Is ACL Surgery Painful? | ACL surgery FAQs

Written by Mr Bilal Barkatali

All the ACL surgery questions you need answered. Is ACL surgery painful? What is ACL surgery recovery time? What does ACL surgery cost? Read the full blog post now.

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Table Contents

1.  Is ACL surgery a major surgery?

ACL surgery is usually a day case operation.  However, this would still be classified as major surgery. The surgery requires harvesting of tissue from other parts of the leg which can be painful.  Tunnels are drilled within the bones and there is usually postoperative pain and swelling associated with this.  Therefore, this would be classified as a major operation. 

2. How long does the surgery take?

The surgery usually takes between sixty minutes and two hours depending on the complexity of the operation which is individual. 

3. Is it painful?

ACL surgery can be very painful depending on the type of autograft harvested and the complexity of surgery undertaken.  The postoperative pain can be reduced using local anaesthetic infiltration around the knee joint after the surgery as well as using peripheral nerve blocks. 

4. Can you walk with a torn ACL?

After an ACL injury the knee is very painful and it is difficult to walk.  However, after three to four weeks once the pain and swelling starts to settle down, it is possible to walk with a completely torn ACL and with physiotherapy, strength and stability can be restored to the knee and so patients are able to walk with a torn ACL.

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