Thursday, April 30, 2009

11 Months Post ACL Surgery

Well, just a short update here for the readers out there. Im closing in on a year post ACL surgery and Ive started Rollerblading and if you've read my earlier posts, you know Ive been doing some jogging. I've got three 5km races under my belt in the last 3 months. My best time was 21:27 just last weekend finishing second in my age group (30-39). The knee feels pretty good. I do suffer from Shin splints when i run or roller blade long distances. Even to this day I still feel a bit of the "Jumper's Knee" on my patella, but so far, it has not stopped me from keeping active and with the Summer weather not too far off, I'm hoping for a very eventful "Summer of Steve".

Anyway, I plan to continue posting the odd time here. A lot of people have been posting comments helping out one another and thats great. Hopefully that will continue and I will also try and give some advice when i can.

Good luck to anyone reading this and about to go through ACL surgery. Be sure to scan through the history of this blog for some helpful tips on how to get through it all.


  1. whats up name is 6 months post op...starting back at sports..mens slowpitch softball, and volleyball right now..still have weakness in knee, like when i try to do a one leg good..i wonder if this is that "jumpers knee" you were talking about.
    p.s. got released from PT 1 month ago,and i still do the training i learned from them..thanks and good luck in your next race!

  2. Hey Steve,
    Although I just found your blog a few days ago, reading the entries has been a great help because I feel I am in a bit of a static period right now in regards to my ACL rehab and gains made. It's nice to see how you chart your recovery because it gives me something to look forward to down the line

    Anyways, I am a bit new to “blogging” so I guess this question is open to you and the crowd. I am an active 26 year old male 15 weeks post ACL patella graft surgery and I still have pain behind my knee if I sit for too long. I do not feel the pain while sitting until I stand up and begin to walk. The pain then lingers for a bit until I "walk it off". Anyone else experience this? Also, though my range of motion and strength are coming back, I still have pain in my upper calf muscle when I attempt to bring my heel towards my back for a quad stretch. The pain in the calf muscle, not the knee area, seems to be holding me back from bending any further. Both my orthopedic and PT say it's normal but it’s always reassuring to hear from others who have had or have the same problems. Thanks for listening everyone and good luck with your rehabs.

    ps - Clearly I am a moron because my first post was in the wrong I said, first time "blogger"

  3. Hi, i'm 12 months post ACL surgery (Hamstring graft) and it's been really good to chart your progress. I would just like to say to people reading this that in my 12 months there have been alot of ups and downs so please be prepared for this and don't get too upset if you go backwards (as I did) or feel you aren't progressing quickly enough. I tore the hamstring they took the graft from on so many occasions putting my progress back weeks at a time. I still suffer a bit of pain in and around the knee but i'm not sure if this is to directly with the operation. I'm also back running (best time of 21:07 for 5k) so I am really pleased with that but i've tried kicking a ball recently and still feel it's a bit weak just yet to try and return to 5 a side football. Good luck to anyone about to embark on reconstruction .... be patient. All the best Rich

    1. Hi Rich, Im 11 months post surgey, and had a similar experience to you on my hamstrings, ive torn them twice. I was wondering if your situation improved in regards to your hamstrings post 12 months, and were required to do a lot of work on your hamstrings to prevent them tearing again? Would be good to hear from you and work out what to expect. Thanks Jason

    2. Hi anonymous person, how do you know if you have torn your hamstring tendons? I am 8 weeks out, the past week or so have felt like a setback- a lot of pain & aches, stiffness...I am feeling nervous about this. Both knees hurt when I am up too much, wondering if am I doing too much at the gym? 3 days of rest haven't helped as much as it should have. My hamstring graft site has always been uncomfortable with bruising that lasted 6+ weeks. Have you had "setbacks" or overdone it in the past 11 months?

  4. Thanks for blogging. I am 11 months out and had 2 setbacks. First was a pulmonary embolism due to blood clots that developed in the leg. After 6 weeks of little or no exercise, I started to run again and now have very sore quads. Biking and spinning are fine, weights are okay, playing soccer or jogging is next to impossible.
    Just one more thing to recover from - and I am trying to be patient.

  5. To the person who has pain behind the knee. I had ACL reconstruction on my right knee just over 10 years ago. I am currently 27, male and have been an avid sport playing my entire life, mainly high level soccer.

