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With many medical procedures, there are increased risks for diabetics, and ACL reconstruction is an operation that may require extra monitoring for such patients. Common symptoms of low blood sugar, such as vision problems or feeling very thirsty, may indicate a problem after ACL reconstruction surgery. Diabetics also have a higher risk of reacting negatively to certain drugs used during the procedure, infections, and a delayed healing process.

Diabetics and ACL Reconstruction: Things to Watch for When Leaving the Hospital

As someone with diabetes, you probably know a lot about the signs and symptoms that go along with abnormal blood sugar levels, such as:
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty with your vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Feeling slow or tired
  • Not getting better from a cold or flu
  • Having infections that don't go away or don't get better
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Needing to go to the bathroom a lot
  • Feeling hungry all of the time.
After your procedure, these symptoms may indicate a problem. For example, an infection at the procedure site can make blood sugar control difficult, and may require IV antibiotics to treat the infection. To help identify what is causing the symptoms, you may be asked to have more frequent blood sugar checks. It is important to report any changes to your doctor as soon as possible so that the appropriate treatment can be started if necessary.

Diabetics and ACL Reconstruction Risks

As a person with diabetes, your risks for complications with ACL surgery are higher. Although still uncommon, it is more likely for you to have:
  • A reaction to certain drugs used during the procedure
  • Infections
  • A delayed healing process.
For these reasons, it is important for you to attend all scheduled follow-up appointments and return sooner if any of the previously mentioned symptoms, or if any other unusual symptoms, develop. Infections are a concern with this procedure, so your doctor will treat any early suspected infections more aggressively with the knowledge that you are a diabetic.
Because of the risks involved with ACL reconstruction, it is essential for you to communicate with your healthcare team so that they can minimize any possible problems. Your healthcare team is trained to observe, evaluate, and respond to any unusual situations that may arise.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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