DIARIES => Post op diaries (>300 posts) => Topic started by: Snowy on July 10, 2010, 12:40:41 AM

Title: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 10, 2010, 12:40:41 AM
I have my new ACL. :)

After a largely sleepless night last night, we left for Delta Hospital at about 5.30 this morning.  Our good friend Renee stayed over so that she could chauffeur us, and we were at the hospital for checkin at about 6am. By this point I was feeling really nervous, and Jen was doing a lot of soothing and hugging. It helped a bit that the nurse assigned to me was on her very first day on the unit, and was almost as nervous as I was. She gave me a very tasteful surgery outfit to wear (open-backed gown, housecoat, thigh-high green socks fresh from the warmer and puffy blue paper slippers) and then took my blood pressure, temperature etc before taking me through to set up my IV.

The IV caused us a bit of amusement as my antibiotics were being delivered via lactated ringer's solution, which is the same stuff we give our cats for their renal insufficiency. Because I was tensed up (the nerves) the nurses both had trouble setting the IV line; they were very apologetic but I told them it was a valuable lesson for me on how the kitties feel when we get a bad needle stick! Once the IV was in Dr. L arrived, initialed my left knee and chatted with us; I introduced him to Jen and he ran us both through what to expect for the day and over the next two weeks. He has a really nice presence: calm, confident, and patient while also being very direct and to the point.

One of the OR nurses then came and explained what would happen in the operating room. Once she was done I said goodbye to Jen (my eyes welled up a little at that point) and was wheeled away to theatre. I'd explained to the nurse that I was nervous about the anesthetic, and she and the second nurse worked really hard to reassure me and put me at my ease. (All the staff at Delta were absolutely fabulous; I can't say enough good things about them.) The OR itself looked fairly intimidating, with arrays of monitors and some scary-looking surgical instruments laid out on the table. I'd hoped for a choice of anaesthetic, but it turned out that the general wasn't optional. They gave me a drug to relax me, and the last thing I remember is the anaesthetist saying "You're just going to go to sleep for a little bit."

I woke up about an hour and a half later, at 9.30am, in recovery (I'd been told by the nurses that Dr. L is one of the fastest surgeons they work with.) I felt really groggy for about 15 minutes or so, then my head started to clear. I was also desperately thirsty and my throat was feeling rough from the breathing tube, but I hadn't been awake long enough to have water. As the grogginess wore off I became more and more aware of the pain in my knee (no femoral nerve block); a really deep interior pain that I assume was from the bone drilling. They gave me a dose of fentanyl, which took care of it briefly.

By 10am I was feeling much more clear-headed, and they wheeled me back in to the day surgery recovery area. The nurse also went and got Jen, who'd spent my surgery time in the very lovely hospital garden. I was very, very happy to see her. The nurses brought me some ice chips and Dr. L came by to see how I was doing. He said the surgery had gone very well indeed, and he was really impressed by the size of my hamstring tendons given that I'm not a very big person - he said they should make a really strong graft. He also gave us all the immediate post-op instructions in writing, and a prescription for painkillers.

By this time the fentanyl had worn off and the pain was escalating again, so the nurses put me on a morphine drip briefly. I have to admit that I totally underestimated the initial pain, I think because so many of the accounts I've read were from people who had nerve blocks and thus found the immediate recovery quite manageable. The morphine didn't really kill the pain, but it made me care less about it.

We hung out in the day surgery recovery area for about an hour and a half while the nurses monitored me; I dozed a little, and of course updated the Cosmic's Cafe thread to let everyone know that I was in one piece.   ;D They cleared me to leave just after noon, so Jen called Renee and after a very challenging wrestle with my clothes I was ready to try and move. My leg hurt so much that I really couldn't imagine standing on it, but in the end moving wasn't significantly more painful than lying still. They brought me a wheelchair, but the thought of sitting on my freshly cut hamstring was entirely too horrible and so I got onto my crutches and slowly made my way to the exit.

I'm now at home, learning to use my Cryocuff (worth its weight in gold), eating ice-cream and waiting in some discomfort for the first dose of the new pain meds. The leg is incredibly sore - the deep bone pain, some sharp surface pain which I think is the incisions, and a lot of stinging pain from the hamstring graft site - but I'm fully weight-bearing with the aid of crutches. It doesn't really hurt more to walk with the crutches than to stay still; the challenge is getting from prone to upright and back again!

My leg is neon pink from the antiseptic from foot to thigh, has a big tensor bandage covering the knee itself, and a small incision that keeps bleeding at mid-thigh, above the bandage. The day's two big surprises have been how well I bounced back from the anaesthetic, and the extent of the initial pain.

I think that's probably more than enough tedious detail from me. :) Thank you all so much for your good thoughts, here and on FB - they made my day and definitely helped keep me going through those horrible nervous hours last night. Hard to believe I'm actually on the other side now!

Hope you're all doing well, and having very good knee days. xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on July 10, 2010, 02:22:21 AM
Hey Snowy!!

So glad the surgery is over for you now and you did great with the anaesthetic! Sorry you are in so much pain, I have found all of mine incredibly painful also, all the anaesthetists and pain specialists I have had for my surgeries have also always commented that it is well known for being a painful surgery! I guess all I can say is the same as everyone else will, take it easy and take your pain meds (and of course, keep eating the ice-cream  ;D )

I am glad surgery went smoothly and you now have a lovely new ACL! :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 10, 2010, 03:24:43 AM
Snowy so glad to see your home in one piece and able to start the first of the musketeer diary's, it sounds like it all went incredably quickly and smoothly, its such a shame though that you didnt have some kind of nerve block to help with the initial pain, at least I should be ok with this knee catherter thingy my Doc told me about, it seems that they can keep injecting something to numb the knee while I am still in hospital, so not feeling quite as upset about having to be in for a couple of days at least I should be relativly pain free [i hope].
Thats good also that Jen was able to be with you in the recovery ward to keep you company and to satisfy herself that you were ok and had come through thing without any comlications.
I hope you manage to get the pain under control and you have a good nights sleep tonight I look forward to hearing how things are going for you.
Take care and a big post op ((((((hug))))))) from me....Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on July 10, 2010, 08:18:22 AM
Congratulations on aquiring your new ACL !  :)

Sorry to hear about the terrible pain you had post-op. I must have had a femoral nerve block, since I was pain-free, although the surgeon never mentioned this to me pre-op. But it does explain my subsequent difficulties with bladder control  ;) There's a consolation for you - you didn't have to go through the indignity of having a nurse monitor you while you empty your bladder !

You lucky thing - getting neon pink antiseptic ! Don't tell everyone, or they'll all be asking for it  ;)  I only got yellow antiseptic. Nowhere near as cool as neon pink.

On the subject of coolness, what type of theatre undies did you get ?

Glad to hear your stomach has been OK, unlike mine immediately post-op, and that you can enjoy ice-cream. What flavour did you go for ? My favourite is mint with pistachio.

Oh, and the super model says get well soon and sends hugs to you  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 10, 2010, 08:50:04 AM
Congratulations Snowy - I was like you - less worried about the procedure more about the GA - I hate being knocked out, artificially.

Its a tough call whether the nerve block is better or not - whilst it does kill the pain post op, it also means you have no nerve feedback from your movements, which makes it hard to gauge how far to push your initial exercises.

I hope your meds help to cope with the pain, but it seems that you are doing very wel.

As you know everyone's recovery is different and depends on their physiology and mental strength. Go at the pace that feels best for you.  I took it very easy for my first few days and let some of the swelling subside, got used to the pain, and then started to move around a bit more every day.  Been hobbling around without crutches for short distances the last two days, obviously its no good for my posture/gait, but I feel a lot more stable putting weight through my knee at the moment - even with the brace off.

Take care and relax.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on July 10, 2010, 02:01:35 PM
Nice detail Snowy.

Glad to see you this side and the pain will wear off pretty quickly.  Glad to see that you are already FWB on your crutches that seems to be so important when you have a surgeon with that protocol.  Now i can say to you that my hamstring graft..........the one that unfortunately for me was done incorrectly and didnt work hurt more intially than the patella tendon one.  However it was easier to recover now 9 months out from the do- over and am finally beginning to feel normal........ish.  I still have days where things dont feel right and there may be a fresh issue going on which i will discuss with OS next month but on the whole i have to say that i believe this has worked.

Then of course i am counting till my next trip to Africa and some more work with the orphan kids, that sure keeps me going, esp as there is now a redundancy threat at work............anyone got a good job going???


PS looking forward to the updates.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: crankerchick on July 10, 2010, 03:16:34 PM
Wow that was like reading a short story in a published magazine--very detailed, coherent, and full of style!  Pain sucks but like I tell everyone (and like my doc told me), surgery hurts, its supposed to LOL. It will get better with each day of course.

Hope your first night went well and you were able to have some rest. The cryocuff is indeed a blessing!

Now you are finally on the other side and can get to the good part--healing and rehab!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 10, 2010, 05:27:33 PM
Succinct has never really been a strong point of mine.  ;D Thanks to all for your words of encouragement and support; they mean a lot, especially in this early post-op stage when everything is feeling incredibly challenging.

I'm afraid the remainder of the day yesterday was not a huge success; I let the pain get ahead of me and as a result was in a pretty excruciating state for the remainder of the night. I also ended up getting sick a couple of times, probably from the leftover morphine in my system. We watched one of our new seasons of DVDs and I drifted in and out of sleep after taking a whack of pain meds, but I didn't really get on top of it again before we went to bed.

J helped me get in a relatively comfortable position on my back with a pillow under my operated leg for support, and the good news is that I was able to get a pretty reasonable night's sleep - I think about 8 hours altogether. I woke up a few times when I moved the leg (even a fraction of an inch was enough to jolt me awake instantly) and to take my pain meds. Having had the miserable experience of feeling the full pain when I let it get ahead of me, I really wanted to try and get it back under control during the night.

The pain is definitely still present this morning, but feels a little more manageable and I was able to get around a little better when I got out of bed. Taking weight through that leg is okay (I feel it but it's not much worse than just keeping still) and I've got a bit of bend in spite of the hefty bandages. I'm managing a few ankle pumps (I've discovered the joys of the rush of blood through the calf when I stand up after having the leg elevated) but that's about it on the exercise front. Will see if I can coax my quad muscles into a few flexes later today.

Thanks to everyone for your reassurance about the pain. It makes sense that it hurts like hell when you think about what they actually do, but so many folk I know had the nerve block that I guess I just hadn't mentally prepared for how bad it would be. In retrospect, too, when I left hospital I'd just had a big dose of morphine and I didn't get on the new pain meds as quickly as I should have done when I got home. I'm not going to push things at all for the first few days, just give the knee a chance to settle down a bit. One thing I have plenty of is time. :)

My neon pink leg looks quite delightful; it's faded a little to a more mauvey shade and looks as though I have some awful necrotic disease in the calf and foot. I'm also sorry to report that I didn't get to join the team of fun surgical underwear; I got to keep my own (I wore a nice modest pair, just in case.)

I'm now back on my station on the couch, armed with iPad, book and cryocuff while J brings me cups of tea and makes breakfast. I have to say that I honestly have no idea how anyone would cope with the immediate aftermath of surgery on their own; particularly with the pain levels last night, I have been incredibly reliant on J since getting home.

Will be interesting to see how today progresses...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: vickster on July 10, 2010, 06:45:02 PM
Snowy - excellent to hear it all went according to plan and that you are up and about and surfing!   ;D  Try to keep on top of the pain meds - take as prescribed even if you don't feel you need them at that point :) 

My leg was bright pink post scope too, with a lovely black arrow marking the spot - this can be rubbed off gently with a face cloth if you can face it ;)

Very disappointed that you had no paper pants - they were a highlight   ;D

Take care xx 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on July 10, 2010, 08:31:31 PM
Hey there Snowy, glad to hear your out of surgery with a new ACL!!

Just think, you are now a couple days closer to full recovery! ;D

Best of luck, keep the updates coming!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Cosmicsnuffle on July 10, 2010, 08:37:14 PM
Hey Snowy - hope you don't mind me popping across the road to partake in some jolly repartee over at Snowy's Place ...

How cool to have your own POST-OP thread  ;D.

Sorry to hear about the pain - I know you are very diligent and considered in your approach to things - and getting on top of the pain issue seems to be no exception. Great that you are doing OK with the FWB with crutches, and that you are letting Jen look after you.

Hopefully your experience of the general anaesthetic will be of reassurance to others who are equally tentative - do you get over hangovers as easily??

If it's 8pm here you must be in the heat of midday - hopefully you are able to rest overlooking some of those amazing views from your condo.

Keep up the good work and the smashing updates!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 10, 2010, 10:59:04 PM
Hey Snowy!

Great to see your POST OP diary - you're through and out and rebuilt! Woooooooooooohoooooooooooooooo!!!!!

Your diary makes excellent reading, and I'm really glad that things went smoothly and that the GA was pretty much a breeze. They do make you feel strange but you sound like you came out of it pretty quickly. I hope the pain comes under control shortly, is it dependant on the OS as to whether they use a nerve block or not? In some ways at least without one you can tell exactly where you're at in terms of pain and stuff, although I might not be saying that if it were my knee! (ask me about foot nerve blocks next week!!)

Great that J is being such a support, I am going to be glad to have Richard around next week to bring me tea and biscuits as well.  ;D  Good news on the 8 hours sleep too, your body was probably whacked out from all that swimming and cycling and reduced sleep pre operation. Sleep is good - allows healing.

Keep us posted on how things progress, I've been thinking of you today. We went for a last pre onion blast to the seaside. I drove whilst i still can - 300 miles round trip but it was great to see some sea, paddle and chill out.  8)  Cloudy but 27 degrees, so not bad at all.

Hugs !!

Lottie xxxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 11, 2010, 02:04:51 AM
Hey gang! Good to hear from everyone. It's so strange to be posting on my very own post-op diary after so much time on other people's. All the comments are wonderfully reassuring and supportive as I make my way through this rather weird post-surgery time.

Quiet day today, just letting things settle down and seeing where the knee is at. Still in quite a bit of pain, but now I've got the meds on a proper schedule it's much more manageable than the agony I was in last night. That was a really harsh lesson on the importance of staying ahead of the pain; I think I was experiencing the full repercussions of the bone drilling and it was easily the worst pain I've ever felt in my life.

Right now that deep interior pain has settled a bit, the hamstring graft site is okay at rest but feels twangy when I move around, and the incisions sort of ping at me every time I raise or lower the leg. I've also got some soreness in the calf now, and have been working diligently away at the ankle pumps to keep the blood circulating. I attempted a few quad flexes earlier; the response is more of a twitch than a flex, but at least it's moving. The little wound on my thigh (above the main bandage - I'm not totally sure what that one is from) bleeds whenever I move, which is annoying.

I have absolutely no interest in food at all; I'm not nauseated, just not hungry. I've managed a couple of bowls of ice cream and some bread and soup, but more because I know I should eat something than because I want them. I've been supplementing the food with Lucozade, specially delivered from the UK by my parents during their trip here - due to childhood indoctrination it's always one of the things I crave when I'm sick or injured.

Cosmic - it's been a long time since I had a proper hangover but when I did they were always rotten, so I'm pretty astonished about the rapid recovery from the anesthetic. My mum has always had awful reactions to them as well, but thankfully that's something I don't seem to have inherited.

Lottie - I don't know what the rationale for blocking or not blocking nerves is, but I think it depends on the anesthetist. I know the argument against doing it is because it can give you a false sense of how well the leg is doing and you don't get feedback on your actions, but if it would have saved me from that pain last night I think I could have lived with that!

Glad to hear about your seaside trip - that sounds wonderful. My most exciting excursion today was a brief crutch with J to the dumpster (I carried the keys for her while she took the garbage out) - all of about 5 minutes but it felt like a huge achievement!

Still smoking hot here - the thought of not being able to shower till Wednesday is not a happy one...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: moz on July 11, 2010, 04:51:23 AM
Congrats Snowy, good to hear you are on the other side and on your way to recovery and  back to brand new albeit with a painful start. Hope the pain quickly subsides and all goes smoothly for you. Will keep a close eye on your progress.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 11, 2010, 09:23:42 AM
Snowy I was a.w.a.l yesterday, work then out with friends but was desperate to log on this morning to see how you were doing,
I hope your finding the pain a bit more managable and your keeping on top of the pain meds.
I got to bed this morning at 4.30 and didnt expect to be up quite as early as this but Misty's tummy has been makint the loudest gurgiling noises, I was woryed she was about to explode, just had a wee chat with Vicky on FB and she assured me that dogs rarely explode so that has put my mind at rest somewhat :D   
So glad your finding the cryo cuff a godsend and so glad mine is waiting for me I still havent tried it out so dont have a clue how it works, are you finding it pretty straight forward to use?
well I may go back to bed or I may have a shower, not too sure as am feeling a little fragile, last preop night out ::)   anyway I really hope you have a relativle pain free day just remember ice and meds and lots of rest and T.L.C from Jen ;D
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on July 11, 2010, 09:25:30 AM
Hi Snowy

If you can try to avoid the sleeping with a pillow under your knee as it hinders extension and thats what all surgeons want you to get back asap.  I know it's comfortable (i did it too) but in the long run it wont help.  

Sorry about the negative to start with.  Postitve now.  You are doing very well.  If you have a bath where you live then you can run 6 inches or so in the bath and put your leg on the rim if the thought of no shower until then especially of it is as hot there as it is here fills you with smelly dread lol.  I did this after the mosaicplaty which i actually had to keep the cumbersome big crepe bandage on for a week (in the summer) and managed it even though totally NWB..  That said of course if you dont have a bath........

After my first one i had a waterproof dressing on and was allowed to shower before i even left the hospiltal, but then of course here in the UK they tend to keep you in overnight for an ACL.

PS have requested  you on FB..........

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 11, 2010, 11:05:24 AM
Good to hear you're doing well and even getting out - even if its only to the dump the rubbish.

I think the small wound on your thigh - I have one an inch above my graft incision - is where the 'needle' pulling the graft came through - I think thats what I understand from Deepaks posts.  If its its small and pin size - which mine is - its got some dried blood and is tender to the touch, but no bleeding.  If it is bleeding with movement, take it is easy on the flexing and quads.  Are you taking anything that is a coagulant?

It cant be any fun getting so hot and not being able to bathe - you could test the bounds of your realtionship with J and see if you can get some help with a flannel bath? ;D
I was given some waterproof bandages to cover my wounds so I could have a shower - they worked perfectly.

Take care - listen to your body and go at your own pace.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 11, 2010, 05:30:04 PM
Ah, that makes sense about the needle hole - that's exactly what that small wound looks like. I haven't restarted any of my NSAIDs yet (was going to call the OS tomorrow and ask him when I should, as I forgot to check in hospital) as that wound continues to bleed whenever I move. Unfortunately I've always tended to be one of those people who bleed for ages following a cut, so probably not surprising.

After a mostly quiet day yesterday the leg was really sore again by evening. I found the rush of blood to the calf when I went from sitting to standing almost unbearable by the end of the day; it felt like it was pushing at all the incisions and was quite excruciating. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to reduce this, beyond the obligatory ankle pumps to keep the blood circulating?

Tried a few more quad flexes last night but the better the flex, the more it felt like it was causing all the stitches/staples in the incisions to pull - a really nasty feeling. I am a little concerned about how the incisions are feeling overall - they're very sore when I move, and I can feel them throbbing a bit even when lying still - but can't see them right now, and I'm not supposed to remove the bandages until Wednesday. Did anyone take their bandages off sooner than this? Did you do it yourself or get a doctor to help? I'd call the OS to check but it's Sunday, so his office is closed till tomorrow.

I got another good night's sleep (Lisa, thaks for the tip about the pillow) but this morning didn't get off to the best start; I got out of bed and got dressed, then became extremely dizzy and nauseated and had to rapidly lower myself to the floor because everything was going dark and I thought I was going to faint. (Thank god for those strong swimming shoulders!) The dizziness, nausea and general clamminess lasted about five or ten minutes before it eased. I can't figure out if something is genuinely wrong or it's a combination of the painkillers and the fact that I haven't been eating much. I'm eating a slice of J's pumpkin pie now and drinking tea in the hope that will help, but still feel a bit odd.

I'm a little worried that something's not 100% right. That's the trouble with going through something completely outside your previous experience; there's no real barometer to tell what "normal" is! I wish it wasn't Sunday; it's probably nothing that a quick call to the OS wouldn't sort out, but his office is closed till tomorrow.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 11, 2010, 05:52:01 PM
Hi Snowy

I have absolutely NO experience first hand of ortho surgery (yet) but that description of your morning almost faint rang a bell for me regarding another KG member. Andi (Doublemom) had a similar experience getting out of bed about 5 days after her TTT and LR - I know it knocked her for six and sounded very similar to your reaction. I think the conclusion on her thread was it was pain, getting up from lying down, blood rushing to wound sites/screws etc......

I think the feeling that its completely out of your usual zone of knowledge is such a valid point - so of course you tend to worry at anything that seems weird. I will be exactly the same; how on earth can you tell if a wound is meant to hurt all the time?! I can only add a bit of common day thoughts - if you cut yourself (and I have had a few spectacular chops on shattering glass objects in my time) or burn yourself badly (again, some disasters with candles) then the wound does hurt even when not doing anything for a fair few days. I remember burning my whole little finger badly once and for 3 days the pain even without touching it was unreal!! I guess with a surgical incision it is even deeper so the pain is to be expected, especially when combined with bone work. I don't know, I am talking from NO experience (ask me after weds!) but try and relax if you can and cal the OS on Monday just to check. And make sure LOTS of fluids, ooodles of them.

Take it steady, these are definitely going to be the worse days. I'm thinking of you over here and the onions are admiring the Snowy knee's bravery and recovery! (and wondering if they can email [email protected] to request a 3 week nerve block on the toe?)!


Lottie xxx

PS The other thing that struck me - you are FIT (ooerrr!) and your resting heart rate is probably pretty low. I know last year when I was cardio fit before my knees flared up I sometimes got that weird dizzy sensation for no reason at all when I got up especially if I was a bit dehydrated or had been in bed (and lost fluids). My resting heart rate was pretty low this time last year and the doc said that sometimes happens (everything else was fine - BP etc all tip top). It might explain the violent reaction to getting up after a big op.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 11, 2010, 06:36:15 PM
Snowy so sorry your having some unpleasant after effects of your surgery I think Lottie is right when you think of everything that has been done inside your knee its no wonder it hurts maybe you should ask for some stronger pain killers to get you through the next couple of days, the feelings of dizzyness and nausea could possible be the after effects of the anasthetic I have felt pretty wiped out for a good few days afterwords in the past, there are so many things it could be it's hard to pinpoint what would cause these symtoms, although if your not sure about anything then get in touch with your O.S first thing tomorrow and check it all out with him. Remember also how important it is to keep hydrated and even if you dont feel like eating try and get something down as that could help you feel a bit better. The more I am hearing about how things are going with you the more I am hoping I will be kept in hospital for a couple of days, as at least the staff could keep me right about what is to be expected, also it wont hurt that I should have extra pain relief if needed.
I hope today is a better day for you and you feel better soon take care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Cosmicsnuffle on July 11, 2010, 07:46:46 PM
Hey Snowy,

Oh you poor sausage  :(.

Let me start with the blood rush pain in the calf - like you I found it excruciating - it'd put me off getting up for the loo, which then meant that I reached panic mode to get there in time  - not advisable ::). I tried heel slides and gentle mobilisation before getting out of bed, also gently lowering the leg to the floor over a few minutes to let the blood return slowly. I think some of them may have helped to reduce the pain slightly but I never found an answer.... if I remember rightly it was easing by the time Lottie visited at about 10 days.

The nausea and blackout/dizziness may well be due to your fitness/resting low blood pressure - mine is usually low with a low resting pulse and takes a long time to get back to normal after an anaesthetic.
Make sure you are getting plenty of clear fluids and eat little and often if it helps. Try to take time when you move or change position to allow your body to adjust.

The bandages - the crepe was removed in hospital before discharge - so I went home with low-adhesive dressings on which were covered with a shower proof dressing. I was advised to see the district nurse after 2 weeks to get them changed... that seemed a little long to me (especially in the heat) so I did them after about a week. My most seepy wound was the portal on the medial side, like you I could feel it pulling and oozing when I moved over the first few days. My main wound was sutured with dissolvable stitches - a very neat job, then stuck with surgical tape crossed over the wound to make two star shapes (I think the surgeon may have had a creative streak - perhaps an alter ego working in textile design).

The puncture wound on the thigh is where the graft is is pulled through... mine looked like some kind of crop circle arrangement with one main puncture and a row of 3 neatly spaced below.

With the flexion - I'd say to go as far as you can without making the incisions feel sore - just for the first few days.... you will be able to bend it more as the knee settles. The cuts heal remarkably quickly considering!

.... and I agree with Tez - if you are unsure about anything then contact your OS in the morning.


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on July 11, 2010, 09:08:46 PM
Sorry you are beginning to feel crappy! Reading your description was a bit weird because I have been feeling a bit umm ill I suppose for the last couple of days, including the dizzy/clammy/nauseated moments. I usually do get quite sick after surgery, so I was expecting this, not entirely sure why though. In hosptal they say it is just due to the standing up when you have been lying down thing, but I think it was a combination of the anaeasthetic and surgery, medications, and I don't know about you but I really haven't been eating since surgery, just no appetite and feel a little bleh. I think all of this would kind of make us feel really well, weak I guess, and especially with the pain/blood rushy leg thing!

I usually get the bandages removed the morning after surgery (always been in hospital so they have done it) and then just had the dressings on, they get checked and changed at five days and then left on until stitch removal and then maybe some more put on (just because I am totally paranoid that while they are still so fresh and not covered I will end up catching them on all sorts-ouch!)

Also, Zaiem is right about the little wound- it is the guide wire from pulling the graft through (and for my revisions, removing screws) I hope that stops bleeding soon, how strange that you are normally quite a bleeder!

Anyway, hopefully you'll soon be improving  :) Are you watching the World cup final? I am watching it at the moment curled up with my puppy, but my leg has been pretty painful again today!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 11, 2010, 09:17:38 PM
I love this forum - the wealth of knowledge and experience thats being openly shared is so reassuring and answers so many concerns.

Hi Snowy, I'd just echo what has already been said.

When I used to wake up in the middle of the night or morning for the first 5 days (and still after staying any one position for any prolonged period of time), I did some ankle pumps and heel slides to get the blood flowing a bit and rub the calf and shin.  Then slowly get up and stay stood for a bit, moving the leg in small movements until I felt a bit more stable.  As Cosmic has very astutely pointed out allow time for this when you need to make a move for the toilet. ;D

I completely understand what you're saying about the pulling sensation at the incision sites - it will ease as you continue flexing over the days - dont  over do it if it feels too uncomfortable.  I hold the last heel slide at the flexed position for a while, it does feel 'stretched' at the incisions at the tibia and femur (tightest) graft sites.  I am lucky my dressing was removed after 24 hours and changed.  There was al little seeping at the graft site on the thigh - although I kept worrying from the sensation that it would be worse.  The nurse came to remove my dressings 4 days later and they have been off since.  No seeping, but a little redness.  Very sharp pain if I happen to accidentally catch any of the clips - owwwww - not looking forward to having them cut out next Thursday.

The head rush and fainting is probably a combination of a number of things - meds, tiredness, pain, and heat.  I'd be more worried if you had secondary symptoms like a fever/temp and vomiting/diarrhoea.  Keep on with the painkillers, take on lots of fluids, eat well and rest as much as possible.

Take care

Incidentally, I've written this during what I thought would be a poor match - its actually a lot worse - and it looks like they want to torture us with an extra half hour plus penalties :'(
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 11, 2010, 09:27:32 PM
Not wishing to hijack the ACL chatter - But...

Zaiemk - HOW DULL IS THE FOOTBALL?!!!  ::) :P :o

This should now be a golden goal...but I fear we're looking at penalties. Yawn. Should have cracked into my Prime Suspect boxed set DVDs (1448 minutes of murder for my onion recovery Days 1-4 elevate and rest that foot). Followed by Trial & Retribution Boxed Set.  ;D

Snowy hope you're feeling a bit more comfortable....

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 11, 2010, 09:45:01 PM
Apologies from me as well

The final match has been pantys - apart from one or two moments.  Yesterdays match was much better.

The Dutch are giving a lesson in how to kick people if they get within one foot of the ball.
 ::) ??? :o
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on July 11, 2010, 11:01:40 PM
The match was indeed a bit rubbish.....

I was hoping it would go to penalties though, I love them!! Sadly with that very very late goal I had sat through 2 hours of boring football for nothing... Well, I did have a nice nap in the middle too  ;D

...Also learnt never to annoy someone from the Netherlands  :o

Oh and back to the knee stuff, Snowy I don't suppose you know if you have stitches (absorbable or not) or staples or whatever? At what points are you going back for post op appointments? (sorry if you already answered these somewhere!)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kneetmare on July 11, 2010, 11:05:57 PM
Hey Snowy, just dropping in to wish you the best of luck with your recovery. Sorry to hear about the pain and dizzyness, I hope it improves for you. Don't try and do too much, get plenty of rest and i'm sure in no time things will start to improve! :D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 11, 2010, 11:25:23 PM
That game could have used a good head butt to liven it up, a la Zidane. I watched the whole thing, but our kitties were less tolerant than Vicky's puppy - they wandered out onto the deck and fell asleep in the sun instead, which is about what the match deserved. Oh well. At least the Germany-Uruguay game yesterday was a cracker.

