Shock Wave Therapy Post ACL Reconstruction
Shockwave is an acoustic wave which carries high energy to soft tissue or joints in the body. The energy promotes regeneration and stimulates reparative processes of the bones, tendons and other soft tissues. Shockwave therapy creates new blood vessel formation, a release of trigger points, stimulates collagen production (your ACL is made up of collagen), reversal of chronic inflammation, improves healing on bone, tendon, and soft tissue, decreases scar tissue build up, helps with pain management and more!!
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy enhances early tendon-bone healing and reduces bone tunnel enlargement in hamstring autograft anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
The application of extracorporeal shock wave therapy to the bone tunnel can significantly enhance the early tendon-bone healing and decreasing tibial tunnel enlargement after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, according to a study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine.
In my experience, shock wave has helped tremendously with my pain and stiffness as well as increased my range of motion substantially. Before shock wave treatments it was extremely painful for me to do a squat below 90 degrees of flexion and now after treatments of shock wave, I can do my first full range of motion squats in years!
So basically, Shockwave is a great non-surgical alternative to breaking up scar tissue, decreasing pain, and enhancing early tendon-bone healing to reduce the possibility of tunnel enlargement after ACL reconstruction. The main reason for a high failure rate in ACL reconstructions has to do with the tunnels drilled into your femur and tibia during surgery. If these tunnels are drilled at the wrong angle (like in my first 2 surgeries) the ACL graft could have increased laxity. Mechanical and biological factors could enlarge your tunnels causing laxity and sometimes failure of an ACL graft. It is possible for someone to progress rehabilitation too quickly and stretch or tear their ACL graft before the tunnel have healed or to simply just trip and fall and cause laxity to the graft. Healing the tunnels faster and more efficiently could make a significant difference in the failure rate and re-injury rates in ACL reconstruction. The Shockwave can only help decrease these risks and aid in your recovery!