Anterior cruciate ligament or ACL surgery is a significant surgery with a prolonged healing time. One of the four main ligaments in the knee that aid in supporting the joint is the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL. ACL tears are a common injury, especially in high-impact athletes.
In ACL surgery, the injured ligament is often replaced by tissue from another body area. Although the recovery process is slow, it’s crucial to follow your surgeon’s recommendations and go cautiously through each stage to prevent any complications. Contact the top orthopedic surgeon in Ludhiana at Eva Hospital if you are an athlete or are seeking the best surgeon to address your orthopedic issues.
After the ACL operation, your target should be to fully recover the knee so that you may feel better and resume sports and daily activities. This procedure, which can last up to 12 months or longer, can be broken down into 5 significant stages as a general outline.
You can better comprehend your recovery from an ACL reconstruction by using the timeline guide below, which also supports the advice provided at post-operative consultations.
5 Crucial Stages to Recover From ACL Surgery
Table of Contents
Stage 1 (Weeks 1-3)
The first three weeks following surgery are crucial for recovery. Taking care to consume a healthy diet and using ice to reduce excessive inflammation is essential for fostering a favorable healing environment. The body needs a perfect environment during this time to guarantee that the muscles are prepared to develop the essential strength increases after surgery. Gaining control of the leg muscles, particularly the quadriceps (thigh) muscle, is crucial to regaining a normal gait and enhancing strength for tasks like standing up from a seated position and climbing stairs. Enhancing knee mobility is also critical for better function. It has a secondary but equally significant function in healing by assisting in circulating essential nutrients to the recovering tissues.
Stage 2 (Weeks 4-6)
Restructuring of the tendon graft replacement takes place during this time in the post-operative timeframe. A patellar or hamstring tendon segment is the most common graft option when a person utilizes their tendon to repair a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. However, this tendon must go through remodeling. During remodeling, the tendon will disintegrate (or remodel) into ligamentous tissue that can tolerate the stresses needed for an ACL. Patients experience the most progress in their recovery at the end of this phase. Many patients may be able to walk without an aid or brace. The patient might also recover adequate mobility from carrying out tasks like bending the knee to put on pants due to reduced inflammation.
Stage 3 (Week 6-12)
Your knee can support heavier loads during this phase, and people may notice the biggest increases in functional strength 6 to 12 weeks after surgery. Patients will start practicing weight-bearing and strengthening exercises better suited to their particular activities, like balancing, squatting, and climbing and descending stairs. The muscles start to operate normally again, and the gait becomes more regular. Due to the high repetition level of the 6–12 week phase, patients must be diligent during this time to progress to impact exercises and prepare for their return to work, sport, or other activities during the subsequent phase. Patients should concentrate on increasing lower extremity strength, endurance, and control.
Stage 4 (3-6 months)
By this time, the ACL operation has strengthened sufficiently, and the bone healing is complete enough for patients to resume impact activities like jogging and jumping. Moreover, more recovery is often made in terms of muscular control and stability. Even when the ligament can tolerate more stresses, patients typically still have uncoordinated lower extremity function. To prevent additional stress on the rebuilt ACL and surrounding tissues, it is crucial to ensure the exercises are performed with proper form and control. To reduce the chance of reinjury when the patient resumes sports or leisure activities, the leg must be trained to regulate jumping and landing correctly. After demonstrating adequate lower extremity control with hopping, squatting, and jumping, people can resume other activities.
Maintaining proper form when cutting is crucial to a healthy recovery since rotating motions like pivoting and cutting closely resemble activities that are typical of ACL damage mechanisms. Full recovery in function is crucial to reduce the risk of future injury since an ACL tear frequently results from inadequate limb stability or control during activities like pivoting and landing from a jump.
Stage 5 (6-12 months)
In most cases, a patient is given the all-clear by their doctor to resume activities, such as work or sports, when they exhibit strong functional strength and stability when squatting, hopping, jumping, running, and cutting. According to the studies, a return to play should be determined more by objective standards than time. While returning to contact sports is normally permitted after six months for patients, graft healing and recovery can take up to a year or longer. So, to reduce the chance of reinjury, the patient must be careful to keep track of lower extremity alignment and control while performing the exercise.
Why Choose Eva Hospital for ACL Reconstruction Treatment?
Eva Hospital is the ideal destination for ACL reconstruction treatment, thanks to our state-of-the-art facilities, experienced medical staff, and personalized care. Led by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tanveer Singh Bhutani, we offer world-class treatment that ensures speedy recovery and long-lasting results. So what are you waiting for? Choose Eva Hospital to experience the best in healthcare.