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luke asked...

I am recovering from ACL reconstruction, post op 5 months. My question is can I go rock climbing.

Hey. I am recovering from ACL reconstruction, post op 5 months. My question is can I go rock climbing.

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The answer

Thank you for contacting us Luke, we're glad to hear you are recovering well from the ACL Reconstruction, to the point that you are looking into getting back to your exercise routine. The ACL (Anterior Cruciate ligament) is a ligament linking the bones in your thigh and your shin in your knee. It is placed on the inside of the knee and provides stability to the whole joint as well as assisting with some movements.

The general consensus for ACL reconstruction is that it takes an average of 5 to 6 months to reach a point where you can start getting back into regular exercise. In your specific case it will depend on the extent of the damage done, how well your recovery is going and what type of rock climbing you do.

Movements such as heel hooking, high stepping or knee barring will be more difficult to perform and should be left until closer to the year mark post surgery. Bouldering should also be avoided as, although indoors gyms provide ladders at the end of the route, falling could prove too much for the newly reconstructed ACL.

For the time being it’s important that you pace yourself to allow enough time for your ACL to recover. Keep doing your exercises as per physiotherapy recommendation and slowly start executing simple routes.

Please find further info in the links below:

Repair to tendon - NHS

Climbing - Injury proof knees

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses