Recovery from MCL Reconstruction Surgery
Recovery times may vary from patient to patient for a number of reasons including age, current heath, muscle and bone strength and commitment to rehabilitation amongst many other factors.
Surgery – The surgery itself usually takes around one hour and is usually done under general anesthestic.
Post-surgery – It’s day surgery so you will be observed for a couple of hours to ensure that you have recovered from the anaesthetic and discharged from hospital.
A friend or family member will need to pick you up from the hospital and stay with you on the night of your surgery. You will probably feel a bit sleepy and might need some pain killers.
You will be given instructions on:
- Wearing a brace on your knee
- Warning signs to look out for
- Wound care and dressings
Physiotherapy recovery program – You will see a physiotherapist and be prescribed a rehabilitation program after your surgery. Prior to discharge you will be given exercise instructions and practice on how to best perform daily activities including climbing stairs, bathing, getting into and out of cars etc.
Hospital stay length – In most cases it’s day surgery. It may be longer depending on your individual circumstances.
Movement after surgery – Moving around with crutches is recommended for the first 4-6 weeks for comfort, safety and confidence. The crutches can be discarded as soon as you are confident to do so and you are happy to weight bare on your knee.
Will I need time off work – Depending on occupation you may require a number of weeks off work and return to light duties. You can be driven in a car as a passenger immediately on discharge from hospital.
Everyday activities – It may take between 6-12 months to recover from surgery. This is dependent on a number of aspects including ongoing commitment to your rehabilitation program, age, current health, muscle and bone strength and other factors.
Driving – Patients may be able to drive a car no earlier than 3-6 months after surgery (it is best to be cleared by your doctor before doing so).
Patients MUST be able to perform an Emergency Stop and short car trips only are recommended initially. The decision to drive after surgery remains the responsibility of the patient.
Air travel – Air travel may be undertaken soon after you are cleared by your surgeon.