KNEEtalk

DIARIES => Post op diaries (100-300 posts) => Topic started by: Rob_W on August 04, 2007, 09:58:33 PM

Title: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on August 04, 2007, 09:58:33 PM
I’ve been reading posts on this site for a while and they have definitely helped me so I have decided, a little late, to start a pre-op & post-op diary (It will take a little catching up since I injured my self about 3 months ago and had my surgery on 7-17-07) - Just so you don't have to read ahead to the day of surgery, I ended up having a bone patellar tendon bone allograft and in addition they trimmed my lateral meniscus (this did not show up in the MRI) - the MCL is healing on its own.

I've also started an exercise journal that details out all the exercises I have been assigned at PT (and added on my own with PT's permission) and the timeline of when I started these (they are all listed in this thread too but thought it would be nice to have a seperate thread to have them all in one spot): http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=38562.0

5-13-2007:

I was playing around with some of my younger relatives in my backyard at a party and they were running and jumping over chairs (they ranged in age from probably 12 to 28 – I am 40).  I decided that I would give it a shot (big mistake). I came down from my landing on a straight right leg and did a complete tear of my ACL, grade 2 tear of my MCL and tore my lateral meniscus (MRI did not initially show this but it was trimmed during the surgery when doctor discovered it).

I knew immediately that I had done some serious damage, I was not able to get up so crawled back to where I was sitting (everyone thought I was just clowning around) and then proceeded to enjoy the rest of the party. After about 30 minutes I was able to walk – although I had to go pretty slow and I was limping – My knee was already swollen at this point also.

Went to the doctors the next day and after X-Rays and an MRI got the results mentioned above. At this appointment we decided on an allograft for the ACL and to pre-hab the injury for at least 6 weeks to give the MCL time to heal.

5-18-07:

Taught my first martial arts class today (basically stood on the sidelines and coached – I’m usually a hands on coach so this was tough for me – basically I like to get in and do what I have everyone else doing).

I also decided at this point that if I was to be going through surgery soon (not sure of the date at this point) and since I was going to be less active it was time to make a few changes. Basically I started taking supplements (Liquid Glucosamine, Multi-Vitamin, Flax Seed Oil Capsules and something called Cissus RX which another martial artist I know who went through this same thing said worked wonders for him and the people he heard about it from. I decided this would also be a good time to cut drinking down to one or two drinks a month and coffee to one small cup a day. I also cut out all junk food and switched my snacks over to just fruits and veggies (I’m about 6’1 and 200lbs so I was in decent shape to begin with but I figured this couldn’t hurt).


Title: Allograft - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus Trim (Pre-Op)
Post by: Rob_W on August 04, 2007, 10:19:11 PM
5-20-07 (1 week post injury):

5-22-07:

At this point still waiting for my first official PT session so decided to start doing some home exercises that I found on the internet. I felt quite a bit better just doing something. My sleeping as of today is also getting easier (I usually sleep on both sides and my back but have been limited to just my back) – I am now able to sleep on my right side without a pillow.

5-24-07:

I had my first PT session today. They measured my extension at 3 degrees short of full extension (I have some hyper extension in my left leg so I was pretty close), and my flexion at 98 degrees. They then checked my strength levels in the leg and told me I scored 4 out of 5 in all tests compared to my other leg (this was just with me pushing against the PT – not using any weights or machines). I was then handed a bunch of pages of exercises to do (about 10) and told to make an appointment to come back – I was not very impressed with this place.

5-25-07:

Taught class again today, and with my large brace on (the one I would have post-op) was able to do a little working out. I then went home and fertilized my yard (again, with the brace on) and my knee was throbbing after this. I iced my knee and about 1.5 hours later it was back to normal (which at this point was still swollen and painful).

5-26-07:

I hit some new firsts today – I was able to put my right sock on by myself (it was painful), and I also went down a flight of stairs the normal way (good leg first) but had to use the hand railing to support about 50% of my weight. I took the very last step normal and felt a really strong pull in my right quad (it was towards the medial side – I believe this is the VMO). In addition I took my mountain bike out for a quick ride (maybe 5 minutes) and it was pretty tough initially to pedal.

Title: Allograft - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus Trim (Pre-Op)
Post by: Rob_W on August 04, 2007, 10:35:11 PM
5-27-07 (2 weeks post injury) & 5-28-07:

Nothing exciting, just gradually riding a little bit more on my bike (I should also say I am riding in low gears on flat surfaces) - up to about 25 minutes. I think my flexion is at about 110 now.

5-29-07:

Started with new PT today (I will be doing this twice a week for about the next 6 weeks) – much better than first one I visited with (like my doctor, this one specializes in sports PT (both my OS and PT work with professional sports teams) and has a ton of experience with my injuries. I was told to drop down to just 4 exercises (instead of the 10 I was doing), once per day and was given proper form on how to do them (much more intense than what I was doing). So at this point I am doing:

1. Straight leg raises (contract first, raise to height of opposite bent knee, lower, fully relax, repeat) – 3 sets of 15 – just about every exercise I get at this point is 3 sets of 15).

2. The second exercise is seated using a towel around my extended injured leg, pull the toes back towards the knee, contract the quad hard (and press back of knee down into floor/table) and hold for 20 seconds (3 reps).

3. The 3rd exercise is standing on step with my injured leg, lower myself about 6 inches and gently touch the floor and then push back up.

4. The last exercise is the heel slide using a towel to assist (3 sets of 15, hold for 5 seconds).

I should also add that we started with heat and elec. stimulation, and then ice at the end (and I have done this every workout pre-op and post-op).


5-30-07 to 6-2-07:

Nothing really exciting – continued to bike (I was told to bike up to 5 times a week and shoot for about 30 minutes) and doing my home PT exercises. I have noticed that as I approach about 45-55 degrees on the heel slides I get a lot of pain on the medial side of my knee but the pain stops as I pass 90 degrees, and the pain either stops or lessons towards the end of my sets (PT told me this is the torn MCL).

Title: Allograft - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus Trim (Pre-Op)
Post by: Rob_W on August 04, 2007, 10:41:22 PM
6-3-07 (3 weeks post injury):

I am now starting to substitute some rowing (on a concept 2 rower) in place of my biking – I also switched over at this point to using a stationary bike (I picked up a recumbent stationary bike).

6-4-07:

Met with doctor today to check my MCL – says it is still loose and wants me in my brace 24/7 for the next 2 weeks (not locked – I have never had it locked either, and only really wore it the first week). I have been wearing a McDavid hinged brace which I modified slightly by using some Velcro straps at the very top and bottom to make it more stable (without these straps as I bend my knee I see the siding moving away from my leg – and this then seems like it loses the purpose of what it is supposed to do). Today I also started lifting again (chest, shoulders, back, and biceps) – I will be doing this twice a week right up until surgery.

6-5-07:

At PT today got 3 new exercises to add.

1. The first is leg raises on my side with my injured leg moving up and down (we are not doing the other ones where my injured leg would be close to the ground and lifting up because it stresses the MCL).

2. The second exercise are standing calf raises (both calves at same time) using a step (and something to touch for balance if needed).

3. The third is putting a small ball under my knee (ends knee to about a 45 degree angle) and doing some extensions (limited ROM with these).

6-6-07:

Today was the first day I skipped my home PT exercises – felt like I could use a day off.

6-7-07:

Today I have started to use ankle weights (starting at 5 pounds) for the two different leg raises I do. Over the next 6 weeks I will gradually be increasing the weight to about 10 pounds if I can.

6-8-07 to 6-09-07:

More of the same.
Title: Re: Allograft - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus Trim (Pre-Op)
Post by: Rob_W on August 04, 2007, 10:54:36 PM
6-10-07 (4 weeks post injury):

I am still finding that for about the first 15 reps of heel slides the medial part of my knee hurts (the MCL) and for the last 15 (as I approach full flexion) the lateral part of my knee hurts. Right up until surgery every time I do anything that approaches full flexion I get this same pain – I find out later that this pain was from the torn lateral meniscus.

6-11-07:

Added 4 new exercises at PT today (I also forgot to mention that after heat and electric stim, every PT session I then ride the stationary bike for about 8 to 10 minutes).

1. The first is just sitting in a chair and using my injured leg to pull me forwards (basically do this until I can’t do any more – He also said my hamstrings were pretty weak and I could use the other leg to assist when I need to).

2. The 2nd exercise is a seated leg extension with a 10 pound ankle weight – limited motion on this though (not a full extension) – he also said I could alternate this one with the one with the ball under the knee – I didn’t like that one so I just do this one now.

3. The 3rd exercise is a basic calf stretch – he had me put the ball of my foot on a telephone book and then lean forward so my hands and/or forearm are on a table and just relax into the stretch (he didn’t want me to just stand on a step and sink because he said too many other muscles are involved to keep balance and keep you from sinking to far down).

4. The last was a hamstring stretch where I lie on my back and use a towel to gently stretch the injured leg (keeping it perfectly straight). This one is tough for me so I alternate this with another stretch that is similar where I lie on the floor next to a door frame (assume it is on my right), prop my right leg up and have my left leg sticking straight out (I start with a bend in my right knee and a bend in my left knee) – now work on extending the right leg straight and also on straightening the lower left leg (this puts very little pressure on your lower back and you can do it for a long time).

I was also told at this point to make sure I am doing all exercises with both my injured leg and my good leg.

6-12-07 to 6-16-07:

More of the same except I also started to take some walks during the day – I still have a slight limp but each day it feels better.
Title: Allograft - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus Trim (Pre-Op)
Post by: Rob_W on August 04, 2007, 11:14:09 PM
6-17-07 (5 weeks post injury) 6-19-07:

Basically more of the same this week. I have started to work on my flexion more (not realizing I am not getting full flexion because of torn meniscus). I am also starting to find it much easier to go up and down stairs the regular way (up has been easy for a while and down is now starting to feel more normal) – I make sure I go down a few flights of steps a day without using the handles (there is a little pain, but not too bad).

6-20-07:

Added 2 more exercises at PT today (I should also note that for the past few weeks I have been doing leg presses at PT and at home with very light weight – about 30 to 50 pounds).

1. The first exercise added has become one of my favorites. I place two books on the floor about 2 feet in front of me, and spaced about 3 to 4 feet apart (so they are out at 45 degree angle from me). I then stand just on my injured leg and bend down and touch the book to my right with my right hand (I am told to put it as far away as I possible can so I really have to reach for it), then I stand back up (not touching the other foot to the floor), and then I do the same but this time my left hand touches the book way to my left, I then stand back up (again without ever touching the other foot to the floor). I then repeat this 9 more times on the injured leg (without ever touching down). That is one set, and I am to do 3 sets on each leg (so a total of 30 reps on each leg). Today I barely got 10 on each side but over the next 2 weeks or so I get to the point where it is easy doing the 60 reps.

2. The second exercise is a basic lunge. I start with feet together and then step out deep with my injured leg. Lower myself so my left knee (behind me) drops down towards the floor (as far as I can go without actually touching – and don’t let the lead knee go out past your toes) and then forcefully push off of the injured leg to get back t the starting position. Then repeat on the other side. I found these a bit much (painful to knee) so asked if I could modify them so I start in the lunge position and then just raise and lower myself (these are hard enough) and he said that is great too (I also decided I would do the lunges just every other day).

6-21-07 to 6-23-07:

More of the same. I am starting to get in and out of my car easier (although I still can’t do it the normal way), and I am now sleeping with no pillow between my knees. Lastly, by weeks end I am able to go down about 5 flights of steps a day with little to no pain.
Title: Allograft - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus Trim (Pre-Op)
Post by: Rob_W on August 04, 2007, 11:22:13 PM
6-24-07 (6 weeks post injury) to 6-30-07:

More of the same this week.

In addition to PT exercises, weight lifting, rowing and biking I am starting to do some of my regular routines (like physio ball exercises and modified yoga postures working on core body strength).

On 6-27 I had my last PT visit before surgery (still have not scheduled my surgery yet as of this date) and I was told I am doing great and just keep doing what I am doing until he sees me again the week after my surgery.

This week I am now doing stairs regular all the time and have even been doing some pretty aggressive martial arts workouts maybe at about 50% of what I used to do (fighting with guys who weigh up to about 250 and my knee holds up well). I am also able to kneel down at this point (although I can’t sit all the way back on my heels because I still can’t get full flexion).
Title: Allograft - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus Trim (Pre-Op)
Post by: Rob_W on August 04, 2007, 11:32:37 PM
7-1-07 (7 weeks post injury) to 7-16-07 (9 weeks post injury)

On 7-2 met with doctor and scheduled the surgery for 7-17. My knee feels very stable to me, but he showed me how much movement I still have in my shin (my knee has not given out once since my injury).

Basically between now and the surgery I really went at my exercises hard (PT every day, aggressive biking and ramped up the martial arts even more because my knee is feeling great). If it wasn’t for me not getting full flexion I would say by 7-16 (the day before surgery) I was getting very close to 100%.

7-8 was 8 weeks post injury and 7-15 was 9 weeks post injury.

I also had my pre-op visit at the hospital this week.

On 7-15 and 7-16 went for a quick 2 day vacation with my wife and two daughters (ages 5 and 8 ) – and after lots of walking on the beach, swimming in the pool, and plenty of walking all over the place my knee was feeling a little over worked on the 16th so I took it easy for the rest of that day from about noon on.

I stopped drinking anything with caffeine in it the final week before surgery because I did not want to chance having any form of caffeine withdrawl headaches the day of surgery (at this point I was really only drinking 1 cup of decaf a day and had been doing that for the past couple of weeks).

I stopped eating and drinking at about 10pm on 7-16 since the surgery is scheduled for tomorrow.
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - Allograft Protocol
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 12:12:13 AM
If anyone is interested, the link below is the actual allograft protocol I am currently following:

http://www.brighamandwomens.org/RehabilitationServices/Physical%20Therapy%20Standards%20of%20Care%20and%20Protocols/Knee%20-%20ACL%20Allograft%20Protocol.pdf
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 01:58:47 AM
Below are links to the pieces of equipment I have in my home gym that I used to prehab my injury, and that I am currently using to rehab my injury:

1. Powertec Workbench Mutli System (has a link to a nice video of it in action):
http://www.powertecfitness.com/workbench_multi_sysn.htm

2. SportsArt C52R Recumbent Stationary Bike:
http://www.sportsartamerica.com/SAF/commercial/cycles/c52r.asp

3. Concept 2 Rower (Model D):
http://www.concept2.com/us/products/indoorrowers/d_home.asp?bhcp=1

I do not have a gym membership so this is all the equipment I use (in addition to some ankle weights, exercise bands, physio ball,… etc.)
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 0 - Surgery Today!
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 02:41:31 PM
Day 0 – 7/17/07:

I got to the hospital today at 11am for a 1 pm surgery. There was some sort of emergency surgery however so I ended up waiting for a couple of hours before they had me change and then moved me to a new section in a hospital bed. Here I waited again for a few more hours. Finally at about 4pm they put the IV in and then wheeled me to the OR. The last thing I remember was them explaining to me that they were going to be hitching me up to some monitors.

I came to what felt like moments later (the surgery was about 1.5 hours) – I was pretty groggy for the first few minutes. I remember seeing my doctor and he told me everything went great and that when he was in there he found the tear in the lateral meniscus and he trimmed that.

The nurse then told me that I had told her the pain was about a 4 out of 10 (I don’t remember saying this) but I told her now it was at least an 8 out of 10. Two separate times they added something to my IV and shortly after that I was much more comfortable. I think I stayed in the recovery area for about another hour (maybe less) and then they had me go to the bathroom and get dressed.

My wife then drove me home (I basically laid down in the back seat of her car). The drive home was about 40 minutes and when I got home I thought I was going to be sick and I would say my pain had gone back up to at least an 8 again. I quickly ate something and took some of my pain meds and then went and lay down on the couch (my new home).

I was given 2 different pain killers. I might have these backwards now but I believe one was Oxcycodon which I was to take 1 pill every 12 hours no matter what (this was the time released one), and also Oxcycotin which I was to take 1 pill every 4 to 6 hours as necessary (immediate pain relief). I was also told to start taking Colace which would help combat the constipation which they said the pain meds would cause (I wish I was more aggressive early on taking the Colace)

For the rest of today I only got up to go to the bathroom. I pretty much just lay on my couch with my leg raised, in my brace locked at full extension, and an ice pack on the knee (I tried my best to make sure the knee was iced 24/7 for at least the first 3 days – the ace bandages around my knee, and the brace, made it so I didn’t really feel too much of the cold).

I found initially I had to take the quick release pain meds every 3 hours – after taking one I would get about 1.5 hours where the pain was a 2, and then the next 1.5 hours the pain would shoot up to about a 6 or 7 – I was given the OK to take them this often initially.

I slept that night from about 11pm till 6am although I did not sleep well at all – I had no problem being awake to take my pain meds on time (I kept a notebook next to me to track when I took the pain medicine).

Also next to me I kept some books (which I did not feel ready to read for at least a week), telephone, remote for my TV, laptop, my girls Nintendo Wii, etc. I tried to make it so I had just about everything I could think of within arms reach.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 1, 2
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 02:53:13 PM
Day 1 – 7/18/07:

Stayed on the couch all day and night (except to go to the bathroom) and made sure I had ice on my knee at all times. The pain today was already getting more tolerable so I decided I would try taking the quick release pain meds every 5 hours instead of every 3 – this was a big mistake so immediately went back to every 3.

I am finding that putting some weight on my leg is getting easier (I am walking with both crutches at this point but putting a little weight on the leg) – I am still finding it difficult to get on and off the couch. I am drinking less water than I should be at this time because I am trying to keep the bathroom breaks to a minimum (at this point all I drink is water).

As of now (and will do this for the entire first week) I have not taken the brace off and have left it locked at full extension. I started doing some ankle pumps today.

I slept a little better tonight – I woke up once and watched a full movie, but other than that I slept more than I was awake (the pain wakes me up when it’s time to take my meds).

Day 2 – 7/19/07:

Again I iced and elevated all day today. The pain is now under control and I have started taking the meds once every 4 hours (I would say it ranges from 0/10 to 4/10 at the most).

I added doing the quad sets on my couch today.

I also went upstairs twice today (my bedroom and shower are upstairs). I took my first shower today – I wrapped a plastic garbage bag around my leg and taped it off. It wasn’t easy but I basically just stepped into the shower and stood with almost all my weight on my good left leg (which was a killer glute workout by the end). It felt great to shower and change my clothes.

I am still taking the Colace and still unable to go to the bathroom at this point.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 3
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 03:06:38 PM
Day 3 – 7/20/07:

Today was my 11 year anniversary with my wife – not the best way to spend it!

Started spacing the pain meds out about every 4.5 hours at this point.

I also went to my first PT session today. This was at the hospital and not my regular PT – I was told to do this one and then I could switch to my normal PT.

This was the first time I saw my knee – looked pretty good. The doctor and PT person thought the swelling was very minimal – one of the bandages of one of the portal incisions (one of the two small holes just below the knee cap) had a fair amount of blood. I remember at one point as I tried to get off the couch I heard and felt this bubbling noise/sensation – and they said that was just some of the excess blood being forced out.

The doctors and PT were surprised at how well my quads were doing too – I have minimal or no extension lag when doing leg raises without the brace on. They gave me the OK to do the leg raises without my brace (I still waited till the end of the 1st week before I started taking it off or unlocking it). I was given a list of PT exercises to do, but since I start with my regular PT next week I won’t detail these all out (the usual quad exercises, SLR’s and flexibility stretches). They told me whatever I did before the surgery obviously paid off since my quads did not really seem to shut down and I had very good control over the leg. My flexion was measured at 58 today.

Today at home I did go upstairs quite a few times (switching from the couch to my bed upstairs just for a change). I did one set of my new PT exercises today on my bed.

Today I also got a Don Joy Iceman – I was supposed to get it the day of surgery but they had run out (I can honestly say I used it twice, got sick of trying to fill it with ice and water and just went back to using two different gel packs).

Tonight I was able to go to the bathroom for the first time – not much, but it was a start. I’ve started to take more of the Colace at this point because I am starting to feel uncomfortable.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 4, 5
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 03:24:01 PM
Day 4 – 7/21/07:

Last night I took less pain killers and slept much better – I got around 7 or 8 hours of sleep and only got up once during the night (still sleeping on my couch downstairs).

I am still constipated so am taking the full recommended dose of Colace (for the 1st time). At this point I am also only taking the 12 hour release pain killers (1 every 12 hours) and have stopped the quick release pain meds altogether.

At 1:30pm today I finally really went to the bathroom!

I am doing 3 PT sets per day space apart every 3 to 4 hours. By the end of the day my leg was feeling pretty tired.

Day 5 – 7/22/07:

Now that I am just taking the pain killers every 24 hours I am sleeping better – more at night and less during the day.

I found my strengthening exercises easier to do today, but the bending ones are tough. I should have mentioned that at my first PT visit they measured my flexion at 58 and almost 0 extension (a few degrees short).

Today was thee first day I went outside in the backyard – I stayed out for all of about 5 minutes (we are having a heat wave) and then went back in.

