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Successfull Surgery! Time to Heal.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Had my ACL reconstruction on Tuesday. Dr. said it went exceptionally well. He took a Patella graft as my Patella is bigger than most peoples (5mm?) so he was able to create a large, strong graft, while still leaving a significant portion of the tendon in tact.

Dr. also said my knee bones are very strong and that he is extremely confident in the bone graft as well.

They also stitched my Meniscus back together, which is rare. 85% of the time the Meniscus in knee cases like mine is just cleaned out and removed. However the Dr. felt there was a good chance mine would actually heal if he repaired it, so he did.

Its 2.5 days later and I am already off the pain meds. Stopped taking them last night. So far no problems without them today (im still taking ibuprofen).

Start rehab this afternoon; im excited to get it going.

So far so good! Wish I was on the slopes with you all, but I will work hard at being ready for next winter!
post #2 of 15
Best of luck with the rehab. sounds very optimistic.
How did you injure yourself? Trip report?
post #3 of 15
WHy did you stop pain medication so early? Research shows proper pain management speeds recovery - so don't be afraid to use narcotics. And why are you starting PT so quickly post-op?
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohemian View Post
WHy did you stop pain medication so early? Research shows proper pain management speeds recovery - so don't be afraid to use narcotics.
If you don't "need" pain medication, you shouldn't take it.

Body tissues can, and in fact will heal stronger without narcotics and pharmaceuticals. The cost for a "faster recovery" via medications is an imbalanced, less thorough healing process.


Good nutrition, rest, and appropriate physical movement from therapy and exercise will provide all the necessary input components for the human body to heal itself. All medications interfere with normal physiology and healing, and should therefore be used very conservatively.
post #5 of 15
Really? Then I guess that huge, groundbreaking NIH study was wrong and was really in BigPharmas pocket.

My main concern is while it's good to be optimistic about recovery, don't turn optimism into zeal. 2.5 days and off of pain meds from an ACL recovery is incredible. And starting PT after 3 days is unheard of.

Worries me. But his attending doc can handle it.
post #6 of 15
Glad surgery went well, and good luck with recovery. If you're usually a fast healer but end up with an injury that takes a long time, it's easy to have dips in your optimism. Try to hold on to it!
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohemian View Post
Really? Then I guess that huge, groundbreaking NIH study was wrong and was really in BigPharmas pocket.
What "huge, groundbreaking" NIH study?


Quote:
2.5 days and off of pain meds from an ACL recovery is incredible. And starting PT after 3 days is unheard of.

Well, not really "unheard of." Perhaps you never heard of it. But timely recoveries like these do happen, particularly when folks who are strong and healthy go through a clean and productive surgery.

It appears that pattongb is in great health, and well on the way to a strong successful recovery. All the better with an early drop of medication and quick start of active rehab and exercise.


Best wishes, pattongb! Although I'm sorry you won't ski this year, have a great 08-09 season.
post #8 of 15
>>What "huge, groundbreaking" NIH study?<<

Search pubmed.

>>Well, not really "unheard of." Perhaps you never heard of it. But timely recoveries like these do happen, particularly when folks who are strong and healthy go through a clean and productive surgery.<<

Perhaps, but you shouldn't be doing physical therapy when your stitches/staples haven't been removed. Unless it's a physical therapist from the hospital teaching you how to use crutches post-op.

>>It appears that pattongb is in great health, and well on the way to a strong successful recovery. All the better with an early drop of medication and quick start of active rehab and exercise.<<

Being in great health has little to do with the time needed for a graft to stabilize and begin healing around the site.

I'm not arguing as I'm not this person's attending, but I find it quite odd. I'd like to find out more about this doctor. That's all.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohemian View Post
...And starting PT after 3 days is unheard of...
http://www.sandersclinic.net/aclrehab_rdmp.html
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohemian View Post
Perhaps, but you shouldn't be doing physical therapy when your stitches/staples haven't been removed. Unless it's a physical therapist from the hospital teaching you how to use crutches post-op.


