General Discussion Triathlon Talk » ACL Reconstruction/Recovery Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2013-08-25 8:47 AM

Subject: ACL Reconstruction/Recovery
I am a "BOPer" having done my first HIM this past June and a couple weeks ago I had the ACL in my right knee "reconstructed". I know there are a few pages out there about that, but my story is at
My plan/goal is to recover over the Fall/Winter and participate in my local Boise IronMan 70.3 again... in 287 days.
Just looking to compare notes with others that have had the same thing done, and some milestones and goals as far as strength/flexibility and expectations for the next few months.
Hopefully it will be helpful to some other people in my similar situation.

2013-08-30 7:55 PM
in reply to: mcfly6667

User image

Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: ACL Reconstruction/Recovery
You should be good to go in 287 days.  No running for 3 months, the graft is not strong enough.  Swim when the incisions are healed, biking when you can make a revolution.  DO YOUR PT diligently.  This is the most important part of your recovery.  By 6 weeks PO most people have a full pain free ROM and no swelling but I have some outliers to either side.
2013-10-05 2:59 PM
in reply to: mcfly6667

User image

Subject: RE: ACL Reconstruction/Recovery
I had my acl done about 15 years ago. It was very depressing, but once you are able to start making full revolutions on the bike you know you are on your way. Each day it will get stronger. I didn't do triathlons back then, but I did play soccer. I had it done in October and went back to playing in May/ June. It took some time to get used to that, but I would imagine you should be back to triathlon way before since you don't have to cut in and out. like soccer You will have plenty of time to rehab and do your half. Once you can get on the bike, just keep going. The bike fitness will carry over. Good luck! I don't wish ACL rehab on anyone, but you are prob through the worst part now
2013-10-13 5:48 PM
in reply to: mcfly6667


Subject: RE: ACL Reconstruction/Recovery

I had ACL and posterlateral corner reconstruction in early May. I was able to get full rotation on the PT bike pretty early -- maybe 2 weeks after surgery. I was riding the bike at the gym as soon as my brace got unlocked (3 weeks PO) and was running after my doc gave me the all clear at 3 months PO. In the beginning I had to shorten my stride quite a bit and really think about running evenly with the 'bad' and 'good' leg, but now I'm 5 months PO and feeling great with no problems.

I should add that early on the recumbent bike felt better than the upright -- I was just trying to get in 30 minutes so I wouldn't go crazy so I didn't really care what I was doing, just that I was doing something. I did get some funny looks going into the gym in my giant knee brace!
2020-05-25 11:05 PM
in reply to: mcfly6667

Subject: RE: ACL Reconstruction/Recovery
Realized I never responded... Rehab went very well. got a very good report card from my surgeon at 60 days or whatever. And my first "run" was a ginger 3 miles right at the 90 day mark. There was some tenderness and a litel pain on the hard "step downs" from curbs etc but range of motion was good and very little pain.
Went on to do the ,local HIM I mentioned in the original post and klept training and did 3 HIMs the following summer.
Fell out of the hobby a bit since then but it was a great run and a fun time in my life.
Starting to get the itch to get in it again now that it is a few years and now 25 pounds later

Longer took a couple years before I could crawl on my hands and knees on hard surfaces, (pateller tendon harvest site) but now I never think of it and it gives me no problems at all. Though to be fair, I do not engage in the types of sports that would stress it. (cutting sports court sports etc)
Just thought Id throw that out there in case anyone is wondering or has similar injuries.
2020-05-26 12:36 PM
in reply to: mcfly6667

User image

McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: ACL Reconstruction/Recovery