Overall I can feel my right leg gaining strength, and my left leg is starting to feel a little overworked (especially the glutes when I stand in one spot for to long).
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 6
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 03:31:15 PM
Day 6 – 7/23/07:

Backed to being constipated today so started taking more Colace again.

I took another shower again today (this is really tough on my good leg).

I had my first PT session today with my regular PT. He thought my leg looked great and was amazed at how much control I had over my leg – he said my leg strength is close to where it is supposed to be at 6 weeks (he too said it was the pre-hab I did before hand that really makes a difference – I was probably in better shape going into surgery than I was the day before I injured myself).

At this point I was told to do the following 6 exercises twice per day:

1. Straight Leg Raises (on back propped on elbows) – Same as before, 2 sets of 15, make sure I fully contract, then raise, lower, and then fully relax.

2. Straight Leg Raises on side raising injured leg – 2 sets of 15.

3. Heel slides – 15 reps and hold each for 5 seconds.

4. Exercise Band around foot to work calf (like pressing and releasing a gas pedal) – 2 sets of 30.

5. Calf Stretch – Towel around foot, flex quad, press leg into floor slightly and pull back on foot. 3 sets of 20 seconds.

6. Quad Set – Put a small towel under knee, flex quad and press back of knee into the towel. 1 set of 20 and hold each rep for 2 seconds.

Did my second set of Pt at home tonight but skipped the bending exercises – my knee didn’t quite feel up to them again today.

(Edit - September 1, 2007) - I have started an online journal detailing out all of the PT exercises I am learning and at what stage I am learning them at: http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=38562.0
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 7, 8, 9
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 03:48:38 PM
Day 7 – 7/24/07:

It’s been 1 week and I am already feeling much better (the first 2 days were rough but each day gets better).

I am still sleeping well and will probably start sleeping in my bed upstairs soon.

I stopped taking all pain killers today (except for some Advil before PT sessions or if I am feeling more pain than usual – typically I have very little pain).

My PT exercises get a little easier each time, although I still struggle with the heel slides (I’ve noticed my arms get tired pulling on the towel). I’ve added doing 2 sets of 10 pushups at each PT session (checked with my PT and he said as long as I keep the brace locked for this it would be great).

Took another shower today and it’s getting a little easier.

Day 8 – 7/25/07:

Slept on the couch again last night but didn’t feel as comfortable (I think it might be that the 12 hour release pain killers were helping me sleep a little).

Basically same as usual today – did my 2 sets of PT exercises (with pushups) and overall am feeling a little better everyday.

I haven’t really mentioned it but I am still on my couch 24/7 (except when going to the bathroom or doing Pt) and I also leave my brace on all the time (even while sleeping) unlocked. I am also icing most of the time and almost always keep my leg elevated (even while sleeping). I also use both crutches to get around.

Day 9 – 7/26/07:

Slept in my bed last night – didn’t have a great night sleep (just could not get comfortable). For the last 1.5 hours I took my brace off and didn’t elevate and slept better.

Took a shower in the morning and today was the first time I could really notice the shape of my knee – leg is really starting to look normal.

Went to PT today and was told to start to add ankle weights (just a pound or two) to the lateral straight leg raises. I was also given a new stronger exercises band for the calf exercises. In addition I was told to bump from 2 sets of all my exercises to 3 sets. My flexion is up to 78 now (from 58) and my extension is close to 0 (a couple degrees off).

Did my home PT plus pushups.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 10, 11
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 04:47:18 PM
Day 10 – 7/27/07:

Had another lousy night sleep on my bed (I guess I quickly got used to the couch) and I just could not get comfortable with this brace on (I prefer to start out sleeping on my side but can’t really do it, even with pillows).

Home PT is pretty much same as usual except I am starting to work extra heel slides. What I do is 5 heel slides between each exercises (this seems to work better for me).

Today was the first day I took my brace off while lying on my couch for a few hours (still with leg elevated). I should also mention that I have left my ace bandages on since day 1 (they go from my ankle to above my knee) – I take them off only for showers and my PT visits.

Day 11 – 7/28/07:

Again, not a great night sleep (although better than the past 2 nights). I tried sleeping without the brace but around 4:30am put it back on.

Today my knee felt a little sore and I almost skipped doing my exercises this morning – I ended up doing them anyhow and by the end my knee felt much better (this has happened quite a few times since this point and each time the same results – so I tend to just do them regardless, although some sessions I will take easier than others).

Today was also the first day I used my home gym to work some lat pull downs and biceps (two of the exercises I felt I could easily do). I have definitely lost some strength since surgery – still felt good to do them.

One odd thing I noticed today is the skin on the bottom of my right foot, and in between the toes (this is my injured leg) is starting to peel. I called the doctor and he said it’s fine (most likely due to keeping the leg elevated and compressed almost 24/7 for the past 11 days).
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 12, 13
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 04:56:43 PM
Day 12 – 7/29/07:

Had my first decent nights sleep in a few days – slept with the brace on, on my back, with one small pillow under my heel.

Starting to get some flexion while doing my heel slides, and still doing 2 sets of pushups each time I do PT. Today I started to sit on the edge of my kitchen counter and just let my leg hang a little – it doesn’t hang straight down and I am not assisting it yet – I would guess it’s about 80 degrees flexion. Extension still looks to me to be right around 0.

Tonight I went for my first walk outside up my street (with both crutches). It was tougher than I thought on my upper body. I would say I walked for about 10 minutes. I am doing partial weight on my bad leg and just trying to walk as close to normal as possible (had my brace on but not locked).

I also tried getting in and out of my car today – it was pretty easy (got real good at this when I first injured my leg) so I can use my arms to support all of my weight and just move in and out that way.

Lastly, tonight was the first time I shaved in the shower (because I can now stand for a longer period of time – still keeping most of the weight on my good leg).

Day 13 – 7/30/07:

Had another decent night sleep (about 6 hours and waking up once). I started with the brace on, on my back, with heel elevated and about ½ way through stopped elevating.

My upper body felt slightly sore today either from the gym workout and/or extra walking yesterday.

PT was uneventful today and I went for a shorter walk today outside.

At this point my PT suggested I stop using my compression bandage and don’t elevate as much as I have been – he said it’s time to let the body start to deal with the swelling on its own (the swelling is minimal anyhow). I am also only going to be icing after PT sessions or if I am up for a while (I still spend most of my time on the couch). My PT also said I should keep doing the mini 10 minute walks at least once a day. He said I should expect some more swelling and the feeling of blood rushing down my leg when I first get up (both were minimal from this point on).

This was the first day I took no Advil during the day or before bed (so at this point all I take are my supplements that I was taking before surgery).
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 14, 15
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 05:28:09 PM
Day 14 – 7/31/07:

It’s been two weeks since surgery – seems to have gone by pretty quickly.

Had a medium night sleep last night.

Went to PT today and my flexion measured at 85 and extension still at 3 (or is it -3, either way, not quite 0 but it looks straight). I was told just keep doing what I am doing and don’t feel that I have to push either one (my protocol limits me to 90 degrees flexion for the 1st 6 weeks).

At Pt we did 2 new things which I was told I only need to do at PT (not at home). One was using the exercise band around my foot anchored away from me so I pull against it to pull my toes back towards me (I do this at home once in a while when my girls are around since they can hold it for me – I have nothing to anchor on to).

The 2nd exercise is basically just quad sets but hitched up to a mini electric stimulation hand held devise. Two pads are attached to my leg (one close to the knee and one further up the thigh). I was told to do 30 reps of flexing the quads as hard as I could. The machine tells me when to flex, and if I contract hard enough it will add some current to flex me even harder – I hold this for 5 seconds and then it has me rest for about 5 seconds. It keeps adjusting up or down in intensity to match how hard I can flex.

Measured my flexion today at 85.

At home I tried doing some heel slides using the wall (letting gravity bring my foot down) but found when I had to raise it back up it was very painful in the front of my knee just under the knee cap (PT told me this type of pain is normal any time I try to extend my leg on my own, especially if there is any resistance).

Used my home gym today to do incline bench, lat pull down and bicep curls (this is what I will do for the next few weeks). I will do this workout twice a week.

I tried my stationary bike today and did about 6 ½ revolutions and then my quad started to burn (pretty sad).

Went for another 10 minute walk and really focused on my gait (with two crutches) and also tried the length of my driveway with one crutch (seemed OK). Lastly I took a few baby steps with no crutches and this too was pain free (I did all of this with my brace on).

Day 15 – 8/1/07:

I slept well last night – only woke up once briefly. It was the first night I used no wrap, brace or elevation and slept on my back the whole night.

I took it a little easier during my 2nd PT session today because my knee felt a little worked (probably from everything I did yesterday).

I did about a dozen ½ revolutions on my bike today (quads didn’t seem to burn today). My PT told me it would be great for me to work these partial turns on the bike about 4 or 5 times a week.

My knee is looking pretty good now although my calf is very quickly disappearing (I have lost at least an inch around in my calf – my thigh doesn’t look a lot smaller but that is probably due to some swelling).. Of all my incisions, only the portal incision that the blood seeped out of initially is a little painful to the touch – all the others feel fine.

I took my car out for a 5 minute drive today – My leg did not feel comfortable and the muscles in the front of my shin felt overworked. I did all the breaking with my left foot (got good at this pre-surgery) and will continue to drive like this for a while I am guessing.

Showering is getting much easier each time and today was the first day I think I wore my brace for a total of 30 minutes the entire day (I was told when I am just hanging around my house that was fine – and I am still spending most of my time on the couch).

I weighed myself today and I have dropped 11 pounds since the day before the surgery!! I imagine most of this is muscle loss – probably most from my injured leg, but since my lifting feels quite a bit weaker overall I think I must have lost some muscle mass over all.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 16, 17
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 05:48:12 PM
Day 16 – 8/2/07:

Sleeping is getting back to normal – I am starting to fall asleep on my sides with a pillow between my legs (still not very comfortable doing this).

Met with my OS for my 1st post op visit. They are very happy with where I am at at this point. I was given the official go ahead to start driving (my protocol says 4 to 6 weeks) and was told at 3 weeks I could start 1 crutch and 4 weeks get rid of that and maybe the brace too (again, this is ahead of protocol). He has basically said at this point leave these decisions up to my PT and that my PT can break protocol if he feels I am ready. I meet with my doctor again on 10/1.

Went straight from Doctors to PT. PT told me since my leg is strong enough I can start 1 crutching now (and take breaks from it if my knee feels sore). He has also given me the OK to start working past 90 degrees flexion – he said that is there to protect the incisions but he said mine are healing up so well I can go as far as I feel comfortable. He had me do the upright bike today and within about 1 or 2 minutes I got my first backwards full revolution on the bike (I did one more after that and then decided that was plenty for the first time).

I also did some leg press today using both legs and 30 pounds – this was more for working the flexion than strength building and I was told I could do as little or much with my injured leg (I probably did most of the work with my good leg).

At home I did my PT and went for a short walk with 1 crutch. I am starting to assist my leg in flexion when hanging leg from counter (getting past 90 now).

Day 17 – 8/3/07:

Slept 7 hours straight last night and I am feeling more comfortable lying on both sides.

Did my PT and used my stationary bike (got 1 full revolution pedaling backwards so was happy – wasn’t sure if my recumbent would be different than there upright).

I’ve started to do my pushups without my brace (pretty easy) and I am easily popping up off the floor when done with exercises (over the past week this gets easier and faster).

I did a fair amount of really quick trips around the house with just the one crutch today (no brace) and it feels good. I also worked some walking with no crutches (and no brace) and this felt good too – slow, but good.

Took my car out for a 14 minute drive but made the mistake of wearing flip-flops. I kept having to fiddle with the one on my right foot because it kept slipping (I wear my brace unlocked whenever leaving the house).
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 18
Post by: Rob_W on August 05, 2007, 05:55:28 PM
Day 18 – 8/4/07:

Still sleeping well and each night I feel more comfortable sleeping on both sides (with the pillow).

Did my PT sessions today, lifting and stationary bike (and did 25 full revolutions on my bike – 3 backwards and 22 forward). Still not pedaling fast enough to turn the bike on.

I went out for two trips today, the first was for 30 minutes, I drove to watch my girls at there swim class. The second was later in the evening (about 20 minutes) to pick up some wine. Feels real good to actually get out. Both times I just took the one crutch and used that.

This was also the first day I can put my sock on by myself – I can finally do everything on my own!

I used one crutch all today, and a few short walks with no crutches – I think tomorrow I will use two crutches every now and then because my leg feels pretty worked tonight.

These past few days I feel I have really turned a corner – I feel much more like my usual self, am getting around a lot better and am really starting to see that my leg should get back to normal (with plenty of time and hard work of course).
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: jb-knee-geek on August 06, 2007, 10:09:30 PM
hey rob, sounds like you're pretty much on track with good support from the OS and PT.

Sounds like you could have used one of those plastic yard chairs for use in the shower initially. At least your good quad got some work, continued good luck to you.
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 06, 2007, 10:15:00 PM
Thanks JB - I thought about the yard chair (I have a bunch and my shower is large enough) but I decided that I would try it without and see how it goes (one of the shower walls has a handle so that made me feel safer - and the floor is not slippery at all). The first couple of showers were tough (quivering left leg (my uninjured leg) by the time I got out) but each time got easier and easier and now I can stand normally in there and shower almost as if I am not injured.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 19, 20
Post by: Rob_W on August 07, 2007, 01:14:25 PM
Day 19 - 8/5/07

I slept just over 7 hours last night – still working on sleeping on my sides – I start off OK but then after about 5 minutes my leg starts to ache (I can still sometimes fall asleep before this happens).

Did both sets of my PT exercises and got 40 revolutions on my bike (I don’t need to work up to it – I can get it the first time). I am also starting to do at least 1 set of my PT strengthening exercises with my good leg.

I went for a 15 minute walk outside today with just 1 crutch and then when I got back I did a short walk (about 40 steps) without crutches – both walks were pain free but I do notice my balance in my injured leg is definitely off (not enough to make me fall down, if you watched me walk you probably wouldn’t notice – but I feel it). This is the same as the last time I sprained my ankle and had to re-train the prioproception in the ankle (I did a lot of exercises on my wobble board, and eyes closed balancing exercises).

I was supposed to take it easy today but my knee was feeling up to doing a little extra was I pushed myself a little more – towards the end of the day I used both crutches to get around the house to give my leg a small break.

I also used my Jacuzzi for the first time today – I kept my leg propped up to keep the incisions from soaking although I did dunk my leg about 3 times (OS gave me permission to do this, just not to soak it until after 4 weeks).

Day 20 - 8/6/07:

Slept well last night although my leg still starts to ache if I am on my sides for longer than 5 minutes.

PT was more of the same and on my bike I did 45 full revolutions today (I could feel my quads starting to get tired by the end). Still also doing PT exercises with my good leg and will be doing this every time. I tried using my foam roller today to hit my glutes, quads, hamstrings and IT band but not sure I am quite ready for that yet (a lot of movement and I worry I might bang my leg and hurt the knee – I’ll check with my PT when he thinks would be a good time for me to start these again).

I went out for about 1 hour and 20 minutes today (took my girls for some lunch, a play area and then stopped by a store). My lower leg (below the knee) was really bothering me on the first drive about 5 minutes into it. I adjusted my brace (had it to tight) and this seemed to help. I still notice however that as I drive my right foot really starts to ache (I feel it in my toes and my Achilles tendon of the heel – almost feels like the circulation isn’t quite right). I also get a very similar feeling when I just sit and let my legs hang, but only in my right foot and this is without the brace on (I’ll ask PT about this).

I mixed up using two crutches (for my long trip out) and 1 crutch today.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 21
Post by: Rob_W on August 08, 2007, 12:24:39 AM
Day 21 – 8/7/07:

3 Weeks as of today (or was it yesterday…).

I slept OK last night – about 6 hours. My lower back was sore so every couple of hours I shifted to one side (about 1 or 2 minutes then leg would start to ached slightly), then the other side (same ache) and then to my back for more sleep.

I went to PT today and after some e-stim and heat did the stationary bike for 6 minutes (I averaged about 30 revolutions per minute) and then 30 reps on the leg press. I then did my regular exercises and after some quad sets with the hand held electric stim machine we checked my range. My flexion was at 92 (I could have done more but didn’t want to push to hard) and my extension was 2 degrees into hyper-extension (not sure if this is -2 or 2…) so my ROM was 94 today. I was told since I really shouldn’t be at hyper-extension at this point I should lay off any exercises that were working on extension (maybe do them lightly every other day just for maintenance) and I could stop propping my leg when I was seated on the couch (I was doing this at least 20 minutes every other hour).

I didn’t use my crutches at PT today and my PT told me at this point I don’t need to use them when in a controlled environment (like my house) unless my leg was getting tired. He also said the same for my brace.

I asked about the aches I was getting in my foot when driving (starts to ache after about 10 minutes) or if I just sit and let the leg hang straight down.  I was told this was OK and would gradually go away.

For the rest of the day at home I did not use my crutches, and I also went for a 5 minute walk on my street with no crutches (I didn’t wear my brace either but next time I will because my leg started to get pretty tired by the end of the walk).

I later did my 2nd set of PT at home and my leg was feeling really tired (a good feeling). I think I will be sore tomorrow so might take it easier (I keep saying this every post but then feel up for more the next day – today I really worked hard so we will see).
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 22
Post by: Rob_W on August 09, 2007, 12:54:33 AM
Day 22 – 8/8/07:

I slept pretty well last night and also fell asleep on my sides after waking up a couple of times. My knee did feel a little stiff and/or swollen when I got up – probably due to working a little harder yesterday overall. I started the day hanging my legs off the side of the bed and worked my flexion to get it to 90 (I do this every morning) and then iced my knee (I usually don’t do this in the morning).

I decided I would go easier on my home PT today so basically just went through the motions. I decided I would also jump on my stationary bike and just pedal for 1 minute to loosen up the knee. Today was the first day I wore my sneakers when riding so had to move the seat back about 1 inch. I must not have locked it in place and on the 1st revolution (when my injured knee was bent the most) the seat unexpectedly slid forward about 1 inch and I had a sharp shooting pain in the knee (I think it was the knee cap, or maybe just below the knee cap). I immediately got off the bike and tested putting weight on my inured leg and it felt fine. I then hopped on my rower and did some very light rowing (really just sliding back and forth) for about 3 minutes – again the knee felt good. So I jumped back on the bike, made sure the seat was locked and then pedaled for 1 minute with minimal pain (the same feeling I usually get when biking – like I am stretching the quads). As I was heading back upstairs I still wanted to test the leg so I took one step up leading with my injured leg first and using the railing for some assistance just to see how it would feel – surprisingly it felt good. I also noticed my knee felt a little looser (in a good way) while walking. I then iced my leg. I’ll check with my PT tomorrow to see if he thinks I could have done any damage to the graft (I'm assuming I would see some signs if I did something - and I don't - all looks and feels the same).

I went out to grab a coffee this morning and noticed by the 10 minute mark in my car the area around my Achilles tendon started to ache quite a bit again. I then went to the dentist later in the day and finally realized that I wasn’t fixing the back of my sneaker (it was kind of folding down and pressing into my Achilles tendon) and after adjusting this I was much more comfortable driving (even at 15 minutes I only had a very slight ache – a fraction of what I was feeling).

Today was also my day to do some lifting so I went through the 3 basic exercises I feel comfortable doing on my home gym (incline bench, lat pull downs and biceps) – I am starting to feel like I am getting some of my upper body strength back. Once my knee feels more stable I will add some shoulder press (I need to shift the incline bench to a different position to do this and it is probably more than my leg can handle right now).

For the bulk of the day I did not use my crutches except for going to the dentist (I used two crutches because I was rushing a little and didn’t want to take the chance of losing my balance by rushing with one crutch or no crutches). I also didn’t wear my brace today. Walking without crutches is noticeably easier today - although I still go very slow.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 23
Post by: Rob_W on August 10, 2007, 12:17:57 AM
Day 23 – 8/9/07:

I slept well last night. I woke up a few times and each time fell asleep easily on my right side. I also read in bed before sleeping lying on my left side, without a pillow, and it felt comfortable.

I went to PT today and after some e-stim & heat and heel slides I did 7 minutes on the stationary bike averaging 30 Rpm’s (I first talked to my PT about the scare I had yesterday with my home stationary bike seat sliding forward and giving me a serious jolt of pain – he said the knee looked great and was pretty certain I did no damage). He told me at this point I can start pedaling a lot faster so I am working less on my ROM (which is fine) and starting to burn the quads more. After this I did about 50 to 60 reps of leg presses with 30 pounds (I use both feet and sometimes I do most of the work with my good leg, and sometimes I shift a lot of work to the injured leg). I then did the 3 basic versions of SLR’s and then worked on 2 new exercises which I will also be doing at home:

New Exercise #1 – Terminal Knee Extensions. Anchor a band to something stationary in front of you and then around your leg so that it anchors to you at the height of your knee, just behind your knee. Now back up until it is taught. Next bend the injured knee forward without moving the foot and then straighten the leg back to 0 degrees extension. I did 2 sets of 15 of this and by the end of the last set my knee was feeling pretty worked (had some pain with this but it seemed OK). I was told the weight distribution should be about 95% of my weight on my uninjured and 5% on my injured leg.