Being in great health has little to do with the time needed for a graft to stabilize and begin healing around the site.

Based on your commments on this thread, Bohemian, I'm guessing that you don't have any background in healthcare or therapeutics. Is that correct?


In many cases of ACL reconstruction, rehab starts the next day with passive ROM, (usually with a continuous PROM machine) isometric quad and hamstring contractions if applicable, femoral abduct/adduct exercises, gastroc stretches, and patellar mobilizations if applicable. Weight bearing, resistive, and proprioceptive exercises can usually be started a day or two after that.

Waiting too long to start rehab leads to increased scar tissue formation and decreased mobility and tissue strength.


Starting rehab 1 - 3 days post-ACL surgery is the norm, Bohemian.
post #11 of 15
Here are some first-person ACL surgery/rehab experiences of other Epic members: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=55067

I was off pain meds pretty quickly as well -- my doc said, just take 'em as you need 'em.

Per my doc, I started doing exercises the same day as my surgery (ROM, isometric contractions, heel slides, etc.).

And my doc is a pretty good at ACL surgeries.

As Baja stated, starting rehab right away after surgery is the norm now, and is different from what used to be the old convention.

Also, from what I've read/heard, one thing that may require delayed PT is if you have meniscus damage/repair.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank YOu

Thank You for all the kind replies.

According to my medical team (the ones handling my ACL reconstruction), 2 days is the normal for starting Physical Therapy. Within 72 hours of surgery is optimum.

Unfortunately I had too much swelling to really start my PT last Friday, but my Dr. was not concerned about me waiting another 4 days because I had a Meniscus repair as well as ACL and a bit more rest for that particular tendon is a good thing.

As for the pain meds, yeah everyone was surprised that I was off the meds too fast, including my Dr. who was concerned I was "pushing the envelope" due to some ill guided disbelief in modern medicine. I assured him that I loved modern medications and actually enjoy taking them (LOL), but I simply had no pain, only some discomfort.

Well it all sounds rosy right? Well there is some downside right now. I have no feeling around my knee cap, and there are parts of my left foot that are also 'numb'. This may have something to do with my lack of pain. My Dr. says it is too early to tell.

While some permanent loss of feeling is generally considered normal for my operation, specifically around the left outside part of the calf on the leg that was operated on; the loss of feeling in my foot and around the surgery area itself is not 'normal'.

However it is too early to tell if this is a side effect of the swelling, a temporary side effect, or permanent nerve damage. Obviously anything but that last is preferred.

I will keep you in the loop.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Update

Ok had my first PT yesterday.

The Physical Therapist felt my numbess in my foot and surgery area were the result of swelling, and not any long term nerve dmg, which was a releif.

I had very good range of motion in my knee, and was able to completely straighten and bend the knee (95+ bend). I have little pain while doing stretches or strength exercises.

I am still unable to put more than 20% weight on the leg, which is a bit behind the curve (1 week post surg) but this is primarily due to the fact I stopped going to PT a month before my surgery. Seems to be more muscle related than tendon.

All in all the PT went very well.

I did have some pain afterward, and actually had to use some of my pain medication to get through the night. All is fair in love and war so they say.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattongb View Post
Ok had my first PT yesterday.

The Physical Therapist felt my numbess in my foot and surgery area were the result of swelling, and not any long term nerve dmg, which was a releif.
Glad to hear.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Update:

Everything is going well.

I am 5 weeks post surgery and I am walking without a crutch, cane, or brace.

The swelling is 95% gone, and I have no soreness or pain.

My flex is 130 which is very good for this point in therapy (according to my PT anyways).

Only hitch so far has been my extension (straightening the knee, I believe i have them straight, im very tired right now). I am stuck at 3 degrees. 0 degrees is perfectly straight, and most people can do -5, or over extend the knee.

I still walk with a slight gait, most likely due to the inability to fully extend. This has my PT a bit concerned as scar tissue can begin to form if the full extension is not reached within a reasonable time period.

Going to work extra hard this week stretching and straightening to hopefully get closer to a 0 extension.

Ill keep you informed!
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