PT After ACL Surgery
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery is performed when the ACL ligament of the knee is completely torn and damaged. ACL tears are usually treated with conservative treatment, but in some cases, surgery may be required. After ACL surgery, physical therapy (PT) is imperative to strengthen the knee and achieve complete recovery, allowing patients to resume daily activities without pain.
The surgical approach
When an ACL injury occurs, surgeons can use arthroscopic surgery to fix the knee. During ACL surgery, the damaged ligament is removed and replaced with a graft that is used as a tendon. The graft is either from another part of the patient’s body or another person. Although most people do well, complications from surgery may sometimes arise. Some common risks include infection, blood clots, bleeding, knee pain and stiffness, and graft failure.
Healing quickly and efficiently
The recovery process after ACL surgery is lengthy and requires a lot of patience. However, there are some tips to help patients recuperate effectively and quickly. For fast recovery, follow the doctor’s post-operative instructions, show up for all follow-up appointments, and take any medications as directed. Focus on sleeping enough, eating nutritious meals, and not overexerting during recovery.
Incorporating PT post-op
After ACL surgery, physical therapy will be recommended to strengthen the muscles and improve the knee’s range of motion. Physical therapy typically begins within the first week after surgery. The physical therapist will start with low-impact exercises and gradually increase the intensity depending on the patient’s capability. A combination of simple strengthening exercises and weight-bearing exercises will be taught during appointments. To ensure complete healing, PT is done for about 6-9 months after the surgery, depending on the patient’s functionality.
Preventing ACL injury for people who play sports can be difficult. However, knowing the proper techniques of any sports activity is necessary to avoid getting harmed. Getting involved in training programs can decrease risks. Take frequent breaks while playing a sport or doing any other activity. Wear protective or supportive devices if required and keep strengthening the involved muscles.
Getting back to normal life
After ACL surgery, the entire healing process takes about 6-9 months. Take precautions and listen to the doctor’s advice to prevent the risk of injuring the knee again. Although months of PT can sound burdensome, this slow approach to healing is the best way to guarantee a strong and fully recovered knee.