Following ACL reconstruction, a padded bandage is applied to the knee and patients are mobilised weight bearing using 2 crutches, discarding crutches within days and as soon as they establish leg control. The padded bandage is removed 48 hours following surgery, leaving the original post-operative dressings un-disturbed until the first post-operative follow-up appointment.
Physiotherapy will play an important role in your rehabilitation with early goals including the recovery of full straightening of the leg within a couple of weeks. Although you will be walking normally by this time, a return to competitive sport is usually delayed for between 6 and 9 months, with all patients following an accelerated rehabilitation programme.
Depending upon which leg has been operated upon and whether or not you drive a manual or an automatic car you should be able to drive within one or two weeks following your surgery. Return to work is usually delayed for around two weeks. Advice on flying following surgery is provided in the document ‘Planning and Preparing for your Operation’ which is downloadable from the website.
Further information and rehabilitation guidelines can be found here.