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What's the Treatment for a Knee Ligament Injury? continued...

A ligament reconstruction for an ACL or PCL injury is complicated and involved. It's not the right choice for everyone. Some people who have pain or severe instability in their knees may choose to have it. So might professional athletes -- or devoted amateurs -- who really want to return to their previous level of activity.

But if the pain is not a problem, you may choose to skip the surgery and accept the risk of some permanent instability in your leg. You may also opt for a custom-made brace. Talk over the treatment options with your doctor.

When Will I Feel Better After a Knee Ligament Injury?

Recovery time depends on how severe your knee ligament injury is. People also heal at different rates. In most cases, physical therapy can help after surgery to minimize complications and speed recovery.

While you recover -- If your medical team agrees -- you could take up a new activity that won't hurt your knee. For instance, runners could try swimming.

Whatever you do, don't rush things. Don't try to return to your old level of physical activity until:

  • You can fully bend and straighten your knee without pain.
  • You feel no pain in your knee when you walk, jog, sprint, or jump.
  • Your knee is no longer swollen.
  • Your injured knee is as strong as your uninjured knee.

If you start using your knee before it's healed, you could cause permanent damage.

How Can I Prevent a Knee Ligament Injury?

Knee ligament injuries are hard to prevent since they're usually the result of an accident. But taking some precautions might lower your risks. You should:

  • Keep your thigh muscles strong with regular stretching and strengthening.
  • Warm up with light activities before taking part in more aggressive activities.
  • Maintain flexibility.
  • Never abruptly increase the intensity of your workout. Make changes slowly.

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