KNEEtalk

DIARIES => Post op diaries (100-300 posts) => Topic started by: jb-knee-geek on August 17, 2006, 06:19:07 PM

Title: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 17, 2006, 06:19:07 PM
Day 0 - night prior to and day of surgery:

anxious night for my wife and I.  Slept about 4-5 hours, perhaps less. Arrived 7:15 AM at the surgery center, filled out  and went through necessary pre-op forms, answered first of series of repetitive questions regarding medicine allergies, and  procedures from a variety of nurses. (a good thing).

Went in to pre-op area, met with a couple of nurses, went over similar questions, re: allergies, meds, procedures again, very professional, made me feel comfortable as I was hooked to an IV and got my knee area shaved.

Last I remember was injection of anti-biotic, other(?), speaking with an Anesthesiologist, an aide and my OS.  I don't remember being wheeled out of the pre-op room.

The next I remember I was in the recovery room, nurses monitoring my pain levels which I registered in the 4-5 range, nurses adjusted intravenous meds. One nurse said "let's keep it in the 3-4 range".

This was a busy recovery room, getting busier as I was recovering. I was dazed but thrilled to hear my OS tell me things went well and I would be able to return to all my prior activities, in a flash he was gone. I think he had several surgeries that day.

My wife was soon at my side, we were together while the nurses moved around taking care of 6-8 patients in the post-op recovery room.

After an hour or so, I was prepped with instructions for discharge, my shorts didn't fit over the soft cast and bandages so I was wheeled out in the gown through the crowded waiting room.  My pain levels were tolerable since the femoral pain block was fresh. 

A quick stop at the nurses station to speak with my OS who ws reviewing something on the computer, we reviewed the cross-pin tecnique and some activities to stay away from: basketball, marathon training/running, work which requires kneeling, deep squats. None of which are in my repetoire, I was feeling good as they wheeled me towards the exit in my hospital gown.

I think this is similar to the cross pin technique he used: http://www.biomet.com/sportsMedicine/getFile.cfm?id=1060&rt=inline

Luckily, I have a car with a back seat I can lay down in. My wife brought the car around and I was able to use the crutches to get into the rear of the vehicle looking out as we approached a California freeway at lunch hour. I soon felt nauseous, and reached for napkins and an empty paper bag. Thankfully it wasn't needed, nausea was probably due to the anaesthesia.

About 30 minutes later we pulled into our garage, about 2 PM, pretty much as planned.

Crutches proved to be no problem, I've been beefing up my upper body/arms for years. Started the ibuprofen, pain meds and kept the ice on top of the bandages pretty much through the night, not sure this was wise, but I couldn't feel a thing due to the nerve block. I began the icing routine of 20 minutes every couple hours the next day.

The rest of Day 0 was spent in bed making/recieving calls, resting, getting comfortable with my new ACL/meniscus reality.

The anaesthesia caused some problems with balance, urinating (took a little while), feeling dazed.

Day 0 keywords: PATIENCE, THANKFUL
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 17, 2006, 09:11:13 PM
Day 1: Got about 5-6 hours sleep, I was thrilled considering the pain meds and fact was leg was propped up on a pillow.

Femoral nerve block was still active so my mood was pretty jubilant until about 5PM. Kept the ice on throughout the night and most of the day, not sure this was a good idea, but I couldn't feel it through the bandages.

I tried the cryocuff but it was useless through the bandages, perhaps when they are removed I'll use it for overnight or when lying around resting. Otherwise it may be useless to me, ice packs seems to get it done.

Spent the day with my lovely wife, who is taking good care of me, taking calls from friends and family, recovery room nurse called to check in, asked about the wounds and how I was managing. All is well, I thanked her and her team for taking good care of me. Made an appointment for PT next week. Started to keep track of the meds I'm taking, when I'm icing, etc. Got the laptop powered up, watching TV, reading, bathroom trips are getting a little easier, I think due to the anathesia wearing off. Did a couple rounds of phase #1 passive rehab. I kept checking the photos of inside my knee capsule, before and after images are SO COOL! Looks like he left a nice chunk of meniscus where it's needed, thankfully.

Day 1 wrapup: Last of the femoral nerve block, start of phase 1 rehab, started the routine of meds, and icing. Lucky to be married to a beautiful angel.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 17, 2006, 10:45:35 PM
Day 2 post-op: Femoral nerve block wore off yesterday around 5PM, first night of uncomfortable pain.

Pain meds every 4 hours, little sleep, maybe 3-4 hours. Up every hour taking meds & icing.

Heard some owls screeching, the highlight of the evening. I definitely do not like the neighbors wind chimes.

Made it through the night, taking pain meds throughout the day, trying to put more time between them, seems to be working.

Napped during the day, watched TV, pain subsiding, keeping up with the ibuprofen, icing, by the evening of day 2 pain was subsiding, last pain med at 8:15 PM.

Did 4 sets of rehab, more weight bearing than prior days. Not bad considering the pain levels from the wee early morning hours.

Starting day 3, no pain meds yet. Continue ibuprofen and icing throughout.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 18, 2006, 07:44:37 PM
day 3: no pain meds, able to put more weight on the AClr'd leg, spent more time out of the soft velcro-laden brace. 

Slept well considering the knee is propped up. Steady routine of icing, week 1 rehab, ibuprofen 600mg 3/daily. Taking a stool softener too, that may be too much information, but it may help someone out there.

Lots of TV, reading. I'm officially bored now.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: celinenj03 on August 18, 2006, 08:51:29 PM
Sounds pretty familiar JB! You're doing really great. Just be careful with keeping that pain at bay. Someone here told me days 4-5 were most painful and it really proved to be true. I think that's when all the drugs, femoral block and the shock from surgery really start to wear off. So just be mindful if you feel anything creeping in. You know I was a HUGE fan of the anti-inflammatories. Took mega doses, and I had no real problems with swelling as a result. I wonder if your OS says no basketball or deep squats because of the method of ACLR or is that a general rule of thumb? I am doing deep squats daily (as a mom and homemaker) and have no problems, but hopefully not hurting myself without knowing it.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on August 18, 2006, 10:18:23 PM
Saw you on another thread JB and have been looking forward to reading your post-op progress.  Thanks for posting, and in such detail.  Good luck with the recovery!  Will be following with interest.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 19, 2006, 05:29:17 AM
Hi CJ, I think I'm past the worst of the pain, perhaps rehab will cause a spike. I've read some study where day 2 is a common spike with pain levels going down through day 5.

Agree on the need for anti-inflamms, still taking those 3x daily. I take my bandages off tomorrow, hopefully the swelling will be ok.

For you I doubt squats in your daily life would be any problem.

For me, avoiding hoops, long distance running, and deep squats (I'm assuming with weights) is due to the meniscus that he had to slice.  If it was just an ACLr, I'm pretty sure I could return to all sports. 

I'm in my late 40's so probably best I look at a change of activities anyway. It took a while to accept this, it's a conservative approach but, I think it's worth it.

EyeSpy - I remember reading your posts, I hope you get the proper opinion for your situation.  Take time to find an OS you have confidence in. If you haven't read it check out Dr. Grelsamers book, a great read.

Day 4 pretty much lke Day 3, a little more wieght bearing, still no need for pain meds today. Week 1 rehab seems easier today, progress? Still icing every couple hours over the bandages, hope this is effective.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: SarahY on August 19, 2006, 01:43:50 PM
Hi JB!  Glad to see you have your own diary going.  Thanks for the link in your first post.  I have actually learned something new.  Sounds like things are getting better.  I'm guessing a meniscus trim and a meniscus repair have different protocol.  You mentioned being able to put some weight on your leg, but Jennifer (in-clyde) wasn't able to do that for a while.   

For myself, I noticed a big difference from day 1 to week 3...just about every day.  Now progress is happening little by little.  Thanks for the support you gave me!  Glad your angel is taking good care of you  :)
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 19, 2006, 06:14:44 PM
thanks sarah, pretty amazing technique using the cross pin, I was fascinated, I was assuming 2 inteference screws. I'll check your diary for my peek into the future.

It's the same technique used for hamstring grafts.

Meniscus trim and repair are very diffferent, the repair requires NWB for a while due to the fact it needs to heal, the advantage obviously is a full meniscus. Comaparatively speaking, repairs are not used in many cases due to location of the injury and patient age. 

Day 5 starts out with removing the bandages, got a look-see at the wounds and swelling; lovely.

Shower today, yippee, got a plastic yard chair for the shower, should be fun. Yesterday I had a little more pain due mostly from being slightly more active. A friend came by and we researched some things on the net, so I was moving the leg around and more weight bearing, by the end of the day, the knee was barking.

Ice, ibuprofen quieted things down, no pain meds last night but it was close. Woke up today after a decent nights sleep, about 7 hours.

Plan for today, shower, rehab, ice, ibuprofen.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 20, 2006, 04:35:00 PM
day 5: week 1 rehab moving along slowly, plenty stiff and sore, more weight bearing daily, still crutching, could go to one if I had to. highlights: shower in a plastic chair, with plastic bag tape around knee (both ideas from posters in the cruciate ligament board), still using anti-inflamms, got to hang outside with friends, I was on the lounge chair with leg propped, swelling improving slowly.

start of day 6: I'll try the cryo cuff now that the bandages are removed, perhaps it will be more effective. 
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: SarahY on August 21, 2006, 02:02:34 AM
Hey JB...I noticed the most important part of the first week or so was getting the swelling down.  Ice, ice, ice, and ibuprofen.  I'm glad you are seeing things get better.  For myself, my knee is always stiff in the morning, when I first get up.  When do you start PT?

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 21, 2006, 03:49:03 PM
Hi Sarah, PT starts tomorrow, swelling has improved, got my cryocuff working. I've been doing the exercises they gave me in pre-op, those have been going well.

I have phased PT work for each week, I'll try the phase 2 work today

Cryocuff is effective now that the bandages have been removed. My ice maker can't make ice quick enough.

Day 6 highlights: improved swelling, can go to one crutch, more weight bearing. Able to do more on my own. Need to run this progress by the OS. Used the cryo cuff most of the day. Still resting, leg elelvated, icing, crutching, sleeping with soft brace. Overall pain level down, no pain meds for days. Noticed calf muscle wastage. Quad muscle, hard to tell from the swelling, glad I did pre-op leg strengthening.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on August 21, 2006, 07:58:29 PM
Blimey 6 days passes quickly!  Well, when you're not recovering for surgery I suppose.  But you're sounding happy enough with how things are progressing.

So what quad strengthening did you do prior to op?  Gym?  I went for a naughty 8 mile run yesterday after 5 miles on the beach on Saturday and my thighs are screaming!  And that's only after 3-4 weeks out.  I've been doing some quad exercises I found online obviously are not enough.

Are you just doing your own PT or getting assistance?
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 21, 2006, 09:35:18 PM
Hi EyeSpy - Lunges of different shapes and styles seemd to work best for me. Leg press too. Squats as well.

I discovered swimming recently, when I get winded I did walking lunges then backward jog to get the hammies, it works!

