Saturday, June 6, 2009

1 Year Post ACL Surgery

Well, its been a little over a year since my ACL surgery back on May 22nd 2008, and for the most part, my knee has been feeling pretty good. I competed in a 5 km placed me 1st in my age group (35-39) and 29th overall out of over 1,100 people. I've also been doing a lot of rollerblading this spring which has not aggravated it at all. Overall, most of the activities I have chosen have been very good on my knee.

One thing I have found my knee does not like is Squash. I've played about 20 games this year and the last game I played, I felt a little "give" on a quick stop. I was able to keep playing but the next few days following, my knee was a little sore and i could feel some very minor swelling on the inside. So needless to say, I'm retiring from the game of Squash and will concentrate on Running, Mountain Biking and Rollerblading this Spring/Summer/Fall and also will be looking for new activities to participate in.

I'm glad to see there are a lot of readers out there posting, asking questions and answering questions. Keep it up people. I'm happy this blog is turning out to be a good read for a lot of you out there.

If you're new to my blog and are about to have ACL surgery on one of your knees, be sure to check the blog history on the left hand side of your screen for some very helpful information.

Hopefully you all have a great summer. I will continue posting thoughout the summer and try to answer whatever questions I can so be sure to leave some comments.

45 comments:

  1. I would like to thank you for sharing this journal week by week of your recovery,My husband is going to have this surgery on Tuesday, and i have been trying to gather as much info for him so we will know what to expect.We are weighing out the option of using a pain catheter the first two days after surgery.Thanks again for posting your blog.God Bless you...signed concerned wife in N C USA

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  2. Another big thanks for posting your blog -- your experiences were a great reference point for my own (ongoing) recovery. I had patellar knee tendon ACL surgery on February 12 2009 (juat about 4 months ago now). Great to hear that you're competing hard again.

    When would you say your knee felt solid enough to participate in cutting sports such as soccer? (I know that everyone's progress is different, but the reference point really helps.)

    Thanks,
    Adam (Toronto)

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  3. I'm with Adam. I just had the Patellar ACL reconstruction done on May 20th. I tore it playing soccer. And I can't wait until I can play again! But I'm afraid that won't be for a while.

    But I really appreciate your journal so I can compare how things are going for me. So far - I got a Staph infection and my tibia wouldn't stop bleeding for the first 2 weeks!! But now it's under control.

    Cheers.
    Chris in NC

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  4. Congratulations on your one year anniversary!

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  5. I'm a year out as of June 26th. I fractured my knee, distroyed my ACL and cut my meniscus skiing. I skiied a little this past winter. I exercise daily and swim almost ever day. I've tried Yoga, but I still can't put all my body weight on my bad knee.I experience pain when I exercise followed my minor swelling. I was told another six months and I will be back to normal. I'm hoping.

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  6. I am wondering if anyone out there has experience tearing the ACL, MCL, LCL, and meniscus??? It is 10 months out after my surgery and I can't imagine doing any rigorous exercise. I recently stopped personal training and within 2 weeks, I am having pain right below my knee and not from doing anything strenuous. I am wondering if it is because I have not been working out. That sounds backwards to me though?!?

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  7. i had my surgery in dec last year,missed my exercise for a month due to exams but now i startd it again with more concentration!!!!!startd jooging last week....wanted to know how long will it take for me to play games again????????/plz advice me ....am being very impatient ..really want to paly games as soon as possible!!!!and ONE MORE THING.. do we ppl need to take any precautions...i mean positioning of our knee,can v sit on floor??? etc...in d future????????/

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  8. hey,
    i was wondering if you could play soccer after 6 months from surgery?

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  9. I've undergone 2 ACL surgeries on my left knee (Jan, 2009) and a ACL revision/reconstruction (June, 2009) because for whatever reason, the first graft failed. I had not been given a definitive diagnosis as to why the first ACL reconstruction failed. I originally severed my ACL in my left knee in Nov. 2008 while teaching.

    I had squatted down while teaching and felt a "pop." Went to OS, had an MRI -- which was inconclusive -- but perhaps a torn meniscus. Had a scope on Dec. 30, 2008 -only to find out that the meniscus was perfectly healthy and I had a completely severed ACL.
    Then, I had a full reconstruction (Allograft) in Jan, 2009. Did the rehab, was doing well until April 2009.
    I was in my post-op rehab brace, walking up stairs normally, when I felt a huge "pop!" and had immediate severe swelling and pain.

    I went back to my OS, who wouldn't say for sure -- just get an MRI -- but his face said everything his mouth wouldn't...that he suspected a failure of the ACL. At this point, I was 11 weeks post-op. Got the MRI and guess what -- "normal, intact ACL with surgical changes noted." Meaning that I was "FINE" - but I was not! I knew that I had changes in my knee and in my ability to walk. I had increased pain, swelling, and instability. The OS said to come back in 3 months because there was nothing he could do -- and keep going to PT/rehab.

