ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction surgery helps repair or replace the torn and damaged ACL caused due to sudden injury or trauma in an active person. The ACL is an important ligament that helps in rotational motion and the back and forth movement of the knee. A West Chester orthopedic surgeon will perform ACL reconstruction surgery with utmost care and provide the proper treatment consultation. 

Recovery from an ACL surgery process can be a complex and prolonged process requiring the utmost attention. It may take up to 6 or more months to fully recover the torn ACL only if you follow word to word advice of your doctor and physical therapist.  

Things to expect after ACL surgery:

1. There will be pain, discomfort, stiffness, and swelling in the operated area.

2. Sometimes, the operating area will get filled up with fluid. Filled-up fluid will need drainage by your doctor.

3. Pain relief will take time.

4. There will still be risks associated with the surgery like infection and bleeding at the operated site, nerve injury, poor or very slow healing, graft failure after returning to active motions or activities like sports., formation of blood clots in the leg. 

5. You will require heavy over-the-counter medications like pain relievers for managing the pain. Some pain-relieving medications are acetaminophen and ibuprofen. The doctor can also prescribe some narcotic drugs or opioids. They can also specify other strong medications like oxycodone and tramadol. 

6. Clings, braces, or crutches will support your operated leg. This support will ensure unnecessary bending of the leg and avoidance of putting weight on the leg. 

7. Physical therapy or rehabilitation plays a crucial role in the recovery phase. You will most likely start with physical therapy a day or two after the surgery. The physical therapist will work on strengthening and putting a little slight pressure on the operated leg. You will start physical therapy with passive motions followed by active motions of the leg. Physical therapy will also include a range of actions for bending your knee slowly after some initial days of keeping the leg straight. In the first two months of recovery, you should be able to turn your knee in a range between 0 to 140 degrees. 

8. The doctor will advise elevating your leg for 10 to 15 minutes above your heart level. Elevation will ensure blood flow in the leg. 

9. You can apply ice on the operated knee area to reduce inflammation. The doctor will advise when to use ice. 

10. Be sure to check the occurrence of fever up to or above 101 degrees Fahrenheit. 

11. Keep the wound clean and take a sponge bath until the surgeon removes the sutures.

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ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction surgery helps repair or replace the torn and damaged ACL caused due to sudden injury or trauma in an active person. The ACL is an important ligament that helps in rotational motion and the back and forth movement of the knee. A West Chester...