Rehabilitation after ligament surgery – check how to get back in shape quickly

Cruciate ligament damage can happen to anyone. These are painful injuries that require proper rehabilitation. It is through it that the patient can return to full fitness. Their rehabilitation can take up to several months, and its length is affected by the extent of the damage and the actions taken by the patient. Those who consistently exercise and quickly start working on the treated leg can expect results sooner.

Often without treatment

Suffering a cruciate ligament injury does not mean going to surgery. What treatment is given depends on how serious the injury is. In many cases, the decision is not made to reconstruct the ligaments, but simply rely on rehabilitation. Its course is determined individually with the rehabilitator.

The most common bet is to stabilize the knee with an orthosis. It is what makes it easier to maintain the correct position without putting a lot of strain on the treated knee. Rehabilitation begins with simple exercises. In the beginning, one relies on passive movement in a non-weight-bearing position of the leg, that is, one exercises in a lying or standing position. It is the physical therapist who helps the patient perform the various movements. Such exercises can also be supported by a CPM rail. It is a device designed for Continuous Passive Motion therapy. The rehabilitation splint can be used up to three times a day for one to three hours. As the patient progresses, more and more exercises that put weight on the leg can be introduced. Eventually, after about six months, you can return to full activity, including swimming, running and cycling.

And after the procedure

The cruciate ligament reconstruction procedure is performed arthroscopically. This means that there is no need to open the knee, and it is operated on through several small incisions. As a result, the soft tissues around the knee are not damaged, and rehabilitation can begin more quickly. The patient can usually go home on the second day after the procedure. He can also begin rehabilitation at the same time. To begin with, Continuous Passive Motion therapy is recommended. It is carried out using special CPM rails. Its use has many benefits, but at this stage the most important is that it helps reduce swelling and shorten the time spent taking painkillers. In the long run, the therapy also helps reduce knee stiffness, which is one of the most serious problems for people after PCL and ACL ligament reconstruction (posterior and anterior). The rehabilitation splint can be used while lying down, which further reduces the load on the treated leg and is quite comfortable for the patient.

And let’s not forget that the patient should take it easy after arthroscopic surgery. As for mobility – you should support yourself on a crutch for the first 3 to 6 weeks.

Rehabilitation after ligament damage and undergoing arthroscopic surgery takes up to six months. Its exact timing depends on a number of individual characteristics – the size of the damage, the method of treatment and the intensity of rehabilitation. Those who start rehabilitation sooner and work consistently to strengthen the leg can expect faster results.

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