ACL Surgery Recovery – Week 1 Update

So the first week is over and I have just had my first physio appointment after being snowed in for my previously scheduled appointment. All in all I am happy with how I felt immediately out of surgery but didn’t achieve my #1 goal of having 0 degree flexion, I was just short at 4 degree. This post summarizes where I am at compared to my goals of flexion, pain, weight bearing, walking, strength and balance. Along with a few other findings from this first week of ACl surgery recovery. 

I created goals for myself in the ACL Surgery Recovery Timeline I hope to follow. Here is how I have done compared to those goals.


  • Goal – 0 degree
  • Actual – 4 degrees


  • Goal – manage pain on regular schedule
  • Actual – successful – reasonably low pain throughout first week

Weight Bearing

  • Goal – 100% weight bearing
  • Actual – 100% weight bearing

Walking First Week After ACL Surgery

  • Goal – Walking at the end of week 1 without crutches
  • Actual – Walking without limp when I focus on it. I still have a limp when I am just getting around as easily as possible, it takes effort to have no limp. As you can see in the video below I was able to walk with a minimal limp 4 days post surgery.

Strength and Balance

Areas for Improvement

  • Flexion – need to get to 0 degrees shortly
  • Sleep – I haven’t been great about getting a regular 8 hrs as I have been busy working on this project
  • Hygiene :) – as instructed by my wife – ….the week long beard has to go and she continues to inform me of two things “wet ones” or baby wipes don’t count as a shower and also you cant smell yourself.

Overall I cant say its been enjoyable as the pain and swelling hasn’t allowed me to sit at a desk for very long and daytime TV is far worse than the knee pain. The main surprise for me in the first week is our dog and how much fun she has been, a month before surgery I completed the fence around our backyard and watching her terrorize birds and squirrels is way better than a. Dr. Phil or b. Sportscenter for the 3rd time that day.

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

Click Here to see the exercises


  1. thats perfect, i watched sportscenter twice today, had my surgery yesterday, figured i would surf a little and found your site

  2. Approaching my one week from surgery. Thanks to your website, I’ve been focused on the rehab exercises. Been able to reach 105 degrees on the OptiFlex machine. Able to walk with out a crutch, but it still hurts. Tried going to work yesterday, but had to come home because I could not get in a comfortable position and knee really ached. Taking just enough pain meds to take the edge off, but not too much to make me loopy. All in all recovery is going better this time. Hopefully the doctor feels the same way tomorrow.

  3. I’m one week out of ACL surgery today. Thanks for your website–I think I’ve been over every word at least twice in the past 2 weeks. It’s been especially interesting to read about all of the different recovery paths.

  4. Great website, Jon. Thanks. Im 39 y/ o, tore acl skiing about 6 weeks ago. Now at 2 days post op and doing great. Think I can stop pain meds today, getting around on one crutch already. Keys to success so far 1. Ice machine, almost continuous, and 2. 12 hours/ day in cpm. Ive got limited swelling as a result and full extension. Having trouble with flexion but thats to be expected. I was scared going in but confident in my surgeon and knew my quads were in pretty good shape pre surgery. Advice to everyone – think positive and RICE as required! Good luck all