Becuase of my meniscus problems I couldn't get the full ROM for leg press and squats. So, lunges seemed to work best for my situation.

I found the warrior pose (a yoga move) to be great for quads. I was at the gym for at least 2-3 nights per week for a year before my surgery.

I've got PT prescribed, and an excellent person to work with. For the first couple of months my PT is about getting back ROM, strength, reducing pain, so it's pretty standard fare.

Be patient with stregthening, it just takes time and consistency.

check this site:

http://bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.php?MainMuscle=Quadriceps
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on August 21, 2006, 10:03:18 PM
Thanks JB, my knees are hurting just looking at some of those squats!  I know to be careful about how far to bend though, but I have some dumbells and ankle weights I may incorporate into what I've been doing.  The bike will be out this week too and I know I keep mentioning... the aquajogger!  I haven't been to the pool in ages... but seems a good place to be at the moment and I shall try some of your lunges.  Wearing the aqua jogging belt I'll be getting weird looks anyway!!

Well, going to the gym 2-3 nights a week for a year... you must be pretty dedicated.  So I'm sure you'll breeze your PT and be back pretty quickly.  I have read, and I'm sure you have to, that it is likely to be the meniscectomy that limits things more than the ACL repair.  But that's a whole 'nother thread eh?
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 21, 2006, 10:53:12 PM
Hi EyeSpy - yes, the meniscus work is the limiting factor.  I'm a little disappointed, but glad I didn't do even more damage over the 5 years I delayed ACL surgery. 

Hopefully I'll fully recover and discover new ways to stay fit that don't include bouncing on my thin-ner meniscus.

going to the gym is easy, it's in the basement of the building where I work, and I was motivated.

Day 7: wearing the cryo cuff most of the time, taking it off when water warms, then back on about in about an our. Leg elevated most of the time. First PT early tomorrow.

Discovered a little more pain today, not sure what that's from, too much cryo cuff? too much weight bearing? normal? Notice warm to the touch around the meniscus area.

Guessing too much weight bearing after reading through my PT materials.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: SarahY on August 22, 2006, 01:12:51 PM
Hi JB...I noticed once the swelling started to subside and the numbness went away, I had a bit more pain.  I also stopped with the pain meds so if you have cut back that could cause the soreness.  I was really getting into my excercises after the first few days and I was definitely more sore. 

However, it does sound like it could be from wearing too much weight too fast.  Hang in there...you are doing great!

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 22, 2006, 08:06:27 PM
sarah - right you are, just back from my PT, he said the same, tough for me to know when I'm doing too much. I guess I'm into the good days/bad days routine. 

Day 8   - 1st visit to PT, measured my extension at 6 degrees, I got to 90 degree flexion, said I was doing good, OS has me on the aggresive plan, a good thing? PT gave me single leg raise and prone hang to add to my pase 1 rehab.

After checking my post-op photos, PT also thought I'd get back to all my activities, I can't get my head around it. For now, I'm good with my 4 reps of phase I rehab.

Revelation: Icing 20 minutes every 2 hours was his recommendation, any more may be self defeating. Makes sense, the cryo cuff is tough to beat for convenience. If you want to save $'s, ice bag is just fine.

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 23, 2006, 08:49:45 PM
Day 9 - starts with little pain, 2-3 level, more conscious of weight bearing. The need to be careful during the first few weeks is a main concern. Will not aim to lose the crutches just yet.

Passive rehab is the goal, will aim for 4+ reps per day.

PT does not like leg extension of any kind during this period, I'll wear the soft brace more often.

Notice quad and calf muscle wastage, need to work it. I can almost see my full kneecap, swelling improving daily.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: SarahY on August 24, 2006, 01:39:02 PM
6 degrees extension?  I am so jealous.  Pray I get past 4 degrees (been there for over a week now).  It really sound like you are doing well.  I told my PT I want to be pushed a little.  She tough on me, but I feel like it's worth it (not during therapy though!  but afterwards).

I was doing single leg raises from day 2 and I still do them.  Oh...about the ice...my PT recommended a large bag of peas...long enough to lay on top and the side of your knees.  I have used that bag so many times!

Keep up the good work...it really sounds like you are doing well.  Whatever you do, don't catch up to me...I'll feel really defeated!   ;D
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 24, 2006, 03:32:57 PM
hey sarah, thanks for the kind words, I'm happy to hear you think I'm progressing well. It good to get feedback from one who has walked the walk.  Seems like pain levels fluctuate day to day, sometimes even intra-day.

Can't explain why my extension may seem so good, I've been doing specific rehab for it and have been for a year+ in pre-op.

It's a marathon not a sprint.....

Day 10 starts with a set of rehab before leaving bed, cryocuff in place. Last night I almost took a pain pill, but fell asleep without it, slept pretty well through the night. Wife popped in with some coffee in bed this AM, we did a job search, I am still useful to her  :)
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jennifer_in_clyde on August 26, 2006, 05:55:15 PM
jb you are doing so well! I think the fluctuating pain levels are normal - at least they are normal for me - I have good and bad times of day, driven a little on what I've been doing too. I think the early days after ACLR are even more hour to hour than day to day!


Isn't it nice to realize even if you can't do all the physical stuff you used to do (and will do again!) that you are still useful :)

And bless our spouses for coffee in bed. It's been my favorite part of my life post-op  ;D
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 26, 2006, 06:20:47 PM
Hi JIC - thanks for the confirming the different phases in the early stage.  Have to agree about coffee in bed, a nice touch. I'm able to field phone calls during the day which helps my wife w/ car repair and other contractors, like her personal assistant.  ;D

Day 11 - spent more time one crutching, turned the corner on weight bearing, seems like less overall pain. Rehab exercises seem slightly easier, consistent 4x daily.  Spent most of the day leg elevated, icing. Stopped ibuprofen, OS says to continue if there is swelling. I'll take 600/2x daily.



Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 27, 2006, 04:36:26 PM
Day 12 - one crutching and no crutching around the house more often, knee feels stable with less pain when weight bearing. Swelling and flexion improving. Doing early rehab exercise 4x daily consistently. Need to keep up the icing and ibuprofen even though things are improving. PT appt. tomorrow, onward and upward.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on August 27, 2006, 08:27:42 PM
Excellent progress JB!

You're making it sound too easy  ;)
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 28, 2006, 07:30:48 PM
Hi EyeSpy, I just hope I don't screw it up by being over-confident, that's how I damaged my meniscus.... ah yea, if knew then what I know now... how often can you say that about things in your life  ??? Gots to look forward, not back.....

Day 13 - turned the corner on weight bearing, walked around the house without crutches about 75% of the time.  my wife has that look of serious disapproval, she's an angel most of the time, but don't piss her off! I'm feeling the heat, promised to keep crutching until OS and PT says it time to ditch the sticks.

Day 14 starts with a visit to PT, says I'm doing good, 1 degree extension, 90 degree flex, gave the approving nod as I moved through some rehab routines and half turns on the exercise bike.

says I can do the same at home if I can find a stationary bike. A friend has one I can borrow, if I can get it home......

I can't lose the crutches for another week, safety first! Says I no longer need the soft brace, except for sleep, he added a hip strengthen routine to the mix. Confirmed I should continue ibuprofen until swelling is gone. OS visit tomorrow.

Swelling is improving, knee feels wooden (from swelling I'm told), scars healing nicely, still seated in  shower.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 29, 2006, 10:19:32 PM
Day 15, feeling so much better. Weight bearing more often, no pain, getting muscle sore in the calf and quad, now looking to work on the limp and gain stregnth.

Went to see the OS, went over the photos from the operation, confirmed all is looking good, says I lost some depth on my meniscus. If I avoid deep, weight bearing squats, I'll be fine.

Noticed I still have swelling, says it should continue to reduce for a while, he gave me some message to work over the leg which should help reduce swelling, his assistant removed the stitches. Re: crutches, his concern is stability, we both agreed to go with PT recommendation to use one crutch for another week. Seems like a safety precaution, I guess it's like a cane. We also went over future use of a neoprene brace for warmth and as a bio-feeedback mechanism. 

He gave me the ok to increase the number of sets of rehab I do, but left it to the PT to add exercises to the routine.

I'm thrilled.....
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 31, 2006, 03:45:09 AM
Day 16: can walk around the house w/out crutches easily. thinking of taking a drive soon. I'll take a crutch along as a safety measure, but right now it just slows me down....

Over did it on one of my extension exercises, got a nice jolt from the meniscus, reminding me not too be cocky. Doesn't seem to be a problem except when I overextend the knee joint.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 01, 2006, 01:37:08 AM
day 17 - woohoo - drove to the post office and gym, crutch-less, though I had them in the car.

did my rehab routine at the gym including half rotations on the bike. I wanted to take a whirl on the rest of the machines, but the new, patient me only allowed the abs machine. Taking no chances these days.

Knee feels good, good flexion & extension, improves daily. Iced plenty on the couch at home, downed an ibuprofen for good measure. Taking 2 daily. Swelling improves daily.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jennifer_in_clyde on September 01, 2006, 03:55:28 AM
Yay - driving feels GOOD so independent! Sounds like you are making excellent measured progress. I think that makes the most sense - if you push too too hard you backslide - slow steady progress seems to work best for us ACLr-ers!

You are making this all seem pretty easy! :)
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 01, 2006, 04:07:53 PM
slow steady progress seems to work best for us ACLr-ers! - Amen Sister JIC! Hopefully, it continues this way.

I feel like I'm at then end of the "acute phase". I'm praying things continue to progress as I look forward to the active life I've had to put on hold for what seems like ages.

If I had to guess why things are going so well, it would be that my knee was not sore or swollen when I went into surgery. My surgery was straight forward, with a meniscus trim and allograft.

Prior to surgery, I strengthened my legs for a year or more (between instability injuries). 

Additionally, I have access to excellent resources, a sports minded, knee-expert OS, well-educated PT, access to gyms, and these boards have been terrific.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jennifer_in_clyde on September 01, 2006, 04:46:26 PM
I think you are right...the ability to strengthen your legs and prep for surgery seems like a big rehab bonus! I know I was going into surgery with a lot of muscle loss and really talked with my OS about whether I should do PT first to build muscle. We decided that to the extent I could - great - but not to postpone since my post-op protocol with the meniscus repair was going to cause so much more muscle loss that unless I wanted to wait a year and work intensively (and hope for no injury) - I couldn't combat that with a few weeks extra PT. I have to admit the NWB protocols and muscle loss make me feel weeks behind others with different surgeries/injuries...my "acute" phase is only just now coming to an end as I reach 7 weeks post-op - but I know I will catch up to all of you eventually!

I like how many people on this board recognize that there is no one way rehabs go (timeline)...but that we are all ultimately moving through the same phases and support and encourage each other along the way!

I'm betting that while you will have some frustration - since this really is a long slow process - at the end you will be able to do everything you have been missing :) In the meantime enjoy all the small accomplishments! I know I am really looking at so many things differently as I go through this process! (and I'm counting myself as lucky too since I've got access to the same resources you cite - and I know not everyone is that fortunate!)
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: SarahY on September 01, 2006, 06:53:42 PM
Hi JB...sounds like things are going well.  Lately it does seem slow and steady; at least for me.  I agree with what you said about the pre-surgery rehab stuff.  I know for me, it was difficult since I was still walking with a limp up until the day of my surgery.  I did do pre-surgery rehab and I can see where it has definitely helped.

