When To Start Physical Therapy After ACL Surgery? Know More!


With ACL surgery recovery, are you dealing with this process? You’re not alone! Annually, thousands go through this process. Following surgery, when should you initiate physical therapy? This guide will explore the ideal time frame for starting physical therapy post-ACL surgery to facilitate a seamless recovery process.

Understanding ACL Surgery

Understanding the fundamentals first allows us to better appreciate when to initiate rigorous physical therapy following an ACL reconstruction. Essential to knee stability, the ACL ligament goes by the name of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. Surgery is necessary to regain strength and stability after an injury when torn or damaged.

The Role Of Physical Therapy

Pivotal in your ACL recovery journey is physical therapy. Recovery requires careful attention beyond rebuilding strength alone, ensuring a safe and efficient approach.

The Role Of Physical Therapy

With tailored exercises, progress monitoring, and personalized care, a skilled physical therapist will get you back on track.

Immediate Post-Op Phase

Right after ACL surgery, you may be wondering when you can start physical therapy. The answer? Soon! In fact, some gentle movements and exercises might begin within days of your surgery. These initial exercises focus on minimizing swelling, improving circulation, and preventing stiffness.

Early Post-Op Phase

As your knee starts to heal, your physical therapist will gradually introduce more challenging exercises. During the early post-op phase, you’ll work on regaining full range of motion, strengthening the muscles around your knee, and improving your walking pattern.

Mid-Term Recovery

Around the 6 to 12-week mark, you’ll enter the mid-term recovery phase. This is when you’ll start noticing significant improvements. Your therapist will continue to focus on strengthening, but also on functional activities. You’ll work on balance, agility, and more advanced exercises to prepare you for daily activities.

Late-Term Recovery

The late-term recovery phase typically occurs after the three-month mark. By this time, your knee should be considerably stronger. Your physical therapist will tailor your exercises to your specific goals, whether it’s returning to sports or simply regaining full functionality in daily life.

Physical therapy starts when certain factors are in place.

The start time for physical therapy depends on different elements like surgical procedures, doctor suggestions, and general wellness. It is best to work together with your doctor and physical rehab expert so you can set reasonable expectations.

Benefits Of Early Physical Therapy

Starting physical therapy early offers numerous advantages. It helps prevent muscle atrophy, maintains joint mobility, reduces scar tissue formation, and promotes a faster recovery. Early therapy can also boost your confidence and reduce anxiety about the rehabilitation process.

Risks Of Delayed Physical Therapy

Delaying physical therapy carries the risk of complications, flipping things around. Bed rest can cause muscle loss, joint inflexibility, and a slower return to full strength. Delaying action can increase the complexity of recovery.

Read More:- Top 10 Physical Therapy For Posture Correction – Explored!


In conclusion, the timing for starting physical therapy after ACL surgery is a critical decision in your recovery journey. Early therapy provides a head start towards regaining strength and mobility, while delaying it may slow down your progress. Consult with your medical team to determine the best timeline for your specific case.


Q. At what stage in the recovery process should one start physical  remedy post-ACL surgery?  

Physical  remedy  generally starts soon after ACL surgery, around days or weeks. With the help of a surgeon and physical therapist, determine the stylish course of action for your situation.   

Q. Can I do exercises at home  rather of going to a physical therapist?  

While some exercises can be done at home, it’s  largely recommended to work with a  professed physical therapist. They can customize your  remedy plan, cover your progress, and  insure you are performing exercises  rightly, which is  pivotal for a successful recovery.   

Q. What exercises should I anticipate during physical  remedy?  

Your physical  remedy  authority will be  acclimatized to your specific  requirements, but it  generally includes a combination of range of  stir exercises, strength training, balance and stability exercises, and functional conditioning to prepare you for  diurnal life or sports conditioning.   

Q. How long does ACL recovery take with physical  remedy?  

ACL recovery duration varies from person to person. On average, it takes several months to  recapture full strength and function. Your commitment to your  remedy and your body’s response to treatment play significant  places in determining your recovery timeline.   

Q. What happens if I start physical  remedy too early or too late?  

Starting physical  remedy too beforehand can risk complications, while delaying it may  decelerate down your recovery. It’s  pivotal to find the right balance, which your medical  platoon can help determine. Following their advice is  crucial to a successful ACL recovery. 


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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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