When it comes to ACL surgery recovery, many people become frustrated because they simply want to know how long it will take before they can get active again, no matter if that means working out or getting back to their sports program. The problem is that every ACL injury is different and each one requires unique healing. If you have had ACL reconstruction, it is important to know what to expect, based on your unique situation. The best person to provide you with that information is your orthopedic surgeon. However, there are a few key things that can help.
ACL Surgery Recovery: The First Weeks
Right after you have surgery, you will notice your team is already working towards improving your overall fitness levels. They are working to reduce swelling, reduce any pain you have, and extending the knee. It is important that this begin as soon as possible to ensure that you are able to heal well. In the first week, you will work on a number of processes. This includes range of motion exercises to help you regain full control and extension of your knee. You will also likely not be bearing weight for the first two weeks, though your physical therapist will give you specifics on this.
What Happens After ACL Surgery Recovery?
After those first initial weeks, you will likely begin to use walking exercises and some strengthening exercises to improve your movement. Your doctor and physical therapist will give you a better idea of what level of pushing you can do. Generally, by week seven, you will be increasing your activity level and, by week 12, you should be able to jog. It is important to note that your ACL recovery depends on how well you heal, how well you avoid straining your knee, and your overall physical fitness.
The overall process of ACL surgery recovery can take up to seven months. Many people are able to return to normal activities around four to five months, but those who will be putting a lot of strain on this area will need longer to heal. This includes athletes. Again, though your condition may take longer or it may take a shorter amount of time. Work closely with your specialist to gauge when you are able to move to the next level of recovery. Working towards improvement each day will eventually get you to the results you desire.
If you have questions about your ACL injury let’s review your specific needs and come up with a plan for recovery! If you have tips from your experience with ACL surgery recovery let us know.