How Long Does Recovery from Knee Ligament Repair Take?

Knee ligament injuries with minimal damage may respond better to conservative treatment and not require surgery to improve. Patients will experience pain and swelling during the first days after their operation and will have their knee immobilized in a brace or a cast.

  • Resting, icing, compressing and keeping the knee elevated (RICE) help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Pain relief medication will be prescribed to manage discomfort and should be taken according to the physician's instructions.
  • Patients should engage in light exercise to increase flexibility and avoid strenuous activity for 4-6 weeks.

Since every procedure and individual is different, recovery will depend on the number and extent of repairs, the patient's overall health, and his adherence to physical therapy. While MCL and LCL surgeries require an average of 6-9 months for a full recovery, ACL, PCL, and multi-ligament surgeries could take 9-12 months of recovery and rehabilitation.

Physical therapy and rehab are crucial for a faster recovery and are performed gradually to avoid reinjury. Likewise, after returning to the prior level of activities, doctors recommend wearing a supportive brace to reduce pressure on the operated knee.

Most knee ligament recoveries have good outcomes, although certain risks are present even if their occurrence is rare. Patients should seek medical attention if they experience:

  • Excessive bleeding or clotting
  • Infection and purulent wounds
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Nerve and blood vessel damage
  • Joint stiffness and instability
  • Graft or repair failure