Post-ACL Surgery Recovery: Harnessing the Benefits of Physical Therapy

4 mins read

The anterior cruciate ligament provides stability to the knee, preventing it from rotating too far from side to side. A violent twisting of the knee, such as may occur in sports that involve a lot of planting and pivoting, can cause the ACL to tear. Surgery is necessary to repair the ACL and return function to the knee. Yukon physical therapy is essential to recovery after ACL repair, and some research shows that it can be valuable prior to the surgery as well.

Why Should You Visit Your PT Before Surgery?

There are several reasons why you might say to yourself, “I need to find a physical therapist near me before I go in for ACL repair surgery.” The first is to choose the therapist you want to see after the surgery. There are many physical therapists available, some who practice generally and others who specialize in treating particular conditions.

You may want to see a physical therapist who specializes particularly in treating ACL injuries, especially if you are an athlete planning to get back to sports. It is also a good idea to get to know your physical therapist before surgery and make sure that the two of you are compatible. Choose a therapist whose goals and values are consistent with yours.

Increasingly, doctors and surgeons recommend that you start treatment with a physical therapist Oklahoma City before you have your ACL repair surgery. Doing so can help reduce swelling and pain in your knee as well as increasing your range of motion, which can help the procedure go more smoothly. Physical therapy before ACL repair can also help to strengthen your quadriceps and hamstring muscles as well as stabilizing the muscles in your hips and improving your proprioception and balance. All of these can help you recover successfully and return to sports and other activities more quickly.

Enhancing Recovery: The Importance of Consistent PT Visits

Both your injury and the surgery require some time off your feet, during which time your muscles can atrophy. Your injured knee will probably atrophy more than your other knee, but physical therapy  strengthens both of your knees together. You will also strengthen your hips, which helps to prevent new ACL injury.

Physical therapy helps to relieve pain so you can return to your normal activities. Studies have also shown that, if you are an athlete, physical therapy can help you return to sports sooner and achieve nearly your pre-injury level of performance.

However, you must be consistent with both PT visits and home exercises that your therapist gives you. Being inconsistent puts you at risk for the following:

  • Re-injury
  • Decreased function
  • Joint stiffness
  • Muscle weakness

When Should You Start Physical Therapy After ACL Surgery?

If you start physical therapy too late after your ACL injury, you may not return to full function. On the other hand, if you start too early, you may compromise the repair. You will work with both your surgeon and your physical therapist to create a recovery plan. The circumstances will dictate when you can start PT. If you find a physical therapist before surgery, you do not have to waste time after your surgery and can start therapy as soon as possible.

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