Your surgeon will review any complications from the surgery and what can happen afterwards. From a recent update on failed ACL repairs, we can tell you the most common pitfalls after primary (first) ACL repairs.
Up to one-third of all ACL repairs result in stiffness with loss of joint motion. This can occur because of scarring inside the joint from being immobilized too long, infection, or for unknown reasons.
Loss of flexion isn't as much of a problem as loss of knee extension. If you can't straighten your knee all the way, you may end up limping when you walk. This is a real problem if you happen to be an athlete because it interferes with running as well.
Rehab is essential to regain muscle strength and motor control needed for normal motion and activity. If the muscles don't fire at the right time, you may not be able to respond fast enough to sudden movements or stress on the joint. You could end up reinjurying the ACL repair.
Fortunately, failures of ACL repairs donít happen very often. If you follow your surgeon's instructions and complete your rehab program from start to finish, you will likely have a very good final outcome. Most people are able to return to their full preinjury level of activity, including recreational or competitive sports.