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.
It's important to remember that even though you will be mobile relatively quickly, often within days, this does not mean that you have healed enough to return to normal activity. In fact, most people shouldn't return to athletics for at least eight months after MCL surgery. Even if you don't feel pain, the tissues in your knee joint still need time to fully repair themselves.
What to Avoid After MCL Surgery
Your MCL is one of the major ligaments in your knee. It runs along the inside of the joint and connects the tibia, or shin bone, to the femur, or thigh bone. A torn MCL is a common skiing or football injury, but it can also be caused by an impact to the side of the leg, whether from another athlete or simply from a fall.
Regardless of how you got the injury, MCL surgery can help your knee return to normal function as long as you take care of yourself during recovery. Some of the activities you should avoid after MCL surgery include:
- Doing too much too soon - Re-injury is most common when patients try to introduce too much activity, or too much intensity, too quickly after surgery. After the pain subsides, it's easy to assume that you are well enough to return to your previous level of activity. However, it is important to regain strength and stability in the knee joint before performing certain activities.
- Not wearing a knee brace - Post-op knee braces are designed to immobilize the joint while still allowing you to be mobile. After the initial phase of recovery your doctor will likely recommend a more flexible knee brace that provides stability while still allowing you to bend the knee. Always wear the brace for as long as your doctor recommends, even if you feel like you don't need it.
- Sports that require pivoting - Your MCL can become injured again if you try to do activities that require side-to-side motion before your body is ready. You should also avoid activities that might result in an impact to the outside of the leg.
One of the activities you can do to help speed the recovery process is use active cold and compression therapy to enhance healing. In combination with rest, elevation, and structured physical therapy, active cold and compression can help shorten the overall recovery process after MCL surgery.
If you are considering using cold and compression therapy during your MCL surgery recovery, find a Game Ready provider near you today. We'll help you select the wrap that is right for you so you can enjoy the many benefits of active cold and compression and get back on your feet faster.
What other activities are you avoiding during MCL surgery recovery?