are able to return to their sport about eight months after ACL reconstruction. The remainder took up to a year.
Some tips for your recovery
This isn’t an easy recovery, but there are things you can do to make it as efficient as possible.
- Follow your post-op instructions— This will keep you attuned to any infections or adverse reactions.
- Attend all of your appointment— Don’t be lackadaisical about your check-up appointments with us or your rehab appointments. Attend them all.
- Be diligent with physical therapy— Keep your appointments. Physical therapy is critical to regaining full range of motion and for keeping you on schedule for the fastest recovery. Plus, perform the exercises you are given on the schedule they are to be done.
- Use your pain medication— Don’t tough this out. Pain medication helps you work through the pain while performing the exercises to build strength and range of motion.
- Sleep lots and eat well— Sleep is the time your body gets to work on repairing itself. Eating lots of protein, dairy, and fruits and vegetables gives it the right fuel.
- Don’t overdo it— This is the number one problem with ACL recovery: the patient doesn’t take it slow. Doing too much too soon can reinjure the knee or can increase the length of your recovery. Follow our instructions and the advice of your physical therapist.
If you’ve injured your ACL, Dr. Floyd and Dr. Rowland and our team at Urgent Orthopedic Specialists are here to get you back in the game. Call us (432) 520-3020 to make an appointment.
Posted in: ACL Surgery