What NOT To Do After ACL Surgery
What NOT to do After ACL Surgery
After having my second ACL surgery, I thought I knew everything to know because my first ACL recovery was an absolute success – That couldn’t have been anymore wrong. My second ACL recovery taught me a lot about what NOT to do after ACL surgery. Here are some factors to be aware of:
What not to do after ACL surgery? Do NOT over exert yourself
- The first thing I seem to notice with people doing after ACL surgery is getting over-ambitious towards their knee recovery. The only things you can really work on is your range of motion, level of inflammation and stimulating your vmo muscle – the tear drop quad muscle.
What not to do after ACL surgery? Do NOT take too many painkillers.
- Simply put, follow the instructions that doctor recommends when using painkillers such as Vicodin and NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Taking too many painkillers can lead to overdosing and potentially killing yourself. My recommendation would be to take your pain meds 30 minutes before performing your physical therapy exercises in the first weeks after surgery to help cope with the discomfort and pain. “Addiction to narcotics generally takes months of use. addiction will not occur during the first weeks after surgery. ” Read more on managing pain.
What not to do after ACL surgery? Do NOT sleep with your knee bent.
- This leads to scar tissue building up while you sleep which can lessen your ROM and prevent you from full knee extension due to the scar tissue build up. Watch this video on massaging the knee to remove scar tissue after acl surgery.
What not to do after ACL surgery? Do NOT over ice your knee.
- Do NOT ice your knee for longer than 20 minutes at a time, WHY? Icing your knee for longer than 20 minutes can damage your nerve endings surround the knee. It’s essential to ice your knee at least 3-5 times daily, especially after physical therapy.
What not to do after ACL surgery? Do NOT overcompensate your uninjured knee.
- The risks of overcompensating with your uninjured knee often goes unheard of due to elaborate focus on rehabilitation of the injured knee after ACL surgery. When recovering from knee surgery it’s natural to shift your body weight over to your uninjured knee to protect your surgical repaired knee while it heals. However, overcompensating your uninjured knee can lead to serious consequences. When shifting your weight on your uninjured knee, it places a lot of stress which can lead to such injuries as tendonitis, hip-pointers and even tearing a ligament down the road. It’s best to have an equal weight distribution by standing properly on both legs, if allowed, and to use equipment such as a cane.
What not to do after ACL surgery? DO NOT neglect your uninjured knee.
- When you’re recovering from ACL surgery, it’s important to focus on your uninjured knee during rehab as well. Your physical therapist will have you exercising both of your knee’s to ensure a strong and healthy recovery. A typical fallacy is that since the athlete didn’t tear their other knee, they believe their knee is already strong and does not necessarily need to be rehabilitated. This point is normally wrong because an athlete almost never focus on strengthening the knee muscles, which is normal because they don’t understand the importance and benefits of doing knee specific exercises. With this in mind, be sure to give your uninjured knee the undivided attention it deserves during your 6-9month ACL recovery.
What not to do after ACL surgery? Do NOT disregard your compression stockings.
- These suckers play an important role. They’re used to prevent blood clots – asvenous thromboembolism (VTE) – in your leg due to the insufficient amount of blood flow your legs get due to surgery. These stockings are used to help circulate blood flow in your legs. Read more on compressions stockings after acl surgery. Take for instance the case of Jade, she had to have her leg amputated from above the knee due to bleeding and a blockage. Support her cause, please.
What not to do after ACL surgery? Do NOT play the victim.
- It’s normal to ask yourself, “Why me?” but if you’re your becoming a burden to others on a consistent basis, it’s time to change your thought process. In the first weeks, it’s a struggle to do normal everyday things by yourself, so it’s great if you have someone there to care for you during this time. However, it’s important that you do your part and to not take advantage of the person that is helping you.
What not to do after ACL surgery? Do NOT lose track of your insurance coverage.
- It’s important to check with your physical therapist and insurance company to see how many sessions you have, otherwise you’ll be left like myself with no coverage 5 months in and going from $10 a session, to $200 a session. It’s necessary to utilize your coverage more during the the first weeks after ACL surgery. Towards your 4th to 6th month of physical therapy, you can space them out to visiting 1-2 times a week – depending on the number of insured sessions – because there will not be as drastic of healing and recovery your knee would during the first weeks, which means you can perform these exercises on your own at your local gym or at home if you have the necessary equipment.
What not to do after ACL surgery? Do NOT lose focus by doubting yourself.
- The best advice I could give on this topic is to stop worrying about getting hurt and start focusing on getting better. If this is your first recovery from ACL surgery, it’s natural to be very cautious about re-injuring your knee. It’s great to be aware of this, but your mind should be focused on taking the right steps – pun intended – to having a safe, healthy and successful recovery.
What not to do after ACL surgery? Do NOT neglect your hips.
- When undergoing acl surgery, you will experience muscle atrophy( muscle loss) in your legs and glutes. Due to this, your hips will feel weak and out’ve sync with the proper mechanics of your hips motion. Give your hip exercises 100% of your focus because improper hip mechanics can cause you to re-tear your ACL. Read more on hip exercises.