Keep up the good work...have a wonderful weekend!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 03, 2006, 04:09:16 PM
Day 18 - drove to the gym, cycled half rotations (7 minutes), added a few full rotations, didn't seem like a problem.

strolled around the gym looking for knee-friendly, upper body machines, there were 4 in a row, got a good workout in a short time.

Being careful until I see PT on Tues. Still icing, ibuprofen 1x daily.

Had to visit the hospital to remove a stitch which was overlooked by the OS assistant. One incision wasn't healing properly. Looks good 24 hours later.....
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on September 03, 2006, 04:12:59 PM
Hi JB, almost three weeks now eh?  And things are progressing nicely.  Glad you aren't pushing it too much because you feel you can.  Sensible!  Is your knee still swollen or are you just taking precaution following exercise?  Much pain/discomfort at this stage?
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 03, 2006, 05:49:06 PM
Hi Spy, thanks for checking in.

I read your post on your plan for CMI, it seems like a smart strategy.  I wish you the best and will be interested in your experience. I'm interested because if I need a another meniscus trim, I might opt for CMI myself.....

It seems 3 weeks is a PT timeline to evaluate whether to take rehab to another level.

I'm taking precautions, knee is 10-20% more swollen than un-op'd knee, I continue to take anti-inflamms and ice.

Knee is stiff but ROM improves daily. Rehab 3-4x daily, one of those at the gym, takes ~15 minutes, gym for about 30.

No crutches, no soft brace, still sit while taking a shower, can probably stand easy enough. Just being cautious on a wet surface......

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 04, 2006, 04:43:20 PM
Day 19 - excellent workout at the gym, cycled with mixed half/full rotations, 7 minutes, walked the treadmill for 5 minutes, low speed, no incline, spent quality time on knee friendly upper body machines.

Almost an hour workout. Knee felt a little sore above the kneecap. With ice & ibuprofen, no pain, a little stiff as I start Day 20.

Can see some muscle definition (if you look really hard). Quad is like jelly.

Took my first shower without a chair. Back to normal sleeping pattern.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 05, 2006, 08:32:00 PM
Day 20 (3 weeks today!) - knee's feelilng good, did my rehab routine, plus a trip to the gym for the full body workout, full rotations on the exercise bike, decided to skip the treadmill until I spoke with PT.

Day 21 - Knee started the day a more stiff than normal, possible due to yard work from yesterday, plus PT routines. Supervised PT session early morning. He added 0 resistance leg press, standing hamstring curl (weighted), weighted leg raise, and 0 resistance full rotation on the exercise bike. He measured 0 extension 130 flexion, said I should focus on heel to toe walking, I guess this is to lose the limp.

Started work from home today. This may cut into my KG time  :(

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on September 06, 2006, 12:30:18 AM
OK, I'm getting jealous now!

0 resistance leg press?  Just pushing on the plate without any weight?  I am going to the gym tomorrow to speak to a coach about doing leg presses.  But am a bit wary since my R knee is feeling a little precarious, but I can sit with it at 90 degress bend and am driving OK so expect I can do small movements to exercise the quads?  Scared to make things worse though.  I read back and you had similar problems for leg presses pre-op.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 06, 2006, 05:34:17 AM
Hi Spy, right, pushing on the plate w- no weight. 

I was on a TotalGym at the rehab clinic, (http://totalgym.com) where the plate doesn't move but the cushion you lie on does. It just works ROM, using your body weight. I'll emulate that at my gym w- the leg press... fingers crossed.

leg press with a torn meniscus is difficult, especially at a deep angle, I'd suggest 30-45 degrees at most. It doesn't take much to work the quad. Heck, leg press w- a sliced meniscus is no joy, today I have some work out pain.

Have you tried wall squats w- an exercise ball in the small of your back? Easier on the knee and you can tell degree at a time where your limit is...... Or, the warrior pose in yoga? Used both in pre-op, hope to get back to these some day.....

don't be jealous, I'm post-op, you're supposed to feel sorry for me!

best to you,
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 07, 2006, 12:49:15 AM
day 22 - I had a great workout at the gym, did my rehab & upper body workout, then tried some machines w- 0 resistance. exer-cycle (10 minutes), leg press, hamstring curl, calf raise, woooo-hoooo!

I attempted one hamstring curl machine where you can flip the pad to focus on one or the other hammie, my knee barked when I tried to fit into it. Got to remember to be careful at this stage.

Knee was tired but felt good.

Very happy, now to the ice.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on September 07, 2006, 12:57:56 AM
**applauds**

Well done!  And glad you are heeding your limitations.

I was at the gym today also.  It's changed a lot in 15 yrs  ;D  Very high tech.  Not really sure what I did.  Ermmm the arm bike thingy, the elliptical (had a knee pop on that one though and on the recumbent bike which I abandoned in fear), tried leg presses and a few other arm ones to make me feel like I did something.  All very light weight/low-resistance.  I think I'll be doing mainly the arm bike and elliptical though 'cos I like the cardiovascular work.  Are you aware of favouring one leg on the leg press?

My surgery is pencilled in for 16 Oct, providing I can get x-rays done and posted in time and all is OK with them.  I already have my rehab marked out to the date!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 07, 2006, 07:29:38 PM
Hi Spy, 15 years since you've been in a gym? sheesh, good thing you like to run, HA!  ;D

yes, I definitley notice a diff on the leg press between the good and bad leg. Only natural, snice my op'd quad is jello-like, but coming back.

good luck w- surgery, I look forward to your posts. Has your OS told you what to expect long term from the CMI? Is this a once in a lifetime deal (assuming normal wear-n-tear)?
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on September 07, 2006, 07:37:43 PM
And don't I know it!  Can hardly move my arms today... driving is a nightmare!  Didn't really notice the knees lol

Long-term CMI results are unknown as it's only been around 6-7 years, but no problems reported so far.  OS has said he cannot guarantee anything and regrowth could be 30-40%, it could be 60-70% of defect.  He did say no difference in symptoms related to how much meniscus lost though.  And my latest x-rays are to ensure not too much damage to the bone surface prior to implant as too much wear and tear can damage the implant.  So fingers crossed (now cringing at the thought of all that mileage - it's surely had some effect)  Should find out next week once the x-ray dept work out what a Rosenberg view is!!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 07, 2006, 07:53:37 PM
seems like you're in good hands w- an exciting development in meniscus surgery.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 08, 2006, 05:19:35 AM
day 23 - some soreness, perhaps too much work at the gym and walking around unabated.

gave it the rest of the day off after my AM home rehab session,

swelling improves, ~10% more than the un-op'd knee.

1 ibuprofen daily, iced today every 2-3 hours.....

day 24 - worked from home all day, sitting in front of a PC.

Knee worked 1/2 day, walked carefully around a friend's construction sight, light home rehab 2x, no ice, no ibuprofen, knee continues to improve daily.

Must get back to the gym. I'll stick to the PT protocol as far as the exercises, instead of free-styling my own 'similar' routines.

Today is 4 weeks from the op - I'll post weekly updates as there minimal pain from op, swelling is about 5-10% above normal, rehab is routine. 

I get to the gym once per day to use machines and do a full body workout. Home "knee" rehab 1-2 x daily.

Generally, some stiffness, slight limp, stairs are becoming easier to manage, both up and down, taking it slow. Icing/ibuprofen as needed.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: SarahY on September 13, 2006, 01:20:43 AM
Hi!  I've read your posts and I'm glad to see you are doing still improving and it seems you are doing well.  The first few weeks go quickly and then it seems to slow down with improvements weekly.  Makes sense to post weekly.  I almost feel there isn't much to report since I  have been stuck with the extension issue.  I can't tell when my leg is getting stronger...only when my PT increases the weights. 

Anyway, hope you are doing well...take care!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 13, 2006, 04:18:53 PM
thanks Sarah, I seem to have plateued, swelling improves, as does the limp.

I notice when I try to do too much at this point I get more sore, so I stick specifically to the PT protocol for now.

No hurry, but I do look forward to upping the leg workouts. As it is, I spend an hour at the gym doing a full body routine.

PT appt. Tuesday.

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 19, 2006, 11:18:32 PM
5 weeks and a day - saw the PT today, says I'm doing well, 137 degrees flexion, a couple smidgens above 0 on  extension, we pushed and prodded a little to get it there. Something to work on.

Was cleared for road cycling on flat surface and swimming as long as I keep the knee straight as possible, don't flex too much, Finally some cardio! Swelling is way down, still about 5% above normal, starting to see definition in the quad.

Went to a baseball game last night (A's lost to the Tribe  :( ), stairs up were no problem, going down I had pain on the lateral side.

On the lateral side I have a bump where they inserted the cross-pin. It doesn't look or feel like the good knee. I'll ask the OS next week. Wonder if this is residual swelling or what.....

Knee feels a little tired today, could be the combo ballgame/extra PT today.... Been walking a lot in the last week.

Got the go ahead for some resistance on the stationary bike and leg press. woo-hoo!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on September 19, 2006, 11:24:57 PM
You are doing so well!  Can't believe you're doing all that 5 weeks on.  The cycling wil be excellent and the leg pres is only going to help eh?  Brill!  Any limit to your cycling in terms of for how long?

So what is normal flexion and extension anyway?
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 19, 2006, 11:44:22 PM
Hi Spy, thanks for the encouragement.

flexion should be about 140 degrees give or take a few, both legs should match.

Extension is considered at or near zero, flat. Again both knees should be the same.

PT didn't indicate a limit on road cycling, other than, "don't twist your knee hopping off the bike". I have a 2 mile ride to the train when I commute next week. I'll try it this weekend. 

It seems I'm at the point where the prescribed exercise is do it with "pain as your guide". Slow and steady is working for me......

good luck to us!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on September 19, 2006, 11:47:23 PM
So you're nearly normal!  ;)
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on September 19, 2006, 11:51:11 PM
Must be weird getting the pain on the lateral side though when we thought the meniscus removal would be the problem.  Will be interesting to see what OS says.  Does that cross-pin stay in the knee then?  I have a running friend who's screw broke!  She had to point out the tip thread and all on the scan - about the size of a pound coin and she wondered why she had some pain lol  Sorry... no more scare stories!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jennifer_in_clyde on September 20, 2006, 12:53:13 AM
jb - you are doing great!! Isn't it nice to have resistance on the bike - love it! Can you go down stairs leg over leg - or do you put both feet on each step? I'm up leg over leg...but down is a whole 'nother story! It's one of those "life skills" I really want back!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 20, 2006, 03:42:14 PM
Hi Spy - yes the cross-pin is absorbable, takes 2-4 years. near normal walking, but not down the stairs, it's a challenge.  as for the pain on the lateral side, I wonder if the knee is just settling in to it's new dynamics. Not too worried, yesterday was mostly rest for the knee and this morning it's fine.

