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:
Whether you have injured your ACL, MCL, or meniscus, knee surgery is sometimes the best solution for getting you back in the game. If your doctor does recommend surgery, it's important to be prepared for the post-operative recovery process as much as possible. The more you are committed to healing quickly, the faster you will be back on your feet.
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?
There are many activities you should try to do during MCL surgery recovery. For example, getting plenty of rest, using cold and compression therapy, and following the recommendations from your physical therapist. However, there are also several that you should avoid if you want to ensure the fastest recovery possible.
One of the most common side effects after ACL or MCL surgery is swelling. This is a result of your body's natural reaction to trauma and is an essential component of the inflammatory response. Inflammation actually helps your body heal, but too much swelling can be uncomfortable and impede the recovery process.
Cryotherapy is commonly used after ACL or MCL surgery to speed up the recovery process and to help reduce pain and swelling. Your body's natural response after knee surgery is inflammation, which is both uncomfortable and impedes healing. Cryotherapy can help control the effects of inflammation so you can get back on your feet faster and with less pain.Although
Whether you get hurt playing sports or take a tumble while walking the dog, a knee injury can be quite serious. Damaging one of the ligaments in the knee joint can not only be quite painful, it can also lead to reduced mobility and long-term instability in the knee.