ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament which is a torn ligament in the knee. The main function of this ligament is to hold the knee in its position while walking, running, or doing any kind of activity with legs. Most often, this ACL ruptures while doing some sort of sport, and knee surgery is required.
ACL surgery recovery requires a long time and even that it requires utmost care. The first few weeks after the surgery are surely the most important in terms of recovery. Getting a good start can take several months off from the recovery time. It is thus essential to stick to the rehabilitation plan for a speedy recovery.
Here are 6 excellent tips that surely would help a lot in making ACL surgery recovery rapid and prompt.
- Rest, rest and rest!
Rest is an essential part of the ACL recovery after any kind of surgery as it provides the body ample time to heal itself without involving in any kind of strenuous activity that does more harm than good. Resting especially in the first week of the rehabilitation at least is quite necessary. So how can you rest your swollen knee? The most effective way is to keep it elevated along with full extension on a bed or couch.
- Pain management
Pain is the thing that disturbs very much after any sort of surgery. Regarding ACL surgery, although the torn ligament is well treated, yet the pain doesn’t go away for many days or even months. Thus, it is essential to manage pain after surgery. Doctors prescribe several pain medications so that you can rest easy. Successful pain control is done by over-the-counter medications such as Panadol etc. and then adding stronger narcotic analgesics if the pain becomes severe.
- Perform rehabilitation exercises
Physiotherapy exercises are extremely important in the case of surgeries involving the joints. These rehabilitation exercises not only improve your joint mobility but also help in the healing processes. According to the type of ACL injury and the surgery performed, your physical therapist would determine the suitable exercise program to help the torn ligament.
- Eat nutritious food
As surgery causes the wear and tear of different parts of the body, nutrients from the food help growth of new tissues. Eating well after ACL surgery helps your body heal faster and make your knee strong as before. These foods are recommended to be eaten for ACL surgery recovery: protein-rich chicken/fish, dairy products, citrus fruits, and green leafy vegetables, etc. You should avoid foods such as alcohol, beverages, junk food, and caffeine, etc.
- Always wear your knee brace
After your ACL reconstruction surgery, your doctor might recommend you to wear a knee brace. It is made of elastic material that tight holds the knee in its position and prevents dislocation. If your doctor says so, wear it! Wear that knee brace as much as you can which would not only help you to straighten your knee but also aid in the healing. Remember that the braces are protecting your knee from dislocation and are essential for the recovery.
- Essential Nutrients that Aid in ACL Surgery Recovery
As previously highlighted, every post-surgery including ACL surgery recovery demands plenty of nutrients for the growth and differentiation of tissues. The most important nutrients you need include:
Vitamin C – It is a potent antioxidant that protects from the damage occurring due to free radicals.
Bromelain – Bromelain reduces pain, decreases swelling and bruises and shortens the healing period following any surgery like ACL repair.
L-Arginine – Arginine increases nitric acid production which increases the blood flow and oxygen supply to the site of surgical wound, thus increasing collagen formation and reducing inflammation.
Turmeric – Consuming turmeric supplementations is best for speeding the healing process because of the anti-oxidizing properties of turmeric.
Zinc – Zinc is essential as it acts as a cofactor for several enzymes involved in collagen synthesis. Collagen is the connective tissue that is present in structures like skin, bone, tendons, ligaments, and eye, etc. Thus, it is great for the development of anterior cruciate ligament after surgery.
Hyaluronic acid – Hyaluronic is the main component of the extracellular matrix of the joints and is considered a key substance in tissue regeneration. It must be consumed for a speedy recovery of the ACL.
For those of you that like to save money, time and have the convenience of using just one pill, we suggest using the #1 pharmacist recommended and most comprehensive post-surgical healing supplement, called WoundVite.
ACL Surgery Recovery Take Away Message
You must follow the above-provided tips for a speedy recovery after ACL surgery. In addition to this, consult your physiotherapist for an exercise program that would help in the rehabilitation of movement. Eat a healthy and nutritious diet, take your vitamins and you should recover faster.