New Exercise #2 – Balance Exercise. For this next exercise I stand just on my injured leg with the knee at 0 degrees extension (or close to it). I stay balanced on this leg for 30 seconds. The first 10 seconds my good leg is extended straight out in front of me, then straight to the side for 10 seconds, and finally straight behind me for 10 seconds (for all of these the good foot is about 1 foot off the floor). That would be 1 set and I do 5 sets total. This was much easier than I thought – I was able to keep my balance and my leg felt strong throughout (maybe 23 years of martial arts has made a difference).

Before I left my PT told me at this point I should not be using the crutches at all – I brought one with me because I have to walk down a wheel chair ramp to get in and wasn’t sure if I was ready for that – but other than that, the only time over the past few days I have used them is when I am at a store, and this is more to keep people away from me (I use 1 crutch and barely let it touch the ground).

I was also told I could start working on walking up steps the normal way – I told them I tried doing 1 yesterday and it felt fine so they said keep trying if it is feeling comfortable.

Later in the day I did my 2nd set of PT exercises and took it a little easier, and also did the 2 new exercises.

I did a fair amount of walking today without my crutches and have really been working on my gait. When I really relax my knee I sometimes feel a very slight  shift in the knee (as it starts to move more naturally) and this causes me to involuntarily tighten up the knee and walk a little more stiff legged – this is going to take some more practice.

Today I had a few firsts:

1. This was the first day I started using my desktop computer sitting in a regular chair (up until this point I had only used my laptop lying on my couch).
2. Today was the first day I sat at my kitchen table and did some studying for any length of period (up until this point I have been doing it on my couch).
3. This was the first time I did the new balance drill at PT (and home) so it was the first time I stood for more than 5 seconds on just the bad leg.
4. After PT my leg felt so good that it was the first time I started driving normally – which means my right foot doing both the gas and brake.
5. Today was the first day I went up 2 separate flights of steps un-assisted (not using the railing to pull me up).
6. Got dressed standing up (now that I feel more confident standing for longer periods on my injured leg).
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 24
Post by: Rob_W on August 11, 2007, 01:20:16 AM
Day 24 – 8/10/07:

I slept Ok last night, I however went to bed pretty late so didn’t get a lot of sleep. When I woke up my calf was pretty sore (from all the balance exercises yesterday) so today I am definitely going to take it easy.

I did my home PT routine twice today (the usual) and skipped the biking today.

I had a few more firsts today:

1. I went to my office for a while this morning – felt pretty comfortable sitting in my office chair for 30 minutes straight (then needed to get up and walk for a bit).
2. When leaving my office I walked down the back steps (the shorter than average steps) and I was on my phone – for some reason I took the very last step down the normal way (not paying attention) and surprisingly it did feel too bad (a little stretch in the quads just above my knee) – I think it helped that I didn’t realize I did it until I was already just about done with it.
3. I taught my first martial arts class today (coached everyone from the sidelines) – felt really good to be back.
4. Watched a 90 minute movie sitting on my couch (with my feet on the floor).

So I took it easy on my exercises today but I was up and around way more than I normally am (on my feet for hours more than I normally would be in a day). My leg feels pretty good and my gait is very slowly improving.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 25
Post by: Rob_W on August 12, 2007, 02:37:05 AM
Day 25 – 8/11/07:

I slept well last night – about 8 hours without waking up. My calf is still sore from the first day I did the balancing exercises (like lifting for the 1st time when I can be sore for 2 or 3 days).

I did my home PT routine and rode my stationary bike for 8 minutes (I used my rower for 3 minutes before hand to loosen up my knee). I rode faster today so did 1.6 miles and kept my RPM’s between 50 and 60. The first 2 to 2.5 minutes were uncomfortable but as my knee loosened up it became easier, and by the end my quads were getting tired and getting some slight pains in the knee (my heel slides also went further after this - got my heel at least to my opposite knee, and maybe a little past that)

I made sure I walked up my stairs twice today leading with the injured leg (I have no pain when I do this but look pretty funny doing it). I do touch the railing for balance but not to help me up – I also tried walking up the stairs right after biking but this was painful (and I remember getting the exact same feeling pre-surgery when I first started doing stairs -always tougher right after I did my bike).

I went for a 10 minute walk today and really worked on walking with a normal gait. I am finding when I walk correctly, I get this little shifting feeling in my knee at the end of the stride just as my injured leg is behind me and kicking up off the ground (I can’t figure out if it feels like a mini-dislocate, or just a muscle that is being pulled and then suddenly popping back into place – it’s not painful but feels odd – I am wondering if this is the clicking a lot of people talk about – although I don’t hear anything).

Did my 2nd set of PT – the terminal extensions are still painful, but each time they become a little less painful.

I spent a lot of time on my feet either standing or walking around today, and also another 1 to 2 hours sitting normally in a chair (I can do this a little longer each time).
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 26
Post by: Rob_W on August 13, 2007, 01:57:37 AM
Day 26 – 8/12/07:

I slept good last night and will stop updating my sleep since I am back to sleeping normal and I can sleep on either side without a pillow between my knees.

PT was business as usual and after warming up my knee for 3 minutes on my rower I did 10 minutes on my stationary bike (2.1 miles and got the RPM’s as high as 66  - the first 3 minutes is still about loosening my knee and by 5 minutes it feels very loose). I also did my lifting routine today still limiting it to 3 basic exercises for chest, back and biceps – hopefully I will add shoulders soon.

I did another 10 minute walk today and focused on my gait – I did notice a lot less little shifting feeling in my knee that I felt yesterday, but I also might have been protecting it a little more than usual.

My last 2 steri strips came off today. These were the ones that covered my longest incision on the inside of my shin just below the knee. For some reason I thought it would be longer – it’s less than an inch long.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 27
Post by: Rob_W on August 13, 2007, 09:39:47 PM
Day 27 – 8/13/07:

I heard back from my PT about the little shifting feeling I was getting in my knee while walking (basically at the end of the stride when my foot would start to pop up, just before I stepped forward, I would start to feel this funny little shift in the knee as my muscles got tired from walking). He said this was normal and it was the knee cap giving me this feeling, and as my quads strengthened it would go away. He said to continue walking and working on my normal gait.

For my first set of PT exercises I took it a little easier today since my leg is feeling pretty worked – I did my regular exercises but skipped my 2 new exercises.

For my second session of PT I did 3 minutes of my rower and 5 minutes of my bike (1.4 miles). My knee felt pretty loose so I started off at 50rpms and worked up to 70 and then back down to 50 again (towards the end I got some slight pain in the knee/quads but never felt like I had any ROM pain which I had been getting in the first few minutes). I then did my regular PT but only one set each of the new exercises.

I measured my largest incision today (steri strips finally came off yesterday on this incision) and it is .5 inches long (this is the one on the medial side of the shin just under the knee – for some reason I thought it would be more like 1.5 to 2 inches long).

Ended my evening with a 10+ minute walk where I really focused on walking with a natural gait. Now that I have been told the little shifting feeling in my knee is normal and to just work through this I was finally able to really relax and walk normally (although slowly). I felt quite a few things in my quads loosen up, especially at the end of my stride when my injured leg was back and just starting to kick up (heel up off the ground and the toes just leaving the ground). By the end of 10 minutes I was walking what felt like completely normal - just slower than I usually walk. This really felt great!
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 28
Post by: Rob_W on August 15, 2007, 01:48:14 AM
Day 28 - 8/14/07:

Today marks 4 weeks and things seem to be really going great. The time has flown by - I feel like just last week I had the surgery. My life is getting back to normal very quickly since at this point I am walking, driving, going to work every day, coaching martial arts,.... I have plenty of more work to do but am looking forward to it!

I went to PT this morning and got 1 new exercise, got rid of one exercise and got a clarification on 1 exercise:

New Exercise: Standing calf raises – I did 2 sets to failure. This exercise is to replace the seated calf extension with the band that I have been doing (it was getting way to easy).

I also got a clarification on my terminal knee extension exercise – I was told to make sure I keep 95% of my weight on my good leg (I was doing it 50/50 and it was somewhat painful – this new way is not painful).

I did the bike at PT today and it gets easier each time.

Lastly we measured my flexion at 95 degrees. I am not pushing the flexion hard until I get to 6 weeks. I seem to be averaging about 10 degrees a week (although last week I was 92, but I have stopped really pushing it as I said until I get to the 6 weeks mark).

I did quite a bit of walking today and I worked on my gait about 50% of the time.  I got more of that shifting feeling in my knee today but worked through it (my leg was feeling pretty tired after PT today and that's when it seems to happen the most).

I also found it easier to walk up some steps today – I almost looked normal doing it too!

Did my 2nd set of PT later in the day.
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on August 15, 2007, 10:46:53 PM
Hey Rob,

Wow just read your diary but i must admit skimmed through a little as you've written so much. I agree it really helps reading up on other peoples experiences!

Your doing so well and i really hope i am just as motivated as you are? Rehab is the thing im most scared of at the moment because i know crucial it is. I want to push myself and go thru every procedure but scared i will slacken off and get lazy like i have done now not doing TKD! I was training 4 nights a week and now it 0. Been going to the gym but it's only building my quads and hamstrings up after a very noticeable decrease in size. Cardio has never been a strong point for me especially getting on a bike, but i know it will be my new best friend!

Great to see your positive 

Cassie
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 15, 2007, 11:02:05 PM
Thanks Cassie - I would be shocked if anyone read the whole thing!!

I bet you will do great. I was training about 5 days a week before my injury and I can tell you that you will probably be looking forward to the physio since that will be most of the physical activity you do for a while. Keep in mind that the PT will be crucial to your recovery and hopefully that will be a good motivator!
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 29
Post by: Rob_W on August 15, 2007, 11:03:05 PM
Day 29 - 8/15/07 (Wed):

Today my leg was feeling a little tired so I went lighter on both sets of PT (really light on the 2nd set at the end of the day).

Today was my day for lifting, and in addition I did 2 minutes on my rower (warm up the knee) and 8 minutes on my bike (1.7 miles).

I also walked for about 10 minutes today really focusing on my gait – Still getting that popping in the knee cap but towards the end of the walk it was almost gone (usually it increases as I get tired but not today).
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 30
Post by: Rob_W on August 16, 2007, 10:24:49 PM
Day 30 – 8/16/07 (Thu):

I went to PT today and after taking it a little easy yesterday my knee felt really good today.

We started with heat and estim, and then the bike for 8 minutes (1.51 miles) – It still takes about 2 minutes to loosen up but after that I was pain free.

Next I did the leg press but today I did it with just the injured leg (30 pounds) – He had me put my foot up a little higher than normal to shift some of the work off my quads and onto my glutes.

After this I did standing calf raises – today I did them standing right on the floor but only with my injured leg.

Next we did 3 new exercises:

Exercise #1: This was an exercise I did in pre-hab. I stand on a step (short one) and balance on my injured leg. I then slowly lower myself so my left leg (good leg) touches the floor, and then back up again to the starting position. I found I could only lower myself and inch or 2 before it started to hurt and I would come back up. He had me only do 1 set of 15.

Exercise #2: This time I put the step in front of me. Starting from the floor I would just step up onto the step and then back down again. I could do it all just using my injured leg, or I could pause on the step by putting my left leg down. I did 2 sets of 15.

Exercise #3: The last new exercise was heel walking. Basically just walk around on the heels of your feet with the toes pulled up as high as you can get them. You do this until the front of the shin is feeling a good burn.

We ended with straight leg raises. I used the ankle weight for the abduction, and no weight for the adduction. I then finished with the standard straight leg raise but this time he had me rotate my foot out a little and also hitched up the hand held electric stim devise to help really contract the muscles – he set it up so it hit the VMO (inside of the thigh) muscle more.

After PT today I am finding it much easier to walk up steps – I am no longer having to swing my leg to the side and then raise it onto the step – I just step up normally. Each day I do more and more steps and it is getting easier.

Finished the day with my home PT and did my new exercises – it felt good.
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on August 18, 2007, 12:14:28 AM
Hey Rob,

I've been reading more of your diary as i cant sleep. Im so drugged up from my op today im wide awake. Virtually no pain though only in my hamstring, actually im slightly worried about the pulling!!!

You sound like your going so well, your focused that's for sure.

Leg presses 30 pounds at 4 weeks sounds really good. I was pushing 80 kilo on my injured leg just before i went in but it's hard to imagine doing that again for a very long time........

When do you do these exercises, are you spacing them throughout the day, say every few hours?

Cassie
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 18, 2007, 12:24:41 PM
Cassie,

You'll be sleeping normal again before you know it - for me by 2 weeks I was starting to sleep normal again here and there and at 3 weeks I was just about back to normal sleep everyday.

I don't spread my exercises out over the day, I do one full set in the morning, and then one full set in the late afternoon. I was doing the quad sets (where you just contract your straight leg and hold for 2 seconds and then release) about once every hour or once every other hour (I would do 20 reps each time) - I was told you can't do too many of these so you could do 1,000+ reps a day if you wanted to (and I tried for at least that).

I know the feeling very well of thinking there are certain things you just can't imagine you can do and you think it's going to be months, or longer, before you can actually do them. What you will find however is one day you'll be feeling that, and 5 minutes later you'll do what you thought seemed impossible just moments before. The first time for me that really stands out was riding the stationary bike and getting the pedal to go around all the way once. I thought this was going to take me weeks of sitting on the bike and just sort of rocking the pedals forwards and backwards, and a few minutes later I was going all the way around.

You're almost through the worst of it and everything you are feeling right now will soon be a distant memory!

Rob
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on August 18, 2007, 01:45:36 PM
Hi Rob,

Thanks!

I also had to wear the same brace for my MCL over 2 months no restriction. Yesterday just before i went under they told me it was pretty good and had tightened up well. I'm no longer using the brace but cant tell as yet if my Medial side is hurting because of the op or if it is my MCL. Before my op the pain was fine but still could not bend 100% to my ankles. Could you tell the difference at first?

Cassie
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 18, 2007, 02:55:55 PM
Cassie,

I don't remember feeling any pain initially after surgery that made me think my MCL was still giving me trouble - just general aches and pain all over and around my knee. Now that my knee is feeling much better I would say I have no pain that is similar to the MCL pain I had pre-surgery.

Rob
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 31, 32
Post by: Rob_W on August 19, 2007, 12:29:20 AM
Day 31 – 8/17/07 (Fri):

Not too much to mention today. I did both sets of PT today although I went light on my second set since I was going to be teaching later this afternoon and knew I would be more mobile.

I also went out this evening with some friends for dinner and drinks – this was my first time going out with friends since surgery (no crutches or brace and just made sure I stayed away from people while walking around).

Day 32 – 8/18/07 (Sat):

I worked my knee pretty good today.

In addition to my 2 sets of PT, I rode my bike for 11 minutes (3 miles – My knee felt great as soon as I started pedaling and I kept the RPM’s at 70 or higher for most of the ride) and I also did a lot of walking today (took my girls to their swim class, went grocery shopping, and also went for a few walks).

During my 2nd set of PT I was starting to get some pains in my knee doing my step-up exercises so cut those short.

During my long walk around mid-day I worked a lot on walking limp free. I was still getting some of the shifting feeling that I get in my knee and at one point I actually heard a slight ‘pop’ – this wasn’t painful and it was the first time I actually heard a sound from my knee. Immediately after the shifting stopped and I was walking much closer to normal.

By the end of the day my walking was feeling great – I was walking very close to my normal speed (which is pretty fast) and I was not getting any pain or the shifting I often feel.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 33, 34
Post by: Rob_W on August 20, 2007, 11:50:38 PM
Day 33 – 8/19/07 (Sun):

Today my knee felt pretty good so in addition to my 2 daily sets of PT I upped my stationary bike ride to 15 minutes, and 5 of those minutes I bumped the resistance up to level 2 (need to check with my PT and see if this OK) – I ended up riding for 4.2 miles and burned 50 calories. I also did my upper body lifting routine today.

In addition to the above I taught a 1 hour class today and ended my evening working some extra heel slides while I watched TV.

I would say at this point I walk upstairs the normal way every time – each day it feels just a little easier.

Day 34 – 8/20/07 (Mon):

Today I decided I would take things a little easier because my knee was feeling pretty beat up – I think it was the 15 minute bike ride and the extra heel slides.

I did my first PT routine the normal way (forgot to do my push-ups though) and for the 2nd set I just did one set of each exercise rather than 2 or 3 – want to rest the knee a little since I go to PT tomorrow and those are always my toughest sessions.

I took a few short walks at work today to loosen up my knee after sitting still for a while and just worked on walking without a limp – I still get that shifting feeling (knee cap not tracking properly due to weak quads) when I first start walking, especially after sitting for a while, but by the end of the walk (these are just 3 or 4 minute quick walks) the knee feels pretty good.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 35, 36
Post by: Rob_W on August 22, 2007, 10:19:53 PM
Day 35 – 8/21/07 (Tue):

Week #5:

I had PT today and did a little e-stim and heat to warm up the knee. I then did 8 minutes on the bike (1.65 miles) and my knee felt great right from the start. Afer this I did 2 sets of 15 of 30lbs with my injured leg on the leg press. I then did 3 sets of calf raises to failure. Next I did 2 sets of 15 on the step-ups and moved up to a regular size step. I ended the session with straight leg raises hitched up to the other e-stim machine that helps you flex even harder. I was also given the OK to start to add resistance to my biking.  I was also told I could start working on a marching type of motion where I lift my knee up in front of me as high as it will go while bending at the knee so the foot is just hanging down.

I later did my home PT routine and when doing the step-ups I got another nice ‘pop’ in my knee – no pain. I also upped my exercise to 2 sets of 15 where I stand on a step and lower and raise myself while balancing on the injured legs (I am using a step about 6 inches tall and don’t quite touch my good leg to the floor).

Overall today my leg felt great. Walking is getting better and better each day. I noticed a little shifting in thee knee cap but nothing dramatic.

Day 36 – 8/22/07 (Wed):


Today my leg was feeling a little tired so I did my regular PT session in the morning and for the afternoon I did my regular exercises but I did only one set each of the 3 different SLR’s. By the end of my second set of PT I was getting a little pain on the outside of my knee (I think this is from all the extra stretching I have been doing - it is similar feeling to the meniscus pain I got pre-surgery however?) so also cut down on my balancing exercises which seems to stress every part of the knee.

Walking felt pretty good but not as good as yesterday – I spent a lot more time sitting in my office chair today and I didn’t get up as often as I should to just move around .

I did my home lifting routine and then took it easy for the rest of the day (I’ve got PT again tomorrow so no point in overdoing it today).
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on August 23, 2007, 12:09:22 AM


Rob,

Your doing so well!!! Cant believe it your actually doing quite a lot of exercises on your knee! Must feel good to walk pain free. You seem to fit a lot in but i can imagine you really focus that time to make sure you do it all. I am going to strive to do that as well!

I have a question im going away over night, can your remember what you were like day 7 if you think i would be ok? I won't be walking around and will find ice when i can - not that im very swollen at all! I just don't know what it will be like and what my biggest danger is?

Thanks mate

Cassie x
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 23, 2007, 12:45:18 AM
Cassie,

I am definitely feeling really good so far.

At 7 days I was off the pain meds, showering, and just starting to feel more myself again. The biggest limiting factor was car rides - I was still laying across a back seat because I could not get into the front seat (or any seat) and sit upright. Not sure if you experience that - I think other than that I could have gone away overnight as long as once I got where I was going I could ice/elevate (and exercise) - I was still laid up on my couch 24/7 - but probably could have done more but wanted to take it very easy in the first 2 weeks.

I've been reading your posts too and all sounds like it is going great so far.

Rob
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on August 23, 2007, 06:41:41 PM

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the info! I just found out that the trip is cancelled so im not going anymore. I think that's a slight sign that i was meant to stay at home lol

I have not tried getting in a car but i can definately bend me knee with no trouble and find sitting properly is normal. We were going in a van so my knee would have been straight.

Cassie x



Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 23, 2007, 07:03:16 PM
Cassie,

Sorry to hear the trip was canceled but as you said, maybe for the best.

Rob
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 37
Post by: Rob_W on August 24, 2007, 12:30:25 PM
Day 37 – 8/23/07 (Thur):

I went to PT today and I had the usual session. The bike felt much easier today as I did the 8 minute warm-up (1.8 miles), and I got the RPMs as high as 85 today, and for most of the ride kept them around 80. We also increased the weight of the single leg press to 32.5 pounds (only an additional 2.5 lbs but it was tougher). We also did the calf raises, raising and lowering on a step, step-ups using the step, and some SLR’s with the handheld e-stim attached to increase the contractions (targeting the VMO).

I also got 2 new exercises to add to my home routine today:

Exercises #1 – This first exercise is a basic bridging exercise to work the hamstrings and glutes. Lie on your back and then pull your feet towards your butt so your knees are pointing up (like the end of a heel slide). Now just raise your hips off the floor, pause when as high as you can go, then lower – 2 sets of 15 reps. I was told initially don’t worry if my good leg did more work – which it did – my injured knee and quads also really felt this one (almost like a stretch).

