If you play soccer, it’s likely that you or someone you know has suffered an injury to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, better known as ACL. The number one question after an ACL surgery is schedule is “how long until I’m better and can return to play?”
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t the same for everyone and that’s because the answer depends on the extent of the injury and the rehabilitation.
As noted by EmoryHealthcare.org, there are many phases of an ACL rehabilitation.
The first phase, or the first two week after surgery, is focused on controlling the inflammation, using crutches and working on the range of motion. The next phase comes two to six weeks after surgery and it’s focused on strengthening the knee and giving it full range of motion.
The third phase happens six weeks to four months after the surgery and works on preparing the athlete to return to playing sports. This includes improving the patient’s confidence and beginning some light jogging.
Four to six month after surgery, the patient might be able to return to sports depending on the sport. The patient should also be pain-free with full range of motion and have sufficient strength back in the ligament.
Usually around six months, the patient can return to playing sports if he/she meets all the criteria for rehabilitation and recovery with a doctor’s clearance. The patient should also understand there may be limits to what he/she can do following surgery.
The recovery time for any surgery is unique to each individual patient. These phases listed above are just a general guideline for most patients.
At Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine, Dr. Irvine performs the most advanced techniques in arthroscopy, including ACL and PCL reconstruction. He is skilled at performing a minimally invasive ACL reconstruction to shorten your recovery time.