    I did for a month and my progress had plateaued. So, I went in May, 2009 to talk to him. I reviewed my case history in full detail and he "froze" for a moment while considering all the options. He suggested looking at the knee again under the scope, with a possible revision of the reconstruction. Due to my teaching schedule, I was unable to get the surgery until the end of June, 2009.

    Upon having the surgery, I found out that although the ACL was indeed intact on the ends (in the shin and in the femur), it was only hanging on by "threads" -- 90% was gone! Arrghh!!! Well, I rehabbed again -- feeling a bit better with this surgery and being EXTREMELY cautious not to overdo it. I was told that the failure rate for a revision/reconstruction was much higher.

    I had been doing well -- until this past Tuesday, September 15, 2009. It was about the 11 week mark for the post-op period -- again! But now, I feel and my PT feels that the screw in the shin is coming out.
    I had just been re-evaluated on Monday (9/14/09) and the PT looked at the range of motion (normal), pain level (minimal), and pressed hard on the knee and shin -- nothing abnormal. But sometime on Tuesday, I just felt something was not right. By Wednesday, I had such severe bone/shin pain just to the right of the incision (along the medial aspect) and localized swelling in the shin. I am experiencing instability when walking and have limited my PT rehab based on the PT's recommendations.

    I have a follow up "emergency" appointment on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009. I hope that this is a minor thing -- like just getting the screw removed, even if it means more surgery. I really HOPE that the ACL is still intact!! *sigh*

    My question is this -- has anyone else have a screw fail? What happens now?

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    1. I have had a screw also inplaced! but it is bio-degradable and will be absorbed by my body

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  10. Great blog and forum. I've looked all over the net and this is the best so far.

    Anyway, I have a question for anyone who can shed some light on my situation. I am 38 and had my ACL replaced via patella graft 6 months ago. About two weeks ago, I began to feel/hear popping and cracking in my knee when I walk. It's audible to anyone within earshot. No real pain, just feel the pops. Prior to that I had a lot of problems with stiffness, after sitting my leg would be very stiff and would loosen up after a few steps (like warming up taffy). Overnight the popping began and the stiffness after sitting is almost gone.

    I saw my OS a week ago and I got two opinions, one from the OS and one from his PA. The PA told me to stretch better and the popping will subside. The OS said it was more because my knee is arthritic due to my advanced age and I will need to have it replaced at some point.

    I've added more stretches to my day and I hope the PA is right. So far the extra stretching is helping me for a few hours, but then it comes back.

    I'm conerned that I'm grinding away at my knee and will. Anyone having a similar situation ?

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    Replies
    1. keep grinding it. You are breaking down adhesions. Make sure you are weight lifting and strengthening the muscle to support knee. Keep stretching and balance it out with strengthening.

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  11. Hello All!

    I was wondering if you sought a second opinion prior to doing either of your acl reconstructions. My sports doctor referred me to one of his associates (surgeon) and that was fine but a but a I asked him to also write me a referral to another surgeon. He seem somewhat hostile and said that I can't see both doctors and that I would have to choose between the surgeon he wanted me to see the the surgeon I wanted to be referred to. Is it common practice to not get a second opinion for acl reconstruction?? I haven't seen either surgeons so I don't how either of them would proceed with the surgery.

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  14. Hi,
    I fell in January of this year while skiing and tore my acl, mcl,lcl and meniscus. I had some physical therapy before surgery and finally March 5th I had surgery to repair my knee.

    I looked all over for information to be able to better understand what I am going through and to be honest, your blog has been wonderful. As each week goes by and I progress, I look to your blog to read where you were in your progress versus where I am. I have to say, early on in your post op, you just sounded like you were flying through your recovery versus me. I would guess your progress must have something to do with how much therapy you had before surgery versus me. As I go along each week, I see I am starting to catch up to where you were in your recovery.

    The hardest part to this process to me is how long it really takes to just heal (and the pain). I REALLY get frustrated that my head may be in to doing something but my body is not. I just get either sore or just plain tired. With that said, I have been reminded I am not going to heal overnight and that this is many months of work.

    I guess I just want to say, thank you for your blog. I have gone through all emotions in this healing process. (The first two weeks when I could barely get my leg off the ground and needed my husband to put me in bed because it was to high to get into myself was down right depressing to me.) Reading what you have been faced with and going through has made me feel like I have a friend out there who understands. Thank you and I look forward to catching up with you each week for the next few months. Thanks for being with me for the last 10 weeks.

