My name is Jon Haver. I have torn my right ACL twice and will use this site to share what I have learned to do and not to do during ACL surgery recovery.

So how did I get here?
Well in sep 2007 I tore my right cal playing rugby at university. It was a clean tear and was misdiagnosed, it was not until some instability while skiing that I went and got a second opinion. Eventually an MRI confirmed it was torn.

Jon Haver - 2008 - Pre ACL Surgery

In sep 2008 I had acl reconstruction with a right hamstring graph. Recovery went well and I was able to be skiing after 4 months. Based on my doctor clearing me and feeling confident after a good winter of skiing I decided to play soccer in may of 2009… 8 months after surgery….bad idea

Re-Tear My Right ACL

My fiancé(wife now) was convinced I was pushing it too quickly to play and her exact words were “you shouldn’t play but if you insist I will come because you are going to need someone to drive you to the hospital when you re-tear it” well I certainly should have listened to her. The good news is I was able to drive myself home as I would have never lived it down if I had to get a ride to the hospital.

Because I was getting married, had just started a new job(project engineer with an oil and gas company in Canada) and was still able to function ok I delayed getting surgery until a more convenient time, December 8th 2010.

My goal with this surgery and rehab is to get myself into a position where I can enjoy my key sports again Skiing, Mountain Biking, Tennis and if all goes well Soccer(eventually).

3+ Years of Knee Pain

Having suffered through over 3 years at this point of having a bad knee I am very modivated to make sure I do everything I can during my ACL surgery recovery to make sure my knee is as strong as it possibly can be.

Share what I have learned about ACL Surgery Recovery!

On this site I will share practical information including post  ACL surgery exercises, ACL surgery recovery timeline and my personal story of how I deal with the recovery for a second time.

Feel free to contact me to ask any ACL surgery questions

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

Click Here to see the exercises


  1. Hey man I had my right acl reconstruction 8/13/2010 and its now 4/8/2011 I ride motocross and stuff like that. Just how easy is it to re-tear it? My doc said I can ride after 6 months but my leg still doesn’t seem strong enough, and I think I may have messed up my other leg cause I depend on it to much. It pops when I straighten it now… any help would be appreciated.. going back to see the doc on the 18th hope everything is good. My (surgery knee) has popped too but I’ve never planted or twisted it that I know of? If you could email me or anything…

  2. Jon Haver says:

    Hey, your doc will know best I tried to convince myself I didnt re-tear my knee but I “knew” when it happened. In order to re-tear it it needs to be a substational event more than just a large knuckle “popping”. In terms of advice to get back to your sport, motorcross, I would do as much sport specific exercises possible. I mountain bike and the part that scares me is whenever I have to put my leg down and from the little bit of dirt biking I have done I know thats a big part of motorcross…so…maybe try and do some single leg leg-press and try to add as much imbalance into it as possible. Single leg squat with dumbbells only going down 25degrees and again increase difficulty with balance multipliers like shutting your eyes etc.

    Good luck!

  3. Hi John,

    I just tore my ACL on Monday, May 2, 2011. I had my first pt on Thursday and was really happy with the range of motion that I had during therapy. It’s now Friday and I am very stiff. I did not have the same range of motion..actually, much less then yesterday.I iced my knee and kept off it whenever possible and kept it elevated at work. Is this ok? I have two pt appointments to work on my range of motion before they schedule surgery.

  4. Jon Haver says:

    Susan, make sure your Physio knows the intent of you attending Physio is to get the swelling down so that you can have surgery. They may be thinking they are trying to get your knee back as functional as possible….which is not the case. Pre surgery physio #1 objective should be to get the swelling down. Having your knee swell up is normal after physio but try to get the swelling down as quickly as possible…one trick is to put an ice back on your ankle and knee then put a heat pack on your upper quad…this has the effect of pulling the blood from your knee.

  5. David Hull says:

    Hi Jon,

    I tore my ACL about 5 weeks ago now, after wrongly getting diagnosed with a medial tear for the last 5 weeks ( 4 different Physios). After 2 weeks I had full motion strength in my knee I was back at the gym and sprinting again. But it just didnt feel right and when i went back training I had it buckle under me a few times.. Off to a specialist sports doctors I went and he said torn ACL and the MRI has confirmed it.

    I am in a dilema about what route to go down graft wise, the surgeon I am seeing prefers the hamstring graft. But for me I have always had pretty short hamstrings and prone to pulling them. Would this have an effect? I am leaning towards trying to get a patella graft.

    Thought I would drop you a message and see your thoughts. Great site by the way.



  6. Hey Jon,

    Hows the O&G industry? I thought of doing it, but then i checked out that both my knees have torn ACL’s. Nowonder my soccer wouldn’t improve! Anyway I’ve decided to take a year of post graduate, hoping that it will heal by then.