Hi JIC - yes, leg over leg downstairs, I tried too many steep ones on Mon. night at the ballpark, followed by an agressive PT session, my knee was unhappy yesterday. OK this morning. No ice, no iibuprofen, probably should have iced, knee was warm. I'm on the train starting Monday so stairs will be a test.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: raquetball1 on September 21, 2006, 06:18:34 PM
JB,

You are doing really terrific in your recovery, jb.  Oustanding flexion and extension for five weeks post-op.  You are definitely a great example of what effect proper pre-hab has on rehab. 
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 21, 2006, 06:39:39 PM
thanks racquet, yea, I had a loooooong time to think about this surgery. At least my legs were in good shape. Too bad I made mush of my meniscus..... Could have been worse though.

- feeling hopeful for full recovery -
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 22, 2006, 05:02:33 PM
5 weeks - 4 days - hit a bit of a hurdle, since being more agressive on gaining the last bit of extension, I've got some pain/soreness under the kneecap.

Not sure what this is, but it's come on the last few days, causing a limp and need to ice after workouts.

I'll dial back off the rehab a little and wait to hear from the PT on this. DANG  >:(

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: raquetball1 on September 22, 2006, 05:57:59 PM
JB,

Seems like you've hit that "pain is your guide" moment.  You might just have some residual fluid in knee capsule that will roam to different areas and cause pain. You might just have stressed the graft a bit. And you also have the meniscus procedure that complicates matters a bit. You are still doing great for your stage of rehab.  I had a number of those "moments" in rehab and just laying off those exercises/routines that caused the pain for a little while (still continuing other exercises) resolved the problem.  Won't be surprised if your "Dang" moment is short-lived. 
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 22, 2006, 07:02:40 PM
thanks Racquet, you're correct. Heard from PT, suggests laying off the "forced extension" a little, trying to isolate what is causing the pain.

Still using the 5 lb ankle weights and will try to get on my bike around the neighborhood this weekend.

I'll suspend the leg press just to be safe for a couple days.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: celinenj03 on September 25, 2006, 04:59:38 PM
You are doing great, my knee twin! I hear you on the lateral knee pain. I had that for awhile. Never figured out exactly what it was, but rest easy, it WILL pass. Wasn't my meniscus or anything like that I don't suppose, cause it's pretty much gone. I still get sore from time to time but that is to be expected for a year or more following this type of surgery. You sound right on track. Dont' let the bad days get you down, you will have bad days and you will feel stuck or even like you went backwards. It's all normal. It really is 2 steps forward, one back for quite a few months. It's hard, but you're doing great. Just keep up your workouts like you are, and you are pretty much guaranteed a full recovery when your body is ready and only your body knows when. Compare to an extent, but you are an individual and your recovery will be at your own pace, though it sounds like it is QUICK! Soooo happy for you.  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 25, 2006, 07:04:59 PM
Hi ya CJ, my knee is feeling much better today. Thanks for the encouraging words. It's scary when you have this type of injury, all kinds of thoughts run through your mind. Kept me up for a night worrying,  :-\

6 weeks -

I guess I tried to correct my extension too quickly and paid with some soreness for about 2-3 days. Took off a few days of rehab, got back to it lightly yesterday. Iced on/off for a couple days. That seems to help. Rode my bike around the neighborhood for 15 minutes, level surface, lowest gears. Felt great.

I'm back in the office today. Hope to get to the gym today or tonight, perhaps ride my bike to the train station tomorrow, around 2 miles.

Message to those with extension problems, take it slow.....

Other than this setback, swelling is almost gone, < 5% more than the good knee.

Just back from the gym, I'm back on track, woo-hoo.

6 weeks + 1 day -

On the bike this morning to the train, low gears and slow, as the misses reminded me when I left, took twice as long but it feels great!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on September 29, 2006, 07:54:57 PM
Loving hearing how well you are continuing to do, JB.  I still harbour fears about the things that can go wrong... and it is good to hear how straight forward things can be!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 29, 2006, 08:09:13 PM
Hi Spy, this has been a good transition week, from trepidation to a "little more normal". Hopefully the next transition will take me up a notch where I can visualize testing the knee, whereas now I'm still babying it. Makes sense, at ~7 weeks.

First week commute wrapup:

the good: "running for trains", climbing and descending stairs, cycling to the station, dodging traffic across a busy street, pain decreased by the end of the week, daily, 1 hour gym workouts, longer pain free walks, knee not as stiff while sitting at a desk for hours, and the best, walking to/from & "stand dancing" at a Tom Petty concert.  ;D

the not so good: I didn't actually run but fast walked, w- a limp to go with it. Stiff knee out of bed in the AM, my morning 20 minute knee workout helps. Long walks > mile are pushing it at this point, the knee feels weak, probably due to poor muscle quality on the injured leg. Still limping occassionally, hard to pinpoint when or why. Overall, improves each day.

Noticeable knee cracks and clunks after the concert and periodically after a workout with a thought of "yikes is my knee giving way?". Hasn't happened, but the thought is troubling..... Hopefully this is scar tissue breaking up or knee adjusting to new dynamics.

I wish I could squeeze a 30 minute lower body gym workout during the day. However, I'm satisfied w- a 20 minute knee early morning session and an hour+ gym workout nightly, w- 4 mile cycle trip to the train and back daily. 

PT & OS visits this week, busy weekend ahead, woo-hoo!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 03, 2006, 03:40:12 PM
7 Weeks - Pain is minimal, except when over do it like last night with too many single leg leg press. Hopefully only a one day set back.

My PT gave an exercise of 2 legged leg press no resistance for 7-10 minutes, I modified it to single leg for 5 minutes, because my good leg felt over used. Seems that's too much for the injured leg. Will scale that back to around 30 reps, 2 sets with rest.

Otherwise knee swelling is almost gone, back to doing most daily activites with no problems, quad muscles are coming back but still weak. Next threshold is getting ready for sports. Seeing that my knee squawked at the leg press, this could take a while.

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: grams on October 03, 2006, 08:54:39 PM
Thanks for all your posts Its reassuring to read about others' progress and training. This rehab stuff is a bit lonely and worrisome for me sometimes.

I'm still doing very well. 4 weeks post-op ROM was 136 degrees after my pt session. The other leg max is 155, so I have a ways to go. I was on the stationary bike 10 mins, no resistance) 10 mins on the elliptical, 30 reps on the leg press with both legs and an additional 30 with the 'bad' leg. And the standard leg lifts and curls and balancing. The one exercise which bothers my patella is a leg bend with all my weight on the 'bad' leg.  My knee was tired the day after that session! I am doing  alternate days of hard and easy sessions, otherwise my knee complains. I still have some swelling and am icing several times a day, and elevating it a lot.

Thank heavens for my rowing machine at home. My leg went into the surgery in good shape, and I am already back on the rower (gently).  I am getting a stationary bike this week for my birthday so I can alternate the rower and the cycle. I don't plan to cycle for real for a wile yet. I am really paranoid about falling, although I am walking just fine and doing stairs normally, albeit a bit slowly. My 'good' leg looks bulkier than my 'bad' leg. The difference is accentuated by a combination of doing 25 minutes on the rower with the good leg and only 5 with both legs; and a habit of not standing with my weight equally distributed on both feet.

I need to reprogram my head to use the leg more, so I played a self-hypnosis tape I have. Hopefully it will sink in that its ok to use my wonderful new bionic knee.

Regards,
grams
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 03, 2006, 09:52:36 PM
grams, sounds like you're doing really well at 4 weeks.

the bicycle is really helpful. just keep consistent with your rehab routine and you should do well.

Like you, I alternate my routines depending on time and how my knee is behaving. Other than over doing it the workouts, I have not had to ice for a while.

Hard to find a balance in the routine between stregthening the leg muscles and safely protecting the surgical site.

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on October 04, 2006, 08:05:40 PM
Hiya

I posted somewhere about backward walking, running, cycling being recommended for post-op rehab, obviously best done in the gym  ;D

Here is the article I read: http://www.backward-running-backward.com/PDF.Osmond2005.pdf
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 06, 2006, 03:42:56 AM
Hi Spy, that's a good read, thanks.

Saw my OS yesterday,  he's checking for extension and flexion at this point - A-OK. Re-explained the cross-pin procedure, should lead to a very stable knee, feels like it most of the time. He also pointed out where I have some scar tissue build up.   

My challenge is the balance between strengthening and over working the injured knee.  I cut back the leg press to 20 reps, 15-20 lbs. Feels great today.

I must have mis-interpreted my PT instructions to go 7-10 minutes...... his leg press (totalgym) has 0 resistance, my gym has a minimal resistance of 15-20 lbs. Wouldn't have thought it could make a difference, but it does.

Grams gave me an idea to use the rower, I'll check into that w- the PT. I need to amp up the cardio, I'm gaining weight, not good  >:(
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: grams on October 06, 2006, 09:44:40 PM
Just remember to put the resistance on the rower way down to about 1 to start. And remember to start off pushing mostly with your good leg. I'm up to 4000meters with my good leg only, and then another 1000 with both legs. I do the 1-leg thing to keep the # of strokes down-they are like leg presses.

Yesteday at the physio was tough. My quads are great, but my balance is terrible. Balancing on my bad leg and doing side pulls with my good leg was scary. I kept thinking I was going to fall and needed to hang on to something.. Obviously I have been limiting myself  in my range activities for a long time. The knee massage in the scar tissue area wasn't much fun either. 

However, as my husband likes to say, 'Progress is being made.'

I'm off to the basement to try out the new bike.

grams
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 07, 2006, 12:34:29 AM
not sure the resistance on the machine I use will matter, it's mostly arms.

the legs do a little flexion, so I'll use the rower for cardio.

here's a similar rower:

 http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?dest=9999999997&product_id=2019138&sourceid=0100000032573917502498
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: grams on October 07, 2006, 05:05:30 PM
I have the 'gold standard' of rowers-the Concept2     www.concept2.com  The fitness quest loooks like a knockoff of the C2. It might be fine-I'll have to check one out next time I am at Wal-Mart.

The C2 the one all 'real' on-the-water rowers use for training. My grandson is a rower, so I plugged into the competitive community. My specialty is indoor endurance rowing. i tried (briefly) on-the-water, however witha bum knee I didn't have the strength to handle a shell safely getting it in and out of the water. Maybe now that my knee is repaired I can give it a go again.

It will give you a cardio workout for sure. I like it because it also strengthens my back and abs. And everything else...

My bike is great-I'm doing 10 minutes at low resistance, and then 5 or more mins on the rower with both legs. I added some situps to help with overall conditioning. My knee would be better if I lose some extra weight I put on when I stopped rowing before the surgery.

grams

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 08, 2006, 04:40:26 PM
Hi Grams, these rowers are all for arm resistance and cardio-fitness?

Other than some flexion and extension there really is no resistance on the knee or leg? Correct?

