ACL surgery recovery takes time, but there are a few steps you can take, and some activities to avoid, while you prepare to get back on your feet. From the outside, the small incisions on your knee might not look so serious, but the ligaments, muscles, and other tendons in your knee will be going through an elaborate healing process.
Hindering this healing can slow down the recovery process, resulting in a longer period of time before you can get back in the game.
Activities to Avoid During ACL Surgery Recovery
Your doctor will certainly provide instruction for ACL surgery recovery and physical rehabilitation, but these are a few activities that you should avoid during the healing process:
- Ignoring your doctor's instructions - Take the prescribed medications or talk to your doctor about another pain management solution like cryotherapy. Stay off your feet until you are told that it's okay to put pressure on your injured leg. Use the therapeutic devices that are recommended, such as crutches, cold compression systems, or knee braces.
- Trying to be active before you're ready - Your knee might feel good and you might be mentally ready to return to your previous activity level, but if your ACL is not fully repaired you could injure it again. The ACL provides stability in the knee; if it's not properly functioning you are risking a further delay in your recovery.
- Overdoing it in rehab - Working with a physical therapist is a great way to ensure that the muscles surrounding the knee joint help provide more stability. However, athletes that are anxious to get back in the game can sometimes overdo it with physical therapy, especially when they are able to do more strengthening exercises. Strengthening the quadriceps muscles too much too early in the healing process can stretch the graft that was used to repair the torn ligament.
Of course, there are plenty of activities you should do during ACL surgery recovery. Your doctor will likely recommend elevation, cryotherapy, compression, pain medications, and monitoring for infection. Follow instructions closely and ask your provider if you are uncertain about what you should or should not be doing during recovery.
Using Game Ready's active cold and compression therapy system is something you should do during ACL surgery recovery. The therapeutic cold and active compression contribute to a faster healing process, reduce swelling, and help manage pain. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about getting a Game Ready system to help you during ACL surgery recovery, or contact us to learn more.