  7. Hey David,

    As for me, both knees were using hamstring grafts. And yes I would recommend it because there was no pain since the operation till now. Plus if you’ve done some hamstring curls prior to surgery, Im sure the graft will mature with strength.

    Good Luck

  8. I had my ACL surgery repairing it with my hamster. Its been 4 weeks now and last night something on my knee i think it was my ACL had a sharp/burn and i think it teared. Before when i try to bend my knee or make it straight i can feel my ACL on my knee at times. And now i dont feel that anymore. all sudden i have more movement then before so i knee something was wrong going to the doctors on monday and hopefully get a MRI ASAP

  9. This is a fantastic website, thanks for all the great info. I am having reconstruction Thursday and this answered a lot of questions for me. I injured my knee in June playing softball and had to have surgery 2 days later because I tore my meniscus so badly that it locked up my knee and I couldn’t walk. They wanted me to rehab from that before the recon. and it’s been a long road. The only question I really still have is about the CPM…did you experience any pain with it?

  10. help!! i am losing my mind with my knee injury! without getting into too much detail, i basically tore my acl, mcl and pcl…i had reconstructive surgery in september of 2010 and am STILL having issues. i also have some nerve damage and walking long distances still gives me problems. my leg becomes fatigued very quickly and no matter what i do nothing seems to be helping. is there anything anyone can suggest? i have gone thru all of my PT and nothing works. i admit, because of this injury i have put on some extra weight that i am sure doesnt help the situation but i feel like i should be able to do simple things like go shopping at the mall without having to “rest” on the benches every so often. please someone help me! im 29 years old and have been out of work for almost 3 years because of this. living with my parents and feeling useless is making me go crazy not to mention the depression it has caused…

  11. Hey all,
    Tore my acl in Oct riding Motocross, had my acl surgery on 16 dec 2011, 4 days after surgery and i’m feeling alot better today.
    still using crutches, sometimes without but with a massive limp.
    thanks for this site, its helped alot reading how everyone is coping and what people are doing to help there recovery.

    so far i feel my revovery is on-track and i’m happy with how its going.

    thanks all the way from sydney Australia

  12. I tore mine back in August while playing hockey. I’ve had my MRI and the results say a tear and I’m waiting on a consultation. I’m in Toronto, but all my doctors are in London. I’m curious as to where you had yours, and with whom?


  13. Jon Haver, i just recently had my ACL reconstruction surgery about 2 months ago and im getting into the one legged squats for physical therapy ive been very consistant with it… ive yet to see any results my knee is still very flimsy and my knee still gives out from under me. Any ideas on the problem???

  14. Hi Jon,

    I tore my ACL playing rugby at my college a few weeks ago. I just had an MRI yesterday and have scheduled my surgery for May 18th. It’s gotten me a bit down (since I won’t be able to play this season and probably most of fall season), so I went searching on the web for sites regarding ACL surgery. THIS site is byfar the best. Thanks so much for all the great tips; your information has helped and will continue to help me in the coming months with my ACL surgery/recovery.

    Thank you so much for this excellent website, so much great info!

  15. Taylor F. says:

    I tore my ACL last September and had surgery in October. My recovery has been fantastic, but I felt over confident and tried playing indoor soccer and I lasted 4 mins. In short, the first time I tore my ACL it felt like my knee popped out of its socket or just came apart and quickly went back together with immense pain. When I played soccer the other night it felt like it came out again but the pain of tearing the muscles weren’t there. The swelling has gone Down quit a bit now but I’m concerned I retore it. Any thoughts from any of you? Thanks.

  16. haris barlas says:

    Hey sup John, love your website really helpful. My ROM is at 120-125 degrees and i need more what should I do to get the extra ROM?

  17. Hi everyone, thanks for this site. Amazing information here. And very much appreciated. I tore my ACL in January, miss diagnosed and rechecked in March. Surgery the same month. It has been almost 5 months and i feel great, other than this annoying constant popping i have in my knee. It feels like air in there like when you pop your knuckles. There is no pain, a little discomfort and i am still able to walk, bend, jog, climb stairs..only thing is this annoying popping. Could this be from fluid or have i re-tore my ACL.? Any help would be great. I no longer have insurance so going back to the Dr is not possible at this point.
    Thank you,

  18. Janet McPhail says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us John.
    I injured my left knee and completely tore my ACL in Dec. of 2011 playing roller derby. I had an ACL reconstruction with a cadaver graft in Jan. 2012. I asked lots of questions before and after surgery. I chose a physical therapy place that specialized in sports rehab. I did my PT religiously and gave it my best effort. All of that made a big difference. I was back on skates (no contact) at 4 months. Last Saturday I played in my first game since my injury. I got knocked around a fair amount and did some knocking around of my own. My leg is strong and my knee feels pretty good. I skate with custom knee braces because I have hypermobility disorder, and they help some to prevent further injury.
    I think you’re right on with your info. here and your advice. I want to also encourage people to ask their Doctor all the questions they can think of, and don’t let them get away with not answering. Remember, they work for you!

