acl surgery

ACL Recovery Timeline



Before You Have Surgery – [0 weeks]

Pre-rehabilitation or prehab is a form of physiotherapy that begins before you schedule an ACL surgery to restore normal range of motion and quadriceps strength. Pre-rehabilitation is necessary for a successful recovery and returns to normal living.


Baby Steps – [0-4 Weeks]

Typical exercises and management activities during this phase include regular icing, compression of the knee and lower limb, basic quadriceps exercises, and range of motion exercises to improve knee extension (straightening) and flexion (bending).

Getting Back To Walking – [4-10 Weeks]

At this point, the goal is to start getting your natural walking pattern back. You want to be able to control your walking movements again, which means you may have to begin some balance training.

Starting Some Light Running – [12-16 Weeks]

Your physical therapist will want to customize your treatment to make sure, you’re treating any balance issues that were caused by your ACL injury. At some point in this phase, you might begin lightly running, jumping, or getting back into any physical activities you used to do.

Getting Back In The Game – [4 Months+]

At this stage, you can start practicing your sport with your team. You can get physical in practice but only progress to play when you are fully confident. You will need both the physical strength and mental confidence before you start to compete and play.

* These are general guidelines only. Take proper advice from your orthopedic surgeon for a safe recovery.

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