How Long After ACL Surgery Can You Run? 

How Long After ACL Surgery Can You Run?

Torn ACL is one of the most dangerous and common ligament wound to the knee.

 People who are suffering from this injury generally need to face surgery to heal from this pain. 

Patients after ACL surgery are recommended to run during their rehabilitation period, no matter they are runners or not. 

How long after ACL surgery can you run

This Running process is considered as the foremost weight posture physical activity that the patient will start again after a long time of surgery. So, this step is considered very important which signifies that it needs special care and attention from your doctor. Every patient heals in a different way, so in this article, I will be telling how and when you can run after ACL surgery within a normal healing process.

Pre-Conditions Before You Start Running

  • You must have no knee pain at all.
  • No swelling in the knee.
  • You should be able to walk straight in a flexible way
  • You must be able to fully bend your knee.
  • Must not limp while walking.
  • Should be able to do squats normally.
  • You should be ready to walk a minimum of 20 minutes without getting any pain in the knee.

If you are not capable of fulfilling these requirements then it’s better you take a little bit more time and prepare yourself both physically and mentally. Consult with your surgeon if you think you are ready to run.


You can start walking and running at week 12; 3 times per week.

You can follow this below technique:

  • 5 minutes fast walking
  • 1-minute normal jogging
  • 4 minutes of normal walking
  • 1-minute normal jogging
  • 4 minutes of normal walking
  • 1-minute normal jogging
  • 4 minutes of normal walking
  • 5 minutes slow walking

Total For 25 Minutes Of The First Week.

Normally, with every increasing week, you can add your walking and running span by 1 minute. So typically, your routine for the 13th week will be:

  • 5 minutes fast walking
  • 2 minutes normal jogging
  • 4 minutes of normal walking
  • 2 minutes normal jogging
  • 3 minutes of normal walking
  • 2 minutes normal jogging
  • 3 minutes of normal walking
  • 5 minutes slow walking

Total For 25 Minutes Of The Second Week.

You can continue this process 3/4 times per week until you think you are ready to run 25 minutes without any break. If you don’t want to jog for 25 minutes and have your own desire then talk with your surgeon and take help. 

Is it safe to run?

Running will be totally safe after your ACL surgery but you have to be careful and follow your doctor’s advice. You must be healed enough to bear the stamina and forces of running. Remember that Running will obviously put pressure on your knees. So, you must make the decision of running only when are comfortable and ready for it. And your surgeon must agree to tell you to do so, otherwise, it will not be a wise decision.

Researchers have stated that only running is not enough to help your knees to improve and strengthen them after your operation. Technically, you will need some training before you go to the field and start running.

So, when can you run?

The specialist says that you can wish to start running within the 10th to 15th week after your ACL surgery. But it totally depends on your rehabilitation process. Reports have suggested the following statement table to help you to start running with proper guidance.




95% limb symmetry in knee flexion range of motion

Quadriceps LSI >70%

Hop test LSI >70%

Less pain than 2/10 on the VAS scale

Hamstring limb symmetry index LSI >70%

Single – leg squat or step – up a test with no increase in knee valgus

Full knee extension=0 °

Full knee extension=10 °

Full knee extension=20 °

Capability to run after ACL surgery

We all know that unfortunately we can’t predict anything or can’t give any guarantee that what will or nor will happen after surgery. And this fact goes absolutely true with the ACL surgery. Sportsmen are sometimes unlucky and they can’t get back to sports. But this is unlikely to happen all the time. Around 60-70% of patients successfully return to the field. Basically, these all healing process depends on psychological aspects and how much care you are in your recovery period.


If your main goal is to get back to running track after an ACL surgery then the important key is to follow all the pieces of advice that your surgeon is telling you to be done. Make yourself ready and put your efforts and hard work together with your therapist or gym trainer on your own. So, you are mentally and physically prepared to get on your treadmill and enjoy running within 3-5 months after your ACL surgery. Happy Running!