An ACL tear is one of the most common knee injuries. It is caused by putting too much stress on the knee, such as sudden stopping, pivoting, or landing and is common among athletes who play various sports. This injury can negatively affect your athleticism and ability to do physical activities. Even mere day to day tasks can become difficult as this injury inhibits knee functionality and motion.
Let’s discuss what you need to do in order to recover from an ACL tear as well as how long it will take.
Initial treatment involves the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and physical therapy to reduce swelling, alleviate pain, and restore strength and range of motion. However, ACL surgery and reconstruction may be necessary if your injury is severe. It can be difficult to pinpoint if your ACL tear is mild or severe, therefore, if you experience an injury to the knee, see an orthopedic doctor as soon as possible for a diagnosis and effective treatment.
Surgery aims to recover the full range of motion and strength to your knee after you suffer an injury that is irreparable through other treatments. When an ACL tear happens that requires surgery to fix, you will require a procedure called ACL reconstruction.
ACL reconstruction involves either repairing the damaged ligament or removing the injured ligament and replacing it with a segment of a tendon from a different part of your body or from a donor. The replacement tissue is called a graft, and it will replace the damaged ACL that cannot recover any longer.
Fortunately, an ACL surgery is often performed as an outpatient procedure, so you may be able to return home the same day. Additionally, since most ACL repairs are done arthroscopically, the surgery often results in less downtime, faster recovery, less pain, and smaller scars than traditional ACL surgery.
After ACL reconstruction surgery, you can expect to wear a knee brace or splint to aid and protect the graft as you heal. You may also have to use crutches to reduce stress on your knee for a few weeks. Your surgeon will advise you regarding ice therapy, showering, changing dressings, and other daily matters.
Your surgeon may prescribe medications to reduce your risk of infection following surgery as well as pain-relieving medications to help with pain symptoms. Arthroscopically-performed ACL reconstruction surgery typically requires less medications as there is less trauma to the knee due to the procedure.
ACL Tear Rehabilitation
Physical therapy is often required after ACL reconstruction. While the surgery is critical to helping fix the ACL injury, it can leave your knee feeling weak and painful. Physical therapy helps to strengthen your knee’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It also helps improve flexibility and mobility in the knee. Physical therapy also helps pump blood in your body, which can promote healing in the surgery site. You can expect to do physical therapy for several weeks following an ACL reconstruction surgery.
ACL Tear Treatment in Arkansas
If you experienced an ACL tear, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A physician can diagnose your condition and determine the extent of your injury. This can help the physician find the best possible treatment for you.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bill Hefley and his compassionate team in Bowen Hefley Orthopedics are devoted to treating all types of orthopedic conditions affecting the shoulder, hip, and knee, such as ACL tears.
If you want to learn more, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (800) 336-2412. You can also request an appointment online.