The road to recovery after a knee injury can feel long and daunting, but with the proper care, you can be back on your feet in no time. In this article, we will discuss the timeline for walking after an ACL repair surgery and give some tips to help you through the process.
Understanding the Basics of ACL Repair
Before we dive into what to expect during the recovery process, let’s go over some basic information about ACL surgery. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery is a procedure used to repair or reconstruct a torn ligament. It is done by an orthopedic surgeon and can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. During the procedure, a qualified surgeon for torn ACL in Baltimore will remove any pieces of the torn ACL and replace them with a graft. This can be done with tissue from another area of your body or with donor tissue. Overall, the goal of ACL surgery is to restore strength and stability to your knee.
The First Days Post-Surgery
For the first few days after your ACL surgery, you will be relying on crutches or other walking aids to move about. You may feel some discomfort initially, but this will gradually improve as your knee begins to heal. It is essential to follow your surgeon’s advice during this period and allow your knee to rest as much as possible.
Gradual Progress to Walking
Although it may feel like a long journey, you will soon start taking steps without assistance. The time it takes for this stage might vary between individuals, but most people typically start walking two to four weeks after surgery.
Physical therapy plays a significant role in helping you regain your mobility and strength during this phase. Your therapist will guide you on the right exercises to build up your knee muscles and help prepare you for the challenges of walking independently again. Remember to follow their instructions diligently and always communicate any concerns you may have during the process.
Tips to Help You Walk After ACL Surgery
- Follow the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This will help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation in your knee, making it easier to begin walking when the time comes.
- Keep your legs elevated when resting, especially during the first few days after surgery. This can help reduce swelling and facilitate healing in the knee.
- Attend all scheduled physical therapy sessions and consistently perform your prescribed exercises. This will help you gain strength and mobility in the knee, making it easier to walk.
- Speak to your doctor or therapist about using a knee brace or other supportive devices during the initial stages of walking. They can help provide additional support to your knee and prevent injuries while rebuilding your strength.
- Pay attention to your pain levels as you start walking. Although some discomfort is normal, consult your healthcare team if the pain is intolerable or worsens significantly.
To Wrap Up
With patience, perseverance, and the right guidance, walking after ACL surgery is achievable, and you will eventually regain normal function in your knee. Following the advice of your healthcare team and adopting the right tips to keep your knees healthy can make the process smoother and help you successfully navigate your journey to full recovery. So, take it one step at a time, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Good luck!