Exercise #2 – Proprioception Balancing. Stand on just my injured leg and close my eyes. See how long I can balance without opening eyes, touching the other foot down or touching anything with my hands – if any of that happens re-start the timing. Then do the same with the good leg. I went back and forth for about 3 to 5 minutes and would say at this point I was balancing for about 30 to 40 seconds on each side. I have not talked to my PT about this yet but I think I will do my first balancing exercise in one of my daily pt sessions and then this one in my 2nd daily pt session – but not both each time.

We ended the session checking my measurements – we measured my flexion at 112 and just eyeballed my extension at either 0 or maybe even a little hyper-extension. I also asked about using the foam roller to work on loosening my IT band and was told at this point that would be a good idea.

Later in the day I did my 2nd PT session at home – my leg felt like it was really worked out good in the 1st session so I was going to take it easy, but once I got started my knee felt great (better than normal) so I did a pretty hard session figuring tomorrow I could always rest it some more.

My walking is really improving – I still have times when I catch myself limping, but then as soon as I think about it I start walking normal again. Anytime I am warmed up, like right after a PT session, my walking feels really good.

I’ve also noticed that when I get up from a seated position (like a chair or couch) I am starting to use both legs now and not using my arms to get me started and just my good leg to finish it.
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on August 25, 2007, 12:07:13 AM
Rob,

Good job ;D

I tried the balancing exercises too and i only got about 15 seconds on both legs. I practised this before my op with PT and im not that great at any time. Although walking back and forward with my eyes shut like on a rope my balance is great. So my moving balance is better than my still. I should be better because it plays quite a bit in TKD. Im that person in your class that is wriggling and sometimes hopping around in position trying to hold there leg behind doing a quad stretch........he he he! Yeah i know it's all about focus and control but it gets me everytime!

Happy your on Kneeguru,

Cassie xx
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 25, 2007, 09:24:05 AM
Cassie,

I've lost quite a bit of my balance that I had before surgery (even in my good leg) and balance in motion is far more important in functional martial arts than stationary balance so at least your good at the right type!

Rob
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on August 25, 2007, 11:54:00 PM
Hi Rob,

I've just read the first month of your posts straight through! I noticed in the first two weeks you really didn't do much as in terms of walking and you iced and elevated quite a lot. This is something i do but not as much as i think i should and i'm glad i read this because i went out for the first time to the park which was fantastic to get out of my room. It felt like a new world out there believe me. Anyway my knee was a slightly more swollen because i guess i was on it a little too long. by the time i had a shower got dressed grabbed some lunch sat there with no elevation, then walked back i notice my knee needs more rest and TLC.

You also wore your brace 24/7 was this for you MCL or was it to keep you knee straight from the ACL recon? Reading on i saw that some things you could not do easily, like for example heal slides down the wall, i find no problem doing this at all and i've been doing this from day one. I'm finding all the exercise very easy! No much i cant do really! I would love to put some weights on my ankles just so i get a leg workout. I also found out today when my knee is straight i thought it was at o' but in actual fact it is hypo extended and has been from day 1!

At this stage i feel i could go to the gym and get on the bike that is how good it feels. Of course i won't but this cant be right.......can it? Yes my knee is sore but it just doesn't feel like i will struggle with the so called rehab side, as they say, making it your own knee!

Rob im slightly worried because a loose graft is now on my mind. I don't know if it's normal to have my knee hypo extended and bend it over 90 deg already. I do feel pain in my knee when doing bending exercises and i know this is normal but everything else is because of my bruised muscles around the incisions along with my sore hamstring. I know it's hard to say to anyone's if my knee is ok but it upsets me that i cant see my PT til thurs especially if im doing anything wrong like you say i have to be careful!  :-[

I have a follow up appt to see the surgeon but it's Sept 3rd!!


Sorry for the questions, im ok just frustrated especially if it is loose because i'll just ended up where i started and a long way off going back to the one thing i love! Oh and i miss all the boys at training!!!


Cassie x


Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 26, 2007, 01:54:28 AM
Hi Cassie,

The protocol for my recovery required me to wear my brace (unlocked) for the first 7 days - 24/7 except I could take it off for PT. I was also told by my PT that for at least the first 10 days the more I could elevate, compress & ice the knee the better. Keep in mind I tore my ACL, MCL and Meniscus so it might be different than what you should be doing. I know the Meniscus kept me on my crutches for 2 weeks although I felt right from day 1 I did not need them (My muscles were weak after surgery but I did not get pain just standing on the leg). The heel slides on the wall were painful, but only for lifting my leg unassisted from the low position back up to the top - the actual slide was not painful (not sure if that makes sense). Overall this has been much easier, and much less pain than I expected - I read alot on the internet and I felt that I didn't experience 1/2 of what others seem to be going through.

As for the feeling of a loose graft - I constantly bounce back and forth between thinking I am doing too little and therefore not healing properly, or doing too much and stressing my graft - my PT assures me that I have not done anything to hurt the graft. I think this is normal to feel this way and from what I have read, most people go through this and it lasts for a while.

I came out of surgery with 0 degree extension and got to -2 hyper extension pretty quickly - I was told to back off the exercises that work on getting more extension because when your leg is hyper-extended early on it can damage the graft (I think this stresses the graft a little and then if something banged your leg that is when the damage might occur - I think) - also keep in mind I have an Allograft (my tendon came from a cadaver) and I believe I am in more danger of rupturing the graft  than your hamstring graft. Once I hit 12 weeks they said don't worry about the hyper extension. I found that when I stopped working the extension exercises I started to loose the perfectly straight leg and about 2 weeks ago they measured me at 3 extension - so I started working the extension again and very quickly got back to 0 degrees again and probably even some hyper-extension so it's a tough balancing act.

It sounds to me that you are experiencing less pain overall than I am and got your flexion back quicker than I did so it makes sense that you can do more than me early on - I doubt you are harming your graft. If you are really worried then just take it a little easier until you start your actual PT - they should answer all of your questions and concerns their.

I just noticed you mentioned putting ankle weights on - I would say don't do this until you talk to your PT - I know others have tried this and it can damage the graft (depends on what you are doing) - I'd wait - it's not going to hurt you to wait.

Rob
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on August 26, 2007, 12:18:05 PM
Hi Rob,

You have made me so feel so much better thank you, i really needed that today! I understood everything you wrote and it has become clearer to me that of course people would all think the very same thing at some stage. I just needed reassuring and you have done that and all the info has really helped thanks.

Im staring my day with a fresh positive mind!

Glad your doing well also!

Cassie x


Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 26, 2007, 12:41:38 PM
Cassie - Glad to hear it. This journey I'm sure will have many ups and downs so I think a positive mind set will make a big difference in the long run!!
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 39, 40
Post by: Rob_W on August 26, 2007, 12:44:30 PM
Day 38 – 8/24/07 (Fri):

My knee was feeling pretty tired today so I decided to go light and do less exercises.

I did my regular set of PT exercises but I did less sets than I normally do, and then I did the bike (4.5 miles and I went up to resistance level 3 today).

I coached a group today at martial arts and then took it easy the rest of the day.

Day 39 – 8/25/07 (Sat):


My knee felt strong again today.

I did both sets of PT and worked some extra exercises into my 2nd set (I did some stationary lunges and also step downs off of a book to mimic coming down a flight of stairs – just a very short step).

I did another 15 minutes on my stationary bike and rode for 5.2 miles – I got up to over 23 mph and got the resistance level up to 5.

After each set of PT exercises, and after the bike my walking felt as if I had never had the surgery – but after then sitting around for a while I tend to limp slightly sometimes if I don’t pay attention to it while I walk.

Overall today my leg is feeling almost back to normal (at least there are quite a few times now that I am forgetting that I had surgery – so I need to be careful since I still need to be real careful with my knee for at least the next 6 weeks) – I am finding my body is starting to want to do things that it probably is not ready for (for example I will be going down stairs and if I don’t pay attention I will step down the proper way (good leg first which means the injured leg is doing all the work to lower me) on the last step and realize while I am half-way through that I shouldn’t be doing it).
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on August 26, 2007, 11:37:20 PM


Ha Ha that's funny Rob but i think it's good your brain is letting you do things with your knee. I was told it lets you know when you shouldn't do things which makes you hesitate and when you do it unconsciously it's finally saying it's all ok! Especially with stairs. But you know whats best for your body........

Question sorry im full of them - just before you went in for surgery did a PT strap your leg in and put on a machine that pulls your knee up away from your leg to get some measurements? ( hope it made sense) If so did you get much difference between your good and bad knee?

Also while the questions are rolling and you mentioned getting back to your normal life, sorry not a knee question, what office work do you do? Im a hairstylist and know i have to worry about swelling when i go back in 3 more weeks!

Cassie x
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 26, 2007, 11:59:07 PM
Cassie,

The hesitation seems to come at the last possible moment - just as I am already stepping off the step - so I am kind of in limbo, not quite ready yet but getting there. I've just started today walking down steps the normal way but using my arms to support most of my weight (I tried this about 1 week ago but wasn't ready for it yet) - today it felt great.

I don't re-call them taking any measurements like you describe, but I know my PT had taken some measurements (just with a tape measure) and jotted them down. I had definitely lost some muscle in my injured leg but to be honest, visually they looked almost the same. Now my injured leg is a little smaller (this is most obvious when I look at my calf muscle) - I know I lost about 12 pounds in the first 10 days after surgery and I think alot of this was muscle in my injured leg.

I co-own a small accounting firm and our busiest time is from about December through May and the summer is always are slowest time so I've been lucky that I haven't had to spend full days at the office yet. I pretty much stay off my feet when I am there so additional swelling has not been an issue (I do find my knee has been getting stiff though when I forget to get up and move around every 30 minutes or so). Will you be able to take a few breaks and elevate (and ice) the leg if you need to? It will probably take a little time for your body to adjust to being on your feet more and to deal with the additional swelling.

Rob
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on August 27, 2007, 12:28:44 AM
Hey Rob,

I had this machine take my measurements.......it was pulling my knee up beeping and tells, i think, how much laxtivity ( or what ever it is) you have in your knee. If i remember rightly i was 36 and my bad knee was 38 they said this was really good and everything around my knee was stable. I didn't quite know what they meant until they did the guy next to me, who did his ACL too and i just heard the PT say his was 12 difference and told him it was a lot but missed the reasoning why because i got taken away for my op!!!

When i first did my injury i lost 3 kilo, i think it was muscle too and i rested my knee along with the MCL injury....actually i rested too much because there was a huge difference in my quad size! I have now put the weight back on and slightly more from not training!

That's great timing with the business! And lucky to sit down most of the time! I am in a very busy place so i doubt i can rest much let alone for long periods of time but i will make sure when i do ice will be added. I will definately way up the options when i return!!

Cassie x
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 40
Post by: Rob_W on August 27, 2007, 01:08:02 AM
Day 40 - 8/26/07 (Sun):

Today my knee was feeling pretty strong so I worked it a little harder today – This seems to be a pattern where one day it feels strong, so I work it hard, then the next it feels weaker (but still pretty good) so I take it easier.

I did my two sessions of home PT today and about the only thing I added was adding a set of stepping down off of a book again (Harry Potter book).

I also rode my stationary bike today for 20 minutes and did 6.5 miles. I got the resistance level up as high as 6 today and it was the first time I burned over 100 calories (116).

Today was also my lifting day and I am still just doing the same 3 basic exercises – I think pretty soon I will start to add some more.

Lastly, I have started to walk down stairs using the railings to support much of my weight. I tried doing this about 1 week ago but still wasn’t ready. It felt really good.
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 27, 2007, 03:32:59 AM
Cassie - I did not have any machines measuring the laxity of my knee - I can tell you it was very loose - I would watch while they did the Lachmans test and there was alot of movement (where there should be none) - what's funny was the knee felt very stable to me - I never felt like the knee was going to give out or anything like that.

Good luck when you head back to work - I'm sure you will do great.
Rob
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 41
Post by: Rob_W on August 28, 2007, 02:30:46 AM
Day 41 – 8/27/07 (Mon):

Yesterday I did a lot of working out and really pushed my knee throughout the whole day thinking that today I would be able to take it easy. What I forgot was that today I had formal PT that I go to. Whoops!

At PT I started with heat and e-stim.  I then warmed up on the bike for 8 minutes (about 2 miles). Next I did the single leg leg press for 3 sets of 15 at 30 pounds – I thought this would be pretty tough because of all I did yesterday but it was actually pretty easy. My PT told me at this point if I wanted to do some wall squats at home using the physio ball I could, but not to do more than 3 days a week on squatting type exercises (this includes leg press) – since I do this twice a week at PT he said just once a week at home would be good.

Next I did 3 new exercises:

1. I started on the step and basically just stepped down like going down a flight of stairs (leaving my good leg up on the step), and the stepped back up. I did this about 30 times today and was told to gradually work up to 3 sets of 15 (I was basically already doing these at home already but just on a shorter step).

2. The next exercise was a standing hamstring curl with a 5 pound weight on my ankle. I did 3 sets of 15 and these were pretty easy.

3. The last exercise I did was the same 3 way balance exercise I have been doing (hold good leg out in front, to the side and then behind me for 10 seconds in each position) but I did it standing on a piece of equipment called the KAT. It is basically like a balance/wobble board but you have a little hand squeeze thing to pump up the base to set the amount of wobble it has. This too was pretty easy.

We finished with some ice and e-stim.

I took the rest of the day pretty easy because my knee was feeling pretty worked from yesterday so I skipped my home set of PT tonight (I did make sure when I went down the stairs at my house today I did it the regular way with my arms supporting most of my weight – this is getting easier already).
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on August 30, 2007, 12:47:41 AM
Hi Rob,

The balancing technique sounds like a great exercise..... and you found it easy so that's good. Your leg is sounding strong, can you notice the difference yet?

Good work

Cassie x
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on August 30, 2007, 11:52:27 AM
Cassie,

My leg is feeling great - the last week I've noticed some big improvements  - I'm at the point where I don't have to 'try' and walk normal anymore and there have been quite a few times I actually forget about the injury (as opposed to how during the first 6 weeks it seems to have been on my mind all the time).

Good luck in PT today!

Rob
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 42, 43, 44
Post by: Rob_W on August 31, 2007, 12:13:09 AM
6 Weeks - Day 42 – 8/28/07 (Tues):

My knee felt good today so I went pretty strong on both my morning and afternoon PT sessions. I also added in some extra practice on stairs – just walking up without touching the railings (this is how I normally do it anyhow) and down but using the railings to help support some of my weight.

I’ve noticed my walking is getting much better – I think the extra work on going down stairs is really starting to loosen up my knee and stretch out my quads (I’ve also noticed the bridging stretches my quads and I am doing some extra quad stretches on my own).

6 Weeks & 1 Day - Day 43 – 8/29/07 (Wed):


My girls started school today so I rushed my first PT session today (I’ll make sure starting tomorrow I set aside more time in the morning) – did about ½ the sets for each exercise.

Today at my office I went for a walk just to loosen up my knee during the day – I walked about ½ the distance I was going right before surgery (my knee was actually feeling just about perfect right before surgery). My walking is really starting to feel good – I finally feel that I can just walk and not have to practice walking.

I was feeling a little tired in the evening so went light on my 2nd session of exercises – I did do my bridging a little different this time, I did them on my physio ball.

I’m also starting to get myself off the floor a little differently now – I basically plant my injured right foot and get on my uninjured left knee and then basically stand straight up (looks almost like rising straight up in a lunge position).

6 Weeks & 2 Days - Day 44 - 8/30/07 (Thur):


I went to PT today. Started with heat and E-stim and then continued to warm-up with 8 minutes on the bike (1.9 miles). I then did 2 sets of single leg leg press at 30 pounds and a 3rd set at 35 pounds. Next I did my 3 different step exercises – step ups, step downs and straight up and down. I then did my standing hamstring curls with the 5 pounds ankle weight.  Next I did my 3 way balancing (5 sets of 30 seconds) on the KAT. I then did 2 new exercises:

Exercise #1: The first exercise is bridging on the ball (which I had already started to do on my own, but this version is more difficult). I would lie on my back with my heels up on the ball. The firsts step is to raise your butt so there is a straight line from your shoulders on the floor, to your butt and through to your heels (you should look like a straight plank of wood). Next you pull your heels to your butt bending at the knees and driving your hips straight up (at the top of this position you want a straight line from your knees to your butt and through to your shoulders on the floor) – this motion will roll the ball towards you, you then extend the feet away from you (this rolls the ball away from you) and you are in the straight plank position again, and then relax back down to the floor. I did 3 sets of 15 although on the 3rd set I got to the point where I just bridged to the plank and back down again.

Exercise #2: The 2nd new exercise I did is another new balancing exercise (I was told to just do one balancing exercise per training session and just pick from the various ones I have). Stand on bad leg, hold a weight in opposite hand (just 2 pounds) and then bend forward and set the weight on floor, hover for a moment, then pick up weight and stand back up. I can rest in between or do as many as I want without putting my good leg down (I was also told to mix up trying to bend my leg to lower myself which works the knee more, or just bend more at the hip which works the hamstring more.)

I was also told that I could start doing a balancing exercise that I was doing pre-op where I place two books on the floor about 2 feet in front of me, and spaced about 3 to 4 feet apart (so they are out at 45 degree angle from me). I then stand just on my injured leg and bend down and touch the book to my right with my right hand (I am told to put it as far away as I possible can so I really have to reach for it), then I stand back up (not touching the other foot to the floor), and then I do the same but this time my left hand touches the book way to my left, I then stand back up (again without ever touching the other foot to the floor). I then repeat this 9 more times on the injured leg (without ever touching down). That is one set, and I am to do 3 sets on each leg (so a total of 30 reps on each leg). Those were the reps I was doing pre-surgery so I imagine I can do less now to start and check my balance during the sets if I need to.

I finished today’s PT session with some calf and hamstring stretches and then e-stim and cold.

Later today I was doing some shopping (with a lot of walking) and I find I am now walking faster than most people rather than slower than everyone! I’m also finding that I am starting to forget that my leg is injured every now and then!

I ended the day doing my weight lifting routine and then an easy session of PT since my leg was still tired from my earlier session.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 45, 46 & 47
Post by: Rob_W on September 03, 2007, 02:49:11 AM
6 Weeks & 3 Days  - Day 45 – 8/31/087 (Fri):

My leg was really tired and sore from yesterdays PT so I took it easy on my first session (I just did 1 set of each exercise) and completely skipped my 2nd set – I did do some of the easier warm-up exercises with the martial arts class I taught today.

I did my stationary bike mid-day (before teaching) and pushed myself pretty hard – I rode for 20 minutes and did 6.7 miles (167 calories) and took it up to resistance level 8. I was also able to walk up my basement steps the normal way right after biking, normally it hurts right when I am done so I walk up just with the good leg first each step.

6 Weeks & 4 Days – Day 46 – 9/1/07 (Sat):

My knee was feeling better today, but still slightly sore from Thursday’s PT session (the balancing exercises where you drop the weight and pick it up and the bridging on the physioball really worked my leg hard since it was the first time I did these).

I took it a little easier on my first session of PT today and just did 2 sets of each exercise instead of 3. I also ended skipping my 2nd session today because by the end of the day my leg just didn’t quite feel up to it.

Today I used my rower for 15 minutes (121 calories) and rode my mountain bike for the first time on my street today for about 5 minutes (this is easier to do than my stationary bike). Directly after I did my rowing I did some heel slides just to see how the flexion is coming along and I got the ball of my foot to line up with the center of my opposite knee – and that is the furthest I have done it.

I also went for a walk in my neighborhood that I have not done for a while – it took me 5 minutes today and it was very easy, last time I did it was 2 weeks ago and it took me 12 minutes.

6 Weeks & 5 Days – Day 47 – 9/2/07 (Sun):

For PT I decided I would take it easier again today – my knee is feeling more rested now but I am pushing it pretty hard on the rower and bike so thought I would back off on the PT slightly. For my first session I just did 1 set of each exercise (more for a warm-up) and for the 2nd session later in the evening I did 2 sets of each (I felt like I could do more but my knee was feeling so good I thought I would just rest it a little more).

I did 25 minutes on my bike today and rode 7.8 miles (192 calories) and took it up to level 9 today (no pain at all), and again walked normally up my stairs when done.

Today I started to get into my car better, and I am getting out of my car completely normal. I also feel much more comfortable while driving – before I would get in with a straight leg, get my heel in a certain spot and then just rotate the ball of my foot back and forth from the break to the gas. I wasn’t able to bend the knee and pull the foot towards me and then easily get my foot back into position (it was really painful) but now it feels normal. In fact, my knee felt so good I let my 5 year old daughter sit on my lap and steer the car (on a private street with no one around of course - she actually drives great - I think it's all the driving she does on the Gamecube and Wii).

I tried kneeling down on a carpeted floor today – first on all fours and then just on my knee’s – I didn’t move around but was surprised that it didn’t hurt.

