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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pain management - Your doctor might prescribe pain medication, which should be taken as directed.
- 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?
Six Ways to Make Back Surgery Recovery Easier
The more prepared you are, the smoother your recovery will be. Follow these tips to help you get ready before your back surgery:
These simple steps can make the back surgery recovery process go much more smoothly.
Four Tips to Improve Back Surgery Recovery
- Manage pain with medication - A certain amount of pain is inevitable with any type of surgery. Talk to your physician about how they intend to help you manage pain and what types of medications you can expect to be taking. They might prescribe narcotics, NSAIDs, or other pain management medications immediately following the surgery. The medications you should take will depend on the type of surgery you have, so be sure to ask your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.
- Get plenty of sleep - The more you can rest comfortably, the faster your body will heal. Ask your physician or physical therapist what sleeping positions they recommend to help reduce strain on your back.
- Participate in your rehabilitation - Although it is important to rest, it is equally important to be active throughout the rehabilitation process. Your physical therapist might recommend gentle stretches or certain movements to help increase circulation and regain muscle strength. Every patient is different, so make sure you work closely with a healthcare professional to develop your rehabilitation plan.
- Use active compression and cold therapy to reduce pain - Compression and cold therapy have been used for centuries to help speed up the healing process for injuries of all types. This can be a little more challenging with back surgery recovery because of the nature and location of the injury. However, using a specially designed cryotherapy wrap that circulates cold water and air will provide simultaneous cold therapy and active compression. Cold therapy can be used immediately after surgery and on an ongoing basis after activities that might induce swelling.
If you are facing back recovery surgery, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about Game Ready's patented dual-action Active Temperature Exchange back wraps. The combination of active compression and cold therapy is proven to provide longer-lasting, deeper cooling to help reduce swelling and speed up the healing process.
The results speak for themselves. More than 94% of patients who used Game Ready said that their post-operative recovery was better than with other types of cold therapy. Want to learn more? Contact us today to speak with a representative.
What steps have you taken to help improve back surgery recovery?