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I racked out my left knee but I don't know why. - Page 2

post #31 of 44

I'm a full week post op. As I wrote before I had a really rough time for a good 3 days post op. However, thanks to a quick switch from percocet to hydrocodone on Tuesday (monday was the surgery) I can't say enough about how much of a life saver it was. Percocet didn't really help with the pain, but it would have backed me up and made me sick all week. I bought something for being backed up before I had the surgery, and I strongly recommend this. I had no pain or issues with backup. Hydrocodone doesn't back me up, but it did  help with the pain. I stopped taking them a few days ago and switched to ibuprofen, seems to do enough. I had my knee drained on Tuesday 3/20 the day after my surgery and will most likely have it drained again tomorrow at the follow up with my doctor. He will also be removing the staples that are keeping my wound healed. 


Little differences between my doctors post op and afski722

I was given the imobilizer post op, but the following day I was given a different brace that allowed for full range of motion.



This was horrible at first because my knee would bend lifting my leg up and down while my knee was still very tender and painful. However, now i'm wearing the brace and walking around without crutches, though with a limp. I'm guessing that the doctor will be telling me to ditch the brace tomorrow.


I went to PT on Friday, my surgery was Monday. They started me doing alot of the same things I was doing pre-op and I've been doing them 3 times a day. I can't say enough about how much it helps and makes the knee feel better and stronger. Hoping on Wednesday they clear me to use the stationary bike...and clear me for fun with my lady haha. 


Everyone is telling me I'm crazy for saying this won't keep me from next season. I think this entire ordeal will just teach me how to strengthen my knee in the gym and at home and gave me a much needed wake up call that I am not invisible on the slopes. 


Procreator - It sounds like you're a bit older than I am (me being 23). You should talk to your doctor about the cadaver graft. Finndog just had his acl replaced via this method and could give you a little information about it. The huge advantage is that a ton of the pain of reconstruction is gone because there is no donor site on your body that will be killing you. The most painful part of recovery has been the pain from where they took my hamstring. So get it from someone who's done using it. 


Cirquerider - Thanks for your support! 


Cheers Everyone 



Edited by bsummmit - 3/26/12 at 9:27am
post #32 of 44

Hey hope this goes quickly.  I'm getting a bit concerned because my right knee remains unstable and painful with slightly limited ROM (pain at full extension and full flexion and twisting is a bad idea) but on the other hand, it looks a damn site better than yours. eek.gif  Still you'd think after 3-weeks it wouldn't even be a second thought.


I'm betting you'll be back by Christmas.  Good work.

post #33 of 44

It looks a bit nasty, hope to be getting those staples out today. 


post #34 of 44
Thread Starter 

Brendan, do these incisions include the donation? If so it's allot better looking than I would have expected, in a few months it will hardly be noticable.


I will look into the idea of a donation from a cadaver, I doubt that the waiting list would be very long and there is enough material from one doner to fix allot of ACL's. Just hope I don't get a doner who's like Ted Bundy or Charlie Manson, if I adopt the characteristics of the doner my skiing could get very aggresive. devil.gif



post #35 of 44

I did my own patellar and honestly the pain as never been that bad.  I'm at 2.5 weeks and the incision is healing very nice.  I never had those staples, just some internal stitches that dissolve.  It looks good and as soon as my leg hair grows back, it won't even be noticable.


I started driving at 10 days out (with it being my right knee and my driving foot).  I probably could've driven on Day 8 or 9 to a limited extend but I didn't really feel like it.  I went back to work on Day 12.


I started going back to the gym on Day 14 which felt great, even if just riding the bike easy, walking on the treadmill, and doing upper body stuff. 


Today at Day 19 I went on about a 3 mile walk around town.  Felt great.


Yeah, this is not as bad as I originally thought it would be.  Definetely slowing me down from my normal super-active lifestyle but not impacted day-to-day life.  Actually is is kind of nice to have some downtime, I know I will certainly appreciate it more when I'm back.  I'm certainly not missing any spring skiing this year with this weird winter.

post #36 of 44

I'll be at 2 weeks post op tomorrow. My healing isn't going as well as I'd like. My range of motion is still very poor and i am having trouble straightening out my leg fully, so that if i had my hand under the knee I could push down. I'm hardly able to reach my hand. I have not had my quad firing on its own yet either. Granted this is 14 days after surgery, but I thought I'd be a little stronger by now. I did get on the stationary bike, but really just to stretch the knee in that range of motion pedaling very slowly. I'm hoping to make some improvements this week at pt, but I could not imagine going for a 3 mile walk at all right now. 


afski722- Are you wearing a brace? Do you still have swelling? Have you been taking any asprin or do you not have any pain? Any advice for me? 


