Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are common among athletes and active individuals. The ACL is one of the major ligaments in the knee joint and is responsible for providing stability during movement. When the ACL is torn, it can result in pain, instability, and difficulty performing activities that require bending, twisting, or pivoting.
ACL reconstruction surgery is a standard treatment option for those with a torn ACL. After surgery, patients are often eager to return to their feet and resume normal activities. However, certain precautions and guidelines must be followed to ensure a successful recovery.
One of the most common questions patients ask after ACL surgery is whether or not they can walk five days after the procedure. This article will explore the answer to that question and provide some helpful tips for a smooth recovery.
The Importance of Rest and Recovery
Before we dive into whether or not you can walk five days after ACL surgery, it’s essential to understand the importance of rest and recovery. After ACL surgery, your body needs time to heal and recover. Attempting to walk or put weight on your knee too soon can delay the healing process and potentially cause further damage to the knee joint.
In the first few days after surgery, you’ll likely experience pain, swelling, and limited mobility in your knee. Resting as much as possible during this time and elevating your leg to reduce swelling is essential. Your doctor will likely recommend crutches or a knee scooter to help you move around while keeping weight off your injured knee.
It’s also important to follow your doctor’s medication and wound care instructions. Keeping the surgical incision clean and dry can help prevent infection and promote healing.
When Can I Walk After ACL Surgery?
The timeline for walking after ACL surgery varies depending on several factors, including your type of surgery and your individual recovery process. Most patients can generally walk with crutches or a knee scooter within the first few days after surgery. However, walking without assistance typically takes longer.
Your doctor will likely schedule a follow-up appointment within the first week after surgery to assess your progress and determine when it’s safe to start putting weight on your injured knee. This may involve a physical examination or imaging tests to evaluate the healing process.
In most cases, patients can walk with assistance and put weight on their injured knee within the first two to six weeks after surgery. However, this timeline may vary depending on the patient and surgery.
Tips for Walking After ACL Surgery
If your doctor has given you the green light to start walking after ACL surgery, there are some essential tips to keep in mind to ensure a smooth recovery:
- Start Slow: It’s essential to start slowly and gradually increase your walking distance and speed. This will help prevent further injury and allow your knee to adjust to the added weight and pressure.
- Use Proper Footwear: Wearing supportive and comfortable footwear can help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls or slips.
- Use Supportive Devices: Besides crutches or a knee scooter, your doctor may recommend using a brace or compression sleeve to support your knee while walking.
- Practice Good Posture: Maintaining a good posture while walking can help reduce stress on your knee joint and improve overall alignment.
- Listen to Your Body: Taking a break and rest is essential if you experience pain or discomfort while walking. Pushing through pain can delay the healing process and potentially cause further damage.
Your doctor will be PO’d. You would tear out everything that he grafted in or repaired. Your bones need time to heal around the new graft he just “plugged” in. If you glued two things together, you wouldn’t test them immediately, you’d let them sit and dry. Your bones need the same courtesy but more like weeks and months.
Your physical therapist will tell you when you can put weight on it, when to start running and when to jump. Technically the graft will be strong right off the bat but not THAT strong. I remember waking up after surgery and my doctor had me do leg lifts and everything felt solid but, he still didn’t want me walking on it. I saw my therapist two days later and the bastard had me stand on it.
It gets better every day but it is still a long process. Although I was jogging in a month, I think it wasn’t until a year that I realized I was completely healed and it took two years before I fully trusted my knee and forgot that I ever had laxity.
In conclusion, walking after ACL surgery is a gradual process that requires patience and following your doctor’s instructions. While walking without assistance or putting weight on your injured knee too soon may be tempting, doing so can delay your recovery and potentially cause further injury. It’s important to start slowly and gradually increase your walking distance and speed while also using supportive devices and practicing good posture. If you experience pain or discomfort while walking, taking a break and resting is essential.
Remember to always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercises or activities after ACL surgery. With proper rest, recovery, and guidance from your medical team, you can safely and effectively regain mobility and return to normal activities after ACL surgery in Singapore.