For those of you who are having knee troubles at the moment contemplating surgery, about to have surgery or had surgery - I wish all of you the best of recoveries.
Well I am so happy with my knee that I thought I would share this with the Kneeguru community.
My ACL journey began in 2004 after the rupture, a loud 'pop' and I can remember the pain it was very bad. I thought there may have been some damage but I did'nt think the ligaments were ruptured!
Anyway I iced the knee for two weeks after the hospital told me it was just a kneecap dislocation. After three weeks the knee was still very unstable and I got it checked out by my doctor who suspected damaged ligaments inside the knee. MRI was ordered and lachman tests and pivot tests were done and found to be positive for an ACL tear, there was also something else bothering my OS and he told me that I may have posterolateral damage too. I was upset at the time and thought this was it - no normal knee, I was going to be disabled from now on.
My thoughts were now on the possible surgery. I did'nt think twice and said 'yes' there and then. Reasons were: I have played a great deal of sport and did not want to give up at age 26 and more importantly just to walk and run normally again. So I went for it looking forward to it knowing the rehab was counting for 90% and the surgery only 10% of the work.
Year by year, Year one - I remember coming out of surgery and thinking 'thank god that's done' and 'what the hell are those metal pins doing in my leg!!' For the next four months I protected the knee, iced and stretched as much as possible but not over-doing it. I always listened to the knee feeling its every move and complaint. Pivoting on the knee was a real problem for me for 2 years post op. I just don't know why but I did not do anything if I did not feel comfortable or confident with.
From the fifth to the twelfth month I carried on doing SLR's quad iso's, thigh and hammy muscle stetches, squats, lunges, and others every day thinking that there will be a time I am going to reap the rewards for this effort. So I carried on never forgetting to go for a light jog in between and supplementing my exercises. In hindsight the light cariocas I was doing in the first year were invaluable especially for my ACL graft.
The second year was even tougher, but I could feel the knee 'settling' much more than the post-op year. At 15 months I began to feel the muscle coverage finally filling up in and around my knee and in turn providing more stability at the joint. Even at this stage I was running, sprinting, walking and jogging to retain fitness, after playing sport and after every session I was feeling pain coming from inside the knee. I knew it was the cartlidge which was catching on my resected part of the Lateral Meniscus. I massaged cream into this area of the knee which helped.
My third year (I am now 35 months post op) has to be the rewarding year in which the training has become easier and the knee feels like my uninjured one. Kept the running and stretches going still, not wanting to feel any pain at all, this was my target. I have eased down slightly from the two earlier years but now I do not think about the knee at all now whether I am walking or playing sport. It feels so so good, I thank my lucky stars that I can play again at the same level but more crucially have a stable knee again which does not cause me any discomfort at all.
My advice to everyone undergoing knee troubles is 1) never give up 2) always think of other ways 3) think and act about the primary problems before other problems are addressed.
I raise a toast to..............................me!!!!!!!!!!!
Good luck guys.