The Orthopedic Blog

What is the ACL Recovery Timeline for Athletes

Posted on Fri, Oct 18, 2013 @ 09:10 AM

What is the ACL Recovery Timeline for Athletes

Typically, the first thing that athletes want to know when they incur an ACL tear is what the expected average ACL recovery timeline for athletes is. Athletes want to get back to their sports activities as soon as possible, but an ACL injury can hold them back from doing what they love the most for an awful long time.

ACL recovery

Regardless of whether athletes need surgery, the ACL injuries need some proper “time off”, so that the ligament and other affected parts of the knee joint can heal.

If surgery is compulsory, athletes are normally advised to wear a knee brace or use crutches. Sometimes, they are directed to use both the knee brace and the crutches. There are rare situations where athletes may need to use an “above the knee” case. The usual ACL recovery timeline with the knee brace and crutches are about 6 weeks after any type of surgical intervention. During this period, an orthopedist will organize rehabilitation in order for athletes to recover completely.

The following are typically the rehabilitation ACL recovery timeline for athletes:

- Athletes need to rest and undergo ice and elevation compressions for about two to four weeks (typically happens during the first two weeks after the surgical intervention)
- Athletes will walk and cycle for approximately 12 weeks
- Thereafter, they will run for six months
- Athletes are allowed to go back to competitive sports, probably no earlier than eight months (this normally takes up to 12 months in order to ensure that the athlete is ready)

Athletes who have had multiple or a severe ACL injury may need to prolong their recovery time. Patients should not resume normal or any type of sports activities too quickly, because the injury may not get as well as it should. It is highly recommended that athletes carefully follow their surgeon’s and physical therapist’s advice.

To learn more about the ACL recovery timeline for athletes, please call 646-593-7305 or click below and we will call you back. 


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Topics: ACL Recovery Timeline for Athletes