Procreator - Those incisions are all of them. As I mentioned they took from my hamstring. From my understanding they bend your leg back like crazy for the best angle and then scope everything they need to. Note that the donation site was the most painful post surgery. My doctor made it sound like he would have only done the patellar graft if I needed to be back in sports ASAP. He does them alot for students with full scholarships and professionals who need to be back right away. He told me that he believes the hamstring graft is just as strong if not stronger as the petellar, but without the risk of chronic knee pain later down the road. This changes by Doctor. People have different opinions. Keep positive and be proactive. Get it done and over with so you can start to heal and be ready for some turns next year. 





post #37 of 44

Hey bsummit,


No I do not have a brace, I've got nothing on it since 1 week post-op.  My knee still has some swelling, but not too bad.  It swells up more after PT and I've been active, so I ice at least 3-4 times a day.   I really am not taking any painkillers, but it does get sore at times. Periodically I will take Advil if it gets annoying.'


I don't have full ROM yet, and I can't quite get it straight but its close.  My knees feels good after I've been standing on it and using it, but it sure is tight and sore in the morning or if I've been sitting around for awhile.

post #38 of 44

Sounds like you guys are going strong.  afski722, keep after the PT drills religiously.  Do exactly the number they say -- don't shortchange it or go for bonus work. And ice that puppy for all it's worth.  You'll get the ROM more quickly if you follow instructions!


I'm now a full year post surgery.  I was on the stationary bike 5 days after surgery able to pedal at a decent cadence (around 90 rpm) with a low power output (120 watts or so).  I also bought an estim machine so I could do the quad reeducation twice a day rather than just when I visited the PT.  My recovery was easy -- I had very little pain, but I did tend to over stress the knee resulting in swelling and inability to get to full extension. 


I'm at full activity level now.  I do still notice the knee, but it isn't an impediment to my activity (at the moment).  Keep it up, and you'll be here soon!



post #39 of 44

bSummit- I would have been reluctant to go for a 3 mile walk 2 months post op, let alone 2 weeks...keep working at it and you will continue to see progress.  Today was my 10th day skiing just under 11 months after my 2nd ACL and it feels really good.  

post #40 of 44

At pt I was able to straighten out my leg to 0 which was awesome and made me feel alot better. Flex wise i'm at 110 right now. Seeing how its only been 17 days I'm happy with my results so far. I was on the stationary bike for about 10 minutes and was able to keep a great rpm and decent resistance. My pt person said I shouldn't go any longer than 15 minutes on the bike per workout. 


I know it's a process, I just want to do everything now and I know it's not safe / dumb to think I can. Just trying to be patient, keep working at it and once I get full rom start strengthening. 



post #41 of 44

Thats good to hear. 


Every day / week get a little better too.  I'm able to get it straight now and finally getting the quad to start working again. 


My PT place is awesome.  I actually enjoy going there and I always do 7am appointments before work which is actually a nice way to start the day.


I get frustrated at times right now just because I'm not used to being so limited, but I guess I was due.


I equate this recovery like marathon training, which I have been more familar with and how frustrating and rewarding it can be.

post #42 of 44
Originally Posted by afski722 View Post

I get frustrated at times right now just because I'm not used to being so limited, but I guess I was due.


I can really relate to this.  While I had a successful cycling season last summer, it was always a balance.  Yes, I was able to ride my first metric century 10.5 weeks after my surgery.  However, I repeatedly overtrained and caused swelling in the knee.  Even 4-5 months after surgery, I couldn't ride two long days (4+ hours) of climbing back to back.  And if my mileage went over 180 or so miles a week, I'd get swelling in the knee.


Just realize that it will likely take a year to get back to where you were, but you will get there if you are persistant.  That being said, I rode a full century in September (6 months post op) in under 5 hours.  And I got 45 days of skiing in this season (would've been more, but the snow has been lousy so I'm back on the bike).



post #43 of 44

It's been a while from the last time I posted. Figured I'd catch up and fill in my progress. 


It's been 3 months since my surgery and I feel pretty good. I had to switch physical therapists because I wasn't getting any attention, but now I'm  right back on track. I do a few stretches when I wake up and before I go to sleep. I spend about 30 minutes on a stationary bike or on the bike path near my house daily. My quad control is back on track. Overall I feel about 65%. Not the best number, but an honest number. I've been taking it easy with fear of tweaking my knee again. I can walk a couple miles now without any issues, but no jogging yet. I've been camping and done some light hiking. Again, taking it easy, wearing a head lamp as to avoid tweeking at night, not getting sloppy around the fire from too many beers. It's a slow process, a little discouraging at times. But i know as time passes, I'll only grow stronger. 


Anyone have any advice or exercises that have been helping ? 


Procreator - What was the verdict with your knee?





post #44 of 44

I'm not a runner, but I don't think I was released to consider running until month 3+.  I'd guess that I was also at about 65% 3 months post surgery.  I was starting to cycle a lot (150+ miles a week), but always was riding the line between too much stress on the knee (resulting in swelling) and not.  


Do you have a brace?  I got one, and used it for hiking and skiing.  Once or twice I went for long hikes without the brace and it wore me out.  I found the brace stabilized the knee and made hiking less tiring and me more confident.  I'd recommend it for the first year.


I'm now 15 months post surgery and just now starting to forget about my knee.  Until the last month, I could tell a difference in my knees.  I think there still is a difference, but it is much less noticeable and more likely related to leg dominance than the fact that one of them was reconstructed.


Keep up the good work and don't get discouraged -- it is a long path to full recovery, but working hard on the rehab will get you to where you want to be.



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