Speed Up Healing After Ligament Repair

There are many ways to heal joint injuries, including ligament repair. People often associate ligament repair with knee injuries, but in theory, the treatment can be applied to any joint in the body. Normally, a recovering individual will be directed to engage in specific activities designed to strengthen and stabilize the joint. The ultimate goal is to ensure that a person can regain full range of motion (ROM) and return to life pain-free. For lower joints like the back, knee, hip, and ankle, healthcare providers will want to ensure that the area of the body can safely support weight again.


What is ligament repair?

As the name implies, the procedure is designed to repair the ligament. Usually, the medical intervention is treated as an outpatient activity, with patients going home after the anesthesia wears off. Often only spinal anesthesia is used where no sensation is felt from the waist down. However, sometimes people will be given general anesthesia. The treatment is customized to the specific damage present, with most procedures either grafting a new ligament or removing damaged tissue before being reattached to the associated bones. The following tips can speed recovery and patient outcomes after ligament repair.

1. Physical therapy

Most recovering patients will be encouraged to engage in physical therapy (PT) after surgery. While the intensity of recommended activities will progress the further a person gets from the day of operation, daily movement is usually recommended from the start. The process is intended to improve joint stability as well as regain ROM and function. Likewise, if poor form was the cause of the original injury, participants will learn how to properly move the joint to avoid creating further strain.

2. Supplemental PRP

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is often the first line of defense against joint injuries. For less severe ligament damage, PRP can help to boost the body’s regenerative capabilities by infusing a patient’s platelets directly into the damaged tissue to promote wound healing. However, some evidence suggests that the process can also improve outcomes and speed recovery after surgery. In particular, research suggests that PRP injections for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repairs that included graft repair were most effective at shortening recovery and heightening positive results.

3. Eat right

As with any surgery, a healthy diet is critical to recuperating and feeling better. Research suggests that some foods are specifically beneficial to tendon health and should be prioritized after treatment. Consider incorporating collagen-rich foods, such as oily fish like salmon and mackerel. Meanwhile, sulfur also supports ligaments and can be found in cruciferous vegetables. Don’t forget that bone broth can also boost joint health.

4. Hot and cold therapy

The practice of alternating ice and heat compresses, known as hot and cold therapy, can aid in controlling inflammation, or swelling, and pain. Always follow physician recommendations for when to begin either hot or cold therapy. Likewise, pay attention to timing as sometimes limitations exist for how long the injured site should be exposed to either extreme temperature.

Get back to daily life

A ligament injury can be incredibly painful and, in many cases, will sideline active people. Ultimately, individuals with such an injury want to return to regular life. To achieve this goal, following the doctor’s instructions, as well as faithfully attending PT appointments and eating a healthy diet, will be the best solution. While not all ligament injuries require surgical repair, if the need arises, the above tips can help patients recover faster.

Recent Blogs