I'll give it a try this week a the gym.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: Ferris on October 08, 2006, 05:09:12 PM
Having used the rower (Concept II ergo) both before, during and after my ACL injury and reconstruction, I can notice the amount of work that your legs do.  After the injury but before the surgery it felt like I was using it one legged as I lost strength in my injured leg and so my ergo times dropped quite a bit - not good when you are a rower.  After the immediate post surgery period when I was back to using the machine (gradually increasing thed resistance on the wheel as the weeks went by), I could notice the increased power that I had in my operated leg and how it began to feel like I was working with both legs - my times have improved.  My arms didn't lose any strength during this period as I was still doing upper body workouts so it is largely my improved leg strength and the increased force that I can exert that is improving my performance.

Rachel
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 08, 2006, 05:57:45 PM
wow, thanks rachel (and grams), I had no idea the impact rowers have on your legs.

What am I missing here? The feet sit on a platform that stays still while your butt moves along the rower as you row with your arms against the set resistance, correct? How is that effecting your leg strength, other than flex and extension?

Not the first time I would have underestimated the amount of work I ask my injured leg to do. Luckily, the only after effect is some soreness for a day until I "work it out". I'll be taking it easy this week on the rower, 5-10 minutes low resistance.

my new favorite routine, rowing..... who knew?




 
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: Ferris on October 10, 2006, 08:45:00 AM
JB

Sorry not to reply sooner but have been having problems putting into words what I know and experience on the ergo.  You should not be moving up and down the slide on the seat at the same speed in both directions.  Moving up the slide towards the wheel (or cox if in a boat) is known as the 'recovery' and is done at a slower rate than the speed you move away from the wheel.  When you push off the footplate away from the wheel is when the work goes on with your legs.  But be careful not to push too hard at your stage.  I gradually increased the resistance on the wheel over the weeks but even now fully recovered I don't go higher than 4.  Keep the rate low and that increases the muscle work and builds strength more than rushing up and down the slide does.

Rachel
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 10, 2006, 04:56:45 PM
thanks Rachel, I think I've got it. Will post more when I get the chance to get on the rower......

Week 8  -

I haven't been able to get to the gym in a few days. I took a few days off to rest my knee due to minor pain (no swelling) under the kneecap, causing a slight limp. I've been on my bicycle, doing home rehab and walking.

This has caused some irritation under the kneecap. I spoke to the OS who says some overuse pain is OK. My PT thinks I'm over doing his instructed routines. Toning down the routine helps, less reps, less routines,  which is unfortunate as I saw the PT yesterday who added lunges, steps and balance training. Whew! My "light" home rehab will push past 30 minutes.....

That is, if I can get this patellar pain figured out, bummer  :-\

Other than that, my daily activities are no problem, my OS noticed some scar tissue but thought my flexion and extension were good, my PT noticed I need a little more extension (I think this is where the pain is coming from), and he thinks I'm doing very well, overall.

- RANT - I'm frustrated with the minor pain, my injured knee arriving at it's new dynamics, and my uninjured knee feeling over used. - END -
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: grams on October 10, 2006, 05:51:29 PM
Right now I am doing only a short session on the rower and doing a lot of situps to make up for the loss of a long workout. I think if you are using the rower mostly with your upper body and cardio you are doing too many incomplete short strokes too fast.

I have been erging (rowing indoors) for a couple of years. Pre-op routine was 1 hour at a steady pace three times a week.(12,000-14,000 meters) A couple of times a year I would do a marathon. (42198 meters) My fastest one is 3 hours 43 minutes. I crank classic rock and other music loudly while I'm erging. Its like running-the endorphins start and I end up in a good mood afterward.

Erging gives you a balanced workout that is low impact.  My bad knee and arthritis keep me from weight lfting, running, etc etc. Thanks to rowing however, I've got 'marathoners leg muscles' according to my pt, and a very nice set of shoulders and upper body for a 64 yo lady. My recovery has gone very well, thanks to starting off with good quads.

Rowing machine technique:

For a stroke, 1/3 of the time should be for pushing/pulling away from the front, and 2/3 of the time for the recovery, coming forward. Push with legs first, then pull with arms and lean back slightly. I keep my abs sort of tight, and my back straight.

Try to do 20 strokes/minute, 10 meters/stroke at a resistance between 1-1/2 and 3.  If its hard to go that slow, try it without strapping your feet in. No straps forces you to not use your legs to come forward. If you have trouble figuring out which numbers are which on the display go to www.concept2.com and check out their instructions.

my physio workout time is also getting longer and longer. Its a good thing I work at home and set my own hours...

grams



Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 17, 2006, 09:45:18 PM
9 weeks - Due to patellar pain I had to take the last week off from strengthening, cycle and stretching.  Other than daily activities and some fundamental rehab exercises, I rested the injured knee. Didn't get to the gym at all,  :'(

But, yesterday I saw a new PT closer to work and what a difference. He speculates that due to the missing few degrees of extension I need quad flexibility and not more strength! Stregthening caused pain since my leg is misaligned.

He worked my quad by pushing it down, bouncing it for a few minutes, until it hurt. It was uncomfortable but said it was needed, I iced later in the evening and next morning I was pain free.

He wants me to focus on flexibility stretches 6-8 times/day/30 seconds over the next 2 weeks. Gave me another quad flex exercise as well.

It seems to be working, he said something about lengthening the muscle or something, not sure, but he was confident it would eliminate the patellar pain after exercise. I'm on it like a cheap suit.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jennifer_in_clyde on October 18, 2006, 03:45:36 AM
JB - I am in the same place - lots of pain in the patella...and really rigid muscles - my PT just started doing some serious quad/calf/hamstring stretches - gave me more to do on my own - and showed me ones I can have my husband help with too (he can better work with me on contracting the muscles and stretching further than I can alone)...I'm hoping it helps!! It's been slowing down my rehab the last couple weeks! (my weak VMO isnt' helping any either though :( )

Hope the more aggressive stretching protocols help us both!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 21, 2006, 04:46:52 PM
Hi JIC, just checking in, the quad work seems to be helping, I've been on my bike and walking flat surfaces, light rehab workout,  no pain.

How ya doing?
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: celinenj03 on October 22, 2006, 11:32:21 PM
I remember in the beginning, I stretched way more than I strengthened. Have you tried laying on your stomach and having the PT push gently your foot to your backside? This really helps elongate the quad muscle. What a relief it is. Painful in the beginning but gets easy quick. I think a lot of people underestimate the importance of stretching with ACL rehab. I still stretch even more than I strengthen if you want to compare in hours a day. It's become a part of my daily routine. First thing in the morning, I do about 20 minutes of stretching. Then after I get out of the shower, it's always followed up with stretching while the muscles are warm. You might even find you get a little more extension from stretching all "around" the knee joint. I remember how tight my IT band was, but they didn't have me work on stretching that til about week 9 I think it was, but it also really helped.

JB, you're doing really great and your OS is right on point. You will have overuse pain and that patella pain will probably come and go for sometime, but eventually when your strength is all back, it will go for good.

By the way, I had a few times where I backed off my rehab and was way BETTER for it. I think you are handling your rehab like a genius and you will see very good results in time. If you let your knee be your guide you will do great. Good work!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 23, 2006, 02:27:12 AM
thanks CJ, it's good to hear from someone who has walked-the-walk.

That stretch you describe is one that is prescribed by the PT, only I do it myself using a towel around the ankle on a bed or massage table, pulling my ankle while lying on my stomach, it's great. He gave me a couple of variants to do at the office too. 6-8 times per day for 2 weeks.

It helps. I've been on 3 mile walks the last 2 days, no swelling and no patellar pain, a little sore, but ice takes care of it. Also back on the bike this week. No time for the gym yet, but planning on it. I'll focus on stretching as opposed to strength until I see the PT next week.

Thanks for the post, it helps a lot and I hope you're doing well. 

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 25, 2006, 09:38:07 PM
10 weeks - things are progressing well, less pain after exercise, due to a change in rehab focus from strength to flexibility for the last 2 weeks.  Quad muscle tone is returning, swelling is almost gone.

Walking more, cycling more, looking forward to additional gym work. I see my PT next week to see how my flexibility is, which supports an improvement in extension.

I can almost visualize a completely healthy knee, I hope it continues.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on October 25, 2006, 09:46:04 PM
This is fab JB!  I am about to re-read your progress, although our rehab is slightly different I can still use it as a guideline.  Do you remember having swelling behind the knee as well as above the kneecap?  I am sitting with my leg on a fitness ball and think I really need to have it higher, but I have to spend enough time lying on my back at night.

Enjoy your walking and cycling.  It's all good to hear!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 26, 2006, 04:52:39 AM
my knee was probably 50% larger than the good knee, from a few inches below the knee through the quad muscle for a couple of weeks. Don't recall the back of the knee per se. Bit I'm sure it's not unusual.

While resting I kept my knee on a large pillow, above my heart, took ibuprofen on schedule 600mg x 3/daily, iced 20 minutes, 6-8  times daily to control swelling. Sleeping was difficult the first week, a few hours at a time.

It's really a goal oriented rehab, each week or two is another goal to achieve, luckily I've had good PT's around to guide me through this.

I was home for 6 weeks and I think this helped a lot. Now, I wish I had more time to work out. But, I'll take what I can get.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on November 03, 2006, 04:05:42 AM
11 weeks +   - had a visit with my PT today, I think I've turned a corner. Patellar pain is gone. EXTENSION IS THE KEY! Let that be a lesson for you youngsters out there.

Even if it's off by a little, your knee will take a pounding as you try to strengthen if you don't have full extension. It took 3 weeks as I went back to the basics and had to work hard on my quad flexibility.

Now, I got permission to hike hills, get on the rower, ramp up my leg press, hamstring weight workouts slowly but surely. Got an excellent routine using a balance disc.






Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on November 03, 2006, 05:40:53 PM
Good news JB!  So are you saying quad flexibilty is the answer to extension which is the answer to patellar pain?  What exercises do you do for quad flexibility?  Pulling the foot to the buttock to stretch it?
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on November 03, 2006, 08:42:44 PM
yes, full extension means much less patellar pain, and yes you pull the leg to the buttock, is a quad stretch.

I did variants of it, lying on my stomach on a bed or massage table, good leg on floor, puliing the other ankle toward the butt using a towel or ?, hold it for 30 seconds, AMAZING!

Another variant uses a work desk, bad ankle on the desk, do a 1/4 -1/2 lunge with the good knee, hips forward, back straight, shoulders back, hold for 30 seconds. YOWZA, feels good!

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on November 07, 2006, 11:22:28 PM
12 weeks - made it to the gym last night, first time I was able to get on the rower, do leg press, abductor machine and use the balance disc in one session.

Last weekend I made it up Lookout Mountain in Phoenix, a 2,000 elevation hill with slippery rocks and steeps. I was careful to get my balance before moving on, up and down no problems.

Knee feels great, I'll be moving up the resistance as the weeks go by, my comeback has begun.

13 weeks - more time in the gym, home rehab and on the road bike, all leading to more strength, and a pulled hip muscle doing wieghted hip extensions, guess I upped the weight too soon, ouch. A day of rest and I was back. I notice knee soreness the day after a full gym workout, when going up stairs and such. Hope that calms down eventually. Soreness probably due to "overdoing" it with weight, sometimes it's hard to understand light resistance, more reps...... Other than that, good progress this week, more time on cardio this week, gots to shed a few pounds.

