Recovery from knee ligament (ACL) surgery

Have you recently had knee ligament surgery? Recovering from tearing your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can take between 6 months to a year. During this time, physiotherapy is absolutely essential to help restore proper function to your knee. Our experience is that surgeons have moved from recommending 9 months to a whole year post-surgery before you can return to contact sports and skiing etc.

As experts in post-surgery physiotherapy in Twickenham, we can help. Read on to learn more about knee injuries and how our hands-on therapy techniques can help you get back to doing what you love as quickly as possible.  

Please bear in mind that although the information and tips in this blog are helpful when recovering from knee ligament surgery, for specific advice and guidance, please contact a physiotherapist for a professional assessment.

Understanding your knee 

Before we discuss injuries and surgeries, it’s important to first understand the knee. The knee is made up of 3 bones: 

  • thigh bone (femur)
  • shin bone (tibia)
  • kneecap (patella)

These bones are connected by 4 ligaments, which are tough bands of connective tissue. The knee is kept stable by 2 collateral ligaments on either side of the knee and 2 cruciate ligaments inside the knee holding the bones together. 

Any of these ligaments can be injured, usually while playing sports, and may require surgery. Reconstructive surgery is often necessary when the ACL is torn. The ACL joins the thigh bone to the shin bone at the knee joint. It helps provide joint stability and control back-and-forth lower leg movement. 

ACL injuries

An ACL injury is not a common knee injury but is prevalent in certain sports eg skiing and football. It can occur if your lower leg extends too far forward, tearing your ACL. It can also happen if your knee and lower leg are twisted, as can often happen when playing sports. 

Common causes of an ACL injury include stopping suddenly, quickly changing direction, landing incorrectly or having a collision. A torn ACL can cause the knee to lose stability. This can make it difficult or even impossible to play certain sports. 

ACL surgery 

Reconstructive ACL surgery may be necessary to regain stability and function in your knee. This process involves removing the remains of the torn ligament and replacing it with a tendon from another area of the leg (usually, the hamstring). 

Your journey to recovery 

As mentioned, post-surgery recovery can take up to a year. During this time, physiotherapy is essential to regain normal functioning of the knee as quickly as possible. 

As experts in pre and post-operative rehabilitation, we’ll lead you in exercises that help reduce pain, recover movement and regain strength. We’ll also use hands-on techniques such as manipulation, mobilisation and soft tissue techniques focused on helping you regain normal bending and straightening of the knee. 

With help from our experienced physiotherapists, you can get back to doing what you love as quickly as possible. 

Get in touch

If you’re recovering from a recent knee ligament surgery, our local, independent physiotherapy services in Twickenham are here for you. Please feel free to get in contact or give us a call on 020 8898 1231. We’re happy to answer any of your questions or provide more information on how post-surgery physiotherapy can help.