How long does it take to recover completely from a anterior cruciate ligament injury?

Variable time. If you choose non-operative treatment, usually within 6 wks the swelling will gone and the motion will be normal if you work at it. Regaining full strength may take several months. If you continue to play sports after this you may still have a very unstable knee as a complete acl tear does not heal. If surgery is chosen, the typical time for full safe return to sports is around 9 mos to 1 year.

Related Questions

How long does it take to recover from a anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury and to be able to play sports?

Depends. There are many variables that will effect the time necessary to recover enough to return to sports including the graft used, fixation techniques and the biases of the surgeon. Because some studies suggest return to sports prior to 9 months post surgery may increase the risk of reinjury, i prefer to have my patients wait 9 months. That is not to say some athletes have been able to return quicker. Read more...
Jogging by 3 months. Recovery after acl reconstruction needs to be patient-specific. No 2 knee injuries are exactly alike. In general, we use 3 months as 1st waypoint whereby basic jogging is allowed. Cutting sports and running full speed are not usually allowed before 4.5 to 6 months after surgery, again depending upon how your affected lower extremity compares to the normal knee with strength, motion, and endurance. Read more...
Depends. Recovering from an acl surgery follows a specific time course depending on how well you progress through physical therapy. The one factor that you can't control is how long it takes for your graft to incorporate, and to "ligamentize", which can be anywhere from 4 to 8 months or more depending on the choice of graft tissue. Read more...

How long should anterior cruciate ligament injury last?

Depends. If a complete acl tear is not surgically reconstructed, the injury never heals back together. Sometimes without surgery, patients have enough stability to function fairly well. Surgery is performed when indicated to reconstruct the torn ligament. Read more...

How will having anterior cruciate ligament injury affect my long-term health?

Depends on multiple. Anyone with a cruciate injuriy responds differently depending on a lot of factors, like age activity/demand levels; athletic status overall and specifically the status and shape of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles and also concurrent injury to other knee structures. Read more...
Unknown. The real answer depends on many factors. The long term affects of a knee that is acl deficient is one of a higher probability of damage to cartilage (the tissue lining the ends of your bones), meniscal tears (cushion pad between two bones in your knee) and even an increased risk of arthritis. Read more...

How severe is a torn anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury?

Bad. For most active patients, acl injuries are fairly disabling. Most active patients will experience persistent instability episodes and pain that limit their pursuits of their activities. Therefore, most patients elect to have surgery. Return to all activities after surgery will take at least 6 months. Those patients who are not particularly active may not require surgery. Read more...
Significant. Acl tear is a significant injury to the knee. It can significantly affect the function of the knee. Especially pivoting activities. Acl injury can occur in motor vehicle accidents, falls, and most commonly in sports. The acl can tear in an injury involving knee contact with someone or something or without any knee contact. Acl is generally fixed to restore the best possible function to your knee. Read more...

How can you prevent anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury?

Neuromuscular traini. Research has shown that the incidence of non-contact ACL injury can be reduced anywhere from 20% to 80% by engaging in regular neuromuscular training that is designed to enhance proprioception, balance, proper movement patterns and muscle strength. Read more...
Train neuromuscular. There is evidence to show that neuromuscular training including plyometrics, balance, and technique training, as well as heightened awareness of injury biomechanics, reduce the risk of serious injury in female athletes. What specific exericises, sequence, intensity and duration remains unknown. Read more...

What could cause anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury?

Knee hyperextension. The ACL may tear when certain movements of the knee place a great strain on the acl. Hyperextension of the knee, that is, if the knee is straightened more than 10 degrees beyond its normal fully straightened position, is a very common cause of an torn acl. This position of the knee forces the lower leg excessively forward in relation to the upper leg. Pivoting injuries of the knee with exc. Read more...
Force. An acl injury usually is a rotational or hyperextension force applied to the knee causing mechanical failure of the ligament. People get these injuries as a result of being fatigued, out of shape or are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Read more...
Pivoting on leg. Twisting or pivoting of your lower leg, while having your foot planted can cause an ACL injury. For example, a football or basketball player plants his/her foot to change direction, and feel their knee just give out on them. That's the classic mechanism for an ACL injury. Read more...

What does anterior cruciate ligament ACL injury feel like?

Giving way. Classically people describe a buckling, twisting, or giving way episode in the knee, with a popping feeling. Sometimes the pop is audible. Commonly there is swelling, limited ability to walk, and then associated stiffness+pain; as swelling goes down, pain will go away, but instability (wobbly/buckling) feeling with quick changes of direction persists; some people have minimal pain/swelling. Read more...

What causes the pain with an anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury?

Instability. In the acute phase, the rupture ligament will hurt. Additionally, the knee will fill with blood right after the injury. This hurts. Finally, there are often associated injuries, eg meniscus tears or bone bruises, that hurt. After the acute pain resolves, people with an acl deficient knee are limited by the subtle instability which can be felt as soreness or as instability. Read more...
Meniscal tears. You may have associated meniscal tears, that can be responsible for the pain. Or, the swelling of the knee itself, can be causing the pain. Read more...

What are the common symptoms of anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury?

Pain & Instability. Acl tears typically are painful, cause knee swelling, and cause the sensation of instability in the knee. Read more...
Pop, pain, swelling. The most common symptoms of acl injury are a non-contact twisting or hyperextension injury to the knee associated with an audible or palpable pop followed by pain and swelling. Contact injuries are also common. Typically, the knee will swell for several days. Even though you may be able to bend it and walk on it eventually, most patients continue to feel instability or "giving way" or buckling. Read more...
Instability. Your knee may feel unstable, or like it wants to "give out" on you, especially with twisting activities. You may have some pain also, particularly if any of the menisci are injured. Read more...