I have a left leg ACL injury (tear, not complete but severe) as diagnosed by an MRI (10/9/08) & visits to the Emergency room (09/12/08) and a regular doctor (on going). I have no medical insurance and dispite approval for 'Medical Charity coverage' via the local hospital, I can not find anyone who will see me about this injury.
What are some of the 'treatments' or rehabilitations that I can do at home that might help me improve the healing process of my knee so that I can return to work? My regular doctor has been no help with this matter except to prescribe Motrin for pain/swelling and to say 'stay off of your leg as much as possible'.
I read that it could take a year to heal but does that mean that I need to be out of work that long?
Also, my car is a stick shift/standard, how much time after an ACL tear can I try to drive again. I attempted to drive a few times not long ago, but found that after the first 2 attempts, I experienced 'debiltating' pain in my lower back. The last attempt did not result in that same back pain.
Any information that you can share with me so I can make an informed desision would be appreciated.
The ACL does not heal. Either it is reconstructed surgically, or the injury is compensated for with a combination of bracing, activity modification, and exercises to build up the strength in the surrounding musculature. Exercise should focus on building up the strength in the hamstrings. These muscles pull the tibia backand help to compenste for the laxity created by an injury to the ACL.
Although ACL injuries can be treated non-surgically, if you are young, active, and significantly unstable, it is likely that conservative management will not provide a satisfactory outcome. You will likely experience further and worsening instability, and with each "giving way" episode, you are at risk for injuring other structures in the knee, including the menisci, the articular cartilage, and other ligaments.
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