ACL Surgery
ACL Rehab
ACL Recovery Times
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ACL surgery recovery time
ACL injuries regardless of whether they require surgery necessitate “time off” so the ACL and other affected portions of the knee can heal.   If surgery is necessary, patients are usually directed to wear a knee brace and/or use crutches.  In rare situations where other injuries exist, an above the knee case (AKC) may be needed.  The brace and crutches are generally utilized for the first six weeks after surgery.  During this time, rehabilitation through physical therapy will occur.  A typical timeline (after surgery) for patients to do the following activities is:

  • rest, ice, elevation, compression—2-4 weeks (occurs during the 2 weeks after surgery)
  • walking and biking—12 weeks
  • running—6 months
  • competitive sports—no earlier than 8 months (9-12 months typical)

If you have had multiple or a serious ACL injury, your recovery time may be prolonged.  Remember, if a patient attempts to resume “normal” activities too quickly, the ACL may not fully heal and additional surgery may be necessary.  Athletes should be careful to follow their doctor and surgeon’s advice.  Returning to a competitive sport too early may cause permanent damage to your ACL, causing your mobility to be irreparably harmed.

Your medical professional usually will clear athletes to return to their respective sports when the patient has:

  • full range of motion
  • no pain in the affected knee
  • the ability to walk and run without pain or limping
  • the ability to move laterally and diagonally without pain
  • the ability to jump, crouch, and kneel.


The information contained in ACL.us is for educational purposes only. 
Always consult your medical professional regarding any specific questions you have about a past, current, future, or potential injury.

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