ACL Injury – Five Tips for Rapid Recovery

April 10, 2018

Recovery

The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is one of four crucial ligaments that provide strength and stability to the knee. The others are the PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament), MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament), and LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament). The MCL and LCL are on the inner and outer sides of the knee and run vertically whereas the ACL and PCL cross beneath the kneecap from top to bottom.

The ACL and PCL have a very poor blood supply which means that reconstructive surgery is usually required and a graft used to replace a torn ACL/PCL. Indeed, as the PCL is much stronger than the ACL, it is the ACL that is most often torn (200,000 cases per annum in the US alone) and it is the ACL injury that is, therefore, such a debilitating injury.

This article provides 5 key tips for rapid recovery from ACL injury. These are from my own personal experience. I quickly recovered from a full house of complete ACL, MCL and LCL tears, and I have documented what I believe to be the key factors associated with that rapid recovery.

Tip 1

In terms of ACL recovery secrets, the single most important factor for a quick recovery – a factor that improves the recovery time by a factor of 2 or greater – is the type of graft chosen. Of course, you should consult with your surgeon on what is best for you and, if you’re a professional athlete, my recommendation is not likely to be the best choice. However, for the rest of us casual athletes, this recommendation will see you recover way quicker than any other.

Grafts tend to be of the following three types:

  • Patellar tendon – a piece of your own tendon is taken and used to replace the ACL. It matches tissue well and allows bone to bone healing which is strong but this can lead to anterior knee pain for years to come.
  • Hamstring tendon – two tendons are taken from the hamstring and bound together and used as the graft. Healing can take longer because there is no bone to bone healing but this graft alleviates anterior knee pain.
  • Cadaver – donor tissue. This has the advantage of requiring less operation time, being less painful and allowing for smaller incisions. The focus is on one area only and is much less disruptive as there is no secondary operation to remove the graft from the patella or hamstring. The disadvantage of a cadaver graft is that it is not as strong as the other graft types.

I had ACL surgery on day 34 after incurring my injury. Four days later I was off painkillers, was not using crutches or my knee brace and was starting post surgery physical therapy. I had a cadaver graft. This contrasted with other people I know who had grafts taken from their own bodies and were largely incapacitated for two weeks post-surgery.

So for non-professional athletes my number one tip for a quick recovery from ACL surgery would be to take a cadaver graft.

Tip 2

Use RICE techniques (rest, ice, compression, elevation) immediately post-injury, up to surgery and then afterward. This is somewhat obvious but, for rapid ACL recovery, take it to extremes. For example, in my case, the discipline that helped me enormously with my leg inflammation was passing up on situations where I would have to sit with my leg hanging down. I was lucky in that I work in an office and was always able to sit with my leg supported by another chair, but dining out, eating at the dining table at home were all passed up in favor of sitting with my leg up on the sofa.

Also, icing and compression can be accelerated and accentuated with an ice/compression cuff system such as the Aircast Cryo/Cuff Cooler.

Tip 3

Pre-surgery knee strengthening. Keep the leg and knee moving before surgery. Establishing a good range of motion (120 degrees of knee bend) ahead of surgery will help with the healing process post surgery. Ankle pumps help reduce calf muscle atrophy (wasting) where quad sets are essential to minimize quadriceps atrophy.

Walking is good and can be enabled by an ACL brace such as the DonJoy TROM Adjuster Knee Brace. This not only gives you a degree of normality and independence but it also means your calf muscle will work which will reduce atrophy and control swelling. In my case, use of this brace also meant I could drive again 8 days after injury – admittedly I drive an automatic.

Tip 4

Stay ahead of the pain curve. Anyone suffering an ACL injury will be prescribed strong painkillers both immediately after injury and then again after surgery. It is really important that they are taken as prescribed, including during the night. I set the alarm during the night to ensure I did not miss taking the painkillers. This is essential because if the pain gets you it can be very difficult to get rid of and, more importantly, you won’t want to move and moving is critical to rapid recovery.

Tip 5

Post-surgery knee strengthening exercises. As soon as possible post-surgery, begin the exercise regime that will re-build strength and stability, reduce inflammation, and increase range of motion.

Use of a stationary bicycle is extremely important to keep the knee moving. Twice a day, even if just rocking on the pedals in the first few days, was the frequency that saw me make such a paid recovery.

40 Comments

  • rhoneboy April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

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  • T. Price April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Where is 60 min now?

  • Refilwe Mashabela April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    So he’s neurotypical now

  • jeri April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Thank you so much for this information. I loved watching your beautiful boy be able to show who he is and what he's capable of. Do you happen to know if there is an age cut off to who they will treat? Their website doesn't say. My twin boys have autism and are turning 13 soon.

  • Thomas Michalski April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    What is the cost? Plane fare and treatments?

  • sean rana April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Hi my son has just been diagnosed with Autism, and I would really like to talk with you parent to parent.please contact me

  • Alexander Lloyds April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    HILTON CURED 7 YEARS EPILEPSY

    I am sharing this story for a family member who suffered seizure for 7 years. I am doing this, because I was the caregiver during her dark days and she gave me the honor to share it so that others can be helped through HILTON which cured her. It was a tough a battle for her; I was not actually the one who hard seizure, but bearing the burden makes me understand what parents whose children and love with epilepsy go through.

