If you’re going to have an ACL reconstruction surgery, here are a few concepts to consider:
Pre-Hab Before Surgery
Before your surgery, physical therapy can help exercise the specific muscles which support your recovery. It may seem like only post-op therapy would be necessary, but strengthening those muscles beforehand will increase your ability to heal after the reconstruction procedure. This should result in improved post-op function and decreased recovery time.
Retains Muscle Strength
One of the biggest downsides of a joint injury is the loss of surrounding muscle mass and strength. When you have surgery on your ACL, you want your quadriceps, hamstring, calf, gluteals, and core all contracting optimally. Getting both prehab and post-op therapy will help get your muscles strong.
Immediately after the initial injury your knee may swell with fluid, a condition referred to as edema or effusion. This can be eliminated with pre-hab physical therapy. You may also be able to control it with cold/ice pack applications for up to 20 minutes every 4 hours, or as directed by your licensed healthcare provider. After the surgical procedure the knee typically will swell again as part of the healing response. The post-op physical therapy will once again eliminate this, if the correct treatments are selected by your Doctor of Physical Therapy. The same cold/ice routine mentioned above can also help reduce or eliminate the swelling. Also, having stronger muscles will protect your knee joint and help keep it from swelling both before and after the ACL reconstruction surgery.
Post-Op Physical Therapy After Surgery
Physical therapy ideally should begin within the first week after your surgery to address the swelling and muscle strength issues already noted. The surgeon may have a protocol which delays the start of the post-op care depending on the type of procedure performed. Your therapist will also work to restore full motion of the knee, as it most likely will be stiff immediately after the procedure. As you progress, sport or hobby specific exercises will be added in. Even most professional athletes take 9-12 months to rehab after an ACL reconstruction. The use of a knee brace once you return to sports will be up to you with guidance from your therapist and the surgeon.
Need Physical Therapy for ACL Surgery Near Burien?
If you want the best PT in the Burien area, the team at Advance Physical Therapy is here to help. We use evidence-based treatments to deliver care you can trust to address chronic back pain, after surgery, or after an injury. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you get the care you need.
Skilled Physical Therapy for ACL Surgery Near Burien
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