Lastly, I am really starting to walk down stairs better. I still keep my hands on the railings and support some of my body weight, but I make sure on the very last step I just step off normally and it feels pretty good.

* I've decided to also start an online exercise journal to track all of the exercises I have been assigned at PT (and a few I do on my own that my PT has OK'd) and also at what stage I started to do them:  http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=38562.0
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on September 03, 2007, 11:26:33 PM


Fantastic Rob!!

You sound like you have everything where you want it. Exercising, burning calories and leading normal life. Having no pain in certain movements must feel so good and not to notice them is even better! I cant wait to start more of the PT work to build muscle and control swelling. This im scared of!

You daughter sounds cute! I did the exact same thing at her age and when i could reach the peddles on my mum's lap i controlled them too and before you knew it i was driving around our block of land when i was 11! Great fun!

Im just about to check out your other site. Hey you should write a book  ;D

Cassie x
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on September 04, 2007, 03:48:05 AM
Thanks Cassie - I really do feel great right now.

I posted something similar to this in your thread but I really think one of the keys has been to listen to my knee and take breaks from my PT when my knee is telling me to (it seems to know when I should take a break even when I don't). I've kind of figured out the difference between pain that I feel I should work through, and pain that is telling me to lay off. I often will drop the number of sets down to 2, or even 1 instead of 3 - and occasionally I will just skip a workout altogether. I then find I come back even stronger for my next sessions. I'm also finding as I do more day to day real life stuff (like tons of walking, or taking my mountain bike out for a ride) I adjust my PT exercises to reflect this so I don't over do it.

As for writing a book.... Nahh - I do enjoy taking notes and posting them here (others posts have helped me alot early on so hopefully I can do the same for anyone struggling at any point in their recoveries and just want to read what someone else has gone through - especially in that first week when you have many sleepless nights). You should see my martial arts notes - I've been taking notes on every class I take, and every class I teach since the mid 80's!!!

Rob
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on September 05, 2007, 12:07:56 AM

Wow would love to see that! You really sound like you are dedicated to everything you do whatever it may be!

I read your other post and thought it was great! I am a little ahead of some days but i think by you getting some meniscus taken out is probably the difference between our knees! Im completely weight baring with no pain at all. Most exercises i do is no pain only aches but like i said in my post i will find a routine at the gym to keep me motivated as i think im slipping a bit especially getting bored with repetition! I know once i start the more vigorous stuff it will set me back and this is where i need to learn and pace it all out.

Glad all is good for you and your week 6 which is amazing. You should be running by the 3 month mark which is the so called protocol?

Well done

Cassie x
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 48, 49, 50
Post by: Rob_W on September 06, 2007, 12:41:51 PM
6 Weeks & 6 Days – Day 48 – 9/3/07 (Mon):

Today I just did 1 set of my PT exercises. In addition I took my mountain bike out for about a 20 minute ride. Later in the day I jumped on my stationary bike and did a 5 minute warm-up (1.7 miles) and then my upper body lifting routine.

Today was the first day I started walking down my back office stairs without using the railings for assistance. These steps are a little shorter than normal steps so they are a little easier to do. The knee felt tight but not really any pain. I can also walk up them 2 at a time now.

7 Weeks – Day 49 – 9/4/07 (Tue):

7 Weeks today!

Today was pretty uneventful.

I did both sets of PT exercises at home today.

I took a few short walks at my office today just to get up and loosen up the knee every so often – walking is still no longer a problem. I would say I am back to exactly how I walked before my injury.

Lastly I started walking down my home stairs a couple of times today without using the railings - I only do a few steps here and there. These are harder to do than my office steps but I am getting there.

7 Weeks & 1 Day – Day 50 – 9/5/07 (Wed):

Today I went to PT. We started right off on the bike for a 10 minute warm-up – I was told I don’t really need the heat and e-stim to get the leg warmed up at this point. Next I did the leg press with just my injured leg and did 3 sets of 40 pounds (just 10 reps each set since we increased the weight today).  I then worked my Step - Mini Squat and Step - Step Down exercises (I was told I no longer need to work the step-up exercises). Next I did a new exercise (Chair walking) which I describe below. I then did the balancing weight pick up exercise followed by the physioball bridging exercise.  I ended doing some hamstring, calf and quad stretching (the quad stretch is new - see below) followed by some cold and e-stim (he said I probably don't need this anymore but if I had time to do it anyhow).

I was told at PT I can drop down to 1 exercise session per day and when I feel strong to really push myself.

Lastly the swelling in my knee is almost gone and the muscles are coming back nicely – my legs are starting to look the same again. My PT said the remaining swelling could take up to a year before its 100% gone.

I ended the day coaching a group in martial arts - I am still doing 95% verbal coaching and staying on the sidelines to be safe (a couple of 220+ pounders almost crashed into me while fighting but I saw them coming and got out of the way).

***

New Exercises (these are also detailed out with the rest of my exercises in my exercise journal):

Chair Walking. Sit down on a rolling chair and just using your injured leg extend it as far forward as you can reach, and then put it on the floor and pull so you roll the chair forward. Do about 20 reps of that in one direction. Turn around so you are facing the other direction and use your good leg to pull yourself back. I am starting with 3 sets in each direction (so 60 reps with each leg). I was told on one day do exercise 23: Standing Hamstring Curl and exercise 25: Physioball Bridging, and on the next do just this exercise – no need to do all 3 on the same day.

Prone Quad Stretch with Belt. This description is to stretch your right quad. Lie on your back as close to the edge of a table (or bed/couch) as you can get without falling off to your right. Pull your left knee towards your chest and hold it with your left hand. Drop your right leg off the side of the table and loop a belt around the foot/ankle and grab that with your right hand. Now just pull with your hand so you pull your foot towards your butt and get a good stretch in the quad (position your knee so you feel like you are stretching the quad more than just working ROM in the knee). Hold for a minimum of 30 seconds. He told me this is about the best stretch you can do for your quads.
Title: Martial Arts Video Clips
Post by: Rob_W on September 07, 2007, 12:38:01 AM
I decided that I would e-mail my PT some video clips showing the type of martial arts training I would like to get back to so he would have a good idea of my goals (he sees a lot of sports patients but not as many martial artists).

I specifically picked 4 different clips that represented a lot of the type of training that I do and also these clips show the training at a light to medium level of resistance (the bulk of my training is done at light to medium resistance levels and this is what I would start back at).

He said he was very happy to see the clips and will be structuring my re-hab program to help get me back into these activities.

Below are the following clips I sent to him with brief descriptions of what’s on the clip (if you are interested in checking them out). Just click the link and it should pop up a video clip in the window (You can also right click and save, and then watch) - I know for sure the latest version of Quicktime will view these files - http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/:

1. Standup 1: This is the first aspect of training I figure I can get back into. The two guys in the clip are going very light and that represents how I train about 50% (or more) of my standup training.

Standup 1 Clip (http://jamrock.us/Crazy/standup 1.mp4)

2. Clinch 1:  This clip shows the clinch range and the two guys in the clip are going at about 50% resistance level (or slightly less) – again, I do this type of drill at this resistance level quite a bit.

Clinch 1 Clip (http://jamrock.us/Crazy/clinch 1.mp4)

3. Clinch 2: This clip also shows the clinch range but strikes and takedowns are added. Again, these guys are going pretty light and controlled and the bulk of my clinch training with strikes and takedowns is at this level.

Clinch 2 Clip (http://jamrock.us/Crazy/clinch 2.mp4)

4. Ground 1: This clip shows the ground portion of my training (specifically Brazilian Jujitsu). I train this type of training almost every workout and I would say the bulk of my workouts are done at the level of resistance demonstrated in this clip.

Ground 1 Clip (http://jamrock.us/Crazy/ground 1.mp4)
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on September 07, 2007, 11:23:04 PM
Hey Rob,


I tried doing this and it didn't work for me. I tried both ways. It comes up as apple quick time and i have to download it. So tried doing that and could not find anything but movie trailers and music ipod things. Im sure im not doing this right.

I really want to see this!

Cassie x
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on September 08, 2007, 03:11:47 AM
Cassie,

If you have the latest quicktime you should be able to download it somewhere on your computer, then run quicktime and choose open file, after that just point to the location of the file and it should play. In all honesty, I think you will see my martial arts training is probably the exact opposite of what you do so if can't do it just picture some boxing, then grabbing onto the person and wrestling them to the ground (with some strikes and knees thrown in for good measure), and once on the ground working to submit them with chokes, arm locks, etc... I stay away from kicking which is probably what you specialize in!!

Rob
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 51, 52, 53
Post by: Rob_W on September 09, 2007, 12:30:34 PM
Day 51, 7 Weeks/2 Days, 9/6/07 (Thur):

I had a hard session at PT yesterday so today I was going to take it easy since I go to PT again tomorrow. I then got a call saying my PT’s wife delivered (we knew it was going to be any day now) and that they had to cancel my appointment for tomorrow. I then decided that I should really push myself hard today since I won’t be going to PT tomorrow (but forgetting that I just pushed myself hard yesterday).

So I ended up doing my regular set of PT exercises (with extra reps and some extra sets), then working going up and down stairs for a while (with minimal touching of the railings), and then some extra flexion for a while.

My knee felt really good during the exercises but about 2 hours later I started to get some pain in the front/medial part of my knee where one of the portal incisions was. It actually hurt slightly each time I took a step. This is the first pain I have had in my knee in a while (while not exercising) – I think I have been almost forgetting that I had surgery 7 weeks ago and I should still expect some pains here and there. I iced for a while and then took it easy and after a couple of hours my knee felt good again.


Day 52, 7 Weeks/3 Days, 9/7/07 (Fri):

I woke up today and my knee felt tired and still slightly sore (some of the pain I got yesterday had come back – although just a hint of it).

I rode my bike for 15 minutes (5.1 miles and 85 calories). Later I decided I was going to take my first full day off from my PT exercises just to give my knee a little break since I had to coach a class tonight and then I was going out afterwards with friends for a while.


Day 53, 7 Weeks/4 Days, 9/8/07 (Sat):

My knee was feeling back to normal today so I again pushed myself pretty hard on my PT exercises.

Later I went for a 20+ minute bike ride on my mountain bike (on the streets – no off road). It feels really good to pedal hard, I am getting the bike into the highest gears (It’s a 21 speed and I am getting up to about 17 or 18) and having no problems with that amount of resistance (I’m on mostly flat ground – no steep heels).
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 54, 55, 56
Post by: Rob_W on September 12, 2007, 04:24:37 AM
Day 54, 7 Weeks/5 Days, 9/9/07 (Sun):

Today was a pretty busy day (for me and my knee). I started off with a 15 minute bike ride (5.1 miles and 130 calories) and then coached a martial arts session (I actually am able to start coaching by showing some stuff and not 100% verbal because I feel much better on my feet and moving around alot – I am being careful however).

I later did my upper body gym workout and then all my PT exercises.

I had to setup a computer at my mother-in-laws house today and actually was able to knee down on the hard wood floor!

Overall my knee felt pretty good today.


Day 55, 7 weeks & 6 days, 9/10/07 (Mon):

Today I decided I would take a break from my stationary bike and I did some rowing (I try to do 1 rowing session each week, and 4 biking sessions). I rowed for 15 minutes (132 calories) and my injured knee felt perfect, and ironically I actually had a few slight twinges of pain in my good knee.

When I was at work I took 1 walk during the day to just get up and loosen up the knee and overall my knee felt great.

I worked myself really hard during my home PT session today.

Lastly, my PT let me know that I now only need to come to him once per week for my office PT session – he says since I have all the equipment at home and do a good job on my own there is no need for me to keep going twice a week.


Day 56, 8 weeks, 9/11/07 (Tue):

8 Weeks today!!

I went a little easy on my PT today since I have my office PT visit tomorrow. Today was also my day off from biking/rowing so overall a pretty easy day.

I am now going downstairs the regular way every time, but I still use the railing to support myself most of the time (at least a few times a day I don’t however). I’ve also noticed that sitting down for long periods of time without getting up to loosen the knee is becoming less and less of a problem (I have not noticed any additional swelling – and in fact pretty much since surgery I have not had my knee flare up, it just keeps getting smaller and smaller – it seems to have leveled off with just a few hints of swelling left).

I’m starting to catch myself doing things that I shouldn’t be doing – like pivoting (usually when wearing socks on a hardwood floor), jumping up and off the last step going up stairs, chasing my girls around while playing with them (basically jogging), etc. My knee feels so good that I keep forgetting that I had surgery and start to do these things and then remember and stop.

I went 9 weeks from my initial injury to my surgery, and have noticed that the recovery from surgery has tracked those initial 9 weeks pretty closely. The first few weeks the post-injury recovery went much better, and now these last few weeks I feel my knee is better than it was at this same time post-injury (if that makes sense).

That’s it for now – I know I still have a long recovery ahead of me and there will still be ups and downs, but so far things are going great!!  :D
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Day 57, 58, 59, 60
Post by: Rob_W on September 16, 2007, 11:39:08 PM
Day 57, 8 weeks & 1 day, 9/12/07 (Wed):

I went to PT today and had a good session. I started with a 10 minute warm-up on the bike. I then did the leg press (single leg) for 3 sets of 15 at 40 lbs (this is getting easier – and less painful). After this I worked a variation of the step-up exercise where I used a much higher step and worked on driving myself hard up onto it and then back down (details of this are in my exercise journal added onto the regular step-up exercise). I then did some laps of chair walking around the office. I then started a new exercise (that I was doing pre-surgery) – the lunge (see below for details). I then did some K.A.T. 3 way balancing, book touching balancing and also a new balancing exercise with the band (see below). I finished with some physioball bridging, hamstring stretching and quad stretching. No swelling so I skipped the ice.

At PT I mentioned that I am starting to do things accidentally that I problem shouldn't be doing (see last post, day 56) and he told me that is a good sign and that I probably would not hurt myself doing them. He then said that 1 or 2% of the people could do damage doing those movements, and since you really don't know if you will be in that 1 or 2% you still need to be careful.

New Exercise: Lunges with Dumbbells. This is an easier version of the lunge because you start in the lunge position and just fall and rise in this position (rather than stepping into it and out of it). He had me work it with my injured leg forward for every set, and not my good leg forward yet. Make sure your lead knee does not bend forward past your toes. Lower yourself to as far as you feel comfortable. He said at this point it was probably more of a balance exercise than a quad strengthening exercise due to these modifications. The goal is to work for 3 sets of 15.

New Exercise: Balancing – With Exercise Band. Anchor one end of the exercise band to something about waist high (you could tie it on a bed post or something). Back away so there is tension in the band. Hold the band with the same side as the injured leg. Now standing on just the injured leg bend forward and reach towards where the band is anchored (this will start to take tension off of the band), and then straighten back up and at the end of the movement you do the ending motion of a row pulling your hand towards your waist with your elbow sticking out behind you and your closed fist palm is facing up. The goal is to work for 3 sets of 15.

I taught a martial arts class later this evening and my knee felt great (almost as if I had not worked it out hard).


Day 58, 8 weeks & 2 days, 9/13/07 (Thur):

Today I did my PT session and also my upper body gym workout.



Day 59, 8 Weeks & 3 days, 9/14/07 (Fri):


Today I took my girls to the play ground and to the beach. I did a lot of walking and my knee felt great. By the time we got home I started to feel like I was coming down with a cold.

Since I wasn’t feeling great I just did 1 set of each of my exercises today and skipped my bike riding.

I then taught a martial arts class and took it easy for the rest of the evening after that.


Day 60, 8 Weeks & 4 days, 9/15/07 (Sat):

I seemed to have shaken the cold I felt like I was coming down with so I worked my leg hard doing my PT exercises today – but I did skip the bike to just be safe and not work too hard.

I have not checked my flexion measurements in a while but my injured leg is within 2 inches (pulling heel to butt) of my good leg so almost back to full ROM.

I am going downstairs regular all the time now (still needs work and I still gently touch the railings), and I can go upstairs 2 steps at a time easily (even immediately after biking – which used to be tough to just go up 1 step at a time).

I’m really excited to get back to doing some real workouts again (martial arts) but will obviously hold off because I know I could damage my leg if I jumped in too soon. I will wait for the OS to OK me (which I am sure will still be a while).
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on September 17, 2007, 02:42:21 PM
Hi Rob,

That's great you really are going so well. I am still amazed at hour much you do in a day. At 2 months it seems your knee is nearly back to normal!

Do you still have noticeable size differences in your quads? And whether you could see improvement in building your muscles slowly? I am a long way off because i have i lot of size difference in my quads and hamstrings but my calves are good from all the raises. I wanted to follow your progress!

Also i would like to work on my IT band but i don't have a foam roller and my gym doesn't either. I know that physio won't lend one out, i doubt they even have one!! What can i use instead? Or should i bite the bullet and buy one....... I think they are expensive though. I like the sound of working on all my muscles!

Cassie x
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on September 17, 2007, 03:07:14 PM
Hi Cassie,

My injured thigh is about 1 inch smaller than my non injured thigh (visually they look pretty close, but if I measure there is a difference). My VMO muscle (the quad muscle closest to the top of the knee on the medial side) is visually smaller - this is that tough one to hit. My calves are very close in size, although I can see a difference in the muscles (my uninjured leg calf has more definition when I flex it). I still feel I have not really hit the muscle building stage of my workouts however since I am not really pushing any heavy weights but just my own body weight in 95% of my exercises.

My PT has told me quite a few times he has seen thousands of ACLr patients and many of them had made quicker initially recoveries than me (got their ROM back almost immediately, or they had no swelling right after surgery...he said he actually worries more when he sees to quick of a recovery initially) but he has been happiest with mine so far because of the steady progression. Who knows - he might tell that to everyone  :) I do notice that he goes much easier with most of the ACLr patients that are working out at the same time as me, even when they have been there longer, and he pushes me hard (which I appreciate as long as he knows my knee can handle it). I also notice when people come in often the first thing out of their mouth is that they really have not been doing as much of their home PT as they are supposed to - and in some cases they don't do anything at home (I know many of these people are just trying to get back to work and probably not back to sports so probably don't take it quite as seriously as some of us do) - When I come in he doesn't even bother asking if I have been working out at home - he always tells me I am his one current patient he doesn't worry about at all ;) Either way, my knee does feel great!

Foam rollers around here are not too expensive (in the US) and I am not sure what you could use instead - I think that would be a great question for your PT - if they don't have a foam roller they might suggest something else.

Rob

Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on September 17, 2007, 03:26:19 PM

Great thanks Rob this was good to know! I will ask my physio and i think they should be helping me more!

I can just imagine you at PT thats wicked.....i have to do my exercises because if i don't i cant sleep feeling guilty even though i still don't do it twice a day!


Cassie x
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Week 9
Post by: Rob_W on September 20, 2007, 05:16:57 PM
Wednesday, 9/19/07, Day 64: 9 Weeks Post-op Yesterday!!

I think at this point I am going to start posting quick weekly updates – I don’t think there is really much need for daily updates. I will continue to update my exercise journal each time I add new exercises or modify old ones.

The previous week was pretty much business as usual. I did have one slight scare a couple of days ago. I was getting some stuff out of my car and I stepped backwards away from my car and into a pot hole (I was still looking forward as I was stepping back thinking I was stepping onto flat ground). For a split second I figured my leg would buckle and down I would go. Luckily the knee/leg felt great and there were no problems (no pain either – I was actually a little surprised).

I am doing my PT once per day on my own, biking 4 times per week, rowing once per week and walking 2 to 3 times per week and an upper body gym workout twice per week (although once in a while I will substitute some core body training).  I had a really good PT session this week and updated my exercise journal with some modifications and additions.

In addition I coach martial arts about 3 times per week currently – and am feeling much better about demonstrating techniques (with little to no resistance given back from the person I am demonstrating on).

My knee has been feeling great. I am coming close to full ROM and my PT is still telling me not to try and push hard to gain the last of it but just let it come in time from doing all the exercises – no need to rush this and take any chances of hurting the graft. I don’t feel that the knee rules my life anymore – it’s still on my mind a lot (especially since I have to do daily PT exercises for it) but there are plenty of times that I forget I am even injured.

My current short term goals are as follows:

1. I would like to get full ROM back and be able to kneel on the ground and then sit my butt down onto my heels.
2. I want to be able to walk downstairs with no pain at all (I would say I am very close to this – many times I can walk down stairs and it feels perfect – I no longer touch the railings).
3. I would love to start some very light boxing.
4. I want to get past week #12 so I can feel that the graft does not need to be babied as much.

That’s it for my short-term goals – hopefully in the next month or two those will all be accomplished and I will have more difficult goals I am working on.

That's it for now - I'll update again at 10 weeks.
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on September 21, 2007, 11:13:53 PM
Hello Rob,

What an achievement!! Well done the hard bit is over!

One thing is for sure even though you did get a little scare at least you will have a little more faith in your knee and that must feel good!

I really have enjoyed reading your posts and checking on your exercises.

I must thank you again for all the help and encouragement. I cant wait until my knee is not in my mind 24/7 and does not run my life completely.

