Is Downhill Walking Good For You After Anterior Cruciate Surgery?

Is Downhill Walking Good For You After Anterior Cruciate Surgery?

Is Downhill Walking Good For You After Anterior Cruciate Surgery?

After an anterior cruciate surgery there is a lot to consider.

One is how will your ACL graft do when walking down hill.

Will walking down hill rule to injuring your ACL again?

Keep reading to find out.

Downhill Walking After ACL Surgery

Post anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction patients are recommended to include in accelerated rehabilitation programs consisting of immediate extension of the knee joint and complete weight bearing. The protocol aims to limited knee extension, delayed muscle strength recovery, anterior knee pain and knee stiffness.

Disturbed proprioception occurring after an ACL injury and reconstruction can cause impairment or weakness of muscles stabilizing the involved knee joint. Because downhill walking can place a lot of stress on the involved knee joint, with as much as 7 to 8.5 times the body weight, it must consequently be avoided during the postoperative period to protect the ACL reconstruction. With knee shear forces exceeding the strength of ACL graft fixations, stabilization training of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, the main stabilizing muscles of the knee, is basic. The rehabilitation course of action usually employs complete range of motion exercises first, followed by muscle strengthening, then balance and coordination exercises.

5 meaningful Points to Remember When Performing Downhill Walking After ACL Surgery

1) The tibiofemoral shear force was 1.2 times body weight for male and 1.7 times body weight for female subjects.

2) The tibiofemoral compressive force was 7 times for males and 8.5 times body weight for females.

3) Knee joint shear force was 1000 N for a 70-kg person which is greater than the 200 to 500 N strength that is the typical strength of a typical ACL graft fixation.

4) There is an increase in hamstring and gastrocnemius muscle activity in order to increase the stability of the tibiofemoral joint.

5) Downhill walking should be avoided after ACL surgery especially during postoperative phase in order to protect the ACL graft.


Kuster M, Wood GA, Sakurai S, Blatter G. (1994). Downhill walking: a stressful task for the anterior cruciate ligament? Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 1994 March; 2(1): 2-7.

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