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ACL Tears

What Can I Expect After My ACL Reconstruction?

Last modified: 
09/07/2012 - 14:35

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

For most individuals with a torn ACL, reconstruction will restore stability to the knee. Reconstructed knees are reliable and stable. The knee will not give out unexpectedly and will allow the person to return to previous work and athletic activities, usually without any compromises.

A protective brace is often recommended for athletic activities.

Approximately 90% of individuals return to their previous level of activity without restrictions. For the competitive athlete, this can be extremely important. In some cases, it is even a matter of earning a living or funding a college education. In the case of non-athletes, it can be equally as important in returning to their pre-injury level on and off the job.

Nice To Know:

Q: What kind of brace will I be using when I return to my sport after rehabilitation?

A: There are several types of braces on the market that protect the knee joint. They are all relatively light and user friendly. One important aspect some ACL braces have is that in order to unload stress on the ACL graft, the sequence of fastening the straps of the brace (usually four or five) is very important.

Q: I like to snow and water ski. Can I still do these activities after ACL reconstruction?

A: Unless the surgeon advises otherwise, most people return to enjoying both of these sports with the use of a brace. However, remember every individual injury is different. Following the recommendations of the surgeon is of utmost importance.

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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.