ACL surgery is a common orthopedic procedure that involves ligament reconstruction. It is an excellent option for young athletes who have suffered an ACL tear while playing sports. An ACL injury occurs when the knee buckles under sudden stress, such as landing from jumping or squatting. The most common cause of an ACL tear is overuse. However, other factors may also contribute to the injury, including genetics, age, and vascular diseases such as diabetes. If you recently suffered a severe knee injury, consult an ACL surgery Manteca specialist to determine the best approach to restore your range of motion. Below are five steps you need to take for a successful ACL surgery.
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1. Physical Examination
The first step in diagnosing the severity of your ACL injury is a physical examination. This evaluation test often includes checking for physical signs of injury or damage, such as swelling, soreness, bruising, or discoloration around your knee joint.
If there is no apparent sign of damage from this initial inspection, your doctor may recommend imaging tests such as X-rays or MRIs. However, an MRI often produces more accurate results due to its ability to create highly detailed images of the body’s internal structures, such as ligaments and tendons.
2. Deciding Whether To Have an ACL Surgery
The decision to have ACL surgery is personal; it can be difficult to know whether you should go through it. To ensure you are making the right decision, consider your doctor’s opinions and the severity of your injury. It is also best to consider the pros and cons of having an ACL repair. A successful ACL surgery can help minimize the need for long periods of physical therapy. Before making your final decision, ensure you understand the potential risks of getting ACL surgery.
3. Planning for the Surgery
After deciding to get your ACL surgery, it is advisable to start planning for the procedure. During the planning stage, it is important to understand the different types of ACL repairs. They include reconstructive and non-reconstructive surgeries. The difference between these two procedures is how they are performed and their recovery periods.
In a traditional reconstruction, your surgeon will remove the damaged ligament and use bone grafts to rebuild the bone in its place. You’ll have to take time off from sports or exercise for six months before returning to action.
4. Surgery Preparation
You will need to fast for at least eight hours before surgery. If you cannot fast, you can eat a light meal in the morning and avoid heavy meals or alcohol until after your surgery. If possible, avoid taking blood thinning medications such as aspirin for three days before your procedure. This also includes all over-the-counter drugs, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, as well as prescription medications. These medications can increase the risk of bleeding during ACL reconstruction procedures.
5. Recovery From ACL Surgery
Before starting your ACL surgery, it is important to understand what the recovery process entails. After surgery, rest and keep your body as comfortable as possible. That means avoiding strenuous activities that can put pressure on your knee joint. It would help if you also avoid heavy lifting for a few months, as advised by your doctor.
Also, you will need physical therapy after your ACL surgery to strengthen the muscles around your knee joint to support your weight better. However, during your physical therapy sessions, start with light stretching exercises like yoga poses or walking lunges to increase flexibility and strengthen weakened muscles.
ACL surgery is a complex procedure. Fortunately, various steps are involved in getting ready for surgery and recovery afterward. It is important to stay informed about the process to know what to expect from your surgeon before the operation.
While ACL surgery can effectively restore your knee function, the ultimate success of the procedure depends on the steps you take during recovery. Ensure to eat a healthy diet to hasten the healing process and follow up with your doctor to eliminate possible risks and complications.