How to recover from an ACL injury

People who get injured on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are usually those who engage in high-intensity movements.

ACL

An anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is known to be one of the most vulnerable ligaments of the knee since it gets injured often.

Generally speaking, people who get injured on the ACL are usually those who engage in high-intensity movements or sports such as basketball, football, and soccer are to name a few.

What is the reason behind an ACL injury?

According to research, there are individuals who got injured even without having a direct contact with something – they call it a non-contact mechanism. While on the other hand, study claims that some patients who experience ACL injury are due to a direct contact with either an object or with another person.

Several studies even suggest that women are more prone to ACL injuries compared to men. This is because women have different body conditioning and muscular strength from the opposite sex. While some say that an ACL injury is often associated with cutting, sudden landings, or even out-of-control plays.

Diagnosing an ACL Injury

Just like how other injuries or fractures are being diagnosed by a medical expert, the doctor will have to conduct a series of tests first to rule out an ACL injury.

For further evaluation, the doctor may conduct X-rays or even an MRI scan to look for evidence of fractures. The doctor may also wish to conduct a Lachman’s test to identify meniscus tears on the afflicted area.

Treating an ACL Injury

There are two possible solutions to treat an ACL injury; surgical and non-surgical.

Non-surgical treatments are often given to patients who only have mild injuries. In this approach, a progressive physical therapy is often advised. Rehabilitation must also be done to surely restore the knee’s condition. A hinged knee brace may also be used while the injury heals. It is also best to educate the patient about simple precautions to avoid repetitive instability episodes.

In most cases, surgical treatment is advised for patients who are dealing with combined injuries. Doctors would also recommend arthroscopic surgery. For this approach, the doctors will have to schedule the surgery ahead of time so they would have time to prepare for pre-surgery and post-surgery treatment plans.

Results after undergoing surgery usually vary. Since some injuries are worse than of others’. However, there are some ways that when followed correctly, could help shorten the recovery period of the injury.

10 Tips for ACL Injury Recovery

1. Follow post-surgery instructions.

As mentioned earlier, your doctor will have to plan out a post-surgery treatment plan for you. So first things first after surgery, is to make sure you follow the instructions that have been handed out to you.

2. Track your follow up appointments.

It is important to see your doctor from time to time. By doing so, you would be able to keep track of your recovery progress.

3. Undergo physical therapy.

This approach is already common for those who have injuries. In order for you to recover fast, you can ask your doctor about a recommendation for a physical therapist.

4. Undergo rehab exercises.

Rehabilitation is another way of treating an ACL injury. This program will educate you on what and what not to do to avoid recurring injuries.

5. Eat properly.

Feeding your body with the right kind and the right amount of nutrition will surely help boost your immune system. If this happens, your body will also have an easy way to recovery.

6. Get some rest.

Just like how other injuries should be taken care of, an ACL injury also needs some ample amount of time to heal. So as you recover, be sure to take all the time you need to rest your body and sleep.

7. Take medications.

Pain medications are necessary and helpful after surgery. Be sure that you talk to your doctor about the proper consumption of your prescribed drugs.

9. Read about relaxation tips.

It’s okay to also educate yourself about some relaxation tips that can help you while you heal. By doing so, you can save yourself from too much stress and anxiety that could also trigger to worsen your condition.

9. Talk to your doctor.

You might be experiencing some pain from time to time and that is something that you should communicate with your doctor. It is necessary that you consult your doctor about any discomfort that you’re feeling.

10. Get help.

Being injured and going through surgery could limit your mobility. That’s why it is important that a family member should watch after you most of the time. If you need help, get it.

As promised, you can recover from an ACL injury in no time. You just need to be sure that you are following what your doctor is advising you to do.

Having an ACL injury is such a burden since aside from it could put you in pain, it could also give you a hard time moving. It may also make you miss out on some activities or sports that you love doing. However, you may get back in track once you fully recover and is already feeling better.

ACL

Sources:

  • https://www.verywellhealth.com/recovering-from-acl-surgery-3120753
  • https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/acl-injury-does-it-require-surgery/

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