What Happens After An ACL Tear?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

If you have a torn ACL, you may wonder what will happen after treatment. This type of injury can be concerning, especially for those who are active. But, with the right kind of treatment and recovery, you will likely be able to get back to most, if not all, of your normal activities.

Treatment options

Some ACL tears can be treated with physical therapy and rehabilitation, while others require surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon will discuss the benefits of each type of treatment as well as what you will need to do to recover.

Non-surgical treatments for ACL tears

Orthopedic surgeons can perform complicated procedures, but they don’t always advocate for surgery. If your ACL tear doesn’t require this type of treatment, they will discuss non-surgical options. These could include physical rehab, rest, and ice.

Surgical treatments for ACL tears

Surgery is usually reserved for injuries that cannot be healed by other means. This usually requires the damaged tendon to be removed and replaced with another tendon. If you are going in for surgery, be sure to prepare beforehand.

Steps for having a more successful recovery

Your recovery will be just as important as your treatment. ACL tears need time to heal, so be sure to listen to your orthopedic surgeon and follow your treatment plan. Here are some tips that can help you make the most out of your recovery.

  1. Prepare for long-term recovery: You may have to use crutches or do physical therapy for weeks to months after surgery. It will help to make sure you have help taking care of tasks you cannot do, like mowing your lawn, driving, or picking up groceries.
  2. Make your home more comfortable: Having limited mobility can be frustrating. You can make your recovery easier by preparing your home before your surgery. For example, you can add a handle or bar in your shower, move any furniture that could be in the way, and clean up exposed cords.
  3. Do your physical therapy: If your orthopedic surgeon has referred you for physical rehab, you need to stick to the schedule. This includes any at-home workouts that have been suggested. Doing so will help your body, especially your ACL, return to normal.
  4. Prepare the best foods: You will need to eat a healthy diet during your recovery. Be sure to stock your kitchen with nutritious, easy-to-make foods.
  5. Keep yourself occupied: If you have torn your ACL, you are likely an active person. You don’t have to be bored just because you can’t be active, though. Try reading, working on brain teasers, meditating, or learning a new hobby.

  6. Keep an eye on your knee: During your recovery, it can be helpful to watch your healing progress. Keep your own records of any pain you are feeling, as well as any milestones you may reach at home. These can be given to your doctor.

Orthopedic surgery in Amarillo, Texas

At Texas Panhandle Orthopedics, Dr. Dear and his Team provide a variety of high-quality orthopedic services, including surgical and non-surgical treatments. You can reach us at (806) 502-6570 to set up an appointment.