16 weeks -  has it really been 4 months? whew! I met with both PT and OS this week, both gave me the thumbs up to ramp up on all exercise. Though I still have a slight deficit in extension to work on before going all out. PT insisted I do not increase weight on the gym machines (hamstring curl, leg press, hip abductor) but focus on more reps/low weights at this point.

Jogging will be the next hurdle but I got the green light as long as I move to it slowly. Both OS and PT suggested swimming, 30-40 minute cardio on exer-cycle or elliptical machines before I attempt jogging. Also, to start, jogging for only a few minutes on the treadmill or soft track.

I'm so pysched up I can hardly stand it. Now I just have to make time for all this work.

I couldn't have asked for a better result. Why did I wait so long for surgery? JEEZ!

4 months + 1 week - I've been gearing up to full 1-2 hour full body gym workouts with around 20 minute cardio, emphasis on leg stregthening, and core strenthening. Very little residual pain (around 1 (max.!) on the 1-10 scale), no swelling or need for ice.

I've been taking the stairs at my employers high rise with no residual pain, between 5 and 12 flights of stairs. Next is jogging and more serious hiking.

I'm still symied by lack of time to devote to my workouts, but with some time off from work I'll be able to get on track this week.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on December 27, 2006, 02:37:11 PM
Well, this thread had got a bit lost.

Great to hear you are doing so well JB.  And about to return to jogging?  I wish you luck with that, and look forward to hearing your progress.  Was your tear horizontal?  You are left with full coverage but partial thickness?  I forget!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on December 27, 2006, 05:06:44 PM
Hi Spy, yea, I've just been modifying my post, as opposed to adding anew.

I'm always thinking about conservation, even of web pages. I saw Al Gore's DVD An Inconvenient Truth and it had an effect!, HA!

My meniscus tear was a complex tear, with a protruding flap. The flap was removed as well as some debris. I think it would be described as partial thickness. So jogging for me is strictly a rehab venture only.

I did my first moderatle-strenuous hike last weekend, 5+ miles, with hills, with mixed results. Stamina was fair to poor and the back of knee, probably tired muscles ached for a day or two. I should have used ice, but didn't, no ibuprofin or pain pills, overall, a limited success. But, considering the amout of time I've spent on cardio, not unexpected.

Treadmill jogging will gauge the same sorts of things and improve cardio. I intend to go snow shoeing soon as well.

I'm ecstatic about my gym workouts, much better leg workouts than pre-op. I'm limiting the amount of weight and focusing on repetitions.

I see my PT in a week or so to get feedback. The guy has been invaluable.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on December 28, 2006, 08:52:34 PM
To save me reading back JB... can you summarise your PT appts for me in terms of how often? Thanks.  Just curious.  And working out how many I can afford!!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on December 30, 2006, 06:20:13 PM
initially every 2-3 weeks, then once per month, which is currently the pace. Basically, I'd have my routines and they have their check points (swelling, ROM, etc).

We'd meet, compare notes and I'd go off to work out, come back for a progress report or discuss issues.

I assume 6 months is when I "graduate" to an as needed basis for PT and OS.

I'm a little surprised you've had no direction from PT until now. That has to slow your progress.....not good.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on December 30, 2006, 06:29:27 PM
Was given a brochure 'for patients, surgeons and physiotherapists' which was 'designed by experienced CMI users and physiotherapists' offering 'a balanced combination of strengthening and motion exercises providing protection for the newly formed tissue through the delicate process of regeneration.  It is critical to adhere strictly to the rehabilitation guidelines set out in this brochure to ensure the best possible regeneration of the meniscus tissue'

So kind of scared to deviate from it.  And there are no exercises for full extension.  I guess I was supposed to have that at day one with my straightleg brace on!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on January 01, 2007, 04:21:19 PM
I had the same, a brochure full of routines, but, the live interaction with an expereinced PT is invaluable.

A good one can tell from your symptoms or progress where to focus, where to increase reps. or weights, etc. And, suggest new routines.

Initially, reducing swelling and attempting the routines is expected. But you're a few months into it, you need a human at this point.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on January 06, 2007, 05:13:43 PM
4 months 3 weeks had a vist with my PT this week, says I'm doing really well, to continue with my routine: strength, flexibility and balance. He felt I still had a 1% lack of extension, so he did his Knee "pumping", similar to chest CPR, only he pumped the knee for about a minute. Said he could tell it helped. It's always a little uncomfortable, but if it helps, that's cool. I guess I need to continue extension work.

Says I should be attempting to jog on the treadmill at this point. I complained about soreness behind the knee after a 6 mile moderate hike. He says continued bouncing will have that affect. He gave me a thera-band stretch to do to stregthen the small muscles behind my knee. 2xdaily/30 reps. we spoke about using a brace for a return to sports, his opinion was the use of the neoprene type would give a positive bio-feedback, but would not ultimatley prevent re-injury.

I went snow shoeing last week twice for 1.5 hours each (no brace). Moderate terrain lots of up and down, cautious coming down hill, I took time to get my balance before proceeding. I was thrilled to discover a new sport. Gave me a lot of confidence. Got a scare when I hit the road and momentarily lost balance on the ice, that could have been a disaster.

I'm still struggling to make time to get to the gym mid week, but it's on my agenda. Made it once this week, need to get to 2-3/week consistently. Rode my bike to the train twice, taking the stairs at work a little more.  Also slacking on the at home rehab routines. I think this is due to the fact my knee is feeling great for normal activities, I've lost some motivation in that I am healed and on my way back to 100%.

All in all at 5 months I'm feeling 100% better than pre-op, no pain after workouts, back to 100% normal activites.  Still have to get to the point where strenuous activites do not cause soreness around the knee.

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: celinenj03 on January 10, 2007, 03:24:26 PM
You're doing great JB. I too have been working on gaining more extension. For me, it is hyperextension. I wanted to tell you that even at 8 mos. post op I am gaining more extension. Sure, it's probably only a hair, here and there, but I can definitely notice a difference. You know how when you first work on it and the next day it seems to have gone away. Well if you keep with it you'll find that you'll get it very easily with each passing week. I think of your progress a lot because we had such similar injuries which were more drastic than the straight ACL tears (those lucky dogs!). So we have had a lot more healing to do. I am off to update my diary if you want to check it out. Keep up the good work, there is a whole lot more improvement and gains ahead just around the corner.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on January 10, 2007, 07:48:16 PM
thanks CJ, just read/posted your diary. I do feel that dialy rehab regimen at gym or home is required to keep advancing.

I'm stuck for time! Story of my life......
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: EyeSpy21 on January 10, 2007, 11:37:39 PM
Good to hear gains can still be made even at your stage Celine.  Incentive to keep pushing on.  You guys are doing great and it has been helpful to follow your progress although our procedures differ.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on January 18, 2007, 05:49:23 AM
5 months - time flies! Had my 5 month anniversary on Martin Luther King weekend, we could use a lot more leaders like him right now!

At 5 months, I'm finally "getting serious" about my workouts, and I'm able to do back-back-back gym rehab workouts. With some moderate 2 hour+ hikes and I'm able to tell where I need some improvement. Overall, feeling very strong, leg press tells me I've got a ways to go for full strength, but improving every week.

Looks like the bouncing from hikes leaves a little pain after affect, no need for ice or meds. Not sure how to deal with this, but will keep monitoing....

I can see why some ACL'rs come back so strong, working out 5 days a week will do that to ya!

Hope I can keep up this pace. My rehab-workout routine is becoming boring, see the OS in a few weeks, after that I'll ping the PT to see what I can alter. I'm on my own after that.

Perhaps its' time for a qualified athletic trainer who knows about ACLr comebacks.....




Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on February 14, 2007, 03:11:42 PM
6 Months - 6 months on Valetine's Day, just a reminder to me that love is the most important emotion. I entered "middle age" this year and I realize I have lived more years in the past than I will have in the future. Just a reminder to any readers, express love to the people close to you, often. You won't always have the chance.

Knee update: the last month I've been working out daily for about 2 hours more often than not. So often, my lovely wife has told me she's worried about my overall muscle soreness day to day and I should cool it on the workouts. I agree, for a few days.

My knee still gets sore, but with some rest I think I can get relief by stretching and isometric exercise.

My confidence is not where it should be for a full "return to sports", but I have no lack of fitness routines. Daily activites are no problem, as are gym workouts, and moderate hiking.  Occassional icing is helpful, no need for ibuprophen or pain pills. Needless to say, my knee is better than pre-op, but not quite where the other knee is.

This year no downhill skiing, but I discovered snow shoeing, nor time as a recreational baseball player, but I will manage a team. Perhaps next year I'll feel different about both.

OS says I need to continue to streghten my muscles, I have a moderately higher risk for athritis, no more appointments with him, I've "graduated". For return to sports, says I need to be at 90% of the strength of my op'd knee, I'm not there physically yet. More time at the gym will take care of that.

One more upcoming appointment with PT to measure strength and get feedback. He gave me the green light for combo 2 legged/one legged hamstring curls and Knee extension, but only half measure (45 degree), light weight.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: celinenj03 on February 14, 2007, 04:27:55 PM
Sounds REALLY good JB. Right on track too I believe. I just turned 9 months post op and found that for me, 9 months post op is the major turned a corner point in my rehab. I still have some quirky little issues, but for the most part, I can lead a very normal and even active life. When I was at 6 months post op, I was doing good, but I had quite a few doubts if I'd even ever get to where I am now. So, I tell you with all honesty that you are going to see more major improvement in your knee performance even over the new few months and further out than that. When you are at 9 months you will know exactly what I'm talking about. For 6 months, you are doing even better than I was, so I'd say that by 9 months you'll be feeling very very normal again and probably moved on from all of this. I still get sore knee too sometimes, but not really as much and it doesn't last long at all. It is definitely improving. Keep up the good work!

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on February 14, 2007, 08:21:32 PM
thanks CJ, been following your posts with interest.

My soreness now has to do with "over doing" it, which leads me to believe my leg muscles are weaker than to the non-op'd leg.

At this stage I know what pain means what, though sometimes it's confusing.

My OS says I need added stregth, but PT states, it's not how fast I can add stregth, but how long it will take for the healing to occur.

The older a pateint the longer it will take. So, just working out for stregnth is not a solution, allowing periods of rest, knowing when to focus on flexibility instead of strength is important.

I am happy to hear you noticed a difference between months 6 and 9, you're a little further down the road with a simlar injury and surgery.

Thanks for the feedback.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: celinenj03 on February 15, 2007, 05:03:11 PM
That is so true about the healing! Yes, I agree for me I know the healing in itself has taken a long time and I am still healing. I can still tell with each passing month I am less sore in the areas of where work was done and I know it's still healing. It just feels better and better each month instead of day or week like in the beginning, but you will still feel healing well up into 12 months or longer I believe. I am finding it hard to get workouts in at the gym with the ice storms and busy with kids, etc., but I always work out at home daily even if it's just 20 minutes on the bike with resistance. Those leg extensions though are really great for me, I do miss that machine when I don't get into the gym. I too only do about 45lbs. but get a great burn in the VMO. It really helps a lot.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on February 15, 2007, 05:19:15 PM
I'm the type who likes to challenge myself physically, especially when I hear more is better for rehab. But, in my case, overdoing strengthening causes occassional setbacks, then I need to focus on flexibility.

