How to Prepare Yourself for ACL Surgery Recovery

By Game Ready | May 09, 2018

Many people who suffer from a torn ACL have a few weeks between the time the injury occurs and the day surgery is scheduled. This delay is because you need time for the swelling to go down before the procedure is performed. During this time, you might need to use crutches and/or a knee brace to support the knee joint, prevent further injury, and avoid pain and discomfort.

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What Patients Wish They Knew About Physical Therapy After Knee Surgery

By Game Ready | Mar 27, 2018

Physical therapy after knee surgery is a necessary part of the recovery process, but you can make it more effective. The more actively you participate in your own recovery, the faster you may be able to return to normal activity. For athletes, this means getting back to their routine quickly and safely.

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Reduce Knee Swelling with These 4 Simple Tips

By Game Ready | Dec 12, 2017

Many athletes experience knee swelling at some point, and it’s not always clear why it happens. The causes of this condition—also known as effusion, or water on the knee—can vary. Some of the possible reasons for a swollen knee include:

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How Cold Compression Quickly Helps Torn ACL Recovery

By Game Ready | Aug 13, 2015

A torn anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a common sports injury that often results in surgical repair because, as one of the four ligaments found in the knee, it is so important for stabilization in the joint. ACL sprains or tears can occur with physical impact, when quickly pivoting, or when landing incorrectly from a jump.

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3 Proven Cold Water Therapy Techniques to Reduce Knee Swelling

By Game Ready | 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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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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What is a Typical MCL Recovery Timeline after Surgery?

By Kelly Hansen | May 13, 2014
A torn medial collateral ligament (MCL) impacts the stability of the knee joint. Because the long-term effects of this instability can lead to consistent discomfort and further injury, surgery is often recommended. After the MCL is repaired, the healing process begins. Several factors contribute to the body's ability to repair itself, and the more prepared you are in advance, the better chance you will have of a speedy recovery.

Although the recovery path varies for every individual, most people experience that same phases as they heal.

Typical MCL Surgery Recovery Timeline

  • Phase One - In the first six weeks after MCL surgery, the healing process will rapidly progress. The immediate inflammation after surgery can be controlled with rest, elevation, and cold compression therapy to help manage pain and swelling. As the inflammation subsides, rehabilitation begins to help restore the normal function of the joint. The main focus during these initial weeks is to restore range of motion, build up to weight-bearing activities, and increase strength and flexibility without impacting the surgical repair.

  • Phase Two - Six to twelve weeks after surgery, most patients are able to advance rehabilitation to include functional training and sports-specific conditioning exercises. During this time your physical therapist will gradually increase both the duration and the intensity of your rehabilitation sessions to help you safely build muscle and increase flexibility.

  • Phase Three - This is when you are ready to return to activity. The length of time it takes to achieve full recovery depends on several factors, including:

    • How well your body healed during the first weeks after surgery
    • Your physical condition before surgery
    • The rehabilitation process during the second phase of recovery
The average recovery time for MCL surgery is about six months, but the full range is from twelve weeks to twelve months at each end of the spectrum.

The early stages of MCL surgery recovery influence the entire healing process. Giving your body the opportunity to heal quickly and thoroughly is the best way to return to activity safely. Using Game Ready's cold compression therapy system after MCL surgery will help you heal more quickly, feel more comfortable, and get back on your feet faster.

Our patented system is proven to be more effective than ice alone, which is why both doctors and athletes rely on Game Ready during MCL surgery recovery. Look for a provider near you if you want to integrate Game Ready into your MCL surgery recovery strategy.

How fast do you want to get back in the game?
guide to knee surgery cta

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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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How to Heal Faster After MCL Surgery: Cryotherapy Explained

By Kelly Hansen | Nov 07, 2013
Recovering from MCL surgery takes time. The damaged tissues in your knee joint need time and energy to repair themselves and return to normal activity. Although you won't be able to get back on your feet overnight, you can speed up the healing process by adding cold compression therapy to your recovery strategy.

Cold therapy, or cryotherapy, is a proven method for reducing pain, swelling, and edema. You have probably applied ice packs after a sports injury or other trauma, but do you know why you do this?

How Cryotherapy Works in the Body

Stated simply, cryotherapy is the application of cold to an injury. It provides a therapeutic effect for three reasons:
  1. Impact on the circulatory system - When you apply cold to your knee after MCL surgery, your blood vessels constrict, or get more narrow. This reduces blood flow, which causes the body to respond by increasing the size of the blood vessels, bringing a rush of fresh blood to the area. This process continues throughout the application of cold, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the healing tissue and flushing cellular waste away.

  2. Impact on cellular metabolism - The cells in your body perform a variety of functions, all of which are important. Each cell has a life cycle in which it is created, uses energy to do its designated work, and then dies. The rate at which a cell consumes energy is its metabolism. The application of cold slows down cellular metabolism so that less energy is required. This contributes to faster healing after MCL surgery  because your body can maximize energy use for tissue repair.

  3. Impact on the neurological system - You feel pain as a result of nerve fiber activity, which is slowed down with the application of cold. Reducing pain throughout the recovery process can help you heal faster and potentially reduce the amount of medication you might need.

Why Cold Compression Therapy Works Better than Ice Packs

In its simplest form, cryotherapy can be applied with ice packs. However, with modern technology there is a better way. The main disadvantage of ice packs is that they constantly absorb heat from your body, which causes the ice temperature to gradually increase, reducing its therapeutic effect over time.

Game Ready has developed a system that allows you to apply consistent cold temperatures around the entire knee joint for the duration of the therapy session. Cold water circulates through a loop system that includes an ice reservoir, so the temperature remains constant. At the same time, pneumatic compression creates a pumping effect that helps improve the flow of blood and other fluids. This system provides two important benefits when it comes to cryotherapy:
  1. The effects of therapeutic cold lasts longer
  2. The cold is able to penetrate deeper

This means that the deeper tissues in your knee joint benefit from cryotherapy after MCL surgery and each session has a longer lasting impact than ice packs alone.

If you are interested in learning more about how Game Ready can help speed up your MCL surgery recovery, locate a provider near you.

Are you ready to take your MCL surgery recovery to the next level?

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All content found on this website, including text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website

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