Does knee injury repair have any side effects?
Q: Two months back my husband had anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in his right knee after that he is going regularly for physical therapy. His leg bending is good according to therapist but when he himself tries to bend the leg, his muscle in the thigh pains a lot. He has a problem in extension but he is working hard on extension and after exercise he is able to extend it but after bending his leg again he needs effort to extend. There is pain in his muscle. He has been using electro-therapy for last one week to strengthen his muscle. 1)I want to know how long will it take for him to come return to normal? (2)as we are in America can we move to India and would it be a wise decision (we dont have any problem here, just for moral support from family)?
A:ACL reconstruction does not necessarily weaken the muscles. It is the injury and the protected use of the limb after the injury, that makes the leg weaker. Quadriceps muscle strengthening should be the target and range of motion exercises should be started, even before the surgery. It typically takes 3 to 4 months to come back to normal, but it is not unusual to see weakness lasting 6 months. People react differently to the same operation. So someone may take shorter time for rehabilitation thea others. Going back to India can make a difference for psychological reasons as you have mentioned. However, this is not the kind of injury that requires a lot of moral support. I mean there are many other injuries which could have a worse impact. ACL reconstruction is a very established procedure, and most of the patients do well in the long run.