Tissue Healing Times and Wound Healing Phases

The various tissues in the human body can heal at different rates affecting tissue healing timelines. The results of healing are also varied, depending on the tissue involved and the severity of the injury or wound. For example, most tissues in the body heal largely due to the replacement of damaged tissues with scar tissue. As a result, even though these tissues are ‘healed’, they are not quite the same as they were pre-injury. Bones, however, heal by replacing the damaged tissues with actual new bone. After a bone break heals, the bone may be just as strong as before, or even stronger.

There are many factors that can affect the healing time for a damaged tissue. These factors can include the following, among others:

  • extent of damage
  • age of the injured the person
  • the general health and nutrition of the injured person
  • available blood supply to the area
  • post-injury care
  • medications
Tissue Wound Healing Phases Timeline
By Mikael Häggström, used with permission. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Table of Tissue Healing Timelines

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) / Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness

  • 0-3 days

Muscle Strain

  • Grade 1: 1 – 3 weeks
  • Grade 2: 1 week – 3 months
  • Grade 3: 4 weeks – 6 months

Tendon Injury

  • 4 – 6 weeks

Ligament Sprain

  • Grade 1: 4 – 10 days
  • Grade 2: 3 weeks – 6 months
  • Grade 3: 5 weeks – 8 months

Ligament Graft

  • 2 months – 2 years


  • 5 weeks – 3 months

Cartilage (articular)

  • 2 months – 2 years


  • 1 – 3 mm/day

You may also be interested in: Joint Capsular Patterns

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