Your recovery time will depend on how bad the injury is. People also heal at different rates.

In most cases, physical therapy can help to limit problems and speed up your recovery. If you have an ACL tear, your doctor may recommend this after surgery.

While you recover, if your medical team agrees, you could take up a new activity that won’t hurt your knee. For instance, runners could try swimming.

Whatever you do, don’t rush things. You shouldn’t go back to your old level of physical activity until:

  • Your doctor says it’s OK for you to take part.
  • You can fully bend and straighten the knee without pain.
  • The knee doesn’t hurt when you walk, jog, sprint, or jump.
  • It’s no longer swollen.
  • The injured knee is as strong as the uninjured knee.

If you start to use your knee before it’s healed, you could cause permanent damage.


Knee ligament injuries are hard to prevent. But you can take some precautions that may make them less likely. You should:

  • Keep your thigh muscles strong with regular stretching and strengthening.
  • Warm up with light activities before taking part in tougher ones.
  • Maintain flexibility.
  • Make changes slowly. Don’t suddenly make your workouts a lot more intense.