Although every body is different, there are several stages you can expect to go through as you recover from ACL surgery.
5 Stages to Recover from ACL Surgery
- First few days after surgery - The most notable effects immediately after surgery are pain and swelling. Your body's natural reaction to trauma is inflammation, which is actually an important part of the healing process. However, too much swelling can impede your recovery. Elevating your leg, taking the medications that your doctor prescribes, and using cold compression therapy will help you control the natural pain and swelling that occurs after ACL surgery.
- First two weeks after surgery - Although it is important to get ample rest during your ACL surgery recovery, it is equally important to introduce gentle exercise at this stage to help improve range of motion. Your physical therapist will recommend exercises that will help you build strength, increase flexibility, and return to normal range of motion. Cold compression therapy should be continued during this time as swelling will continue to be an issue.
- Weeks 3 through 6 - As the swelling starts to subside, your physical therapist will introduce more rigorous strength training and balancing exercises.
- Weeks 7 though 12 - Certain low-impact sports activities can be introduced at this stage, such as cycling, light jogging, and swimming. Because your ACL will still be healing, sports that involve physical impact are not recommended.
- Months 4 through 7 - Although there is an absence of pain and swelling at this stage, your body is still recovering from ACL surgery. Many sports activities are acceptable, or even recommended, but it's important to remember that although you might feel fully recovered, there is still a risk of re-injury if there is too much impact on the joint. Sports drills and conditioning exercises are recommended, while participation in athletic events is not.
If you are planning an ACL surgery, prepare in advance by renting a cold compression therapy system or working with your physical therapist to ensure that you have access to all the tools you need to speed up the recovery process. Contact Game Ready or find a local provider to learn more about how cold compression therapy can help you recover from ACL surgery more quickly.
Wouldn't you like to do everything you can to safely get back on your feet faster?