Dr. Johnson describes a woman's rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery.
I think the rehabilitation is, I use the term, they need to make a yearlong commitment to their leg. You notice I didn’t say to their knee; I said to their leg. So they really need to understand that this is really a yearlong commitment of them making a concerted effort to improve the outcome of their leg.
Now I am not saying they need to go to physical therapy for a year. Often they go to physical therapy for the first few months, but after that, just because they don’t go see a physical therapist, we don’t want them to think, “Working on my rehab is not important.” It’s just by then they are usually educated about how important it is to get on the stair climber, to do the elliptical, to do the leg presses, to do the lunges, to do all the things that you would find in a typical Gold’s Gym, YMCA, you know, things that they can do to stay in shape.
They got to do those, and they got to make the yearlong commitment. And that’s probably a very hard challenge for a lot of people because if you think about it, again, these are young people that have now had surgery six months ago. So they are six months out from surgery, and their brain is telling them they are normal.
They are saying, “My leg moves fine. It feels fine.” But when they go see their physician, their doctor is saying, “Hey, you need to keep working on your therapy. You need to keep getting your leg stronger.” So they need to be prepared for rehab for up to 9 to 12 months after surgery because what we have found is those individuals that do that, those females do better long-term.
About Dr. Johnson, M.D.:
Dr. Darren L. Johnson, M.D., received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. He completed his residency at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles and his fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Dr. Johnson is currently Professor and Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery and Director of Sports Medicine at the University of Kentucky. His clinical interests include arthroscopy, knee and shoulder reconstruction and the double-bundle procedure for ACL repair.
Dr. Johnson was named among the Top Doctors for Women by Women’s Health magazine in 2008.