7 Tips to Prepare for ACL Surgery

by | Nov 29, 2021 | Knee, Patient Education

Man using tips to prepare for ACL surgery

Board-certified ACL Surgeon in Eastern Tennessee

ACL injuries are common, particularly among athletes, and often necessitate surgery for optimal recovery. At Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance, we know how important it is for patients undergoing ACL surgery to be prepared.

Here are six crucial tips to help you prepare for your ACL surgery:

  1. Request Adequate Time Off for ACL Surgery: Recovery is critical. While some patients may rest for 2-3 weeks, consider requesting up to 2 months off for physically demanding jobs. Don’t rush back to prevent re-injury. At Tennessee Orthopaedics, our staff will help you communicate with your employer so you’re not rushing back to work and impeding your healing time.
  2. Strengthen and Stretch Surrounding Muscles Before Surgery: You’ll work with a Tennessee Orthopaedics physical therapist who can recommend exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles around your ACL, promoting faster recovery.
  3. Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol: Limit caffeine and alcohol before your ACL surgery to
    ensure a smoother recovery.
  4. Get Your Space Ready: Arrange your living space for easy navigation with crutches and ensure you have adequate support from friends, relatives, or in-home nurses. Your orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist will provide you with best practices and guidelines for setting up your home for optimal ACL surgery recovery.
  5. Attend All Your Follow-Up Appointments: Patients recovering from ACL surgery must attend all their follow-up appointments with their surgeon as well as all physical therapy appointments. Ask your team if you can schedule all your follow-ups before your ACL procedure so you can make your recovery schedule easier.
  6. Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions: Your Tennessee Orthopaedics team will provide you with post-operative instructions to minimize the risk of complications such as infections, excessive bleeding, or damage to the surgical site. Following your orthopedic surgeon’s instructions significantly reduces the likelihood of experiencing adverse events during recovery. This includes taking all your medications as directed, knowing your limitations, and keeping all your follow-up appointments.
  7. Prepare Your Space: Prepare your home for an easy recovery, as you’ll likely be navigating your space with crutches or other assistance tools. Your orthopedic surgeon will give you after-care instructions to help you tailor your living space, including how to use the restroom, shower appropriately, and the appropriate level of activity and movement following your procedure.

ACL Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

We know having surgery raises a lot of questions. At Tennessee Orthopaedics, we encourage patients to talk to their treatment team about any concerns before their ACL surgery.

Will I Need Physical Therapy after ACL Surgery?

Yes, patients recovering from ACL surgery will need physical therapy to ensure a smooth recovery, regain range of motion, improve stability to the knee joint, and prevent scar tissue formation.

What Can I Expect After ACL Surgery?

Expect a gradual recovery with limited activity, especially in the first few weeks. It’s essential to have a support system during this recovery period. You can expect some pain and swelling; talk to your orthopedic surgeon if you have any questions or concerns about your recovery from ACL surgery.

How Long Does it Take To Recover From ACL Surgery?

Full recovery from ACL surgery can take 6 to 12 months. Avoid strenuous activities for the first 10 to 12 weeks and gradually reintroduce them into your daily activities as directed by your surgeon and clinical team.

Tennessee Orthopaedics ACL Surgery

We know the choice to undergo ACL surgery isn’t easy. Contact Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance today to schedule your consultation with our board-certified ACL surgeons in Eastern Tennessee. Let us guide you through the process with expert care and personalized attention. Book your appointment online or call (865) 690-4861 to schedule with one of our staff.

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