How long does it take to recover from LCL reconstruction surgery?
Following a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) reconstruction, patients in Manhattan are advised to be careful, and to follow the post-operative rehabilitation program provided by Dr. Williams. Recovery time will vary from patient to patient and will be affected by underlying medical conditions, patient’s age, activity level prior to surgery.
In general, patients can expect to be placed in a knee brace to allow the joint and ligament to heal. Crutches are typically recommended for 2-3 weeks following surgery. Afterward, patients are recommended to perform the following actions:
- Rest, ice, and elevate the joint to help alleviate pain and swelling
- Passive knee exercises, followed by active knee exercises as recommended
- Pain medication will be prescribed to ease pain and must be taken as instructed
- Simple, easy movements should be performed during the first phase of healing to increase flexibility
- Avoid any strenuous, strength-building activities for the first 4-6 weeks
After one week, patients will begin a physical therapy program that includes stretching, range of motion exercises, and patellar mobilization. After six weeks, the PT program moves to a leg strengthening phase. Physical therapy is performed to aid in healing, increasing strength and flexibility, and to obtain the range of motion enjoyed prior to their injury. Healing from lateral collateral ligament (LCL) reconstruction is a slow process that must not be rushed. Patients will visit Dr. Williams periodically throughout the healing process to ensure that the new ligament is healing appropriately. On average, patients are allowed to participate in their regular sporting activities in about 6 months. Dr. Williams will recommended that patients wear a supporting brace during sporting and strenuous activities for up to a year after surgery to protect the joint.