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Should You Avoid Walking On A Torn ACL?

Should You Avoid Walking On A Torn ACL?

The appropriate approach to walking on a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) depends on the severity of the injury, the individual’s level of pain, and the treatment plan recommended by a healthcare provider.

Here are some general considerations…

  • Immediate After Injury – In the immediate aftermath of an ACL tear, walking may be painful and difficult. You may experience significant instability and discomfort in the knee. At this stage, rest and avoiding weight-bearing on the injured leg is often recommended.
  • Initial Treatment – After the diagnosis of an ACL tear, if surgery is recommended, individuals typically undergo a period of pre-surgery care to reduce swelling and regain some strength and range of motion. Weight-bearing and walking during this phase are generally limited, and crutches or a brace may be used for support.
  • Post-Surgery Rehabilitation – After ACL reconstruction surgery, walking is part of the rehabilitation process. Your healthcare provider and physical therapist will provide guidance on when and how to begin walking with the use of crutches and a brace. Early walking helps prevent muscle atrophy and promotes circulation while protecting the surgical site. The initial focus is on achieving a normal walking gait and gait training.
  • Partial Weight-Bearing – Depending on the surgical technique and individual circumstances, you may be advised to use crutches and partial weight-bearing during the initial stages of rehabilitation, gradually transitioning to full weight-bearing as the knee heals.
  • Physical Therapy – Physical therapy is an integral part of ACL rehabilitation. A physical therapist will guide you through exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve stability. Proper gait training and walking techniques are taught to minimize stress on the knee.
  • Bracing – A knee brace may be used as part of the rehabilitation process to provide additional support and stability while walking.

The approach to walking with a torn ACL should be carried out under the guidance of healthcare professionals. They will assess the specific injury, the surgical procedure (if applicable), and the individual’s overall condition to determine the most appropriate timeline and guidelines for walking.

In some cases, individuals with successful ACL reconstruction and rehabilitation may return to normal walking and even high-impact activities. The process requires time, patience, and adherence to the recommended rehabilitation program to ensure the best possible outcome. Always consult with your healthcare provider or orthopedic surgeon for personalized guidance based on your specific situation.