Nobody likes to become sidelined with a serious injury, especially a torn ACL. The anterior cruciate ligament is vulnerable to injuries, especially from sudden twisting, jumping, stopping, and changing direction.
ACL surgery is a major orthopedic procedure, so it’s vital to prepare beforehand and have a solid recovery plan. Keep reading to learn how you can achieve your best possible recovery outcomes, including working with a Mt. Spokane physical therapy provider.
What To Do Before the Surgery
Preparing for the surgery is just as important as your recovery plan. Your doctor should help you set up a pre-surgery plan based on the type and severity of your injury as well as your existing health issues. However, most plans generally include a few critical points:
- Follow your rehab plan. Your healthcare professional may prescribe targeted physical therapy before your surgery. This therapy is designed to reduce swelling in your knee, improve strength in the muscles around the knee, and gain a normal range of motion. If you don’t already have a therapist, you can get a referral or search “physical therapy clinics near me” to find one.
- Reduce caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake. If you use nicotine products, you should start quitting now. Limit or slowly eliminate your caffeine and alcohol consumption. This helps avoid complications during surgery due to high blood pressure or heart rates.
- Manage your health conditions. If you have health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease, it is important to manage them before surgery. Doing so can help reduce your risk of complications.
What You Can Do After To Speed Up Recovery
Significant advancements in medicine have made this ACL surgery less invasive. The surgery involves making one or two small incisions on the knee, then grafting in one of your own tendons. The surgeon drills into both the tibia and femur and threads the new tendon across the knee in the original ACL’s location.
As the new tendon becomes integrated into your body, recovery remains crucial. You should work with your doctors on pain management and follow instructions regarding immobilization and elevation. You’ll also want to avoid high-impact activities within the first six months, especially jumping or running.
It’s also important to start physical therapy as soon as possible after surgery. Physical therapy will help you to regain range of motion and strength in your knee, which aids in the healing process and can help avoid re-injury in the future.
If you began working with a physical therapist before the surgery, you’ll likely continue working with that same professional afterward. You will meet regularly with your physical therapist and perform exercises at home.
Selecting Your Therapist
Every part of your recovery plan is vital to healing, especially physical therapy. You and your therapist must work as a team to encourage proper healing, strengthen your muscles, regain proper range of motion, and ensure that you’re able to return to normal activities.
As you search “top-rated physical therapists near me,” read reviews thoroughly and research each provider’s approach to care. Choosing a provider with a holistic, evidence-driven approach is an ideal way to ensure you receive the best care.
Always Remember to:
- Be patient during physical therapy
- Use cold therapy to control inflammation
- Do appropriate training
- Eat healthy foods that promote the healing process
- Get plenty of rest and quality sleep.
What can I do to shorten ACL surgery recovery time?
Healing is a process that cannot be rushed. Any knee injury will require time to recover from. However, you can ensure that your knee heals as rapidly as possible by adhering to these ACL surgery recovery tips.
How long does pain last after ACL surgery?
For the first week or so following surgery, the majority of patients have some pain and discomfort. It should come as no surprise that knee surgery pain reduces with time. You should feel very little discomfort by the end of a week or two at the most. Like discomfort, swelling, and bruising are generally common and only last a short time.
As you recover from surgery, your doctor will prescribe pain medication for the initial few days. Take your pain medication as prescribed, then gradually switch to over-the-counter medications.
How long does it take to recover from ACL surgery?
Most of the time, you may anticipate getting back to some of your routine activities in a matter of weeks. In around four months, many patients are able to start jogging or cycling regularly. In fact, whether you undergo minimally invasive surgery or more typical “open” surgery with a bigger incision relies in part on the severity of your injury.
However, it can take up to six months for your knee to fully recover. It could take up to a year before you’re ready to play again in some sports. Soon after surgery, physical therapy will start, and it can help your knee joint regain strength and mobility.
How many days after ACL surgery will I feel better?
You need to be patient and follow due process as recommended by your physician or surgeon. Always go for regular check-ups and eat healthy food to boost your immune system and fasten your recovery time.