Walking after acl surgery – 5 days after surgery

Here is an update for today, I have just recorded a video of me walking on Sunday night after I had surgery on Wed afternoon.

There are some clips on youtube of people walking sooner however I am happy with being able to walk at day 4 or 5 depends how you count and not have a significant limp.

“Walking the first week after ACL Surgery “

Was one of my goals I had written in the ACL Surgery Recovery Timeline

After walking any distance now though my knee does get sore and I need to ice it. I dont want to push the ACL reconstruction rehab too hard so I am taking it easy on walking and just doing it as part of my regular ACL Surgery Recovery Exercises.

Walking 4 days after ACL surgery

Walking on Day 4 after ACL Surgery

The Top 5 At Home Exercises
I did that helped get me walking 4 days after surgery

Click Here to see the exercises


  1. Thank you for posting this! Turns out we had ACL reconstruction on the same day, but I’m not walking quite as normally as you. My surgeon told me today that I shouldn’t even be walking two blocks. :S But I thought I was supposed to try walking normally as soon as I could.

  2. Dec 8 was a popular day for knee reconstruction :). Although I am now walking close to normal, when I focus on it, I havent been able to walk very far without getting tired and losing form. My physio explained it to me that it is better to walk short distance, with as little limp as possible, many times throughout the day than to go for a longer walk and limp to make it through. So your total walking distance over the day can be longer than 2 blocks but keep each individual walk short.

  3. How is that possible? That’s just awesome that you can walk in just 4 days :))
    Did they use the patella or the arthroscopy thing? Do you still need crutches?

  4. Jon Haver says:

    Migs, Thanks. I think the biggest reason I was able to walk early was due to using the hamstring from the opposite leg and the surgeons skills. Other than that I did the range of motion exercises shown here a lot! http://www.aclsurgeryrecovery.net/23/top-5-knee-range-of-motion-exercises-to-do-during-acl-surgery-recovery/. No more crutches for me, they went away for good the day this video was shot day 5.

  5. The same was done on my knee. They told me that they folded the hamstring and it was gonna be my new acl or something. Have you started on your therapy? I just wanna start walking without crutches again.

  6. Oh and can you now bend your knee without any pain? I still can’t bear some weight on it :(

  7. Jon Haver says:

    Migs, I have started on physio, its all the exercises that I am showing here along with some muscle stimulation and ultrasound. There is still pain when I bend my knee to its extremes. How is your physio going? Good luck with your recovery!

  8. Hi,
    thanks so much for the videos! I am day 5 of ACL surgery and meniscus repair and am doing ok. Still swelling and cannot walk without crutches. Please tell me how is it you are walking and able to bend down to the floor to do those excercises in week 1?? Thanks!

  9. Jon Haver says:

    Laurie, a lot of the initial recovery has nothing to do with the patient its a lot about the injury and surgery. To be walking in week 1 there really isnt any secret I just followed instructions and tried to document everything I was doing on this site.

  10. Had ACL surgery on Jan 12th for 2nd time. THe first time the doctor used hamstring and it was much easier recovery – this time the patellar was used and I am having much more difficult time. Today is first day of pt.

  11. Jon Haver says:

    Good luck with your physio! Let us know what your favorite exercise is!

  12. Jen Conway says:

    Having had them use the patella also , I was told
    By my PT to expect to walk without crutches after a week is totally unreasonable.

  13. Jamie D. says:

    I had my surgery Tuesday late morning. Today is Sunday and it is 6 pm. There is not a chance in hell I can walk as you are in the video! I am still in extreme pain. I take my medication regularly. If i am laying down and get up there is extreme pain that rushes to the incision sites. IS this normal? i have my post op appt tomorrow morning. Thanks for this.

  14. Jon Haver says:

    I had similar pain…rushing to the incision marks. What did the surgeon have to say at the post op?

  15. BudFoster says:

    Just an observation. Yesterday at 8:30AM, less than 20 hours ago, I had arthroscopic knee surgery for the second time. I can feel the area but have had no pain. I have taken no medication since I woke up in the recovery room. Mine was just a meniscus repair and some arthritis smoothed off. The first time I had it, six years ago, I had a lot of pain. I am tempted to walk without the crutches but I can’t remember what they told me post-op. It’s 3:15AM so I can’t call my doc yet.

  16. it has been 5 days since reconstruction, and i feel like i can move my leg very well and i bear a good amount of weight on it without pain as i walk on crutches… isnt it dangerous for the graft to walk this early, even though i know i can? the swelling is almost gone too…

  17. Hi,
    I had my surgery thursday and have recently started walking with one crutch but leg is still swollen and my doctor said I will be walking into my post op appt Friday with no limp. I walk at a slow pace and sometimes I feel pain. I can’t lift my knee due to swelling or bend It. Any tips on walker any sooner or what you did to begin walking easier without crutches?

  18. hamstring surgerys have horrible results, at least in my friend circle….should of gone with the petellar tendon graft

  19. Had my ACL repalced on Jan. 15th. Had no pain and starting walking on day 3, I have never used the crutches and I only used the brace for the 1st day. My Knee almost feels normal and I actually have been on an Elipital machine on the 4th and 5th day although at slower speeds and a shortened time. I had a Cadaver for my replacement and I know I am lucky not to have any pain or swelling. I guess it all depends on a lot of factors on how long a recovery takes. I will go to PT after I meet my Doctor for my follow up on the 22nd. Not sure what they can do as I have my full range of motion as well. I was leary about walking and thinking I could break the ligament but so far, so good.

  20. RosieBella says:

    Today’s Tuesday, 1/22/13. Going in for surgery on Thursday, 1/24/13. I get that there will be a lot of pain, and have no issues about taking pain meds when there is pain. Not really worried about the surgery. Just after. Sprained MCL, getting the meniscus trimmed, and a torn ACL mended with cadaver part. (Did I get that right? Kinda get it?) After surgery is what I’m most worried about. Day 1 & 2: bed & RICE, and pain meds. Day 3,4,5, etc: what to expect, in a roundabout kind of way? Crutches, using a cane, walking, pain, meds, wine to make it better? When? What’s going to happen to me! :)