  19. Wow. If our story could be any more identical! Tore my acl Feb. 2011. Surgery April 2011. Played soccer at 10 months… RE TORE within 5 minutes. Second surgery June 2013. Right knee… First time was hamstring graft and second was cadaver.
    So my question is… How was it emotionally for you? Because I am still an emotional wreck. Whenever I think about it, I get upset.

  20. June 2012 I meant.

  21. Hey there.I just wanted to share my story too.I was doing free running and did a twister from height and tore my ACL in my right knee.About 4 months afterwards I jumped above a car doing a cash vault (parkour move) and dislocated my right knee.I said that with this leg I won’t do any sport in my life.I was so disappointed in myself :( .I had surgery in August of 2012.Made myself a video about the rehabilitation over 6 months. I just want to inspire people with this video,because I know how I felt when I had my surgery,something like “it’s never going to be OK” or ” I’m not going to be able to do sports in my life” or ” Why isn’t this healing? It has been 2 months and still….” .Please,everybody watch my video,there’s no way you want to miss it if you had an ACL surgery.You can find the video on my youtube channel” /kallostomika ” feel free to leave a comment over there :) .Always be safe my friends

  22. Martin McInnes says:

    Hi there, just wanted to share my story with you and other fans of your website. Hopefully you can give me some advice as well. In oct 2010 I tore my right acl playing football/soccer. I turned sharply and my blades caught in grass, I felt a crumbling sensation in my knee and went off the pitch for a while until the team physio (I use that term loosely) sent me back on. I then went up for a header and when I landed my knee buckled and completely gave way. Anyway I found this site got op on July 2011. I used all the rehab advice given on this site and various others as well as attending a proper physio. I started playing football again in jan 2012. Everything was going well and I was over a year and a half since op but then playing football twisted (this time wearing round studs) and my knee had crumbling sensation again, however, this time I played on and finished the full game. A week later I had a scan and 2 weeks later got the results. I had torn the graft however in this time my knee felt quite strong, until last game of season when it finally buckled. My questions are: should I get second op? Will I be able to play football again? And I forgot to mention I’m a PE teacher so need to be pretty fit and healthy not only just now but in 20 or 30 years too, what should I do?

  23. Hi. Thanks for the website.

    I’m almost 2 months post op; my orthopedic surgeon said I could start doing exercises on the stationary bike, swimming, and elliptical. A few days ago after elliptical, some core and upper body workout, I noticed some cracking sensations inside the recovering knee almost every time I walk or even when i just move my leg. I’m fearing the worst right now (that Ive re-torn my ACL) and have scheduled a visit with the doctor later this week.

    My question to you is what did it feel like the 2nd time you tore your ACL. I’m not in pain and still have full extension and flexion, but the cracking or crackling sensations in my knee scare me. I had an allograft, and from what I read, re-tearing “shouldn’t” cause pain because the foreign tissue doesn’t have nerve endings or something like that.

  24. Vicki Arcobasso says:

    Urgent Response Needed! Patella or Hamstring??
    I hope you get this email soon. My daughter is having acl surgery this Friday Nov. 1st, 2013 we are supposed to let the surgeon know which way we want to repair her knee. The Patella or the hamstring. She is a Competitive All-Star Cheerleader and a dancer so she still wants to compete at high level and in college. She is 16 years old and a junior in high school. We are very torn. She really doesn’t want a scar down the front of her knee but she also doesn’t want her hamstring to be week. she needs to be as strong as she was before and have a better final product when it is all said and done. The Doc said either one is fine. He is the surgeon for the University of Missouri Athletes and I know he will do a great job. I am just not sure which was is the best for my daughter. Do you have any thoughts????

  25. Vicki Arcobasso says:

    did you get your answer to this question? I am wondering the same thing patella or hamstring? doc said either is fine.

  26. It is meaningful to set up a website to help others suffered ACL rupture, including me. I wonder if either of your ACL injury combined with torn meniscus. Recently, I am upset by the relationship between OA 10+ years after op and the reconstruction of ACL. Maybe, stem cells will help in the future. Are you familiar with any information on this. Thanks a lot.

  27. Amy Lowe says:

    I play roller derby and tore my ACL in practice in August of 2013. I continued to play as it wasn’t that painful but would occassionally go out on me. In November, I completely ripped it and ended up having surgery on December 16, 2013. I am almost 16 weeks post surgery and I am back to playing derby. I am not doing any contact yet as I am waiting for my ACL brace to come in. I do not want to have another injury so I am building up my muscles and will be wearing braces before I go back full contact. I still have some pain and stiffness but for the most part, I am back to my old self. Not bad for a 45 year old.