(Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon)

What Are The Limitations After Knee Ligament Surgery?

Knee injuries, particularly those involving ligaments, can be a painful and debilitating experience. Many individuals find themselves facing the daunting prospect of knee ligament surgery, especially when dealing with grade 3 sprains that involve a complete tear of the ligament. This procedure is typically recommended when the symptoms include extreme pain, limited mobility, and joint instability. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of knee ligament surgery, focusing on the limitations that patients may encounter during their recovery journey.

Introduction to Knee Ligament Injuries

Knee ligament injuries are not uncommon and can range in severity. The most severe cases, such as grade 3 sprains, often necessitate surgery to repair the damaged ligament. These injuries manifest through excruciating pain, an inability to move the knee properly, and a noticeable looseness in the joint.

Patient Concerns Prior to Knee Ligament Surgery

Facing knee ligament surgery can be an anxious time for patients. They often have a multitude of questions and concerns about what their life will be like post-surgery. One of the most common and pressing questions is related to the limitations they may experience following the procedure. Let’s delve into what to expect.

Recovery Expectations After Knee Ligament Surgery

Modern advancements in technology and medicine have significantly improved the outcomes of knee ligament surgery. After a successful surgery, individuals can look forward to regaining a normal lifestyle. This includes activities such as running and engaging in physically demanding sports. However, achieving this level of recovery hinges on a comprehensive and well-managed rehabilitation process.

Varied Recovery Timelines

It’s important to recognize that recovery timelines can vary significantly from one patient to another. While some may respond quickly to medications and physiotherapy, others may require more time. Typically, within a couple of months, most individuals can walk normally. A complete recovery is expected in 8-10 months, with virtually no limitations after a year. However, these timelines are not guarantees and may vary based on individual progress.

Initial Limitations and Cautions

In the initial weeks post-surgery, patients must exercise caution and diligently follow their medical team’s guidance. It may be advised to avoid putting any body weight on the healing joint and to refrain from putting strain on it. Physiotherapy sessions, usually once or twice a day during the early weeks, are essential components of the recovery process.

The Role of Exercise and Diet

Exercise and maintaining a balanced diet are pivotal in the recovery journey. Under the guidance of a physiotherapist, the intensity of exercise gradually increases in alignment with the knee’s recovery. Initially, patients may need to use a walking stick, and having someone to assist with daily activities during the first few weeks can be helpful.

Assistance in Daily Life

Patients should be prepared for some level of assistance with daily tasks during the early stages of recovery. This could include help with tasks that require mobility. Understanding and accepting these limitations as part of the recovery process is crucial.

Medical Team Guidance

Orthopedic surgeons and medical professionals play a critical role in guiding patients through the recovery process. They will provide instructions and recommendations for a smooth and efficient recovery, including dos and don’ts that patients must follow conscientiously.


In conclusion, the limitations following knee ligament surgery are temporary and part of the healing process. Unlike in the past, knee ligament surgery is now safer and more effective, enabling individuals to return to a life without significant limitations after the recovery period. Just as you would seek answers from the best hip surgeon before a hip replacement surgery, do not hesitate to ask your doctor about knee ligament surgery. Consult with a skilled orthopedic surgeon to understand the procedure and the expected limitations, as well as the path to a full recovery. Remember that with patience, dedication, and proper medical guidance, you can look forward to a life without the restrictions that knee ligament injuries once imposed.