    I still have pain behind my right knee from time to time when I leave it extended for to long a time.

    I also had ACL reconstruction (both patella grafts) on my left knee, on May 15, 2009. I am experiencing pain behind my knee as well for this one, more so the the left end, knee my hamstring tendon. I am seeing my ortho tomorrow, so I will let you know what she says; however, I think it is fine.

    Good luck to everyone. Btw - 11 days out, not crutches, no brace, over 90 degrees flexion and full extension. :)

  6. I tore my ACL playing ball hockey as well, and am about 1 month post-op now. I'm just curious if/when you returned to playing ball hockey and how confident you were in your knee's stability at that time.

    Thanks for your blog; it's really helpful!

  7. Well, when I tore my ACL on my left knee 10 years ago i went back to ball hockey. After the surgery on my right knee, I still haven't gone back to ball hockey but that is by choice. Im sure I could play again, but seeing as how i blew out both my knees playing ball hockey, I've decided that its probably time for a new hobby.

    I've officially past the 1 year mark post ACL surgery so I'll be putting up another update post shortly. Good luck on your recovery.

  8. Hey all you post-op bloggers. I have not had surgery but my 16 year-old daughter had hers on Jan 23rd this year(2009). I don't know if her progress is ahead of schedule or not so I will post here her progress. First off, she had the patella graft. One day after surgery she started on the CPM therapy. That machine was painful at first but the gains from the pain were more than worth it. Through her therapy she made some remarkable progress. I don't know if it's the fact that my family heals quikly or just her desire to want to get back to the high level of game she had prior to surgery. Like I said she was a volleyball player and quite phenomenal.
    After about 2 moths of therapy her therapist went ahead and started her jogging on the tread mill fo 10 mins. I was a bit skeptical being as we had discussed her goals and her therapists goald and he agreed it would be 4-5 months before she would jog.
    He reassured me and told me she was way beyond his expectations. I agreed and away she went. Much to my surprise she responded well and was a little sore after the first session on the treadmill. Her progress was getting better and better! Her therapy progressed from mild workouts to small jumps, lateral movements, coordination, balance, etc. etc.
    Well about 2 weeks ago she had a mild setback.
    While reevaluating her knee, she went through a range of excercises, jumping up, forwards, backwards sideways and such. All was fine but a couple of days later her knee started to swell. Also her knee was tight and sore and felt like it needed to pop back in place.(did I mention she was back on the volleyball court and jumping around 12"? Not her vertical she had before but encouraging none the less.
    I took her in to her orthopedic surgeon and he didn't feel there was any reason to be highly concerned. The swelling was on the outside of her knee not the ACL. He had also at the time of surgery patched up a tear in the miniscus. He went and scheduled her MRI just to be sure.
    By the time her results came back, her swelling was gone and her motion as well. The feeling of needing to pop her knee was also gone. He gave us some good news. No tear and all the MRI showed was where he had sewn the Miniscus. He did recomend she not jug for a month and told her she was still a high risk of re-injury. She is after all only 4 moths removed from surgery.
    I saw this post and wanted to give some input on all who despair. Recovery time is different for all but safety should be the main concern fro everyone. I don't let my daighter push herself too much even though she feels like she won't hurt herself. I think more about the future she doesn't quite see yet. Also, I know ther is a great chance she will tear her other knee but I myself tend to agree with her doctor. No serious jumping until September, light jogging, heavy on the bike riding and eliptical trainer to strengthen those muscles around the knee.
    Well that is all for now but will keep you updated on her progress.

  9. Hey,

    I had surgery almost 2 months ago and I am healing at a good pace. I am a 22 year old male, quite active and I feel like after this injury I will be better than before. Several reasons attribute to this, one being the fact that I've never missed playing sports so much (about 8 months so far) secondly because of my knew knowledge not only regarding my knee but my entire body as well. I gor the hamstring graft btw and so far so good.

    The only good advice I can give anyone is don't be lazy. Keep your knee active even if it hurts a little bit but you must know your own limits. Technology has blessed us with a cure for these types of injuris and if your smart about it you'll be up and running in to time :D

  10. Wow, it's good to hear that others are in the same boat as me when it comes to feeling pain during the rehab process.

