Any advice on post ACL surgery Riding?

I know it's abit off topic, but seeing as i just had my ACY completely rebuilt, I have a little time on my hands. How many of you have come back to (mostly) trail riding after an ACL procedure? I had a fantastic surgeon (Dr Peter Rork in Jackson hole), have great PT help, but few in the Med Prof ride Dirt bikes...(I know, they are smart fellers). Anyway, I would love to hear any advice, Do's, Don'ts, etc, If you have gone through this. I am getting a custom CTi brace for the affected knee, should I drop the $1500 for the remaining good knee, or go with a cheaper "preventative' brace? How long till you were back in the saddle, and how long till you were aggressive again? Thanks, rideit...

I've got some knee problems including a few bolts and screws (9 & 3) and have had the odd bit of ligament work done along with a bit of bone grafting. My advice is strengthen it and ride it when it feels good. Take it easy if it hurts.

I have never used a brace becuause in theory once it is healed after recon it should be like a bought one. Strength and condition will do better than the knee brace.

I tried on some knee braces once and felt like Robo-cop.

On the other hand I reckon that if there is something protective available buy it - as a layman I reckon the cheaper preventative brace should be fine for an uninjured knee.

Injury is character building! - apparently.

Would you gamble PERMANENTLY damaging your knee, for a few months of riding?

I wear knee braces, and wouldn't ride without them. I too have heard don't wear them if your knee is 100%. Does this mean you should not wear a helmet if your head is 100%...??? The knee brace will prevent hyperextension and those nasty movements that break ACL's.

The Pro's all wear them, should you...???

I had reconstructive surgery on both knees. My knees are so bad, artificial knee's are in my future, in < 10 years unless medical technology can replace ALL the cartilage and damaged bone surface.

I read in Germany 3 individuals had ENTIRE knee transplants from donars. One guy works for UPS, or Germany's equivelent and is working like he used to. The Doc told him take it easy and do not lift more than 40#... :)

I've had seven surgeries on one knee(acl repair and scopes to clean up) and a couple of other scopes on the other. I use a small brace just to keep things "togethter". I had the big corrective/preventive brace but was told the same thing that once your knee is back to 100% your really not doing much for it using the brace. It actually can hinder you from attaining full strength. I've found riding a bike is the answer. I ride a road bike 3 or 4 days a week and Mtb one. I ride my WR both days every weekend weather permitting, so I'm on two wheels 6 days a week. My knees feel great. In the winter I ski 80-100 days a season. Ride a bike is all I can say. The quad strength gives you stability. Good luck with the rehab :)


Dont push it! I have had 1 acl, mcl, lateral miniscus repair and 5 scopes. The best thing you can do is get it strong before riding on it. When the leg is strong you will still have to deal with the mental aspect of the injury. If you know you leg is strong the mental game will be easier to deal with. Get the other brace. CTI makes a mid range brace that works well and doesn't hurt the wallet quite so much. Let your new bike rest until you are ready. Dont forget, ski season is right around the corner!!


wear a brace

even the best ACL graft will only attain 80% of it original strength.

also dont rush it,

6 weeks post opp your knee is gonna feel very strong but your acl will be at its weakest.

your looking at around 10 to 12 months for your graft to get to maximum strength , regardless of the rehab you do

Thanks for all of the positive responses, guys, it's keeping my head up. Seems like i have to decide on a knee brace, will Asterisk paint theirs pumpkin orange? And Jeff, with any luck after an entire fall road riding, I will be able to SMOKE you up glory! Looking forward to it....

Had ACL reconstruction on my left knee in Nov 11, 1999. Rode my brand new '99 WR400 for the first time in Feb '00. The bike sat in my garage for over 6 months:( I probably should have waited a little longer before riding but it was a real problem - just a bit sore. I got a CTI2 out of insurance and wore it for riding & volleyball until I bought a pair of Asterik braces out of my own pocket. They are more comfortable than the CTI2 & a lot cheaper. I wear the Asterik on my rebuilt knee about 50/50 when I play volleyball. I wear both Asteriks when I ride. I haven't skied with the Asterik but I don't expect any problem since I have skied with the CTI2.

Search using my user name, NVR FNSH, here & on & and you'll find lots of ACL related threads.

Bottom line - do your PT and you'll be riding w/o any problems in the near future.



My son has a partial tear of his ACL. He cannot be operated on yet since he is only 17 and growth plates are still active. His orthopedist prescribed a brace, and strongly recommended he wear it for any activities. Since then, I bought him a pair of Asterisk braces, after discussing with the orthopedist, and he felt that method was even better (this ortho was a great guy, and not into lecturing on the dangers of moto). It will protect his other knee as well. I would consider going that route if your knee has been reconstructed. Talk to your doctor about it.


A little over a year ago in our local desert area (Randsburg) I got off the bike pretty good. Fortunately no ACL damage, however I broke and fractured my knee, leg and ankle. I was unable to bend my leg more than a few inches for well over a month. I was on crutches for 2 months and off the bike for 6 months... The positive was I rehabbed like crazy, took it very serious and I am now fitter than I have been in years. My riding has also improved greatly with my work outs and training. Coming back from an injury takes time and patience; I was going out of my mind sitting around doing nothing with my leg in the air just waiting it out. If you stick with a plan the outcome can improve all aspects of getting back on the bike.

For the duration, get Motocross Madness 2 or some other video game!

Hey, it ALMOST gets me through winter here in NH!

Like they all say don't rush it - funny NHKevin mentions MotoX madness 2 - when I busted up my leg it was MotoX Madness - the original!

I agree with all the points, but there are some concerns - my vet raised some pretty good points - knees are designed to hyper extend- ie just before they break - a margin for error - if the knee brace stops hyper extension isn't it just gunna snap somewhere at either end of the knee brace? Maybe without the little bit of flex or margin for error allow by the hyperextension?

With this in mind, I reckon the no helmet if your head is 100% idea is streching it a bit besides if our heads were 100% would we be riding dirtbikes?

M comment sticks - if it makes you confident wear it - it just takes so long to get ready. Knee brace is about the only thing I don't wear at the moment but I wince when I see people riding in workboots and sunglasses!

[ August 25, 2002, 02:56 AM: Message edited by: Snapper ]

I had both my knees done in the past I rode at 3 months and then stopped until five. A couple of stabs at the ground with my foot gave me flashbacks of crutches and Physical Therapy. I felt really good after 7-8 months.

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