Have you had a knee injury that’s been causing you persistent pain and swelling? Perhaps your doctor has recommended ACL surgery on the basis that it’s unavoidable.
If you’re still thinking or have already decided to undergo the procedure, you might want to familiarize yourself with its specifics.
In this article, we will be reviewing what ACL reconstruction consists of, the benefits of physiotherapy and what to expect during rehabilitation.
What is ACL Surgery?
Usually, an ACL injury happens while playing sports like football, basketball and skiing, where there are sudden pivoting or cutting movements. It’s also associated with awkward landings during jumps.
The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) repair procedure is performed by an orthopedic surgeon and is a consequence of an ACL tear. The operation consists of replacing the injured or torn ligament using a graft from your knee or a donor.
In some cases, patients can opt for arthroscopic surgery, which involves making miniature incisions through which the doctor will insert instruments. This method associates with quicker recovery and less pain during the post-operative period.
The Benefits of Physiotherapy
Every patient should receive an individual approach tailored towards his specific needs.
A variety of physiotherapeutic methods and techniques can benefit an ACL injury. Additionally, there’s a specific group of patients that may recover even without the need for surgery.
However, if operative intervention is unavoidable, a physiotherapist can assist you before and after ACL reconstruction. Electrotherapy, for example, can be applied before surgery to reduce pain and swelling. This procedure will further improve the post-operative period. Additionally, other methods can increase muscle strength and restore the normal range of motion.
Post surgery, you will have to continue with physiotherapy, which will include exercises and electrotherapy. These are essential for regaining your muscles’ and joints’ former glory. Laser therapy is another marvellous method that may alleviate pain, reduce swelling and stimulate healing.
Gradually, the physical activity will increase in difficulty until you recover completely. Not only that physiotherapy helps you recover faster, but it may also make your tissues less susceptible to new injuries.
What to Expect During Your Post-Operative Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation should begin immediately after surgery to ensure a straightforward and quicker recovery. Doctors will start working towards reaching full leg extension. Additionally, they will apply ice and elevation to reduce pain and swelling.
Your doctor will prescribe strong painkillers along with anti-inflammatory medication and aspirin. Also, make sure you avoid sitting for long periods, as this will cause swelling and slow down the healing process.
Doctors will remove your stitches 10-14 days after surgery, and you can start applying a light scar cream.
Over the first few weeks after surgery, you’ll have to do various exercises to strengthen your hamstring, quadriceps and calf. Along with that, you might start attempting to walk with crutches.
After the first month, doctors may gradually start reducing your knee splint. Depending on pain and swelling, exercises will slowly rise in intensity and difficulty.
In 3-4 months, you can start with functional exercises such as cycling or running. The former is one of the best methods for rehabilitation that you can use without limitations.
After the sixth month, you can start returning to regular sports.
Discuss Your Options Today!
Here at MyPhysio, our mission is to support our clients with an approach tailored towards each individual. We’re a team of expert physiotherapists with immense experience in the field that can help you get back on track in no time.
If you’d like to discuss your options before undergoing surgery or want to give physiotherapy a try, we’ll be here for you!
Book an appointment with us today on 905-850-6683, and we’ll go through this hardship together!