What Not To Do After an ACL Surgery

The recovery process after a surgery is just, if not, more important than the surgery itself. Especially when it comes to your ACL. The ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament is a tissue that connects your shinbone to your thighbone at the knee. Ligament tears are most often caused by sudden or quick twisting motions. Most of these take place in sports such as soccer, football, and basketball. Most patients recover in about six to nine months after surgery. While this recovery time may be longer than some, it is important to follow the directions of your orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist in order to see the best results coming back from an ACL tear.

What to do before ACL surgery

The time before your ACL surgery can be helpful in easing the process of your recovery. Here are a couple tips to take care of beforehand.

Meet with your recovery team

It’s always beneficial to know who you are working with before you start your recovery. Meeting with your physical therapist and discussing your plan after surgery helps to eliminate any confusion that may arise during your recovery process.

Medical equipment

We always recommend getting any medical equipment necessary for helping you walk, shower, rest, or any other activities you may need to do during your recovery. This way you are not stressed or in a rush to get these materials after your surgery.

What to avoid doing after ACL surgery

The time after ACL surgery is very important for healing, but also to make sure that the injury is not reaggravated or the opposite, not used at all. Here are a few things to avoid doing after ACL surgery in order to see the best results during and after your recovery.


The time after your surgery is important to give your body some rest, but not to completely stay off your legs. During this time, most patients should keep up to date with their physical therapy plan in order to see positive results in their recover. Failure to do so may result in a longer recovery process.

Too much physical activity

While it’s good to move around after your surgery, remember not to over-do it. If you feel uncomfortable doing a physical activity outside of your physical therapy plan, consult your orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist to make sure you are not reaggravating the injury.

Not following bracing or support instructions

Since the early stages of recovery have a large effect on your injury, it is important to follow the instructions given to you by your healthcare provider when it comes bracing or supporting your knee. If you are doing physical activity that requires a brace, remember to have it on to protect your knee. Or, if you are resting after exercising, remember to provide proper support by elevating or even wrapping the injury.

Ignoring complications

Sometimes after ACL surgery, complications such as swelling, or pain can be associated with the recovery process. It is important to monitor these symptoms to notice if they get out of hand. If you noticed your knee swelling for longer periods of time or an increase of pain, make sure to consult with your orthopedic surgeon to figure out the best plan of action.

What to do after ACL surgery

Having a physical therapy plan ready

Physical therapy after an ACL surgery is crucial to seeing positive results after recovery. In order to have the best possible results, meet with your physical therapist before your surgery and develop a plan that fits your schedule.

Elevating/icing your leg

Whenever you are not moving, try to elevate your leg with pillows or blankets. This reduces the swelling in your knee and helps regain knee extension. Icing also helps to reduce swelling. The first days after surgery may be some of the hardest, but it is important to apply these techniques to improve your overall recovery as well as alleviate some pain.

Having good nutrition

Good nutrition is always important. Especially while your body is healing. Maintaining your physical therapy plan while also replenishing your body with essential foods from your diet is critical in a strong and successful recovery.

Keeping it positive

An injury like an ACL tear can be very difficult to overcome, physically and mentally. It’s important to keep a positive mindset throughout your recovery and being aware that some days may be easier than others. Staying in communication with your healthcare providers enables you to be vocal about any frustrations or complications that arise. An ACL tear can be a gruesome injury and difficult to recover from. Whether you are an athlete or not, this injury can be a tough obstacle to overcome. But following these what to do/ what not to dos are important throughout your recovery.

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What to Expect Before and After Rotator Cuff Surgery

The rotator cuff is made up of a group of muscles and tendons that hold your shoulder joint in place and allow you to rotate your arm and shoulder safely. Injuries to the rotator cuff can occur when these muscles and tendons get irritated or damaged. These injuries can happen suddenly if the muscles are overused or can develop over long periods of time due to repetitive activities. Some indicators of a rotator cuff injury include pain when extending your arm over your head and having a weakness or pain around your shoulder while sleeping. Rotator cuff injuries can be identified through imaging tests such as x-rays and MRIs. If you experience these symptoms, then you might be a candidate for rotator cuff surgery.

What to know and expect before rotator cuff surgery

An orthopedic surgeon will recommend rotator cuff surgery for patients after alternatives to surgery like rest and physical therapy have been administered. Some common symptoms for rotator cuff surgery candidates include having the injury for a period longer than six months, having an intense pain that interrupts sleeping or limits daily activities, and having little to no success after trying alternative treatment options.

There are three different types of surgeries that a surgeon could recommend to fix a rotator cuff injury. The first are Arthroscopic repairs in which the surgeon makes a small incision near the rotator cuff and uses a camera to help guide tools to repair the damaged muscles. The second are Open repairs. These repairs are an invasive procedure where the surgeon detaches parts of the shoulder muscle in order to repair the tissue underneath. These repairs are only used in severe injuries. The third is a Mini-open repair which combines techniques of Arthroscopic repairs and Open repairs.

