ACL Surgery Recovery Timeline

ACL Surgery Recovery Timeline

If you are looking for information about ACL surgery recovery timeline, it probably means that you or your loved one has unfortunately had an ACL knee ligament tear injury.

Before we get into details of ACL surgery recovery timeline, it is necessary to understand what actually happens in an ACL ligament tear.

An ACL tear is a wound or wrench of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

ACL ligament of Knee

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is an important ligament in the knee, that helps in maintaining strength and stability of the knee joint.

It stops anterior (forward) movement of the tibia beyond the femur and stops hyperextension of the knee from happening.

ACL is thus a very crucial factor for both regular day to day movements of the knee and also during sports and extreme movements involving the knee.

It usually occurs in sports activities which involve a sudden change in positions of knee i.e. a sudden stop or a rapid move. These sports include soccer, basketball hockey, volleyball, etc.

ACL Knee Tear Symptoms

Following are the symptoms of ACL knee tear

  • A clear and loud sound of “pop”
  • Severe pain and tenderness can develop within 24 hours of tear. Some patients may experience aching and stiffness of knee.
  • Swelling of knee, which develops rapidly.
  • Difficulty or inability to move the knee.
  • Inability to put weight on the affected knee. 
  • Inability to cover the complete range of knee motion
  • Instability of the knee.

Grades of ACL Tear

ACL knee tear is divided into three grades.

Grade 1

Grade 1 ACL tear involves minor injury. The ACL gets stretched to some extent but is still capable of providing stability to the knee. There is no laxity or instability of the knee. Some amount of pain and tenderness are noted.

Grade 2

Grade 2 ACL tear involves stretching and partial tearing of the ligament, with internal bleeding. Little tenderness, moderate swelling and some loss of function.

Grade 3

Grade 3 ACL tear is a serious occurrence and here the ACL gets torn into 2 halves and stops providing any stability to the joint of the knee. Pain maybe quite less when compared to the graveness of the injury, and there is swelling and collection of blood within the joint.

Tibial Spine Avulsion ACL Tear: It usually occurs in adolescents. In this type of knee tear, the ACL is not torn. However, the bony connection between ACL and tibial bone of the leg gets affected.

The intensity of Tibial avulsion tear of ACL depends upon the extent of avulsion or tearing off of the ligament from the bone. If not treated properly it can result in weakness or instability of the knee joint.

Treatment of ACL Knee Ligament Tear

Knee ligament tear treatment for an ACL tear is generally adapted according to patient’s specific needs.

Young patients and sportspersons will need surgery to repair complete ACL tears. less active, or older patients and also in cases of Grade I or Grade II tears, the best option for them is ligament tear knee treatment without surgery.

ACL Surgery Recovery Timeline Details

1-2 Weeks After Surgery

Swelling and pain are monitored and should be in control at this stage. Controlled movements and Ice therapy can minimize swelling, if any.

It is important for the surgical wound to be healed completely, before initiating any active and weight-bearing movements. At the end of the 2nd week, the patient should be able to completely extend his knee. Use of knee braces may provide additional comfort but no clinical evidence supports the idea of braces.

In the first two weeks after the surgery, the patient should be able to perform activities involving use of hamstrings and quadriceps. These muscles are primary stabilizers of the knee joint. The patient should be able to drive a car after one month of surgery. However, it depends upon which knee (left or right) is torn and which vehicle patient drives.

"ACL surgery recovery timeline"

1-2 Months After ACL Surgery

In the first month patient should be able to climb stairs easily. Many patients come back to daily activities after the first month. Swelling and pain also disappear after a month.

But the newly reconstructed ligament is very sensitive to stretching and there is definitely a high risk of repeat injury for six months. So, it is best to avoid highly stressful activities like running and bicycling during this time.

2-4 Months After the Surgery

After two months the patients should be able to go for light jogging. However, it depends upon conditions of swelling, pain, and range of knee motions.

If the patient suffers pain or swelling during the light jogging he/she should refrain from this for a few more weeks. If swelling and pain are completely under control, the patient can start sprinting.

After 4 months of surgery, the patient should be able to resume complete functional use of the knee joint. 

6-12 Months After Surgery

Quadriceps muscles usually take between 9 and 12 months to regain complete strength after ACL surgery.

It is crucial to regain 90 percent of strength on opposite side of the body, to resume sports activities. Strength of quadriceps is the deciding factor to resume sports. Hamstring strength is also a major factor in the ACL surgery recovery timeline. Hamstring muscles work directly with ACL.

Satisfactory amount of body balance should be regained within this time span. Patient’s physical fitness before the surgery determines the extent of the ACL surgery recovery timeline.

Recovery from ACL reconstructive surgery is long, difficult and painful. Not to mention the toll that it will take on mental and emotional state of the patients, especially if they are sportspersons or if their occupation demands activity and mobility.

Is Ligament Tear Knee Treatment Without Surgery Possible?

We @Live Positive offers the best ligament tear knee treatment without surgery which is safe, non-surgical and delivers guaranteed cure. So, in case you have not yet undergone the surgery, you must first try our protocol, because it has helped numerous patients with Grade 3 ACL tears avoid surgery.

Grade 1 and Grade 2 ACL tears are relieved of pain, swelling, tenderness and stiffness within first 10 days of treatment. This treatment rapidly relieves the acute symptoms and also boosts the natural healing process.

Our patients with ligament tear are pain-free and comfortable within 7-10 days. Rest and use of supportive therapy like ice compress etc. are necessarily continued during treatment.

Live positive ACL ligament tear treatment protocol helps with both acute and chronic stage of injury. Surgeons highly recommended trying our Live Positive protocol before opting for surgery even in Grade 3 ACL tears.

Suffering from ACL Knee Ligament Tear Injury? To get details about the best and safest ACL ligament tear knee treatment without surgery, click the blue button below:

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