Good luck.....and keep working on your goals but i know you meet them with bells on  ;D

Your Aussie friend Cassie x
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: jar66su on September 24, 2007, 03:24:00 PM
Hey Rob,

Been using you as my benchmark for the past month or so (as you may be aware). I'm coming along pretty well still and perhaps getting a bit too confident.  Almost at 5 weeks and need to remind myself that the weeks 6-12 should be handled with caution, etc etc. 

Meeting with my OS next week and just based on his attitude, etc. prior to surgery it seemed like he thought I could be playing hockey again by March or April. While that's encouraging to hear, based on everything I've read (from you and others), the allograft takes min. 12 months to revascularize and all that fun stuff. Perhaps he doesn't realize how much contact there is, or maybe he's right. The truth is that I would love to be playing hockey (and soccer) in the springtime --- but at the same time I don't want to act in haste even if my OS gives me the go-ahead.

That being said, I'm looking into some outlets where I can channel my athletic energy.  My GF has urged me to do Yoga but after seeing the twisting, etc. thats involved I really don't think that's a good idea any time soon either. I know Martial Arts are a large part of your life --- what form do you study/teach? I did Tang Soo Doo for about 3 years (well over a decade ago) but was thinking that may be an valuable area for me to revitalize (not necessarily Tang Soo Do).  What're your thoughts on getting back involved with that? Timeline? Form of MA? Thanks again
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on September 24, 2007, 03:59:14 PM
Hey Jar - Glad to hear things are going well for you! I think you will see quite a big difference just over the next few weeks (I know I made quite a bit of overall improvements from just week 5 to week 8 - at week 5 I was feeling really good and at week 8 I was feeling basically normal again).

My OS has told me that he believes I should be able to do a safe return to martial arts at about 9 or 10 months (assuming all goes well). He did say that initially I am not going to be at the level of contact that I was previously at.

I'm currently just about at 10 weeks and I feel ready to start doing some light workouts again (I am at the bit too confident stage also) - I am going to wait until both my PT and OS say it's OK (I see my OS 1 week from today so will get his thoughts). I am going to first see about starting back with some light boxing (very light contact - more just to move around and work some light offense and defense). I've read of others who started this type of training at about 3 months so hope to be doing the same.

As for my style of martial arts - I originally started doing Shaolin Kempo (I started that about 23 years ago and still teach it today - although it is no longer my primary art). Currently I would classify myself as a mixed martial artist (although I don't train to compete - just to have fun these days). Not sure if you ever saw a post I put up about martial arts training that shows a few clips of the type of training I am hoping to get back to - http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=38649.0 - It seems some are able to view the clips and others can't - I'm not sure why?

Below are some clips everyone should be able to see:

This clip is pretty representative of what I do - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-375977143655825665

This clip has a few sections of training showing the 3 basic ranges I work - Standup, Clinch & Ground (and also has some good content on how to train) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWfK6aqWiNU

This last clip shows more of the standup (boxing) aspect of training and is just fun to watch - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8893632552837416353&q=rodney+king+street&total=27&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=8

As for Yoga - I work some yoga postures now and I think they are great, but I stay away from anything that might hurt the graft (the bulk of my exercises are still just what the PT has me working on).

Lastly, as for you going back to Tang Soo Do or another type of martial art I think it would be smart to get some video clips to either your PT or OS that give them an idea of what you want to do and them let them decide (at least this is what I did).

Good luck!
Rob
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - 10 Weeks
Post by: Rob_W on September 25, 2007, 04:43:18 PM
9/25/07 – Day 70

10 Weeks Today.

This past week I have really started to push my leg harder. I make sure in my hard workouts that I am really pushing my knee to the limit. I am still doing 1 or 2 light days per week to make sure I don’t overdo it though.

I have been doing a lot of walking (and backwards walking) and also quite a bit more of bike riding outside. My leg feels really strong when riding outside. I have not done any standing up on my pedals while riding but feel as if I could.

This week was the 1st week that I did some squatting in my home gym (just the weight of the machine – which is about 45 pounds). If I did not have my Powertec home gym I would not even try it but I have to say this is the safest piece of equipment I have ever used for squats. It basically forces you to use perfect form and puts no excess stress on the knees like regular squats (done incorrectly) can. I do not squat all the way done but get to about a 90 degree angle.

I have also added core exercise training in once per week. If you are not currently training your core muscle groups, or just want to learn more about this, I highly recommend checking out a book called ‘Core Fitness’ by Mark Verstegen. http://www.amazon.com/Core-Performance-Revolutionary-Workout-Transform/dp/1594861684/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-2901120-3996107?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1190725724&sr=8-1

It’s been getting harder and harder not to jump in and work out with the people I coach martial arts too. There are plenty of fighting drills that I have them do that I feel I could also be doing but am still going to wait until my PT and/or OS Ok’s some light training.

I will see my PT on Wednesday of this week coming up (and will update my exercise journal on that day if I get any new exercises, modifications or deletions) and I see my OS for the 1st time since week #2 next Monday.

I started volunteering in my daughters kindergarten class today and was able to sit down in the tiny little chair and standup out of it – in the past (when I did volunteer work with my older daughters classes - kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade - they stop using parent volunteers in her current grade - grade 3) I never had to even worry about little things like this – nice to see it’s not a problem.

I am still working all the same short-term goals that I mentioned in my last post. I have been lightly pushing the flexion a little and am getting very close to getting my heel to my butt – I am not going to rush this though and just keep working it lightly every now and then.

My flexion was measured at 130 (Day 71).

That’s it for now – I’ll update again at 11 weeks.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - 11 Weeks
Post by: Rob_W on October 01, 2007, 03:28:59 PM
10/1/07 - Day 76

11 Weeks (tomorrow actually - I am 1 day early):

I am posting 1 day early because I just got back from seeing my OS for my 2nd post-op check-up (I am officially no longer a post-op patient, just a regular patient). The appointment went great. They started by checking my knee and he said the graft feels very strong, just like a normal knee. He was also really impressed with the incisions - he said if they were any smaller he could not have got the tools in. My largest incision is .5 inches long (I was pretty shocked when I saw how small it was initially). He said my knee looks great and was impressed with my ROM (just about the same as my good leg), my lack of swelling and lack of atrophy in the quad (within .25 inches of my good leg).

At this point he said he wants me to start jogging on a treadmill in 4 weeks and to start to add more plyometric exercises in 4 weeks. He also said when he see's me again in 8 weeks he will most likely clear me to start some light stand up training again (boxing).

In addition to that great news I also had a great week leading up to it. My PT changed my routine to a 2 day split routine which I am finding much easier to do and my leg is feeling like it is being worked harder at the same time. He has also OK'd me to take 1 or 2 days rest when I need it - he does not want to see me over train at this point. I learned some new exercises at PT this week and all of this is reflected in my updated exercise journal: http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=38562.0

My PT has asked me to focus a little more on my stretching (calf, hamstring and quad) so will be ending every PT session with a bit more emphasis on these stretches. I knew I was slacking a little because I was trying to fit too much into each workout (this was before he gave me the 2 day split).

I've finally started to do my legs with my home gym (just squats and calf exercises) so I will be doing these once or twice a week (and they will take the place of the corresponding PT exercises that I would do that day - so for example I won't do calves twice in one day if I happen to be doing my bi-weekly home gym workout and hit calves that day).

That's about it - it's been a great week and nice to end it with great news from my OS.

Good luck everyone!
Rob

Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: tard0003 on October 02, 2007, 06:22:57 PM
GREAT NEWS, ROB !
   So, does it feel almost normal now ?  ;D

Thanks for the postings, they're definitely helpful.

Lutfi
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on October 02, 2007, 06:34:15 PM
Lutfi,

My leg feels great. If I was not trying to get back into sports I would say my leg feels 95% normal again - but I know I am still a long way off from doing what I really want to do. Thanks for checking in and I hope everything is going well with you.

Rob
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on October 06, 2007, 04:05:27 PM
Not really an update but I decided to get some recent pictures of my girls scanned into my computer and thought I would show them off  ;D

My oldest, Cassie, is 8 and my youngest, Kayla, is 5.

(http://www.freepicup.com/files/784f24a714.jpg) (http://www.freepicup.com/)

(http://www.freepicup.com/files/97ad9b7a32.jpg) (http://www.freepicup.com/)

Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Week 12
Post by: Rob_W on October 09, 2007, 03:54:33 PM
Week 12 Today

10/3/07 - 10/9/07 - through Day 84:

This week was fairly uneventful.

I started the week with a good visit to PT. I updated my exercise journal on 10/3 to show some of the new exercises I was assigned. He also said that we were going to do a test next week just to see how the strength of my good leg compares with that of my injured leg.

I did some pretty hard PT sessions on my own early on this week and then by the end of the week I started to come down with a cold so took a couple of days off (that seemed to do the trick).

I've noticed that I am now starting to squat down to pick things up off the floor, or get something out of a low cabinet. I had been just bending at the waist up until a few days ago.

I've also started picking up my kids again and carrying them to their beds if they fall asleep not in their rooms (not up or down stairs though). I've been able to pick them up for a while now, but not walk with them.

My ROM is very close to the same as my other leg. I would say I can get my heel to within about 2 inches of my butt. Still not pushing this hard but I do work it every day when I do my quad stretches.

It's nice to finally hit the 12 week mark where they say the graft is not in as much danger as is it in that 6 to 12 week time frame.

That's about it - as I said, a fairly uneventful week and my knee is still feeling great.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Week #13
Post by: Rob_W on October 16, 2007, 04:01:29 PM
Week 13 Today

10/10/07 - 10/16/07 - Through Day 91:

I don't have much of an update for this past week.

I had 2 major work deadlines (tax extensions and quarterly payroll reports) that were due last week and I also had to sit for a 6 hour exam that week (Series 7 - Passed with an 83). On top of that I came down with a cold due to just being very run down.

I skipped just about all my cardio exercises (like biking) and basically just got about 4 PT sessions in (skipped my formal PT session due to being stuck at the office).

My cold is just starting to go away, things are back to normal at work and I am back to my regular PT workouts again.

I'm still working on getting back full range of motion - I can get my heel to about 1 inch from my butt when stretching.

My knee still feels great - no complaints.
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Week #15
Post by: Rob_W on October 30, 2007, 03:14:47 PM
Week 15 Today

10/17/07 - 10/30/07 - Through Day 105

These past 2 weeks were not great for me - I am still very run down from way too much studying/test taking (I just got my Series 63 License and previously my Series 7 License) and in addition to all of that the Boston Red Sox were in the World Series (and won) so I stayed up to watch the last 7 or 8 games (and they all seem to go past midnight). So I am still shaking this cold and my workouts have been minimal (I have been doing my basic PT exercises but not doing alot of my cardio workouts the last few weeks).

As of a few days ago I turned the corner and seemed to have gotten rid of my cold. I decided to do something stupid  :P and I actually did some martial arts workouts just to see how my knee would feel (I made sure I worked out with some guys quite a bit smaller than me who I trusted very much). I did some very light grappling (about 20 to 30% resistance) and I also did some clinch work (standup grappling with strikes - again, I was probably going at about 30% so keeping it very light and in control). I can honestly say my knee felt 95% normal (I was pretty surprised) - happily too I didn't feel that the 6 month break really affected my skill level. Since it went so well, and I didn't feel like I am losing skill, I am going to again take it easy for a while and not push it - just needed to get that out of my system!

At week 14 my PT tested my injured leg strength in comparison to my good leg and he said it was at 58%. He told me once I got my injured leg up to 75% of the strength of the good leg I can initiate cutting and pivoting motions again. We checked my flexion at 135 which he told me is full ROM - we checked my good leg and that is at 145 (which I guess is more than normal and he seemed to think I did not need to hit 145 with my injured leg). I can just about touch my heel to my butt and that is still my goal.

At this point I have also been cleared for jogging so will start that this week.

That's it for now - things seem to be progressing very well and I have no complaints at all (now that I am over that cold).
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on October 30, 2007, 05:52:18 PM
Hi Rob,

Glad your feeling much better from your cold. And i know how it feels to be really busy...... Although mine was by choice and yours is studying!

When i read your post and you said you did something stupid i was expecting something went down with your knee but reading on it turns out you did really well and thats wicked. I was guessing it was not too stupid but when your PT says it needs to be 75% before a more aggressive motions well i thought it must be for a reason.

I was surprised to read you were at 58% i was thinking it would be around 70 or more the way you sound in your posts. Was this a surprise to you? Also how did he check the strength?

Well done though and im sure you will really excel after completely getting rid of the cold and start jogging next week. I was told i could start jogging in a couple of weeks too but i don't think i am ready for it. Not because my knee won't handle it, i just want to work on strength a little more and not rush into running. I don't enjoy it anyway.

Does your knee still feel loose when you walk or do various things? Mine does when it swells, although it is not swollen at the moment and im happy about that! Does your knee hurt at any exercise at all......including leg presses at a large weight or single squats? I found the stepping machine aggravated mine and single squats hurt a little.

In the last couple of weeks i really do understand that my knee won't be ready for TDK for a while. My progress at the start went really quickly and recovered so well but getting strength back to where i was is defiantly harder and will take at least 3 or 4 months for me and this is fine. I was offered steroids from a personal trainer who was a client of mine at work, this would be great to help me build muscle but i know its the wrong way and i will not gain anything more from this than becoming a man  ;D  Anyway i don't want to go back too soon and if i was to build up fake muscle (because potentially that is what it would be) i would think im ready when clearly and safety im not!

Glad i have talked myself out of that one, not that i considered it really.......On a whole i don't think aboput my knee until im at the PT class or at the gym. How about you are you feeling anything in your knee?

Anyway look forward to hear from you!!

Cassie x

 
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on October 30, 2007, 07:38:16 PM
Hi Cassie!

I wasn't too surprised at the 58% because I have heard it can take up to 1 year to regain your strength in the operated leg and I am still so early on in this process. Keep in mind I am also training my non-operated leg so they are both strengthening at the same time. My PT seemed happy with where I am and my knee feels great so I am not concerned. He tested it by just having me do the leg press and see what my maximum was for a set of 10 on my good leg, and then the same on the injured leg.

I just bought a treadmill today and it is being delivered on Friday so I will officially start jogging in a few days. I've jogged around a little bit here and there just to see how it feels but nothing prolonged yet (it has felt fine to do a few short jogs when going from my car to a store and stuff like that).

I feel no looseness at all in my knee, it feels just like my good knee. It doesn't seem to swell up either (I haven't iced in at least 1 month - maybe longer) but we'll see how jogging holds up (I'm ready to start icing again if needed). I think the plyo exercises have really been helping to get my knee ready for the impact of jogging. I still get pain when I do plenty of exercises (leg press, squatting, step downs from certain heights - although it is always the type of pain I can safely work through).

The toughest part for me now is my knee feels ready to do just about anything, but I know I have to resist and just keep working the PT program.

I'm glad to hear you turned the steroids down - I can't really imagine anything good coming of that (if it were prescribed by your OS that might be one thing) - I don't think the goal is to rush to get strength back so I think you are being smart. Sounds like things are going as they should for you!

Thanks for checking in,
Rob
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Week 16
Post by: Rob_W on November 06, 2007, 11:10:03 PM
Week 16

10/31/07 - 11/6/07 - Through Day 112

Started the past week off with a good session at PT (meaning a tough one). I was told that next week we would do another strength test to see how I am coming along and also at this point I will drop from a weekly visit down to twice per month.

Halloween was this week so did plenty of walking when I took my girls trick or treating (and stumbled a few times in the dark walking over uneven pavement where some roots had started to grow through on one street) - no pain and knee seemed to handle everything great.

I've been starting to incorporate some more of the solo ground movements from BJJ into my training now that I am feeling much more comfortable down on the floor on my knees. When I kneel there is still some pain and a sensation of numbness in the area touching the floor - like after you have nova cane and can't feel much. I've also noticed that I can finally go from the floor to standing up the way I used to do it and not have to modify it - the same for sitting down, I can drop down into a full squat and then just place my palms on the floor and go right to a kneeling position. I am so close to being able to touch my heel to my butt although not quite there yet (maybe a quarter of an inch or less).

In my home gym I have finally started to add weight to the squat machine I use (not much, but it's more than just doing my body weight plus the part that supports the weight which is probably 45 pounds or so - but now I am putting some plates on too). I feel very comfortable squatting down to where my thighs are parallel to the ground (the machine forces you to sit back and do a perfect squat).

This week I also purchased a treadmill so have started to add that to my program (I use the treadmill about 3 times per week, bike once per week and use my rower once per week - roughly). Jogging has felt really good - I have brought the speed up to 5.5mph but don't want to push it. I am alternating between quick jogs, fast walks, walking backwards and shuffling sideways while on it (all in one session). The jogging is definitely awakening some feelings (slight pain) in my knee and I think that is probably a good thing - starting to work some stuff that hasn't been worked (it never feels like a sharp pain or something to be concerned about).

That's it for this past week - my cold is basically gone so it has been nice to resume my cardio training again (now my kids are sick with what I had - fun stuff!!).
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Week 16 2nd Update
Post by: Rob_W on November 08, 2007, 05:07:52 PM
Week 16: - 2nd Update

Went to PT today and we tested my strength again using the leg press working for the highest amount of weight I can do 10 reps at with each leg. I hit the 75% mark with my injured leg today compared to my good leg (I pushed as hard as I could today - last time I did it I pushed hard, but I know I held back a bit).

At this point I am cleared to start on the 6 month Phase of my PT - the only real difference that I see is that I can start to work up to full speed running forwards and backwards (first 1/4 speed, then 1/2 speed, then 3/4 speed and then full speed if all feels good). Once I get there I can continue to the 9 month Phase (which is basically to work on cutting and pivoting motions and a return to partial or full sports).

I should point out that the protocol from my OS says that I only need the operative leg to be at 70% of the good legs strength before progression to the 6 month phase (and a few other things like Full Pain-Free ROM, No evidence of patellofemoral joint irritation...) - My PT on the other hand wanted me to hit 75% so we used his to be more conservative (about the only area his is more conservative than my OS).

My PT told me last week he was dropping me from once a week to twice a week but he said after seeing my leg today we can just drop to once per month.

Getting there!
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: JamesOR on November 12, 2007, 10:50:59 PM
Sounds great.  I'm a soccer player and one thing I learned after my first acl recon in 2004 is the need for deceleration work in rehab.  It's easy to burst into a sprint but slowing down can be troublesome.  My pt had me doing one legged jumps.  Jump with the good leg and land using the repaired knee leg and try to hold it for a few of seconds without any wobbles.  This helps quite a bit.  Plus doing quick declerating at the end of a sprint.
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on November 13, 2007, 12:19:09 AM
James - We are stressing that also in my PT (especially on the jumping exercises) - My lack of any deceleration when I landed from a running jump is basically what did all the damage to begin with!!  :o
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Week 17
Post by: Rob_W on November 13, 2007, 04:21:56 PM
Week 17

11/7/07 - 11/13/07 - Through Day 119

Not much of an update since I did a mid-week update last week when I did my strength test and found out my operative leg is 75% of the strength of my good leg. I was also told that I could drop the PT sessions down to once a month at this point.

The days following my strength test were not fun because every muscle in my body from my waist down was shot from the tests we did and I also pulled some muscles in my lower back too! I took about 3 days off after that before I was ready to start my exercises again.

Overall I am feeling great and at this point I am waiting to meet with my OS in a few weeks and I might be getting the OK to start some light boxing again at that point (as I mentioned in a previous update I played around doing some light martial arts workouts and everything felt great but still want to wait until my OS assures me I am safe to start some light training again).

Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on November 14, 2007, 12:05:15 AM
Hi Rob,


Thats great im happy for you. It sounds as though your ahead of schedule and your lucky to return to what you love sooner.......I was hoping to be just like you at this stage but unfortunately my PT said i cant do any kicking until the 6 months mark and this mean forms as well. Said its their protocol on TKD as its very demanding on the knees even, though im doing well. Looks like my training is a long way away yet.

Glad your feeling stronger and it's good to read about your successful knee, keep it up!!!

Cassie x

Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Week #18
Post by: Rob_W on November 20, 2007, 06:10:53 PM
Week 18

11/14/07 - 11/20/07 - Through Day 126


The past week was fairly uneventful although I slacked a little on my required workouts, but still did quite a bit of exercising overall.

I did my PT exercises only twice last week (I am supposed to do 5 sessions per week), and my cardio exercises (bike, treadmill, rowing) only twice also (I am supposed to do 4 sessions per week). I did do some extra gym workouts (entire body) and I decided that since it has been a month since I did some martial arts training that I would do a few light sessions so did some very light boxing and some very light grappling where I just worked from my back (felt great doing both). I still have not been given the OK from my OS (although my PT thinks as long as I am smart about it and go light it should not be a problem).

My knee is still feeling great but I need to step up my PT again since I slacked last week - don't want to get careless and gradually lose the habit of doing everything I should and start training to soon and screw the whole process up.
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on November 27, 2007, 05:38:17 PM
Week 19

11/21/07 - 11/27/07 - Through Day 133

This was another uneventful week. I pushed myself pretty hard on my PT exercises, cardio and gym workouts - my entire body is sore right now  ;D

I am finding jogging to be tougher than I thought it would be - I jog on my treadmill a few times a week but I usually keep the actual jogging to about 5 or 6 minutes (and spread out by doing 2 minutes at a time). I should probably push more on this but once I feel myself starting to do a bit of a limp while I jog (not really a limp but the stride just doesn't feel right) I start to back off. I have been keeping the speed to 5.5mph or slower (I used to run as high as 10mph when using a treadmill so have a ways to go).

