Two of the most common questions after an ACL surgery are:

  1. How long will my scar take to heal?
  2. Is there anything I can do to make it heal faster?

You just finished your ACL surgery. Things are getting better, you're moving around more, pain is decreasing but you have this big ugly scar on your knee and you want it to go away! Is there anything you can do? The type of surgery you had actually can affect the type of scarring you'll have. The smaller the incision, this is the cut that your surgeon made on your knee for the surgery, the smaller your scar is going to be. Wound management is also incredibly important. We wrote a related blog about wound management after ACL surgery here. Directly managing and treating any infection can impact how well your scar is going to heal. Another thing to look out for is hypertrophic scarring. Hypertrophic scars are more thick, raised and red scars that usually appear around the three-month mark following ACL surgery.

Now the age-old question can I buy any ointments or creams to reduce my scarring? Unfortunately the evidence behind a lot of the products out there is quite poor and don't really back up their use. So will your scar ever completely go away? The answer is no. An ACL scar will not completely disappear however, following the steps mentioned above will help you to improve and ensure the best healing possible for your incision.

Watch Aleesha Uthup, a physical therapist, talk about scar healing after ACL surgery below.

Aleesha Uthup discusses what you can do to manage your scar after an ACL surgery

Keep in mind that most of your scar healing will happen naturally and that lotions and ointments are unlikely to help after ACL surgery. Infact while the ACL scar is healing it is very important not to put anything in or around the incision to avoid infection. Learn about some common complications after surgery and how to avoid them in this blog.

Here is Aleesha's full blog on ACL scar healing.

Read all 7 of Aleesha's blogs here!

If you are recovering from an ACL injury or ACL surgery and want to optimize your recovery download our Curovate physical therapy app from the links below. Curovate provides daily video guided strengthening exercises, the ability to measure knee range of motion, in-app chat with a physical therapist to answer your surgery and recovery questions and educational blogs and webinars.

If you need further customized assistance during your ACL recovery check out our Virtual Physical Therapy page to book your 1-on-1 video session with a physical therapist.

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Other Blogs Related to ACL Injury


1. Barzegar H, Mohseni M, Sedighi A, Shahsavari A, Mohammadpour H. Arthroscopically-assisted vs. open surgery in repairing anterior cruciate ligament avulsion. Pak J Biol Sci. 2011 Apr 15;14(8):496-501.

2. Biau DJ, Katsahian S, Kartus J, Harilainen A, Feller JA, Sajovic M, Ejerhed L, Zaffagnini S, Rรถpke M, Nizard R. Patellar tendon versus hamstring tendon autografts for reconstructing the anterior cruciate ligament: a meta-analysis based on individual patient data. Am J Sports Med. 2009 Dec;37(12):2470-8.

3. Son D, Harijan A. Overview of surgical scar prevention and management. J Korean Med Sci. 2014 Jun;29(6):751-7.

4. Lee Peng G, Kerolus JL. Management of Surgical Scars. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2019 Nov;27(4):513-517.

5. Tanaydin V, Conings J, Malyar M, van der Hulst R, van der Lei B. The Role of Topical Vitamin E in Scar Management: A Systematic Review. Aesthet Surg J. 2016 Sep;36(8):959-65.