    I'm 22 and had ACL surgery on my left knee on 12/26/08. I haven't been able to go to formal PT with my trainer or regular doctor checkups for a few months (I'm a broke college student and can't pay the co-pays). I've been working out on my own according to the original rehab plan my trainers worked up, and I'm now biking a couple miles every day and jogging a mile about once a week.

    The problem is that I've been feeling a lot of soreness and fatigue if it's extended for too long. I know surgery causes trauma and atrophy, but I thought my inability to go to PT had really put me behind the eight-ball compared to everyone else. I still have a ways to go until I'm on the field again, and I definitely want to get my doc's input before upping my regimen, but I'm glad to find out I'm not alone.

    Thanks for posting the blog. Good luck with rehab everybody.

  11. Wow nice to hear other experiences. My story acl story has become a nightmare. I had surgery 11/23/09. Everything seemed to be going well up in crutches with a brace putting weight on it in two days. Day 4 I started feeling some tightness in my calf when I'd stand up. That night got a small fever and slept it off over night. Day 5till felt tightness in my calf but thought it was normal swelling. Day 7, 11/30 woke up with a 102 temp. They immediately sent me to the hospital to get get a doppler ultrasound. Sure enough they found two DVT's and I was admitted to the hospital right away.I am still in the hospital (12-7). They have taken been giving me blood thinners and my blood levels are now good enough to go home> the pain in my knee is excrutiating and cannot fathom leaving until there is some improvement in pain. The doctors have no idea, besides the swelling, of why it is hurting so bad. Tomorrow I am getting an mri to see what is going on. I am doing therapy and trying to straighten but the pain is limiting me. The machine to keep movement feels good when it is in there but have had pretty much zero sleep except whe n on morphine. This has been brutal.

  12. had acl surgey 2008. did some pt went out to work late 2009. laxed on pt a bit.pains in the knee increased in jan 2010 started getting worse. .have athrophy of the VMO. bto quit work. using crutches.back to pt again.seems like forever.havent been able to do any athletic activity..not even walking fast. athrophy in mid thigh. loosing faith an advice

  13. Hi, i had a hamstring graft acl recon nearly 4 weeks ago. i have progressed to full extension and 120 degrees flexion, walking ok (bit of a limp) but afew days ago think i tore my hamstring. Really panicked as thought it was my knee, so was really comforting to read these blogs and here that others had been through this problem too (and that this may not be the last time this happens, no matter how safe you try and be!). Reading these blogs has really helped me get to grips with the long road to recovery i have ahead, so thanks everyone for uploading your progress and thoughts on here. will definately keep checking back. good luck everyone!

  14. anyone out there have a problem with barely being able to walking after 13 months of acl surgery? my bf can barely walk now and he couldn't sit or stand for more than an hour. the surgery did alot of damage to him than help. anyone with this experience?

  15. Yes I have the same experience as your bf does. I'm going on 9 months and still have a limp. i cant even job. I cant make it down stairs. My quadricep has a lot of atrophy to the muscle. How has he been doing since you posted it on May 20, 2010?

  16. I had surgery about 8 weeks ago and have clicking and popping every time I step down with my bad leg. I asked the PT and they said its probably nothing but I am still concerned that its not going to go away. What is the worst case scenario to remedy this problem? Could this be something the surgeon is at fault for? Perhaps I should see a different doctor? I have many questions and would appreciate any feedback.

  17. I walk now with a limp when I endure prolonged walking. If I sit or stand for more than an hour my knee locks up causing me to walk with a prolonged limp even more. The surgery did a lot of damage to me than help. When I descend high stairs I have to go down single legged and I can't do much activity with my bad leg. When my knee locks up it is torture. It’s because I have hardly any quadricep muscle to allow my knee to bend, extend, and flex. In summary I have mobile limitations with my leg that has caused me to loose my job, have poor quality of life, and severe weakness in the leg making me more susceptible to further injury.

  18. I am a 30 year old female and had a ski accident on 2/12/11. I tore all or part (maybe 50%) of my ACL. I am going for an MRI to get a better sense of what to do. I did not opt for immediate surgery and don't know if I should consider surgery if the injury is only a 50% tear. I'm doing PT and things seem fine, but there is a lot of scar tissue and my ability to extend and flex is still a few degrees off. I'm adventurous but not an athlete. I am icing my knee at night and taking ibuprofen. Any thoughts about what I should be doing and thinking about? Good luck to everyone here, I feel your pain. Any feedback would be awesome.