    Also, since your surgery and your recovery, how is your quality of life now? Do you feel your injury you incurred holds you back at all in anyways? Many have told me there are things I just will not do anymore from my injury and I do not believe them. I am determined to get 100% (if that is possible, I am so gonna give it my all.)

    Thanks again!!
    Shannon

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  15. Hi there, hope you've recovered much better by now. I'm getting ready to post the results of a quick ACL surgery survey on people's advice, costs, rehab, etc., but need a few more responses still. Could everyone reading this take 1 minute to answer these quick questions?

    http://www.aclsurgery.us/acl-survey/

    Thanks!

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  16. Hello!
    Its been 5 months after I had my surgery and I still cannot walk properly. I limp. Can someone please help me

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  17. I had my surgery like 5 weeks ago ... when i was walking yesterday, i kind of lost balance and while i was trying to regain my balance, i guess i heard a felt a pop like i normally used to feel when i knee buckled before surgery (but not that painful one also).. i felt a bit of pain for like 30 mins and i am fine now and doing my exercises ... can an ACL tear like in 5 weeks & that too on a normal balancing activity or am i just too scared. the pain is almost gone now, but i am just feeling a bit insecure.

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  18. Just had ACL surgery 5 days ago. On the road to recovery! I actually started a blog about my surgery and recovery as well, its www.squidoo.com/acl-reconstructive-surgery
    I'm glad to hear that your doing good a year after the surgery. I hope i will have the same results.

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  19. I started playing soccer 22 months after using my patella...My advice is for people to lose weight and man up at the gym, you can't rehab this sitting on the sofa. I tortured myself on a bosu ball...every way I could tourque on my knee. Worked every muscle on my leg 3 days or more per week, Yes it hurt, lots of ice. Ski like a star again. Knee did swell after my first match, running all out was a shocker to it. Running a 5 mile race didn't bug it but full throttle soccer is different. I'm 45, 6'2" 225 lbs, very fit now, not as much before the injury. Don't play Squash, Tennis is ok.

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  20. i hope you will have a great summer. i know many people who had a Knee implant surgery and DePuy hip implant surgery and are suffering very badly. But for your information these products have recalled and The DePuy Hip Lawsuit is helping them get the compensation.

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  21. Well! well! well! this is a very impressive achievement that you competed in a 5 km and placed 1st and 29th overall out of over 1,100 people. Incredible recovery.

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  22. I'm one year post injury and 11 months post surgery. I tore my ACL and both meniscus, chipped cartilage and had severe bone bruising. I had a hamstring tendon graft ACL reconstruction done and have worked my tail off in physical therapy. I still have some discomfort at the incision and graft sites but, overall, am very pleased. I just returned from a vacation in CO and skied hard seven of nine days there, 10 months after surgery (I blew my knee out skiing in CO last April 1). I skied very well and was in great shape due to continued exercise that involves a lot of core abdominal work, squats, leg press, and a lot of one leg balancing (stand on a couch pillow, close your eyes and balance on one leg) I wear a Donjoy Defiance forcepoint brace and I love it. With the brace on I feel like I have my old knee.

    I notice the more I wear my brace, the stronger my leg is when I'm not wearing it. I read about some of the sports you folks are participating in and I have to wonder if you are bracing your knees and keeping up with your PT on your own?

    A lot of massage with lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary lotion has broken up the bulk of my scar tissue (I do get some cracking, but little pain). I rollerblade, bicycle, swim and water ski to stay in shape. Running distances is out, too much missing meniscus to handle the pounding without discomfort.

    I think one of the key things to successful ACL surgery and recovery is realizing there is a difference between strength and control. Being able to control your muscles and use your hip flexors and abductors, your gluts, buttocks, thighs, knees and calves together to soften landings and control movement is critical. And work on your balance.

    Best of luck to all of you.

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  23. Great variety of comments here. I suffered MCL, ACL and LCL complete tears a few months back and have made a very fast recovery. I decided to share what I thought were the key reasons for that recovery on my own blog - please check it out and let me know if you have any other ideas others would benefit from. You can find it here ACL Surgery

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  24. Thanks for your informative updates. I've starting a blog specifically about the hamstring graft method of ACL reconstruction, starting with my surgery yesterday. I'm focusing on experienced pain levels. It was good to hear I was not the only one who suffered a lot on day 2.

    http://aclhamstringrecovery.tumblr.com/

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  25. Hi there,
    I've had two ACL reconstructions. One on each knee, 8 years apart. Both resulted from playing football (soccer). It took 12 months to return to football after the first reconstruction, with occasional niggling issues (not always with the knee!) but ultimately i was able to play for the next 7 years until i tore the ACL on my other leg 18 months ago. I am now back to competitive football and have had no problems this season.

