Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction

Have any of you had your ACL mended? Was it replaced with muscle fibre or part of another ligament? How long were the recovery?

I am looking into having the operation soon and wondered if I would be able to do long distance unicycling and muni six months after an operation. Kris had it done sometime and joined us in Nova Scotia for the lobster race and I think that was his first long days on a unicycle post-op.


I had mine done when I was around 40. They used a graph off my patela tendon. It makes for a longer recovery,hurt really bad, but it 's all my parts. I did ALOT of road cycling to get it back moving. I think they use kevlar in alot of pro sports athletes. Gives a nice quick turn around. You should be able to ride before 6 months. They key is to get the range of motion back as quickly as possible.

I cant stress this enough, it is very important to do the rehab afterwards, and do your best to find a good surgeon, someone that does work on athlete’s.

i am also getting reconstructon talk to your orthopedic and see if you can get animal legaments instead of them takeing a peice off the back of your quad it will be less pain and faster recovery


Here in the UK they prefer to use part of the patella tendon. Ouch!
I guess I better get my old b*cycle fixed.

The kevlar option was used years ago but not with much success but maybe that has improved since then. Using your own spare parts seems a good idea to save rejection of other types of tissue.

But I think muscle tissue could be used where it undergoes a ligamentation process and in time turns into ligament tissue (less painfull? faster recovery?).


I also had a patellar graft (at age 41). Painful, but very successful down the road. I second the comment about regaining range-of-motion early. Good luck.

wow that sucks that you tore your ACL dude. Hopefully you’ll recover fast enough and be back riding :).

I have never had anything done with my ACL but I had all the ligaments in my shoulder rebuilt using muscle casing from my leg. That was in April 2007. I was told that I would not be able to canoe until September or October but by mid June I was able to do enough to get re-certified as a canoe trip leader (they let me skip the solo portage but I did everything else)

Everyone at the hospital thought that my recovery was amazingly fast but I attribute it to good nutrition and actually doing the 3 hours of physio per day.

A year and a bit later I would say that my shoulder is 99% as good as before the accident but my leg still feels a little bit weird where they took the muscle casing from (missing nerves but they seem to be slowly growing back)

Also while I was recovering biking seemed to be easier on my leg than walking if I did not push it