What to prepare before rotator cuff surgery surgery

Preparing for a rotator cuff surgery can involve reducing or stopping certain medications prior to the date of surgery. These can include supplements or over the counter medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Another way to prep before having rotator cuff surgery is to have a plan with your physical therapy team. Rehabilitation is an important factor in the success of the surgery. So planning and setting the proper regiment beforehand can only produce more successful results. Lastly, making sure that you have the proper care at home after the surgery takes place can be beneficial because daily activities can be limited a few days after surgery.

Every patient and injury is different, so it is important to follow the instructions that your surgeon has laid out for you.

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What to know and expect after rotator cuff surgery

After the surgery, it is common for patients to feel pain for a few days depending on which type of surgery they have. Some of the main things to look out for are if there is any numbness, increased pain, or swelling around the operated arm. If so, contact your medical provider to discuss further treatment. It is also important not to overuse or put too much stress on the operated arm. This can lead to undesired results or a reevaluation of the rotator cuff. In most cases, depending on the severity of the injury and which technique of surgery was used, patients can be sent home on the same day of their surgery.

What to do after rotator cuff surgery

Some of the main things to do after a rotator cuff surgery can involve taking medications such as pain relievers to help with some of the pain that you may feel from the surgery. Most patients are also sent home in an arm sling to help immobilize their arm and prevent strenuous movements. It is important to wear this as long as your doctor recommends, which is typically between 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery. Some patients also feel icing the operated arm can help deal with some of the pain they may feel in the following days of the surgery. This shouldn’t be done for more than 20 minutes at a time. While strenuous movements should be limited, it is very important to not completely immobilize your arm. Physical therapy sessions and using the operated arm in daily activities will be essential to having successful results from the surgery. This is the best way to regain the strength and range of motion in your rotator cuff. These exercises generally start small but work up to be more intense as your recovery progresses.

It is important to follow the direction of your physical therapist and doctor. Patients are always vulnerable to re-injuring their rotator cuff after surgery. So it is important to have patience and consult with either your physical therapist or doctor if you feel uncomfortable with your level of progress.

How Long After Rotator Cuff Surgery Can You Drive?

After rotator cuff surgery, you will see an impact on your postoperative daily activities, including driving. Though driving is an essential component of your mobility and autonomy, your surgeon may recommend that you wait several weeks or even a few months before getting behind the wheel again. Following your surgeon’s specific instructions regarding driving and other activities after surgery is important.

Factors To Consider Before Driving Post-surgery:

When considering driving after undergoing major surgery, safety should be the number one priority above all else. Evaluating your pain level, mobility, and range of motion is crucial. You should not be in constant pain when driving. You will not be able to focus and rotating the steering wheel may contribute to more pain if you are not fully recovered from the surgery. You should be able to move your shoulder with little to no pain before you get behind the wheel again. It is also important to avoid driving if you are taking any pain medications that can impair your cognitive functioning, cause dizziness, or even drowsiness. If you have any doubts or concerns about your ability to drive safely after surgery, it’s best to wait until you have fully recovered and received clearance from your doctor.

Activities to Avoid After Rotator Cuff Surgery:

After rotator cuff surgery, certain activities should be avoided to support proper healing and prevent further injury. Here are some everyday activities that may be limited or restricted after surgery: Lifting heavy objects: It is recommended to avoid lifting anything heavier than a few pounds with the affected arm for several weeks after surgery. Reaching above or behind you: Avoid overreaching your arm, which can stress the rotator cuff and delay healing. It is essential to rest your arm at your side post-surgery. Participating in strenuous activities: High-impact activities such as exercise or sports should be avoided for several weeks to months after surgery. Driving: As mentioned earlier, it is important to avoid driving until it is safe to do so.

What You Can Do To Support Post-surgery Healing:

There are several things you can do to promote healing while recovering, and there are many factors that can influence recovery time. Here are some recommended tips that may be used as a guide during your recovery.
  • Follow the treatment plan: Your doctor will likely give you specific instructions on how to care for your incision and wound, manage pain, and how to resume physical activity gradually. This can include rest, working on ways to increase the strength in your shoulder, and eventually working your way up to full activity once again.
  • Rest and relax: Your body will need time to heal after surgery, so it’s important to get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous activity that could put stress on your incision. Strenuous activities such as lifting and exercising can lead to a prolonged recovery process. This is why it is important to give your body the time it needs to get back to a sense of normalcy and not to rush the process.
  • Attend follow-up appointments: Your doctor will likely schedule follow-up appointments to check your healing progress. It’s important you attend these appointments and follow any additional instructions given by your doctor. This is the perfect time to ask your doctor any questions you might have about your progress or when it is ok to resume normal activities.
  • Do perform rehabilitative exercises as suggested by a physical therapist. It is likely that you will attend a clinic a few weeks after your surgery to assess your range of motion and continue your treatment plan. It is important to follow the instructions of your physical therapist to ensure that the recovery process goes smoothly. If you rush or avoid exercises, then you may experience a prolonged recovery process or even a reevaluation from your doctor. This is why it is important to follow the direction of your physical therapist and attend all your sessions.
Remember, every recovery is unique, so it is vital to keep all factors considered. After surgery, your body needs time to recover and heal properly. Driving after surgery should not be rushed as it can make your pain worse, or you may find you’re unable to drive safely and effectively. Take your time and consider all these factors before getting behind the wheel again.

