Hikers are prone to ACL injuries. Despite the fact that it isn’t life-threatening, it can have a long-term impact on your mobility. Regardless of the severity of the injury, proper treatment will ensure that your daily activities will not be hindered. But knee-related activities, such as sports, hiking, and so on, may be hindered.
An ACL injury must be treated properly and then rehabilitated through exercise and physiotherapy before you can resume hiking. X-rays, MRIs, and other imaging scans are used to determine the severity of the injury, and then the doctor decides on the best course of treatment. Hiking can resume as soon as your knee joint and the muscles that support it are back to full strength.
When it comes to ACL injuries and their treatment, there’s a lot to learn. In order to get you back in shape, your doctor will walk you through a treatment plan and a rehabilitation program.
As a result, we’ve put together this guide to help you prepare for life after an injury. “When can I go hiking again after ACL surgery?” You can get an overview of your questions by reading the rest of this blog.
What Is An Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury?
The ACL is the medical term for the anterior cruciate ligament. Located between the tibial plateaus, it attaches to the medial wall of the lateral femoral condyle. It measures 1.5 inches in length by 0.5 inches in width. The tibial collateral ligament is one of four that attaches the tibia to the femur.
Allows you to keep your leg in the correct position. The tibia is also kept from rotating as a result of this. An ACL injury occurs when the ligament is torn or sprained as a result of a sudden movement or sharp turn.
A sudden movement of the knee results in an ACL injury. The injury was caused in part by the sudden stop and change in direction. The reason for this is that athletes and hikers use it. In the aftermath of a mild popping sound, swelling and restricted knee movement can be heard.
How Long Before You Can Walk Post ACL Surgery?
Within a few weeks of surgery, your knee should be able to move normally again. For the most part, athletes are back in the ring within six to 12 months.
If you follow your rehab regimen and get the go-ahead from your doctor, it should take you around six months to fully recover.
An ACL reconstruction typically takes six months to complete before your knee and surrounding muscles are strong enough to support you while hiking.
ACL Injuries In Hikers: Common Factors
ACL injuries are more common in athletes who play sports that require complex body motions. Hikers, on the other hand, use it frequently for the following reasons:
1. Heavy Packs
Hikers are known for their penchant for lugging around bulky backpacks. Food and water are essential for their health and well-being. As a result, I’m unable to conclude that it’s unneeded and should be discarded.
ACL injuries can be caused by the weight of a backpack, however. The backpack’s weight should be kept to a minimum.
2. Carrying Poles
Using poles when trekking is a widespread practice. It makes it easier to ascend steep inclines. However, it can also lead to ACL damage.
With the use of poles, excessive forward leaning can lead to ACL sprains if not properly controlled. Instead, make use of the pole to help you maintain your balance and lower your entire body.
3. Hiking Downhill
With every step you take in a downhill direction, the knee joint is put under additional stress that it cannot tolerate. You’ve probably seen a cow lose its balance as it descends a hill, perhaps from the back of a pickup truck.
Specifically, it is because their knee joint is incapable of supporting the additional force. Measurements show that the force is 7-8 times the human weight. ACL injuries are extremely common when descending a slope.
Should You Trek After An Anterior Cruciate Ligament Surgery?
Although the healing and damage will vary from one individual to another, if you use two walking poles and a knee brace, move slowly and allow plenty of time, you should be able to do it. Long-distance cycling strengthens our knees far more than the walk would.
How Do I Know If I Hurt My ACL Hiking?
When ACL damage occurs, most people feel a popping feeling in their knee or perhaps hear an audible “pop.”
Knee swelling and inability to bear weight on the leg with the injured ACL are additional possible side effects.
Should You Hike With A Torn ACL?
You may be able to walk on a torn ACL after the pain and swelling diminish, but you should avoid hiking if you have one. There is no way to go hiking without completing at least some of the following movements: turning, twisting, and pivoting with your knees.
The risk of further harm when hiking with an ACL injury or a ruptured ACL is too significant to hike with.
What Can I Do To Accelerate The Healing Of My ACL?
Tips for a Quicker Recovery After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Surgery Physical treatment In order to regain mobility, strength, and function, you will need a specialized physical therapy regimen. In the 48 hours following surgery, cryotherapy and the use of extremely cold temperatures can help alleviate discomfort.
The patient’s lifestyle and risk-benefit ratio come into play more than the severity of the injury when determining the best course of treatment for ACL damage.
A full-time athlete who wishes to continue his athletic career will need surgery. Suturing is not required during ACL surgery.
As an alternative to this, the grafts are created using tendons from different body parts:
- Hamstring tendon.
- The quadriceps tendon.
- The patellar tendon, or femur.
- A deceased person’s allograft is used in the transplant.
You can avoid surgery if you have a small sprain of the ACL. No knee surgery is necessary if your activities are limited and do not demand the knee joints to perform complex motions.
The following conditions can benefit from non-surgical treatment:
- Partial tears and no structural damage.
- A person who is prepared to forgo the high-profile sports.
- Sedentary people and those who perform light manual labor.
Procedures that don’t require surgery include
- The wounded region should be covered in ice and cold water.
- Bandage or wrap the wounded area to help reduce swelling.
- Swelling and pain can be reduced by using anti-inflammatory medication.
- Reduce your activities.
How Common Is Re-Tear Of The ACL Following Surgery?
After revision surgery, only 27% of athletes were able to return to their sport level participation, which was the highest percentage in the study. One thing we learned from this experience is that you should do everything you can to achieve a positive outcome from your initial ACL surgery.
When Will I Be Able To Walk Normally Again After ACL Surgery?
After the treatment, it usually takes seven to ten days for the patient to feel confident walking without the aid of a crutch. If the patient also has a meniscal repair or other ligament reconstruction, this rule does not apply.
What Should I Do And What Should I Avoid Following ACL Reconstruction?
For the first three to five days after surgery, prop your leg up on cushions or pillows so that your knee is at least 12 inches above your heart. If your knee swells or throbs while you are on crutches, keep it elevated. Pillows behind the knee might restrict range of motion, so avoid using them.
Conclusion: Final Thoughts!
Hiking is a favorite pastime for many people. And many hobbyists find it tough to give up such a treasured outdoor pastime. Hiking can be put on hold for good if an ACL injury is the only hurdle. You’ll be back better than you thought you’d be, so best of luck with your recuperation.
Hey Guys I am Michael, I am a writer & editor at Outside Origin. I love being in the outdoors and I hike quite often. I have actually hiked at Inca Trail, Samaria Gorge, and Milford to name a few. I plan on visiting more locations and hiking trails!