So, How Long After ACL Surgery Can You Drive?
How long after ACL surgery can you drive?
How long it takes until you can drive post-ACL reconstruction depends on a few factors. Every question you have pertaining to your knee surgery can and should be answered by your surgeon.
A significant factor determining when you will return to driving is which ACL you tore, right or left. Since you need your right leg to drive, ACL reconstruction on your left knee is much less impactful on driving and vice versa.
Since each surgery is different and surgeons have varying procedures, confirm your questions apply to your unique situation.
In most cases, and in my own personal experience (I tore my left ACL), it takes less than a week to be back driving. However, this does vary from case to case.
The main purpose of the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is knee joint stabilization. There are four ligaments in the knee, two lateral and two cruciate.
Cruciate ligaments work in unison to allow the knee to move back and forth. The ACL prevents the tibia from slipping in front of the femur.
To perform dynamic athletic movements, the ACL is critical.
How Long After ACL Surgery Can You Drive?
Depending on which knee you tore, it will take somewhere between 3 days and a couple of weeks for you to get back to driving.
Tearing your right knee will lead to a lengthier hiatus from the road since you use your right leg to drive.
In my personal experience, I tore my left ACL and did not attempt to drive until I had to return for my 7-day check-in appointment.
I did not do much other than lie in my bed for the few days between then and surgery.
When I did go to drive, I do not recall any difficulties other than mobility issues getting to and from the car.
I did not use painkilling medication other than Advil. Using more powerful painkilling drugs would impact your return to driving.
About The ACL Rehabilitation Process
What Is The ACL Recovery Process Like?
ACL tears are an incredibly difficult obstacle to overcome. It is one of the most testing, unfortunate setbacks any athlete can suffer.
It is a one to a two-year recovery process that comes with ups and plenty of downs.
However, with each day, each week, and each month, you will feel the progress. To ensure a speedy and proper recovery, taking rehab seriously is imperative. What you put into your ACL recovery is what you will get out of it.
With each physical therapy session, the discomfort becomes lesser and lesser. Each step becomes easier and easier.
For a more detailed description of the ACL rehabilitation process, click here.
How To Tell If You Tore Your ACL
If you think you may have torn your ACL based on these symptoms, it is imperative to see an orthopedic surgeon or go to the ER as soon as possible.
How Long After ACL Surgery Can You Drive: FAQs
Allograft vs Autograft ACL, Which Is Better?
Because they are slightly more effective and less expensive autografts are the preferred choice by most surgeons.
However, allografts are frequently used and are perfectly sufficient.
Learn more about this question here.
Can You Workout Upper Body After ACL Tear?
Typically, not until 6-10 weeks after surgery.
The ACL graft actually gets weaker before it becomes stronger. Because of this, the most vulnerable state of your knee is over a month post-surgery.
Therefore, even a small amount of leg drive used in upper body workouts could retear the graft.
Learn more about this here.
What Is Worse, ACL or Meniscus Tear?
An ACL tear is much more severe than a meniscus tear.
Both injuries are serious. However, ACL tears almost always warrant surgery and a lengthy recovery period.
Learn more here.
ACL Hamstring Tendon Graft
The hamstring tendon graft is among the most popular choices by orthopedic surgeons for ACL reconstruction surgery.
Learn more about this option here.
Can You Run With A Torn ACL?
Linear movements such as running, walking, and biking are possible without an ACL.
The ACL is required for more dynamic movements such as explosive jumping, cutting, and starting/stopping quickly.
Learn more here.
National Library of Medicine – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5629835/
Cooley Dickinson Medical Group – https://www.cooleydickinson.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Rehabilitation-following-ACL-Reconstruction.pdf
Kids Health – https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/acl-injuries.html
Jeremy Wood MD – https://www.jeremywoodsonmd.com/blog/what-does-your-acl-do
National Library of Medicine – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6541574/