What to Expect During Your ACL Recovery Period

Posted on: July 1st, 2016 by Horizon Rehab Blogger



You’ve talked with your surgeon, you’ve made arrangements with family members, you’re mentally preparing yourself for the Big Day – ACL surgery takes a lot of pre-planning. But what happens afterwards? The team at Horizon Rehab has laid out a few things you can expect during your recovery period:

You’ll have a love/hate relationship with ice. You may get tired of applying yet another cold pack, but ice helps visibly reduce the swelling and pain post-surgery. Follow your physicians instructions so you get plenty of time with an ice pack each day, but not so much that you damage the nerve endings surrounding the knee.

You’ll be moving a lot sooner than you think. Amidst the pain and swelling, it may seem impossible, even counterintuitive, to make any kind of movement. However, keeping your leg in one position creates deep scar tissue that limits your eventual range of motion. Your doctor will give you a number of mini moves to do while you rest to start flexing, stretching, and moving knee and surrounding muscles within days after surgery, and performing them when and as instructed will up the speed and quality of your recovery.

Your entire lower body will get a workout. Your knee is just one part of the giant machine that is your body. Focusing solely on its recuperation and no other muscle atrophies surrounding functions while placing undue stress on your healing knee. Exercises to work your ankles, calves, hips, and glutes will help distribute the weight and stress off of our knee and make your body work as a solidary unit once more.

Your recovery takes at least six months, but there are milestones along the way. Six months can feel like a long time before you’re competing in your sport at 100% capacity once more. However, the recovery is broken down in such a way that you can expect to undergo new challenges and see plenty of results every 2-4 weeks. From bearing weight, to getting off crutches, to use of a step machine and practicing agility exercises, you’ll be so motivated by mini-success along the way that the big 6-month mark will feel like just another step.

By following your physician’s routines, eating a healthy diet, and letting sheer determination drive you, you’ll be back on your feet sooner than you’d think. Our trained physicians at Horizon Rehab would love to be a part of your recovery team. Give us a call to partner with us today!


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