A local athletic therapist can be a valuable part of your healthcare team. A local athletic therapist specializes in treating acute and chronic injuries to the muscles, bones and joints. Some patients have a condition such as celiac disease, metabolic syndrome or obesity and want to learn safe and healthy exercise techniques. Other patients have a sports injury or back pain that needs support from a fitness professional. A local athletic therapist can also educate patients on preventing musculoskeletal injuries through exercises, stretching and counseling techniques. They may work with your local family physician to create an optimal exercise plan.
One of the things you may see a local athletic therapist for include an ACL injury.
If you have recently undergone knee surgery please review the below information to help you navigate through your post operative care.
1.) How long will I need to be on crutches after surgery?
Answer: Depending on the surgery performed you may not need crutches at all. If you do need crutches, they will be required for a period of time up to the point that you are walking with a reasonably normal gait without a significant limp or swelling to the knee. This is usually approximately 2-4 weeks.
2.) How soon can I try and walk after surgery?
Answer: You are encouraged to walk immediately with the use of crutches but only for very short distances, for example, around your home.
3.) When do I start bending my knee after surgery?
Answer: You are encouraged to bend you knee as soon as possible. Move the knee through any pain free range of motion.
4.) How much should I be able to bend it after surgery?
Answer: There is no limit to movement other than pain. You should only move it to a pain free position.
5.) Why do I have calf pain?
Answer: This is very common but if it is very painful and swollen it could be something more significant and you may be required to seek medical attention.
6.) If I have blisters on the wound, what should I do?
Answer: Blisters can occur due to the steri strips. They will resolve on their own but if they burst just keep the wound dry and it will resolve.
7.) When can I start to workout again?
Answer: You can start to workout once all the wounds have healed. This usually occurs after about 1 week.
General ACL Information
ACL injury is an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee, which is located in the middle of the knee joint. The ACL is one of the biggest stability structures of the knee. ACL injuries usually happen when there is an excessive tension force applied onto the anterior cruciate ligament.
On the field, ACL injuries tend to happen when there is quick deceleration, such as with quick stopping motions, changes in direction or pivots around other players. An ACL tear is often quite painful, and you may hear a pop or a snap. You can suffer a mild ligament stretch that irritates some of the muscle fibers, a partial tear or a complete tear, which means there is complete disconnection of the ligament fibers.
Surgery is a common option for ACL injuries from sports, especially if it’s a partial to full tear, and/or you’re at increased risk of further damaging it. This arthroscopic surgery involves taking a tendon graft from around the knee and passing it through tunnels the surgeon creates, followed by implanting screws and other devices to stabilize the knee. It’s done as a day surgery, and you’ll leave on crutches.
After an ACL injury people are often prescribed a brace for the knee joint. For milder injuries, a knee brace may be used during the process of healing and while you’re continuing to rebuild strength. You should also start physiotherapy to get your range of motion back in the knee and get rid of any swelling. Recovery time after ACL surgery varies, but it generally takes a minimum of six months to return to playing sports.
There are several programs that have been developed to reduce the risk of injuring the anterior cruciate ligament. Your local athletic therapist can help you create a safe exercise program. The PEP program and the FIFA 11 program are examples of comprehensive, exercise-based approaches that typically involve:
• A dynamic warmup
• Leg stretching and strengthening exercises
• Balance and proprioception training
• Landing and stopping techniques
• Sport-specific agility training
Your local athletic therapist may also recommend PRP (platelet-rich therapy).