Thank you all so much for the shared experiences, advice and reassurance. Zaiem and Cosmic - it doesn't sound as though my calf surges are any worse than yours, so I'll stop worrying about them and just focus on gritting my teeth and getting through it. I find them much easier to manage earlier in the day, perhaps because I'm tired by evening and just a little less on top of things.

I suspect the morning pain meds coupled with lack of food (and quite possibly a low resting heart rate, too) were to blame for my dizzy moment this morning. Vicky, that's exactly the way I've been feeling about food - not actually nauseated, just not hungry and completely uninterested in eating. I've made a bit more of an effort today (thank goodness for Jen's home baking and ice cream) in case that did contribute to the light-headedness this morning.

I took a peek under the bandages just to see if there was any obvious cause for concern, and found a knee full of staples underneath. I wasn't completely sure if I'd have staples or stitches (most people seem to have stitches, but my OS did mention "removing staples" right before I went into surgery) but that does help explain the soreness and pulling sensations from the incisions. The knee is very swollen and a bit hot, but there were no immediate indications of infection or anything else panic-worthy.

Overall the knee has actually felt better this morning, in spite of the bad start to the day. I've been mostly getting around with just one crutch for support and full weight through the operated leg, and ankle pumps haven't been as uncomfortable as yesterday. I've been testing the flex a bit while getting on and off the couch (it bends a little bit, but it's hard to tell how much because the bandages are in the way) but haven't tried a heel slide yet. It's getting very sore again now, so perhaps after the next round of pain meds.

While J was out running errands I decided I've been useless long enough, so I very slowly and painstakingly swept the condo. It wasn't actually too hard with one crutch and the broom for extra support, but took forever. J came home just as I was finishing up and sent me packing straight back to the couch when she realized what I was doing. (Where's the smiley face for guilty?) I have to admit that the knee is feeling pretty achy now after being upright for that long.

I think one of the things that has taken me by surprise is how different the surgical recovery is compared to the recovery from the initial injury. I was imagining a similar or marginally worse degree of pain and immobility, but it's on a different scale entirely. I guess that makes sense, though; when I tore my ACL I just had the tear and bone bruising to deal with, which is entirely different to having bones drilled, hamstrings harvested and the knee shoved full of surgical instruments.

Thanks again to everyone for your words of reassurance. I don't know what I'd be doing without you guys right now. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on July 12, 2010, 12:37:14 AM
I'm so glad to hear that you are out of surgery and starting to recover.

I had the blood rushing to the calf feeling after the ACLr surgery and the fasciotomy surgery, but not after the scope to remove my ACL. I never found anything that helped to relieve the pain except the foot stool in the bathroom to rest your foot on, which caused less pain compared to the pain of resting your foot on the ground. The good thing is that the pain reduces over the first week.

I did have the nerve block following the surgery, but it didn't really do much for the pain. The 2 epidural I had did not help much either when I had my son. Going from the worst pain I have had being a 10 (surgical complication at age 21 caused major inter cranial bleeding that severely compressed nerves at top of spinal column for two week period - notice any unlucky pattern with surgeries? :)), childbirth with non working epidural was about a 7 and the ACLr was about a 6.5. With the ACLr, the worst pain was when I awoke from the anesthesia through the evening of the next day (and a few weeks later when I had the first swelling complication the pain was as bad as just out of surgery). It didn't help that the foam mattress topper on my bed the first night was digging the brace into my leg until I figured out why it was hurting so badly and changed beds.

I was not allowed to bend my leg at all for 10 days. In the shower I used a wooden cheap tall stool that I could hold on to to move under the water and put my weight on. It was scary with the brace off and having to keep my leg perfectly straight. I wrapped my leg in plastic wrap and plastic bags covered by elastic bands and duct tape.

Take things slowly and keep taking your pain medicine while you need it. Hopefully every day starts getting a lot easier for you.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on July 12, 2010, 02:02:28 AM
Glad to hear that you're feeling a bit better & the pain is easing.

I was told by a nurse in the orthopaedic dept to take my crepe bandage off on day 2. This was fine, since none of my wounds were still bleeding (or so I believe). Given that yours' are still bleeding I would seek clarification from your OS. I had water-proof dressings on my wounds under the crepe bandage. The dressings were all bloody, so perhaps the wounds were still bleeding, but the blood was contained within the dressings.

For the "blood rush to the calf" pain, the best (non-chemical) pain relief I found was to lie on my back, stick my leg vertically in the air & do the ankle pumps. I still do these several times a day when I can feel the calf is feeling swollen, although since my achilles tendon is still sore I don't point & flex my foot, but just point & flex my toes. I know this doesn't help when you get out of bed or stand up from sitting, if you have to be on your feet, but once you've done your errand (e.g. a trip to the toilet) try this.

I know what you mean about feeling useless lying around, while someone else does the chores, but I learnt the hard way that for the first few days you have to take it very easy & let your body recover. I found myself being tired for no apparent reason (of course the reason is that you've had hamstring muscle sliced out of you & a hole drilled through 2 bones & your quad) several times a day & needing to just lie down & sleep. Despite my bravado on my post-op thread, I wasn't cleaning the floor till day 7, and even then it was just 2 rooms in a small flat.

Re eating, a very good piece of advice from mollyc on fergy's "Useful things both pre- and post surgery" thread on the cruciate ligaments forum, was eat following the surgey as if you have had stomach flu, i.e. bland & light food. If you've got over that stage, eat lots of fresh fruit & veg to get lots of vitamins & anti-oxidants. Since you've lost blood, you need iron. I ate brocolli to get my iron. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious.  ::)

I would also mention the dizzyiness to your OS, in case this is not just due to your high-fitness & therefore low heart-rate.

Don't worry about not being able to do the heel slides. As you've probably heard, the mantra on the cruciate ligaments forum is "getting your extension to 0 degrees is more important than getting flexion in the early days".

I can completely empathise with you re feeling horrible & sticky in the heat and not being able to shower for a few days. Its not pleasant, but you will really enjoy your first post-op shower when you are able to !  ;)

The super model sends a virtual bouquet of flowers  ;)

All the best,

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 12, 2010, 03:58:17 AM
Hi Kristin and Deepak! It still feels strange having folk dropping by my post-op thread to see how I'm doing - I guess I haven't entirely adjusted to the idea that I really am on the "other side" now! Good to see you both. :)

Hearing that the ACLr wasn't much worse pain-wise than natural childbirth makes me feel a bit less of a wuss. :) I tend to think of myself as having a fairly high pain tolerance, which I think is another reason I was quite thrown by the post-surgery pain levels. That said, these are very different sensations than anything I've ever felt before! It's bizarre how many different kinds of pain there are emanating from my knee right now - the deep bone pain (which comes through shortly before I'm due for the next dose of pills), the hamstring twanging, the achy calf, the pulling staples, and other random twinges and aches from the centre of the joint.

At the moment the most I can do for extension is prop a pillow under my foot, and leave the knee unsupported to encourage natural extension. I've tried pushing down into the couch or a cushion under the knee, but this pulls horribly on the staples (as does any significant effort to bend the knee) and I doubt that's good for the wound healing, which both my PT and OS encouraged me to focus on at this early stage.

I fell asleep on the couch after my 4pm painkillers (I did that yesterday as well) and had the unnerving experience of dreaming that I was walking around, and every big step in the dream was accompanied by a nerve-jangling flex of the remains of my hamstring tendons! I guess I'm a twitchier sleeper than I realized.

Tez, I meant to let you know - the Cryocuff couldn't be easier to use. I don't think you'll have any worries with it at all. Just make sure you have a good supply of ice in the freezer - it's a hungry beast!

I'm already dreaming about bandage removal and shower day on Wednesday. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 12, 2010, 06:08:03 AM
A question - did anyone else have the fun-filled experience of accidentally putting your operated foot down a little hard or catching your crutch on something and stumbling on that leg? I've done that twice today - agonizing! It felt like a bolt of electricity going from the start of the aching calf through the incisions to the hamstring harvest site. Yowch!  :o
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 12, 2010, 08:17:03 AM
Good morning Snowy I know this in not moring over there but should be by the time you read this.
I hope you had a good nights sleep, and the pain is starting to improve a little :D
I am now on the count down a week today it will be my turn and even though I am  getting a little freaked out every time a read another of your posts I appreciate that you are telling like it is and not suger coating anything, at least I know it wont be easy to start with and there will be pain. whether or not I am prepared for the pain will have to be seen :o
Please no more trying to do houswork you could end up doing yourself some damage, the dust etc aint going anywhere and I'm sure Jen was not happy with you, the docs tell you to rest for a reason so do as your told and rest... consider yourself told off....
Take care and I hope you have an easier day today
Tez xx   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 12, 2010, 09:08:28 AM
Hi Snowy

Hope you had a good night of some sleep and things are feeling a bit easier again.

I shal echo Tez - NO MORE SWEEPING!!! God dammit girl - you've had major knee surgery, give yourself some days to rest up!!! Everything I read about my onion surgery indicates that REST in the first week (foot stuck up above hip, chilling...etc etc) helps a speedier recovery and faster healing. The same must apply to knees, although clearly you need to work on ROM as tolerated which isn't the case for onions (dice 'em, slice 'em, keep 'em straight). I bet J was mad - Richard would have beaten me with a wet haddock and chained me to the sofa!

Hugs and look forward to hearing how you're doing,

Tez - kep calm, you'll soon be through it.  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lwillson on July 12, 2010, 10:43:39 AM
Hi Snowy.

Just read through this daisy chain of events - sounds like you are having quite an epic experience, not much of it very fun either.  But do remember the comedy moments - the surgical pants, the IV for cats, and the battered haddock beating you nearly missed from Lottiefox.

If you haven't seen it, I found the following weblink for a 60 minute video of what is done during an ACLr.  Explains all the various holes too.  Hope you are not too squeamish.  Quite fascinating surgery.  Trust the link works.

PS - would appear my humble athroscopy (in comparison to you in the more hardier ACLr community) granted me deluxe NHS material diapers.  Not quite sure what they added really from either a medical or dignity perspective.  Wonder if Superman undies next time could be worn to surprise the surgeon and team.  If they happen to be looking.  ;D.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: HogDog on July 12, 2010, 12:47:17 PM
Hi Snowy,

Being new to the need for a new ACL (only at the begining stage really) I was looking for more insight and have some what stumbled accross this site and found your post op story of which is highly informative and an interesting read to all those about to take this long journey.

I am not sure its right to be reading through your posts like a would be reading a novel but I find that when people ask you about your knee troubles unless they are actually dealing with something similar they never fully understand why it starts to take over your life so much.

I am now reading your updates regulary to see how you are getting and would like to pass on my congratualtions on getting through the reconstruction and wish a speedy recovery.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on July 12, 2010, 04:45:50 PM
Hey Snowy,

Sending you good energy and well wishes for a fast recovery.  I'm so sorry to hear that you've been in so much pain!! If you, Iron Girl, are in pain, I can only imagine how badly the surgery must have roughed you up.  I don't have much to add as far as advice goes except to remind you that stress/anxiety can make the pain feel more intense. Try to focus on relaxing all muscles from your head to toe and don't forget to breathe! 

Hope this note finds you feeling better than you did yesterday. 

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 12, 2010, 07:51:50 PM
Hi Snowy

Like the pics on fb.

I also experienced the smalls trips, shakes and close calls - causing all the muscles to tense up.  Its a horrible feeling.  I nearly slipped on the stairs on my  first day home - needless to say I now take it very easy on the stairs now.

So knowing that feeling, can I just ask what you thought you were doing sweeping the floor ? ???

First 5-7 days take extra care and rest up as much as poss.

Please take care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 12, 2010, 08:42:52 PM
Hey gang,

Hogdog and lwillson - welcome! Glad the diary is helpful for you. As I think I mentioned, succinct is definitely not one of my strong points so there's plenty of tedious detail here about every little thing I'm going through. Lwillson, love the idea of superman undies - makes me think I should have worn my "Canada Rocks" pair for the OS!  ;D Thanks for the video link; I've watched a few but that one is longer, so may well have more detail. I'm not at all squeamish, so I don't have any problem watching the surgeons drilling away.

Tez, I definitely don't want you to get freaked out by the descriptions of the pain I've had so far. Most importantly, it's improving a little each day; and part of the reason it was so bad on the first day was because I didn't get on the meds fast enough when I got home from the hospital - that was entirely my own fault. I also had fairly minimal pain control during and immediately after the op (because I'm on an early mobilization/weight-bearing regime it's important that I get good feedback from the knee on the things I'm trying to do with it, so they were administering pain meds on an as-needed basis) and it sounds like that's not what they have planned for you at all. You're going to be in hospital for a couple of days getting local anesthetic directly into the knee, so that should see you through that first 24 - 48 hours when things are really ugly. Yesterday and today I've been on top of my meds and the pain has stayed at a manageable level. You'll be fine - just make sure you let the nurses know if the pain breaks through, and they'll take good care of you.

Robin - I have to admit that I was wondering if I'd turned into a complete wimp, but I've since been reassured that a) this is a pretty painful surgery, featuring as it does both bone drilling and tendon harvest; b) my pain control was toward the lower end of the scale; and c) I let the pain get ahead of me when I first get home. I think one of the reasons I was so surprised was because I've always had a pretty high tolerance for pain, but my normal approach (mind over matter and minimal meds) failed completely here. Oh well - a valuable lesson for the future, and things are slowly improving.

Lottie - I think if Jen had had a wet haddock to hand, she would have beaten me soundly with it when she caught me sweeping! As it was she made a lot of horrified noises, took my broom away and sent me straight back to the couch. It probably wasn't a great idea, but it did make me feel a little less useless.

Another good night's sleep last night; I'm relieved that I haven't had trouble sleeping, especially as I normally sleep on my side and right now I'm stuck on my back. Still not interested in food, but Jen has stocked the freezer up and we now have four different flavours of ice cream to tempt me.  ;D

Pain levels are definitely better today, and I've moved the meds an hour further apart with no ill effects. I'm still slow getting around, but I'm using one crutch for support only and putting full weight through the operated leg. I can feel a pull in the incisions as I move the weight onto that leg, but it's less sharp than it was yesterday. Very gently working on extension by increasing the height of the pile of cushions under my foot, and have been doing a little bit of work bending the leg (equally gently) while seated. The bandages are still making it hard to tell how the flex and extension is really doing; I don't think I'll be able to do too much on the exercise front till they come off on Wednesday.

Patience, patience. It's probably very good for me to have to learn to temper my normal gung-ho approach to things, but it's not easy...

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 12, 2010, 10:16:10 PM
Snowy thanks for the reasurance about the pain etc, I know I will be fine, its just getting closer and closer this time next week it will all be over and I too will be on the other side. Its just a shame Tony still doesen't have a surgery date yet to keep the 3 of us all being done in July.
So glad things are feeling a little better today I can imagine how hard you are finding it having to rest and not do too much but from what I have heard its the best way to feel better so soon after surgery. Excelent that you can sleep all night cos that in itself should help with healing :) 
I hope things continue to get better every day take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 13, 2010, 04:40:46 AM
I hope Tony hears something from his surgeon soon - there seems to have been a much longer delay than they were originally anticipating.

Well, today has definitely been a better day - pain levels were noticeably improved, including that nasty calf surge when getting up, and overall I've been a bit more mobile. Ankle pumps are feeling a lot more comfortable, and I've been doing a bit of gentle bending in a seated position. It looks as though flex is about 80 degrees right now, maybe a little less. Extension is impossible to tell due to the mass of bandages.

Haven't tried any activities today (my broom seems to have mysteriously disappeared) but I did spend a bit of time sitting at my desktop computer catching up on family emails. After being in a seated position for an hour or so I noticed that my calf felt swollen and had gone numb around the foot of the bandage, so I'm back on the couch with my pile of cushions for now - I'm guessing the culprit was fluid from the knee draining into the calf. Laya is snuggled up on the back of the couch, keeping a close eye on me.

Today's minor concern is the guidewire wound on my thigh, which is still oozing away - it reopens every time I move. I have a clear waterproof bandage on it which is starting to look rather icky with all the dried blood caught under it, so I'm going to get some new dressings tomorrow and get that changed up.

Also got a date for my post-op followup and staples removal today - July 20th.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 13, 2010, 10:27:43 AM
I was so excited to see the pic of you up and crutch-standing on fb  :) Looks like you are improving quickly. Glad to hear the calf-surges are subsiding, that sounds heinous.

With my piddly-by-comparison surgery I was told to elevate as much as humanly possible for the first week- I had the same problems with swelling in the leg whenever I did anything sitting up. I know some of the posters have been telling you that pillow-propping is bad for extension, but if you aren't getting full extension with the big bandages anyway, I'd worry less till they are thinned out a bit. I bet you'll be a little more mobile than you think you are once the inner gauzy crap gets unstuck. Are we going to have to plug up that wire wound with chewing gum or what?  ;D

Keep fighting the good fight girl!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on July 13, 2010, 11:56:04 AM
Hi Snowy (and Kris)

My post re pillow propping was regarding sleeping with your pillow under the knee, not resting throughout the day, and using the benefit of my experience of having done this and knowing that it was a mistake just letting you know.  That being said at the moment you seem to be doing great and seem to be right on target.

When does PT start?  After staples removal?  Fun times ahead lol

I see my OS in august and was hoping that it might ne the last time, if it is then for the first time in 5 years i would be surgeon free, however there is a small problem happening and we do not know what it is so who knows what will happen then?

It's another long day at the pool..........just 11 hours today.  Got to go to the city centre and do some fountain maintenance and return to teach for 2 my job but some of the time i could do with some time off.  Oh well i am off tomorrow to attend a meeting in Bristol and although i am not looking forward to the 3 hour job, its about the way forward for Africa so good times!!

Might catch ya later on FB.........

Lisa x
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tony1233 on July 13, 2010, 01:15:23 PM
Hi all,

thanks Snowy for you very descriptive story about how everything is going. It is a shame that I dont have my date yet but, thats typical of the health care system here in NL. The muskateers should all get our surgeries around the same time but.. still waiting on that phone call.

Your experiences give me a nervous anticiption of what is to come. I am excited because I know that after all the pain I can finally get in shape and do my written tests for the RCMP and really get on with my life. However, your pain make me nervous espically considering I'm having the BPB recon rather then hamstring.

ALl the best Kay and the other muskateers and everyone else on this great site is here for you :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Cosmicsnuffle on July 13, 2010, 01:24:36 PM
Hey Snowy,

Cool that you are feeling things moving forward - noticing the improvements and becoming acquainted with your new knee. Also glad that the broom has mysteriously disappeared!
Strange how your guide wire wound is still seeping - it's good that you are keeping a watchful eye on it.

I know what you mean about icky dressings - they do get a bit gruesome! I was torn between facing what was underneath and getting them changed for fresh clean shiny dressings.

How is your hamstring doing? I remember trying to slide on the bed to get up or sit down ..... eeeek! And as for perching on that port-potty in hopsital - well I might as well have been sitting on razor blades! Are you managing to lift your foot off the floor OK when you walk? I'd step forwards and then my foot wouldn't lift off the floor to swing through - it took about a week for it to start to return... in the meantime I looked like something from Thunderbirds when I moved  ;D ::).

Looking good on your FB pics  :D.

Keep up the good (work) rest. It really is the best thing at the moment!

Hugs xx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 13, 2010, 01:41:20 PM
Hiya all you lovely followers of Snowy [oops that sound a bit like a cult but you know what I mean]
Snowy.. good news that things are improving pain wise that quite encouraging ist try to keep resting and not do too much and I'm pretty sure things will come on in leaps and bounds..
Wee question I am trying to decide weather to make up the bed in the den which is downstairs and has a ensuite shower room other than trying to get up and down the stairs to my bed room what do you think? would you have felt comfortable going up and down stairs when you first got home, just trying to decide if it is worth doing even though I love my own bed  :Dif I had to get up during the night at least if down stairs I wouldnt disturb Dougie and I could watch t.v or use the laptop without having to negotiate stairs with crutches etc.
Kris.. love the chewing gum idea might just be worth a shot ;)
Lisa the time for your stint in Africe is getting closer I assume the exitement is slowy building it grea to have something like that to look forward to you abviously have such a passion for your work out there. I really hope this small problem you are having can be sorted out easily and you can be  O.S less  for ever with 2 perfectly working knees :D
Tony.. Still no word maybe it's time to turn into that squeeking wheel a la Snowy as it must be horrid not knowing when you op will be us 3 muskateers must stay together :P

Take care all Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on July 13, 2010, 01:52:26 PM
Snowy - good to hear things are progressing well, and the initial pain seems to have worn off somewhat. Ive got my own ACLr to look forward to in the coming months, so to hear your personal experiences, (especially with all the details!! :) ) is a great help, as im sure it is to many others.

lwillson - fantastic video as well! now i know exactly what im getting my self in to! :o

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 13, 2010, 02:07:04 PM
p.s. Lisa I wasn't trying to be a butt so I hope it didn't come off that way  :D The pillows/no pillows debate is a popular one. I slept with my leg propped up so high it was almost vertical after surgery and I still am trying to break my one-pillow habit (developed while waiting for surgery) so maybe that's a testament to why they're sometimes a bad idea!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 13, 2010, 02:25:37 PM
Hi Snowy

Glad to hear that things are easing a bit, liked the pics on fb of you on your crutches, looking good!! J has been very wise hiding the broom, tell her I can provide a wet haddock should the urge to sweep come across you again...... ::) :P    I meant to ask if you know if the doc did anything else as well as the ACLr - we'd mentioned before about the PFS but I assume that things looked good and he just did the necessary rebuild rather than any shaving or anything else? Good news if so, indicates the PFS is inflammation rather than direct wear and tear.  ;D

We had a good lunch yesterday - Cosmic and I had the healthy veg salad then destroyed the good work with desserts (lemon possett and bread and butter pud!). Vicks was celebrated as the birthday knee and had fancy tablecloth, serviettes, ballooons and all sorts. I also was very lucky to acquire some superb decorations with which to personalise my sexy Podalux shoe. Mr Onion will be dazzled by it at the 2 week check.  :D

I too am going to have to learn a lesson in patience, which is not my strong point either. I admit I should be able to get about OK with the foot in bandages rather than juggling the whole knee issue and the work isn't anything like as major as the ACLr but it is bone work and I am a bit fearful of how nasty it might feel after that nerve block wears off tomorrow evening! It'll be "Nurse!! Drugs!!!". I'm feling pretty jittery now, have just attempted to pack a bag but my wash bags have all vanished and I can't take my toiletries in a plastic bag. God knows whats happened to them all, I sense a trip to Boots to get some new bag things! I've got a book, Nintendo DS, ipod charging, and some grapes and some Lucozade sports drink to take with me too as i'm in overnight. I suspect I won't fancy eating much immediately after, although knowing me I will be craving a coffee and some cake.  ::) :P  I'm now to be there at 7.00 and am 3rd on the list, not first. I think that may be his list for the morning so I am kind of glad he is saving me til last - don't want him setting the onion pointing sky high because he has a hunger pang. He is also going to inject Bob-knee with a steroid - I thought I'd see what effect it has plus it will be good to give Bib a helping hand whilst he takes more weight for a while. The knees have been SO sore the past two days - but due to sunburn acquired on Sunday!! Ouch!! on fire in a different way!! Thank god the onion was tucked up!

Anyway enough about me, I'm glad you're feeling a bit more in control of the knee. Take things easy. Tez - how are you feeling? How fast do the days go by when you're on that final week don't they? Thinking of you.

Hugs to all knee folk from Bob and the onions,

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 13, 2010, 09:01:32 PM
Good morning all! I can't tell you what a nice feeling it is to wake up in the morning and find so many replies waiting on this thread. :) Makes me feel very supported in this strange new post-op world!

Kris and Lisa - I've been trying to hit a happy medium on the elevation and while I've been propping the leg up a lot, I've been putting the pillows under the foot rather than the knee. This encourages the knee into natural extension while giving it the benefits of being elevated, so the best of both worlds!

I put a fresh dressing on the guidewire wound last night, along with a big blob of polysporin; I hope having gauze rather than just the sticky clear plastic will encourage it to heal. Will inspect later today, but hope to spare myself a chewing gum plug. ;)

Lisa - PT is due to start a week or so after surgery, but I may talk to the PT about waiting till staples removal as I think they're going to limit what I can do quite significantly. Today I'm going to try a few more heel slides and quad flexes (PT encouraged me to try these post-surgery) and see how the incisions respond. Hope your meeting goes really well and gives you lots to look forward to! Bristol is close to my old stamping grounds - I grew up in Exeter. :)

Tony - you have youth on your side, which should be a big help with the healing. I don't think the patellar tendon graft is any more painful than the hamstring graft, but you might be facing more incision pain given the open surgery. I believe Lisa had this too, so she may be able to give you some tips on what to expect. I do hope your surgeon comes through with a date soon - I still have my Three Musketeers beer waiting in the fridge to toast the day that you, Tez and I are all on the other side!

Cosmic - I gave in last night and changed the dressings. I don't think they normally anticipate a 30-degree heatwave when they make the bandage change recommendations! I didn't remove the final layer over the incisions, but I pulled out two layers of blood-soaked gauze padding and replaced it with a fresh layer. It felt much better afterwards; the top layer had dried out and was stiff as a board, which was actually quite uncomfortable on the incisions.

The hamstring doesn't feel too bad at rest, and is okay if I'm sitting on something soft and squishy like the couch. It also doesn't really hurt when I bend over and get on or off the couch, which surprised me a bit. However I really feel it if I sit a little too far back on a harder surface (I'm doing a lot of perching) and it jangles in a shudderingly painful way if I jolt my body at all. It's also responded to dream movements when I'm asleep a few times, snapping me instantly awake in an excruciatingly painful way!  I'm finding myself very grateful for my swimmer's shoulders, which mean I can lower and raise myself very easily when required without needing too much involvement from the leg.

Tez - I cannot even imagine trying to get up or down stairs the first 48 hours after surgery, so I would definitely recommend making yourself up a bed downstairs! I'm at a point now where I feel like I could try stairs, but since I don't have to (the only ones we have go up to the roof deck, but we have a smaller deck on the same level as the rest of the condo too) I probably won't be attempting them just yet!

Roo - do you have a date for your ACLr yet? It definitely helps with expectations reading about other people's recoveries (I've been glued to this section of the board for a while), and it's fascinating to see the differences and similarities in our experiences.

Lottie - it's TOMORROW!!! Thinking of you so much right now - those last 24 hours before surgery are definitely the hardest, and in some ways almost worse than the surgery itself. Once it's done at least you know what you're dealing with and can just get on with it one small step at a time, whereas the imagination taunts you with an endless array of possibilities and responses! Loved the pics of your gathering on FB - what a great way to take your mind off things.

Post Op Day Four

A couple of small milestones to report. Firstly, made it through last night without painkillers! Took one pill at about 8pm, went to bed at about 1am, slept till about 8.30am, took two pills at 9am. Rather sore on waking but slept pretty well again. My lifelong insomnia has apparently had a voluntary surrender to the healing need for sleep, at least for now.

Last night and this morning I've managed a couple of room-to-room walks without the crutches. I'm very slow and cautious as the knee still feels quite weak,  but it's no more painful than walking with the crutches.

While I was in the middle of writing this, our friend Renee arrived to take me to the doctor to refill my naproxen prescription. (I was going to use this as my first driving test - the doctor is only 4 blocks away - but she told me it's much too soon to be skipping pain meds in order to drive, and came over to chauffeur me on her lunch break.) The pharmacist made some very impressed noises as I crutched my way in and explained that I'd just had an ACL reconstruction on Friday. I have lots of NSAIDs and a selection of new dressings ready for bandage removal tomorrow. The outing was a little tiring and my calf now feels a bit tight and sore again, but it felt really good to be out of the house and interacting with the outside world.

I also cracked this morning and decided I couldn't go one second longer without a hair wash - it was a greasy mess when I woke up this morning and the thought of leaving it another 24 hours for my shower was not an acceptable one. Turned out to be a very easy task using the spray attachment in the kitchen sink, and I feel a million times better. Still very much looking forward to the shower after four days of sponge baths.

A nice yellowish bruise is starting to peek out from under the crepe bandage and make its way down my calf. Will be interested to see how things look tomorrow once the bandages are off, as I tend to bruise up really easily at the best of times.

So...progress is definitely happening, albeit slowly. Looking forward to seeing how today progresses!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lwillson on July 13, 2010, 09:45:42 PM
Hi Snowy.  Looks like you have secured cult status here  :)  Sounds like each day is a new step in the right direction, or perhaps even a few sequential steps / hobbles around your rooms without too much support. 

