Preparing yourself for an ACL reconstruction

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If you have an ACL injury, the chances are you are going to need reconstruction surgery to repair it. But what do you need to do to prepare yourself for such a step?

Decide whether surgery is needed

Surgery on a damaged ACL is likely to be advised for a number of reasons. If you are someone who plays a sport to any sort of level, particularly the likes of football, tennis, basketball or rugby, which require a lot of twisting and turning, you’ll find going under the knife is recommended. The same applies to physical jobs, such as being a member of the emergency services. If your knee requires a clean-up or to be repaired in other ways then this surgery would be an option.

Choosing to have surgery

Once you have established that surgery is the recommended option, it is vital that you find out about the risks of such action and the benefits of it. Speak to your doctor and in particular your surgeon, and get all the information that you require ahead of the operation.

Going under the knife is likely to relieve the pain and repair your knee, allowing you to go about your daily life as you once did; however, you need to balance that with the news that it generally takes at least six months to recover from such extreme surgery, so this will put you out of action for a prolonged period, which may impact strongly on you if you have an active or physical job. As with any surgery, there is the possibility of complications or that it fails to work.

Preparing for surgery

You will generally have a while to prepare for the surgery because a surgeon will wait until the swelling around the injury goes down before performing it. The operation will likely take place under a general anaesthetic so you will be asleep for the entirety of it. You will be an outpatient, but you will need someone to drive you home so make sure that option is available.

You will also need to prepare your body for the operation, so with a general anaesthetic you’ll need to stop eating and drinking around six hours beforehand. You will be given one last chance to confirm that you would like the surgery, where final checks are performed before the operation is undertaken, and then the lengthy recovery process begins.

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