Top 10 Things to Know Before ACL surgery

Top 10 things to know before having ACL repair surgery.


Knee injuries can be quite a traumatic experience for active people. I know, I've been there - twice. When I tore my knee ligaments it signaled the end of my sore loser days as an athlete. No longer could I play sports at full throttle.

The purpose of this piece is to help people after they hear those words from an orthopedist, "Your ACL - anteriour cruciate ligament - is torn." From that point forward, your options are twofold: go on with your life with a torn ACL and lay off high impact sport or have surgery. 

Unfortunately, surgery is the only recourse for an ACL knee injury. While the MCL or PCL can heal with time and rehabilitation there is no such luxury accorded for those of us who tear our ACL. 
An ACL surgery is no laughing matter. It's a serious thing and we've come a long way since the 1980s in its surgical procedure.


Top 10 consideration before having ACL surgery.


1) If you want to remain active it might be a good idea to have the surgery.

2) If you can spare three months at minimum from work then you can have the surgery. You will be allowed to move with the aid of crutches but mobility will be limited. You definitely won't be able to drive.

3) If you have patience it will help with the rehab process which is long and hard.

4) Expect to not be cleared to engage in sports for at least 9 months. 

5) Expect to lose mobility. For example, bending the knee heel to buttocks.

6) Ask detailed questions to your doctor. For instance will they be using a tendon to repair the ACL? I find that it's important to know this sort of stuff because down the road you may find yourself with odd feelings in your knee that may related to the surgery. It's always best to know what the doctor did in there beforehand. 

7) Speaking of doctors, go with a sports specialist. The more experience the better. 

8) You will have the option of local anaethestic or an epidural. If you are strong and can put up with the fact that they have in effect turned you into a carcass by all means go for the epidural. If you are a wuss like me get knocked out. I tried an epidural. I fainted three times at the sight of blood and iodine.

9) Follow doctor and physiotherapist instructions at all time. Don' be stubborn.

10) Show off your scars with pride. 

There you have it. Just some thoughts from an ACL veteran. For more info. Visit these resources provided.