I still remain so happily surprised by finding a forum which attracts like-minded patients together to share good news as well as woes, in a way that only fellow patients, past and future, will ever really understand.  So it's great to see your comings and goings, and those around us all, and know that things are slowly getting better for all. 

Quick question - what's PFS?  Showing my ignorance but best to ask.

Good luck for another night of better kip, and here we all go again tomorrow,

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on July 13, 2010, 09:46:38 PM
No, im still waiting for an op date, but every time i hear the post come/phone ring i spring up (albeit slowly) in anticipation. Its getting pretty frustrating waiting to hear, but im sure i dont have to tell many people on these boards about that feeling!! I hurt my knee end of March this year, so i suppose the waiting hasnt been that long yet, but im not used to being inactive...again im sure the majority reading this know all about that. ::) Out of interest, how long did you wait between injury and your ACLr?

Like you i too have been constantly checking both this and the cruciate section, and all the info has been absolutely amazing! Especially coming firsthand from people such as yourself, who have been through/are currently going through it! In the last week since i discovered this site, i feel like im 10x more prepared for whats ahead then i was before hand, so a big thank you to every one. 8)

After reading your last post, it seems like your progressing fairly fast, especially when i saw that your managing walks without crutches! Slow progress is still progress and your now a few steps (no pun intended) closer to a full recovery!! Best of luck with the continued improvements!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 13, 2010, 10:15:25 PM
Hi Snowy

Sounds like your recovery is coming along nicely - I had the dream movement and it made me shoot straight up - awful feeling..

I echo you on the need for the shower - It feels so nice to get in the shower and get cleaned up.  I hope everything looks good when your bandages come off tomorrow - you should notice greater ROM without thick bandaging.  I hope you';re bruising isnt too bad as well.

You may be right about the PT after staples come out - but wait to speak to your PT before deciding.  The staples at the femur graft site are really tight for me, almost embedded - I ma slightly scared of getting these snipped out - eeugghh - the hospital gave me the snippers to take to the clinic - they dont look too clever :'(

Progress - no matter how slow - is good.  Keep it up and bear with it patiently.

Take care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on July 13, 2010, 10:36:25 PM
Well, Snowy...looks like you've got yourself a cyber fan club going here ;D  Glad to see that you've gotten so much support and encouragement for it sure helps.  Glad to read that you are having a better day today and that the pain is diminishing.  Woo Hoo!!  May things continue to progress for you.  AND BTW...I thank you for all your posts that encouraged me on the days when I felt like I'd made a big mistake.  Will look forward to checking in with you again soon.  Keep up the good and patient work:)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 13, 2010, 10:38:53 PM
Snowy excelent news about walking crutchless, you seem to be coming alone really well, not that I'm surprised as from what I have learned about you over the last few months you aint gonna let anything get you down for too long ;D
Thanks for the advice about stairs I was pretty  sure I was doing the right thing with the bed down stairs but thought i would check just in case going up and down stairs wase't too bad. thanks also for telling us about having to change the dressing cos I might invest in some stuff to do likewise just in case I need to, saying that after my scope I was given a load of waterprood dressings by the ward staff before I was discharged, so not sure if the same will happen this time  ::)  
Roo I hope you get your surgery date in soon I know from experience the waiting is a killer, Its 2 years since I injured my knee and its been a long process to get to this stage.. 5 days to surgery!! its a scary thought but I really just want it over with so I can get on with living my life.
Lawrance this site has been a godsend for me, I have learned so much about all things knee related and the support and  encouragment I have recieved has been amazing.
Lottie I have posted in Cosmics cafe to wish you well for tomorrow but in case you reading this as well good luck for tomorrow I hope all goes well and toryboychopperwhateverelsehescalled is on good toryboy chopping form ;)
Take care All Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 13, 2010, 11:59:16 PM
Walking without crutches... sleeping through the night on one dose of meds... and you're bruising! Look at you go, these all seem to be GREAT signs of recovery.

Your greasy hair comment made me laugh out loud. I only had to wait 24 hours to shower after my op and the way the vicodin made me sweat (like a ho in church) I was already getting a little... ripe? shall we say? It's amazing how we take our clean heads for granted when we are well-kneed. Good luck with the heel-slides. I do wonder what kind of PT they expect to do while you are stapled so I will be interested to hear what the verdict is with that! Also the pillow solution sounds the best- you are like the ACLr sensei...

I also just wanted to wish lottie best of luck with her hot date with toryboy (again) and I'll catch all of you fine folk later :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 14, 2010, 06:58:44 AM
Lawrence - PFS is patellofemoral syndrome, a chronic condition characterized by anterior knee pain. Lottie and I are both sufferers; in my case it's caused by maltracking patellars. I had recently started working on it with my current PT when I suffered my ACL tear, and until that point had been making good progress on it; unfortunately a lot of the ACL rehab involves exactly the things that irritate the PFS (squats, leg presses, etc) and with this being a much more acute issue, addressing the PFS will have to take a back seat for a year or so. It's likely to complicate my rehab a bit if it flares up, which is unfortunate.

I echo the immense value of this forum - it's so hard to explain to people exactly what it's like trying to live your life around a chronic knee condition or acute injury, and it's great to have a place where people not only just get it, but can share their own advice and experiences with the same issues.

Roo - I waited just over four months from injury to surgery. I was actually quite lucky; wait times here are horrendous and I was initially warned that it could be up to two years before surgery, but I made myself into a very squeaky wheel and managed to speed things up considerably. With ACL tears they prefer not to operate right away as they usually want you to regain as much extension, flex and strength as possible prior to reconstruction (if you go into the op with less than full ROM, it's likely that you won't get it back again after.) I've heard 6-8 weeks post-injury cited as the optimal time for surgery (balancing preparation with the risk of further damage that comes from having an ACL-deficient knee) but the advantage of a delay is that you can really use the time to build muscle strength. I remember that feeling of waiting for the phone to ring well; my cellphone accompanied me to every work meeting while I was waiting for my date!

Zaiem - when are your staples coming out? Do let me know how it goes. How's your knee doing at the moment?

Tez - anything that makes life easier, even if it's just a tiny bit, is worth doing! Warn Dougie that you will need to be waited on hand and foot for at least a couple of days. :) I'm so relieved to be in this condo for my surgery and recovery; we have no required stairs, and it's nice and spacious. When I busted my knee four years ago we were still living in a 560 square foot one-bedroom condo, and being on crutches in such a tiny space was a nightmare - I just had no room to operate at all! J's big worry here was actually that she'd bump or kick me while asleep because our bed isn't that large (she's a very active sleeper) but in fact it's been fine - I guess the subconscious remembers that there's an invalid in the bed. :)

Robin - thank you - and I'm so glad if anything I said helped get you through a bad day! Now I'm on the other side too, I know just how important the support and encouragement is!

Kris - we've been having a major heatwave here (my surgery day was the hottest of the year so far) so I've been sponge bathing twice a day, but I'm still longing for that shower - it's just not the same! My hair wash this morning made me feel like a new person; wish I'd realised sooner that it would be so easy to do.

Day 4 roundup

Apart from my excursion to the doctor and pharmacist today, I've managed about 90% without crutches today! It's not much of a walk yet - painfully slow, limpy, and very cautious - but it's amazing how much easier it makes life having my hands free while I move around. It helps lessen my demands on poor long-suffering J, too.

Finally got some exercises underway; 3 sets of 100 quad flexes, a few gentle heel slides, and a few attempts at seated extensions. My quads haven't shut down this time, which is great - I lost them for a while after the original injury, and it was a real battle getting them to fire again. Flex is at 76 degrees on the heel slides. It feels like I can extend the leg almost straight; however, with the bandages in the way I'm likely still a few degrees off. Have been in touch with my PT via email, and he says this is all good for four days post-op and as long as there aren't any setbacks, we should be thinking about a first appointment on Saturday or Monday.

The knee definitely appreciated the dressing change, and the guidewire wound has finally stopped bleeding! The knee itself is still very swollen; it looks quite alien at the moment. The incisions are now driving me insane because they're itching like crazy; I think this is good (I believe it means they're healing) but I just want to scratch them!

As the other pains ease up a bit, I'm becoming very aware that I have a lot of random numbness and occasional tingly patches in my shin. I don't think this is a cause for concern (my understanding is that nerves are moved, knocked about a bit and sometimes even cut during the op, so odd nerve referrals are to be expected) but it feels very strange. Has anyone else experienced this? How long did it take to pass?

Stretched the pain meds way out today - three doses only, 6 hours apart. By the last one in the evening the pain was breaking through, but overall I managed okay on the reduced dose. I'm not loving the oxycodone as it makes me very sleepy, so although I have a full week's supply I'm hoping to move myself onto something a bit less intense over the next couple of days.

I'm also starting to get really damn sick of my rehab nest on the couch, and a bit stir crazy from being stuck indoors with just movies, books and the net to keep me busy. I love reading and being online, but at heart I'm an outdoors girl and at the moment things feel very unbalanced. I guess it's a good sign that I'm feeling better enough to start noticing how restricted I am, but not so good that I'm not yet able to do too much about it! My calf swells if I'm upright for too long, so I know the couch needs to remain my primary home for a while.

As the reality of this new, slowed down, not-so-mobile body with all its restrictions sinks in, I'm starting to feel the pangs of loss for all those things I won't be able to do for quite some time to come...especially my bikes, which I'm going to be missing through all the perfect summer and fall biking weather. I think I'll feel a bit better about this once the staples come out and I can at least get back in the swimming pool and reclaim one activity, but at the moment my mind is very much on those things that I won't be able to do for a long time yet.

On a more positive note, J made the most amazing homemade chicken soup for dinner - packed full of organic chicken, broccoli, onions, carrots, garlic and chilli flakes - and my appetite suddenly came back with a vengeance! My in-laws sent me a wonderful get-well-soon chocolate truffle assortment which also arrived today, so tonight I feel very well fed indeed.  ;D

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: HogDog on July 14, 2010, 11:24:53 AM
Hi Snowy,

Glad you are still going well keep up the great posts.

I know like you I will miss the activitiy levels for a while but just think of what you will be like after rehab thats pretty much what drives me along whilst I await my outcome.


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: crankerchick on July 14, 2010, 02:12:44 PM
Snowy, just checking in to say hi and glad to see you appear to be doing well. Sleeping through the night? I'm so jealous. Although I had a completely different op, regardless, sleep evaded me and it was just awful and annoying LOL. Cool to hear that you are walking around and decreasing the pain meds and everything. All positive steps in the right direction. Keep up the awesome work!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 14, 2010, 05:53:34 PM
Hi Snowy

You are doing really well - you are at about the same stage as me in terms of rehab (although my op was 1st July).  I too have ditched the crutches around the house.  Feeling ok getting around without, and also attempted (stupdily) the stairs with a 'normal' climb/descent - not a clever idea, hurts like buggery - especially quite high up the side of the thigh.  This is where I think my graft at the femur has been secured quite high up - the slight complication that the OS spoke off.

You are doing a good job with your work on your quads - I dont think you will see much muscle loss there.

Chicken soup is a cure all - nice work Jen :)

Take care guys
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 14, 2010, 07:58:20 PM
Snowy less than a week from surgery and you are doing so well, even though you're starting to get a bit stir crazy try not to over do things and upset the good work you have done so far. I know I dont really have to tell you that cos you are the most informed person I know and you have a better understanding of what you should and should not be doing at all the different stages of your rehab, but you know me I just have to get my tuppance worth in ;D
I'm so glad Jen is taking such good care of you and the fact she is a good cook is a definatly bonus , not sure whether Dougie's cooking skills are quite up to the challenge but I'm sure he will do his best.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on July 15, 2010, 12:50:11 AM
Great to hear that your appetite has returned (Well done Jen !) and the pain levels are decreasing.

I've been getting the shin nerve tingling in the last couple of weeks. I don't believe its decreasing - maybe a sign of nerves that have been severed, or just partially cut. I wonder if this will develop into the "shin numb patch" that so many other ACLr post-op diarists have referred to ?

Yes, being bored at home starts to get a little tiresome to say the least. Last week, I was so bored, I considered phoning my office & telling them I was coming back early  ;D Then the memory of my knee pain due to going back too early last year after my injury made me reconsider.  8)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 15, 2010, 05:53:53 AM
Crankerchick - I've been as surprised as anyone by the reasonable sleeps, especially as I have terrible insomnia and generally find sleep hard to come by! I do wake up a fair number of times during the night, but haven't had any issues getting back to sleep and I think I'm probably averaging 7-8 hours a night. My body clearly knows that it needs sleep to heal right now.

HD - thanks for the good wishes! Any idea when your date will be? (Apologies if you posted this before - the painkillers make me a little fuzzy at this time of night.)

Zaiem - good to hear! Sorry your stair climbing escapade didn't work out too well. I'm thinking of trying to make it up to the roof deck tomorrow, but it certainly won't be with anything approaching a normal gait. Do you know why you had to have your graft secured higher than normal on the femur?

Tez - don't worry, I'm still taking it very easy! I have been very lucky with Jen's cooking - she's a great baker and has made fresh bread and treats for me every day. It's nice that I'm finally hungry and can appreciate them!

Ouch - Interesting to hear that your nerve tingling hasn't reduced yet. More about my numbness in today's roundup, but it's quite significant. Oh well - there are worse things to live with than a numb patch of shin. Glad to hear you reconsidered the early return to work - I don't go back till September and right now that's feeling like too soon!

Post-op day 5 roundup

Today was a big day...finally, bandage removal and a proper shower!

After going a full 12 hours without painkillers overnight, I woke up very sore and had to head straight for the couch until the morning pills kicked in. I'm still taking the oxycodone, but really spreading it out now and hoping to switch to T3s over the next couple of days. The good news is that skipping the overnight pills doesn't seem to be affecting my sleep at all; I got another good 8 hours last night.

Once I was up and about, it was time for the much-anticipated shower. I took off the bandages, including the last layer of gauze that I hadn't previously touched, and I have to admit the sight of my poor uncovered knee was quite a shock. It's massively swollen, full of staples, and still dyed a sort of mauvey colour from the surgical scrub. It looked like a cross between Frankenstein's monster and the head of Roger the alien from Family Guy. It also felt a bit odd after I uncovered it; not unstable, just a bit weak. I guess the bulky bandage was providing a bit of additional support. I adjusted to this pretty fast, but it felt odd at first.

I managed to climb into the bathtub successfully (again, thank goodness for strong shoulders) and the shower, while awkward, made me feel like a million bucks. However by the time I'd levered myself out of the tub, got dressed, snapped a couple of pics of my staples and redressed the incisions, I was exhausted and collapsed back onto the couch for the rest of the morning. One thing I forgot to photograph was the bruising on the back of my leg from the hamstring removal. This is less widespread than I expected - about 6-8 inches long and 2 inches wide - but is an impressively intense black-and-blue surrounded by a yellow and green supernova. I also have lots of yellowish bruising on my shin and over the kneecap itself.

Worked a bit on some exercises this afternoon - raising and lowering the leg (ouch!), heel slides (still hampered by the staples), seated bending (still at about 80 degrees), extension (can get leg flat on floor, but can't raise the foot yet) and quad flexes. Apart from the quad flexes I'm not doing anything in huge quantities right now; having seen just how huge the swelling is, I'm keeping everything very gentle for a while.

This evening another of our good friends came over and took Jen shopping at Granville Island Market, and then hung out with me for a little bit. It was lovely to have some interaction with the wider world, and Jen bought lots of organic beef and fresh local produce for making protein-rich beef stews - perfect invalid food.  ;D

One thing I did discover with the big bandage off is that the numbness and tingling on my shin is much more extensive than I'd previously realized. As I said, I'm not unduly concerned but I am curious to hear if anyone other than Deepak experienced this and how long it lasted. My patch goes from under the incisions to two or three inches above the ankle, right around the front of the shin. Sometimes the whole thing feels completely numb, and sometimes areas of it tingle. I imagine it will decrease in size as the nerves that were moved around during surgery recover, but it's not really a major concern if parts of it stay numb. (Hey, no more shin bang from my ski boots!)

Hope everyone else is doing well today, and the knees are behaving as they should. Tez, with poor Pete having his surgery pulled out from under him, you're the next from the ACLr class of 2010 to go under the knife! How are you feeling? Sending you good, soothing thoughts for your last few pre-op days. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 15, 2010, 10:56:55 AM
Congrats on the shower! That's a real milestone! The fatigue after is totally understandable though. I know you're bored and getting to bonkers but rest is still the most important thing, blah blah blah etc. I bet you can make it to the deck if you sort of drag the bad leg behind you like quasimodo! Wish I had some "boredom buster" tips but I will say for sure that I don't advocate attempting crossword puzzles while you're still on the "good" drugs. I spent a couple of my laid-up afternoons staring, dead-eyed, trying to think of words I could not recall for the life of me  ;D

Also your posts are making me crave soup/stew/etc. and since it's continuing to be HOT here in detroit rock city I don't see myself standing over a simmering pot anytime soon... boo

keep up the good work, frankenknee... xoxo
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tony1233 on July 15, 2010, 02:09:27 PM
so glad to hear your doing so well... It makes me jelous that you've had yours :P jkjk. But, I am getting pretty anoyed with not having my date now! All the best for the day!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: crankerchick on July 15, 2010, 02:31:53 PM
Hmm let's see, my first shower in the hospital ended up with me fainting and waking up naked to my very male physical therapist holding me up to keep from falling. My first shower at home took an hour from start to finish and resulted in an all out nap collapse LOL. I think you are doing pretty good! Keep it up!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on July 15, 2010, 03:13:06 PM
Tony - i know what you mean about waiting for a date, i was convinced it was gonna come today (as i was yesterday, and the day before, and the day before etc. etc. etc.), but the post has come and gona and the phone is dead quiet. :( How long have you been on the waiting list?

Snowy - good to see some normality creeping back in to your life i.e. sleeping well and showering again! I bet taking those bandages off was a relief, despite the sight that awaited underneath!! I personally hope i dont get staples post op, they sound like they must be uncomfy as anything... :-\ although im not sure what the norm is here in the UK (staples/stitches) or if its just surgeons preference, another question i forgot to ask my surgeon last visit ::)

Any ways here's to your continued recovery.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tony1233 on July 15, 2010, 04:57:54 PM
Hi roo,

well I'm not quite sure how they work here but, there's not the same waiting lists as you have in the uk. Most of canada there is but Newfoundland (MCP) is crazy. I guess I've been on the list since early june. I ruptured my ACL and MCL on Febuary 3rd. Got bounced around by a couple of OS's. Was stuck in a holding pattern while one was away on vacation. I'm just stressed now because I need to ge this done and get in shape before I can even start to get on to my career. How about your story ?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on July 15, 2010, 07:09:42 PM
pretty similar to you, im just a month or so behind. ruptured my acl and tore meniscus playing football/soccer end of march, at a & e i was told there was nothing wrong ::). I didnt trust this assesment so went to my local gp next day, where he guessed at acl damage and referred me to specialist. Had a arthroscopy end of april, confirming rupture (meniscus was trimmed then and there) and was 'officially' put on waiting list for ACLr start of june. I would of been on it sooner, but they forgot to give me a post op appointment (for arthroscopy), so i had to wait a bit longer to see surgeon and discuss my next options. I was however told that the wait should only be about 2 months, so 6 weeks later im expecting to hear any day now, hence my anticipation in previous posts...

I know what you mean about needing to get it done as well, im starting uni doing a sports degree in september and had just started coaching a local youth team so having a buggered up knee is gonna put a big dent in my plans for next year. I also play football to a pretty high standard and was on course to get trials to (hopefully) play at an even higher level, so this really couldnt have come at a much worse time...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 15, 2010, 08:23:08 PM
Snowy how are you doing today? I hope you managed to get on to your top deck to enjoy the sun, as for things to keep you ocupied if you come up with anything let me know cos that is more of a worry than having the surgery for me.
How are the pain levels doing? and what about the strong pain meds, do you still fell you need them?
Roo the N.H.S has a 12 window from being refered for your surgery untill you have it I have been told, and in fact My surgery date is actually 2 days over the 12 week window and I had a phone call from the hospital to apoligise for the 2 day delay, so keep on to the hospital if your apointment is later than 12 weeks. 
I cant believe it only 4 days for me now this week is going really fast and there are still some things I need to do but if I dont get around to them its not the end of the world ;) 
Tony still no word!! thats not good cos I know this wait is really getting to you, have you been making a pest of yourself to get things moving cos sometimes its the only thing to do
Take care all Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 15, 2010, 09:38:25 PM
Hi Snowy

The graft - I haven't reasoned it out with the OS yet, but I reckon the guideline came out a bit further up than they expected.  Its meant that they have to make a larger incision in order to secure the graft to the femur.  It may not be that the graft is further up the femur, but that the incision has meant more disturbance along the muscles that run down the side of the leg.  I get a pain about halfway up the outside of the thigh.

I've been getting the numbness at the shin - its eased off after about day 11.  I have had mild pins and needles in my foot now and again, but no loss of feeling.

Take care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 15, 2010, 10:57:28 PM
Kris - perhaps you should come to Vancouver for dinner.  ;D It's actually much too hot for soups and stews here, but they're what I'm craving now that my appetite is back (comfort food) and luckily J has been on hand to cater to my every need. (Will have to come up with a really, really awesome treat for her when I'm back on my feet to show my appreciation for everything she's doing right now.)

Tony - I'm not sure how hard you've been pushing your OS's office, but if your knee is still deteriorating (and what happened this weekend doesn't sound good) I would make yourself as much of a pain in the ass as you need to be to get things moving. The last thing you want is to destroy the meniscus or even worse, suffer a focal cartilage defect while you wait for surgery. After my consult when they told me they would contact me soon with a date, I literally called them daily - sometimes twice daily -  with polite but very persistent enquiries till they got me booked. I think they scheduled me quicker just to get me to go away. ;)

Cranker - that makes me feel better about my rather labored shower! Surgery definitely requires a bit of a dignity check in the immediate aftermath. That said, you had a much more extensive procedure than I did and the immediate recovery sounds like it was quite rough in comparison.

Roo - my ACL rupture was March 5th, initial surgery consult May 19th, and surgery July 9th - so four months all told. I had to fight to get that down from an initial 24 month wait for a consult! I'm in Vancouver, so subject to BC MSP (Medical Services Plan) which has been gutted by our evil provincial government to the point where we have some of the worst wait lists in Canada. That said, persistence did pay off in terms of getting things happening.

Tez - I'm still taking the Percocet, but quite minimally now - I've been going without for a full 12 hours overnight, pushed my daytime dose out to every 6/7 hours (rather than the 4 recommended) over the past couple of days, and halved the actual dose as of this morning. I want tomorrow (one week post-op) to be my last day on the strong meds. I can definitely feel the pain more now, but it's still manageable at the lower dose. Waking up is interesting as after 12 hours with no pain control at all I can really feel what's going on in the leg. The bone pain is starting to recede; the incisions are still sore (and hellishly itchy); and the harvest site is less sharp and jangly, more a sort of constant low-grade nagging pain. I realize looking at the pills that apart from the first couple of days, I haven't taken anything like the recommended amount; they're supposed to run out tomorrow but I still have almost a third of what was meant to be a 7-day prescription left.

As for things to keep you occupied...I'm finding that I'm not reading as much as expected, because between pain and pain meds it's been hard to focus. I've watched quite a few shows on DVD (not a TV fan normally, so I made sure to stock up on new seasons of the few shows I know I like) but mainly I've been online. The iPad has never left my side and between reading the daily papers, catching up on threads here, talking to folk on FB and Twitter and of course my general capacity for browsing, that's actually kept me better occupied than anything else. That's the great thing about the net - there's something for whatever mood you're in, whether you're feeling sociable or not and no matter how your attention span is doing.  ;D

Zaiem - hmm, I don't have an incision on the thigh. I have a tiny wound from the guidewire, but I wonder how they dealt with my femur fixation? I think I'm going to have to watch that video again.

Day 6 post-op

Goodbye crutches! Haven't used them yet today and haven't really felt like I needed them. Leg is very happy taking weight; the only discomfort from walking is the pulling on the staples, which I'm more conscious of with the lower dose of meds. I would probably still take one or both crutches if I were going out, just in case I needed them and to give people visual warning that I'm gimped. Gait is very slow and a bit hampered by my inability to bend the leg, which means I can't lift my foot too far off the ground. I'm trying to make sure I walk heel-toe rather than hip-hitching, so that as the flex and extension come back I fall naturally into a normal gait.

Exercises: 3 x 100 quad flexes, 3 x 10 SLRs, 2 x 10 steps up and down from my adjustable box (set quite low - not full stair height) and then as much gentle bending and extension testing as I feel able to do. Flex is still hampered by the huge swelling and isn't really making any progress, but it's definitely the mass of swelling that's stopping it bending further rather than pain or discomfort. Without the bulky bandages it's clearer that extension is still a few degrees (maybe 5?) off zero when I push the leg flat to the floor, and a bit further off normal as the other leg naturally hyperextends a few degrees.

Milestone: made it to the roof deck! I hung onto the handrail for dear life, but made it up the steep, narrow stairs - and managed to lead with my operated leg on the way up. Then I was so sore that I had to go back down and immediately administer a sound cryocuffing. However, it's a start - it was so nice to be up there and feel the breeze and see the wraparound mountain views.

It's funny how the parameters of your world shrink when you're recoverying from surgery. Climbing the stairs to our own roof deck or fetching the mail feels like a huge milestone, and chatting with the mailman for five minutes is an exciting interaction with the outside world. I can't wait till I can get out and about a bit more easily, and my immediate environment doesn't feel quite so confined.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on July 16, 2010, 06:06:12 AM
It sounds like you are doing great. One of the toughest things for me after the surgery was the fact that I had this giant immobilizer velcroed  around my entire leg down to my ankle and wasn't allowed to bend my leg for the first ten days even when I took it out of the immobilizer to shower.  I was planning on going back the Tuesday of the week after I had surgery, but ended up going in the Friday  of the same week as the surgery because I was going crazy just sitting watching bad TV with a giant splint on my leg. I figured I could just as easily sit at work and get some stuff done with my foot up and iced since I wasn't allowed to move my leg or start exercising at all. I was able to walk without crutches with my one leg splinted straight for short walks around the office and house. The accelerated rehab program did start immediately after the 10 days when the stitches were removed and then crutches were fully off limits.

After I read your post about the oxy pills, I checked what I had left. I had the oxycontin 20 mg time release pills, that is why I was not allowed to cut mine in half.  I'll see if my current OS will put them in his medical waste disposal. I don't really want to keep those around the house.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 16, 2010, 12:04:22 PM
Hi Roo

Picking up your post and your waiting time.  2-3 days after my OS agreed on the ACLr surgery and said it would be two months, I made a call to the hospitals admissions dept.  I was very polite and said I was just concerned about the surgery taking place too late on, as with 3 young kids I didnt want to be out of action for the whole of the six weeks holiday.  The admissions officer took my details and booked me in for a pre op assessment for two weeks later - she said they would then have to fit me in within six weeks.  By the end of the week I had a call saying they could get me in for surgery on June 3rd - unfortunately this didnt happen as I became ill and they couldnt operate - so rescheduled for a month later.

Try calling the admissions office, be really polite to start off with and say you are just concerned that you havent heard anything and that you need to plan around your immediate future - going to Uni, etc.  I, and a couple of the guys who I work with who have had knee surgery, have found that this approach works best.  The admissions office tends to get pretty busy and I think they get a lot of grief.  If that doesnt help, try calling your OS's office and say that you havent heard anything after yje OS told you they would get you in with 2 months.  Leave it up to them to then chase up Admissions.

Tez is right most hospitals/trusts operate a policy of referral to surgery within 12-18 weeks.

Good Luck
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on July 16, 2010, 12:19:08 PM
Thanks very much zaiem! Will give that a go later on today, will let you know how it goes. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 16, 2010, 01:43:26 PM
yayay she's climbing stairs! Probably by now you are also having J spray you with the hose... could you pose on top of a car like a chick in an 80's music video too? I think Vancouver is far for dinner but I could probably do it if I left right now! So see you in a few hours... tell Jen to put something on the stove for me  ;D

Sounds like overall you are doing great. Flexion is a b-stard and seems to take for freaking ever so just keep doing what you are supposed to! The kneetard is all swelled up today too, I hope it's not a mrsa from my funny-looking incision. I spent yesterday afternoon on the phone trying to figure out why my PT claims aren't going through... turns out my postsurg bout is still pending approval somewhere in the ether. My initial plan was to quit PT altogether today and just do my exercises at the gym but Alan is saying I should just finish the last 2 weeks like a trouper. Of course I haven't told him yet that we might be selling our kidneys to pay for it if this doesn't get straightened out. Big Brad is now officially the bane of my EXISTENCE!

hope you and the rest of the geeks have a great weekend. Mine is obviously to include beer, sun and arnica massage....
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 16, 2010, 03:54:27 PM
Yay!!! Climbing the stairs is good work. Things are coming along- don't start doing any sweeping tho just yet or else!! That haddock will be on a plane. Talking of planes I had a swift look at flights- well u did say come over! You're saved from the onions as they sure weren't cheap!!!

