The ACL, or Anterior Cruciate Ligament, is part of your knee joint and is part of the connection between your thigh bone and shinbone. It’s an important joint but it is possible to injure it, especially if you do sports that involve sudden changes in direction. For example, football, tennis, or even skiing all place this joint under a lot of stress.
When you injure this joint you’re likely to feel severe pain in the knee and your leg will probably be unable to support your weight. The injury quickly swells and you will probably hear a popping noise when it actually happens.
If you suspect this type of injury you need to see a doctor straight away. The faster you are diagnosed the shorter your recovery time is likely to be. As with any injury, your first reaction should be to ice it. This reduces blood flow to the area, slowing down swelling and inflammation.
The Initial Swelling
Your doctor will diagnose an ACL injury and start you on the road to recovery. Within a few days, the initial swelling should have subsided but the leg will still need rest. It can take several weeks to return to normal activity but 6-12 months to regain full use of the knee.
In extreme cases, surgery will be recommended to help rebuild parts of the knee area. But, in all cases, with or without surgery, you will lose strength in the joint. That’s why it will be critical to work with a reputable sports physio Concord. They can guide you through the exercises you need to do to strengthen your joint and improve flexibility.
Things To Do At Home
The recovery time can be frustrating, especially if you are normally active. But, there are things you can do to help recover faster.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for everyone. When you get 7 hours of sleep a night your body has enough time to process the actions of the day and repair cells. Getting enough sleep after an ACL injury is essential to your recovery.
While sleep is essential, you also need to appreciate that, while you’re recovering, you may get tired and your body will need to rest. If that’s the case then rest when you need to. You’re likely to find elevating your leg for the first few days helps.
Keep Doing Your Exercises
The exercises given to you by your physio can seem difficult or perhaps even pointless. But, they will help. It’s essential that you keep doing them every day to help rebuild your joint properly. You should note, if you’ve been given a brace you can remove it to do your exercises.
Avoid Strenuous Activity
Doctors generally recommend you avoid strenuous exercise for 12 weeks after the injury. This means no sport, no digging in the garden, or even cutting the grass. It can be harder to avoid doing these things as you approach the 12 weeks but it will help you to heal properly and faster.
It takes time, but you can make a complete recovery.