What to Expect After an ACL Tear

acl tear knee

An ACL tear is one of the most common types of knee injuries. The type of procedure that will be performed in order to repair the damage will depend on the severity of the tear. If, for example, you need to have a ligament reconstruction, the rehabilitation process will likely take a very long time. Here is some information on what you can expect as you recover.

Types of Surgeries

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the tibia with the femur. It typically happens during exercise or an athletic competition where the ligament gives way when the foot is planted. While the most common surgical procedure typically involves a graft of some sort, there are other instances where a surgeon may be able to reattach the ligament.

You may undergo a hamstring graft, for instance. This involves taking a tendon from the hamstring, usually from the opposite leg. Some people have a graft from a portion of the patellar tendon, while others have grafts harvested from cadavers. Each approach has its own pros and cons, so you and your doctor will have a thorough discussion regarding which method will be the best for you.

After the Procedure

Once your surgery is performed, your physician will provide a detailed report on what he or she found and provide you with a recovery plan. The area where the ACL tear surgery was performed will likely be immobilized for a week or so before you begin gentle exercises to gradually help increase your range of motion. You’ll probably be allowed to put a bit of weight on the knee during the second week after surgery, slowly advancing to being able to put full weight on the leg per your doctor’s schedule. You’ll probably go through physical therapy for about three months and then be able to resume your regular physical activities after about six months – but it could take longer depending on your surgeon’s recommendations.

It’s extremely important that you follow all recommendations from your doctor so that you don’t run the risk of re-injuring the knee and suffering long-term damage. The Dallas area experts with Advanced Spine & Orthopedics have a great deal of experience with ACL tear patients and will do whatever it takes to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. Contact us online or call 817-310-8783 to learn more or schedule an appointment.