  19. Tore my ACL last August. Had surgery 2/2/11. L knee.10 weeks out. Started light jogging today. Had a fall a few days after surgery, but Dr. Says no damage done but only took an xray not an MRI. I go back to work next week. Had surgery on R knee almost 7 yrs ago. Good luck all!

  20. hi I'm 12 months acl op ... i'm doing an hour on the cross trainer @ the gym followed by 20 minutes on the bike than weights/squats , i usually push around 200kg's on the leg press etc ., my knee feels strong but some times when i go stand up i randomly feel pain @ the front of my knee or @ the back.... i have no idea what it is and have done everything to rehab to properly ... does anyone have any ideas ? or should i go and get other MRI scan?

  21. Slipped on ice last winter and managed to completely tear my ACL. I did about 2 months of physical therapy before my surgery, and had an hamstring allograft.

    Most of the information you see about ACL surgery on the web comes from people who seem to have hurt themselves in a sport and are pretty fit in general. I'm not fit at all, so I was anticipating a long, hard recovery.

    However, it worked out that I was able to walk without a crutch the day after surgery, and I never needed a brace (although I wore one for the 10 days to appease my surgeon). I'm going on 2 months post surgery and have full range of motion, almost never any pain (sometimes a little pain at the front of my knee), and I have back all the stability I lost from my accident.

    It just goes to show how variable recovery can be. I work with 2 other people who had ACL surgery this year, and both were in much better shape than me but have had longer, rougher recoveries. While I have been diligent in following my physical therapist's routine both prior to and after surgery, I also chalk this up to surgeon quality. I did a lot of research and found a very good sports surgeon, which thankfully my insurance covered. I think my surgeon is very much to thank for my rapid recovery.

    In a way this has been a positive (although expensive) experience, as I really didn't know anything about my muscles and was very out of shape before the accident. Now, after 4 months of working closely with trainers and physical therapists, I feel stronger all over and less intimidated by exercise equipment :)

    I know I can expect to have my knee flare up unexpectedly. Prior to surgery I was experiencing terrible hamstring spasms, which were more painful than the injury itself. Fortunately, now that my knee is stable again my hamstrings have stopped complaining.

  22. I fully ruptured my ACL in May 2009. My injury was diagnosed after 8 weeks due to having to wait that long for an MRI scan! My knee was very unstable and very painful and gave way very reguarly. I am not a sporting person and my Consultant was reluctant to perform any form of surgery. After months of painful physiotherapy and no change in my knee giving way I had an arthoscopy. The Consultant said it would help. It didn't and I was in pain for months. After pleading with my Consultant and lots of tears and more physio, he finally listed me for surgery. I had full acl reconstruction in May 2010 and had a hamstring graft. My knee was painful but I attended all the pre physio classes and did lots of gym and walking. I was running on a treadmill at 6 months, I had full extension very quickly and I started riding a bike a few months ago. My knee improves every day. I find my knee gets stiff if I sit for a while and I cant stand for long periods, kneeling is difficult but I manage things. I do get pain behind the knee every now and then. The road for me has been long and I still have work to do to make my knee strong. Surgery was the right thing for me to do!

  23. I am 6 wks post op right hamstring ACL repair with partial meniscus removal. I have had massive swelling and two courses of steroids. My PT refused to do therapy due to pitting edema 4 wks after surgery. Was doing great, except for uncontrolled bone pain. As soon as the steroids wear off, I have to take pain meds every 4 hours. I have constant pain where the hardware is in my tibia and continued episodes of bruising and constant pain on the inside of my shin. I am a week behind in therapy and can see the atrophy in one week. Has anyone else had this complication? I also ran fever about 4weeks after surgery. I am concerned I may have a fracture from the hardware. Doc keeps lowering pain meds and I have cannot get the pain under control. I am really getting concerned he has done no xrays. Only explanation given for my shin pain is I have small bones. No explanation for the continued bleeding down my shin. I have used a cooling machine constantly for the knee and heat on my shin. I did develop a clot at the surgical site for the tunnel on my shin. Very painful and no relief. It has improved. Anyone with advice or similar experience?

