Important Tips to Ease Your Recovery from An ACL Tear Surgery
ACL tears can be extremely painful and the last thing you would want for a sports injury! Along with restricted mobility and physical trauma, ACL tears often make patients feel as if they will never completely recover from the damage.
However, that is certainly not the case. Holistic ACL tear surgeries help patients heal their ACLs and get back on the field in no time. Having said that, it is important to heal the right way. After ACL surgery, patients are recommended extensive rehabilitation to let their limbs get used to normalcy in a slow and sustainable manner.
ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is an important ligament in your body that connects your thighbone to your shinbone. ACL tears commonly occur due to sports injuries where players tend to damage their ACL by suddenly stopping, changing directions, jumping, or landing in a crude manner. Most players feel a “popping” sensation near their knees or hear an audible “pop” sound followed by excruciating pain. If you have had your ACL surgery done recently, here are a few tips that should help you ease your recovery.
Control The Swelling
Like most bone and muscle injuries, ACL tear results in the swelling of the area around your knee. It is your body’s inflammatory response to the trauma of the injury. While you recover, make sure you reduce the swelling by applying ice packs, wearing a Tubigrip sleeve, and keeping your knee at rest.
Applying ice is arguably the most effective cure for swelling after ACL surgery. Ideally, orthopedics advise three to four daily sessions of 15 minutes each to ease the swelling.
Control The Post-operative Pain
If you have gotten an ACL tear surgery done, you cannot ignore the fact that you will be in physical pain for some time. This pain may prevent you from performing exercises essential for your recovery. To control postoperative pain, you can take painkillers as advised by your doctor before performing the necessary exercises. However, make sure you stick to the dosage recommended by your doctor. Never make the mistake of taking painkillers every time you experience pain in the affected region.
Aim For Full Straightening
Restoring full leg straightening is an important part of the ACL surgery recovery process. You need to get your leg straightened up to restore its impaired mobility. To achieve the desired results, it is necessary to bear some pain and keep the swelling under control. Doctors always recommend doing extension stretch exercises throughout the day to ease into a complete recovery.
If you are sitting at rest or lying on your bed, you can straighten out your leg with its heel propped on a pillow to force it straight. Low-load and long-duration stretch exercises help you strengthen your leg effectively. Make sure you don’t keep your leg bent. Avoiding full straightening can lead to a permanent limp.
Doctors often advise tracking the progress on a weekly basis. After the sixth week, you should be able to stretch your leg enough to mimic normal functioning. With the help of healthcare SEO services, several orthopedics do their best to educate people about the importance of full straightening.
Try Bending Your Knees
To attain complete mobility of your leg back, keep bending your knees as you recover from ACL surgery. Most patients are able to bend their knees after the surgery without any difficulty. Also, it is safe to bend your knees after an ACL surgery to ensure holistic recovery. Most physiotherapists help patients get onto the CPM machines one day after their ACL tear surgeries.
This is why the rehabilitation period is important to patients to restore the complete mobility of their limbs. It is common for patients to feel as if this would damage their recovery process. This is certainly not true. In fact, knee-bending exercises help you recover in a holistic and systematic way.
Focus On Your Kneecap
Kneecap pain is arguably the most painful symptom of ACL surgery. While some patients tend to damage their kneecaps along with their ACLs, most cases of kneecap pain are due to secondary causes. The tightness of the tissue located on the outer half of your knee weakens, making your kneecap vulnerable and susceptible to pain. Doctors recommend ITB (IT band) massage to relieve the pain in the kneecap. If the band seems too tight, you can do some ITB stretches or an ITB roller.
Work On Your Quadriceps
The quadriceps muscles located in front of your thigh form the biggest muscle group in your body. These are the first muscles that waste away during an injury. On average, for every week of quadriceps wastage, it takes six weeks to recover.
Considering the time it takes for your quads to heal, make sure you start working on them as soon as possible during your recovery period. This will speed up your recovery and prevent your quads from wasting away anymore. Straight leg raising is the best way to deal with healing your quadriceps.
Walk It Out
As simple as it sounds, walking plays a very important role in ACL recovery. Your legs need regular movement to get back in shape and recover fully from the damage. You may require crutches and other external support for the initial few days, but you will soon be able to walk on your own.
Every step you take will contract your quadriceps, calf muscles, and hamstrings, thereby restoring the normal functioning of your body.
The Final Word
ACL tears and surgeries can be really painful and tedious. It is important to understand that recovery and rehabilitation are as important as the surgery itself. Make sure you follow these steps to ease into recovery mode and get back to normalcy.
Moreover, make sure you seek medical help whenever you encounter a problem you don’t have a solution for. Stay in touch with your orthopedic doctor and physiotherapist to ensure perfect recovery and return to your life with a healthy knee.