Surgery is almost always necessary when someone tears a tendon. Knee tendon injuries are the most common, and people frequently tear their ACL, MCL, or PCL tendons while playing sports, in car accidents, or when they slip and fall.
Tendon injuries can be extremely painful and impact the range of movement. When a tendon tears, it also impacts stability because a tendon is what holds your muscles to bones. They make it easier for your body to adjust its weight and move in all directions.
Unfortunately, tendons very rarely heal themselves. Sometimes minor tears can repair naturally, but a severe tear or a complete tear must be fixed via surgery. After surgery care is also vital to full recovery because patients need to build strong supporting muscles around the tendon to relieve pressure on the weak new tendon.
Why Surgery Is Necessary After Tendon Tears
When you tear or rip a tendon, you usually have to go to the doctor to schedule an MRI. The MRI captures images of the tendon to explore how severe the damage is and whether it is, in fact, torn.
Many people confuse a serious sprain with a ripped tendon. However, the MRI enables doctors to decide whether it’s torn or simply a sprain. If it is a tear, the doctor will link you up with an orthopedic surgeon to schedule surgery.
These days, tendon repair is usually a relatively fast surgery, and doctors often don’t require patients to stay in the hospital overnight. They also want patients up and moving again as quickly as possible. For example, after most ACL surgeries, patients can be out of the hospital in just a couple of hours. They’re encouraged to start walking on crutches to ease into moving again.
A lot goes on during tendon surgery. Doctors can’t sew a torn tendon back together. They usually either pull a tendon from another part of the body. In ACL surgeries, surgeons pull a strong hamstring tendon down through the knee to replace the torn tendon. Sometimes surgeons replace the tendon with a cadaver tendon as well.
Doctors also use the time during surgery to clear out any floating pieces of the torn tendon to prevent pain and future injuries.
The Recovery Process
What you do after surgery is just as crucial as getting the surgery itself. Depending on the tendon, recovery can take anywhere from a couple of months to a year. More prominent tendons, like the ACL, can take 9-12 months. Even then, there is still a lot of scar tissue in the area, and patients will experience some sort of pain, loss of feeling, and throbbing in their knees.
Your doctor and your surgeon will recommend a rehabilitation program designed to get you back on your feet and play sports again faster. Strict adherence is advised if you want to avoid re-injury and heal up as quickly as possible.
Recovery involves things like:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Regular physical therapy sessions
- Weight training
- Avoiding strenuous exercise for a prescribed time
- Stretching exercises
- Medications & More
How well you recover will hinge on your ability to care for yourself after surgery is over. For the best results, you’ll need to:
Rest – Take time off from exercising and avoid jumping, running, or otherwise straining the tendon until your doctor clears you. Keep it rested and in comfortable positions as much as possible. After surgery, it will take time to feel confident in your balance and movement. Take things slowly.
Ice – Icing your tendon and the area will help control inflammation and prevent swelling. It will also help numb any pain in the area after surgery. Regular icing and taking prescribed medicines can help you avoid unnecessary suffering.
Stay Healthy – Do what you can to stay healthy even though you can’t exercise. Too many people gain weight after surgery because they can’t move the way they want to. Make adjustments in your diet to avoid putting on extra weight that will strain your repaired tendon when it’s time to move.
How Peptides Could Speed Recovery
BPC-157 is a peptide known to facilitate faster healing. BPC stands for Body Protection Compound. It’s found naturally in the human digestive tract and plays a vital role in protecting the lining from any damage.
Synthetic BPC-157 is a Pentadecapeptide made from 15 amino acids that retain most of the healing properties in its parent molecule. Test show that BPC-157 can:
- Promote Wound Healing
- Improve Blood Vessel Growth
- Boost Immune System Function
BPC-157 also recruits fibroblasts that are responsible for generating proteins like collagen, fibrin, and elastin that help the body recover after injury.