Saturday, October 25, 2008

ACL Surgery Recovery - Week 22

Welcome to my ACL knee surgery recovery blog where I have been giving week by week updates on my recovery process since my anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery. Please keep in mind, I am just writing this blog to give people an idea of what the recovery process is like. If you've had or are planning on having ACL or any type of knee surgery, make sure you go to a therapist for a proper workout program.

We're up to week 22 now. For the most part, my knee is fairly strong. The majority of movements are easy with the exception of running. I'm still dealing with the development of Jumper's knee or patella tendinitis in my surgically repaired knee so I have to be aware of what is aggravating it.

There were a few new exercises this week at physiotherapy in addition to my standard routine. First, we used the Pro Fitter 3D ski & balance machine.

Holding on to ski polls, you just slide from side to side. There are adjustable cables underneath to increase or decrease resistance. This is suppose to improve core and leg strength as well as improve your reaction skills. It's also good cardio and has a number of other different exercises you can. Its not just for knee rehabilitation. Checking prices on line for this it actually runs about 600 bucks. ouch! Anyway, I did this for about 10 minutes. It can get boring but not much different than any other cardio machine i suppose.

On to the Shuttle MVP machine (below), I have been doing one legged jumps. Its very much like a squat machine. The pad that your resting on is on wheels and slides back and forth as you squat or jump. There are cables to add resistance.

This week, we added one leg jumps but, with me laying on my side (i couldn't find a picture of this) making sure my hip is flat on the board. It actually was a lot more difficult than when I was doing it lying on my back. I did 3 sets of 10. I like doing the jumps on this machine because it does not bother my "Jumper's Knee"

Next up, we did another plyometric exercise Zig-Zag hops. Placing two rows of 10 pylons parrallel to each other but one slightly a head of the other. You jump side to side with both legs. Turn around and start over again. I did 10 of these.

The good thing about these exercises is you can do them at home, and you don't need any fancy equipment to do them.

Finally, we did some sprinting, but a little different. I would start of running forward and my therapist would yell "switch" which ment i have to, very quickly, stop and start running backwards. Next time she yells "switch" I would stop and start running forward. This goes on randomly for about a couple of minutes then i took a break and did it again. This exercise is to get my knee use to the quick stop & start movements that I need to play sports like ball hockey & soccer. Its also good to improve your reaction time.

My knee was a bit sore the next day and i think it was from the last two exercises i just went over. The discomfort was in same area I've been complaining about for the last 10 weeks or so. The tendinitis seems to be where the patella meets the shin bone. After a couple days it was not so bad. An alternative to these plyometic exercises is that they can be done in the pool. I may try that instead next week.

Thats it for this week. Again, please do your homework before attempting any of these exercises. The purpose of this blog is to give an idea of the workout programs and recovery process after knee surgery. Everyone is different and can do different levels of exercises at different points post surgery. Consult your doctor or therapist.

Thanks for reading my ACL knee surgery recovery blog. Check back next week for another update.


  1. Interesting exercises. My PT only lasted 60 days post surgery and then I was on my own. At 17 months, my knee feels good but I am still not proficient at jumping.

    Excellent blog.

  2. Hey, thanks for the blog. Did you have the sense that you would be running sooner that you actually did? My doctor said I should be able to run normally within 6 months (I was a distance runner before the surgery), which led me to believe that I would be able to begin running a little bit at a time by 4 months after the surgery. I am at 4+ months now and not able to run yet. I am just trying to get a sense of when most people (who were runners before the surgery) get back to running. Cheers!

  3. Well, i did think i'd be running sooner, at least short distances like 5 kms. I was progressing so fast in the first 8-10 weeks even my therapist thought i would be running by now. It sounds like we're both at about the same stage post surgery. What sort of difficulties are you having with running at this point?

  4. It has been almost a year since my surgery and i still have difficulty with running. I have pain in my knee but I'm not sure why. It frightens me a liitle bit but I'm not sure if that is normal and will go away with time.


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