Knee Surgery Recovery Tips to Share with Your Patients

By Amanda Reynolds | Jun 16, 2015

From outpatient arthroscopic ACL repair to full knee replacement, there are several types of knee surgeries that cover a range of severity and complexity. In some cases a patient might be home in the same day, and in others  they might stay in the hospital for several days. However, regardless of the type of knee surgery, preparation for the recovery process is largely the same.

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4 Things To Avoid During ACL Surgery Recovery

By Amanda Reynolds | Dec 16, 2014

Recovering from any surgical procedure can be challenging both mentally and physically, but if you are prepared with the right information about how to actively participate in the healing process, you can recover more quickly. In addition to taking proactive steps, an important part of a fast recovery is knowing what not to do.

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3 Proven ACL Surgery Recovery Techniques Used by Pro Athletes

By Amanda Reynolds | Oct 07, 2014

Professional athletes typically suffer more injuries than the average person, primarily because they subject their bodies to more rigorous activities. Fortunately, they are often able to return to the field after recovering from the injury or a related surgery. Sports medicine has come a long way over the years and trainers are now able to get athletes back in the game faster than ever before. They use many of the same recovery techniques that are available to everybody else, but they also employ a few tricks to help accelerate healing.

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Top ACL Surgery Recovery Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them

By Amanda Reynolds | Sep 09, 2014

Recovering from ACL surgery can be challenging, especially for people who are used to being active. Staying off your feet, getting ample rest, and actively participating in physical therapy may sound like simple tasks, but when you actually have to do it for weeks or months, you might find your commitment slipping.

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3 Proven Cold Water Therapy Techniques to Reduce Knee Swelling

By Amanda Reynolds | Aug 26, 2014

The muscles and joints in your lower extremities are important for daily living, but many people take this for granted until they experience pain or swelling. A swollen knee is not only uncomfortable, it can also prevent you from going up and down stairs and limit your desire or ability to walk. This can be very disruptive to daily life and should be addressed as soon as possible to help prevent further damage and allow you to quickly get back to normal. Knee swelling can be caused by a range of factors including:

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4 Tips for How to Heal Faster After ACL Surgery

By Amanda Reynolds | Jul 28, 2014

A torn ACL is a painful and inconvenient injury, especially for athletes. Fortunately, ACL surgery makes it possible to repair the damaged tissue, usually with a graft from another ligament in your own body. Arthroscopic surgery leaves few external scars, but the muscles, ligaments, and other tissues in the knee joint need time to recover fully from both the injury and the surgery.

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7 Tips to Successfully Recover from ACL Surgery

By Kelly Hansen | Jun 02, 2014
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee is essential for maintaining stability in the joint. Because it is so important to everyday function, when it becomes damaged or torn, surgery is often the recommended course of action. Although the surgery itself is fairly routine, it does take some time for the body to recover.

Following a few tips during ACL surgery recovery can help you heal faster and get back on your feet more quickly.
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What is a Typical ACL Recovery Timeline After Surgery?

By Kelly Hansen | May 22, 2014
Most people, especially athletes, want to get back on their feet as soon as possible after ACL surgery. One of the most commonly asked questions after surgery is how long it will take to recover. Although it varies from person to person, the average recovery time is about nine months to one year.

Recovering from ACL Surgery

For many people the recovery timeline includes the following phases:
  • 1-2 days - Immediately after surgery your body will be focused on recovering from the trauma of  the procedure.
  • One week - Many people are mobile within one week, typically with crutches or other assistive devices.
  • Two weeks - If you follow the recommendations of your doctor and physical therapist, you may be able to walk without crutches while wearing a supportive brace.
  • Three weeks - As your range of motion improves, you might be able to manage some stairs and be able to flex your knee for long enough to drive for brief periods of time.
  • Two months - If you continue regular strength and flexibility training, you should be able to introduce light, low-impact exercise into your routine.
  • Three months - At this stage in your recovery you could be close to your pre-surgery strength level, but that does not mean that you have fully recovered.
  • Nine to twelve months - If you have continued rehabilitation exercises and avoided activities that could damage your knee again, you may be fully recovered after nine months. Individuals who have not committed to a regular rehab schedule may take up to twelve months to fully recover from ACL surgery.

Factors that Influence ACL Surgery Recovery Time

The average recovery times are just a rough indicator of what you can expect, but you can take certain steps to speed up the healing process and accelerate your recovery. Several factors play a role in ACL surgery recovery time:

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Is Swelling After ACL Surgery Common?

By Kelly Hansen | Mar 20, 2014
Anybody who has ever had surgery can tell you to expect some pain and swelling. Unfortunately, this is true whether you have a simple ACL surgery or a complicated knee replacement. Swelling after ACL surgery is not only common, it is almost guaranteed.

Why Does Swelling Occur After ACL Surgery?

The human body is a remarkable system that uses many different mechanisms to keep you healthy. One of the more important mechanisms is the inflammatory response. Whenever your body suffers some trauma, whether it is an insect bite or a surgical incision, your body responds with inflammation.

Why does it do this? Inflammation occurs to help protect your healthy tissues from further damage, and to help the injured tissue repair itself. The inflammatory response includes five tell-tale symptoms:
  1. Pain
  2. Heat
  3. Redness
  4. Swelling
  5. Loss of function

Depending on the severity of the injury, you will experience each of the symptoms to varying degrees. Although it is necessary to repair the torn tissues in the knee, ACL surgery is essentially a trauma to your body, so its natural response will be inflammation, which almost always includes swelling.

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