ACL Injury

What is an ACL Injury?

Anterior cruciate ligament injury is when the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is either stretched, partially torn, or completely torn.[1] The most common injury is a complete tear.[1] Symptoms include pain, a popping sound during injury, instability of the knee, and joint swelling.[1] Swelling generally appears within a couple of hours.[2] In approximately 50% of cases, other structures of the knee such as surrounding ligaments, cartilage, or meniscus are damaged.[1] .

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  1. If you have recently undergone knee surgery please review the below information to help you navigate through your post operative care.
  2. When do I take the bandages off? Answer: Bandages can be removed 2-3 days after the surgery and rebandaged with a lighter dressing or band aids.
  3. What about the removing the steri strips? Answer: Steri strips should be left on for one week and then can be removed by peeling them off the skin slowly. Wash your hands before removing any dressings or steri strips.
  4. How long will I need to be on crutches after surgery? Answer: Depending on the surgery performed you may not need crutches at all. If you do need crutches, they will be required for a period of time up to the point that you are walking with a reasonably normal gait without a significant limp or swelling to the knee. This is usually approximately 2-4 weeks.
  5. How soon can I try and walk after surgery? Answer: You are encouraged to walk immediately with the use of crutches but only for very short distances, for example, around your home.
  6. When do I start bending my knee after surgery? Answer: You are encouraged to bend you knee as soon as possible. Move the knee through any pain free range of motion.
  7. How much should I be able to bend it after surgery? Answer: There is no limit to movement other than pain. You should only move it to a pain free position.
  8. Why do I have calf pain? Answer: This is very common but if it is very painful and swollen it could be something more significant and you may be required to seek medical attention.
  9. If I have blisters on the wound, what should I do? Answer: Blisters can occur due to the steri strips. They will resolve on their own but if they burst just keep the wound dry and it will resolve.
  10. When can I start to workout again? Answer: You can start to workout once all the wounds have healed. This usually occurs after about 1 week.