For every Houston orthopedic surgeon, the purpose of rehab is to return the patient back to the sports, activities, and everyday life that they love. This goal for a Houston ACL surgeon is even more urgent when their patient is a competitive athlete who can often miss a great deal of training due to ACL injuries. Once rehabilitation is complete, the patient should be able to achieve a normal range of motion, bear a normal amount of weight, and see a return to strength and function with the injured knee.
Depending on the severity of the ACL injury, as well as how hard the patient is willing to work during rehab, the time frame for a rehabilitation program may be as short as 16 weeks, or as long as a year or more. The different schools of thought vary not so much on the types of exercises but more on the time period in which they are intended to be accomplished. Houston Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Mark Sanders uses an accelerated rehab program to help his ACL patients recover their mobility quicker than a conservative program otherwise would. The Sanders Clinic for Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine begins rehabilitation on a patient the day after surgery is performed. Many Houston Orthopedic Surgeons don’t use accelerated rehabilitation and wait several days or even weeks after a patient’s surgery to begin the rehabilitation process.
A Houston orthopedic surgeon will likely tell you that the length of time predicted for full activity after conservative rehab for an ACL injury is between nine and twelve months. However, accelerated rehab patients report that they can return to full activity between four and six months, and sometimes as few as three. A 1990 independent study found that patients who participated in an accelerated rehab program demonstrated higher patient satisfaction, increased compliance, a faster return to normal activity, fewer patellofemoral joint symptoms and improved graft viability (Shelbourne & Nitz, 1990). Patients whose ACL injuries are treated using an accelerated protocol also often demonstrate less muscle atrophy and a faster return of quadricep strength than those who are treated with a more conservative rehabilitation plan.
For a Houston orthopedic surgeon who understands the benefits of accelerated rehab, turn to Dr. Mark Sanders. Dr. Sanders has been treating orthopedic injuries for over 20 years, and he is committed to learning the latest advances in both surgery and rehabilitation. Don’t waste precious time in a prolonged rehabilitation protocol, call the Sanders Clinic today at 713.622.3576.