Kris sorry the kneetard is being a difficult customer, what is it with these bloody joints? Hope a weekend if beer and Ginger people helps..

I'm in Wales, at Celtic manor golf resort. Juest been in gym and now in room with coffee and biscuits and a clever ice pack made from the shower cap and the plentiful ice from ie machine down corridor. Sorted! Onions are behaving. Bob is trembling ready for his steroid shot. He'll be like fernando torres by Thursday ( riddles with injuries...;-))

hugs to all especially the brave mending knee twin snowy!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 16, 2010, 09:40:29 PM
Kristin -  I really appreciated the heads up on the Oxy pills, as that wasn't something I'd even thought of. I talked to the pharmacist and it turns out mine aren't the time release kind so I'm safe cutting them in half, which is a relief. I have to admit that while an immobilizer would have been reassuring in some ways, I'm not sorry I didn't have one - they do sound like a huge pain in the butt. I've been getting on well with the early mobilization and am looking forward to getting these wretched staples out on Tuesday.

Kris - I can't see myself getting any real flexion back until the swelling goes down - the knee is just gigantic right now. My PT and I have been in email contact and he said I just have to be patient, and keep up with the icing and elevation. I gather quad flexes are good for helping squeeze fluid out of the knee, so will be adding in more of those as the leg gets stronger. I hear you on the PT bills...unfortunately PT here is not covered by MSP and the allowance on our extended health plan (which I get through work) is really crappy, just $800 per year. I blew through that post-injury so I have to self-fund my entire rehab, which is going to be very tough. We've had a truly rotten year financially, including paying out over $6000 in the last month for vet bills and a huge special assessment on our condo, and J isn't paid for the time she's taking off to look after me. It's all very stressful, so I'm trying not to dwell on it because there's nothing I can do about it right now.

Sorry the knee is being a pain - I hope a relaxing weekend helps. I envy you your beer - I'm very much looking forward to the day when I can have a chilled microbrew in the sunshine on the deck. :)

Lottie - flights to Vancouver? Double, triple yay! That would be very awesome indeed. I'm sure paddling in the Pacific would do the onions all kinds of good. Also you do need to beat me with a haddock, as I swept the floors again yesterday (I got mobile enough to find the broom, which was hidden in the storage cupboard.) I'd say that makes a visit an obligation, if only to administer the haddock.  ;D

Day 7 so far

Crutches definitely a thing of the past now - no need for them at all the past two days. Walk is still slow and kind of gimpy, but comfortable.

Lowered dose of pain meds means I'm more aware of the various aches and pains, especially from the hamstring harvest site. I read on an ACL surgery site that you're not supposed to bend down from the waist (i.e. with the leg straight) for 6 weeks, while the hamstrings heal - but since I can't bend my leg, that's not really an option! However things are staying manageable with minimal oxycodone, so as of tomorrow it's going to be goodbye to the strong stuff and OTC pain meds only.

The incisions are looking better, but the wretched staples are still hampering my exercises and the knee is still incredibly swollen. When did those of you who have been through this start to see the swelling decrease? I did suspect I'd have problems with it (I had really stubborn swelling post-injury too) but this is much worse than the post-injury swelling. I can't see my kneecap at all. Staples come out Tuesday (yay!). I understand the rationale for staples vs. stitches is that a) they're faster and b) they decrease the risk of infection. Disadvantages are the discomfort and the fact that they're harder to remove.

Exercises are coming along well. 3 x 100 quad flexes, 3 x 10 SLRs, 3 x 10 steps on and off the box, and gentle extension and bending. Extension has improved slightly - this morning I was able to raise my heel just a touch off the floor as I pressed down - flex is completely stagnated because of the swelling.

I've been reading up about some of the issues I'm curious about. The huge numb, tingly patch is totally normal; it's due to disruption of one superficial nerve during surgery. It should start to regain feeling after about 10 days, leaving a numb patch the size of a quarter which may or may not eventually get the feeling back. The massive yellowy green bruise on my calf and rather impressive black-and-blue area just above the edge of my foot (only noticed that this morning) are due to bleeding from the bone where it was drilled. Poor bone!

Had second post-op shower today. Equally exhausting, but am now luxuriating in the feeling of being properly clean again. As someone who normally showers at least twice a day, the sponge bath routine has been a bit of a nightmare.

Time for another set of exercises, and then lunch. Jen made beef bourgignon with red wine and garlic last night (lucky invalid! Well-fed invalid!) and there's plenty left over for today.  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: crankerchick on July 16, 2010, 09:51:48 PM
Snowy, I'm glad to hear you are crutch-free. I believe the appropriate term would be I'm "chuffed" to read that.

I've never had stitches before so I can't say, but I did have about 40+ staples between femur and tibia incisions (the femur is like 9" incision, the tibia like 8") and I can say staples are a cinch coming out. Just a little pinch if that. At least mine were anyway. Most of them if I wasn't looking, I wouldn't have even felt it. Although I didn't have mine out until 4 weeks, so I don't know if that made a difference or not.

Lunch (and dinner) sounds awesome! Enjoy!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 16, 2010, 11:09:13 PM
Hi Snowy first week down and already your climbing stairs, sweeping floors and no more crutches you my dear are a bit of a super woman ;D not so sure I will be quite as advanced by the end of week 1but we shall have to wait and see.....
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 17, 2010, 12:55:24 AM
Cranker - 10 points on behalf of the Brits for appropriate use of British slang.  ;D  That's good to hear about the staples. I'd heard that they were a little more uncomfortable to remove than the stitches, but that doesn't sound too bad at all. How was your swelling when they came out? I'm guessing that the more swelling, the more uncomfortable the removal is likely to be as the little things will be tighter. Those are huge incisions in comparison to the ACL - they must have looked like railroad tracks!

Kris - I meant to tell you that I found a good way for you to avoid the dreaded stretchy-band thingers. Have someone harvest your hamstring tendons. ;) The back of your knee will be so black and blue and sore that there's no way you could stretch a piece of elastic taut across it!

Tez - I've been really surprised by how fast walking has come back. I'm steady on my feet and have reasonable heel-toe gait, although I'm still very slow and my foot doesn't lift up too far because of the lack of flex in the knee. The step ups onto the box are going well, too - I raised it up a little bit so it's closer to normal stair height, and can do 30 steps up, leading with the operated leg, before the knee starts to protest. At this point I think I'd even be comfortable going out without the crutches, though I'd still take them anywhere busy as a visual (and, if necessary, physical) cue to stop other people bumping into me.

As I'll be done with the strong painkillers today I should be able to start driving again tomorrow. We're talking about trying an excursion to the beach over the weekend - my toes are envious of Cosmic's post-surgery dip in the ocean and are wondering if they can have a turn. ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 17, 2010, 09:20:24 PM
Hi Snowy

Sounds like your recovery/rehab is coming on really well - keep it up :)

I havent done any step ups, but did start using the stairs, leading with bad leg two days ago - I get a pain high up on the side of my thigh when I put the weight through my knee - it feels deep, but muscular.  On my four incisions - when I was originally referred for surgery the OS's minion told it would be four incisions - one at the tibia, two in the knee, and one at the femur.  I know a lot of ACLrs are done with just the three, but I have heard of ones done with four - I suppose it depends on the OS and his technique.  But the longer incision in my thigh is an added complication that is hampering/slowing my rehab.

Take care walking on sand, can be quite testing on the knee.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 17, 2010, 11:55:00 PM
Zaiem - that's really interested about the fourth incision. I wonder if that means they fixed your graft by screwing down into the femur from above, rather than up through the notch?

Tez - you're so close now! Are you ready? How are you feeling? You'll be so, so relieved once you're through and on the other side. I do hope you'll have net access for your hospital stay; otherwise we'll all be driving ourselves crazy wondering how you're doing! What time is your op?

Day 8

A big milestone to report today...I went for a walk! No crutches, all under my own steam.

Admittedly it wasn't exactly a taxing hike, but Jen and I ventured out in the sunshine to our favorite local cafe for ice cream smoothies. Rested for a couple of minutes while they made the smoothies with my leg propped on a little wooden footstool, then walked home. Four blocks each way - it took about half an hour to complete the circuit (I'm sure not quick) but boy does it feel like an achievement. ;D

In other news, the sore area on the side of my calf suddenly emerged from its chrysalis into a beautiful bloom of yellow, green and grey bruising. This runs all the way from the existing red-and-black bruise on the side of my foot up to about mid-thigh. I can feel every step jarring the bruised area just a little bit, but it's probably good that it's come to the surface. With the lovely black bruise running up the back of my knee where they took the hamstring, the green bruise around the guidewire hole and the sort of yellow stain I already had down the front of my shin, I look like a disaster in a paint factory.

Swept the house again and emptied the dishwasher today. Considering mopping the floor later if my leg holds up to it after the walk. I feel like I'm starting to re-emerge as a useful human being rather than just a lump on the couch. Oh, and my first PT appointment is scheduled for Tuesday, right after the staples come out. Time to get this rehab show on the road!

Now that the various post-op traumas are settling down, I find myself thinking more and more about the graft - this tiny, stretchy piece of tissue inside my knee that's the source of all this trouble, and that I have to protect and nurture for the next 8 months until it's ready to support all the things I love to do again. It's hard not to worry about how it's doing, and how it will hold up as I start working on my rehab proper. Be strong, little graft...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 18, 2010, 12:31:41 AM
Hi Snowy congratulations on going for a walk you must feel amazing after a whole week of not doing anything like that ;D
has there been any adverse reactions to the walk? I hope not...

My surgery will be in the afternoon I am due at the hospital for 1pm so fast from 7am which is better on one hand, time to do stuff in the morning and have an early breakfast, but on the other hand it gives me more time to worry about it.
I think I'm more or less ready spent a couple of hours tonight ironing everything that I spent last night washing cos infortunatly no one else in my family can iron or so they say, I also went to tesco and stocked up with Dougie and kid friendly stuff and pleanty of ice, so tomorrow I will get up early and clean the house then go help my wee sister move house then Dougie has surprised me with a concert tomorrow night so I wont have time to feel scared.
Only thing is I have that feeling that I have forgotten something but cant think what it coulld be so any ideas appreciated ???
You must be looking forward to Tuesday and the staple removal, I had staples along my bikini line a few years ago after an ectopic pregnancy op and the removal wasn't to bad I think there were 21 in all and it was a doddle getting them out only thing is I never regained feeling in part of my stomach so I have a numb bit but it dosent cause any problem or anything just felt a bit weird to start with.
Take it easy and take care especially with all the extra activity ::)  Tez

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lwillson on July 18, 2010, 11:51:17 AM
Hi Snowy - super well done on your first escape trip under your own power.  Very liberating and good for the soul.  Lets hope the smoothie was cosmetically more appealing than the psychedelic colour scheme down your leg  :)  Any idea where and when the next escape trip will be?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 18, 2010, 10:55:36 PM
snowy it sounds like a historic week 1 recovery. I appreciate your tip on the stretchy-band thingers but I will keep my hamstring where it is for now  :) I have extremely tight hammies (it's a lovely gene from my dad's family) so that's part of the reason why I hate stretchy-bands. Also makes for fun at pt when I get asked why I haven't done my hamstring stretch yet (after they've just been completed). Be careful mopping, the last thing you need is a slip and fall! I bet you're jazzed to be unstapled and set off for PT. Sorry you've got woes with $ I couldn't BELIEVE how much pt costs when I started all of this in the winter. I guess it's all money well spent in the end though. We're still bouncing back from a huge tax bill and from Alan being on unemployment for almost all of 2009. I just tell myself that we can only worry about one thing at a time and our health is kind of an important one!

tez sounds like you've got everything in order. Have a great time at the concert and just relax! I have to laugh at your comment about the ironing... I know alan used to know how because he was in the navy and had to be pressed and crisp. I think he must've been hit in the head right before we got married because he's completely forgotten.

lottie- hope your wales trip was rejuvenating and was happy to see on fb that a little alcohol got you sorted :) I spent friday night challenging "carrot" to bar video trivia (50-50 draw in the end) and attempting to drink my weight in miller lites so I am also feeling WAY better about life. Made it to the gym again yesterday, am up to 15 min. each on bike and (slow) treadmill, plus leg extensions and leg press with low weights. Of course kneetard is a little sore today from it, but at least I am off my butt.

everyone enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on July 18, 2010, 11:40:04 PM
Congratulations on the milestone walk ! You've done on day 8, what I've just managed on day 25 ! At this rate, you'll be running next week ! ;)

There you go, bragging about your multi-coloured leg again. Okay, it is impressive, but please show some consideration for other people who may not have your chameleon-like properties  ;) Actually, the fact you have bruising on your foot and are not using a brace (correct me if I've got this wrong) implies that my (world-shattering) theory about foot bruising being caused by brace use may need some revision ...

Smoothies - good choice !
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on July 19, 2010, 01:27:40 AM
Wow, I am away from here for a few days and in that time you are improving sooo much! I can't believe you did that walk, I really couldn't imagine doing something like that now even if I were allowed :P and you aren't even using crutches now! I can't believe you are doing all this and you are only 8 days out! I hope your knee appreciates it too and doesn't give you any grief!

I hope the trips and everything is also making you feel better about your recovery, and you aren't so down about being so restricted and dependent on others. It just shows how quickly you are regaining everything after this, and I am sure full recovery will go very quickly! Also, I am sure the fact that you are able to shower has helped alot, I am also extremely glad to be doing that now!!

Do you know when you are due to go back to the surgeon for a follow up, and when your staples are being removed? I have never had them but I hope they are much more painless to remove than they look, i have to say staples do scare me a bit! I am always quite surprised at how much easier the stitches are to remove than I expect, but then I think in my mind I work it up to be a gory, bloody experience and scare myself, and it isn't of course  :P

When are you due to start physio too? Sorry if you already put this! Are you nervous about that or looking forward to begining this next stage of recovery? I actually have no idea what will be happening with my physio this time and when I will be starting that, I suppose I should ask although I must say I am not looking forward to it, it has been very repetitive with this being my fourth, although my physio is very nice so at least I have her to look forward to catching up with.

Anyway I think I am all caught up again after my horrible internet breaking on my this week, and I am so happy at all your improvements!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 19, 2010, 02:38:03 AM
Lawrence - the next escape trip was supposed to be a trip to the beach to dip my toes in the ocean Cosmic-style, but we were foiled by the Vancouver Folkfest - there wasn't a parking spot to be had anywhere along the entire stretch of westside beaches. We sadly gave up and will try again tomorrow. The failed beach mission did mark my first post-surgery drive - it was good to be back behind the wheel.

Tez - you sound very well-prepared to me! It's all going to go fine - they'll take great care of you in hospital, and just keep thinking about that stable knee that's waiting for you on the other side. It'll be great to have you on the rehab track, too. :)

Kris - sounds like a good weekend was had by all, including the kneetard. We did toast my new ACL's one-week birthday with a beer on the roof deck, and I was horrified to find that I'd almost forgotten what beer tastes like. Our social life gets back underway this week, so I can get on with catching up.  ;D

Deepak - I've been trying to get some pics of my bruising, but because it's mainly on the side and back of the calf (the shin bruise is starting to fade now) it's hard to capture! I'll have to see if I can get Jen on it before it fades away. I read that the foot bruising is actually caused by the bone bleeding into the lower leg from where it was drilled - sorry if that shoots down the brace theory. ;)

Vicky - staples out and first physio both happen Tuesday - I can't wait! Although I have been in close contact with my PT via email since surgery, so he's been providing guidance since I first got up and about. Now I've gotten used to my frankenknee's appearance, the staples don't bother me too much - but they do pull, especially on heel slides, so I'll be glad to get rid of them. I'm actually more than ready to start physio; I'm going a bit stir crazy and I'll be happy to get a few new exercises to work into the routine. My big wish right now is that I'll be cleared to swim by the end of next week; I'm missing the pool desperately and both my PT and OS are happy for me to go back as soon as the incisions are sufficiently healed, provided I don't use my legs initially.

I can't even imagine going through all of this four times - once is quite enough, though as a skier I realize odds are that this won't be the only busted ACL I deal with in my life. I'm so impressed by how well you're coping with the fact that you have to go through all of this yet again; the frustration levels must be so high by now.

Day 9

Not a lot of news to report today. Repeated the smoothie walk, which was a tiny bit quicker this time. Successfully negotiated a first excursion behind the wheel; driving is no problem at all, as long as I scoot the seat in the truck back while I'm getting in to accommodate the unbending leg.

Upped the numbers on my little exercise routine to the point where I got bored with my step-on box, so I varied the routine by climbing the stairs to our condo instead. We live on the fourth floor, so it's 42 steps up from ground level - I went down in the elevator, climbed the stairs, then repeated several times for a total of 210 steps. Our building has open, California-style stairwells and hallways, so it was quite pleasant.

Seated flex is now just about at 90 degrees; heel slide flex is at 75 degrees (the second number may be slightly off as I'm holding the iGoniometer a little further down my shin than normal to accommodate the wound dressing.) Extension seems to be just about at zero, with that millimeter or two of heel lift.

The knee joint itself feels mostly stable, pretty strong and just a bit achy from time to time - the serious joint pain seems to have settled right down. The bruising on the side and back of my calf is really, really sore today; I'm cringing when I try the seated extensions because it pushes the bruised area into the floor. The bruise on my shin is starting to fade, but is still quite sore to the touch. I found some arnica in the medicine cabinet so have been applying that liberally and am hoping things settle down over the next few days.

I am very bored and jonesing badly for a swim. As mentioned above, I'm quietly praying that I'll be okayed to get back in the pool by the end of this week - my PT said two weeks post-surgery would be about the earliest I could swim.

It's a truly beautiful night here, and I think we're going to wander out to the craft beer store (2.5 blocks) to find something appropriate to toast my new ACL's 9-day anniversary on the roof deck. :)

Happy Sunday all, and of course a zillion good thoughts to Tez as she prepares to join us on this side (no longer "the other side") of surgery!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: crankerchick on July 19, 2010, 02:19:16 PM
Hey Snowy! Awesome to check in and read you are taking walks, driving, and climbing 210 stairs! Awesome!

My leg was still pretty swollen at 4 weeks when I had the staples removed. It seems like swelling should make a difference, but like I said, for me it was painless. Indeed my leg did look like railroad tracks. My first unbandaging after the surgery, I had to take a few deep breaths when I saw the incisions and the staples. Same when I saw my hardware on x-ray. Although I had seen x-rays prior to my surgery and knew what to expect, still seeing all that metal in my own body caused a double take. Then curiosity and awe set in and I was just like, wow cool check out my bionic leg! LOL

Best wishes at PT tomorrow. Go easy on the folks there!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 19, 2010, 11:02:23 PM
Hey Snowy

I think from a little facebook update that the new ACL has been to the seaside!!! Woohooo - that is about the same time post op that Cosmic dipped her toes too! The onions also had a beach outing this weekend and enjoyed it... 8)

Glad to see all is going well, will write more tomorrow but for now enjoy the ongoing rehab and good luck with staple removal - Frankenknee starts the return to Snowy-knee!!

Lottie xxx :)

PS I found a flight out to you for £639 return but it appears to go via the moon and takes about 7 days - poor Bob would be weeping with all that time in an economy seat!! The onions would probably pack up and ship out!  ::) :o
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 20, 2010, 12:05:04 AM
We thought a trip to the beach would be an appropriate way to celebrate my new ACL's 10-day anniversary.  :)

And not only did I get to dip my toes in the ocean, but even more importantly - I walked all the way there and all the way back for a total of 3.6 km!  ;D  ;D  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tony1233 on July 20, 2010, 02:55:17 AM
Congrats Kay! Slow but sure improvement! I think that I'm pretty much set now so you could get to crack that beer soon ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on July 20, 2010, 05:27:22 AM
Hi Kay,
well done on christening the new ACL with a paddle at the beach,I am inspired to do the same after my surgery,especially as i live 5 mins from the best beaches in Perth and despite our cold weather we are having some nice sunny days.
I hope i will be as mobile as you post surgery,just went and bought some 2xu  compression tights this morning.
Im actually sitting in a day surgery room with my 20 yr old daughter who is going into surgery in an hr to have a ganglion removed from her wrist,this time in 2 weeks it will be my turn !!
Keep up the good work,look forward to your progress reports

Have a great day

Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 20, 2010, 08:38:26 AM
Hi Snowy

A very good way to celebrate 10 days of a new ACL - it sounds like you're coming through your rehab really well and that your new ACL is taking to its job.  I hop eyou treated it to some Ice when you got home.

Good luck with removal of your staples and enjoy your first PT session - lets hoep you get the nod for the bike and the pool.

Take care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 20, 2010, 10:51:26 AM
ok take pity on the dumb American... I don't know km very well but I know that means you walked REALLY FAR! How many more ways can we marvel at what a great job you're doing? I bet it feels great to finally be getting out and off the dang couch. Hope the staple removal goes smoothly... and I'd say by the looks of them that's a procedure that deserves a beer after  :)

have a great day
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on July 20, 2010, 11:25:08 AM
Fantastic news Snowy!! Sounds like your progressing quite fast ;D

keep up the good work  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 20, 2010, 12:10:35 PM
Hi Roo

Any news on your pending surgery yet?

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Cosmicsnuffle on July 20, 2010, 01:18:21 PM
Beeeaaaccchhhhh :-)))))))))

I hope the paddle was followed by something suitable to gird you for the walk home! ..

Snowy - such great news that you are getting on so well- doesn't it feel good when you can start getting out and about - no how far or what for!

Keep up the good work :-)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on July 20, 2010, 01:48:12 PM

No news as of yet. I rang on friday as you suggested to be told the person i wanted to talk to was on hols. Rang back yesterday and she told me it would be a 3 month wait (from consultation date - 1 and a half months ago) instead of the 2 months i was told at that consultation.

My main problem is i start uni in september so really need to be able to walk and drive by then, so things could get a lot more complex if i have to wait till september to have it done. I pointed this out on the phone and she said she would try and move things a long and woould look out for cancellations for me, but im not sure if she actually meant it or if she was just reciting a speech that she says to any and every patient ringing up.

So im still just really twiddling my thumbs, waiting to hear more. :(

On a brighter note, from reading your post op diary, you seem to be recovering well (the fact your driving gives me some hope that i will be able to drive come september). Out of interest, which leg was it you hurt, as i guess this has a factor in when you can drive... Its good to see other people doing well, such as yourself and snowy, to give others encouragement!!! :)

Take care,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Cosmicsnuffle on July 20, 2010, 01:58:02 PM
Hi Roo,

it's good that you called your OS - I would recommend calling again in a couple of days to chase up - if nothing else to make your name known. Keep calling. And again. It's a nuisance  ::) , but as long as you are courteous it can help escalate your case. Just remember that other people have a different list of priorities to you - and it is up to you to make sure you figure highly on their list.

I hated the wait. Mis-disagnosis and a cancelled op (on the morning I was due to go in) were mentally more challenging than the ACLr! I really empathise with you :-/ ..... just think how great it will feel when you get the date in black and white  ;D.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 20, 2010, 02:04:34 PM
Hi Roo

Don't be too down, they do sound like they are giving you the standard spiel - and it sounded like that in my case, but they came through.  So dont lose hope.  Echo what Cosmic has said above, just keep giving them a gentle nudge so they dont forget you.

I think in terms of recovery and rehab - its all about conditioning - keep up with as much exercise as you can safely handle without causing further damage to your knee - especially quads, hamstring and calf.  Keep it up until the operation.  Snowy is having a quick recovery and rehab as she is in excellent physical condition (other than the gimp knee).  Otherwise everyone's rehab is slightly different and you have to move at your own pace.

I had my op on my right knee (stronger leg) - so driving was a bit of a worry, but I have enough control over it to cope with the braking and accelerating.  I was also confident that I could execute an emergency brake if required, but drove quite cautiously for the 20 miles.

Anyway, this might be a blessing in disguise - your op may mean that you have to avoid the excesses of Freshers week, which could easily lead to further injury :)

Take care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on July 20, 2010, 02:14:10 PM
Cheers for the kind words guys! (sorry to hijack your thread snowy :P) The wait is really starting to get to me now, if any thing its the not knowing. For instance is they told me now that it will be on the 1st of septmeber (or whenever), i have something to focus on. Even if it is still quite a long way away. As it stands now, for all i know it might not be till october/november which is driving me crazy. >:(  Thanks for the advice as well, i am going to start regularly calling, and even stopp in on the ward when i go for my physio Tues and Thurs mornings. Like you say hopefully i can give them a little (or big) nudge.

*positive thoughts, positive thoughts, positive thoughts*

I am going on holiday at the end of the week, which will be nice to help me forget my knee woes. By the time i get back i expect snowy will be back on the ski slopes, if your recovery carries on at this rate :P



(Edit: Ok so ive just realised its July, so there wont be much skiing at this time of year, but you get the jist! 8))
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 20, 2010, 04:57:15 PM
Roo - I'd just like to add my voice to those stressing the value of the "polite pain in the ass" approach. When I originally saw my OS they promised I'd have a date the next day, but for various reasons it took longer - and I just called and bugged them very politely every single day until I got the date. I think in the end they scheduled me just to get me to go away. :) It was frustrating because I felt like I couldn't get on with my life or make any plans until I knew when the surgery was going to happen, so I really sympathize with your position right now.

Which leg did you injure? Mine was my left leg and because my truck is an automatic, the OS told me I could drive immediately provided I watched the painkillers. ;) In practice I definitely would not have been able to drive the first few days, but I think by about day four I would have been fine. Might even be worth considering getting an automatic car if you don't have one and the surgery does end up happening after you start Uni.

Zaiem - I'm a long ways off trying the bike (I attempted to turn the pedals and could get them less than a quarter of the way round - I still have very limited flex) but I really hope I'll be back in the pool by the end of the week. I imagine I'll have to leave it a couple of days after the staples come out just to make sure there's no infection risk. That will be a big moment...

Shelli - The ocean toe dip for newly ACLred legs is rapidly becoming a tradition! I imagine you have some wonderful beaches near you. Just remember that a dip must be followed by an appropriate treat, i.e. cake or ice cream.  ;D

Kris - 3.6 k = 2.25 miles. :) Having staples out first thing in the morning so might have to leave the beer for tonight (especially as I have PT this afternoon - although that could make for fun attempting new exercises).

Cosmic - We followed the dip with mint choc chip ice cream - nom!

**** to Richmond Hospital in a few minutes to have the staples removed. Fingers crossed that they will come out, as this is actually a week ahead of schedule - my OS is away next week so we decided to take a chance on the incisions being ready this week. If not I'll have to go back.

Just to inject some realism into my recovery, although walking and weight bearing is coming along incredibly well (I'm sure thanks to my physical condition going into the op) my flex is still very, very limited. I can get to 90 seated with difficulty, and 80 in a heel slide with great difficulty - barely a 10 degree improvement from immediately post-op. I sort of knew this would happen (I had a huge battle to regain my flex after the original injury, and the swelling is worse this time around) but it's still frustrating, especially when walking is doing so well. If anyone has any tips for working flex, they would be much appreciated.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 20, 2010, 05:21:08 PM
Snowy what are you like walking over 2 miles just over a week after your op as long as all you  other knee geeks dont expect the same from me :o cos at the moment even a short walk into the kitchen seems soooooo far away...
I hope that the staple removal goes ok and is not too painfull and you have fun at P.T
take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: crankerchick on July 20, 2010, 05:22:27 PM
OoO enjoy staple removal. Fingers crossed they are ready to come out today!

For flexion, use gravity! You can try cannonballs which is what my doc had me doing and all of his ACL patients do it too. You basically lay on your back, raise your leg up (like an SLR, but go all the way) and then bend your knee to your chest. Hold your hand behind the knee or on the hamstring if you need to help the leg relax. Just lay there and try to relax and let gravity bend your knee. If you are courageous, you can use your hand or other leg to "force the bend" by pushing on the shin but I would recommend it just yet. A helper can also apply gentle pressure to the shin and help bend it, but again, I would be careful with this. They do this is in my doctor's office starting day 0 from surgery.

Some people do this near a wall, so they can use the wall for friction on the foot to keep the leg bent. I found gravity works just fine until you are trying to regain the last few extremes on the ROM.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 20, 2010, 07:58:10 PM
Ooooh staple removal!! You'll be CHUFFED to see those suckers out!!  :D

Will post more later, must eat!!

Hope all went well,

Lottie xxx :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on July 20, 2010, 11:15:21 PM
Wow- that is quite a distance on a knee that is isn't that long out of prety major surgery, you really are amazing me with your recovery! Hope you enjoyed the beach, it looks beautiful!

Is the knee still quite swollen? Hopefully it will settle down a bit once the staples are removed, and I am sure the flexion will soon be regained!

Good luck with getting the staples out, hope it goes well! also hope the physio was good, I will look forward to hearing all about what things you are doing now that you have started physio, and I am sure that went great too!

I had to learn to drive on an automatic because my left knee just couldn't cope with the manual, so I am very lucky it is my left knee that is bad and I am still able to drive an automatic. It is a shame, but not a big deal that I can't drive a manual car, and I am very thankful for automatic cars!! I will look forward to being able to do drive again once the cast comes off and I can fit my leg in my car sitting normally!  ;D

keep up the amazing recovery!  :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 21, 2010, 01:03:55 AM
Well, it's been quite a day. Lots to report on the knee front.

