When an athlete tears their ACL, or Anterior Cruciate Ligament, it doesn’t have to be the end game for their sporting career. With surgery, which repairs the damaged ligament by reconnecting it to your femur and tibia bones, most athletes can return to their preferred sport within 8-9 months following the recommended recovery procedures. These procedures will not only help you heal the injury quicker, but also allow yourself plenty of rest while rebuilding your strength to get back into the athlete you trained so hard to be.

Following Your Post-Operative Instructions

It is important that after your surgery, you follow the post-operative instructions given to you by your doctor. These instructions, which will come in the forms of verbal and written, discuss what to keep an eye on in terms of possible infection or reaction to the surgery. It’s best to have a family member with you while going over the instructions, as it could be overwhelming. This way if you miss key information, the family member will be there to help you understand and ask questions you may not think of before heading home. Of course, your physician or surgeon will be available by phone should you have any questions or concerns during your recovery.


It is essential that you make every effort to go to your rehabilitation or check-up appointments as required by your orthopedic doctor. These will help you recover physically, mentally and emotionally to the point that you can feel like your normal, athletic self again. If you need to skip an appointment, be sure to reschedule as soon as possible to stay on track with your recovery efforts.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy, or rehab, is where you will properly regain the strength you lost in your injured knee. Do your best to perform and participate in all of the exercises provided to you, making sure to not overexert yourself in the process. Be sure to ask your orthopedic doctor for physical therapy location suggestions if you do not know where to go for one. It’s also a good idea to check how many sessions your insurance company will be able to cover during this time.


Pain medications help to relieve the pain and speed up your recovery process while performing the exercises given to you from your physical therapist. Be sure to take them as prescribed because once the prescription runs out it becomes harder to get off of them while performing daily routines, especially while back in sports. For more information about how to prevent substance abuse, visit https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline.

Proper Sleep and Nutrition

While performing your physical therapy exercises, be sure to get plenty of sleep as this is the natural way your body heals itself. The more sleep you get, the better you start to feel. However, once you start feeling better, don’t overdo it in trying to get back to your normal routine. Instead, work yourself back up to that routine so as to not reinjure or over exhaust yourself in the process. As such with getting back to normal, if you were eating properly before, stick to that plan, making sure your diet includes lean protein, dairy and plenty of vegetables.

If you, or anyone you know, have an ACL injury, or are experiencing any symptoms such as fever or abnormal pain following post-ACL surgery, contact us so that we can perform surgery as needed or diagnose the issue further to see what could be causing the additional symptoms.