In the future, I'll alternate days of workouts with strength then flexibility, strength then flexibility....

Well, even fexibility tonight would be too much, tried a couple routines today, but the swelling continues. Rest and ice, working well.

I agree with you CJ, there's a lot that can be done at home, just sooo many distractions.... I've been reading about the East Coast storms, be careful out there! Hate to say this, sunny mid 60's today in SF,  :)

Knee rehab, fun, eh? I'm missing a pool, mine closed near work, the search continues....

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: celinenj03 on February 18, 2007, 01:01:53 PM
Sunny Mid 60's? You lucky dog you! It's about 19 degrees right now and I'm getting ready to head out to the gym BRRRRRRRRRR. Sunday mornings early are nice at the gym, hardly any people (they are smart, they stay home in bed!). I always listened to my knee no matter what. I mean I would take days off if I had a flare up and it always did me good to do that, never hurt me in my rehab at all. I don't know if I still get swelling, but I still ice my knee every now and again at night, it just seems to feel better the next morning when I ice the night before. Even at 9 months out I'm walking better and better. I shed the limp many months back but my gait has been off and I notice it although no one else would. But even at 9 months that is even getting better. I think you get the idea from some on this board that you can be 100% by 6 months. I just have a hard time believing that to be honest with you I don't believe it. This is major surgery and no way can you feel 100% even if you are back to sport, etc. there are residual effects from this type of surgery that will linger on. I could say I'm 100% just because I can go to the gym and play bball again, maybe even fool others into thinking I'm completely healed, but I would be lying if I said I was exactly the same as pre-injury. There is still more healing even pyschologically that needs to be done and you can't get there in 6 months, let alone 4 as some have reported. I just don't buy it. Even pro athletes who come back quick will be honest enough to tell you that they aren't 100% for some time. I believe you to be right on track and don't underestimate the fact that you will continue to improve for many, many months to come. This is still early for you. You are right with the flexibility it is just as important as strengthening. I always said that. Hope you find a pool soon. I'm going to start a swimming program eventually. I know I'm ready for a really good one now.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on February 18, 2007, 03:45:06 PM
Hi CJ, thanks for the feedback.  I thought once I was able to "gear up" in my rehab, my knee would respond well. For the most part, it has. But, I would not play hoops, tennis or ski with this knee. I guess I could brace it, but it's not worth the risk. You're right, a few days off with ice and my knee is doing well. Back to the gym this week, I'll lighten up on the one legged drills and see where it takes me. Swimming is a great workout, I do miss it.

For those who do return to sports in short time frames, they are exceptions. I consider these elite athletes with access to pro-level coaches, trainers and facilites. Many are successful, giving hope to some who have this injury. I think the risk of re-injury is high from what I've read. You and I have more than an ACLr to consider.

For the rest of us, 9-12 months is about the time we can expect to return to pivot sports, up to 2 years before we "Stop thinking" about our knees. In some cases, pivot sports is just not recommended, period. Mostly due to meniscus problems.

I know those cold mornings well, having grown up on the East Coast.   At least you don't have to worry about drought. Have fun out there.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jennifer_in_clyde on February 18, 2007, 04:52:35 PM
Hi JB -

Haven't been posting as much - but am still reading here pretty often.

I think you are doing great! I too am a little skeptical of how some people can be totally back at 6 months - I know I had a major injury and surgery with all the meniscus stuff to complicate it - but at 7 months I am JUST starting to feel confident in my knee and leg in regular gym workouts, walking etc - I have a tennis court across the street (I can see it from my office as I type) and we joke about how long it will be before I even step foot on it again - just not worth the risk until things are much stronger - I'm willing to wait the time and keep doing non-pivot cardio (wow I have a lot of endurance - both in body and knee to build back up!) strength work and stretching - that kind of fun stuff will come when I'm ready! I think your rehab mindset is good - we really are doing a lot of healing - and it takes time to get it to all come together! I look back to where I was last summer though and am grateful to be able to do so much since some pretty basic "life" stuff was impossible for me at the time.

Swimming has helped me immensely!! I do it at least twice a week - I think you are in the east bay like I am - honestly the YMCA's out here usually have great pools - and good gyms too - I keep thinking I'll join somewhere "nicer" and end up staying happliy at the Y for the pools! Might be worth looking into if you are trying to find one. I think my time with the kickboard is what really finally got my leg going - I wasn't cleared to swim until 5 months and swimming for the last couple has just made so many other workouts better too!

Enjoy the sunshine - this is an amazing weekend for February  ;D
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on February 20, 2007, 05:31:48 PM
Hi j-i-c, glad to hear your rehab is going so well. Thanks for the YMCA pool tip, I'll try to find one that's convenient, otherwise, I drift elsewhere. Tennis, that would be great, not for me, yet.....

I went snow shoeing at Lake Tahoe, sunny in the low 40's,  :) and my knee held up well, even with a couple of slips. Snow was sparse except above 7K feet, hope we don't have to stop watering our lawns soon.

Rehab update - back in the gym a couple times this week, I can cleary see my op'd knee is not as muscular as the non op'd.

For me, considering a time element for return to sports is self defeating. Whenever I've tried to do more than a gradual increase in stregthening or flexibility I suffer a setback.

Those who can return quickest would be young athletes with an ACL tear, a successful surgical outcome and lots of time for rehab. I do think they are at higher risk of re-injury, only because the graft and other knee parts are still recovering, muscle strength can only go so far.

Older, working folks, who have more than an ACLr will take longest to return.

That's my 2 cents on a hot topic.

Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on March 06, 2007, 05:55:17 AM
met with my PT last week - he confirmed that the healing process in the "middle aged" is slower than young people and I should not expect to be any further along than I am currently. I am still healing and experiencing normal pains after workouts. He said my extension is way better. Basically, people heal in different ways, and time frames, bodies are different, etc. He wouldn't be surprised if I needed to ice after workouts into the future. But, he was happy with the results at 7 months.

We reviewed my typical gym workout, gave it a thumbs up, he wants me to continue the extension straightening 3x week and ice every night. He told me I could  skip the weighted leg extensions or use low weight and small angle. He thinks there are many closed chain (foot solid on flloor or base) which will help build quad muscle.

He warned me of jogging on the treadmill which may not be absorbing shock well.  He suggested I try it outside for comparison and mix in other outdoor cardio; swimming, cycling, etc.

Told me to check in via email in a month or if I were having problems. This PT is worth his weight in GOLD!

I'm a little disappointed in the soreness after workouts but icing calms it down. I am able to do so much more, though gradually, hiked Piestewa Peak in Phoenix, a steep, rocky, slippery climb to about 2,000 feet. Woo-hoo!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: celinenj03 on March 07, 2007, 06:54:58 PM
If you want to compare, and I know you like to (as do I), I wanted to let you know that I was very sore after workouts too for quite sometime. This is just now starting to fade. As I look back now I realize I was still very tender and sore where the work was done. Maybe because (I hate to admit it) I am considered "older" for this procedure. But wanted to report that for me, 10 months post op, this is fading away. I am healing slow but very well. I believe you will be the same. You will not believe how much better you feel at 10 months post op. Just remember I said that! I can hardly wait to see what I feel like at one year, even further out. I was icing after workouts too for quite some time, now I can go outside and kick the soccer ball with the kids and run around and I forget all about the ice. Funny story: as a result of my knee injury my 3 year old daughter now refers to frozen bags of veggies, as mommie's ice. haha. Hang in there. I promise you it does get tremendously better. You are still a tad early. You're gonna be great! ;D
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on March 07, 2007, 08:27:57 PM
thanks CJ - always good to hear from you about your recovery as we have similar injuries.

I am tempted to started working out with my baseball buddies as the season starts soon. But, I am not there yet and will delay for a while until I figure out how to measure the strength in my op'd knee.

How does your OS/PT measure leg strength? My OS said I had to be 90% of my non-injured leg. Used an analogy of leg press with the good leg, get to 90% of that with the bad leg.

I'm not sure what weight to use, or if this is a one time lift or 3 sets of 10 reps or what, it seems rather subjective to me.

I'll try a few things at the gym and email the OS.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: raquetball1 on March 08, 2007, 10:22:40 PM
Good to hear you are getting along so well, JB.  Re strength testing:  would you consider what weights you could do with your op knee pre-op approx. 100% of what you could do with the uninjured leg?  That is pretty much what I aimed for and then went a bit further so that my op leg was actually stronger than my uninjured leg at the first year mark.  Now, I don't know if mensicus injury reduced your strength pre-op so that this would work for you??? 

Re running outside:  ideally, you'd want to run on a competitive track.  Have a high school or college with one near you?  If not, make sure that if you run on a "crowned" road that you alternate sides of the road. 

As usual, you are being very wise in delaying return to baseball practice.  I returned to rball court at six months per OS instruction, but, as you might have read from earlier posts, I "eased" my way back for about three months. 
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on March 08, 2007, 11:44:19 PM
Hi Raquet, how you be? thanks for the response.

Here's the poop straight from an expert, can't wait to try it:

The safest and easiest way is to pick a comfortable weight for single leg press. Do maximal number of reps with non-surgical leg then maximal with surgical leg. All were looking for is one time maximal number, one set of as many as you can do with a comfortable weight, therefore you test endurance and strenght. If you can do 90% of the reps with the surgical leg that you can with the non-surgical then your good to go. Example, say you do 25 reps with the L and do 22 with the R that's about 89%. Dividing 25 into 22.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on March 15, 2007, 05:56:30 PM
7 months update - been stepping up and mixing up my workouts. did a decent 2hr mtn. bike ride this week. plenty of steeps to test my strength and stamina. Very pleased with leg strength, pretty much equal in both legs. Poor stamina, walked up a couple hills.

Also, started light "plyometric" training, will include this in my gym workouts. Starting with box steps, lateral and straight. A good challenge to add to my warmups. My wife and PT are cautious about bouncing on a tender meniscus, short step and slight angle (30-45 degree) squat should keep me in line.

Still icing after strenuous workouts, no pain the next day.

7 months + 1 week - just came back from my first spinning class - what a workout, why didn't  I try this earlier? Not sure at what prior point I would have had the confidence, but my knee responded well today - woo hoo - 7 months is indeed a turning point. Rowing machine or spinning, take your pick for best cardio workout.

8 months - not much has changed in the last few weeks. I've been consistent in my workouts, regular mtn. biking, started a spinning cycle class at the gym, 1-2 hr. hikes on weekends. Still some soreness on hikes after an hour, perhaps from bouncing, also after strenuous lower body gym work. Still ice-ing after workouts, soreness doesn't last long. Ice resolves it, no soreness next day.