Staples removal was a breeze - didn't hurt at all. My friend Erik had offered to make them into a bracelet if I could bring them home, but sadly I was told they counted as medical waste and required a proper disposal.  :(

I did get to have a longer chat with Dr L while he was putting together my rehab protocol. Interestingly, he said that as well as protecting the graft a key reason for the rehab timeline has to do with the fixation for a hamstring graft. The interference screws are gradually absorbed and bone has to grow in around them; this process isn't complete until around 8 months, and it's important not to put more strain on the screw than it can handle while the absorption is ongoing. Good to know, especially for those of us with gung-ho tendencies. ;) He also commented again on the size of my hamstring tendons; he said the one thing that's completely out of the surgeon's control is the quality of tendon that they get for the graft, and mine were unusually large given that I'm not a very big person (5' 4" and 120lb) and should make for a really strong graft. Overall he seemed very happy with progress so far; he's now handed me over to the PT until my follow up appointment in two months.

Oh - Lottie, I also finally remembered to ask Dr L about what he encountered inside the knee (perhaps unsurprisingly it went clean out of my head when we had our post-op consult.) There was no collateral damage from the ACL tear, and my cartilage was actually in decent shape apart from the early stage OA. I went into the op with my PFS completely settled due to not doing any aggravating activities for the previous two weeks (combination of my parents' visit and lack of gym access) so this supports the theory that the pain is caused by local inflammation rather than cartilage degradation. My PT is quite concerned about keeping the PFS under control during rehab because of the high repetition factor, so we'll be watching closely for any hints of anterior knee pain.

Most importantly, with the staples out and incisions in good shape, Dr. L gave me clearance to go back to the pool. I shot home, grabbed my swim gear and was in the water within the hour. Swam 3k and actually felt like myself again for a bit. At the moment I'm swimming with a float to keep my legs still, but I'm okay to start a very gentle flutter kick as soon as the bruising in the leg settles. I cannot even begin to describe how good it felt to be back in the water. ;D

I made it home just in time for my 3pm physio appointment, at which I was introduced to the joys of patellar mobilization (ouch!) PT spent quite a bit of time working on my leg, especially the knee swelling, flex and calf bruising. The calf is very, very sore and is actually hindering me quite a bit right now; it jars when I walk and even when I tried the flutter kick in the pool. He did some drainage massage and ultrasound, and the leg felt better afterwards. He's pleased with my progress so far, although he did caution me not to push things beyond the point of comfort at this stage. Rehab for now is just lots more of the same things I've been doing, plus some hydrotherapy - walking in progressively deeper water and marching on the spot - to take full advantage of my return to the pool. Next appointment is Saturday, when we'll be adding more exercises and seeing if flex has progressed enough for me to start on the stationary bike. (I suspect not - it took 3 weeks post-injury for me to turn the pedals and the swelling is worse this time.)

So a long day, but overall a pretty good one. Now I think it's time for ice cream. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on July 21, 2010, 02:07:52 AM
Good to hear that the staple removal wasn't painful. Thanks for the info about the absorption of the interference screw - I didn't know that it took as long as 8 months ! Now I know I have to control myself for 8 months.

Also good to hear that you don't have cartilage degradation.

Great that you're able to get back in the water - I know exactly how good it feels  ;) Your 3k though, makes my 50 metre swim sound very wimpy  ;)

Is "drainage massage" the same as lymphatic massage ?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 21, 2010, 02:36:56 AM
Snowy congrats on the staple removal, and the excellet physio appoitment, and the swim you, have been a very busy girl today, you are also doing incredibly well considering how soon after surgery you are, at the moment I feel as if even walking for any legnth of time will cause too much pain, saying that the difference in out fitness levels going into surgery is quite a bit,, so much as I would love to be doing all that you are as soon as you, my expectations are not that high.
Interesting about the screws I presume mine are the same but the surgeon this morning described them as clips and that was what the x ray was for before my releas from hospital they were checking the clips were in the right place.  wont see the surgeon for 3 weeks as he is going on holiday but will ask him ore about what was used then.
I am pretty sure your recovery will keep going from stregnth to strength and you shall be my insperation to do better.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 21, 2010, 04:55:57 AM
Deepak - the absorption time varies a bit depending on the kind of screw your surgeon uses, so 8 months is just a ballpark. From what Dr. L said it does continue to absorb after that until it's completely gone, but that's the point where there's enough new bone growth for the graft to be completely secure. Still good to know, however!

I do have some cartilage wear and tear on the kneecap (early stage osteoarthritis) but the good news is that the chronic PFS I suffer from isn't causing/being caused by further damage to the cartilage.

Drainage massage is very similar lymphatic drainage - he was just focusing on the calf as I have a lot of pain there, which meant trying to move things down rather than up.

My swimming distances aren't really a fair comparison as I used to swim competitively, and have been a serious distance swimmer for a while - I did a 14k swim for charity a couple of years ago, which is a swim marathon and a half! Today's swim was a short one for me, and I was actually quite shocked by how much my cardio had deteriorated in just 11 days; one of the main reasons I'm so happy to get back to swimming is so that I can maintain my conditioning at a reasonable level while my other activities are restricted. Not that I'm a total fitness freak or anything, of course...  ::)

Tez - it's actually amazing how fast things progress. Remember how much pain I was in the first couple of days after surgery? Even crutching the short distance to the bathroom was a nightmare, and Jen was fetching and carrying everything for me so I didn't have to get up more than was absolutely necessary. The pain levels started to drop steadily after three or four days, and doing things started to get correspondingly easier. Looking back at other people's diaries, this seems to be fairly standard - a few really immobile, painful days, then steady improvement. I think it's easy to forget how much it hurt and how limiting that immediate post-surgical pain was as thing start to progress, but I really had a horrible time of it for the first 48 hours. Once things start to improve, I think you'll be really surprised how fast they come along. What weightbearing protocol does your surgeon have you on? Are you putting weight through the operated leg, or mostly supporting your weight with crutches?

I'm not sure about the fixation as I haven't come across the term clips before - I thought interference screws were standard for hamstring grafts, so maybe it's just a different name for them?

Your humour and kindness are an inspiration to all of us. :)

Day eleven postscript

Holy smokes. Whatever the PT did to try and move things along in my calf, it hurts! I can barely walk right now. I went for a gentle stroll around the block which made it feel better, but as soon as I sat still for a bit it tightened up again. I guess this is good - the goal is to get the bruising and swelling moved out of the calf, and clearly they're moving - but ouch! The knee itself feels good now that it's settled down after the mobilizations, but I'm distracted by how painful the calf is.

Think I'm going to take a T3 and then do a few heel slides (and maybe some cannonballs - thanks, Cranker!) to work on my stubbornly unchanging flex.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on July 21, 2010, 10:19:19 AM
Hi Tez, good to hear your progressing and can now do some 'gentle' excercise in the pool. (Although i wouldnt exactly class 3km as gentle for myself, from the sounds of it that was a walk in the park for you!) Have you been told to do some walking/side steps or whatever in the pool as well?

Pre surgery, were you in the pool? Im sure ive read you were, but i was just wondering were you using floats or other to brace/help your knee, or just going as normal? I only ask as i want to talk to my physio about it tomoro, as im itching to get back to doing some sort of excercise!

To answer your earlier question, its my right leg, and i drive a manual car. I certainly dont have the money to buy a new car, so im just going to have to accept i wont be able to drive until... well, whenever the doctors clear me to drive again. Ill manage to work my way around it in the short term, will just be a bit of hassle. Parents taxi service might have to come into play again :P

Take care.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 21, 2010, 11:16:12 AM
Hey Snowy, welcome to the joyous world of patellar mobs (aka "for the love of all that is holy mr. pt man, don't touch me like that, waaah") I am glad you've made it clear to us that you're free to swim so we'll stop worrying!  :) Must feel good to be back a-paddlin.

I'd guess that it's not uncommon for postsurg patients to be battling PFS on top of their injury. Are they writing you a modified program or just watching like a hawk? It seems to me that the common message at PT is always "do as much of this as you can stand," so would they take a different course of action if repetition is an issue?

Too bad you couldn't keep the staples! I once had a necklace made out of medical waste (!)... when I was 13 or so, I fell off a bike into a cactus and gravel pit on a family vacation. After a few surprisingly large rocks were extracted from my knuckle and elbow, the ER doc washed them off nicely and put them into a blood vial for me to show all my friends... lol... I tied a string around it and wore that sucker as a badge of honor. It's long since been misplaced, but (un)fortunately I still have the scars.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on July 21, 2010, 12:11:32 PM
Well snowy, I've finally made it over here. I've spent the last couple of quiet days in work catching up with your diary, certainly an interesting read and I'm so glad you're doing so well. The descriptions of the pain at the start had me very very nervous but I'm happy to see your progressing quite quickly and the pain is subsiding. Reading this has given me a lot of questions to ask my OS the morning of the op as I currently know nothing about my post surgery protocol etc. and I've found it quite inspiring to read, though I don't expect my recovery to be as quick (you were in much better shape pre-op) I've been lazy and not done any physio since "cancellation day" but that changes today. First day back in the pool in months today, aiming to be up to 100 lengths by "Knee-Day". The weights regime didn't seem to be doing allot on it's own (my quad size had gone from -0.8cm compared to my good leg at the start of physio, up and down for a while then up to to +0.1 or +0.2 2 weeks before my surgery date, and back down to -1.4 2 days pre-surgery, even though the regime was the same) I think mixing it up, with different kinds of weights, bike and pool for the next month, social life can take a back seat for a while.

You've also made me realise I may need to stay at my parents for a couple of days post-op. I live in a house, bedroom is upstairs and I don't think the sofa would be great for sleeping on, whereas my parents live in a bungalow. I was happily able to crutch up and down stairs (well not happily, but I could manage it) after the injury, even as soon as I got back from the hospital, I suppose living on a 2 level flat on the 1st(2nd to our American geeks) floor meant I didn't have much choice. Were you similar post injury or is the lack of mobility worse (I know the pain is worse, not looking forward to it)? I'd literally only need to go upstairs once and down stairs once each day.

I'd like to say how much I sympathise with Cosmic and Roo. I too am a victim of the NHS. Was sent home from A&E with "a light knee sprain" 18th Jan 09. Took until April to get an MRI and June to get the results. Lots of bureaucracy, red tape and generally bad management and I finally got a date for 16th of June, which was cancelled on the 14th, lol. Now have my new date, August 20th, 19 months and 2 days post-injury.

Glad to see Tez making it through to the other side, will be popping in to her diary to read up shortly.

I'm jealous of you all, but also glad. The help, support and knowledge I have gained from this site has been beyond invaluable and now I've got 2 of my friends who are going to be a month ahead of me through rehab so I will have some idea of what to expect and someone to bother with questions :) I'll just have to try and make sure my competitive streak doesn't get the better of me and I don't try to out do either of you ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 21, 2010, 12:21:32 PM
Hey Snowy

Excellent work on the swimming! I could no more swim that distance than fly to the moon. My hubby can swim about 1.5k but that kills him, although he is so inconsistent with his swimming I know he could quickly build up to longer if he went regularly as he has good strength and long limbs. Its his cardio that lets him down - he is not what I'd call very cardio fit!! It is amazing how quickly your cardio fitness changes isn't it - mine is SO much worse than last year but I have kind of learned to accept and work within what I can do. Its still way better than it was 2 years ago and I intend to keep pushing. My strength remains good, apart from the troublesome quads!!

Good news on the lack of other work needed in the knee at the time of op. I totally agree that PFS pain is usually inrritation and inflammation rather than a result of the direct cartilage loss. I have pretty severe missing cartilage (grade 3-4) on the kneecap, but unless it catches wrong (ouch) which I tend to know not to do the pain I get is from inflammation I am sure. Thats why balancing the activity and stretching and proprioception and all that stuff can work, along with the muscles holding the knee more effectively. I know since I started proper PT exercises every day for the PFS the inflammation has reduced. It is always worse in the winter though, I shall have to explore ways of insulating the knees!!! Whats frustrating is that it doesn't take much to set it off though....what a learning experience!

Bummer that you couldn't keep the staples. I wonder if thats different in the UK, as I have seen clients with some VERY weird things in their lounges after surgery. (Oh yes, some of them pickled and in a sterile solution.... :o)

Whats today got in store? Quick half marathon? Swim to Cornwall?  ;) ;D

Hugs from your knee twin (without any staple holes though..)

Lottie xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 21, 2010, 12:30:20 PM
Snowy You must be please that there dose't appear to be any more damage caused by the acl not doing its job for a while ;D cos I know it was a worry for you. You are right about the pain levels today my pain is a fair bit better than yesterday so pretty happy about that, I am weight baring as tolerated and I can put weight through the operated leg without too many problems just very slow and steady but it feels ok. I think it is just a matter of keeping on top of the pain meds and all will be fine.
I assume you will be going for a swim today now that you have been the green light it will be kinda hard to keep you out of that pool so have fun and look forward to you next update.  
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 21, 2010, 05:28:51 PM
Roo - I was swimming about 5 x a week pre-surgery, usually for an hour if it was a work day and 1.5 - 2 hours on weekends. I was restricted to a flutter kick (front crawl style - no breaststroke or butterfly kicks) but apart from about 3 weeks post-injury, didn't use a float or anything. The flutter kick is actually good for the legs - gentle work for the quads and hamstring.

Impish - I was much, much more limited after surgery than I was after injury. Like you I was motoring around on crutches no problem right after my injury, but post-surgery there were a couple of days where I really didn't want to move at all and stairs were unthinkable until about the third or fourth day. It would certainly make your life a lot easier for the first few days if you were able to stay with your folks.

Kris - I'm sure PFS rears its head in many ACL rehabs due to the high volume and repetition of leg weights; the problem is that for me it's a severe and ongoing condition that we hadn't entirely got under control before my injury, so I'm aggravating an already chronic condition rather than getting new twinges. We're not modifying my rehab program yet, but we are monitoring closely for signs of problems. For ACL rehab there are targets that have to be met to ensure the stability and strength of the knee and leg muscles, so rather than reduce repetition we might have to work targeted breaks into my regime to give the knee a chance to settle. It's a while before I'll be on the kinds of exercises that I expect to aggravate it, fortunately.

Lottie - talking of weird medical stuff, I went to library school with a girl who worked as a clerk at a library in a university teaching hospital. Their loan collection included pickled limbs and a fetus in a jar. They sure don't tell you about those jobs when you sign up for the course! (I also once worked for a library that had the death mask of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and a double-barreled shotgun in its archives.)

I was pretty relieved to hear that the knee looks okay; my concern whenever I've been through a bad PFS spell is that I've pushed it too far and the pain isn't from inflammation but cartilage loss. My PFS doesn't mind the cold but objects to sudden changes in the weather, especially when it turns wet. I do think the proprioception work I was doing pre-op really helped my knee overall, but what's funny is that that's totally gone now - after getting to the point where I could do the wobble board/tennis ball thing for ten minutes at a time, I now can't balance at all! Oh well, I did know I'd be starting all over again after the op.

Tez - that's great news about weight bearing. It means your OS is following an early mobilization program rather than one of the very conservative protocols - this helps you get back on your feet sooner and means your quads are less likely to shut down. I'm really glad to hear that the pain is improving - long may that continue!

Frankenknee feels fine this morning and I'll be taking it for a swim and hydrotherapy as soon as my breakfast has digested. The calf, however, is still severely painful. Not sure what I can do about this apart from grit my teeth, wait for it to clear and keep basting myself in arnica.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 21, 2010, 09:49:08 PM
Ack - not such a happy day in Snowyland today. I seem to remember Cosmic saying that rehab is like this - things will zip along fine and then all of a sudden you hit a day where everything feels like wading through molasses.

The calf pain is really wearing me down - it's been excruciating for about 24 hours now. Prior to all the massage it felt more like an extremely bad stiff muscle, i.e. painful but not this bad. It eases if I walk around for a bit and warm the leg up, but as soon as I sit still it seizes back up again and I can barely walk when I stand up. It kept waking me up last night (first really bad night's sleep since surgery) and is impeding my ability to get on with my rehab exercises, which is really frustrating.

As if that weren't enough I managed to slam my hand in the laundry closet door this morning, so that's now gone black and blue to match my foot. Oh, and some inconsiderate swimmer charged into my bad leg in the pool, freaking me out completely and making me seriously contemplate tying a piece of yellow caution tape around it before my next dip.

I'm also fretting a bit about my lack of progress on the knee bending front. In spite of the hours of exercises I've gained exactly two degrees of flex in the past two days, and the swelling also seems to have stopped improving.

All in all I'm feeling pretty down today. I guess there will inevitably be days like this along the way, but it's still frustrating and demoralizing. J is dispensing hugs and ice cream and I have some friends coming over later to watch the fireworks, so hopefully that will take my mind off things.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 21, 2010, 10:03:32 PM

Hugs hugs and hugs from across the ocean from me, Bob and the intact onions. (Onion hugs are super special, especially stiff onions that are currently in a foot spa).

I cannot say I have been through rehab, but knees in general are a rollercoaster. Rehab from PFS (and managing PFS is the same thing) makes me feel the same, some days I could just curl up and cry and throw things and eat too much chocolate! I know the ACLr recovery must be on a whole new dimension. The calf thing must be extremely frustrating - does ice help it all? Or just cool things around it? Is it just muscle stiffness gone mad?

I think ROM is always a worry if it feels slow. Again I revert to Andi (Doublemom) who was a bit behind on her ROM (or so she felt) after 2 weeks post TTT and LR. Loads of muscle inhibition and swelling etc. It came - but it took a longer time than she'd hoped. Are you elevating still when you're in? I know you've been doing a lot - and I am no expert and fully empathise with the wanting to get on mind set...but perhaps a day or so doing nothing on your feet with the leg up and some ice might be a plan? You are still less than 2 weeks out....../end of Lottie lecture. Hope you don't mind - I just don't want you doing too much too soon, it is tricky when you're so fit (oooer there I go again  ;) ;D) and the rest of your body wants to train like usual.

Hang in there honey - I don't know many people with such a positive mindset and can do attitude. Do you know - you have been partly responsible for my decision to revert back to my personal training quals despite the knees and onion woes. You and I share similar PFS issues and shoddy biomechanics - and what do you do?!! Ski, hike, cycle, swim the channel...... ;D ::) 

You'll get there. Loads of love and hugs and perhaps a cheeky mint choc chip ice cream  8)

Lottie xxxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Cosmicsnuffle on July 21, 2010, 11:47:53 PM
Hey Snowy - I have posted to you in Cosmic's Cafe, but reading Lottie's post reminded me - I used a warm wheaty bag (heated in the microwave) on my calf - which was in complete contrast to the first week when I lived in the cryocuff. It was hard to say whether it actually helped but it did feel good when it was on.

I will echo what Lottie says - don't be afraid to take a step back for a day or two - your healing doesn't proceed at a linear rate in a linear direction, so neither should your rehab. Particularly early on I found that there were things I could do one day and not the next, it was very frustrating.... but completely normal it seems.
Don't be surprised if it happens, just go with the flow!

....and Lottie - SUPERB new about the course.  ;D  ;D  ;D

Here's hoping for a shiny shiny day in Snowyland

HUGS xxxxxxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 22, 2010, 12:48:11 AM
You guys are the best. :) I hope you both know how completely awesome you are. Coming back to read these posts has already done wonders for my rather mopey mood.

Lottie - I'm thrilled to hear about your decision on the qualifications, though I'm entirely unworthy of being anyone's inspiration. (I'm just too stubborn to accept my own limitations, which is no particular gift.) I do tend to be one of life's smiley happy people and it's rare for me to hit a down day, but I think dealing with the post-surgery pain has just left me rather drained and this latest calf problem was the final feather on top of the post-surgery mountain.

Cosmic - I'll give the heat a shot and see if that helps; thank you for the suggestion. I have had a quieter day today (just a swim and some gentle tidying up around the house ready for the visit tonight) so I hope that will help settle it a bit. It does reassure me a lot knowing you went through something very similar with your calf; at least it gives me hope that it will settle down eventually!

I've actually been very good about retiring to the couch with my cushion pile and my cryocuff whenever I'm not in action, so I don't think the knee is wanting for ice and elevation. I had a real battle with my flex after the original injury, and I think one of the things that is frustrating me right now is the sense of deja vu - it's the same battle, just longer and harder this time. I don't have any muscle inhibition (PT was most impressed with how well my quads were firing) so it really is just the swelling that's causing the flex problem. It's a fine line because moving around also helps move fluid out of the knee, but too much movement sets the swelling off again.

The calf issue is separate, and is caused by all the post-surgical blood and fluid gradually draining down the leg. It started with a massive bruise in the back of my knee running along the site of the hamstring removal, and the entire bruise has gradually slid groundwards over the last few days. The pain runs exactly along the site of the bruising. My PT said it will eventually culminate in a stiff ankle, then disperse.

Let's hope that the rule of thumb about a bad day being followed by a good day holds true. :) I am feeling a bit better now after lots of TLC from J and the supportive messages here. One of the very big positives to come out of my knee disaster is the wonderful new friends that I would never have made if my left ACL had stayed intact. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 22, 2010, 04:59:38 AM
Snowy please let me add my hugs and good pain killing vibes over to you (((((hugs))))) ))))))vides(((((( [to much time on my hands]
You are still doing such a good job with your recovery that it must be so hard when you have a day when things dont feel like your making any progress, and at the end of the day pain wares you down so much that sometimes it takes over everything else to a certain extent and I think it would be quite easy to forget alll the good days and how wonderfully you are doing because of it.
I wont go into mummy Tez mode and tell you off for doing too much too soon [Lottie got in with that one first] but just want to say you have been such an insperation to me, to be honest I am so glad you went first with the op cos when I cant do half the things you are doing I can always make the excuse that your op was well befor mine [wont tell anyone it was only just over a week].
Sounds like Jen is spoiling you as she should be  ;) poor Dougie is already looking a little frazzeled he apears to be getting a bit fixated on keeping the washing down, with 2 teenagers in the house it mounts up sooooo quickly so the questions like can that be washed with this or can I put that in the dyer etc have been coming thick and fast but poor baby is doing his best.
Take care and I hope the calf pain improves soon [something else to look forward to]
Tez xxx 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on July 22, 2010, 05:56:47 AM
Hi Snowy-

Sorry to see you had such a tough day. Hopefully the calf pain slows done again. The only thing that I know that worked at the beginning for my calf pain was the compression of the cryocuff with elevation and trying to walk heel to toe when I walked and ankle flexes to help the muscle pump better. Take it easier tomorrow and hopefully it's a better day. You did just have major surgery recently. It's hard not too keep rushing forward when you see your normal life getting closer, patience is not my strong point either, but listen to your leg and don't push too fast. As I've learned the hard way on my journey, sometimes pushing too hard and fast isn't the best thing to do and will make the trip that much longer.

Also with the calf pain, take note if there are any changes with sensation - tingling or numbness/ lack of pain sensation of your leg, (not the normal surgery spot that goes numb on everyone, but most of your lower leg) or increased intense throbbing pain and let the OS know.  When I was getting symptoms of compartment syndrome, the pain was different and a lot more painful and more directed and intensely throbbing (muscle itself was hard and tense and stood out from the rest of my leg) than the painful blood rushes following the surgery. I'm sure this will not apply to you, but I thought you might want to know how blood rush pain was different than the compartment syndrome pain so you don't worry.

Hoping for a great day for you.   :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 22, 2010, 11:03:38 AM
Hi Snowy,
Sorry you hit a rough patch yesterday. Mama said there'd be days like this! Hope you're feeling a little better this morning (well I hope you are still sleeping considering what time it is where you are! I am just a weirdo in the office at 6 am!) As much as we'd like rehab to be a nice straight line of progress, it's more like one of those jaggedy up-and-down stock price charts. You're definitely allowed to be discouraged (and I fully support a good wallow once in awhile) but you're doing GREAT!! Sending you big hugs and positive vibes. Also I'm not a mom so I won't do mom-mode... I'll just say, remember it's OK to rest  :)

Tez- I hear you with the LAUNDRY! When my knee went to pot I started letting Alan do it sometimes because of the stairs involved. He can do it but it somehow takes 10 times longer (put load in, watch sports/drink beer, remember 2 hours later to put load in dryer, repeat) and inevitably I would find his last load in the dryer the next day. Honestly it's still better than doing it myself... god I am a lazy-a** housewife  ;D

Lottie when can I start booking you for intercontinental training sessions?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 22, 2010, 12:30:11 PM
Kris so glad its not just Dougie who makes a drama out of washing but even though I'm moaning about him he is a star he is being soo patient with me and carrying things from room to room etc fixing coffee and meals etc, Steph has been away for a couple of days it was her boyfriends 21st so they had a bit of a party on Tue night and out to dinner with his parents last night so she just stayed down with him, so Dougie's on his way down to pick her up and at on earth are you doing at work at 6amI'm pretty sure he's is praying she will take over for a while with the runing and fetching etc. What on earth are you doing at work at 6am are you mad woman ??? ;D...
Snowy I hope today is a bit easier for you and the calf pain is improving I have taken some pics of the undressed knee will try and post them on FB later then we can compare out surgeons handy work....
Take care Tez 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 22, 2010, 01:47:07 PM
Hey Snowy

Hope you have a better day today.  All I can do is repeat whats already been said.  Having said that you seem to have a pretty good grasp on whats going on, so I'll just emphasise patience - you have had a really good recovery to date, dont be too down - the last bit of swelling in the knee is a bugger to shift, and as you have said any excessive exercise causes it to inflame again.  My knee has stayed about the same size since day 12 (i'm at day 21 now).

The cannonballs are a good way of improving flex - you can support using your good leg if nervous at first.

Thanks for the advice on using the Vit E oil - its really softened up the incisions sites and eased of some of that surface tension.

I lightly massaged my calf and shin using the oil - the heat bean bag sounds like a good idea.  I have done some seated calf raises as well to get the blood pumping and the muscle working to push out the swelling.

Take care.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on July 22, 2010, 03:01:16 PM
Hi Kay,
sorry to hear youve had a bad day,just keep positive and things  are just going to get better,
sending warm fuzzies and best wishes to speed your recovery ..............

Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on July 22, 2010, 03:19:43 PM
Hey Kay, chin up, you should be well chuffed with your progress so far. You're doing better post-op than I'm doing pre op. I seem to have forgotten how to swim and nearly drowned in the pool yesterday, lol.

I've got to agree with Tez, seeing you doing so well is such a help and will be even more of a help once I've been seen. Just remember what things were like after the injury, as previously mentioned recoveries aren't linear. If you're anything like me, post-injury was filled with highs and lows as well, you've been through it once, you can definitely do it again, only this time, you get to work yourself back to full fitness, skiing, cycling, swimming the butterfly and sweeping to your heart's content (rather than working your way towards some mad man taking a drill to your knees ;) ).

Glad to hear you're keeping it raised and iced too. Not sure how that's going to work on my sofa as it's not as long as I would like for this situation, will take a few pics later on and stick them in the wanderer thread to show what I mean. Might have to show off my TV as well ;)

To paraphrase a popular film - "If you work it, ROM will come" (I can hear the groans from the cheesiness of this line all the way across the pond ;) )
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: crankerchick on July 22, 2010, 03:32:39 PM
Yeah you should be well chuffed with your progress so far! It is normal to have some bad days in there. As for the flexion, just keep pushing it but try not to overdo it because the body's response is to of course tighten up, making it even worse. The heat is a good idea, or even a hot bath if that is your thing. When you do the flexion exercises, be sure to relax and go slowly. Hold for a few seconds and take deep breaths and as you feel yourself relax, then push a little farther and repeat. If you piss the body off to fast it will just respond by tensing up.

You aren't quite 2 weeks post-op yet, swelling is still normal and can be a big hindrance to regaining ROM, so just try not to be so hard on yourself :-)

As for the calf, I had calf issues too. At one point I thought I might was having a blood clot and called the doctor. It's definitely an annoyance and outright painful and contrary to what makes sense, elevation was the worst for me, because as soon as I put the leg down, the inevitable blood rush brought tears to my eyes LOL. I just tried to move around often and stretch the calf often. The ankle pumps were good too.

Hope today is better!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 22, 2010, 06:23:41 PM
Aw - thank you guys so much. If any feelings of self-pity or mopiness creep back in today (I hope they won't; I'm a smiley optimist by nature) coming back and reading all of these posts will be an instant dose of mood uplifter. :)

I should probably stress that while the flex and swelling issues are frustrating, neither of them are in the least bit surprising. I swell and bruise very easily, and given that my poor knee has never been cut open and had instruments shoved inside it it's really not surprising that the swelling is worse than it was post-injury. I know the flex will come as the swelling decreases, it's just frustrating that it's so slow. I think the fact that I'm very comfortable walking and weight-bearing makes it even more annoying, as there's actually quite a lot more that I could be doing now if I could just get the leg to bend properly.

