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ACL Reconstruction Surgery: How Long Do The Procedure And The Recovery Take? - Dr. Mullen

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Dr. Mullen shares the general timeframe of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructive surgery and discusses the typical recovery process. Dr. Mullen is an orthopedic surgeon at Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona.

Dr. Mullen:
When a woman is going to have an ACL reconstruction or an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, we typically do so on an outpatient basis, meaning that they don’t spend the night in the facility or the hospital.

It’s done under a general anesthetic, and the surgery itself will take generally less than an hour.

When women tell me that they are apprehensive because they feel it might be a painful procedure or difficult to recover from, I can offer that most of my patients are surprised that it’s not as painful as they thought it was going to be.

Let’s talk about what life is going to be like immediately after your ACL reconstruction.

You will spend the first night at home. You won’t have to stay in a facility or a hospital. You have some swelling that ensues, that’s typical with any big surgery.

We give you pain medicines to keep that swelling at bay and to keep the pain tolerable.

You will be able to shower within two days of your surgery, and if you have a fairly sedentary or desk type job, you’ll be able to return to work within a few days.

In my practice a lot of women ask, “What’s the scar going to look like?”

Luckily, with more minimally invasive techniques that are available today the scars are pretty small, never small enough, but pretty small.

After your ACL reconstruction or your anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction you will be in a brace.

It’s going to be important to be in that brace at least for a week or so because you are not going to have that same muscular control that you do now because of a number of reasons – the anesthesia, the swelling and some of the pain.

You will only have to wear the brace for a few short days, maybe a week. By then you’d be able to walk with either a single crutch or maybe nothing at all.

That’s about the time that stairs should get a little easier. You will be able to drive a car comfortably and everything really just gets to be a lot more easy for you to get by.

About Dr. Daniel J. Mullen, M.D.:
Dr. Daniel J. Mullen, M.D., specializes in reconstructive procedures of both the knee and shoulder. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame. He went to medical school at Temple University in Philadelphia and did his orthopaedic training in Baltimore centered out of Union Memorial Hospital. He also worked at Johns Hopkins University Hospital and the Shock Trauma Center. He did a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio where he was assistant team doctor for the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the spring training division of the Cleveland Indians. He has authored numerous articles and textbook chapters and delivered many research and teaching presentations on surgery of the knee and the shoulder on both a national and international level. He volunteers his time and resources to help the local high school athletes during their sporting seasons. He lives in Gilbert, AZ, with his wife and two boys.

Click Here For More Information On Orthopedic Services At Banner Health

Conditions: Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Related Terms: ACL Tear, ACL Reconstruction, ACL Injury, Anterior Cruciate Ligament, Ligament Injury, Knee Injury, Sports Injury, Knee Pain, Healthy Diet, Knee Replacement, Rehab, Physical Therapy, Recovery, Shoulder, RNG Structure, Scar Tissue, Muscle

Health Care Provider: Banner Baywood Medical Center, Orthopedic Institute at Banner Baywood Medical Center, Banner Health

Locations: Mesa, Arizona, South East Valley, Chandler, Arizona, Tempe, Arizona, Gilbert, Arizona, Scottsdale, Arizona, Apache Junction, AZ, Queen Creek, AZ, Phoenix East Valley, 85206

Expert: Daniel Mullen, M.D., Dan Mullen, M.D., Dr. Dan Mullen, Doctor Dan Mullen, Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Daniel Mullen

Expertise: Sports Injury, Anterior Cruciate Ligament, (ACL) Tears, ACL Tear Repair Rehabilitation, ACL Reconstructive Surgery, ACL Repair Surgery, ACL Knee Surgery, Women ACL Repair, Specialist, Sports ACL Procedure Repair, Skiing ACL Tear Expert, Women's Arthritis Expert, Arthritis Knee And Joint Pain, Expert Hip Replacement, Arthritis Joint Replacement, ACL Treatment Recovery, Knee Surgery, Rehab, Joint-Replacement Procedure, Hip And knee-Replacement Procedures, Sports-Related And Emergency Injuries, Degenerative Conditions Affecting The Bones, Joint Degeneration, Muscle Aches And Pain, Ligaments Tear Reconstruction, Tendon Repair Surgery, Cartilage Problems

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

you can't go back to work in a couple days after an acl recon. thats BS

October 14, 2010 - 11:15pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Actually, it depends on the person. I worked at an orthopaedic clinic for several years, and one of our secretaries had an ACL repair and was back to work with no pain a couple of days later. It was pretty surprising, but she felt good.

October 15, 2010 - 6:20am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Cary Cook BSN RN)

Heck no I'm a US Marine and consider myself a pretty tough chick playing sports all my life. I have had a baby and many injuries prior to this one but this by far has been the most painful and hard to recover from injury I have ever endured.

May 1, 2011 - 1:55am
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