The Key To Optimizing ACL Surgery Recovery

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur most often during sports that involve sudden stopping and starting, jumping, or quickly changing direction. ACL injuries are characterized by knee swelling, pain, instability, and sometimes are severe enough to require surgery. However, healing from an ACL injury doesn’t end with surgery. To optimize recovery, patients should also engage in physical therapy. How exactly does physical therapy help?

Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery Munster Indiana 7 Important Benefits of Physical Therapy after ACL Surgery

1. Surgery will leave lingering pain

Physical therapy is the optimal recommendation for reducing and managing pain. Following ACL surgery, physical therapists provide a way for patients to experience less pain by ensuring that the ACL reconstruction heals properly. While medication will only mask symptoms of pain for a short time, physical therapy has lasting results.

2. Get out of your comfort zone

Restoring range of motion is one of the most important parts of recovery from ACL surgery. Keeping the knee in one position might feel more comfortable immediately following surgery. But leaving the knee in a fixed position risks development of scar tissue, making long-term recovery even more difficult. Physical therapy focuses on restoring range of motion, making recovery faster and easier.

3.  Stronger hips = lower risk

Studies have shown that weak hips can contribute to the risk of ACL injury. In physical therapy, specific exercises target the strengthening of the hip and core muscles. This ensures that the patient will learn proper form and movement, so they can return to activity safely.

4. Strengthen both knees equally

Following ACL surgery, physical therapy works to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint and improve stability. Physical therapy plans will work progressively to incorporate increasingly more difficult exercises. The level of physical therapy exercises will increase until the strength of the knee that has undergone ACL surgery is equal to the strength of the opposite knee.

5. Resume everyday activity

Physical therapy techniques have expanded over the years. In the past, physical therapy was focused primarily on range of motion. Today, however, a physical therapist will emphasize getting the patient back to their regular activities. After an ACL surgery, this means that physical therapists focus on getting patients safely back to their favorite activities and sports.

6. Don’t play favorites

After any surgery, patients can start to develop an abnormal gait pattern. Favoring one side or the other can relieve some pain short-term, however, it’s not beneficial. An uneven gait pattern can lead to muscular imbalance and, eventually, a repeat injury. Attending physical therapy after an ACL surgery ensures that the patient re-develops a normal gait pattern.

7. Get back in the game

Physical therapy re-teaches patients how to move. It also strengthens areas of weakness and helps to correct any muscular imbalances that can cause ACL injuries. By re-learning correct form and movement, physical therapy patients reduce their risk of re-injury and can get back in the game for good.

If you believe you may benefit from ACL surgery, contact us today for a consultation with one of our orthopedic surgeons.

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“Entire staff was knowledgeable and courteous. They genuinely cared for my well being and made sure my wife and I were taken care of.”

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“Experience was amazing. The nurses my son needed at this time couldn’t have been chosen any more perfect. They were supportive and understanding, patient and just great human beings.THANK YOU KINDLY ”
“NO wait time, RN Rebecca answered all questions prior to my visit by phone and again answered all questions and concerns while prepping me.”

“All staff were wonderful.”

“I liked that it was so clean. Every staff member was pleasant and easy to talk with.”

“The STAFF from the moment you walk in were the nicest people I’ve encountered at a medical facility.”
“Everyone was friendly and concerned about my comfort. They frequently asked how I was doing, or if I needed something.”
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“Everyone was concerned with my comfort.”

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“The staff was very polite, they were excellent. They explained exactly what was going on.”

“Everyone was friendly and the place was very clean.”

“Incredibly professional, friendly and confidence of knowing their roles as healthcare employees. Excellent!”

“Marcia and staff were excellent and genuinely cared for my well being. Wish I could have taken them home.”

“No severe pain – Just a little discomfort – I was asked several times during procedure if I was OK – they showed genuine concern for my well being.”
“Rebecca was amazing. I have always had trouble in the past with getting an IV started. I told Rebecca I was concerned about it. She got it on the 1st try – no digging in my arm and NO bruising the next day.”

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“I can’t say enough about Marcia and the entire team. The care I received was well beyond anything I could have expected.”

“The nurses were very nice and caring!”
“Rebecca was amazing. I have always had trouble in the past with getting an IV started. I told Rebecca I was concerned about it. She got it on the 1st try – no digging in my arm and NO bruising the next day.”
“Dr. Dedhia made everything clear and even scheduled an early follow-up appt so I could get back to work sooner.”
“Dr. Tupper was amazing! He spent time explaining exactly what he was doing, what I would experience and made sure I was comfortable.”

“Anesthesia staff was outstanding!”

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