ACL Reconstruction – Can I Start Running?

Running, Knee, Uncategorized, Blog, / By Koh Peh Chia

Continuing on from last week’s blog, another common question we get when it comes to the rehabilitation of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is,  “when can I start running again?”. However, the answer we always give is, “it depends”. In this week’s blog, we share more about why we give this answer.  Additionally, we touch on how your ability to run is affected by your progress of recovery.

How Long Does It Take To Run Again?

In a 2018 study by Rambaud, et al they found that the most common time frame that has been given before patients can start running is 12 weeks. Time is an important factor when it comes to recovery from an ACL reconstruction.  It allows the healing of the graft and other components of the new ligament.  However, while time is a critical factor, this does not take into account the patient’s individual physical and mental state to start running again.

Thus, it is best practice that your physiotherapist also use performance based criteria to indicate your readiness to run. Furthermore, only 20% of studies used criteria based guidelines to allow people to run. However, another study in 2016 suggests that those who returned to sport without passing a selection of tests were 4 times more likely to re-rupture their ACL. Therefore, it is important that you are able to pass certain physical tests before you can be deemed ready to run.

What Are the Criteria?

Along with the 12 week time factor, the following criteria is suggested by the 2018 study. Do take note that these are minimum standards and your physiotherapist may have further tests.

Your ACL rehabilitation journey is an individual and unique process. The time of recovery is dependent on many factors and time should not just be the only one. It is important to have further criteria to minimize the risk of re-rupturing your ACL.

If you have any more questions or would like our physiotherapists to assess or treat your ACL injury, feel free to drop us a question, talk to us, or fill in the form below. Do check out our Instagram page too.

Winsen Citra

Principal Physiotherapist

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Gardiner, J. (2020). Return to Running after ACL surgery. Retrieved from

Hughes, M. ACL Rehab – When Can I Run Again?. Retrieved from

Rambaud, A. J., Ardern, C. L., Thoreux, P., Regnaux, J., & Edouard, P. (2018). Criteria for return to running after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: A scoping review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 52(22)

Kyritsis, P., Bahr, R., Landreau, P., Miladi, R., & Witvrouw, E. (2016). Likelihood of ACL Graft rupture: Not meeting six clinical discharge criteria before return to sport is associated with a four times greater risk of rupture. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(15)