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What is the recovery time for ACL reconstruction surgery?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Sreenivasa Rao

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At February 18, 2019
Reviewed AtApril 24, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am 25-year-old. I have gone through ACL (anterior circurate ligament) reconstruction and meniscus repair surgery on left leg almost three months before. Now, on post-op rehabilitation. The doctor has suggested me to walk slowly. Currently, doing squats and weight exercises. I just wanted to know still how much time it will take for me to walk and run normally. Will I be able to be normal in future like others from past 10 days? I am getting pain near knee cap region. Even after three months post operatively.

Answered by Sreenivasa Rao

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your concern. In my opinion, it will take another six to eight weeks for you to start running. I hope you got your movement range completely in your joint. Now, do your rehabilitation and weight training properly as advised. You can start walking normally. The pain what you are referring could be due to muscle stiffness or soreness. Get a gentle massage done for your thigh and leg muscles. Do not strain your joint. This should help you to get rid of the pain and the discomfort.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you so much for the reply. The pain is in joint and I am getting from past one week. The exercises which I used to do before now feeling difficult to do. Currently, the doctor has advised not to do anything for three days and after that start with basics again. Is the pain in knee joint Colman? Because this I did not have at the start of my third month but now at the start of my fourth month I am getting pain in knee joint when I am trying to do knee extension exercises. And regarding massage, can I use any oil for the massage? If yes which one would be better?

Answered by Sreenivasa Rao

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I recommend you not to do knee extension for now. I will list down some exercises. Do that for now. Single leg bridging, clamshell, squats, step ups 6-inch stepper, good morning exercise with hand, deadlifts, double leg. Each exercise has to be done for 15 repetitions and three sets. Do this for two weeks and let me know how you feel. If you can, do this twice daily. Keep icing your knee joint. Gentle stretch, massage will help you in faster recovery.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you so much. Can you please elaborate why I am getting knee pain at knee cap region because of knee extension. Is it common or did I do any mistake in my physio which causes this now? I am just scared regarding my coming recovery by thinking did I ruin it by myself.

Answered by Sreenivasa Rao

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The pain in your knee pain could be front thigh muscle tightness due to prolong rest and less activity. So when you tighten up your front thigh or just stand, increases the forces exerted over thigh bone leading to pain. Back thigh muscle stiffness adding to this issue as it may not yield to full-length knee to attain knee range leading to some increase In patellofemoral forces leading to pain. Do not worry. Your knee will recover completely without any problem.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you so much for your words. I hope this pain will vanish as the time goes and I get recovered.

Answered by Sreenivasa Rao

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

May I know the current status of your issue? How is your pain now? I would like to know the details. I would like you to do the following. Roll a frozen one-liter bottle on your thigh like you need to put pressure over the bottle by lying on top of it with thigh and roll up and down. Do a gentle stretch, front thigh muscles, hip flexor, hamstrings, gluteus. Gentle massage over the thigh. Keep doing the rehabilitation.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

As you said, I did all the exercises except open knee extension. But currently, after these many days, still, I cannot do any open knee extension. It heavily pains. I went to the doctor and he took X-ray. X-ray was normal only. But I am so scared that why is it not going when I try to do open knee extension. Will it be permanently like that even after some time. I have gone through ACL (anterior cruciate ligamnet) reconstruction and meniscus repair with patellar tendon graft taken.

Answered by Sreenivasa Rao

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Please do not worry. You will get everything resolved. And you will definitely get knee extension back to the normal range. Do those rehabilitation exercises. Do stretch your hamstring muscles. Like stretching your leg keeping it in a high platform like a wall or over the dining table, etc., try to reach your toes and count for 20 seconds. Repeat this 10 times. Like over in the corner of the bed up to the knee and hang your leg out. Keep massaging your thigh from hip to knee and your calf muscles. Trust me, you will be alright. Do not get frustrated. Keep patience. Kindly revert back to me after two weeks.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Sreenivasa Rao
Sreenivasa Rao

Physiotherapy

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