9 months - still seeing improvements, I have not returned to playing baseball or any pivot sport, maybe next season, managing part-time for now. No problems with normal daily activities. Strenuous mtn. biking once per week. Sport activities lately: 1-2 hr. hikes, back-back gym sessions, mtn. biking. This week I struggle with a minor case of tendonitis; back to extension exercise, ice. Light swim and pool session tonight. Vacation next week, wife suggests I play it safe, so I can be a tourist without ice or limitations.

10 months - just back from vacation, wonderful time, hiked every day, a couple long strenuous hikes, wore a neoprene brace once. One bout of tendonitis, ice calmed it down and was doing extension stretches after that, it helped.

Overall 2 thumbs up for the knee for the trip, lots of uneven surfaces, with the ankles and knee twisting with no subsequent problems.

I still haven't gotten into pivot sports preferring knee friendly cycling, gym work and hiking lately.

11 months - can't believe the progress in the last couple months, no pain, no need for ice, discovered ITBand stretches and that helped a lot.  I didn't show classic signs of IT band soreness (lateral knee pain), but did struggle with tendonitis occassionaly. I took the suggestions of KneeGeeks and used the foam roller IT Band stretch, which put me over the top. Latest workouts: Strenuous mtn. biking 1-2 times weekly, gym workouts 1-2 hours 2-3 times weekly, moderate 2-3 hour hikes. Still to go: strenuous backpacking trip, Pivot sports? Perhaps someday, but I finally have the confidence.....

11 months + 1 week - well, a strenuous workout at the gym left me with a sore knee for a couple days, no swelling but iced twice, plus passive leg extension isometrics got me back to normal. Still can't seem to go "all out" ..... bummer  >:(
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 06:30:02 PM
Looks like you have not posted in a while but wanted to let you know that your posts were very helpful to me - our injuries are similar and my rehab progress seems to be tracking yours very closely.

In fact, all the people who have posted ACL Allograft diaries have been a big help to me - thanks everyone.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 06, 2007, 09:54:30 PM
Hey Rob, I post monthly to this thread, but I don't create a new post, I just edit the old one. Not sure if this is the best way to do it or not.   I guess it doesn't rise to the top of the thread.

I'm glad you find it helpful. It's really the only reason I continue to post and the reason for my 1400+
(???!!!) posts in 4 years.

I was so happy to find this web site when I was considering surgery, I want to share what I've learned along the way.

I'll post my 1 year post-op note next week, bottom line, I continue to improve even at 1 year post op. I have returned to all my pre-op activities, though not at the same level of intensity for pivot sports, this may be as much mental as physical.

The only downside at this point is that I have to ice and rest after some strenuous activities, I think this is due to the meniscus that I had removed. The level of bounce in my activities is almost a direct corrrelation to the icing I have to to afterward. I'll continue to monitor this.


Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: celinenj03 on August 08, 2007, 11:20:57 PM
Hi JB, great update. I wanted to see how you were doing these days. Seems like you are progressing just right. IT band work is excellent. It always seemed the more I worked out and the harder I worked out all my muscles would tighten more as they would strengthen. The IT band also tightened up on me a lot. It seems much better these days no real need to roll, but I still do here and there. My hammies get really, really tight still after a good workout, but stretching helps.

I know what you mean about not going all out yet. I am frustrated too. I had a vigorous day on Saturday (at 15 months out) and I basically was active all day and ended the night dancing around with my kids and my sister. Next morning knee was a tad swollen/pissed off, whatever. I iced it and popped a few Aleve's and within 2 days completely back again. Good news is the recovery time was much quicker with this little "overdo it" session than my last back in May. So mabe a good sign? Being the "cautious" type, I am seeing my OS on Friday. I just want to know why it swells a bit from time to time as if it's aggravated. Last time I saw him he said the screws were irritating me. I know they are bioabsorbable but when I viewed my MRI taken at 1 year post op, they were clearly visible and completely intact. ??? So I'm sure that "could" be the cause of some of my minor swelling. Ah, frustrating....

Just wanted to let you know, you're not alone and while I'm grateful to come this far, like you, I still yearn to go "all out" again. haha!

I came here to post an article for Zengirl, I thought you might find it interesting too since you seem to read up on this stuff a lot. It really pertains to lack of flexion due to tunnel placement, but there is a lot of other good stuff in there too.  Enjoy:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3767/is_200301/ai_n9200733
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 09, 2007, 06:22:33 PM
Hi CJ, thanks for the post. I love the foam-roller IT band stretch, it's leaves me exhausted. Thanks for the article.

Not sure how the screws can be causing irritation other than a bone healing perspective. They're not protruding, right?

My PT told me to expect the workout-ice-rest scenario, for strenuous activities, perhaps for life. Which, is a limitation, but a better condition than I had prior to surgery.

My knee is stable and I have confidence to do everything, (I'm not into soccer/tennis/running). I got talked into playing baseball as an emergencv fill-in. That was a thrill with no pain or swelling. I hit a double, should have been a triple, but I'm taking it slow. I used a neoprene hinged, brace.

Afterwards, my uninjured knee felt weaker than my injured knee. I guess it's time to stop one-legged leg press, lunge and hamstring curls..... Now I can see why some athletes tear their un-injured ACL after coming back from ACL surgery.....



Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 20, 2007, 03:39:52 PM
a year has gone by, and time for an update, not sure how many more posts I'll have, but I'll check in from time to time. 

It's been a long, strange trip, as the song goes. I started this journey about 5 years ago, playing baseball, as I made a play on a fly ball in right field, my knee hyper extended and 'pop' went the ACL. I was helped off the field. I had 3-4 prior knee sprains during a lifetime of sports, so who knows what condition my ACL was in until that moment in RF (I made the catch, by the way).

I was eventually diagnosed with a partially torn ACL, which eventually became a fully torn ACL. Are partial tears like partial pregnant?

I was mis-diagnosed at first, with a bone bruise by the OS assistant. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to work with experienced radiologist, OS and PT. These people are life savers. If they work on less than 30-40 patients per year, move on to another.

I interviewed 3 surgeons seeking their opinions. One said, 'surgery now or surgery later, your choice', another said, 'let's see if we can rehab you and put off surgery', this worked for 4 years. I did mash my meniscus during this time, but allograft technology moved along (cleaning technique and research) and I met a great OS near-er my home. Delaying surgery had it trade offs.

The 3rd opinion was  useless, he didn't look at my MRI, he was unprepared, thankfully I had done my homework. His advice, 'don't do unnecessary surgery'. Thanks Doc.

After the inital injury, I nursed along very well, playing sports with a bulky Donjoy brace until the instability couldn't be ignored. For an athlete, the experience was diluted as I wasn't the player I had been, but still pretty good.

I met an excellent, sports minded OS (a 4th opinion overall) near my home and scheduled the surgery. I was in good physical shape prior to surgery, though the instability episodes became frequent.

Now a year post-op, I'm back to all my prior activities with minor limitations, due to the meniscus I lost. I still haven't gone full out with pivot sports or back packing. But, I'll give both a try, eventually.

I'm an "older athlete", and currently pick knee friendly sports. This is a personal preference, it works for me. I'm not a good example for young athletes attempting a quick comeback, my healing process took every bit of a year. I'm 50 years young, have a demanding desk job and a 2 hour daily commute.

Many thanks to the Knee Geeks who've helped me along the way, there's lot of good stuff on the pages, some not so good.

As another of my fav songs goes, I'll see you later on, down the road.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: knee-will-be-great on August 21, 2007, 01:51:59 AM
Bravo JB!

Happy one year anniversary!

I am happy for you and your knee - and for your regaining your fitness level and ability to play sports in a more "balanced and stable" way (excuse the ACL reconstruction pun).

In that I am of similar vintage and formerly very fit (expecting to be very fit again), I applaud your returing to the land of the athletic pursuit, notwithstanding the fact that your pursuits are of the weekend warrior persuasion!

In my case, I am using Sting's "New Day" song/video as my healing-in-process theme song.

PS - I also had a deceased donor's anterior tibialis tendon used as an allograft for my ACL.  I am so very appreciative that I had this life-saving surgery - and also very appreciative of the family of the donor/the deceased donor for actually seeing fit to provide their tissues to the tissue bank for our fortuitous benefit.

Cheers to you JB!

Knee-will-be-great!  ;D
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: cassieoz on August 21, 2007, 03:44:06 PM
Hi BJ,

Your thread has made me sad and happy all at the same time. I loved it!

I really enjoy reading other people's stories, it help me stay motivated especially now im only at the start Day 4 post op. Im always keen reading up on the diary's to see the physio stages as well and think you had some great people who wrote along with you and that's always positive. You sounded like you had a tough year but glad you pushed through it all and now going back to a selected range of sports......!

Im 28 and do Taekwondo and all i can think about at the moment is getting back to where i was competeing. Obviously not as hard as before but just enjoy it again would be amazing!

Well done and good luck,

Cassie x



 
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: cassieoz on August 21, 2007, 03:45:45 PM


Sorry JB  ;D
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 21, 2007, 08:33:14 PM
thanks for the kind words:

KWBG - glad to hear you're coming along so well. The anterior tibilias tendon is about a good as it gets for allografts. My knee is very stable, I've had several "got-ya" moments along the way, and it's held up very well. It's my uninjured leg that needs stregthening, I haven't been able to ponder that for a long time.

Cassie - welcome to the world of post-op rehab, think of it this way, you're on your way to a comeback. If you're only dealing with a torn ligament, you should be able to return 100%, but give it time. Best of luck to you.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 08, 2007, 04:52:46 PM
~13 months -  I've been hit with another round of tendonitis. This seems to be my only recurring issue post-op. Occurs occassionaly after strenuous activites (hiking, mtn. biking)

I'm guessing I need to warm up and cool down properly before/after activities. Getting old (or is it staying young?) is hard work.....

Rest, ice, passive weighted extension (that's leg extended on pillows, light weight above knee) and IT band stretch working well. A few days worth, then back to the action. 
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: knee-will-be-great on September 08, 2007, 07:37:45 PM
Keep on going JB; you are one of my inspirations here on the Kneegeeks website ...

Cheers to you ... and your knees!!

Knee-will-be-great!!!
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on September 08, 2007, 09:43:24 PM
thank KWBG - I've been reading your diary as well and I'm happy to hear your recovery is going well too. Continued good luck to you.
Title: Re: JB's ACL, Allograft (Anterior tibialis tendon), meniscus trim post-op diary
Post by: jb-knee-geek on October 20, 2007, 04:04:19 PM
14 month update - I mtn. bike, hike and gym regularly.  Tendonitis has not been an issue lately. My gym work includes IT band stretch and leg strength work.

I notice slight lingering pain only when I overdo bouncing or weighted squat like moves. Probably due to some meniscus being removed. My knee continues to improve and legs are strong.  ;D

15 month update - mtn. biking regularly the past few months, my most frequent exercise. I'm currently recovering from another episode of right knee patellar tendonitis. This time accompanied by left lower hamstring strain, and right upper calf strain. Likely due to overuse and not working my legs at the gym for a few weeks with increasingly strenuous mtn. bike hill climbing.  Back to RICE and gym basics. I've lost 10 pounds from consistent mtn. biking 2-3 evenings per week.