What to Expect During ACL Surgery Recovery

March 6th, 2015

 For many athletes who have experienced a tear or other injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), reconstruction surgery is the best course of action. This procedure uses a graft to replace the original ligament, surgically attaching it to the thigh bone and lower leg bone. As it heals, this graft then takes on the full role of the anterior cruciate ligament, allowing the patient to return to normal activities over time. For many athletes, slowing down during the process of ACL surgery recovery may seem like a challenge, but the experts at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute are here to support this journey of recovery and rehabilitation every step of the way. 

After a patient’s reconstruction surgery is completed, the period of ACL surgery recovery can begin. Broadly speaking, this includes an initial period of bracing and rest, followed by a structured physical therapy program. The exact details of both bracing and therapy will vary depending upon the patient and his or her particular injury. However, it is imperative that the patient follows through with whatever the surgeon or sports physician recommends. Because the grafted ligament is healing over the months following the surgery, and is also learning to take on the role of the injured anterior cruciate ligament, variation from the prescribed recovery routine can affect the procedures overall efficacy. 
One of the most common questions patients ask about their ACL surgery recovery period is how soon they can return to the activities they love. Although some details will likely vary, a general outline may unfold as follows. Within the first 3 to 6 weeks after reconstruction, the patient may return to activities such as biking. After 10 to 12 weeks, treadmill running may be added, followed by outdoor running around 3 to 4 months out from the surgery. After 6 to 8 months, the patient is typically ready to return to full pivoting sports. Often, the ACL reconstruction procedure allows athletic patients to fully return to their pre-injury level of activity. 
If you or someone you love has experienced an ACL tear or injury, make sure you turn to the sports physicians who will support you with expert care through every step of your treatment and recovery. At Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, our knee specialists offer the treatment and support patients need, working with each one to create a customized recovery plan. With outstanding service and compassionate care, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute is the place to be during your ACL surgery recovery. 
For more information about ACL treatment or recovery, contact us at 1-800-321-9999.
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