  24. I had ACL reconstruction and repair to the meniscus and knee cap last July 12th, 2011. I injured myself playing soccer back in February 2011. It has been most frustrating not to be able to do sports since the injury as I am an active 24 year old woman. My main passions are soccer and ski. What happened in my case is that the first doctor who saw me thought that I only twisted my knee. So I ended up walking on it for weeks with a knee lock. I had arthroscopy in late March 2011 where surgeons removed the fully torn ACL. My recommendation is to insist for an MRI and be firm about the gravity of the pain when first going in. Before having the ACL reconstruction in July 2011, I needed to recover full movement. Between the first and second surgery, I managed to tear my meniscus and injure the knee cap with only walking. So I would recommend to anyone awaiting surgery to minimize impact even if you craze being active again. Now just over two weeks post ACL reconstruction, I feel pain close to the meniscus, there is a wide spot on the front of my leg which feels "frozen" like at the dentist and the knee feels like it will give out on me if I don't use my crutches. Hopefully these symptoms will go away with physiotherapy. But it is definitely worrying me. I wish everyone well in their recovery, and here is a link with information and videos which I found useful in understanding possible pains and complications post surgery. Good luck to everyone!

  25. Is the acl surgery worth it for a competitive athlete who wants to try to play sports in college. I'm currently a freshman in college and tore my acl during football my senior year

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  27. I still haven't gone back to ball hockey but that is by choice. Im sure I could play again, but seeing as how i blew out both my knees playing ball hockey, I've decided that its probably time for a new hobby.

  28. I would like to thanks the author for posting an informative article like this. It really help those people who are hopeless in their life especially those people who are experiencing a same circumstances.
    Here are 7 benefits of the ACL Reconstruction:
    1. Surgery is often done under a local anaesthetic resulting in shorter wait times, less trauma and faster recovery.
    2. Success rate ranges from 82% to 95%
    3.The patient may regain full range of movement and be able to return to previous levels of activity.
    4. Prevent further tissue damage to the ACL.
    5. Help to prevent early onset arthritis.
    6. Provide relief from intense pain and swelling.
    7. With the outpatient procedure there is less scarring and faster recovery
    To know more about Pros and Cons of ACL Reconstruction, you can visit

  29. I am 33 I had the patella graft ACL surgery on my left knee May 2011(I'm a one foot jumper lefty, so I jump off my right. so my left being messed up don't affect me that much) I Play basketball with a lot of college players. They let me start jogging in Sep and start playing in Nov 2011. When I first came back people thought I was Laying about having surgery cause I looked so good on some days. But around the end of Dec, or the beginning of Jan 2012 my Hamstring started hurting and was really tight! Now I have good days and bad days but mostly bad. I do a lot of straightening with my leg hanging of the bed with ankle weights on like my Pt told me to do from the start and It helps for awhile but the pain in all will not go away. No real pain in the knee. I have been taking it easy on the weights for awhile now. But I'm about to go hard and see if I get stronger will this go away. If anyone know why this is like this please let me know. Ps jumpers knee in the other knee slows me down more than this tightness on the court. Had Jumpers knee since about 03! if u know how to get rid of that let me Know also. Thanks

  30. Had ACL surgery yesterday using the hamstring ligament. Surgery was easy since I didn't remember anything. Came home on same day. Evening one was easy. Nerve block was still working so pain was minimal. Pain meds taken on schedule. I would get up and walk using crutches when I took meds.

    Day 1 after surgery: knee soreness is increasing even with meds. Pain is primarily on the inside(left side of the right knee). Swelling is causing a pronounced feeling of tightness in the knee. putting weight on the knee isn't painful, but lifting the foot off the floor or lifting the leg while in the bed is NOT comfortable at all. I also have the constant ice water pump on the knee as well. All in all I am tolerating the post surgery pretty well. Therapy starts on Monday and I know that it is going to be a challenge. I know the pain level will increase significantly at that point. I will continue to post progress, I really appreciated this blog and found it helpful.


  31. Day 3 after surgery: removed the large bandage off the knee. Lots of swelling down the leg and everything is very tender. I can walk on the knee but I have to be careful. Pain is manageable. I'm glad I'm not laying in the bed screaming in agony. I'm pleased with the progress so far. Waiting on therapy now.


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