Next Monday I go and see my OS again.

I feel great and my knee does too.
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on December 03, 2007, 04:03:25 PM
Week 20 (I am posting 1 day early):

11/28/07 - 12/04/07 - Through Day 140

Overall this was a good week with 1 little scare.

I did all my usual exercises but had to take an extra day off due to some seminars I had to go to.

I also mowed my lawn for the first time in over 6 months. We were expecting snow and we had a ton of leaves in our yard. The landscape company that was doing are yard while I was injured wanted $200 to blow the leaves and do the final cut. I have one of those large 48 inch wide commercial grade walk behind lawn mowers and I decided to give it a shot (it cuts the grass and picks up all the leaves). I checked with my PT because this thing is not like using a small push mower - he said I should have no problems. It took me just over an hour and was a great workout (my entire body was sore for a couple of days after this but my knee felt great).

I had my scare that same evening as mowing the lawn. I was changing a light and I was up about 2 to 2.5 feet off the floor. When I was done I jumped down without even thinking. I landed on just my injured leg and felt a slight pop. The knee then felt funny the next 2 days (although it still felt strong and stable). Since I had my OS visit coming up in a few days I decided not to worry.

Went to my OS today. He said the graft felt very strong and the leg seems strong too. I brought my report from the PT showing that my injured leg was at 75% the strength of my good leg (about 2 to 3 weeks ago) and he told me he still wants me to hit the strength training very hard for the next 6 to 8 weeks and he also told me at this point I can basically do anything I want!! I can start all the martial arts training I was doing before but just not at the same level. I have to play it smart and just go easy and really listen to my knee  8)

That's it for this week.
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on December 04, 2007, 12:22:42 AM
Wow Rob was exciting news........im really happy for you and given the all clear must feel great!!

Gosh i was surprised at the pop and gasped when i read it but glad its all ok. Ha ha i can imagine you forgetting because i do the same up and down stairs. I have nearly fallen off curbs and tripped on the pavement because it rains all the time here in London but my knee is as stable as anything now.

I also went to see my OS today who gave me the all clear for open chain movements which includes Pomsey yippee...... but of course no kicking training but thats fine with me! Im going to my first training either wed or fri to check my patterns. Anyway i will update my diary tomorrow. This one was a quick hello to you....

Gosh its nearly all over for you.......but what a ride huh?

Cassie x
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on December 04, 2007, 05:02:27 AM
Cassie - Glad to hear you are doing well today!
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - Week 21
Post by: Rob_W on December 12, 2007, 04:12:06 PM
Week 21:

12/5/2007 - 12/11/07, Through Day 147

This week was a good week for working out - I managed to do all the workouts I wanted to do and pushed them pretty hard. I took 2 full days off like I am supposed to.

I went to PT this week (it's been over a month) and that went well. We did leg presses, some step work and quite a few plyo exercises. My PT seemed happy with my progress since he saw me in November.

We checked my ROM and it is officially the same in both legs - and I can finally touch my heel to my butt!!!  ;D

We also talked about my martial arts workouts - I told him that even though I got the OK from my OS that I was still taking it slow and wanted to gradually increase the level of workouts over the next 6 months or so. He agreed and said even though technically I can do just about anything, I still need to work my knee hard. He suggested that I keep pushing the PT hard until I am at 6 months and then I can start to get a little more aggresive with my training (he said 6 months is usually when you can start to work more pivoting motions - he said day to day stuff is not a problem, but sports related pivots should be around 6 months).

We also talked about my jogging. I told him I had not been pushing to hard on the jogging (just a few minutes at a time each cardio session) because once I start to get some pain and start to do a slight limp/jog I usually back down - I wanted to speak with him first before I pushed through the pain. He told me at this point push through the pain and see how quickly I can get to 15 minutes continuous jogging to start (he also said be smart and pay attention to how the knee feels but there is no real reason why I shouldn't be doing at least 15 minutes straight at this point - even if it hurts). So that's my next goal - quickly get to 15 minutes straight jogging (pain or no pain).

My lunges were causing me some trouble since I have been doing them - only when my injured knee is back. I had been waiting to speak with him at this visit about it but over just the past few weeks that motion has really gotten stronger. He added jumping lunges (it's detailed out in my exercise journal) during this PT session so I think I am doing well in this area now.

Since my visit with the OS last week and given the OK to start light training again I have done one light workout - I did some clinch work (think standup wrestling) and my knee felt great. I didn't push hard and only worked for about 15 to 20 minutes - no point rushing things.

That's about it - I am feeling great and my knee feels strong.


Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on December 18, 2007, 04:40:49 PM
Week 22:

12/12/07 - 12/18/07, Through Day 154

This week I didn't do as much formal PT exercise as I should have because we got quite a bit of snow so I did alot of snow blowing and some shoveling which is quite a bit of work.

I started the week with a really good treadmill workout. Now that my PT gave me the OK to push through pain on the treadmill I did my first 15 minute jog today (some jogging and some running - I went up to 7 MPH). Surprisingly (to me at least) there was no pain at all - it felt great. I will gradually start working up to 30 minutes.

The next day I did some snow blowing and of course slipped and fell on a patch of black ice (I wasn't paying attention like I should have been and it was dark out). I felt some pain in my knee (the exact same pain I feel when I am working step downs) but I could tell no damage was done so finished what I was doing. I have had no pain since so feel pretty lucky - I didn't twist the knee when I fell so that helped. I did some more snow blowing this day and then again two days later, took my time and paid attention, and had no more falls.

I've started to do more core body workouts rather than weight lifting workouts now that I can move around more freely (I do alot of physio ball exercises and yoga like movements). It feels really good to start these again - my lower back had been bothering me but I can already feel that pain diminishing.

I did one light grappling (BJJ) workout this week and again my knee felt great - I only grappled for about 10 to 15 minutes because I feel I am still testing out what I can and can't do (I'm also mentally trying to do less until I hit the 6 month mark next month).

I hit the 5 month post-op mark this week - I can't believe how fast it seems to have got here (although I can still remember how slowly things seemed to go in the 1st 2 months)

That's it for this week!
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on December 31, 2007, 06:18:19 PM
Week 23 & Week 24 (1 day early - final 2007 post):

12/19/2007 - 12/31/2007, Through Day 167

I started my PT sessions and cardio training going strong - I did my first 20 minute run non-stop on the treadmill (30 minute treadmill workout but first 5 minutes warmup and last 5 minutes was cooldown). My knee felt great the entire time.

I took about 5 full days off in a row for the holidays and noticed my leg/knee felt weaker when I resumed my workouts again - I guess I really need to avoid taking any extended breaks.

I'm still doing a weekly martial arts workout but still avoiding any sports related pivoting (just a few more weeks since I was told at 6 months I can start to do this type of movement again - I'm sure very carefully at first).

I've been working alot of core body workouts and alot of solo ground workouts (which really push my knee pretty hard) - I am feeling much more comfortable doing both of these.

At this point the following normal day to day activities still cause some pain or discomfort in my knee (this does not include pain from PT workouts):

1. If I walk down a flight of stairs very slowly I can feel it in my knee (if I go quicker I feel nothing so it is the slow controlled motion lowering my body weight).
2. I have slipped a few times on slippery tile floors or ice - Even if I don't fall the sudden slip does cause some pain in my knee (although it doesn't feel like I am doing any damage) - has only happened a couple times in the last few weeks.
3. Kneeling down and sitting my butt down on my heels – the pain is not from the contact with the floor but the full flexion of the knee. The contact from kneeling on floor is fine (still feels a little numb over the knee).

That's about all I can think of but hopefully those 3 things will gradually go away.

I'll post again at 6 months coming up in a couple of weeks!
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: riderdown on December 31, 2007, 06:30:09 PM
Hi Rob, thanks so much for the very detailed diary. It is very very helpful.

I am most concerned about getting full flexion and sitting on my heels. Can you tell me what your PT says about that? Is it likely that you can get there without pain? Is the pain from the meniscus in that area, or just the overall deal?

Thank you so much,
Steph
PS/ my surgery is this thursday
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on December 31, 2007, 07:46:29 PM
Steph,

Both my PT and OS didn't seemed concerned with flexion - they both said extension is much more important and that the flexion will come in time.  I got lucky with the extension and this was never a problem and my flexion too pretty much took care of itself - I never found I really had to focus hard on either (in terms of spending alot of extra time trying to gain either extension or flexion - flexion always felt like a problem even though it steadily improved - extension never felt like a problem because I pretty much had full extension right from the start).

I currently have full ROM and it is relatively pain free until I get to the point where my heel touches my butt - but in time that will fade too. I believe the pain is just overall because it doesn't seem any greater where they trimmed the meniscus - feels more like pressure than pain also (although there is some of both). Early on when I was initially working to gain flexion back doing heel slides that was painful (but not so painful that you can't do the exercises).

As long as you realize none of this comes to quickly you should be OK - it's when we expect to get it all back overnight we can become frustrated (luckily reading all the different post-op diaries online can give you a really good idea what to expect - I read tons of them before and during those first few weeks!).

Sounds like you did some pretty good damage to your knee so just follow closely what your OS and PT tell you to do and before you know it the worst will be over and you will be well on your way to a normal knee again! It's going to drag a little initially, but after a couple of months things will really start to fly by - you will go through periods of feeling like you will never make any improvements, but each week things will improve so just stick it out (I can remember pretty much always feeling like I would not gain any more flexion - the pressure in my knee just felt like it would never go away as I started to bend it - but then each week it improved - even knowing that I still felt that it would not improve any more - and of course it still kept improving).

Good luck!
Rob
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: robbie99 on January 08, 2008, 03:43:14 PM
Hi Rob

Have you gone jogging outdoors on road or grass yet ? if so hows it felt ?

Thanks

Robbie
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on January 08, 2008, 04:02:16 PM
The road conditions here are terrible (snow/ice) so I have not had a chance to really try running outside (I would stay off grass regardless at this point because of the un-even surface). I have done just a few quick jogs through parking lots and it feels fine on pavement (but these are just from parking my car far away from a store and then jogging to it - maybe 1 minute at a time tops).
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on January 08, 2008, 11:39:38 PM
Hi ROB,

Jogging on the grass does it hurt for you? Do you not trust your knee holding up, or is it you don't want to hit a soft spot and risk the chance?

Im going on an aspect of some things i would do, but can you do a round house kick (side kick) in the air by pivoting on the good leg and kicking lightly with the operated one? If so does it or would it hurt? Just wondering........mine does not hurt at all but if i get quicker and flick i can feel it. Im just testing out what i can do. Im aloud to do this from my Doc but thought id ask you if you were capable.

Im also starting to condition the legs and muscles by holding a lot of kick in the air for a good muscle burn. My forms are great no worries. How is your training going?


Cassie x
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on January 09, 2008, 12:26:17 AM
Cassie,

Currently the grass is covered with snow so I really can't test it out - but my thoughts are I don't think I would take the chance of running on grass yet because of the uneven surface and the chance for injury I imagine would be quite a bit higher (my OS also told me stick to paved roads or a treadmill at this point - that was 1 month ago).

I don't seem to have any problems doing light kicking if I stand on my good leg and kick with the injured leg - I haven't tried kicking hard yet and will wait for a while - but I can go through the motions pain free.

Training is going well - I feel almost 100% when I train but I am still keeping it light (I am keeping the resistance level down around 30-40% - I did push one workout pretty hard last week, at least 50% but don't plan to do that again for another couple weeks or even a month - just really testing out the knee a little - felt good but still want to play it safe).

Glad to hear you are still doing well!

Rob
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - 6 months
Post by: Rob_W on January 15, 2008, 08:05:17 PM
6 Months Post-Op:

Technically this Thursday (January 17) will be 6 calendar months, but today is 26 weeks post-op.

Since my last update two weeks ago things have pretty much been more of the same.

I did do one really hard workout on January 2 where I grappled pretty hard for about 30 minutes.  When I was done I was sweating, breathing very hard and felt slightly nauseas since I haven't done any hard grappling workouts in so long. My knee felt really good during the workout, but then for the following 4 days or so it felt pretty worked. I made sure that I avoided anything that would stress my knee too hard but I know I did put it under more pressure than I had planned.

I then did another 30+ grappling workout on January 13 but this was much more controlled and I made sure to really keep all twisting pressure off of my knee, and I also didn't push myself nearly as hard as the last session.

For my PT workouts I am still slacking a little - I am supposed to be doing 5 days a week with 2 days off and I am probably doing 4 days with 3 days off. I also have not been hitting the treadmill as much as I should be (but I am still substituting other workouts like the grappling sessions and some additional plyo workouts).

Overall my knee feels really good. I'm already starting to feel like I will be ready to go back to my martial arts classes as I was doing before but still plan to wait because I know that even though my knee feels like it can do it, it is not ready (I am going to do my best to stick to the doctors orders and not start my real training again until around April/May).
Title: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus - 28 weeks
Post by: Rob_W on January 30, 2008, 05:45:58 PM
28 Weeks (6.5 months post-op):

I was going to wait until 7 months to do my next update but just got back from PT so figured I would do an update today. I had not been to PT in at least 6 weeks and the last time we checked my strength my injured leg was at 75% of my good leg. Today my injured leg was measured at 100% the strength of my good leg!! My PT has released me at this point and basically told me to just keep doing what I am doing (and to contact him if I had any questions). If I wasn't doing martial arts he said he would have released me months ago. He gave me a few new exercises to start to work into my training (some cutting/pivoting exercises) and I updated my exercise journal with these (link in signature below).

I was telling my PT that overall my knee feels great. I did tell him I think I can feel some pain where they trimmed the lateral meniscus. If I stand on my injured leg with all my weight on it, it feels fine, but then when I shift the weight off of it I feel a momentary dull ache in that area (not always - but sometimes). He said he hears this alot and it is normal and will gradually diminish.

The past 2 weeks (since my last post) have been good. I have been doing some good martial arts workouts twice a week now (some lasting over an hour) and am realizing just how out of shape I have become in the past 8 months. One 3 minute round of sparring has me sucking wind and my muscles are aching (I take long breaks after each round now) and a 30 minute session of grappling also leaves me pretty exhausted (although I am already noticing improvements in my conditioning just in the past few weeks).

I've been doing pretty good with my regular PT home sessions but I have been slacking a little on my treadmill & bike workouts (I prepare taxes for a living and am getting slammed already). I still manage to get at least a weekly cardio workout in but I would prefer to be getting at least 2 each week. On the treadmill I am doing 30 minute sessions and am up to a top speed of 8.5 mph (no problems at all running).

That's it for now - I will update again at 7 months.



Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: robbiepapenfus on February 01, 2008, 10:49:56 AM
Hey Rob!

Thats great news! Sounds like the knee is doing extremely well. I had a CMI (Menaflex) implant 11 weeks ago. The knee is also feeling great.

I am looking at returning to running 6 months post op, and I have been told that I can return to soccer 9 months post op. Although this will be towards the end of my soccer season, so I might just rest and strengthen the knee properly a little longer and return to soccer next year.

Regards,
Robbie
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on February 02, 2008, 05:16:24 PM
Robbie,

Glad to hear your recovery is going well. I agree with you on possible just resting up and continuing to strengthen the knee rather than jump into the very end of the soccer season.

Good luck!
Rob
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: cassieoz on February 10, 2008, 10:54:08 PM
Hey Rob,

Thats wicked.....i read your last post at the end of Jan which was your 7 month mark and im so happy for you!

I know what you mean about being out of shape sparring......i did some today and felt the same.

I wrote a new topic in the cruciate ligament section asking for some help about if i should go back to TKD or not..........im seriously torn!!!!!

I'd love to find out my strength percent in my knee maybe that might help me too decided on whats right.

Anyway please take a read at what i have written and hopfully its enough to get some kind of answer im looking for. I wish my PT was a little more specific!!!

x
Title: Re: Robs Allograft Diary - ACL/MCL/Lateral Meniscus
Post by: Rob_W on February 12, 2008, 01:52:03 AM
Thanks Cassie - It feels great to be almost back to normal again (I know I still have a long way to go, but at least I feel normal 95% of the time).

I did respond to your post - Glad to hear you are doing well and that your biggest problem is you feel so well you want to go back to doing everything you did before - good problem to have - I feel the same way :-)
Title: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also - 7 Months
Post by: Rob_W on February 17, 2008, 04:24:28 PM
7 Months Post-Op:

All is going great!

I’ve been pushing my knee pretty hard during my home PT sessions. On my stationary bike I have finally got up to the point where I can hit the maximum resistance (level 20) for about 1 minute – no pain at all in the knee but just incredibly hard to pedal. On the treadmill I am up to running at 9mph (which is closing in on a full sprint for me) – my treadmill maxes out at 10mph so if I want to push past that I will have to wait for nicer weather so I can run outside.

It’s funny because when I do my treadmill work I definitely get some pains in my lower body but not in my injured knee – I can often feel some ankle pain, or hip pain, or even knee pain in my good knee but my injured knee feels great (I assume this is due to the intensive focus primarily on this part of the body – although I do make sure I am doing full body workouts at least twice per week).

I’ve been pushing myself harder on all of my plyometric exercises (explosive jumping exercises) and also focusing on exercises that require me to make sudden changes in direction (cutting motions). In addition I am making sure I am working leg extensions on a weekly basis (this is all in addition to my regular home PT routine that I still do at least 4 times per week).

My martial arts training has been going great also. My knee doesn’t really seem to bother me much at all while training (I will say that if I do a medium to hard grappling session I do get some mild pain in the lateral side of my knee for a few days following the session - I am thinking this is from the trimmed meniscus however) – I am still not pushing it 100% (more like 50-70% I would say) but it just feels great to be training again on a regular basis. I can’t believe in about 8 weeks I should be back training in regular classes again (the last actual class I took was in May of 2007 – currently I just do workouts on my own with some training partners I really trust – this way I control all aspects of what we are working on and can make sure my knee stays safe).

Even though I have full ROM in the knee I still find it painful when I am kneeling down and I sit my butt all the way onto my heel (it’s more pressure than pain actually) – this is one of the positions while grappling that I still stay away from (I don’t want to be in this position and then have someone’s wait suddenly shift into me). In addition I am not doing anything with takedowns yet or anything that attacks my leg (all the various leg locks in grappling). My standup training (basically boxing with limited kicks) feels fine too – I don’t have a problem with the movement so I can pretty much do anything (that is when my conditioning allows me too).

That’s it for now.
Title: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also - 8 Months Post-op
Post by: Rob_W on March 15, 2008, 04:08:35 PM
8 Months Post-Op:

I'm posting 2 days early but figure not much will really change in that time.

Do to my main job (tax preparation) I have definitely slacked off on my PT exercises over this past month. I would say on average I am doing 1 cardio session per week which is typically a 30 minute run on the treadmill and part of this is doing 10 mph sprints (my treadmill doesn't go any faster so now I will start to work on adjusting the incline). I am also doing between 2 and 4 knee specific PT exercise sessions per week as well as at least one decent martial arts workout per week (mostly grappling).

I sent my PT an e-mail asking him at this point how often should I be doing my knee specific PT sessions and he sent back the following:

Once you hit that 6 month post-op time frame as long as you are physically active and the knee does not interfere with your activity level, you do not need to keep up with the routine. The idea of the surgery and rehab is to get your knee to the point of full functioning. That being said, the exercises are just good exercises from a conditioning stand point so you could always integrate them into your weekly workout.

Below are the areas I am still working on:

I still get a dull ache where they trimmed the lateral meniscus for a few days after a good grappling session (it only aches for a moment if I lock my leg out straight, flex the muscles, put my weight on it and then gradually take the weight off - other than that I don't really notice it).

I am still finding easily getting my heel to my butt when kneeling down and sitting all my weight back on my heels a challenge - I can do it, but it doesn't feel great (as I posted before - it's more pressure than pain at this point that is making this uncomfortable).

I can still feel my knee when going downstairs if I go slow and controlled (just a regular walk down I don't notice at all). I can actually run up and down flights of steps at this point and carry heavy objects upstairs without a problem.

Overall my knee still feels really good and I am looking forward to going back to my regular grappling classes in about 1 month I hope (the last class I took was in May of 2007 so almost a full year ago).

That's it for now!
Title: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also - 9 Months Post-Op
Post by: Rob_W on April 18, 2008, 01:13:00 AM
9 Months Post-Op:

The past month was my busiest month of the year at work (over a 12 month period from March 15th till April 15th is always my busiest then things smooth out from this point until about Jan/Feb again).

I still managed to get a weekly cardio session in (I did bike and treadmill and still going up to 10mph on the treadmill and started to add a slight incline to this) – I am finding that when I am doing a fast walk I can change very easily from frontwards, to spin around and walk backward, then side shuffles and cross over steps and keep changing directions every few seconds. I was also able to get in a weekly full body weight lifting workout, 2 knee specific PT sessions, some additional weekly core body workout as well as some martial arts training (at least one quick session per week).

