ACL Surgery Recovery

Your knees and ACL can take a lot of stress through their life. Once of the most common problems with knees that people need to get fixed is anterior cruciate ligament ACL surgery. Some of the other most common knee problems include cartilage/meniscus damage, arthritis and other ligament strains.

When someone needs ACL surgery the rehab process can often be long and painful. Here is the general surgery recovery timeline for and ACL reconstruction.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Surgery Recovery

Immediately Post Operative – Two Weeks

The ligament is the weakest at the 6 weak mark however that doesn’t mean you cant be moving before then. By the end of the first week people can be walking slowly. The goal during this phase of the recovery is to

  • Reduce swelling
  • Increase range of motion
  • Begin quadriceps and hamstring strengthening

Some of the exercises that are done during the first two weeks include quad sets, heel slides and prone knee flexion.

The second stage of knee surgery rehab is from 2 to 12 weeks

The goal during this phase is to return full range of motion and regain balance. Full knee extension and flexion to over 130 degrees are critical. You should be able to walk without crutches and do full squats properly. Some exercises in the second phase of knee surgery rehab include sit/stands, leg press, fixed position lunges and squats.

3-6 months after ACL Surgery

Recovery from anterior cruciate ligament surgery in the 3-6 month period includes sport specific drills to help people return to sports. Often these can include cutting drills, jumping drills and single leg balance drills.

Final stage of recovery – 4th stage – 6-12 Months

In the final stage you will be able to return to normal activity. The drills are finally at full speed and include full speed cutting, vertical jumps, hop tests and other intense sport specific drills.

Watch an ACL surgery recovery timeline

Watch an ACL Surgery Recovery visit: There are videos of exercises for each phase of the recovery and you can download a complete ACL surgery recovery protocol.

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