Two-hundred-fifty-thousand – that’s the number of ACL injuries that occur every year in the United States. Most of these injuries happen in young athletes in sports that involve jumping, pivoting, or hard cutting. One-hundred-thousand is the number of ACL reconstruction surgeries in the US each year. Just about every athlete wants to know one thing after their ACL surgery…
“When can I get back to my sport?”
To answer this, we’ll look at:
– How much time you should spend in Physical Therapy rehabilitating
– How many months after surgery are proven to give the best outcomes
– Physical requirements for returning to sports
Several years ago, when I was a Physical Therapy student, I had the privilege of observing a couple of live surgeries, one of which was a Total Knee Replacement. Simply put, I was blown away at how mechanical the surgeon and his team were during the procedure. The process was precise down to the last detail – the preparation, the cuts, the tools, the measurements – nothing was left to chance. There was no guesswork, just a series of steps that were taken to get the job done.
I’m glad I got to see this surgery in particular because my current workload consists of seeing many patients recovering from Knee Replacements. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal about the rehabilitative process and what it takes to be successful.
Although outcomes are good and success is likely, no one wants surgery – it’s a last resort.
That said, if you struggle with knee pain, there’s good news. There are steps you can take to improve your mobility, strength, and function to delay and, sometimes, bypass surgery altogether.
Let’s take a look at what the knee replacement surgery looks like, who needs one, the outcomes, what the rehabilitation process looks like, and – most importantly – the steps you can take to, hopefully, never have to get one…
All the buzz right now in the world of Physical Therapy seems to be about Blood Flow Restriction Training. I’m not usually one to be all about the buzz, believe me. When a new technique, product, or idea enters the stage, I’m typically very skeptical. With so much hype out of the gate, few of these ideas survive the test of time and slowly become a thing of the past. This is usually due to scholarly research refuting evidence of the benefits compared to the consequences. When Blood Flow Restriction training came onto the scene a few years ago, initially I was suspicious. Why would you want less blood flow to muscles to strengthen them? However, the more traction Blood Flow Restriction Training has gained and the more research that’s been conducted, the more I’ve come to understand the benefits.
Here’s what I’ve learned…