Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are among the most common injuries, especially for athletes. One study found an ACL injury rate of 6.5 per 100,000 athletic encounters.1 If you injure your ACL and have to have surgery, you’ll want to get your life back as fast as possible. To do that, you want to ensure you have a comprehensive rehabilitation program.
If you’re an athlete, chances are you know the common acronym for immediate care after an injury. RICE -- rest, ice, compression, and elevation -- is a time-tested method for controlling the inflammation that occurs after your body has suffered a trauma like a sprained ankle or pulled muscle. Even if you’re not an athlete, you should use RICE any time you have back pain, bump your head, or suffer almost any other type of minor injury.Read More >
A pneumatic compression device does much more than static compression alone can do. Static compression helps prevent the formation of edema and reduces swelling by exerting external pressure on the injury. The pressure inhibits the loss of fluid from vessels in the damaged tissues and makes it more difficult for them to accumulate. While this is useful, a pneumatic compression device enhances the benefits of static compression and offers even more reasons for athletes to use one to treat a sports injury.Read More >
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?
Like any other surgery, knee surgery results in pain and inflammation that can cause discomfort for the patient. The more quickly the healing process happens, the faster you can reduce or eliminate these undesirable effects. Fortunately, it is possible to expedite knee surgery recovery with cold compression therapy.
The efficacy of cold compression therapy is well proven. In the case of knee surgery recovery, the combination of these two therapies has the following effects:
If you’ve been diagnosed with a musculoskeletal injury, you’re definitely not alone. Medical statistics report that more than half of all U.S. injuries that are accidental occur with to the musculoskeletal system. Muscle strains, sprains, fractures, contusions and bruises are common. About 10 percent of these injuries happen because of some sort of sport and slightly more than 10 percent are workplace related.
Cold (cryo) therapy is widely used after a musculoskeletal injury or post-surgery to decrease pain, muscle spasms, edema and swelling. Let’s say you’ve had an ankle or knee injury. You know the drill – get in bed or on the couch, elevate the leg and apply ice to the injured area. You also remember the mess and inconvenience this kind of ice water therapy causes – wet pillows, bedclothes, blankets, etc. Staying compliant with that type of cold therapy is really difficult and that’s just one reason why ice water therapy alone isn’t ideal for recovering from a sports injury.
People who are physically active -professional and amateur athletes, sports fans, or those who have a job requiring overhead activities like lifting, pulling, or pushing - may find themselves with a painful shoulder that doesn't get better with time. This could be a rotator cuff injury. People with rotator cuff tears have symptoms that include pain when you try to move your arm away from your body, when you lift it or lower it from a fully raised position. Muscle atrophy around the shoulder is another symptom. If this describes you, visit a doctor for tests which can diagnose a rotator cuff tear.
After you suffered a musculoskeletal injury or undergone orthopedic surgery, you were probably told to use some sort of wrap to surround the affected area and deliver cold and compression treatment. You can find a whole variety of choices on the internet or the shelves of your local drugstore; but how do you know what kind of wrap is your best option?