T Nation

Rehabing ACL Reconstruction


I had ACL reconstruction surgery on my right knee on Dec. 16 so I’m basically two months into this. It is slow and a pain in the DICK. The only other sports related surgery was 3 years ago when I had a torn distal bicep and had that repaired. The ACL was from doing jiu-jitsu, the bicep was from boxing.

So with that being said, any advice on the knee? I’m getting back into doing upper body lifting and I rehab my knee twice a week. It is coming along just slow. Also advice as to whether I should get back into combat sports? I’m 31 and an attorney. I’ve done combat sports as a hobby and something to get frustration out and frankly to still feel like a man considering my job is mostly behind a desk. However, I’m starting to get concerned that I’m losing a piece of my body one at a time at this right.



I’m about 13 week post ACL reconstruction. I tore my ACL/lateral meniscus and fractured my patella on 10 Oct and got the surgery on 17 Nov.

I’ve been logging my recovery here, starting right about 2 weeks post surgery.

I didn’t get to start physical therapy until a month after surgery due to insurance silliness, but was still training as much as I could. If you check out the log you can see some of my work arounds, but basically there is still a LOT you can do with a recovering ACL…as long as you don’t mind disobeying doctors orders and putting yourself in the path of a lot of potential danger. One of the biggest things I did was still train the good leg as hard as possible while I was recovering.

I can go into some more detail if you’d like.


Thanks man I will be checking it out


I did my left ACL twice (so maybe my advice is bad!); years apart, though, so I think the graft just tore rather than I reinjured it being silly.
The two biggest keys most surgeons and PTs will tell you they want to see is that you can flex your quad and fully extend your leg. Punisher above was probably able to do this while still under anasthesia! Straight leg raises from the floor are good for this. The gap between the back of your knee and the floor provides good feedback. Other than that, data seems to indicate the first 12 weeks as the highest likelihood for reinjury in daily activities, while 6-9 months is the norm for returning to sports with high-speed or lateral movements.


I’d be doing some kind of rehab work every day, morning and night. It’ll be worth it. I was icing mine for a few months too once I got home after work. Some knee puffiness for 2-3 months iirc for me.

Hydrotherapy in the pool works a treat also.

Flexing the quad, etc etc - th3Punisher’s log is great. I logged a bit of my rehab on my log too.

(I’m 16 months post ACL op here).