T Nation

Program Post ACL/ Meniscus Surgery


Hi CT, I just had acl and meniscus reconstruction surgery 5 months ago and I wasn’t allowed to walk for 5 weeks and I didn’t work out at all for 3 months and I lost a lot of muscle and strength because of it. I was wondering if you could suggest a program that could help me build back up my strength and muscle (especially my injured leg) to what it was before. Before the injury, I was playing football and working out 5 days a week. Im a fan of training each muscle more frequently as opposed to a one day high volume approach.


This is a difficult question because the answer might be different for everyone. I had this surgery on BOTH of my knees, and the recovery was different for each. My left one, well it took me more than a year to recover. My right one, well I had started working out seriously at the time, and during the physio I would do lots of exercise, including leg press. After three months it was good and I ran for an hour.

Anyway you should pick a program that you like, anything will work, but it depends of where you’re at, strength/mobility wise. If you like frequency, the Best Damn Plan is great.

If your lower body strength/mobility etc is low you should focus on that for several months.
My advices (what worked for me at least) :
• not too much leg volume lifting wise for a while
• perfect form always, and you can pursue strength (started squatting with 40 kgs almost two years ago, now 170 without pain)
• forget ATG, it will irritate your knees
• it will most likely hurt for a long time, that’s normal
• no leg extensions
• zillions of strentching

I wish you a good recovery and strength back