How Long on Crutches after ACL and Meniscus Surgery?

Recovering from a Meniscus and ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) surgery is a lengthy and excruciatingly frustrating process. Knee surgery can keep you immobilized for almost 6 weeks.

The article will discuss the things that you must know, including what to do and not do in these 6 weeks.

This article contains all the necessary details along with workouts and everything required for a speedy recovery.

How Long on Crutches after ACL and Meniscus Surgery

After the surgery, a hinged brace will be placed on your knee for almost 6 weeks with a full extension. The brace stops you from having any movement on the area that went under surgery, in this case, the knee. It is a must that the knees abstain from any form of flexion for almost 6 weeks.

There will be a partial or toe-touching weight bearing after the operation. This prevents the lower leg from rotating and prevents the meniscus from having any form of stress. After some time, the weight of the bearing will be increased gradually and prevent the knee from locking.


We have written down an approximate time so that you know from when you can avoid crutches and also have provided workouts and results that those workouts should amount to. All of this information will aid and speed your recovery. So let’s get started.

Week-1 (After Operation)

Right after the surgery, you will be on bed rest, and a nurse will be continuously be checking on you for the next 48 to 72 hours. The nurse will ensure that the ice is change and applied properly, which prevents any internal bleeding. Also, your legs will be elevated for around 15 to 20 minutes after every 120 minutes.

  • Workouts

You must abstain from any heavy resistant exercises. In your current situation, no stress should be applied to the knee. You can do straight leg raises or cycling where your injured leg is straight to avoid knee bending action. This will help decrease the pain and numbness of the injured leg.

Also, you can try bending your knee to a comfortable extent for a couple of minutes, such as 5 to 6 minutes. This will help with stopping your legs from stiffening. Patellar glides in every direction are highly recommended. This will continue to work on the motion of your soft tissues and strengthen them again.

Week 2 to 4 (Repairing)

This is the period where you will slowly regain your mobility. As your mobility gets better, the visits by the nurse will also decrease. On the 14th day, the nurse will remove the suture and do a thorough checkup. This process is continued for around 2 more weeks and will help doctors to determine your progress.

  • Workouts

Up to the 4th week, it is highly recommended that you keep on doing the exercise that you were doing previously. But now, you will probably be able to generate more force with your injured knees. You could now try standing with the operated leg with the support of crutches or a nurse.

The bearing weights on your braces should also have reached the maximum limit, and you should be able to perform a 90-degree bend with ease. Due to this exercise that you have continued for almost 4 weeks, the pain on your knee should have lessened significantly.

Week 4 to 6 ( Removing the Brace)

Finally, after a long wait for 4 to 6 weeks, you can visit the doctor so that he/she can remove the brace. This means that you can now walk with little to no use of a crutch.

  • Workouts

Continue the patellar motion. Its continuation ensures that your soft muscle tissue has grown stronger. And, unlike before, you can now increase your flexing range from 90 to 120 degrees.

You can go back to resistant leg training with the proper weight machine. Before you start training, you should ask the expert's advice. If the doctor gives the green light, then you no longer have to skip leg day. Just be sure to not jump to heavy lifting as your knee is still very sensitive, and taking it slow is essential.

Moreover, you can go swimming once your portal has closed up completely, and you can also go cycling. Avoid using the stair machine, though, because it will put extra stress on your knee, and that might cause discomfort.


The article has shown you all the necessary details for more efficient progress. Every step that has been written in the article is the procedure that most doctors recommend.

It is very important to avoid any type of high stress for almost 16 months. You can do workouts, but lifting heavy objects is something doctors would recommend to avoid. Now you can finally walk, and we hope that from now on, you will take care of your health and safety even more. Good luck!

  • Updated March 28, 2020
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