Deciding to have knee surgery

The decision to have knee surgery will depend on the extent of damage to your ACL and whether it’s affecting your quality of life.

If your knee doesn’t feel unstable and you don’t have an active lifestyle, you may decide not to have ACL surgery.

However, when deciding whether to have surgery it’s important to be aware that a delay could cause further damage to your knee.

Read more about deciding to have surgery.

Before having knee surgery

Before having ACL surgery, you may need to wait for any swelling to go down and the full range of movement to return to your knee.

You may also need to wait until the muscles at the front of your thigh (quadriceps) and the back of your thigh (hamstrings) are as strong as possible.

If you don’t have the full range of movement in your knee before having surgery, your recovery will be more difficult. It’s likely to take at least three weeks after the injury occurred for the full range of movement to return.

You may be referred to a physiotherapist before having surgery. They’ll be able to help you regain the full range of movement in your knee.

Your physio may show you some stretches you can do at home to help keep your leg flexible. They may also recommend low-impact exercise, such as swimming or cycling.

These types of activities will help improve your muscle strength without placing too much weight on your knee. You should avoid any sports or activities that involve twisting, turning or jumping.