After I came offline yesterday I did remember that one of the things I found very helpful for getting the flex back after injury was sitting on the bike and just rocking the pedals at the limits of my current flex. Working away at that for a few minutes often gave me an extra 1-5 degrees in a heel slide. So I hopped on the bike and gave that a shot, and it worked - I gained an extra 5 degrees of flex, though that went again when the leg had cooled down. Still, I'm going to add that to my little routine and hope it helps.

The calf pain is one of those things - again, very frustrating, but I know that it will pass. The PT checked it out and had no concerns at all - it's just haematoma from the surgery gradually making its way down my leg. I did notice that the big bruise on my foot got freshened up in the last 24 hours - it's grown a bit and gone blue again. I'm guessing that means the massage did get things moving, so the blood and fluid is on its way out of my calf. It's just going to be painful while it goes. I'm going to dose it with heat pads and painkillers and then try and ignore it as much as possible, as I don't want it interfering with my exercises.

It's very windy and quite a bit cooler outside today, so I may skip my swim and just work really hard on the other exercises (what a wimp! My pre-surgery self is shuddering but my post-surgery self points out that my body is still healing and getting chilled would be a bad idea.) I did have a really nice night last night - a big group of friends came over, including some of my favourite coworkers, and we had a barbecue (other people did the cooking) and watched the first night of Vancouver's amazing Celebration of Light fireworks from our roof deck. It was lovely seeing everyone and the fireworks were, as always, awesome.

Hope you're all doing well. Thank you again for all the support and sympathy - I can't imagine a better tonic for a bad day. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 22, 2010, 07:34:17 PM
Hey Snowy...

I am hoping that today is a better day and the knee is behaving a little better. Good work on the exercise bike, gently gently slowly slowly catchy monkey...and doesn't it feel good to find something that has an effect that you can incoporate into the routine? Hoping that the calf pain is also subsiding..this whole thing is a lesson in patience isn't it, I'd be utterly useless! Did you skip the chilly swim or brave the cold? Our summer appears to have also dwindled a bit although it has been wamish but with rain and some chilly winds at certain times. The forecast is better next week so I hope summer might return for the weekend....

Day out today - picked up my Mum and we met my two Aunts for lunch. One is 81 and one is 84, the 84 year old had a TK about 4 years ago, and showed me her scar. She is pretty overweight so there was a lot of spare skin and stuff but the scar was neat and she has really good ROM. Encourging at the age of 80 to have such a good outcome. Not that I am planning on a KR anytime yet! She did say it is strange as it feels hard if she touchs it, and if anyone knocks it she wants to kill them! So, my joint felt quite young and nimble in comparison. The other aunt has onions - VERY bad ones and she ha them operated on many years ago. I asked if she had them pinned and she said yes but I think they were just shaved down -and have come back even worse and she said the pain was the worst thing she had ever experienced! EEEEk! At least with fusion they can't come back!!!

Anyway, time for dinner here, and Celebrity masterchef - one of my faves,

Hugs to you and the new ACL and hope for a sunny Snowy day

Lottie xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 22, 2010, 08:12:57 PM
Morning Lottie. :)

I'm still leaning toward skipping the swim - cold doesn't bother me, but I am worried about getting chilled when my body needs all its resources for healing. These decisions are always a major internal battle, since my natural reaction is "OMG I'm finally back in the pool - swim swim swim!"

That's amazing about your aunt's TKR - fantastic that even at 80 years old, she was able to heal up and make a good recovery. Have you ever seen a video of a TKR? It's a fascinating process but great motivation to look after your knees and avoid one if at all possible. (I suspect that it's an inevitable part of my future, but hopefully not for many years.)

I just checked my blog and discovered that after my injury, it was 17 days before I was able to turn the pedals on the bike a full rotation. I think I'm a bit further behind this time (more swelling and less flex than at the same point post-injury) but it was a good reminder that it wasn't easy last time, either. I'm continuing to work away at the bike - just sitting on it and rocking away at the pedals at the flex limits. It doesn't really help that I have the bike set up outside on the deck, overlooking the 8th Avenue bike route where I can see all the happy cyclists zipping along to work! Big pangs of envy...

Reached 90 degrees in a heel slide (with a lot of swearing) after the last pedal rocking session. :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 22, 2010, 09:40:48 PM
Snowy you sound like you have your sensible head on today I can just imagine how hard it must be now you know you are free to swim, the fact that you are making the decision not to because of the cold is very sensible ;) Apart from that please remember how well you are doing not even 2 weeks after surgery your out walking and swimming and before you know it you'll be cycling as well , I know it is going to be much harder for you because you lead such a more active life than I do but your knee has still had a lot of work done to it and its important to remember that and take things slow and steady... sorry that wasn't meant to sound like a lecture just a wee reminder :D just tell me to shut up cos I know you already know all this ::) ::) ::)
Now I get what you were talking about when you mentioned the hamstring waking up thats a few times today that I moved the wrong way and got imense pain up the back of my leg, it brought tears to my eyes a few times today, I didnt feel anything like that yesterday, how long did you find that wee treat lasted for?? or is it still a problem for you?
Take care Tez 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 23, 2010, 12:13:32 AM
Have been working solidly on flex exercises since my last post four hours ago. Now at 100 degrees in a heel slide after icing and pedal rocking. Progress!

Also made the happy discovery that I can use our cross trainer, which doesn't require nearly as much bend in the knee as the bike. Have emailed my PT to find out if this is a reasonable substitute until I can actually get the bike pedals to turn. (Update: PT says no cross trainer yet. Darn.)

Tez - I had the exact same problem with the hamstring initially, but it has settled down now. It feels very raw for a few days; watch out for stretching forwards when you're sitting with your leg up, and for putting the foot down abruptly when you're crutching around. (You only have to do that once to learn not to do it again.) I think mine settled down a week or so after surgery, and now it's doing okay.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on July 23, 2010, 08:32:25 AM
hey You!!! Patience girly...........x trainer at 2 back as to why you need to allow it time to heal and why the rehab is so slow, you mentioned it yourself in one of your posts.  It is important NOT to overdo anything.

My rehab, with this being no2 acl on same knee was slower than the first and it was 6 weeks plus before i made it to the x trainer and 4 weeks before i was able to go on the bike.  Swimming started at 3 weeks once that huge 7 inch incision was definately closed, and then my physio only allowed me 50 lengths, which in the gym pool is 1250m. He just kept reminding me that the only reason why i was allowed to do so much (huh i used to think), was because swimming is my job and i know how to do it safely.  For now be content with swimming.  It is so easy to want to do more especially as you start to feel better and better.

If you are bored, click on my name and read my posts from my post mosaciplasty and see and feel my frustrations at 7 weeks when i did too much and my knee blew a reaction.  i Re-read them myself a few weeks ago and i wasnt a very nice person to be around then, but it might make you feel better about where you are.

When i first got on the bike, my flexion was bad..........getting the pedals around a full revolution was so slow and i barely went fast enough for it to register the rpm (30ish) so it will come it will.  You are doing brilliantly (v British response haha) and i think for 2 weeks post op how well you are.

Thanks for the feedback on FB last night, i am so pleased to have a new qualification under my belt at 41, look at future gym members eh?  My personal training is my extravagance, my treat to me for working hard and sometimes it is a struggle to find the money, but i love it and how much self confidence it gives me so it is worth every penny.  For too long i have had people telling me.......fat.......ugly........cant do that.....etc that i now have the confiednce to stick fingers up at words like that and say........."Can't........well watch me!!"  Next long term goal BTW is to cycle John O'Goroats to Lands End........of course raising money along the way for my beauties in Africa!!

So have a good day and enjoy the rest.  If you get to swim have fun, my next session in the pool has been set from the trainer and i think is going to kill me, i am not a speedy swimmer more and endurance distance girl and i have been set a race pace session ugh.........

Speak soon

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 23, 2010, 02:54:52 PM
Hey Snowy

I can only echo Lisa's words of wisdowm - take it easy and remember you must protect the graft as much as work the leg. I know JUST how frustrating it to take things slowly, only from the PFS constant battle but all the evidence for any surgery points to a better result if you work within the right parameters....I know looking at my foot op everything I read said that basically for 4 days stick your fot op high, ice it, and only walk to the toilet! Then, restrict the time the foot is down for 6 weeks to only when its necessary. I know my OS was a bit cautious when I was emailing him asking if it was feasible to be in the gym with my ortho sandal at 3 weeks - he didn't say No but he did say it might not be the best decision ever!! /end of lecture again. Gosh we're geting good at this nagging lark aren't we?

Lisa - what have you qualified as? I did my Gym Instructor qual last year at the age of 40 and now the knees have settled a bit I am about to pick up my Level 3 REPS personal training qualification. I know what you mean about having a trainer - mine was awesome and we stay in touch despite me having moved house and now working on my own kind of programs. Its a massive boost and worth every penny.

Hugs to all knees!

Lottie xxx :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on July 23, 2010, 02:59:04 PM
Well Snowy, how are you this fine day? I take it you didn't go for your swim yesterday, weather any better today? GOOD WORK on the flex, 100 degrees is impressive, just don't push yourself too hard k? lol. x trainer, why am I not surprised, lol.

Tell me more about this hamstring pain, I know the incision is on the medial side just below the knee (well I think :/ ) buthow far up your hamstring does the pain go? Just a) want to be prepared and b) am quite interested in the mechanics of it all, found a wee animation of it earlier, was like being back in school again watching videos in Biology, lol.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 23, 2010, 04:32:09 PM
Hi Snowy... just checking in to make sure you are behaving today, you wacky cross-trainer  :) Congrats on 100 degrees! (swearing always helps)

slow and steady does win the race... you're doing awesome and don't forget it!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 23, 2010, 09:21:30 PM
Don't worry, gang. Much though I'm itching to get back to doing more "normal" activities, there's a reason I emailed the PT to ask whether or not the cross trainer was okay - I'm not going to rush into doing things without his approval. At the same time, though, I'm not going to not ask about an activity I'm not sure about just because it's not on the rehab list at this point. ;)

The thing that's driving me nuts at the moment is that there's a lot more that I could be doing, but I can't because of the lack of flex. My PT is really keen to get me on the stationary bike asap, but it's not going to happen until I can turn the pedals! Hence the reason I spent all day yesterday working on the flex. Boring, but I did see more of an improvement than I've had so far. I'm hoping for a pedal turn on day 17, as that's when I managed it post-injury.

Got to the pool earlier this morning and enjoyed my swim considerably more without the lunchtime crowds. I think I'm going to aim for no later than 10am going forwards - it makes a big difference. Cardio and stamina felt better today too, though still nowhere close to pre-surgery. I cut myself off at 3k again to give myself time for a bit of post-swim hydrotherapy, walking up and down next to the rope.

More later, including proper replies - we're off to the beach now while the sun is shining. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on July 24, 2010, 12:00:02 AM
Well done on the 100 degree flexion !

How is you extension now ? I have now lost my 0 degree extenion and am about -30 degrees due to my swelling. I'd be interested to compare notes.

When you turn in the pool, do you push off with your legs ? I wonder if this could have aggravated my knee or hamstring.

If you're doing any hydrotherapy with your physio, I'd love to hear what exercises you do.


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 24, 2010, 05:09:01 AM
Hello again all. Long day today, but a good day.

Lis - don't worry, I'm being more careful than it probably sounded from my post. The PT is very keen to get me onto the bike as soon as possible, and I wasn't sure whether the cross trainer was something that could be substituted for the bike given that I still can't turn the pedals. It didn't show up anywhere on my rehab list, so I checked with the PT who said no - too much tibial translation on the cross trainer. So I just have to keep working away at the flex until I can get those pedals to turn. I am very thankful to have the swimming to stop me going completely crazy; at the moment I'm still not using my legs at all, but I'm going full speed with my arms and a set of large resistance paddles. Not being able to exercise does very bad things to me psychologically, so it's great to have an outlet where I can go hard without worrying about the knee.

Whoever told you all those horrible things was a fool, as you've clearly shown with all the things you've achieved. You're a very inspirational person, and when I'm over this little bump in the road I'd love to do some kind of fundraising event to help support your work in Africa - I usually try to do one sponsored event each year to raise money for charity, but unfortunately this year's plan (to cycle the Whistler GranFondo) has had to be called off for obvious reasons.

Lottie - clearly you guys are well aware of my natural inclinations! No matter how much I want to be doing more activities, though, I'm not going to do anything that the PT hasn't okayed. He's actually pretty amused by my approach - he commented in the email response to my cross trainer question that he fully expects to be signing me up for an Ironman event before I'm done with rehab! While PT is going to bankrupt me before this is over (I blew threw my pitiful insurance coverage after the injury, so I'm self-funding) I do think I'm lucky to be working with him; he understands where I'm coming from and is willing to work rehab around my goals as much as possible.

Impish - the hamstring pain is horrible, but the good thing is that it's triggered by movement (it didn't bother me at all while lying still) and you soon learn to avoid the movements that cause it. Mine started in the back of the knee and went about two-thirds to three-quarters of the way up the back of my thigh (hard to say exactly) and the best way I can describe it is a really nerve-jangling, raw pain. I found the triggers were anything that jarred the leg, like putting my foot down a little hard; bending over from the waist; and leaning forward too far while I was sitting on the couch with my foot up. You only have to do each of those once to learn not to do them again! It's also bothering me a bit now I've started exercises that require me to bend the knee up while lying face down; it's sore and there's a horrible weakness where the hamstring tendons used to be.

Kris - slow and steady definitely isn't my style, but I'm trying. ;) Am planning on administering a medicinal beer or two on the roof deck tonight, as it looks like there's going to be a gorgeous sunset.

Deepak - extension is doing okay. The leg still doesn't really want to lock when I'm standing, but I can get it flat when I'm doing seated extensions and even get a millimeter or two of heel lift. Flex is still a battle; I'm now at 90 degrees when the leg isn't warmed up, 100 degrees after a lot of work. It took hours of exercises to make those gains yesterday but they did happen, so I guess that's what I need to keep doing.

Hydrotherapy is very basic at the moment; walking in varying depths of water, and marching on the spot. I'm not using my legs at all while I swim, and definitely not to push off. After I tore my ACL I think it was quite a while before I was comfortable even starting to push off the side with my injured leg. It makes me very slow on the turns right now, but in a 137m long pool that's not really a big deal. ;)

Day fourteen

Started out with a swim in the morning, then J and I went to the beach for the afternoon. I celebrated Frankenknee's two-week anniversary by giving him a proper dunking in the ocean; all the way in and even swam around a little bit with my legs trailing uselessly behind me (I forgot to take the float that I use to keep my legs still in the pool). Something about being in the ocean is very healing; after a mopey couple of days I felt a lot better when I came out. Afterwards we went for a long walk along the beaches; I think about 4k altogether. I'm still a bit limpy but I find that gentle walking helps with the calf pain and keeps the leg from stiffening up.

The PT's massage has certainly got things moving in the leg; my calf is still really sore, but the bruise on my foot has doubled in size in the past couple of days! I think this is a good sign; hopefully the rest of the gunk that's causing the pain will gradually work its way out. We're about to sit down and watch a few shows on DVD, and J is going to do some massage work on my calf and knee in the hopes of helping the swelling and pain. More PT tomorrow, which will no doubt be another test of endurance (though ultimately for a good cause.)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 24, 2010, 01:44:38 PM
Snowy 2 weeks already do you feel the time has flown by or is the time still really dragging??
I'm so glad you are taking the sensible approach to your rehab cos I know it must go against the grain to take things easy and not go full tilt at things. ;)
Good to see your walking quite a bit, when did you stop using crutches? I was told by the hospital physio to keep using both untill my first physio appointment but have been walking around the bedroom without them as long as its just  a few steps, I'm not sure whether its the fear of how the knee will feel if I dont use them for walking anything more than a few steps I have turned into a bit of a wimp me thinks ;D
Lisa you are an insperation to me and I'm sure loads of other people not only do you work hard and are doing courses to improve your ability to do your job and to help your clients, your still going to do your charity work, I would like to know where you get your energy from :)  and if theirs any spare going please send it my way..
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 24, 2010, 05:01:12 PM
Morning Tez. :) Time is on a strange sort of double helix for me at the moment; in some ways I can't believe it's been two weeks already, and in others it feels like it's been an eternity since the surgery. I'm just taking each day as it comes at the moment. Now I have a proper PT regime to work on it's amazing how the time gets filled up.

You probably saw my reply on your thread, but I came off the crutches very early - I haven't used them at all since day five. My walking and weight bearing have been very good from the start, which my PT says is down to my leg condition and in particular quad strength going into the surgery. (Shame my stupid flex couldn't be on the same page!) I would do what you feel comfortable with, but don't push it if the knee doesn't feel stable - it is early days at the moment.

Happy Saturday to you.  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 24, 2010, 09:28:17 PM
I TURNED THE PEDALS!!!!!!! Just once, and it wasn't very comfortable and took a good five minutes of working away at the flex beforehand, but it's a start.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on July 24, 2010, 11:26:17 PM
Congratulations on getting to 2 weeks post-op ! I can't believe its already been 2 weeks !

Congratulations on turning the pedals as well ! Its just going to get easier from here  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: crankerchick on July 24, 2010, 11:48:44 PM
I TURNED THE PEDALS!!!!!!! Just once, and it wasn't very comfortable and took a good five minutes of working away at the flex beforehand, but it's a start.

Woohoo way to go! Keep pushing (safely and cautiously of course)!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Cosmicsnuffle on July 25, 2010, 12:10:09 AM
Hey Snowy,

Fantastic pedal turning mad cross trainer woman! Isn't it an amazing feeling when they get all the way round.... if only because now you know you've done one you can do more!....after all - one good turn deserves another  ;D ;D ;D ;D

I feel like a very dilatory KG ... I've picked up bits of news on FB but have just had two pages of catching up to do on your thread and am a conplete stranger over at Tez's place >:( . Just to say I hope you know that my log-on frequency bears no relation to the amount you guys are in my thoughts, life just seems to have become stupidly hectic and my laptop time is suffering severely! I guess it's a good sign both regarding my knee and the fullness of my family life.

...and Lisa - I'll echo all of the comments below. You are an inspiration because you walk the walk... so many just talk the talk. Big respect to you. xx

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 25, 2010, 03:08:04 AM
Hey folks!

Cosmic - happy to see you! It did sound like your life was about to get extraordinarily hectic so I'm not surprised your online time has been a bit curtailed, but we have missed you. :)

Day fifteen

I'm still ridiculously excited about the pedal turn, even though it was quite a struggle and definitely required a bit of work to achieve. Post-injury I managed the first pedal turn on day 17, followed by three days of equally torturous single turns and then a breakthrough on the fourth day when I was finally able to manage a sustained five minute pedal. I'm longing for that moment when I can actually rotate the pedals continuously; post-injury cycling did wonders for working the excess fluid out of my knee and improving my flex.

Second PT session this morning. Apart from the stubborn flex, he's really pleased with how things are going. He put me on a wobble board and I was shocked by how completely totalled my proprioception is. Before surgery I could stand on the bad leg on the board for 10 minutes with Jen firing tennis balls for me to catch; now I can barely stay on the darn thing with both legs and no distractions. I've got a couple of new exercises and stretches to add to my routine as well as regular wobble board time, and he thinks we should be able to start on gym work (leg presses etc) later this week.

The PT also did some pretty extensive massage work on the troublesome calf, and my foot bruise has once again increased in size and gained a few new colours as a result. There's one big tender patch left in the calf that gets very painful when the leg stiffens up, but overall it's not nearly as bad as it was a few days ago. He thinks the remaining calf pain will clear over the next week as the last of the haematoma drains away.

Headed from PT to the pool for a swim and hydrotherapy, then home, leg exercises, brief trip out to sun ourselves at Locarno Beach, and now we're off to a friend's housewarming party and the second night of the always amazing Celebration of Light. The friend hosting the party offered to save us a parking spot, but it's a beautiful evening and she's not too far away and I think my knee is up to the walk.  8)

Hope you're all having a wonderful sunny weekend.  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 25, 2010, 12:24:17 PM
Hi Snowy

Its going well - nice bruise on the foot :)

It looks like your recovery is coming along well - keep it up - I'm sure you'll get to the full on pedalling soon.  I hope the blood thats moving around your calf clears up soon.

I dont think I could do as well on the wobble board with my injured leg prior to surgery - if your control was so good before I'm sure you will get it back quickly.

Enjoy your lovely sunny weather...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 25, 2010, 11:08:04 PM
Hi Zaiem! Isn't it a pretty bruise? Today it's gone from yesterday's sort of indigo to a very lovely violet, and expanded a bit more toward my ankle and toes. I've also started to feel some stiffness and aching around it. This is all good, as it means more of the haematoma gunk is draining away from the calf.

Well, last night turned out to be a bit more demanding for my knee than I expected. We walked over to the housewarming party - about 3k - which was a fair distance to do in one go; I've been breaking the longer walks in the middle. Then I sat with the leg down for most of the evening, walked down a short but steep hill to the beach and back to watch the fireworks, and then sat for another hour or so without ice or elevation. Then disaster struck when J tried to call a cab and none of the firms would answer, which we really should have expected on fireworks night. We decided to head out and walk up to Broadway to try and hail a cab. To cut a long story short, another 3k walk later we eventually arrived home having seen not a single available cab. I iced my rather achy knee before bed and it felt fine this morning, which I'm very pleased about. My lowered post-surgery alcohol tolerance (the result of my long period of abstinence) also meant that J and I were the only two people at the party who don't have Facebook statuses lamenting our hangovers this morning. ;D

It's another beautiful day here. I coaxed the bike pedals into another couple of uncomfortable rotations this morning; I'm still a ways from being able to pedal consistently. Went for a 3k swim and did the last couple of lengths without my leg float, which was interesting. I can flutter kick but with so little bend in my knee I can't get proper form or any strength into the movement, so rather than helping with the stroke it made it twice as much work as when my legs are just dead weight trailing behind me! The OS is happy for me to flutter kick when I feel able, but I'm going to keep using the float until I have better form. The swimming is really helping to keep me sane during this time of very limited activity, and with no leg involvement it's a killer upper body workout!

Finally seeing some improvement in the horrendous swelling now that J's started doing nightly lymphatic massage. I live in hope that one day I'll be able to see my left kneecap again. The incisions are looking really good; completely healed over, the scabs are gone, and although there's isolated swelling in the skin around each one the scars themselves aren't raised up at all. Interestingly, I'm finding that after longer walks I get a very slight ache that starts at the guidewire hole and goes right down the inside of the leg to the knee; I'm guessing this is the line where the guidewire was pulled through. I wonder if they poke it right through the quad muscle? It certainly feels like it.

Extension is good, with a few millimetres of heel lift. Flex was at 105 degrees in a heel slide yesterday when the leg was warmed up, 90 degrees cold. Still not seeing a whole lot of improvement there. Which is probably a sign that I should go and do some more exercises...funny how I have almost nothing to do right now, and yet there still aren't nearly enough hours in the day!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on July 25, 2010, 11:20:52 PM
Yay, Snowy...sounds like all is going well for you and your poor knee!!  Thank goodness for Jen's lymphatic massages.  I'm sure that's doing a world of good. 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on July 26, 2010, 12:15:20 AM
Your ankle bruise looks just like mine. I know how painful that is, particularly at night, so hope it clears up within the next week.

Congratulations on the long night out last night without consequences today. The last thing you need in the state we're in, is a hangover  ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 26, 2010, 12:32:57 AM
Snowy the bruise is just lovely something else I have to look forward to :) so glad your expedition didnt cause you any problems today but again I think thats because of how strong your legs and the muscles round your knee are.
I know you've explained it before but what exactly do you do for the lymphatic massage I may get Dougie to try it as the last couple of days I have more swelling due, I think to being up and around more, I also have a bit more pain in the calf and it would have freaked me out if it had not been for the lovely acl'ers all posting about the same thing, and knowing its normal really helps..
Keep up the good work remember your my insperation and if I can do half as much as you as time goes by I will be happy
Take care Tez 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 26, 2010, 04:34:26 AM
Tez - the lymphatic massage was a huge help post-injury, and it seems to be equally effective for the post-surgery swelling. You'll be able to start it once you've had your stitches out and are comfortable with pressure and movement on and around the incisions. I'm still finding it a bit sore on the incision sites, but it's worth it to help bring the swelling down.

Get Dougie to wrap both hands around your leg just below the knee, or wherever the swelling starts. Then have him push his hands up and over the knee, keeping a steady pressure on the leg. He should push all the way up to your groin, and put a little extra pressure on the crook of your thigh for a few seconds at the end of the movement. The idea is that this pushes fluid out of the knee and toward the lymph nodes in the thigh, where it can be absorbed.

It's a really good technique for swelling reduction - I hope it helps. If you're still getting a lot of extra swelling when you're up and about, try and be religious about going back to the couch for elevation and cryocuffing whenever you're not doing anything (and don't do too much, of course!) I think I was lucky in this regard - I had horrendous post-op swelling, but moving around didn't make it any worse and in fact sometimes made it feel slightly better. Are you taking any kind of anti-inflammatory along with the tramadol?

Day sixteen

Knee is feeling a little achy after adding in all the new exercises, but not in a particularly bad way. Today was also the first day I've been able to do the face down knee bends without pain (or support from the good leg).

One thing I meant to comment on is that for the past few days I've felt completely back into the swing of normal activities. Cooking, housecleaning, shopping - I'm still a little slower moving around than normal, but my walking is strong enough that none of the day-to-day stuff is causing any problems at all. It's funny how much I appreciate being able to do things for myself again, even chores that I don't actually enjoy! (J, of course, appreciates it too...)

The reality of three or four months of no biking is starting to sink in. It's making me very sad seeing all the happy summer cyclists out and about, and I really don't like using the truck for all the little errands that I would normally do on the bike. In particular I hate having to drive to the pool; every single time I leave I instinctively walk over to the bike rack to unlock my bike, but of course it isn't there. I realised today that I wasn't completely prepared for this because after the injury, I was back on my road bike a week after turning the pedals on the stationary bike; in fact cycling was one of the main things I used to recover and build my quad strength back up. This time there's no going back to the road bike until the PT says it's okay, which is usually between 12 and 16 weeks. I'll be happier when I can at least ride the stationary bike, but it won't be the same.

Ankle and foot are feeling very stiff around the bruising site. The calf has one large, rock-hard sore patch remaining, but at least it continues to make a steady improvement. Thank goodness for ankle pumps!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 26, 2010, 08:03:38 AM
Hey Snowy!

Good to hear that normality is returning! If you need some more ironing and cleaning then feel free to pop over... ;D

The 3-4 months off the bike will pass more quickly than you can imagine, but it must seem like a LONG ole time and it doesn't help seeing everyone else on bikes. But, short term sacrifice to build a knee that will get you back to full stability and strength so you can properly enjoy all of those lovely activities. I remember reading reading about Tiger Woods when he had his ACLr (OK the guy is a bit of a numpty!) and he was off being able to do a proper golf swing for several weeks - he said he hadn't been away from swinging a club since he was about 4 years old and he felt like half of his soul was missing! Time will'll be pedalling about before you know it.... :D

Knees and onions are quite calm here, it is a cloudy Monday morning but muggy and quite humid. Where is the sunshine?!! Pah!

Hope the flex is coming on as well, hugs from the UK,

Lottie xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: vickster on July 26, 2010, 08:41:24 AM
I can totally sympathise with the no cycling in the summer thing - I was gutted to be told I couldn't spend my summer pootling around and commuting by bike.  It's been 10 weeks for me so far and it has gone fairly quickly - as Lottie says 3-4 months will go quickly.  I doubt I'll be getting on a bike again until next spring at the earliest :(
I'm a fair weather cyclist, even more so now given how I injured my knee  ::) , so missing the winter won't make a lot of difference to me

Take care and keep that impressive recovery pace up!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 26, 2010, 10:30:41 AM
the foot bruise is exceptionally festive! Glad to see you've had a productive weekend with PT and pedals. Also it's exciting to hear you're doing "normal" activities, even at a reduced pace. It's amazing what that stuff can do in terms of making you feel normal in the head (ok for me maybe I never feel normal in the head!)

I know how bummed you must be about biking- but in the long run you'll be able to do lots more things! I've never been more frustrated by anything than I've been with the rehab process and I am not even at half your activity level. It's a marathon, not a sprint, blah blah blah  :) The stationary bike and I are still at odds so I hope it's nicer to you once you're finally allowed. He can have a bit of a mean streak sometimes!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on July 26, 2010, 01:04:35 PM
Snowy that hamstring pain sounds pretty horrible :( Have you ever had a bad muscle tear? I haven't but the description I had of it sounds very similar to that. Is one of the things I'm most worried about as my hamstrings have never been great. You must keep me apprised of any exercises you discover for it.

Glad to hear you're walking about well, 4k and 3k in a matter of days with no bad reaction to speak of is excellent :D I bet you were ecstatic when you turned those pedals, even if it was only once ;D Just don't push it or I shall have to send some knee geeks after you with various specimens of aquatic life to knock some sense in to you ;)

I know it's guff that you're stuck inside watching everyone else cycle about, and the static one just doesn't compare, but again, you'll be there before you know it :)

You've convinced me to by a wobble board, my proprioception is okay at the moment, but it could always be better. Will also give me an idea of how things have dropped off post-op. Also had a look at the website for the celebration of light, looks amazing! That's another one for the holiday list, lol.

