Doctor insights on:
What Are Alternatives To Acl Surgery
Rehab & bracing: Not all ACL injuries require surgical intervention, but most do. Most activities of daily living can be performed without a functioning acl. Cutting, pivoting and changing direction are difficult or outright impossible for most patients without an acl. One can alter their activities avoiding those that cause knee instability, try bracing and definitely try rehabilitation in effort to avoid surgery. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Because an acl (anterior cruciate ligament) cannot heal itself on its own, an acl is "reconstructed" by placing a graft tendon substitute (from your own or donor cadaver tendon) placed into tunnels made in the original acl position, and fixed in place with screws, buttons, or other fixation device. The body then replaces the cells and structure of the graft over 6-8 months, ...Read more
Stable knee: An acl reconstruction that heals well should provide you with a stable knee. Other variables such as the status of your knee joint cartilage and especially the status of your medial and lateral menisci also weigh heavily in determining your final degree of functional painfree recovery. Immediately postoperatively, you will have mild to moderate pain and swelling relieved by oral pain meds. ...Read more
Different graft type: The ACL is typically reconstructed (replaced) rather than repaired. We typically reconstruct the ligament with a graft. The graft choice is often individualized to the patient. The three most common graft choices are a portion of the patellar tendon (bone patellar tendon bone), a piece of the hamstring tendon, or a graft from a cadaver (allograft). They all work well in the appropriate patient ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Yes: In general, it is okay to shower. Each surgeon has his/her own preferences, so i would go by your surgeon's instructions. I generally let my patients shower the day after surgery. The small portal incisions usually heal enough after the first day so that the risks of infection or wound breakdown are quite rare. ...Read more
Overview: Initially, most of your activity is done in physical therapy. Swimming and exercise cycle are two activities you can do early, followed by the Stairmaster and treadmill. Don't do strenuous activity outside of physical therapy for ~12 weeks. (No mowing lawns, etc., no snow blowing or shoveling.) It will take ~6 months of PT for you to return to strenuous physical activity such as skiing, soccer. ...Read more
Knee will improve: There is a fair amount of pain for a few days and then it gets better. Your surgeon will discuss the type of graft he would like to use for you. The rehab takes up to 4 - 6 months to return to sport. Many patients are waiking without a limp in a few weeks. Many patients recover fully and can go back to sports. Often the outcome is determined by meniscal tears and arthritis which may be present. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Hard Work: 80% of the outcome is dependent on good post-op therapy. Early active range of motion, weight-bearing as tolerated usually at first. Strengthening with closed chain exercises can start within the second month. By 4 months, it is possible to return to competitive sports if the therapy effort has restored 80% of thigh strength. Surgery takes 2 hrs., and is outpatient usually. ...Read more
Absolutely: Just as they are with any surgery risks are inevitable. These may include but not be limited to bleeding, pain, scars, loss of motion, injury to surrounding structures, failure to provide the intended benefits which is to reconstruct your anterior cruciate ligament. There are also risks of anesthesia including heart attack stroke pneumonia and death. ...Read more
Yes, for a few days: In general, the pain after an acl reconstruction is pretty bad on post op days #2 and 3. It starts to improve thereafter and most patients no longer take prescription pain meds by post op day #5-7; only over the counter meds at the point. It can be quite variable though; everyone's experience can be different. In general most people are doing extremely well at the 3 week period. ...Read more
6-9 months: There are 2 considerations for recovery after acl reconstruction. First is the immediate surgery recovery, which can vary depending on surgeon and whether your own tendon is used. Generally you can be walking normally somewhere between 1 and 6 weeks. More importantly, the graft does not reincorporate until 6-8 months for your own and 8-9 months for donor graft. You cannot be pivoting before then. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Takes a while: Takes a bit of dedication and persistence to get the most out of an acl reconstruction. Every surgeon has his/her own protocol and in part depends on how it was done and if there were any other injuries repaired or not . An example of one is given here: http://www.Orthoassociates.Com/_pdfs/acl_recon.Pdf discuss with your surgeon . The reconstruction is only half of the equation. ...Read more
11 months: Full recovery from surgery to return to play in nfl football players is 11 months. In general it is a 6 month to 12 month process to return to play. Surgery itself only takes 2 hours or less but it takes months for the ligament to heal in place and then months for the leg to regain strength and another few months to return to activity. ...Read more
Isometric exercises: Weight loss is achieved by increasing energy/caloric expenditure and decreasing caloric intake, a negative caloric balance. The combination of diet, exercise and/or restrictive surgery procedures all achieve negative caloric balance. If you can't exercise then do isometrics. Try "my fitness pal" a free app to help you before surgical options. Isometrics burn calories. ...Read more
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