ACL Recovery Timeline – The Reality


I often see questions posed on Yahoo! Answers about the ACL repair recovery time. Everyone’s ACL recovery timeline is going to be different depending on the extent of related injuries, the graft chosen, not to mention the amount of work the individual is prepared to do both pre-ACL surgery and immediately afterwards. I write this as an amateur athlete with a day job and so my timescales are not going to apply to professional athletes.

In my case, as well as tearing my ACL, I also badly tore my MCL and LCL so the related injuries were about as extensive as can be – only the PCL remained intact. I had a cadaver graft which is, in theory, the weakest of the possible graft types but certainly the fastest to recover from. I also worked diligently both pre-ACL surgery and afterwards. I was able to get into the gym twice a day and spent many an hour lying on the sofa performing ankle pumps and the like.

I have tried to capture most of the concepts I learned in my own rapid recovery and incorporate them in the free mini-course you can sign up for on the right hand side of this page. The mini-course includes lots of gems on rapid ACL recovery and it really is free!

I tore my ACL on February 27th and had surgery on April 1st.

I was able to walk without crutches and the knee brace within 5 days.

I went back to my desk job 5 days after surgery.

Used the stationary bike 6 days after surgery.

Cycled outside 6 weeks after surgery – by this time I had an almost straight leg and 135 degrees of bend.

Took my first jogging steps on the treadmill after 3 months.

Swam for the first time 4 months after surgery.

Ran for an hour and a half (with a few walking periods included) 5 months after surgery.

My knee still stiffens a little after such a long run but a few minutes on the bike eases the stiffness up nicely. The next step for me is to ski again. I’m waiting until Jan 1st (9 months after surgery) before I point myself downhill – I’ll be sure to let you all know how I get on. Keep working and you’ll get there too!!