Recovering quickly from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery is crucial in order to get you back on your feet again. Also referred to as knee surgery, ACL surgery involves an orthopedic surgeon like Town Center Orthopaedic Associates reconstructing or repairing the ACL. This ligament is one of the four main ligaments on the lower part of the knee that connects the femur to the tibia and helps provide stability to the entire knee. Injury to the ACL is common in people who play high-risk sports – such as football or soccer – and for athletes it's important to recovery quickly in order to get back on the playing field. These tips can help you heal quickly and get yourself back in playing condition after ACL surgery.
The number one thing you can do to start your road to recovery from ACL surgery is to get plenty of rest. Stay off of the injury when you first get home and keep it elevated with pillows. You may be prescribed a pain killer, but it's important to use the medication only when you absolutely need it. Taking pain medications can leave you feeling drowsy and disconnected. This can prevent you from eventually getting back to a normal routine that can speed the process of healing. Reduce your intake of narcotic pain killers and opt for an over-the-counter pain medication.
Wrap your knee with a form-fitting wrap that is designed to circulate cool water around the injury. The cold regime will help reduce pain and will keep your comfortable.
Along with reducing pain, you also need to do whatever possible to reduce swelling. Keep the knee elevated above the heart to prevent fluid from pooling. You should also wear the knee brace that was supplied to you by your doctor. A compression brace helps increase circulation and prevents fluid from settling around the injury.
Your physician may provide you with a device that stimulates an electrical current through the wound. This machine works by transferring energy to promote healing. This small and portable electrical device comes with sticky electrodes that can be placed directly onto the skin of the knee near the site of the injury, and there are two knobs for control. One knob controls the intensity of the electrical signal while the other knob makes the signal fast or slow. You can control exactly how much strength and power you want going into your knee. The unit can be used as long as you find it helpful throughout the day.
Attending Physical Therapy
It's important to keep any and all physical therapy appointments that your doctor recommends for healing. These appointments allow you to work one on one with a physical therapist who will provide you with exercises to strengthen and stretch the knee muscles. Follow the physical therapist's instructions exactly in order to not push yourself too hard.
Coming back from any type of injury can be a difficult process. It's important to follow the advice of your doctor and only do what you feel comfortable doing. You may want to rush through each step, but a steady pace will have you back on your feet much quicker, because you will avoid re-injuring the knee.