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What is an Orthopedic Doctor & What Do They Do?

Orthopedic doctors play a crucial role in diagnosing, treating, and providing comprehensive care to patients with issues related to the musculoskeletal system. They specialize in the intricate mechanics of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons to bring expertise and precision to enhance mobility and restore health. Let’s delve into the essential aspects of an orthopedic doctor’s practice, including what they see, treat, and how they can help patients.

What is an orthopedic doctor?

Orthopedic doctors are trained to diagnose and evaluate various musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. Patients seek their expertise when they experience persistent pain, discomfort, or limitations in their mobility. Orthopedic doctors conduct thorough medical assessments, considering the patient’s medical history, conducting physical examinations, and utilizing advanced imaging techniques such as X-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans. This comprehensive approach aids in identifying the root causes of the patient’s symptoms and facilitates appropriate treatment planning.

Are orthopedic doctors and orthopedic surgeons the same?

In cases where non-surgical approaches are insufficient or ineffective, orthopedic doctors may recommend surgical interventions by an orthopedic surgeon. They are skilled in performing various surgical procedures tailored to specific conditions and injuries. These may include joint replacements, arthroscopic surgeries, spine surgeries, fracture repairs, ligament reconstruction, and tendon repairs. Orthopedic surgeons utilize advanced techniques, such as minimally invasive procedures, to minimize scarring, reduce recovery time, and optimize outcomes.

What do orthopedic doctors do?

Orthopedic doctors employ various treatment modalities to address musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. They tailor their approach to each patient’s specific needs, considering factors such as age, activity level, overall health, and the severity of the condition. Non-surgical treatments may include medication, physical therapy, exercise regimens, lifestyle modifications, and assistive devices or orthotics. These conservative methods aim to alleviate pain, restore function, and improve overall well-being.

Sports medicine is another area that orthopedic doctors often specialize in. They have an in-depth understanding of sports-related injuries and the unique demands placed on the musculoskeletal system. From sprains, strains, and fractures to more complex conditions like ligament tears or cartilage damage, orthopedic doctors play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating these injuries. They aim to provide prompt and effective treatment and help athletes rehabilitate and regain peak performance levels.

Orthopedic doctors emphasize collaborative care and often work alongside physical therapists, rehabilitation specialists, and other healthcare professionals. This multidisciplinary approach ensures comprehensive and integrated treatment plans for patients. By addressing not only the physical aspects but also the psychological and emotional well-being of patients, orthopedic doctors provide holistic care that fosters long-term recovery and improved quality of life.

What is an orthopedic surgeon?

Orthopedic surgeons specialize in surgical techniques to help treat musculoskeletal problems for their patients. Some of the main procedures they perform include joint replacement surgeries, arthroscopic surgeries, spinal surgeries, fracture repair surgeries, and soft tissue repair surgeries.

What do orthopedic surgeons do?

Orthopedic surgeons are skilled in evaluating and diagnosing musculoskeletal conditions, such as fractures, sprains, strains, and sports injuries. They use various diagnostic techniques, including medical history evaluation, physical examinations, and imaging studies such as X-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans, to determine the nature and extent of the problem.

In addition to non-surgical treatment options like medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation, orthopedic surgeons are trained to perform surgical procedures when necessary. These may include joint replacements, arthroscopic surgeries, spinal surgeries, fracture fixation, ligament repair, and other corrective procedures.

Orthopedic surgeons work closely with patients to develop personalized treatment plans based on their specific needs, considering factors like age, activity level, overall health, and the severity of the condition. They aim to alleviate pain, restore function, improve mobility, and enhance the overall quality of life for their patients. While orthopedic surgeons are highly skilled in surgical interventions, they also explore non-surgical approaches before considering surgery. Orthopedic surgeons collaborate with healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists, to provide comprehensive care and optimize patient outcomes.

Education & Training for Orthopedic Doctors and Surgeons

Orthopedic surgeons undergo extensive education and training, typically completing four years of medical school after obtaining an undergraduate degree. During this time, they learn about medical procedures and how to diagnose patients properly. Orthopedic doctors and surgeons can get a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or an Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). After medical school, orthopedic doctors and surgeons begin their residency, where they decide what specialty of orthopedics they go into. Orthopedic doctors and surgeons can also receive a Board Certification if they meet the standards and pass the necessary tests.

When should you consult an orthopedic doctor?

You should consider consulting with an orthopedic doctor if you have chronic pain, reduced range of motion, back and neck pain, or sports-related injuries. If you have difficulty performing daily activities due to limited mobility or functionality, an orthopedic doctor can help assess the problem and recommend therapeutic interventions or surgical procedures. Injuries resulting from sports activities or accidents that affect the musculoskeletal system should also prompt a consultation with an orthopedic specialist. Additionally, individuals with arthritis, osteoporosis, or tendonitis should regularly visit an orthopedic doctor to manage their condition and minimize potential complications. Consulting an orthopedic doctor ensures timely diagnosis, effective treatment, and personalized care to help restore mobility, alleviate pain, and enhance overall musculoskeletal health.

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