Is there a Holistic Option to Repair a Torn ACL?

When your ACL tears, your knee buckles. Your knee is less stable forever afterwards and can give way again and again. Every time this happens it causes cartilage damage, which can lead to osteoarthritis. The objective of treatment is to keep your knee from ever going out of place again. Treatment is usually surgery involving replacing the ligament with part of either your hamstring tendon, in the back of your thigh, or patellar tendon, which connects your shin bone and knee cap. After surgery you can regain 85-95% of your knee strength, but it is usually never quite the same again.

The ideal thing is to prevent the injury from happening in the first place. Having strong muscles, especially quadricep and hamstrings, helps to support and stabilize the knee. Having flexible muscles, tendons, and ligaments will help in shock absorption. Stretching and warming up before exercising, and then stretching and cooling down afterwards is an important part of injury prevention. Cross-training is also beneficial because it causes you to use and strengthen more, different muscles. Using the same muscles over and over by playing the same sport over and over puts more strain on those muscles and makes them prone to injury. Damage also frequently happens when you are tired, so be aware of that when exerting yourself when you are tired.

All of these things which prevent injury are also ways to strengthen your knee after injury and prevent more damage. Not everyone gets the surgery. It is not necessary for people who are not involved in high impact sports where your knee needs to rotate. That is what causes the ACL to tear; it is the ligament which stabilizes your knee for rotational movements like cutting and pivoting. Wearing a knee brace can be enough support when physically active, but your ligament will not heal on its own.

 


There are some other treatments for musculoskeletal injuries like ACL tears, but none of them has the success of reconstructive surgery. Prolotherapy is a regenerative injection therapy which stimulates the body to repair and heal injuries. It can reduce pain, increase strength, increase cartilage thickness, and repair tissue growth, but it doesn’t work for a complete tearing. PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy is also injection therapy. It is injections of a high concentration of your own platelets. The platelets in your blood rush to an injured area and help construct new tissue, so the idea is that flooding the injured area with even more of them will amplify this. The therapy may boost the healing process but it is not a proven treatment. Natural remedies, like herbs such as Devil’s Claw and Glucosamine Sulphate, can promote joint and cartilage healing, but these types of solutions are for the average person and not the athlete.


The Top 5 At Home Exercises
I did that helped get me walking 4 days after surgery

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