Numbness is a normal side effect after ACL surgery. Why this happens will depend on a couple of factors specific to your ACL reconstruction. It can depend on the type of medication that you are given during your surgery and what type of ACL graph you receive. If you got a hamstring tendon autograft you are at a higher risk of feeling numbness. If there was damage to the nerve during surgery it may cause numbness or tingling. Damage can be permanent or temporary. Most people feel numbness in a little circle near the incision site or anywhere from their inner knee down to their ankle. Most people will start to feel this numbness decrease about 6 to 12 months after surgery but, in rare circumstances, it can be permanent.

This video answers the question "why does my knee feel numb and tingly after an ACL surgery?" Physical Therapy student, Lauren, explains how medications, type of ACL surgery graft, and nerve injury during surgery can affect this feeling. This numbness usually goes away within 6-12 months after ACL surgery. Usually the numbness is nothing to worry about and is perfectly normal.

Watch Lauren Youssef, physical therapy student, explain why you may have numbness and tingling after an ACL surgery. 

Read the full blog that discusses the reasons your knee feels numb and tingly after ACL surgery here.

Read all 5 of Lauren's blogs here!

An easy and effective way to receive video guidance, similar to this video, after your ACL surgery is to use the Curovate physical therapy app for ACL recovery. 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. Find our iOS and Android app for your recovery by clicking the links below.

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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2. Inderhaug, E., Strand, T., & Solheim, E. (2015). The impact of sensory deficits after harvesting hamstrings autograft for ACL reconstruction. Knee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA, 23(4), 1060–1064.

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4. Nerve Blocks For Surgery - Yale Medicine. (2020, July 02). Retrieved from

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6. Sanders, B., Rolf, R., McClelland, W., & Xerogeanes, J. (2007). Prevalence of saphenous nerve injury after autogenous hamstring harvest: an anatomic and clinical study of sartorial branch injury. Arthroscopy : the journal of arthroscopic & related surgery : official publication of the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the International Arthroscopy Association, 23(9), 956–963.

7. Wang, H. D., Zhang, H., Wang, T. R., Zhang, W. F., Wang, F. S., & Zhang, Y. Z. (2018). Comparison of clinical outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with hamstring tendon autograft versus soft-tissue allograft: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. International journal of surgery (London, England), 56, 174–183.