Get Back in the Game Faster: What You Need to Know About Recovering from an ACL Sports Injury

Although your knee is a strong and powerful joint, it’s vulnerable to sudden changes of direction or impact injuries, the kind that commonly occur in sports. The ligaments that stabilize your knee, in particular the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), can suffer strain and tearing from the forces created by even simple, everyday motions like stepping from a curb.

No matter how you damage your ACL, pain relief and recovery are likely at the top of your mind. The doctors at LA Orthopaedic Specialists specialize in the treatment of ACL tears, so they’re your top choice when you want to get back on your game quickly after a knee injury. Recovery is a partnership between you and your health care team. Here’s what you need to know. 

Importance of physical therapy

Your recovery depends on repairing the damage to your ACL, and physical therapy may be the most important part of your treatment. Physical therapy generally starts immediately following your injury and picks up again after surgery or other corrective procedures, if these are necessary.

Physical therapy programs typically increase motion gradually while strengthening the surrounding muscles and improving your ability to control your knee. Your physical therapy plan scales to work your knee aggressively but safely, restoring strength and preserving mobility without overloading your recovering joint. 

Home care is crucial

While medical care with LA Orthopaedic Specialists is central to your recovery, your follow-through at home often dictates your speed of recovery. The difference between those who recover quickly and those whose rehab extends past the average 6-9 months comes down to the work they do at home.

Your treatment plan takes into account all of the factors that impact your injury and recovery, including your age, weight, physical condition, overall health, and post-recovery goals. Following a recovery plan builds the foundational strengths that allow your knee to support more stress. Without adhering to your home care plan, you run the risk of slowing down your recovery and even re-injuring your ACL.

Your form matters

Staying on top of your prescribed exercise is the first step. Focusing on form is next. The physical therapy exercises central to your rehabilitation plan depend on proper form to sidestep additional stress on your knee so you can safely exercise without risk of harm. 

The nutrients you need

The raw materials for healing come from the foods you eat. When you’re recovering from an ACL injury, it’s important to watch what you eat and be intentional about your nutrition. Here’s a partial list of the nutrients that support healing:

There’s no need to cut calories while you’re sidelined. You require about 15-20 calories per pound of body weight to provide energy for healing. Otherwise, your body may break down muscles for healing resources, slowing your recovery.

Contact LA Orthopaedic Specialists when you’re facing recovery from ACL injury. You can call our downtown Los Angeles office directly or use our online tool to schedule your appointment and start your recovery today.

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