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ACL Rehabilitation

ACL's have been huge issues for the last couple of decades! It's not an easy thing to do, but if done with a combination of bad movements it will snap like your pulling apart a Twisler. ACL stands for Anterior Crucial Ligament, and it supports lateral movement done by the human body. If a person were to not have an ACL the could not make any quick side to side movements without the knee giving out or even the dislocation of the knee. That's why if athletes were to tear their ACL they would need to under go surgery to reconstruct it right away or their future as an athlete or professional athlete is over for good. That is why professional athletes Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffon III all underwent ACL reconstruction, follow up rehab, and prevention courses, they both are in love with their sport and didn't want to give up. There are three main ways to tear the ACL. First is twisting of the knee too fast to where the ligament just twists apart. Another is inward or outward bending of the knee, where the knee bends awkwardly in towards the body or out away from the body stretching the ligament to the point of maximum resistance which leads to tearing. And lastly is hyperextention of the leg which again, leads to the maximum resistance point and tears the ligaments. Before starting treatment or surgery these are the things a person should be aware of for future injury prevention and just knowing more about their injury. (Torn ACL) (Lifestyles and...) Having the surgery comes with many pros but there are also cons that sadly come with it. Thankfully there are more pros then cons to having the surgery starting from actually having a new ACL to being able to play sports again. The main pro people see when they get the surgery done are they have a new and most likely stronger ACL, depends on what route a person takes when going through reconstruction. There are

four main ways a person can decide to take. Either using the patella tendon, hamstring tendon, achilles tendon, or the quadriceps tendon. Another pro is being able to participate in sports the require juking or fast lateral movements. Also having the feeling of a solid and strengthened knee is another pro that most people wouldn't realize until they experienced it both ways. But sadly there are always cons to every situation. Cons like having to go through the painful and mind testing rehabilitations. Another con that most people don't realize is the risk of the surgery itself. There is a very unlikely probability that the doctor that is performing the surgery will accidentally make a mistake or screw up on the process that he or she is taking on the reconstruction. There are pros and cons to every situation, but gladly with this ACL reconstruction process there are way more pros then cons to expect with this situation. (Torn ACL) Surgery is the next step to a full and health ACL recovery. Some ask if surgery is really necessary for a full recovery, and the answer without a doubt is yes! That is if you tore from half to all your ACL. If someone has a minor partially torn ACL then they wouldn't necessarily need surgery then and there, but they would have to closely monitor it. If it gets to that point to where a person pushes it to it's tearing point, well then it is definitely time for the ACL reconstruction surgery. The most popular why they go about doing this surgery is pretty simple and painless, but before they can start a person has to wait 6 to 8 weeks before having the surgery. They do this because they are waiting for all the swelling in the knee to go away and for a person to have full range of motion back in the knee. Why it is important to have no swelling and full range of motion is so after surgery a person can get right into rehab with only an ACL they have to worry about stretching back to normal length, not all other muscles and ligaments. As

soon as swelling goes away and full range of motion is there it's time for surgery. The surgery is a bit complicated but it will make someone ACL almost twice as strong as before! All they do is take a little bit of the Patella joint (it connects the patella bone to the Tibia) and connect one end to one side of the torn ACL and the other end of the joint to the other side of the torn ACL making a bridge looking structure connecting the ACL stubs. And as the ligament heals it will heal and grow along the Patella joint that was put in forming the ACL once again, but hopefully this time to stay as one. (Torn ACL) (After ACL Surgery...) Rehabilitation for an ACL tear is easily the longest and most painfully awkward processes anyone could go through. If someone thought the surgery was bad or even waking up after the surgery was bad, just wait until physical therapy starts! There are a couple steps that need to be taking before starting rehab or PT (physical therapy). First one needs to be able to crutch around on their one, second they need a doctors clearance, and lastly they need dedication. After that is all checked off the rehab begins! They start their patent off with little exercises for the first couple of weeks switching up the exercises every week. These small exercises are mainly for development of range of motion, stretching back out the ACL getting it to match the elasticity of all the other muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the surrounding area. As soon as full range of motion is back it is time to start the real training. There are four main things a therapist will work with their patent on to get their knee to strengthen up. The four are strengthen, balance, movement, and flexibility. All of these are pushed to the limit throughout the nine month recovery! That's right nine months of rehab is what it take to make the ACL as good as new! The first two months are all about balance and getting back to walking

without crutches or a limp, this all requires strength training. The next strep is to be able to lift weights with that knee, pushing it to the point where you feel like giving up from the pain and uncomfort, but that is where you need to stay level headed and strong willed. Then the next step is starting to jog plus major balance on the bad knee. Once someone has mastered all that the real awkward stage starts! Jumping, jumping is the last step to finishing the rehab process. It is the most tricky and uncomfortable of all the stages. It test all of the four things a person has to master to do it right and for clearance. Once a person does all this they will be cleared for physical activity and will be able to participate in sports once again. (Recovery from ACL Surgery....) (An accelerated rehab program....) There is one last major thing anyone needs to remember after going through the surgery and battling through the rehab, and that is to prevent it from ever happening again! After clearance for the next two years anyone with this injury has double the risk of tearing it again. The surgery may have fixed it and the rehab has people coming out feeling as good as new but that's not the case. Studies show that on average more retears happen in the next two years after surgery than any other time after a repaired ACL injury. There are multiple ways to prevent from re-tearing, starting from either taking it easy, keep doing strengthening exercises, too wearing a big bulky brace and jumping right back into a sport (not recommended). Taking it easy and gradually working back into sports in the best way anyone could take. It lets the knee adjust back into the work and strain of physical activity. It also always the body to adjust to make up for the weakness of the knee. Most professional athletes just jump right into their sport again pushing their limits so they can do what they love and how they make their living.

Most people feel they need to rely on a knee brace to feel stable and controlled This feeling normal but it is a weakness, it is just a crutch that people use to feel safe. That is why most therapists say that people should not use a brace they should go without until it was completely necessary. They say this because the knee needs to get stronger by itself without any help from an outside source. Prevention is the most important aspect of the recovery of an ACL tear, so be wise and follow directions to the word. (Improved recovery, preventative.....) ACL's are one tricky thing to repair and heal. There are also multiple pros and a few cons to consider when thinking about going through with this surgery. They don't just take hours of hard work and dedication but months of it. This choice on wether to go through the reconstruction surgery and to actually make it through it and take the rehabilitation head on will test the best and strongest of athletes, push them to their limits and make them even stronger then they were before the horrible incident that will without a doubt will change the life of anyone forever.

Works Cited Dahm, Diane. MD. "Recovery from ACL Surgery Can Take Up to a Year." N.p., 3 Sept. 2010. Web. Sept. 2013. "An accelerated rehab program after knee surgery improves recovery." Modern Medicine; May97, Vol. 65 Issue 5, p19, 2p, 1 Color Photograph. Science Reference Database. Web.1 Oct. 2013 "Improved recovery, preventative methods make ACL comeback bearable." Gazette [Colorado Springs, CO] 25 June 2013. Student Resources In Context. Web. 1 Oct. 2013. Mayo Clinic Staff. "Lifestyles and home remedies." N.p., 23 March. 2013. Web. Sept. 2013. Wedro, Benjamin. MD. FACEP. FAAEM. "Torn ACL." Shiel, William C. Jr. MD. FACP. FACR. 4 Nov. 2010. Web. Sept. 2013. "After ACL Surgery, Another Knee Injury Likely, Study Suggests; Athletes who return to sports should take precautions, researcher advises." Consumer Health News [English] 11 July 2013. Student Resources In Context. Web. 1 Oct. 2013.