After acl surgery we are all very interested in getting back to our regular lives. The biggest recovery milestone blocking many of us from our normal lives is being able to walk. This article is to help you understand how long after ACL surgery it will be until you are able to walk again.
After acl surgery you will only be able to walk on crutches resulting in you having a difficult time taking care of yourself. Because of how much not being able to walk affects peoples lives/livelihoods the question of when will they be able to walk after surgery is one of the first ones they ask.
Before I can help answer the question I should define what qualifies as walking… For the purposes of this question walking is when you are able to move on a smooth surface at slow/moderate speed with a minimal limp for short periods of time.
So what is the typical timeline for being able to walk after acl surgery?
The short answer is it can be anywhere from 1-6 weeks until you are walking. For me I was walking 5 days after surgery as shown in the video below. But, like everything else with surgery your recovery time depends on a lot of factors, severity of injury, type of surgery and your age.
After my first surgery I was not able to walk for about 1.5 weeks. One of the biggest reasons was that at the time I was living in a small apartment going to university and had very little reason to move around so I don’t believe I tried walking enough.
6 Tips To Be Able To Walk sooner after acl surgery
1. Don’t Limp
If you limp after surgery when you start to walk it will actually delay you ability to be able to walk normally. It takes work to re-train your muscles to walk normally so its best to start right away and not limp.
2. Don’t over-commit
Often people are both in a hurry to recover and in a hurry to get out of the house. This combination can lead to problems where people commit to going places where they will be having to walk a lot ie shopping or to a restraunt before they are actually ready to walk that distance. Stay patien and dont over-commit.
Start slow and try often. The longer until you start practicing slowly the longer it will be until you can walk.
4. Start Weight Bearing
Training you leg muscles to be able to walk again is important. To start these muscles being activated its a good idea to start putting weight on your injured leg shortly after surgery.
5. Improve Knee Range of Motion
On of the limitations to being able to walk is whether or not your knees range of motion is adequate. Here are some great exercies to improve your knees range of motion.
6. Reduce Swelling
Similar to your knees range of motion, if you dont reduce the swelling enough your overall recovery time will be slower. So make sure to put in effort to reduce swelling. Here is my favorite technique for reducing swelling.
The Top 5 At Home Exercises
I did that helped get me walking 4 days after surgery
Click Here to see the exercises