    Many people fall into the trap of wanting a QUICK recovery instead of focussing on a FULL recovery. If you go through your rehabilitation program properly after an ACL reconstruction, you will greatly increase your chances of being able to return to sport.

    Definitely worth getting hold of the Complete ACL Reconstruction Guide at www.mykneereconstruction.com
    which contains a full physiotherapy recovery and exercise program.

    All the best,
    Ben Hannan

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  27. Excellent blog-thanks for taking time to keep such good illustrations. Just over a week ago (july 22, 2011), I had an allograft procedure & am keeping my chronicle at reksrags.blogspot.com. Check it out...

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  28. Hello,

    Nice article has been shared here. it was very nicely put article and also got lots of good points from here. thanks for sharing such article here. it would be great if you can put some more information related to ACL surgery Israel here in this article. keep on posting such article here in future too.

    Thanks,

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  30. Nice to learn your inspiring story. Sports-persons such as you are always at risk of ligament tear and recovery is very tough and long. Be careful in future while doing what you like.

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  31. People who are into active sports are prone to injuries. I does not mean that they always end up with broken bones, dislocated joints and ligament problem but accidents are more prone to them as they are doing more than the usual.

    Extra care are always needed and always in mind.

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  32. Topics like this reminds me of the depuy asr hip recall.

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    Replies
    1. I would have to agree on that Marky. I guess that is why we have Hip Lawyers now.

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  33. I'm 4 months 'N a half post op I torn mine playin' basketball ...everything is going great I run without pain ,I almost have.no swelling and my leg's strength is very good "I think"..I wanted to know when can I start agility drills,zig zag & criss cross dills ? 'N do people really return After 6 months to full sport and play NORMALLY?!! Lastly 3 dayz ago at the gym I was jumpin' and I felt that my knee took an akward postion I felt little pain I went to my doc after it 'N he told me that nthn is wrong I also took a sec opinion and he told me the same but I don't believe I still feel very little pain any advises?

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  34. This is a great story! I am a 16 year old girl, and tore my ACL playing soccer in september, and was cleared for practice at the end of april. At my fourth practice back, I cut to the left and tore my ACL yet again in the same knee. I am 7 weeks into the surgery, and I decided to blog about it this time! I was wondering if there was any chance you could put my link onto your blog or post it or advertise it in some way? It would be awesome if you could, but if not, thats okay too! Thanks so much!

    http://aclplainandsimple.blogspot.com/

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  35. I have heard a lot of acl injuries, hence I would like to share about online acls training, which could be of great help to make people aware about it.

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  36. Very informative post Thanks for sharing with you, I appreciate this information thank you again for sharing information like this!……..

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  37. Thanks for such an interesting article here. I was searching for something like that for quite a long time and at last I have found it here.

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  38. Thanks so much for this informational post about acl injury sydeny. I too, suffered an asl injury, but mine was more recent than yours was. Thanks for the information about activities you can do to help keep your knees happy and healthy. I really appreciate the little tid bits that I can pick up here and there.

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  39. Thank you for sharing this. Every time I read one of your posts it puts me at ease because I feel more prepared if I ever were to have surgery.

    Costa Mesa Knee surgery post rehabilitation

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  40. Thank you for posting the great content…I was looking for something like this…I found it quiet interesting, hopefully you will keep posting such blogs….Keep sharing
    Knee Surgeons in Phoenix

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  41. really wonderful Post ACL Surgery information to share with us. thanks for bring this qualitative article.

    UK Hair Transplants Surgery Treatment

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  42. Most ACL injuries happen during sports and fitness activities that can put stress on the knee:ACL - Anterior Cruciate Ligament, Reconstruction Surgery is Done For knee ligament injuries..
    Suddenly slowing down and changing direction (cutting)
    Pivoting with your foot firmly planted.
    Landing from a jump incorrectly.
    Receiving a direct blow to the knee or collision, such as a football tackle.
    ACL Reconstruction Surgery
    should be done because of following reasons:
    If you have also torn a meniscus or if you have torn more than one ligament then surgery to reconstruct your ACL is likely to be your best option.
    People who choose not to have an ACL reconstruction are at high risk for secondary injuries such as a meniscus tear or an injury to the cartilage or cushioning on the ends of our bones. Both of these injuries dramatically increase your risk for developing arthritis in the knee.
    After the Surgery ACL Rehab Exercises for 2-4 weeks should be done like :
    Build range of motion (ROM) to zero to 110 degrees.Start heel slides: Sit on the floor with legs outstretched. Slowly bend the knee of your injured leg while sliding your heel/foot across the floor toward you. Slide back into the starting position and repeat 10 times.

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