Recovering from a knee injury can be devastating and can take a toll on you mentally and physically. I myself have suffered from two knee injuries playing football so I can personally attest to how traumatizing these injuries can be. However, if you incorporate these tips below, you can bounce back from your knee injury and/or surgery even stronger and make a speedy recovery to your sport.
Step 1: If you have had surgery, upon the completion of your surgery, you want to start working on flexibility and the breaking down of the scar tissue that has formed as a result of your surgery. The surgery was invasive and has caused your leg functions to be shut down. You have to gain that flexibility back immediately and break down the scar tissue. This is done through flexibility training and working on the range of motion in your knee. You can break down the scar tissue through massaging the scar tissue area.
Step 2: If possible, you want to utilize ultrasound treatments. This will help get oxygen rich blood to the injured knee and help it heal and recover faster.
Step 3: It is also important to keep the knee compressed to avoid injuring it again and to localize the injury and stabilize your knee. This should be done until your knee is strong enough to be supported on it's own. You may even need a knee brace in the initial stages to support your knee.
Step 4: Ice is critical to your rehabilitation of your knee. Ice will help keep the swelling down and also speed up the recovery process. It is best to use an ice wrap 3-5 times a day for 20-30 minutes on the injured knee.
Step 5: Once you start back to training, you need to concentrate on improving and regaining the strength back in your hamstring and quadricep of your injured knee. These two muscles control the knee and the stronger they are, the less likely you are to re-injure your knee. Your doctor will probably prescribe you exercises to do to strengthen these muscles. However, I suggest if you can, to see a sports trainer or therapist. They can give you exercises and training program designed for athletes.
Step 6: Finally, you should start jogging and performing sports related movements specific to your sport when time permits. Don't overdo it in the beginning. Make sure you take extra time to warm up and stretch the muscles arround your knee. You will want to be cleared by your doctor before continuing with this step. Continue to perform the steps above until you are 100% and even then you want to still incorporate the strengthening exercises to keep the muscles around your knee strong.
In conclusion, make sure you challenge yourself and push yourself when you are rehabbing your knee back to full health and work with your doctor to ensure a speedy recovery. Good Luck!