What to Expect During Recovery from ACL Surgery

What to Expect During Recovery from ACL Surgery

February 28, 2019

Physiotherapy in Brampton is a powerful treatment approach for anyone working toward restoring physical function after injury or surgery. Here’s what you can expect to happen throughout the recovery period following your ACL surgery.

Two weeks after surgery

Your body, having just gone through the trauma of surgery to correct a physical problem, is at its most vulnerable during the time immediately following your ACL surgery. Your doctor will tell you that the first two weeks after ACL surgery are crucial for recovery, so you’ll really need to take it easy for a while. Pain and discomfort are the first things patients experience upon coming out of surgery, which stems from your muscles, tissues and ligaments responding to the trauma of surgery. Because the body’s natural response to surgery tends to be inflammation, you may also experience swelling and excess fluid buildup around your knee joint.

To avoid serious post-surgery complications, the rehabilitation process typically starts right after surgery. Keep in mind that resting your knee and body is important, but daily exercise supports recovery. Stay away from weight-bearing exercises and limit strain on the affected leg.

Up to six weeks after surgery

Within two to six weeks after surgery, you can try putting weight on both legs. Your tissues are still healing, so plan on limiting strenuous activity, and wear a brace to protect your knee from stress. Driving might be possible during this time, depending on the type of car you own and which leg is recovering. Now that you’ve had a few weeks to recover, your physiotherapist will set a goal to help you regain full range of motion in the injured knee.

Up to three months after surgery

Between six weeks and three months after surgery, your knee is continuing to heal and grow stronger. Pain and inflammation permitting, your doctor might clear you to do limited low-impact activities, such as swimming, rowing and cycling. It will likely be closer to the three-month mark before your physical therapist allows you to start jogging again.

Up to six months after surgery

Three to six months after ACL surgery is when you can look forward to getting back into sport-specific training. This should be done slowly and under the supervision of a medical professional to ensure your safe return to your regular athletic activities. Your physiotherapist will recommend strengthening exercises to be sure the connective tissues in your knee joint are supported correctly. They may show you how to do certain ongoing exercises to prevent future injury while continuing to protect the ACL in the short term.

Continue wearing a knee brace during this time—even for low-impact exercises and activities—in order to promote healing. If after six months your tissues have fully healed, your doctor may clear you to return to sports.

We understand that everyone’s body is different. As such, every individual will have a different timeline for ACL surgery recovery. From personalized assessments to physiotherapy in Brampton, let the compassionate staff at Paramount Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Clinic provide you with the service you need. Contact us today!

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