How's the hamstring feeling today with the increased activity? Has the physio give you any additional exercises on top of what you've been doing?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 26, 2010, 04:17:49 PM
Hi Snowy thanks for the info on the massage my stiches come out on Thursday so I guess thats a job for Dougie after that..
Its great to here you have found you can get back to the day to day houshold things without any problem, how long untill you got back on your excersise  bike just wondering as mine in sitting there in the cornor of the dining room taunting me and I dont have the passion for cycling that you have in fact I dont particularly like it but just the fact that I know I cant get on for a wee cycle is annoying so I sympathise with you  not being able to get out and about on your bike it must be soooo much worse for you I know from chatting with Vicky how hard she is finding it, its funny how some things are harder to do without than others, to be honest I know my hardest thing is not being at work, my hope is once I can drive again I might feel a bit better but at the moment weeks spent in this house will possibly be the end of me ;D
At least Tony has got a surgery date at last so it might not be long till you can break open your 3 muskateer beer lol
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 27, 2010, 12:26:38 AM
Lottie - Tiger Woods is definitely a major league ass, but that's a good description. I'd say that for me, not being able to cycle feels like someone has taken away a limb. Not being able to ski feels like someone stole my soul. Thankfully I have nothing to miss right now as we're out of season, but I have a feeling I'm going to be like a bear with a sore head when the snow starts falling in November. After I tore my ACL it snowed solidly for two weeks, and I wanted to cry every time I looked out of the window at the north shore mountains in their gleaming white coats.

I think we stole your sunshine - it's still baking hot here, and apparently this is going to go on for at least another two weeks! After a slow start our summer came roaring in with a vengeance. It's been one of the driest Julys on record and the wildfire season is starting to ramp up.

Vickster - I'm anticipating being cleared to cycle in about November, so just in time for the really miserable winter weather. ;) I'm a year-round bike commuter so I'm fairly used to riding in the rain and cold, but I will miss the long summer rides. One of my biggest disappointments is that I had to sell my registration for the Whistler GranFondo, a road race from Vancouver to Whistler in September; it's their inaugural year and I was very excited about being a founding rider. I hope that by spring Neelie will be in much better shape and you'll be ready for a pain-free cycling summer next year.

Kris - when I think about it my progress isn't really a lot slower than it was post-injury, so I think a lot of my frustration comes from having to do this all over again - and knowing that this time, I don't get to speed things up just by throwing myself at it as hard as I can. The whole "slow and steady" thing is very much at odds with my normal approach, which is to throw myself at things 110% until the problem is resolved or I collapse with exhaustion. At the moment I'm having what feels like an illicit affair with the stationary bike - we look at each other longingly but can only spend very short periods of time together.

Impish - the hamstring pain is sharper than a muscle tear, but it is quite easy to avoid once you learn what activities trigger it. One of the important things is not to overdo the exercises early on, as you have to give it a chance to heal before you start building it back up again. Right now I'm doing two sets of exercises for the hamstring: basic curls while lying face down, and combo hamstring and calf stretching with the aid of a dressing gown cord. The hamstring pain has settled a lot since about the two-week mark, and I can finally do the curls without discomfort or needing the other leg for support. I can still feel some pain through the back of the knee, but it's more like a stiff or pulled muscle than the very sharp pain I had originally.

The wobble board is fantastic for proprioception, and is a nice cheap thing to add to the home armoury. I did lots of work with tennis balls before surgery - standing initially on both legs and then just on one leg at a time while Jen hurled them at me from all angles, or I bounced them off the walls. I don't have very good natural balance, but that really brought it along fast!

If you liked the Celebration of Light website, check this out:

It's a timelapse video of one of last year's displays, which was preceded by an insane lightning storm. Natural and man-made pyrotechnics! I have never in my life seen anything like the sky that came immediately before the thunderstorm; everything lit up with this eerie orange glow and it looked like the last day on earth.

Tez - I'm not really back on the bike yet. I can get the pedals around but it's jerky and uncomfortable, so I haven't been able to manage any sustained pedalling. My PT was hoping I'd be ready to start at two weeks, but it's going to take a bit longer. I know what you mean about feeling stir crazy; I've been out and about a fair bit but still have terrible cabin fever!

The Trois Mousquetaires beer will be opened on August 20th - the day that all three Musketeers and D'Artagnan have their new ACLs.  ;D

Day seventeen

I've spent hours working on my flex, but not a single degree of progress since I made the 10 degree gains four days ago. I'm completely stuck at 90 degrees cold and 105 warmed up. It's driving me nuts and really limiting the range of exercises I can do. I'm going to talk to the PT on Thursday to see if there's anything else he can recommend.

I came up with a hybrid swimming technique this morning where I use the float, but also do a gentle flutter kick from the knee down. The float compensates for the fact that I can't get strength into the kick yet, and the knee seemed to appreciate the gentle, continuous motion.

Not much else to report; have just been doing the usual exercises and lots of walking. I'm feeling quite frustrated by the lack of progress on flex, particularly as I have the strength to be doing much more than I am now - the PT is really pleased with how much quad function I've retained. However, I need to be able to bend the leg a bit more to start on the exercises where I can really use it.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on July 27, 2010, 09:46:59 AM
Ahhhh Lottie, I haven't heard the word "numpty" in AGES ;D I shall have to work it back in to my rotation, lol. It does perfectly describe Tiger too.

Ohhh? that sounds interesting with the dressing gown cord, do explain :) Glad to hear after a couple of weeks it's moved on to that sort of level, pulled muscles I can remember from somewhere in the dim and distant past when I played sport...seems so long ago...perhaps it's a memory from a past life? :D

I ordered up a wobble board that has 2 different attachments for wobble and a rocker attachment, I can see me spending alot of time on it, the tennis ball thing is a good idea as my balance isn't great as the many scars on my knees in elbows will attest to after my attempts at skating when I was but a teen.

I shall have a look at that video when I get home, sounds awesome, I'm looking for loads of stuff like that at the moment actually. Going to have a party in the house before knee-day and am going to try and get some cool stuff like that to splice together and stick it up on the new tv to some music, just as a sort of audio visual accompaniment to everyone becoming slightly intoxicated :D

I'm sure the flex is very frustrating :( if I remember correctly it took you until day 17 to get 1 turn post-injury and then a few days after that to get a consistent cycle? Give it until your on day 20 or 21 before you start to get annoyed, your knee went through an awful lot more trauma this time (as I'm sure you're aware, but gotta keep you grounded ;) ) so the fact that you were slightly ahead of getting the 1 turn done is a cause for celebration, chin up :P

Did I not read somewhere that you're only supposed to kick from the hips for a while post-op?

Don't worry about stealing our sunshine, it's been a traditional British Summer over here. Scorching during may when exams or on, lots of rain since and it'll probably be scorching in september when the schools come back (means I can sit in the garden with my knee up)

Was poking about on the internet bored, which trois mousquetaires Grand Cuvee did you get, was it the Doppelbock or the Wheat Ale?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on July 27, 2010, 10:51:52 AM
You are still doing good girly, the year i had hammy done (the wrong one that was done) i also had microfracture (that also didnt work) and didnt weight beasr till after 4 weeks and didnt get on a bike for 6 weeks let alone turn pedals.  It comes quickly when it arrives and you will get there soon.

I am still go skiing next season.................and to do some proper skiing too.  I went between ops but was so cautious you couldnt really call it skiing.  My original injury in 1994 was done skiing in Breckenridge.  I went without an acl for 11 years, guys although the recovery can be tedious and darn annoying at times, if you dont want to end up with the worst osteoarthirits and the need for more serious operations to sort this out, AND want to still have a reasonable activity level then being without a functional acl aint the best idea.  I was supposed to get less active and didnt....................2 marathons later............all these problems.  Regrets?  Just one..............should have got acl done closer to injury!

Right now i have added the wave machine to my workout at the gym.  This movement is new, havent done it for over 2 years and is going to take some getting used to, however is closer to a skiing type action so lets see how it reacts to that.

I read your posts with interest.  Your recovery is going welll.

Lisa x
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on July 27, 2010, 02:00:04 PM
Hey Kay

Sorry I haven't been on here for a while, I read how you are doing every day I just haven't posted in a while! first thing- wow what a colourful ankle! Don't think I have ever had anything like that after surgery, I usually get a yellowy horribly painful one down the back of my calf and around by the wounds, but nowhere near as interesting as yours, a changing colour bruise, I am impressed  ;D

Sorry about the frustration with the flexion, and therefore the swimming, but congratulations on being able to go around the pedals on the stationary bike, that is a good step, and with all the time and effort you are putting in I am sure it will come, and I am sure your quads are doing much better than expected after this kind of surgery, you are doing so much and it will come! It must also be satifying to know that you are ahead of your post injury recovery, and I would agree that this has been much more trauma to your knee, so it all sounds great, just at the frustrating phase of recovery which will pass.

Keep up with the great recovery and try to think about all the positives so far!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 27, 2010, 11:10:46 PM
hey girl hey!

Even though it's frustrating and seems like a "low" number, I think 90 deg is the magic number to a lot of surgeons and if you're getting it up to 105 sometimes, that's definitely something to be proud of. Also getting rotation on the bike pedals is HUGE... (is it more fun to ride it when it's clandestine? To me it's just boring, frustrating and harder than it should be... maybe I should start flirting with mine, but I think the gym people would call security)

Hope you've had a great day (maybe another walking adventure?) and get lots of good rest.

keep up the good work!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 28, 2010, 04:02:07 AM
Impish & Lottie - I confess to having no idea whatsoever what a numpty is. Am I missing out? Impish - the only thing I can tell about swimming protocols is that nobody seems to agree on what you should and shouldn't be doing, with the exception of whip kicks (definitely not). My OS said last week that he was fine with me kicking from the knee, as long as I kept it smooth and gentle.

Lis - I can't imagine how frustrating such a slow recovery must have been. How did the second one compare? I hope you will get the chance to come skiing next year - you should give some thought to visiting Whistler! ;D (Not that I'm biased or anything, but it is one of the best ski areas on the planet.) I'm curious about the Wave machine - is that similar to the Profitter or Skier's Edge? I was planning on getting a Skier's Edge for the later stages of my recovery when they had this year's summer sale, but was thwarted by an huge emergency vet bill that ate our savings.

Vicky - I tend to bruise really easily so I had a feeling I'd be in for some technicolour flesh post-surgery. For a couple of days my entire leg was yellow from mid-thigh to ankle, which looked really gross. The foot bruise was much more appealing! That said I can't compare to Cosmic's bruising, which was spectacular.

Kris - at the moment riding the bike is too uncomfortable to be fun, but I'm working at it (see update below) and I hope it will come. I just can't wait to get on it and pedal away with abandon, even if I am stuck on a training frame out on the deck. At least the views are nice. :)

Day eighteen

Went for an early swim today and then spent the rest of the day at home focusing on my knee exercises; having been out and about so much over the weekend I haven't been doing them as often as I should and I wanted to catch up. I have a nice rehab circuit consisting of wobble board and recliner for SLRs, heel slides and extension work at the sunny end of the deck, and bike on its trainer at the shady end looking out at the mountains. If I do get cleared to start gym work this weekend it's going to feel like a bit of a comedown. ;)

In a fit of complete exasperation I raised the seat on the bike by an inch and a half and now I can pedal for about two minutes at a time. It's still jerky and quite uncomfortable (both for the stiff knee and for my butt on the raised seat) but I can feel the benefits afterwards. I haven't really gained any flex (up to 107 degrees, which is a negligible improvement) but the knee is definitely feeling smoother in the range of motion that it does have. I've had three little two-minute stints on the bike today and will keep plugging away at it until I can put the seat back to its normal height and pedal smoothly.

I've started to experience some new pain under the patellar; not the angry hornets I know and love from my PFS but a sort of pulling and tearing sensation when I bend the knee too quickly while sitting down. I assume it's scar tissue from the op working loose, as I don't think it's in the area of the graft. I'm trying to avoid triggering it, and will ask my PT about it on Thursday.

I'm feeling a little better about the flex issue after finding an old blog entry from my post-injury period where I measured the knee flex at 107 on day 19. I'm still concerned that I've only gained 2 degrees in five days - I don't remember plateauing like this after injury - but at least I'm not worse off than I was then.

Have done a gazillion exercises today, and the knee is rather achy now. I've wrapped it in the Cryocuff and will treat it to an early night to thank it for its hard work. I also dusted off the online Master's degree that I put on hold when I got my temporary promotion 9 months ago, and did a bit of work on that in between exercises. I think that will be a good pattern for the days when J's working - early swim, then alternating knee exercises and studying. It would be great if I could use this time to make some progress on the course, as I'm almost a year behind schedule now.

One unexpected side effect of surgery (or probably more likely my extended spell on the couch post-surgery) is that my circulation seems to be completely shot. I can't keep warm in the pool even though it's baking outside (before surgery, I didn't get cold swimming even on wet and windy days) and I'm getting really chilled after dark and whenever it's windy, even though I can tell it's not actually cold. I'm wondering if anyone else experienced this, and if so how long it took to improve? I don't think my body handled the transition from 2+ hours of hard exercise every day to a 100% sedentary lifestyle very well. (Neither did my mind, for that matter.)

Almost at the three-week mark. I veer back and forth between wondering where the time went and feeling that it's crawling by like an arthritic tortoise.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 28, 2010, 10:07:11 AM

 ;D ;D ;D :D

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 28, 2010, 11:17:42 AM
Snowy like most really good words and phrases numpty is a good old Scottish one we have some of the best phrases up here but most people other than Scots would need an interpreter to understand what we are saying  ;D
You are still coming on incredibly well I know the whole flex issue is getting to you but it will come eventually maybe in a way its a good thing cos it will remind you that you knee has been through a big trauma and maybe stop you going full tilt at everything as I know is your natural way, when you think about everything the surgeon has done in there it's not surprising that things like that will take a while to recover.
I think I am going to get off with the mega bruising both you and Cosmic experienced, mine is fading into lovely yellow tones and keeping to the back of the leg, also the body tempreture thing I havent experience any probs in that department, though how much the fact I'm getting to that certain age when the usual body temp in HOT I'm not sure.
Keep up the good work and take care Tez xx 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on July 28, 2010, 12:11:58 PM
That's outstanding Lottie ;D and Tez, fortunately the fact that most of the North East of Northern Ireland is filled with Ulster-Scots means there's probably an awful lot of slang that we share :D

Ahh that's good Kay, should have known you'd have it well researched anyway ;) at least it's a little bit of movement to try and get those calves pumping and hopefully get rid of all your post-op gunk, lol.

That circuit sounds good, must be great having a nice view for all your exercises :) Unfortunately I'll have the TV or out the window at the houses across the street (we live in a fairly new housing development, but staring at empty houses would be pretty boring I think). Are you doing the SLR on the recliner to save your hamstring or do you just not want to sit (or lie flat? not sure which way you would have done them) on the floor?

You really are determined to get those pedals round aren't you? Just be careful that you don't become unbalanced in your new position and fall over...that would be bad I think... :/

The only thing I can think of (being the MASSIVE knee expert that I am ;) ) is that the swelling is what has caused your flex plateau. It may well be that you worked harder on it to begin with this time round, knowing a little more about what was going on and being less tentative,  which is why you made gains so quickly but are finding it hard to now. I hope you're able to make some more progress today, even if it's only 1 or 2 degrees, as much as for you peace of mind than anything else as from an outside perspective your rehab is going ridiculously well. I shall be asking you and Tez millions of questions come August 21st.

The studying is probably a good idea as well, something else to focus while you rest the knee between exercises. what is the masters in? I can't remember what job you do either, I fear large amounts of alcohol in my teens and early twenties may have irreparably damaged my memory.

Hope you're feeling warmer today and time behaves itself
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 28, 2010, 04:12:07 PM
You learn something new every day. ;D I wonder if numpty would catch on if I started using it here?

Tez - glad to hear your bruising isn't too bad. I really hope that means you'll be spared the severe calf pain that Cosmic and I had as well.

Impish - I'll have to share some pics of my circuit when I have a chance. The recliner goes completely flat, so it's basically the same as doing an SLR on the floor - just a nicer spot to do it in. I think the same thing about the swelling and the flex plateau; when I'm on the bike the knee just feels stiff and too full, like it's packed full of something that's preventing the bend. We're doing more of the lymphatic massage in the hopes that that will help.

The biggest clue to my job is the research habit - I'm a librarian. :) However I'm the geeky modern kind that has absolutely nothing to do with books; my job is managing web services and virtual reference. The degree I'm doing is a Master's in the management of information services, which I've been plodding away at slowly for the last couple of years. At the moment I'm doing a module on Records Management, which is exceptionally unthrilling. It would be great if I could get that one out the way during my time off work for knee recovery. What do you do? I'm not sure if I knew and forgot, or didn't know to start with...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on July 29, 2010, 01:03:56 AM
I'm not a good person to give advice on temperature regulation, since mine was crap even before my op. I have poor circulation, so like a lizard, I get cold even in the summer if I keep still for long periods (like now).

I do think your body has had a sudden shock re stopping exercising. Mine went through a similar, but more subdued process, since I wasn't exercising as much as you to begin with (as I alluded to in my thread through use of the humorous term "antsinyourpantsitis").

Just from an endorphin point of view, we were both effectively endorphin "drug addicts" who suddenly went cold turkey, and our bodies are now going through withdrawal symptoms.

Once you look at things from the point of view of the other exercise hormones, I can see why you're experiencing physical, as well as pyschological consequences, as am I.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 29, 2010, 07:43:17 AM
I missed "antsinyourpantsitis" but yes, I have that in spades! It really is a cold turkey process - I feel like an addict jonesing for a fix.

Day nineteen

Brief, slightly exhausted update today due to a poor night's sleep last night.

Went for another early swim this morning; I really appreciate getting to the pool while it's still quiet. Today marked a small milestone; a proper flutter kick! Only for a brief test at the very end, but it's the first time my legs have really worked the way I was asking them to. I'm going to keep using the float for now, but will probably start doing 2 out of every 10 lengths without it to help work my legs back into the routine. I'm also having to really force myself to do my hydrotherapy: the problem is that when I'm in the pool I want to be swimming, and plodding up and down by the rope just isn't the same. I make myself walk at least 300 metres, but I'd really rather be swimming.

Came home and went for our regular beach circuit (4k) with an ice cream stop in the middle. I'm still limping badly because of the lack of bend in the leg, which is annoying as walking is otherwise very comfortable. My bad leg feels strong and like it could go a lot further if it needed to.

Managed my first 5-minute cycle on the stationary bike, which felt momentous. The seat is still cranked way above regular height to accommodate the inflexible leg, but when I came off the bike I could feel how much it had helped; the leg felt way smoother and looser in the range of motion that it has. Unfortunately this didn't translate into any gains in ROM at all. Patience, grasshopper.

Had a couple of friends over and watched the third night of the Celebration of Light from the roof deck. I'm starting to understand what works and what doesn't, and either sitting or standing around is hard. The knee feels rotten and loses ROM significantly when it's had a chance to stiffen up, whereas when I keep moving it feels pretty good. As the swelling finally settles a bit (though the knee is still at least 30% bigger than its counterpart, maybe a bit more) I'm also experiencing all kinds of new pains in the joint. Sharp, shooting pains; popping sensations; stretching and pulling; you name it, my knee has it going on. A lot seem to be under the patellar or in the region of the scars and I'm trying not to worry too much; I know I endured all kinds of horrible random pains after injury, and the knee has been through a much bigger trauma this time. However, it's impossible to stop my mind straying to that fragile little graft inside the knee. I wonder how it's getting on in there, and if anything that I'm doing is causing it to strain or stretch. I hope not, but I'm starting to realise that I won't stop being paranoid about it until I come out the other side of rehab (and probably for some time after that as well).

Still getting cold easily. J, who knows a lot about physiology, tells me that the only fix is to exercise more. If I only could...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 29, 2010, 11:06:44 AM
good job on the hydrotherapy and FLUTTER KICK! take it from someone who accidentally did a "real" kick too soon after surgery- just don't. It hurts just to recall it. Glad the beach walking is still going well. It seems the only way to avoid stiffness and decreased bendification is to keep moving all the time. Unfortunately sometimes it's just not possible (I've thought about one of those silly under-desk treadmills now that I leave work so creaky everyday) but I think as long as you're being gentle it's smart for you to keep moving as much as possible.... even if it's just ankle pumps while you're sitting or some non-major flexing (yup, doing both of those things myself at my desk this morning in an attempt to loosen up the Big Puffy Knee)

I know it's annoying after all of the post-injury months to still have the knee be in charge. It does what it wants and none of what it doesn't. We have to be more attuned to this stuff than the normal person indefinitely, but normalcy MUST be out there in the future somewhere (right??)  :D

Hope you have a great day! I am still trying to settle the kneetard down after yesterday. I was balancing in "bird pose," doing squat-walks on the treadmill (not recommended,) everything else just kicked up a level. I knew when I was doing these things that I was going to be in real trouble. Kneetard is healing at his own pace, apparently 7 wks is not enough for him to be ready for extended bending. However, the patellar mobility was a huge step forward and came out of nowhere. Big Brad said "This is actually moving today without me popping it, what did you do?"Naturally I hadn't done anything different, but I will take it! My uncle, who had a TKR in April and is just getting prepped to have the other knee done, said one day all of a sudden he started having major gains, after a really long time of struggle. I guess that's the way it goes sometimes, it's a MYSTERY....
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on July 29, 2010, 11:41:56 AM
How come the bad night's sleep? Pain / discomfort / overly amorous crickets outside your window? Ahhhhh I remember that stuffed knee feeling well from my elephant leg days post injury, given the swelling I had then I think I may have some pretty nasty stuff to deal with post-op, will have to get myself some of that massage too I think. Glad to hear you got a 5 minute sesh on the bike, I'll bet you felt better after that?

I can imagine it's mighty frustrating that you're stuck in the water and not swimming, even though you know you're capable, but you're probably right to be keeping the workouts down to a sensible level while you're still healing and the hydrotherapy is supposed to be good for the prorioception. Have you just been walking forwards / backwards /side ways and marching on the spot? I assume you're crazy streak hasn't pushed you on to hopping and jumping forward quite yet (though one never really knows with you ;) )  Great news on the flutter kick though and I'm even more impressed by your restraint in easing in to it :D

One thing I read last night that might be useful for both you and more significantly Kris is keeping your feet on a wobble board when you're sat down and doing little exercises like moving it from side to side and forwards and backwards in a really controlled way, rolling it around on it's rim etc. It's supposed to help with the prorioception as well but it might keep that circulation going and stop it stiffening up too :) Could be good while you're stuck in work Kris, rather than the (only marginally more ridiculous) mini treadmill ;)

That may be the bit that's playing on my mind the most and I have no doubt that you will all be getting "did you have this pain" and "did it feel this way" ad infinitum once I've had mine. I suppose it's human nature as we know better than anyone just how fragile these things are normally and now that they've been even more traumatised it'll be easy to let paranoia set in.

That sounds like quite a cool job actually although that module does sound excrutiatingly tedious. It would seem that we're both geeks at hear, I work as a remote IT support technician. Unfortunately our system isn't great so I'm doing more admin than actual technical work, but it's good experience none the less. I reckon I'll probably start doing some more courses at some point so I can move in to the networking side of it all eventually,but I'm happy enough here for the time being not least for the free health insurance ;)

I think the best cure for being cold is a hot whiskey, but that's just personal opinion ;) Hope you warm up some today and are currently getting a better nights sleep than the last :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 29, 2010, 12:57:36 PM
that's a great idea impish! now you've also given me something to do at work... online shopping for wobble boards  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 29, 2010, 01:06:56 PM
Hi Snowy

You're still doing really well - I would agree with Kris about the 'accidental' kick - I did it when I tried kicking one of the kids toys out of the way - eugh - everything jangled - esp the hamstring.

I am sure your ROM will improve and you will get more flex - you do seem to going at it full on - I found taking an easy day where I just elevated and iced (with minimal exercise) really helped to bring the swelling back down.  The other exercise I picked up post op was to do a heel slide to max and hold for one minute, then to pull it a little bit further using hands or towel and to hold for 15 secs.  If your knee stiffens up during inactivity and you want to keep it 'loose', just throw in some heel slides whilst your sitting.

I have also had the clicks and pains over the past 10 days - I am pushing the patella around to clear off any adhesions that may be causing problems.  I get the pain behind the patella and at the medial side of the knee, but like you say this is reminiscent of post injury, and I expect it will clear up as the swelling decreases and the ROM improves.

BTW - I am also shopping for a wobble board :)

Take care.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on July 29, 2010, 01:53:17 PM
I got this one guys, 3 different attachments so can increase decrease the difficulty. Physio Supplies don't ship outside the UK (I checked when I rang them) but it's something to keep an eye out for if you can grab something similar and it's pretty good quality :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 29, 2010, 09:20:43 PM
Impish - you're a genius! I'm sitting here with my feet on the wobble board under the desk, and am interested to see if I get the same stiffening effect that I got without it. Don't laugh, but Kris's mini-treadmill suggestion isn't so far off the mark - if I'm still having stiffness problems when I go back to work, I was planning to invest in one of these:

The rationale is that pedalling on the bike was absolutely critical for loosening the knee and reducing stiffness after injury, so I'm hoping it will work the same this time.

My sleep has gone a little patchy recently, I think because of the reduced exercise levels. The same thing happened after injury; I slept really well initially when my body was exhausted from healing, then found it harder and harder to sleep as I felt better in myself but wasn't back to my normal workout routine.

I really like my job, though these days I'm more of a people and project manager than a librarian in any conventional sense. I love it that I get to look at the bigger picture and spend a lot of time finding ways to leverage the whole web 2.0 movement to work for us, rather than being one of the old school librarians who regards the internet as an unacceptable threat to their job security. If you're ever really bored, I wrote a book about it:

Kris - squat walks? Yowch! Even the thought makes me shudder. Poor kneetard!

Zaiem & Kris - oddly my hamstring harvest site seems to have settled right down. Even after stumbling and putting my foot down hard I'm not getting much of a response from it. I do feel it in the back of the knee while doing my hamstring curls, but the upper portion of the site has been feeling okay. I won't be trying to kick any soccer balls just yet, however. ;)

Zaiem - it's hard not to be paranoid about the random pains, but I just keep trying to tell myself that it's probably pretty normal for this stage. One of the most valuable things about this site is the reassurance factor when you suffer a really strange new pain, but then look at the thread of someone who's a week or two ahead and see that they went through the exact same thing. I've noticed that my patellar is getting a bit sticky in between mobilizations; again, quite normal but a good reminder of how important those mobilizations are. That's something that didn't happen after injury, I'm guessing because the trauma from the ACL rupture was further inside the joint rather than having instruments jammed under the kneecap this time around.

Day twenty (so far)

Whee - swam just over half a kilometre with my legs involved, and 2.5k with the float as normal. I can manage the motion of the flutter kick pretty well now, but with absolutely no strength. Oddly this makes it interfere with my natural swimming rhythm (a bit like patting your head while rubbing your stomach - the very gentle kick and powerful arm stroke feel completely out of synch) which made those lengths extraordinarily hard work. Wrapped up with a 300k water walk and the knee felt really good when I got out of the pool - again, like it was moving better within the limited range of motion that it has. Now it's busy stiffening up again.

PT this afternoon, so anticipating some painful treatment but hopefully a happier knee afterwards.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 29, 2010, 10:19:05 PM
Snowy between you and Imp's info I will need to look into getting myself a wobble board to help with my balance as its pants and unfortunatly I cant blame that on the acl its just me, it could actually be partly to blame for the acl rupture in the first place.
You are still doing incredably well specially with swimming every day obviously you were incredably fit to start with unlike me but you have inspired me to get myself as fit as possible once I can get back into excersise I may even buy myself a bike and pray for some dry weather to use it, my new mantra is life begins at 50 so I have 11months to get myself in shape ::)
Very impressed that you have writen a book I always knew you were a clever cookie, I am starting to feel like a total dumb blonde with all you educated folk ;D I just have to remind myself that I love my job.
Sorry your not sleeping well I totally sympathise with you as I still have problems with sleeping all night but I think with me part of the problem is habit I have got into the bad habit of waking at night but I'm hoping by the time I go back to work I will be back to sleeping all night.
Keep up the good work remember your an insperation to a lot of us on here.
Take care Tez 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 29, 2010, 10:41:55 PM
Flying update on my way to PT - 10 minutes on the stationary bike and 110 degrees of flex afterwards!  ;D  ;D  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on July 30, 2010, 02:01:05 AM
Congratulations on the 10 minute bike ride & the 110 degrees flex !  ;D

Wow, you've written a book - that explains your writing style. Have you joined the guild of knee geek writers yet ?

