The ACL surgery recovery timeline generally varies from person to person and case to case.
After having the surgery, you will work with a physical therapist on a recovery plan.
This recovery plan will usually consist of various milestones or goals that you need to reach by a set date before you can move on to the next phase of ACL recovery.
Every goal, no matter how small it may seem, is equally important and vital for your recovery process.
The overall recovery period, from the time you have the ACL surgery until the time in which you can return to full activities with your knee, lasts anywhere from four to six months.
This process can be longer depending on the type of sport played if you are an athlete.
The beginning stages of the ACL surgery recovery timeline can be the hardest and most difficult to master, even though the movements are as basic as simply extending the leg and weight bearing on the knee.
The main goal for the first few weeks is to be able to walk without the use of crutches. You will do a lot of the same types of exercises for the first four weeks in order to meet the goal of walking without crutches.
These exercises are meant to help you regain your balance and stability in the use of your knee that had the ACL surgery repair.
ACL Surgery Recovery Timeline Healing Time
By the second month of the ACL surgery recovery timeline, you will begin doing new exercises meant to further your recovery progress.
The main goal during this time period is to regain full range of motion with the repaired knee. Months three and four are focused primarily with getting back full strength of the repaired knee and getting almost full balance back.
By this time, you should be able to do some light running or jogging as well as beginning to be able to jump without the threat of falling down upon landing.
The fourth month pretty much marks the end of your physical therapy treatment plan if you are not an athlete – with the exception of doing maintenance exercises at home, of course.
Your ACL surgery recovery timeline will only be extended by several more months if you are an athlete planning to return to your sport or if you did not recover as well as expected during the first four months.
The important thing to keep in mind with your recovery is that there is no plan that is set in stone.
Your physical therapist will continually evaluate your progress and adjust your plan accordingly.
You may recover faster than expected or you may have delayed progress.
As long as you make sure to completely recover before going back to full activity on the knee, you will be fine.