When Can I Exercise Normally After an ACL Tear?

When Can I Exercise Normally After an ACL Tear?

Tears and injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in your knees are among the most common sports injuries out there. Your knees need all four of their major ligaments to function reliably under the pressure of athletic activity. 

If you don’t recover fully from an ACL tear, you risk long-term knee joint destabilization and deterioration.

So, even though most athletes are champing at the bit to get back to normal exercise and competition routines, Dr. Michael L. Blackwell and his team at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine advise a measured approach. 

Dr. Blackwell provides treatment and recovery support to new and returning patients with ACL problems from locations in Tomball, Kingwood, and The Woodlands, Texas.

Dealing with an ACL tear

Your ACL injury can range in severity from a mild Grade 1 sprain to a Grade 3 sprain, when the ACL separates into two pieces, compromising the stability of your knee joint. A mild ACL tear might not cause symptoms for more than a few days, but ACL injuries need treatment to heal and won’t do so without medical attention.

People who have more sedentary lifestyles often recover from ACL injuries without surgical treatment. But athletes and more active people who count on a strong and fully healed ACL almost always need surgery

While surgery lengthens your recovery time and your return to normal exercise, protecting the stability of your knee is far worth it in the long run.

Your ACL surgery uses a graft. Dr. Blackwell may take the tissue from one of your other tendons, or use donor tissue to reconnect your torn ACL. Dr. Blackwell keeps your ACL surgery as minimally invasive as possible to reduce your recovery time.

Recovering from an ACL tear

You should plan on about 6-9 months of rehabilitation and recovery time after your ACL surgery. Dr. Blackwell and his team work with you through physical therapy modalities to gradually rebuild your strength and knee joint stability.

Only when you’re fully recovered from your ACL injury is it a good idea to get back to full-intensity activities. Jumping and twisting motions put particular pressure on your ACL.

If you push your ACL too hard after an injury, you risk a potentially career-ending knee problem. Reinjury after an ACL tear can also be more of a problem than in the first instance, as the issue becomes more complex to treat.

To be sure you’re exercising safely within the bounds of your recovery plan, talk to Dr. Blackwell and his team about the right training strategy for you, your body, and your athletic career. We use our knowledge and expertise to prioritize you and your full rehabilitation and recovery after an ACL injury.

For post-injury care you can count on, contact Dr. Blackwell and the team at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. You can schedule an appointment online or over the phone.

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