    Lesia now 25 and was diagnosed with Grand Mal epilepsy at the age of twelve, for seven years, she fought against her diagnosis. I must admit it was never easy for us as a family; we had to constantly watch her, and answer questions that we couldn’t explain. On several occasions, she asked if she will ever stop falling down, get well like her school mates and be the best swimmer she dreamt of becoming. She was a very happy child; and had a ‘normal’ childhood and there was no suggestion that she would later on develop epilepsy.

    She refused to accept defeat and fought seizure. She religiously kept to her medications in spite of their side effects. We all wanted a cure, so that she can chase her dream and live a normal life like every other child. But the more she takes these medications, the more her school grade drop. She couldn’t concentrate and we noticed that her memory was being severely adversely affected. Each time we went back to the hospital, her medicines were changed to a different one. Seems like, each change of drug brings about change in side effects. After about 6 years on Lamotrigine, Tegretol, and other medicines, it seemed the seizures started to increase in frequency. I had to make effort to reduce her medicines with plans to eventually stop it all. We found an alternative treatment in homeopathy, which was better than her English drugs. Gradually, I reduced her drugs, and her seizures were no longer as frequent as it was as when she was on conventional drugs.

    With our little breakthrough with homeopathy treatment, we made further search for natural cure. Fortunately we saw testimonies about herbal medicines which cure epilepsy. We saw a lot of claims though, contacted them and didn’t get a useful reply. Lucky for us, we finally got a reply from Doctor Mohan, he directed us to his blog where we saw a lot of information about his herbal medicine called HILTON. Without further delay I made a purchase for her, I switched her over to it. We had great breakthrough, that in 2 months, her seizure reduced. After 7 months as Doctor Mohan promised us, all seizures stopped. It was like a miracle for us. It has been 7 years Lesia became seizure free. Her story is quite lengthy, I hope it help someone out there. You may contact Dr. Mohan to know more via his email on. drajaymohanbose@gmail.com or visit his blog via http://www.seizurecure.blogspot.com

  • Joanne Carrigan April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    This does sound like an actor. I keep seeing videos of recovery of autism using different treatments and the child all of a sudden is transformed. They can't all be real can they. I have researched so many treatments and I always find something wrong with them all. I would love to think this works but if there was a miracle cure then it would be everywhere worldwide as soon as possible because autism costs governments a fortune every year and its constantly rising.

  • Cheezeburger Walrus April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Not sure how people still blame vaccines for causing Autism when there still isn't one LEGITIMATE scientific study proving it. But then again some people believe the Earth is flat, so. . .

  • DUAN JUAN April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    I CALL B$%%SH%*T !!!!
    AUTISM IS CONNECTIONS IN THE BRAIN MAPPED OUT DIFFERENTLY…
    THERE'S NO WAY IN
    H E L L
    STEM CELLS WOULD DO ANYTHING…..
    DR. JUAN DIEGO M.D…
    SCAM !!!!

  • Diane Moriarty April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Anyone who sits down with a group vaccine-injured moms will find that they were harmed on the night of their shots.

  • Putin Bot 12345 April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    I find this video very misleading and unhelpful, using words like "recovery" and "miracle",if you check out this momma's blog you will see her son,now 15/16 yrs old most definitely still "suffers" from ASD, and the comment sections on the blog are just full of companies/charlatans trying to flog their goods.In my opinion the momma blames one pharma company for "damaging" her son and pays another pharma company thousands for "recovery". We all try to do our best for our children,and I know this is what this momma is trying to do,but I think a lot of American people are ill informed and mislead by these companies/charlatans.

  • Rhiana McKenzie April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    You can't cure autism, you can just learn to cope with it and get better at dealing with how it affects you. I'm autistic and i worked in special ed.

  • Prasanna Isukapalli April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Very happy to see him progressing. Can I have your contact details please , wanted to talk about my son.
    Thank you

  • bluetech7753 April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Stem cells May hold the key to reversing a lot of illnesses but the research has to continue if stem cells can do this for autism I would only think and wonder what they can do for Alzheimer's dementia or many other illnesses and disorders not necessarily just mental. I would only stop to think if further research could lead to stem cells curing and reversing blindness

  • bgrego963 April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    you misspelled miracle. you forgot the e at the end.