Now that the weather is getting nicer I have been able to get outside and do some more exercising. I have done some mountain bike riding and it’s night and day from the last time I rode my mountain bike outside (which was probably about 5 months ago). I am still just riding on the streets but I feel normal – I have no problem standing up when I ride to pedal up hills.

I’ve also been doing some running races with my girls (my oldest daughter is very fast) and I find I can run pretty fast (pretty much a full sprint) but after all the running on the treadmill I feel awkward when running fast on grass. In addition to that my girls both play soccer so I have been playing with them everyone now and then and I am doing a lot of start and stop running and quick direction changes. Nothing seems to bother my knee except where they trimmed the lateral meniscus – after heavier lifting or some of the soccer drills we have done it usually aches a little the next day.

Today I hit a pretty big milestone – I took my first Brazilian jujitsu class (grappling/wrestling) since I injured myself in May last year (11 months ago). I have done many workouts like this over the past few months but I have only worked out with certain people that I really trust and I pick what we are working on so I can stay away from anything that I think might bother my knee.

The class was a very challenging class and the hardest workout I have done in the last 11 months. My knee seems to have had no problem at all with it although the skin on both my knees feels very beat up from all the kneeling and just mashing my knees all over the floor (the rest of my body feels the same way – it will take a couple of weeks before this goes away and I get used to it again).

We’ll see how my lateral meniscus feels tomorrow but so far so good. I plan to take this class once per week and do a hard workout like this for the next month and then after I see my OS next month I will jump it up to 2 hard sessions per week if he gives me the OK.

That’s about it for now – I will definitely update again at 10 months since I have my 10 month visit with the OS next month (my guess is that will be my last visit unless I screw something up of course).
Title: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also - 10 Months Post-OP
Post by: Rob_W on May 19, 2008, 03:16:06 PM
10 Months Post-OP (2 days ago):

Things are still progressing very well. I won’t say I have been doing 100% of the exercising I would like to be doing but I am getting in at least 1 cardio session per week (bike and/or treadmill), 1 full body weight training session per week, 1 to 2 knee specific knee PT sessions per week and 1 to 2 martial arts training sessions per week.

The weekly grappling class that I started last month has been going great – it does not seem to bother my knee at all. This is a really physically demanding class and puts a lot of stress on my knee (I am still being careful and let all my training partners know that I had surgery last year and am still not 100%).

I’ve started doing more outside activities with my girls – playing soccer with them (and just running around in general) and some tennis too. I do notice that after playing soccer or tennis my knee is sore for the next 2 or 3 days – I think it’s all the start and stop running and the constant cutting and direction changes. It feels fine while I am doing it and even for the rest of the day, but then the following day I notice some pain in my knee (not sharp shooting pain but a dull ache).

My lateral meniscus (where it was trimmed) had been bothering me a little after hard workouts but lately I haven’t really noticed it. I am still having a little difficulty when I kneel down and sit my butt down on my heels – I can finally do this with my body straight up and down and all my weight going straight down onto my heels but it is still uncomfortable. I have also noticed that I can finally lock my injured leg out very hard (as hard as the non-injured) and it feels just about the same (I’ve had full extension, and hyperextension, for a while now but when I would lock it out hard I could feel some slight pain).

Today I had my 10 month post-op OS visit and the doctor (not my normal surgeon) seemed very happy with where I am. He started by physically testing how solid the graft felt with 2 different tests (pushing and pulling hard on my shin a few different ways) and told me it was very strong (seemed almost surprised at how strong it was). He then checked my ROM and it was the exact same as my good leg (he did say on the flexion he had to push a little to get them the same). Lastly he had me do a one legged long jump with both legs (I had played some soccer yesterday and my knee was a little sore today so I know I held back a little) – I jumped about 6 feet with my good leg and about 5 with my injured leg (about 83% and I feel that overall between strength, flexibility, explosiveness I am probably 80% recovered). I told him about the soreness after things like soccer and he said that is normal and how when I kneel down and sit my butt down on my heels I still have a lot pressure and slight pain and he said that is normal also and as the graft stretches out over time that will become easier (he said it’s good that it is that tight at this point).

That’s it for now.
Title: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also - 11 Months Post-Op
Post by: Rob_W on June 18, 2008, 06:46:19 PM
11 Months Post-Op:

I will skip this month and do a real update at 12 months - everything is going great though.
Title: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - 1 Year Post-Op Update
Post by: Rob_W on July 17, 2008, 12:24:09 PM
1 Year Post-OP Update:

My knee feels great. For day to day activities/living I would say I am 100% recovered. For athletic sports I would say I am 85-90% recovered. There are still things I avoid like certain take downs in martial arts where I might get thrown hard onto the ground and if I landed wrong I’m not sure my knee is ready for that yet.

Aches and pains are minimal these days – even after very hard workouts. For a long time the area where they trimmed my lateral meniscus ached after hard workouts but that no longer happens.

Strength seems on par with my uninjured leg except I can tell when I do ‘explosive’ movements (certain Plyometric exercises) my injured leg is still behind. My good leg is stronger than it was before I injured myself and my whole body in general is stronger than it was before I inured myself so that is one positive from the injury.

Flexibilty and ROM seem on par with my uninjured leg especially once the knee is really warmed up.

At 11 months my knee was feeling so much better that I really increased the intensity of my workouts and training sessions per week (I'm working out more often and harder now than I was before I injured myself). I had worked very hard up until 7 months (primarily PT workouts) and then toned it down a little for the tax season when I am at my busiest. Starting at 11 months I increased my workouts to the following:

* 3 Full body workouts per week (weights, active yoga movements and plyometrics – plyo’s only worked into 1 workout per week) followed by Interval Cardio Training (I also do a light martial arts workout on 2 of these days).
* 2 BJJ classes per week (Wrestling/Grappling) – These are very demanding classes for cardio, strength, flexibility, etc.
* 2 days of rest per week.

I had probably put on about 7 pounds over the weight I was at before I injured myself. Initially I lost weight right after the surgery, but it slowly came back, and then when I was really busy at work for a few months I put on a few extra pounds. I am currently dropping about 1 or 2 pounds per week and am just about at the weight I was before the injury although I have more muscle now so am definitely in better overall shape than I was before the injury.

I am no longer doing dedicated knee specific PT sessions since my full body workouts seem to do a good job working the knee. There are a few exercises mixed in that were part of my knee specific workouts anyhow. If at some point my knee seems to not feel as good I will add more back in.

My OS initially told me it will take between 18 to 24 months before I am back to doing everything I was doing before my injury (he was really talking about full contact martial arts). At the time I can remember thinking that that was going to seem like a lifetime. The first couple of months it did but that quickly passed – especially when you really throw yourself into your PT (I made PT my highest priority for the first 7 months). I still have a ways to go but all is good these days and I no longer have feelings of wishing I could fast-forward time to get to the point when I am living life normally again!
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: lenorem9 on July 17, 2008, 01:16:39 PM
Hi Rob,  Thanks for the one year update.  So glad to hear you're back to 85-90% for athletics.  You sure have worked hard at it.  Your workout regimen is pretty hardcore.  Good for you.  Hope you never have to go through this again. 
Title: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - 1 Year Post-Op Update
Post by: Rob_W on July 19, 2008, 12:19:50 AM
Hi Rob,  Thanks for the one year update.  So glad to hear you're back to 85-90% for athletics.  You sure have worked hard at it.  Your workout regimen is pretty hardcore.  Good for you.  Hope you never have to go through this again. 

I hope I don't either!!  ;D
Title: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also - Post-Op Update
Post by: Rob_W on August 18, 2008, 01:39:32 PM
1 Year & 1 Month Post-Op:

Things are still going great. It’s nice to have my main focus be on overall health and fitness and not knee rehab!!

I have been sticking with my 5 day per week workout plan that I outlined last month. I am also eating better than I was – nothing crazy but I pretty much eat 6 times per day (3 meals and 3 snacks spread out about every 3 hours). I’ve cut my portion sizes down, drink plenty of water and do my best to eat healthier foods at least 80% of the time (I don’t mind cheating here and there). I continue to drop about 1 pound per week and I weigh less than I did when I first injured myself.

I can honestly say I am in better shape now then when I was at 30 years old (I am 41 currently) but do find I have to work much harder at it.

My knee feels close to perfect 90% of the time. I did recently grapple/wrestle with a guy who outweighs me by 90 pounds (and felt as strong as the Incredible Hulk!!) and the next few days following that my knee did feel sore so will do my best to avoid some of the larger guys for a while!
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: cassieoz on August 19, 2008, 12:00:09 AM
Hi Rob,

I was only reading your diary yesterday getting tips on Allografts lol.

Good for you!! It was a year ago we were both typing to each other what this day would feel like hahaha!!

Thats great news and knew your knee would be a success, only wish i could say the same thing. Being told its not my fault the graft failed still makes me think i went back to sport too quick, even though they said it was loose and it would have happened anyway.

Im going to follow your exercise journal for my rehab. Im taking it easy this time and have 5 months to recover and get on a plane to Argentina for a short holiday then back to Australia.

NO Taekwondo at all this time round, and im not even going to think about it. That dream has finished for a least a year or so and i mean it.

Im happy your feeling fitter and im guessing you look great even for a 41 year old hahaha Just kidding!

Well i know i wont have you as my knee guru buddy this second time but i'll keep you informed every now and then anyway  :P

Thanks Cassie x

Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on August 19, 2008, 12:44:39 PM
Cassie,

Make sure you keep me/everyone up to date on when you get your surgery, etc.

I can only imagine what it must feel like to have the graft fail - I think that is all of our worst fears. I agree with you that you getting back to training to quickly did not cause the graft to fail but at least identified it earlier that it did - if you had taken it light and easy you might still not know that there was a problem possibly.

This next year will go quick for you - it's only 1 year and as you know the first few months will go slow but before you know it the surgery will be over, you'll be doing re-hab and soon enough back to doing what you love. By that 5 month mark I think you will be doing great (that's when I was given the OK to start doing everything I was doing before but just at a lighter level).

I'll ignore the 41 year old comment  ;)

Your friend,
Rob
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: cassieoz on September 12, 2008, 11:26:47 AM
Hi Rob,

How are you?

Well im back in business.......writing a diary and reading through all the other knee victims here on KG. I never thought i would be on here as much again but i have lots time on my hands. Im enjoying it!! Still bored but that's part of it.

All is good but im in much more pain, well only in the knee area and not hamstrings so that is great! Waking to this time was terrible i had so much Morphine and pain that i was throwing up all day!! Next time i will say yes to the nerve block lol. Actually there will be no next time!!!!

My only problem is im not doing half as much as last time because im a bit paranoid of harming the graft and especially after i read allografts need a bit more care early on.

So this is more of a mental thing for me this time........

Your Aussie pal,

Cassie x

Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on September 12, 2008, 03:13:34 PM
Cassie - I am doing great - I will do a 14 month update in about 5 days.

Glad to hear you made it through the surgery and are doing good - sorry to hear that you are in more pain this time but that will pass soon enough!

Your OS should have a pretty good protocol saying what you should and should not do for the allograft (there is a link to my protocol back in the 1st or 2nd page of this thread I believe). I stuck to my protocol about 99% (I did a few extra things like push-ups early on with my PT's permission - but other than that, I just followed the protocol).

They say with the allograft that it will gradually get weaker until about 12 weeks, and then start to get stronger again - and at 12 weeks you will probably be feeling very good - so that is when you need to be real careful and not overdo it!

Good luck and keep posting.
Rob

Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: cassieoz on September 14, 2008, 12:44:40 AM
Hey Rob,

I went over your early stage diaries and it seems im more like at your 3 week stages rather than a week. Im not pushing any of the exercises because im already 90deg and hyperextension slightly which i wont go into, so all i can do is wait til i see my PT......until then its up in the air, i have always had loads of swelling and i think i always will. Not like you i saw. My pain is minimal now so all is ok.

Like always thanks again

Cassandra x
Title: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also 14 month post-op
Post by: Rob_W on September 17, 2008, 11:15:17 PM
1 Year & 2 Month Post-op Update:

Things with my knee are still going great. I think my days of drastic improvements are long behind me so it's just slow and steady improvements at this point. As I mentioned before my focus is really on overall health than it is on my knee these days. With that said I have lost 20 pounds total since I really stepped up my workouts and got my nutrition in order about 3 months ago (still losing about 1 to 2 pounds per week).

We did a training drill about a month ago in a martial arts class where you had to hop on one leg and basically drive you training partner out of a small space (10 feet by 10 feet). I did it on my good leg first for about 10 minutes and when that leg got tired I switched to the leg I had injured. This was a tough drill but found I could do it. My knee was a little sore the next day but that went away quick.

On a down note I was grappling about 3 weeks ago with a guy who outweighs me by about 60 to 70 lbs. He was incredibly strong too. At one point he pulled really hard on my head/neck and I pulled my right trapezius muscle (mid back just above right shoulder blade). I took a few days off then went back and trained again and by the end of the session I realized I should have taken more time off. I have since stopped all hard training to rest this muscle. I walk every day for 45 minutes and do a very light fully body stretching routine twice daily to work on some muscles that are out of balance (screwing up my posture) and this trapezius muscle. Things are feeling much better but I know I still need some more rest time.
Title: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also - 1.5 year update
Post by: Rob_W on January 07, 2009, 12:34:06 PM
1 Year & 6 Month Update:

Wow – I can’t believe a year and a ½ has already gone by.  There are days when it feels like I just recently had surgery (however these are getting few and far between) and plenty of days that I actually don’t even think about it anymore (most of the time). It’s nice not having it on my brain 24/7 like I did the 1st year.

My knee feels awesome! It feels just like my other knee 95% of the time. I can’t think of anything I can’t do because of it anymore.  Most of my workouts are geared around just keeping fit and I no longer do specific knee re-hab related exercises (although my workouts are still aggressive on the lower body and have plenty of the exercises built in that I did as part of my post-op recovery – I just no longer think of it as knee re-hab).

The last things to improve for me was getting that last inch of full ROM back where I could comfortably kneel on the floor and sit my butt down onto my heels with all my weight on it. I’ve been able to do it for a long time, but it hurt. Now I can finally do it. I also have zero pain when kneeling on floors (even cement floors) – this was an initial concern of mine because the grappling workouts I do have me on my knees a lot. My lateral meniscus that was trimmed also seemed to be bothering me for at least 12 months after surgery after aggressive workouts. This too has gotten better and I can’t remember the last time I felt any pain in that area of my knee.

The only time I am reminded of my knee surgery these days is when I do a particularly aggressive workout for an extended period of time and the next day my knee is a little sore (it seems to recover quick – within 24 hours). Something like a lot of sprinting (with corner cutting) or kicking a soccer ball as far as I can for a long time could do this. I know my knee is still slowly getting better and assume it will continue to make tiny improvements over the next year (or more).

I’m 41 now and after getting surgery my weight slowly went up to the highest I had ever been at (not right after surgery but about 6 to 9 months later) – I hit 208 pounds which is my all time high (I’m 6’1”). Once I got to the point that I could really workout hard consistently I really shifted my focus to getting fit (including better nutrition) and I dropped down to 179 pounds (which I have not been at since my early twenties!!).

Hopefully these posts will help others who are thinking of getting surgery, or currently recovering from surgery. I know the first thing I did after injuring myself was hit the internet and this luckily was one of the first sites I found. I then read every journal on ACL surgery and post-op recovery and specifically Allografts that I could find. Once I had surgery I went back and re-read all of them again and continued to do that while laid up on my couch for the first couple of weeks. Thanks to all of those who kept detailed journals!! Posting about my recovery was also a big help in tracking my own progress.

Good luck everyone.


Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: lenorem9 on January 07, 2009, 01:15:13 PM
Great to see an update Rob.  You are a true inspiration.  Your workout regimen has helped so many on here.  You had such dedication to fitness and determination to getting healthy again.  Good for you!  I'm so glad to see you made it to the end.  I think we'll have to make you the poster boy for ACL rehab.  Waddya think? 

Keep on working out, staying fit, and most of all, take care of those knees!   
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on January 12, 2009, 02:05:01 AM
Great to see an update Rob.  You are a true inspiration.  Your workout regimen has helped so many on here.  You had such dedication to fitness and determination to getting healthy again.  Good for you!  I'm so glad to see you made it to the end.  I think we'll have to make you the poster boy for ACL rehab.  Waddya think? 

Keep on working out, staying fit, and most of all, take care of those knees!   

Thanks - although I would nominate Feeny for poster boy for ACL rehab!
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on August 15, 2009, 02:43:59 PM
Well, it's been over 2 years since the surgery (Last month was 2 years and I forgot all about it) :-)

My knee feels great - seems to be holding up perfectly and does not limit me in any ways.

I do pretty aggesive martial arts training and I'm guessing I will blow out my knee that has not had surgery before I blow out my knee that had the surgery.

Pretty much these days the only time I really think about the knee is when I hear of someone else tearing their ACL, or other such knee injuries.

Good luck to everyone going through this - stick to your PT and before you know it you will be full force back in life again!!
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Clarkey on August 18, 2009, 07:30:13 PM
Hi Rob,

Its nice to read a positive outcome of a knee injury for a change on KG as mostly you hear the negative side of knee problems and surgery. Its fantastic news that your knee feeling great and no longer lmited in physical activities.

Who knows the same thing might happen to me and can say my knee back to normal in 2 years time but have to have a scope 1st in october before things start to improve for me. My goal is to be able to run again one day and maybe do a half marathon thats held once a year in my city. Not been able to run since october 2007.

Your success story has made me realise that maybe I will be able to go running again some day.

Nick :) {2009} :)

   
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on August 18, 2009, 08:10:35 PM
Good luck to you Clarkey!

Not sure there are any secrets but having a good OS is a plus and hitting re-hab like it's a full time job for as long as you can seems to make a huge difference. Just about anyone I have talked to that things went poorly for almost always say the same thing - once their knee started feeling better they stopped their exercises!!
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: vinnic on August 19, 2009, 02:22:30 PM
Just wanted to say that I read your diary right before and after my aclr, and it really inspired me to work hard.  Thanks so much for posting your two year update - that's great to hear you're doing so well! 
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on August 19, 2009, 02:26:11 PM
Thanks vinnic - I hope you are doing great!!
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on July 27, 2010, 02:08:14 AM
Just thought I would do a 3 year update  ;D

To be honest I have not really given my knee much thought but the other day my brother-in-law fell and damaged his knee cap and is now using the same initial brace I wore plus crutches for 6 weeks and it reminded me of my knee.

Things are going great - still doing my martial arts training and also doing a very aggressive workout program called 'Insanity'. I've also been coaching basketball, soccer and martial arts and my knee doesn't hold me back at all.

I hope everyone is recovering well - keep at it if if you are struggling!!

Rob
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Clarkey on July 29, 2010, 05:10:30 PM
Hi Rob,

Great news about your knee thats recovered well from surgery and can be physically active again. It brings hope with my knee problems thats stopping me from running but have faith in my OS to get my knee right again.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on August 10, 2011, 05:43:38 PM
4 Year Update  ;D

Knee feels great and doesn't stop me from doing anything. Still training martial arts and working out hard - currently training for a 10 mile obstacle race called toughmudder.

Hope everyone is doing great!
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on January 05, 2013, 11:10:51 PM
5.5 Year Update:

Things are perfect - feels like I never had the surgery. Hope everyone is doing awesome!
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on August 09, 2015, 10:05:04 PM
Its been just over 8 years since surgery and just nice having two knees that look, feel and work the exact same way. If I suddenly lost my memory other than having some very faint scars, I would have no idea I ever had surgery.

I hope everyone is doing great!
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: jeffmc on November 08, 2017, 09:54:44 PM
Its been just over 8 years since surgery and just nice having two knees that look, feel and work the exact same way. If I suddenly lost my memory other than having some very faint scars, I would have no idea I ever had surgery.

I hope everyone is doing great!

Great to hear. I hope the techniques and technology have imporved to a point where the risk for complications is even less now. I'm almost excited to have surgery as I tore my ACL/MCL/Meniscus 3 years ago and have been coping ever since. I've been able to play soccer for 2 years at a recreational level but a day doesn't go by that I don't think about my knee and wanting to really compete.
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on November 08, 2017, 10:39:08 PM
Good luck. I am sure technology is improving constantly and assuming you have a good surgeon, and you do your rehab like your knee depends on it (which it will) I am sure you will do great.
Title: Re: Robs ACL Allograft Diary - MCL & Lateral Meniscus Trim Also
Post by: Rob_W on August 25, 2020, 04:46:39 PM
Figured it was time for a 13+ year update!!  ;D

Actually, my brother just injured his knee and I wanted to go back and look at some of the exercises I was doing prior to surgery. What a crazy journey after re-reading some of my posts which I have long forgotten about. This forum really made the recovery process so much better (reading what others with the same injury had posted was so helpful)

My knee feels amazing and at 53 I am in the best shape of my life. Stay strong everyone and wishing you all safe and quick recoveries!!