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Movement After Ligament Repair Key

Movement After Ligament Repair Key for Long-Term Results

May 05, 2009  

 By: Body1 Staff

You’ve torn your anterior cruciate ligament, had it repaired and are on the road to recovery. As you start to regain strength after surgery make sure to get moving. According to a study published in the March 2009 issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, individuals with limited motion following ACL repair are at risk for poor long-term outcomes.
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Tips to Soothe Minor Knee Pain

  • Take a break. If your knee hurts keep your weight off it.
  • Ice ice baby. Apply an ice pack for 15 minutes each hour.
  • Raise it up. Keep your knee elevated and consider sleeping with your knee propped on a pillow.
  • Get some support. If you are active and have knee pain you might consider wearing a brace or support.
  • Ease the pain. Taking an over-the-counter medications can help with pain and swelling.
  • Tinker Gray and Dr. K. Donald Shelbourne from the Shelbourne Knee Center in Indianapolis evaluated 502 patients at least 10 years following ACL reconstruction. The purpose of the study was to determine how a reduction in ability to normally extend or flex the knee affected long-term results.

    Seventy three percent of the patients evaluated exhibited normal extension and flexion. In the other patients either reduced extension, reduced flexion or a reduction in both movements was noted (10 percent reduced flexion, 10 percent reduced extension, 6 percent reduction in both). Patients exhibiting reduced ability to extend or flex the knee also had problems with stability of the knee post repair. The researchers stressed the importance of starting rehabilitation quickly after surgery to avoid a build up of blood in the knee joint which can cause pain and limit range of motion.

    Post-surgery knee care should include cold treatment, compression and elevation. Patients should also pay attention to their range of motion during rehab and attempt to regain and maintain a full range of motion as quickly as possible.


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