Should I have my ACL repaired right away or is it safe to wait until the end of the summer when I have more free time to rehabilitate?

Once you have determined that repair of your torn ACL is necessary, timing of the knee surgery is one of the first factors to consider. There is evidence supporting early surgery, as it may lead to improved functional outcomes and decreased rate of future meniscal damage. However, delayed surgery can allow for potential avoidance of surgery all together if the individual is satisfied with their knee function. In one study 50 per cent of those who opted to delay reconstructive repair of their ACL later decided to never have the surgery as they were satisfied with their functional outcomes.

There is sold evidence supporting a delay in surgery in order to reach specific preoperative strength and range of motion goals. Preoperative strength of at least 90 per cent of the quadriceps, is correlated with improved long term functional outcomes. Preoperative swelling and limitations in range of motion are correlated with increased arthrofibrosis after surgery. Thus, a preoperative rehabilitation program focusing on decreased swelling, improved range of motion and quadriceps strength is beneficial. If you can focus on preoperative rehabilitation it is safe to delay surgery.