What is the Quickest Way to Recover from MCL Surgery?

By Kelly Hansen | Jul 04, 2013
The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) gets a lot of attention because it is a relatively common sports injury. Another important connective tissue, the MCL (medial collateral ligament) is just as important to knee stability, and also commonly injured in sports like football, soccer, and skiing.

An MCL injury can be sustained during an impact to the outside of the knee, or when an athlete makes a fast turn or inadvertently twists the knee in a certain way. MCL injury symptoms are similar to many other knee injuries. You might experience pain, swelling, and limited range of motion.

Your doctor will diagnose an MCL injury with the help of an MRI scan or x-ray. A minor MCL injury is typically treated with ice therapy, rest, temporary immobilization of the knee, and reduced activity for several weeks. However, some MCL injuries require surgery, especially if you have injured other parts of the knee.

How to Recover from MCL Surgery Faster

If you and your doctor determine that surgery is the best course of action, there are some important steps you can take to help your recovery go faster:
  • Rest - Although you may want to quickly return to activity, your body needs time to heal. The more rest you can get, the more quickly your body will recover.

  • Medication - Your doctor may prescribe pain medication or an anti-inflammatory drug to help control swelling. Use these medications as directed and talk to your doctor if you are in a lot of pain.

  • Ice and compression - One way to help manage pain and swelling without medications is with active cold compression therapy. Cold therapy has a numbing effect to help reduce pain, and it also reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels and slowing down cellular metabolism. Simultaneous active compression removes excess fluid and brings fresh, nutrient-rich blood to your damaged tissue to help promote faster healing.

  • Joint support - Your doctor may recommend wearing a brace and keeping weight off the leg for a period of time after surgery. Use the brace as directed and use crutches for the entire period of time that they are recommended.

  • Physical therapy - At a certain point during your recovery, your doctor will recommend physical therapy to help strengthen and stretch the muscles surrounding the knee and improve range of motion.

If you need to recover from MCL surgery, ask your doctor or physical therapist about Game Ready. Our patented compression wraps ensure that therapeutic cold reaches the entire area surrounding the knee and penetrates deeper than ice alone. Contact us today to learn more about getting Game Ready for your MCL surgery recovery.

What steps do you plan to take to recover from MCL surgery faster?

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Six ACL Surgery Recovery Strategies

By Game Ready | Apr 15, 2013
One of the most common sports injuries is a torn anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. In fact, according to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, there are more than 150,000 ACL injuries each year in the United States. Many of these are treated with reconstructive knee surgery to repair the tear.

This particular injury can happen in a broad range of sports to both male and female athletes. Although not all types of ACL injuries require surgery, the most serious tears do. The speed of ACL surgery recovery depends on a number of factors including the intensity of the injury, the health of the athlete prior to surgery, and the recovery strategies employed.

When it comes to ACL surgery recovery, the more informed and prepared you are, the faster you will be able to heal.

Six Strategies for ACL Surgery Recovery

  1. Pre-surgery strengthening - When the muscles surrounding the knee joint are strong, rehabilitation and recovery are faster. Talk to your doctor about a pre-surgery program to help you safely strengthen the groin, calf, hamstring, and quadriceps muscles.

  2. Pre-surgery stretching - Maintaining a healthy range of motion before surgery will help you return to this range faster afterwards. Gentle stretches and low-impact movements can help you reduce stiffness and keep the joint lubricated.

  3. Post-surgery stretching - Gentle movement of the knee joint after surgery will help prevent the growth of scar tissue that can later limit your range of motion. Work with your physical therapist to develop an appropriate program.

  4. Post-surgery strengthening - Help stabilize the knee joint by strengthening the surrounding muscles. Again, work with a qualified professional to develop a program. It is important not to overdo strengthening exercises immediately after surgery while the tissue is still healing.

  5. Pain management - Your doctor might prescribe pain medication, which should be taken as directed.

  6. Cryotherapy and compression - Cold therapy and compression are proven techniques for accelerating the healing process and managing pain and swelling. Active cold and compression take it to another level by providing a deeper, longer-lasting cooling effect while actively pumping fluids away from the knee. Active compression also pumps oxygen-rich blood to the joint, which will further speed up the healing process by bringing vital nutrients to the tissues.

Perhaps the most important element for effective ACL surgery recovery is patience. It takes time for the damaged tissue to heal, which can be very frustrating for athletes. Closely following recommendations from a physical therapist and employing active cold therapy and compression will help ensure that the healing process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Ask your doctor about getting a prescription for Game Ready's cold therapy compression systems and contact us to learn more about renting a system to help improve your ACL surgery recovery.

Have you ever had ACL surgery? Did cold and compression help you manage pain and swelling?

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