  • michaele shelley April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    HOW I WAS CURED TOTALLY FROM AUTISM
    I had my first attack of (AUTISM) when I was a kid, I wasn't diagnosed until seven years later when I was totally experiencing speech delay. It was so terrifying that I began dropping things and losing sensitivity to sounds, having severe fatigue and muscle weakness. A horrible poor eyes contact began. I sometimes can't walk straight and fall onto walls and I get leaning disability, the English medications i used proved abortive. i was so frustrated that i had to contact My neurologist,he told me about a new RRMS (relapsing-remitting MS) drug which was only in its trial stage, CAMPATH. I started the chemo-type treatment and some prescribed drugs like: RISPERDAL, EFFEXOR XR, GEODON and MEMANTINE. which resulted in 1st seizure of my life, thereby adding more salt to my injury. As a result to proffer solution to my problems, i started going online in search for a cure, i came across a testimony of a woman who got her cure through HERBAL MEDICATION, at first, i doubted because of the misconception that autism can not be cured. But i later contacted the Doctor through the email provided, and I used his Herbal product, after 1 month of use, I noticed tremendous improvement in my health, 5 months after, I can proudly say, I've been totally cured by Dr.williams Herbal Medication from AUTISM…, If you have the same health issue, you may contact him for a total change of story, Via:autismepilepsy.blogspot.com . I believe your predicament will be a thing of the past just like mine.

  • Alejandra González April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Please i need to talk to you

  • Meng Rojas April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Hi. I'm a mother of a 5-yr old boy with autism. At this age, he does not talk clearly. He could not clearly say a single word. He does not eat any solid food. He only drinks milk from his milk bottle. He has "his own world". He does not mingle with anyone. He's not potty trained that's why until now he's wearing a diaper etc. I was inspired by Ken's journey in overcoming autism. My husband and I want our 5yr old boy to undergo on stem cell therapy but we don't have enough funds. We are here in the Philippines and living a simple life. Could someone tell us how much the stem cell treatment cost? Which country is this treatment available that is nearest to the Philippines?

  • Sandy Dziadosz April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    have you had your son checked for tongue ties? he's doing so well. good job mama for doing whats best for your son

  • Gevreet45 April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Remarkable & heartbreaking story. So happy for the family, to see such incredible, life altering results. Thank you for sharing! Go Stem Cells!

  • Gareth Baus April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Given that he is still a child and therefor developing, and no obvious evidence for physical injury was given, it is impossible to say as to weather or not the stem cell injections had any affect whatsoever on what might have been his natural development, although since they are not embryonic stem cells and have little potential for harm the most significant issue with this treatment is a matter of cost.

  • adda plaster April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Finally a cure.

  • Tiziana Cachia April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    please is there somebody want to finance my son for te treatment, im poor living with social security , need find a way for my son with autsim, it cost 8,600 euros and I dont have money, if somebody contect the stem cell and offer for me, my mobile 356 79828510, please

  • kuchi24 April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    @Greekadonis2…please send us a rough estimate of cost of this type of treatment…6 year old son with mild autism

  • Byleist April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Stem cell injection does not work for the disorder autism. It's possible to have brain damage, but brain damage is not autism. And blod injections would not get to the brain. Either incompetent or scam artist I can't tell. This is college level stuff.

  • Mo inmt April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    The pharmaceutical companies who destroyed our children's brains with vaccines should be made to pay for the treatment to get them well. Maybe with a new president that really cares about his people, we'll get this. Trump is not under control by the lobbyists so will not answer to them for anything. I pray this is a new chapter in America and healing for all!

  • Kevin J C Mcg April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    True, most autistic children and pre-teen boys especially, wear diapers

  • Theresa McCune April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    So many autism videos on youtube show children having one on one care/therapy in their homes. How are they getting this??? I have insurance and I'm not getting this. My son doesn't qualify for SSI, and I've spent money on group therapy, but never has anyone ever mentioned that someone could come to my home. I can't even go back to work to pay for all this until I get a qualified person to care for him, so how is it so common to get in-home care?

  • Stephistaecated April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    This made me so happy!

  • jose rios April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Thats amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! You gave us hope!

  • Coloradopeach April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Hi. My son, Jonathan had a stem cell treatment in October. He has been sleeping SO much. Did Ken experience this?

  • Savina Batres April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    I am Autisitic

  • Khettab Yacine April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    لم افهم لغتكم للاسف ،لكنني فهمت لغة الالم و المعاناه
    اتمني من الله عز و جل ان يشفيه و يمتع به اهله

  • someone from east April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    I like to know where is this doctor? how can I get him. thanks

  • Lee Harris April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Inspirational video, my son hasn't been formally diagnosed yet but its pretty evident he has autism.  My wife and I are desperate especially as we've established this 5 months before our second child is due to be born.  Are you able to tell me the cost and the institute were this took place, and give any other information you think could be helpful? Again thanks for sharing your story, I love my son regardless but as his Dad my goal is to ensure he has the most fulfilling life as possible, our  journey starts now!!!

  • Siobhan Hamilton April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    hi, may i ask how many stem cell treatments did he have, and how often please? thanks…i have a son with autism who is nearly 4 yrs old.

  • Rhonda Murrah April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing this to help other families!!!  Lots of love and prayers for your son and your family!

  • ali khalfa April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Hi Greekadonis2
     i have a 9 years old  autistic boy , He is nonverbal  i want to do the same traitement you've done to your son , i have no idea from where to start ?

  • Kim Caldwell April 10, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Really great video.. congrats! The only thing that took me a little aback is that you let him buy soda and cheetos! lol I hope that isnt a regular thing 🙂 But otherwise great compilation of your journey!

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