Limited Range of Motion After ACL Surgery

My name is April and I am 35 year old female from Wisconsin. I was a very active person, playing volleyball, basketball, working out, YOGA really just staying active. I was sitting one night thinking about my last visit with my doctor and wanted to do some research on ACL surgery and the recovery after so here is how it all started.
I tore my ACL, MCL and PCL back in May 2012 doing a demonstration of hurdles for my middle school athletes. It was the worse feeling ever. Granted I had gone in for a scope in October 2011 so I had experienced knee pain before but nothing like this. So after my left knee scope I ended up having ACL surgery May 31st 2012. I had a girl on my basketball team who tore her ACL 3 months before me and it was her second so I talked with her alot about what to expect and we talked a couple times a week. PT was going great and I was on track. Then in July I hit a road block. My range of motion was not improving at all. Therapy become just painful and then tried to speed of my recovery by having my jump and skip and do things that I shouldn’t be doing at that point in my recovery so I met with my surgeon and we decided to do a manipulation(more manipulation stories) to see if we could get my range of motion back. After the manipulation I went to therapy 5 days a week and made great progress. I had gotten my range of motion further than ever before during the first week. The next week I had a set back which they told me was normal and then I hit that same wall again. I had about 5 different therapists trying to bend my knee and it just locked up and would  not bend. At this time I was starting to have major hip pain but just dealt with it because my knee was my main priority.
I went again to my surgeon and he decided to do a scope of my right knee in September 2012. I was a little nervous about having surgery again so soon after ACL surgery but I knew I couldn’t live like this anymore. My surgeon told me that he had never seen so much scar tissue develop that quickly so soon after surgery, but he was able to clean everything out. So after surgery again I went to therapy 5 days a week and experienced the same events. Things went good then went back to having issues with not being able to bend my knee.  I went again to my surgeon and I stopped therapy and started to go to a sports chiropractor to see if that would help. Needless to say my knee was not the only issue i was having. When you are not able to stand straight up and you are always favoring one leg your hip and back will start to bother you. I showed show improvement but this past month of January 2013 I went back to my doctor after many visits with him and just really got no answers. We discussed some of my next options and next steps and it was decided to do another scope and see if that helps. So here I sit facing another surgery and just wondering what if it doesn’t work and just really trying to figure out if anyone else has gone through this before. I coach both basketball and track and I am a very active person but I have been limited on what I can do since teaing my ACL. Just looking for some advice from others.
Photo By – Donsathletics

The Top 5 At Home Exercises
I did that helped get me walking 4 days after surgery

Click Here to see the exercises


  1. How are u doing now with your ROM?

  2. Thank you so much for this post! I am about 4 months post ACL surgery and my extension and flexion are not there. My extension gets there once my physical therapist works on my knee for some time. My surgeon I see once a month and he just tells me to come back next month, it will be better,and the same thing every time. I am going to see a new Doctor next week to see what they have to say.

  3. I can’t believe this… I tore my ACL 4/9/13 demonstrating hurling for my middle school track athletes! I can’t believe we did it the same way!
    I’m super active. I love coaching and working out… and I’m really bummed.
    I’m writing to tell you that my surgeon specializes in the knees of female athletes. She is suppose to be one of the top in the US. Her name in Dr. Aimee Klapach and she is located in Minneapolis.
    I know it may be insurance & travel prohibitive, but if you are looking for a second opinion she is a strong option.
    Hang in there! Don’t give up!
    I schedule my surgery today.