I had ACL/Meniscus surgery on my right knee in 1996.  I blew it out both knees in 1994 in a wrestling tournament.  Then I tore the ACL in a wrestling tournament in 1995.  My surgeon gave me 6-9 months as the timeline for return to play.  A girl my same age that I had multiple classes with at school had her ACL surgery by the same surgeon on the same day as me.  The first time that they put me on the stationary bike in Physical Therapy. The pain got to me and I quite without getting a full revolution on the bike. The girl in I knew then was put on the bike and she was doing full revolution.  I might be a little competitive because after that I never let the pain get to me.  I had a stationary bike at home and I got good use out of it.  I was on it every day and I was getting full revolutions before I went back to therapy a few days later.  I also had a weight machine at hope and hit that machine everyday day to.  We only did therapy two a week at the clinique and the rest was at home.  I did the home therapy twice a day. I was going into my Senior Cross Country and season and I wanted to be released in time to complete so I was driven and focuses.  At 5 months I was fully released.  I was shocked.  They had told me that it would be a minimum fo 6 months and could be 9 months or more before I was released.  the surgeon had done 350 knee surgeries and told me that my meniscus tear was the worst he had ever seen so I figured I was more likely to be on the 9-month time frame than the 6-month time frame. When I released I was not 100% though.  My tests show the strength of both legs to be within 5% of each other then they released be but as I worked my way back into cross country I developed a stress fracture on the think of my operated knee. So the legs were not equal and the miss-match caused the stress fracture injury as I returned to play.  In 1995 I broke the 17:00 minute flat in the 5K three times.  After I came back from my knee surgery I was running about 30Seconds slower on every course that I completed on than I had the previous year. So, just because I was released and was competing I was not able to complete at the same level.  I had miss track my Junior year due to knee surgery.  I was a mile specialist in track.  In 1995 I played for the high school soccer team. but we go to track meets behind the soccer coaches back (we had a school rule that you could only participate in one school sport per sports season) and I was the sophomore region mile champion with a time of 4:52.  My senior year I got down to a 4:35 mile time.  There is no way to know what I would have been able to do my sophomore year if I had a full track season or what I would have been able to do my Junior year if I wasn't at home on the stationary bike doing knew therapy, but I felt like I was running pretty well when I was turning out 4:35 mile times. 


Fast forward 20 years. My brother did two full Ironman races in 2002.  At the time I was still trying to get back to a Sub 17:00 5K (I never made it) but didn't think that I would ever be able to do a Triathlon because of my knee.  I didn't think it would hold up for long bike rides.  Never the less in 2014 I had the desire to do a triathlon.  I wanted to related to my bother better through the shared triathlon experience.  When I got on the bike the knee was weak and tender and I was limited.  The same was true when I got in the pool. Kicking was tender on the knew and I had to ease into things.  I had been running for years and so the run wasn't a problem.  Over the weeks the same became true for cycling and swimming.  The movements and stresses that I put on the knee from cycling and swimming strengthened it to where I my knee could run swim and cycle for no problems.   Cycling had done wonders on my knee.  I used to have to stretch me knee every 90 minutes or so of a car ride because not stretching the leg would make the knee tingle or go to sleep.  I don't have the worlds to describe it, but I will just say that I don't do long car rides without being able to stretch my legs because of my weak knee.  Now I can do 18-hour car rides and the knee doesn't have any trouble at all. 

So...Expect 6-9 months before you can do a full training load, and another 6-9 months after you start a full training load before you can race at the intensity you could pre-surgery, and expect to be slower post-surgery than you were pre-surgery.   

New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » ACL Reconstruction/Recovery Rss Feed  

Knee Reconstruction Surgery to Recovery

Started by joezer3003
Views: 1104 Posts: 3

2011-01-28 1:54 PM spudone

Ironman and ACL Reconstruction?

Started by dangitdake
Views: 2230 Posts: 7

2010-12-16 4:23 PM aggiecatcher

how long after acl reconstruction?

Started by Rattlesnake
Views: 4168 Posts: 6

2009-12-04 7:31 PM sma777

Old ACL Reconstruction Pain Returning

Started by adgradiology
Views: 948 Posts: 2

2009-03-17 11:28 AM 90RevolutionsPT

ACL Reconstruction and ITBS

Started by high_tower
Views: 1091 Posts: 2

2008-01-29 12:36 PM badnews
date : March 8, 2013
author : AMSSM
comments : 2
A few weeks ago I tore the MCL and ACL in my right knee and the LCL in my left knee in an accident. Can I returned to triathlon? What would that entail?
date : May 16, 2012
author : suebum74
comments : 4
Why do triathletes need a recovery week and why do we feel so bad during it?
date : February 6, 2012
author : AMSSM
comments : 0
How to regain enough range of motion to swim freestyle after a shoulder injury or surgery
date : April 14, 2011
author : Troy Jacobson
comments : 0
What is the difference between a recovery ride and junk miles?
date : April 7, 2011
author : AMSSM
comments : 4
Is it possible to compete in triathlon after an ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair?
date : November 12, 2008
author : AMSSM
comments : 0
Am I crazy to want to still pursue tri, or is it fair to assume that my body will tell me when enough is enough and enjoy it/use it until such time comes to pass?
date : June 11, 2007
author : TriDDS
comments : 0
If you would have told me that I would want to train over ten hours a week for a race that can last up to 17 hours, I would have laughed. But somehow, my ACL injury has refocused my outlook on life.
date : June 6, 2006
author : Ingrid Loos
comments : 4
A bad race left me smoldering, but time and a gentle breeze ignited my passion to race again.