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Author Topic: Constant shin/tibia pain after patella tendon acl autograft..possible causes?  (Read 1969 times)

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Davidf66

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I am about 3 months post op from a patella tendon autograft acl reconstruction. Over the last few weeks I have developed a constant pain  on the top of my tibia which seems to be getting worse.  I intially noticed it only when I was jogging, but know it hurts even just walking. It feels like someone is jabbing a fork into my shin all the time,  and it is extremely frustrating. I suspect and hope  it is only due to the screw used to fix the graft to my tibia. However, I had large bump on the top of my tibia that my surgeon deicided to shave down during surgery without consulting me beforehand. Apparently the bump was cause from a growth spurt, so I guess it could be classified as osgood schlatters disease, but I never had any shin pain or other symptoms prior to the surgery. Is it possible that my surgeon shaved my tibia too much, and that is causing my pain? Or is it more likely that my pain is caused by my front screw? Has anybody else here had to have their hardware removed after an acl graft? I have heard that the standard protocol after hardware removal is 8 weeks no weight bearing is this true? That sounds like it could really setback my recovery. My OS is out of town for the next two weeks so if anybody can offer me some insight on the matter I would really appreciate it.

Offline Finbarr

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this sounds like the exact same sort of pain that i have been dealing with only I am 3 years post ACL surgery.  My doc says that sometimes the plugs used to fill the holes in the tibia "leak" and your body has some sort o inflammatory response to it and that's why it hurts.  His solution is to go in and "clean it all out" but I am hesitant about another surgery to fix this ind=credibly painfull and constant condition?

Offline Lpato2

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I had right knee ACL done around 4 years ago and all went smoothly and rehab, back playing football 10 months later with no shin pain. I am now 5 months post op and have shin pain when run or jump or like put weight or stress on the knee. I had a fall at work about 4 weeks post op and only noticed the shin pain a few weeks later when got more active,

Does anybody know what this could be?


Offline leahjg-90

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I had a slightly different surgery - MPFL reconstruction using my hamstring tendon - however have experienced similar pain just below my kneecap at the top of my shin. Like a sharp, stabbing sensation (its horrid) when I do certain positions. Mainly weight bearing with a bent knee - so squats, climbing stairs and walking are when the pain hurts. However, non weight bearing, I don't experience pain.

I am now 8 weeks post op and the pain started around 6 weeks post op - this pain is slowly improving following advice from my physiotherapist. Below is a summary of what she said:

1. I still have significant swelling for this stage post op, and the excess fluid is likely to be putting extra pressure on an already inflamed joint.
2. As my knee cap has slightly altered positions, she suspects patella tendonitis. She explained it, that the forces through my knee have slightly altered and this has led to an increase in pressure in certain parts of my patella tendon (bottom of knee/top of shin).
3. She recommends to continue icing as needed, using ibuprofen, resting more - but not stopping my exercises. She has given me isometric exercises to do instead. Non weight bearing, but strengthening the quadriceps tendon and patella tendon. She has also taped my knee to relieve the pressure when walking and climbing stairs and as I was off crutches /using one for longer distances, she has told me to go back to two crutches temporarily while the pain eases off.

In the last 4 days since I saw my physiotherapist, I have had improvements. Much less pain, leg beginning to feel stronger (I assume from the isometric exercises). For me, I am feeling much better about it - however, I have learnt recovery is one step forward and two steps back sometimes and that is completely okay. Everyone's recovery is different, however listen to your own body and if you are concerned continue to seek help.

Leah :)

Offline Lpato2

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Hi Leah, what isometric exercises do you do?

Offline leahjg-90

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Some of the ones I do are on this website, as recommended for me by my physiotherapist. However only the beginner ones.

https://draxe.com/knee-strengthening-exercises/

In particular I am working on the quadricep strengthener.
To do this, under my operated knee I place a pillow - knee slightly bent. Feet facing towards me.
Then I activate my quad and push my knee down into the pillow.
This does cause the pain under my shin (not as severe),  but is good for strengthening the tendon.


















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