Now that you've thrown down the gauntlet, I just have to write a novel. Maybe I'll do that once I've swum with orcas ...  ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 30, 2010, 02:48:17 AM
Tez - wobble boards and rocker boards are great for working balance. One really simple exercise that you can also do (when your knee is better) is to stand on one leg and close your eyes. It's amazing how hard it is to stay upright. Your rehab will involve lots of more strenuous exercise in its later stages, so it will be a really great launchpad for a fitness drive. And don't ever call yourself a dumb blonde - put a pair of scissors in my hand and someone who needs a haircut in front of me and see how dumb I look then! ;)

Deepak - alas, fiction is not my strong suit. It's relatively easy to write about stuff you're doing every day, whether delivering virtual library services or rehabbing a busted knee. Making stuff up, on the other hand, requires imagination and talent. It also produces a book with a slightly less niche readership than mine. ;)

Day twenty (the rest)

Had a good, if rather uncomfortable, PT session. Lots more patellar mobilizations as it's been feeling kind of sticky for the last couple of days. We talked over the various pains, pops and stiffness that I've been feeling, and he says all of it is completely normal and nothing to worry about. Initially the knee just hurts all the time, and then as it starts to feel better and the pains isolate you become more aware of them. Something else he said that I thought I'd pass on is that unless your surgeon has done something really wrong, as long as you stick to the rehab protocols then it's really hard to seriously damage the graft. The exercises are all designed around its revascularization and healing process, and have been tried and tested with thousands of ACLr patients. The risk factors are trying to do exercises before your protocol approves them, or an unavoidable traumatic accident like being hit by a car or sticking your foot down a hole and falling over. That was a good reassurance to hear as I start to add more exercises into the routine.

The PT is very happy with the fact that my hamstring harvest site is giving me very little pain now - we're hoping that it's healed as fast as my incisions, which are now just neat little scars. Given how good it feels we're testing out some hamstring strengthening exercises, with the proviso that I should stop if the site feels sore. I started out with two-legged bridging, but he thought I was finding that too easy so he got me to switch to just the bad leg - and holy smokes, is it ever weak! I could really feel the impact of the missing hamstring tendons; where the good leg gave a nice strong stretch as I bridged, the bad leg just trembled and felt feeble. I'm also going to start some gym work this week, beginning with alternating bilateral and unilateral leg presses.

We tried the IMS (needles) on my quads, but I couldn't tolerate them close to the knee; I think that area is still too sensitive from the surgery.

After PT I went for a little walk up to our favourite cafe, picked up a smoothie, came home, lowered the seat on the bike by an inch, cycled for 15 minutes and got to 113 degrees of flex afterwards. Never underestimate the power of an ice cream smoothie. ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on July 30, 2010, 11:02:01 AM
yay smoothie power! see what worrying about your 110 degrees gets you?  :) I did unilateral leg press for the first time yesterday and couldn't believe how weak my quad in my good leg is! It still looks pretty normal (aka twice the size of the bum leg) but months of inactivity have taken a huge toll on strength. Good for you for starting, but don't get too frustrated (like I already am... ha... it's unproductive at best!) I shuddered when I read about you trying IMS... you are a brave lady, as I recall you just had your knee SURGICALLY BUSTED OPEN...

I came across that weird pedal thingy when I was looking at fitness stuff on amazon yesterday, and no I'm not laughing! I don't think I'm going to start a trend by having a wobble board at my desk either. I think once you've gimped around in public in a sexy brace and had your knee give out on you in front of strangers it's easier to give up the notion of looking cool!

keep up the awesome rehab work and have a great day
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 30, 2010, 09:31:28 PM
Kay way to go,,a 15 min cycle and 113 degree flex is anazing if thats what an icecream smothie can do it should be prescribed along with the P,T ;)
A lot of people talk about patellar mobilisation  I think I have an idea of what it entails but a wee discription would help just so that I can be sure that I am on the right track with it..
Keep up the good work and take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 30, 2010, 09:53:39 PM
Kris - I started on the leg presses today as well! I've got some quad atrophy in my bad leg; not as severe yet as after injury but I think it will get there, as I won't be able to step up the activities at the same rate I did then. The IMS was a total failure; I'd been having it regularly before surgery and we wanted to start it again because it really helps with the PFS symptoms, but as soon as the PT got close to my knee the skin was just way too sensitive. I think we're going to have to wait a bit longer. It's unpleasant, but very effective.

Fortunately I completely got over any concerns about looking foolish after injury, as I got down on the floor of my office three times a day for quad sets and did single leg dips in the coffee lineup at Blenz. The funniest moment was when I discovered the iGoniometer (iPhone app that measures knee flexion) and took it in to show my boss, who had had knee surgery a couple of months previously. One of our staff members walked into the boss's office and found both of us sitting on the floor holding our phones against our shins. I'm not sure if she ever figured out what we were doing.

Tez - I don't think you'll be ready for patellar mobilizations yet - you're meant to wait until the incisions are completely healed, so I started around the two week mark. Basically it's just movement of the patellar to prevent any adhesions or scar tissue forming under the kneecap as the knee heals. At the moment it's not something I do by myself; my PT does it at my sessions. He said once the knee is a bit more comfortable he'll show me how to do it and then I can take over. You'll know when your PT starts on it - he'll waggle the kneecap like crazy and it feels very weird!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 30, 2010, 10:15:44 PM
Hey Snowy

Its happening ;D -- Congratulations.  And thanks for the extra info about the graft, very reassuring. 

In the gym and hitting the leg press  8) - I cant wait to get to that point.  Although the leg press used to give me the greatest pain behind the knee cap prior to surgery.  Looking at the pics on fb there isnt much inflammation left in your knee - I think that will clear up quicker now that you are doing more exercises.

I've ordered the wobble/rocker combo - but will be keeping it at home. Even though I became completely oblivious to when I was doing some leg strengthening and balancing work whilst in meetings - inc public meetings.  I like t remain standing in most meetings, stops me falling asleep (seriously I am renowned for sleeping through meetings - also used to sleep through lectures...)

Tez - I picked up this link for patella mobilisation:
But as Snowy said - wait - If you're seeing your PT soon, I'm sure they will decide when this is best included in your rehab.  I've had to wing it on my rehab due  the fact that I had no PT contact for the first four weeks.  But I still stayed with what felt comfortable.

Take care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 31, 2010, 04:52:27 AM
Question for those of you who are a little ways ahead of me in recovery (Zaiem and Deepak, I'm thinking of you guys!) What exercises are you doing, and how many times a day? My little collection of at-home exercises (combo stretching, heel slides, quad sets, quad flexes, prone hangs, heel hangs, SLRs, hamstring curls, bilateral and unilateral bridging, and wobble board) now takes me about an hour to complete, and I'm trying to do it at least three times a day. With an hour and a half in the pool and the bike and gym now entering into the mix, that's keeping me fairly busy!

Happy three-week birthday ACL!

J had the day off work today so we went down to the pool together this morning. Did 2.5k with the float and .5k without again; flutter kick is still a surprising amount of work but my rhythm is getting better.

After the pool I stopped at the community centre for a reunion with my good buddy the leg press machine. I hadn't been to the community centre gym before (we have a good gym at work) and their machine is one of those inclined ones, so you're pushing against body weight in addition to whatever weight you add on. As it was my first time out I kept the additional weight pretty low and did 100 reps, alternating bilateral and unilateral presses. Frank didn't exactly enjoy it but there was no adverse reaction afterwards, which made me happy. I also made a wonderful discovery at the gym - picture below. ;D

Today was the first day I've incorporated bridging on the bad leg only (for hamstring strengthening) into the full daily routine and I'm really pleased that I've had no twinges at all from the hamstring site, although that leg is horribly weak. It's early to be doing hamstring strengthening (norm is 4-6 weeks) and the PT wanted me to stop if there were any hints of pain, but it seems that the hamstring harvest site is healing well. At the moment I'm just doing 10 reps and holding each one for 10 seconds, so I might up that a bit tomorrow.

Managed two rides on the bike again - 15 minutes after lunch and 20 minutes tonight. Flex at 115 after the longer ride. ;D The flex gains aren't sticking once the knee cools down from the ride, but clearly the cycling is helping. I remember post-injury it made a big difference to my swelling; it almost felt like the longer I rode, the more fluid I moved out of the knee.

Yesterday and today I've been pretty tired by the end of the day. Hopefully this is a sign that with the new exercises, I'm expending a bit more energy over the course of the day!

Now I think it's time to go relax with a beer on the roof deck - there isn't a cloud in the sky and it looks as though there might be a nice sunset brewing.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on July 31, 2010, 01:19:06 PM
You're actually way ahead of me now in terms of exercises.

All I'm doing is ankle pumps, heel hangs (when I remember to do them), heel slides, quad flexes, SLR, patella mobilisation.

I know what you mean, if you do this 3 times a day & ice afterwards, it starts to take up a large proportion of the day.

I'm jealous that you're able to do the leg press. I probably would be at that point now if it weren't for my 2 week set-back ...

It was nice of the gym to name a room after you  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on July 31, 2010, 05:16:03 PM
Hi Snowy

The only rehab regime I have stuck to rigidly is:
#  passive quad flexes to full extension - getting the heel off the floor x 20
#  SLRs x 20
#  Heel slides to max flex x 20
#  Seated leg raises to full extension x 20
#  Seated calf raises x 20

I havent done more reps on each as I have been achieving good results just doing the above - I do these early on inthe day and it frees up the knee for the rest of the day.  I may then throw in some other exercises as and when, depending on how I feel:
#  Steps ups - single and double steps x 20
#  Balancing on one leg - swinging the opposite leg in an arc from front to back of supporting leg
#  half squats x 10 - bilateral and unilateral
#  standing calf raises - only when the leg feels fully stable and the hamstring is feeling upto it x 20

I would have liked to get on a bike by now, but the only bike I have is a 28" wheel and I cant get the trainer for it - I need to get down to the  gym, but I'm going to wait till I see the PT next week now.  Hopefully by wobbly rocker will arrive early next week and I will incorporate that.

In terms of the work you are doing, I think, as Deepak has said, its a bit more advanced, and based upon better PT support. 
I am using NHS PT, and the local one has a bad rep.  I could go private and pay £30 per session, but I used the best local one prior to surgery and I wasnt impressed.  I am happy winging it based upon what I have picked up from other sources and adapting it to my ability.

These are the directions I am following for Postoperative Weeks 3 - 4 (I am working a week behind because of the infection
Goals:  Full range of motion and  Strength through exercise

1) Expected range of motion is from full extension to 100 – 120 degrees of flexion. Add wall slides and hand assisted heel drags to increase your range of motion.
2) Continue quadriceps isometrics and straight leg raises.
3) Continue partial squats and toe raises.
4) If you belong to a health club or gym you may start to work on the following machines:
• Stationary bike. Seat position regular height to high to avoid too much bending or straightening of the knee. Increase resistance as tolerated. Try to work up to 15-20 minutes a day.
• Elliptical cross-trainer 15 - 20 minutes a day.
• Inclined leg-press machine for the quadriceps muscles. 70 - 0 degree range.
• Seated leg curls machine for the hamstring muscles. Note this exercise should be delayed until the postoperative week 8-10 if your ACL was reconstructed with a hamstring tendon graft.
• Upper body exercise machines.
• Swimming: pool walking, flutter kick (from the hip), water bicycle, water jogging. No diving, or whip kicks.

Take care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on July 31, 2010, 09:23:58 PM
Deepak - you'd be welcome to the leg press - it aggravates the hell out of my PFS, but I know it's essential for rebuilding my quads! I'll probably stick to doing it every other day in the hopes of keeping the patellar happy, although at the weights I'm doing it would probably be okay anyway.

I'm going to steal the name "Snowy's Lounge" for this thread - not quite as catchy as "Cosmic's Cafe" but it'll do. ;D That's actually the gym's big rental room, above the ice rink - if only we were all in the same country I'd offer to rent it and throw a KG party.

Zaiem - I'm envious that one set of morning exercises is enough to free up the leg for the rest of the day. I'm still dealing with severe stiffness whenever I sit still for any length of time; I believe this is partly due to the amount of swelling I still have, and to the conflict between exercising the joint and allowing it to recover from the trauma of surgery.

I'm interested that your plan has the cross trainer on it at this point. My PT cautioned against using the cross trainer until later in rehab, as it increases tibial translation and puts pressure on the graft. I should actually check with him and see when he was thinking when he said "later."

The PT support has been great but unfortunately I think I have no option but to scale it back from next week - I simply can't afford to self-fund the frequency that I've been going up till now. The annual PT allowance on our extended health plan is really crappy, and doesn't support the level of care needed after a significant injury or surgery. We've just been hit with another huge strata assessment (the second four-figure sum in two months) so our finances aren't giving us much leeway at the moment.

J and I have decided we're going to try and walk all the way to Kits Beach to watch the final night of the fireworks tonight - 6k round trip. Will be interesting to see if we make it or if we end up ducking into one of the little parks along Point Grey Road instead.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on July 31, 2010, 10:22:45 PM
I am now entering Snowys lounge.......
Evening all, Snowy you have found the ideal place to continue your rehab its even got a room named after you ;D
From the look of the latest photos on FB your swelling seems to be improving so I hope that helps with the stiffness you still have, it is really hard to know how much to do when it comes to rehab I am assuming that the fact you were super fit before surgery you will progress faster than me who was not so fit [understatement] but I still want to get things moving soon :P
Sorry about the hassels your having with the funding of P.T but the fact you can do most of the excersises yourself it should be fine, and if you can still e.mail him now and again if you have any questions you should be ok..
Enjoy your walk and the fireworks tonight
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on July 31, 2010, 10:59:01 PM

I have been remiss in Snowy's lounge although I have been avidly reading each day!! Snowy - sounds like things are progressing well. You've got a good circuit of exercises mapped out and at last Frank is giving you some bends!! I think the stiffness is probably pretty normal for a while after its been sitting, that will pass too I am sure. Must be good to see changes happening and function coming back. Grasshopper patience is getting a good test!  ;)  Its a pain with PT isn't it, although many of the PTs here that you get allocated through the system don't really focus on the individual. They just often don't have the time, or else you get a junior one with not much specific expertise. My private PT has been worth her weight - she didn't do anything radical but got me back to the basics for the PFS and since being diligent the awful cracking I used to have on Bob has nigh on gone, and stairs etc are far more manageable. I realised on my day out with Cosmic last week when we walked down a steepish path to the beach road that 4 months ago I would have really found that tricky, but it was OK. Kneecaps always feel a bit odd on descents but I kind of protect them so I am sure they just don't get a full work out!

Life here is ticking along, the onions have settled down tremendously which is good news. Knees - some days better than others but since removing all wine from my intake about 2 weeks ago they seem to have less waspy feelings. I am otherwise quite careful about inflammatory foods so wine was definitely a good one to remove. Beer for me now at weekends, just managed a large Hoeegaarden.... 8)

And of course the puppy decision is looming - what to do?!!!  ;D

Enjoy the walk and the fireworks and Bob sends Frank a big hug,

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 01, 2010, 03:33:45 AM
Tez - I'd say the knee is still about 30% swollen. Down a lot on where it started, but there's still a lot of fluid around the kneecap and inside the joint. We're trying to stay on top of the lymphatic massage, and I know it will clear eventually - but if the post-injury experience was anything to go by, it could be a little while yet. I think you guys will probably all be ahead of me on flexion; I can only get to 115 degrees after 20 minutes on the bike, and 100 with difficulty the rest of the time.

Lottie - Having met the puppy in person, I'm sure there's only one thing you can do. ;D I just showed Jen the photo and she pronounced little SeveHarryDizzyNanook the cutest puppy ever.

I'm really glad that Bob and the onions have settled down. It makes a world of difference having the right PT; I'd worked with several NHS PTs in the UK who all made me do dozens of strengthening exercises (squats, leg presses etc) that just made the-knee-soon-to-be-known-as-Frank feel worse. It was only when I started working with my current PT and he told me to stop all my gym work and spend a month doing a thousand quad flexes every day that things improved. By the end of the month, I was cycling without my braces for the first time in three years. Have you tried bracing or taping on Bob?

Day 22

Nothing of interest to report. Swam, did loads of exercises, went for two stationary bike rides of 20 minutes each. The days are assuming a pattern now. I'm jonesing to spend longer on the bike and the knee certainly feels capable of it, but am holding myself back because I know I need to build up slowly and I'm already doing about double the amount that's recommended at this point.

If anyone's interested, this is my little routine at the moment. I do this set three times a day, along with a one hour swim, 15 minutes of power walking in the pool, and stationary bike riding. Leg press is every other day at the moment, until I see if there's any reaction from the PFS.

   * 3 x combo stretches (calf and hamstring), holding for 30 seconds each
   * 1 x heel hang, holding for 3 minutes
   * 10 x quad sets, holding for 30 seconds each with heel off the floor
   * 10 x unilateral bridges on bad leg
   * 20 x standing toe raises
   * 20 x tennis ball catches on wobble board
   * 10 x clockwise rim rotations on wobble board
   * 10 x anticlockwise rim rotations on wobble board
   * 100 x SLRs
   * 50 x hamstring curls
   * 1 x prone hang, holding for 3 minutes

Have nixed the walk idea for tonight - ironically not because of Frank, but because Jen was on her feet at work all day and her leg is very sore now. (She's still really suffering with that running injury; the doc now has two theories, one of which is that the altered gait from walking on the stress fracture has caused posterior tibial tendonitis and irritated the IT band, the other of which is that she has a ruptured Baker's cyst. If it's the latter, she'll be a knee geek yet!) We're going to go out for a pre-fireworks dinner instead, since we also realised that we have no food in the house. It will be my first post-surgery meal out, so a landmark of a kind.  8)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 01, 2010, 05:37:56 AM
Lesson learned: while dinner was lovely, spending an hour sitting on a bar stool style chair with the foot unsupported was distinctly unlovely. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on August 02, 2010, 01:22:48 AM
Hey Snowy!!

Sorry to hear about that last bit of swelling, and the effect it is having on the flexion. Do you still feel it getting better as you work it? Your exercises sound good and it looks like your rehab is still going great! I am jealous!

Love the 'Snowy's lounge'! The gym obviously knew you'd be attending and named it accordingly  ;D Hope Jen's leg improves and she can avoid more pain from that stress fracture.

And what is this I hear about 'The Cutest Puppy Ever'  :o ;D Lottie I am glad you got a puppy! What breed did you get and how old is he?? Here is my puppy, he is 11 weeks old at the moment and a Great Dane, but 7 weeks in the photo... I must admit to be a little obsessed with him  :P

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 02, 2010, 03:59:39 AM we have two cutest puppies ever! No wonder you're obsessed with your pup - he's adorable. Love his spots. :) Does he have dalmation in the mix or is he a pure Great Dane?

The knee definitely feels a lot better when I'm working it. It still stiffens up a lot whenever I stay still for too long, and the cycling in particular loosens it up - but all the exercises help. I'm actually starting to notice real benefits from working the flutter kick into my swimming routine, too - it moves better afterwards. Gentle, continuous motion seems to be a good thing.

Day 23

Usual routine today. The only things worth reporting are that my flutter kick in the pool is starting to improve (it's still more work rather than less, but it's feeling a bit smoother and more natural) and I also managed my first 30 minute pedal on the stationary bike. That followed a 20 minute ride earlier, so tomorrow I'll be going for 30 + 30. That will be the limit for now, at least till I talk to the PT on Tuesday. I do feel like I could go for longer, but I don't think I should do more than an hour a day without checking with him. Oh, and I noticed some real gait improvements today - form and speed - though the limp is still visible. ROM is still at 115 but the cycling is really helping loosen the knee in the range that it does have, which probably translates to better gait.

I consider it a good sign that today I realised I need to switch the seat on my road bike (which is uber-lightweight and not well padded) for the nice comfy seat on my downhill bike.  ;D I'm also very happy to have something to do that actually works the legs, even if it's slow and gentle right now. Most of the isometric and closed chain exercises don't require any effort at this point, and only the leg press and bridging actually feel like work.

Poor J had to work today, so I prepared a surprise barbecue (cedar planked salmon with cajun spices and veggie skewers) for her when she came home. Time to go fire up the grill.   8)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 02, 2010, 01:48:49 PM
Snowy you are still doing so well, I am going to have a shot on the static bike soon I got the go ahead from the physio today but when I got home I decided to clean the house first so by the time I had hoovered and washed all the floors the knee was barking so I decided to have a wee spell on the sofa with the laptop befor I give it a shot, so fingers crossed I will also have some sucess with it too.
Poor Jen if it is a ruptured bakers cyst, I had a client who had that and she said the pain was really bad, I Hope her leg feels better soon.
Take care Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on August 02, 2010, 03:43:03 PM
Hi Kay
Good to see your rehab is moving along despite the remaining swelling,only 2 more sleeps till i have my new ACL.
Arrived home from my pre surgery holiday in Bali at 3am this morning,couldnt get to sleep and had to be up at 7.30 am to go to the dentist.
Thats another saga to add to my ever growing list of medical/dental bills over the last 18months.
Thanks to Moz giving advice on his physio,I had a visit with his physio  today after my pre op clinic where i had to have bloods,chest x ray,ecg and chat with the nurse who said i had to hire my own crutches to bring to hospital.
The physio measured both my legs and got me to do exercises on a machine with each leg 10 times as fast and hard as i could to measure strength to have a base for post op comparison,it was hooked up to a computer and graphed the scores for each leg.
They have a well set up gym with all the equipment needed for recovery,also has a hydrotherapy pool,he is going to see me 1 week post op and has given me a sheet of guidelines to follow,with big emphasis on the elevation and icing every 2 to 3 hrs to reduce swelling and promote healing,i have his mobile no and can call him if i have any problems.
I feel a lot more relaxed going into surgery knowing i have good aftercare in place,he also advised me to get the 2xu skins which i already bought 2 weeks ago on Mozs advice.
Only 2 more sleeps till i am on the road to recovery with my new ACL (will it be LARS only or LARS/hamstring graft)not long till i find out !
I have spent a lot of time reading everyones post op diaries,which have given me a great insight into what i face post surgery,the highs and the lows of the recovery process.
I told my physio about the website and he was keen to have a look at what is on here.
Its getting late and time to head to bed as another busy day tommorow.

Cheers to you and speedy recovery to everyone.

Will post again after my surgery...........

Shelli  :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on August 02, 2010, 04:42:14 PM
Hi Snowy,

I thought I read up how you are getting on with your post op and already into day 23 and will soon be 1 month post op. You seem to be doing well with your rehab so far and done well to do 30 minutes on the stationary bike and if you feel you can do an exrta 30 minutes then try it and see how it goes.

Sorry to cut you short, time almost run out in the Library and only allowed 1 hour a day and only have 4 minutes left.

Enjoy the start to the new week.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 03, 2010, 05:42:57 AM
Tez - glad to hear you made it onto the bike. How did your knee feel after the pedal? Mine is always looser afterwards, though unfortunately it doesn't last.

Shelli - welcome back! Hope you had a fantastic time in Bali. How are you feeling about the surgery now you're so close? Nervous, or just looking forward to getting it over and done? Fingers crossed that you're able to get away with just the LARS graft, as the recovery is so much faster.

Nick - thanks for your message! I'm very familiar with the limitations of library computers, but from the other side - I'm a librarian (although I work behind the scenes these days.) It was actually a stat holiday here today - BC Day - so lots of folk out and about enjoying the sunshine.

Day 24

Things really have gotten pretty routine now. Had an irritating swim this morning as I lost my good goggles and when I switched to my spare pair I discovered during the first length that their rubber seals had disintegrated, so I had to haul myself out of the water to go and buy a replacement pair. Unfortunately in my haste I didn't check the fit well enough, and they dribbled water into my eyes for the remainder of the swim.

The knee was very achy today for no clear reason that I could figure out. Pushed it through the usual exercises and two 30 minute sessions on the bike, which seemed to help. Got to 118 degrees of flex after the second one. Unfortunately when the knee cools down and stiffens I lose quite a bit of that - I wish there was some way I could get the gains to stick. When it stiffens up (which happens whenever I keep it still for any length of time) I get lots of pulling sensations when I bend it through 90 degrees. I'm also finding that I can feel the location of the tibial tunnel quite distinctly, which my PT told me would happen as the various pains in the knee isolated but is still kind of creepy.

We went out for a short walk this afternoon, and I tried really hard to focus on gait in the hopes that the slight improvements in flex would make a difference. J noticed that my walk looked more normal and was definitely a bit faster, but I experienced a couple of nasty lurching sensations once we'd gone a few blocks. I think they happened as the knee locked to full extension, but I'm not 100% sure; it also felt like it might be a result of weak muscles from almost a month without strenuous exercise. Unpleasant.

I realised today that there won't be any more milestones for a while. Apart from the odd new exercise, my rehab regime isn't going to change much until the 8 week mark. That feels a long way off right now.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on August 03, 2010, 08:34:58 AM

just checking in and wow 2 x 30 mins already and it aint even a month, thats great going.

I am still working hard in the gym with my trainer, no mercy there lol.  I panted through a weights set on my shoulders yesterday getting progressively slower and slower and he eventuall admitted defeat and offered me a rest.  Oh good i thought...........haha 30 secs!!!  Then go again...........  this weeks challenge is a 2 mile swim in almost double my pb for a mile, not much give.  Will i do it?  only time will tell so tomorrow is 'd' day for that one.

On the knee front for me at 9 months post op.........see surgeon in just under 2 weeks, should probably be the last visit.  My physio asked me at the gym yesterday how i was doing because he has been away and i told him happily that i had stopped taping the knee for exerise.  No you havent he said and promptly supplied me with a box of tapeand said he wishes me to continue taping until he says otherwsie and that if that means he supplies the tape then sobeit. 

Hope you have a good day.

PS Snowy..........have skied Banff, Lake louise, Sunshine, Norquay but not made it to Whistler...........yet!!

Lisa x

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on August 03, 2010, 10:19:02 AM
Hey Kay, I'll bet 8 weeks feels like a lifetime away at this point, I think that your quick progress might be working against you again. You've done so well and come so far so quickly that you've hit this point much earlier than others would so you're going to be stuck bored out of your head for a while :(

That lurching sensation sounds pretty horrible, hope it doesn't happen to often. The sensation of the tibial tunnel sounds a touch on the disturbing side as well, don't know if I like the sound of that at all, lol. I take it the old seated wobble board hasn't been any good for trying to stop it stiffening up then? I'm starting to see improvements in my balance already, though using it on a carpet instead of a tiled floor was probably a sensible decision  ;D

I hate when something goes wrong and it ruins your swim / workout / general plans. Sounds like yesterday wasn't loads of fun. I reckon you need to kick back and have a nice regreshing beer and relax for a while. Oh, tip for the boredom, buy a laser pen pointer, get the cats to chase the dot around the floor. Hours and hours of entertainment ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on August 03, 2010, 10:45:08 AM
hey snowy.

i got a pit in my stomach reading about the "lurch" with full extension. I hope all of these weird sensations aren't getting you down too much! The isolation of the pains vs. "it just hurts everywhere" is a sign of healing, but yes it's annoying. I can make myself crazy with the weird twinges and pangs I get throughout the day ("Why does it hurt THERE? Oh nooo.... what was THAT?")  ;D

Sounds like you are progressing really well- for anything to be "routine" at this point is pretty remarkable right? Also don't underestimate how big a deal a "normal looking" walk is. As soon as you're not gimping around, you're taking a lot of pressure off of your hips and such and you'll feel better all around. Since I had my surgery I've stopped having backaches, and they were getting pretty bad after limping around for six months.

how's the swelling? as far as the "losing gains" with stiffness when the knee cools down, you know full well that even healthy limbs can't do as much when they aren't stretched.  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on August 03, 2010, 05:40:18 PM
Hi Snowy,

Annoying thing to happen to you at the swimming pool losing your good goggles and the spare pair falling apart. Your doing ok doing two 30 minutes sessions on the bike considering you had your surgery less then a month ago. I go to the gym 3 times a week and use the static bike and cross trainer for 20 minutes on each machine as well as leg weights. My physio is happy with my quads that are getting stonger again. The annoying thing is I may need another scope to remove the scar tissue so will have weak quads again and will have to start from scratch again.

My knee gave in and felt unstable when walking for the 1st few weeks after my scope but stopped once I built up my quads.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 04, 2010, 12:51:06 AM
Lis - good to hear from you! Will keep my fingers crossed for your big swim tomorrow. Are you officially "released to full activity" post-op, or is that what you're hoping for at the next visit? We definitely have to get you to Whistler...I love skiing the Rockies too (Sunshine is my personal favourite, Marmot Basin a close second) but you can't beat the west coast snow.  ;D

Impish - you may well be right there. My PT is also being very cautious about how much we load the knee up at this point - he said functionally I'm obviously ready for more, but he wants to avoid too many of the same kinds of exercise because of the risk of causing the PFS to flare up. Glad to hear your balancing is coming along well - should I include some tennis balls with your beer package?  ;D

Kris - I managed to nail the lurch down on the leg press today. What happened is that the leg finally started going into hyperextension again, but because it's such an unfamiliar movement now it would sort of bounce back again afterwards. It did the exact same thing on the leg press without feeling quite so horrible as the lurch when I was walking. When I showed it to the PT he complimented me on how much progress my extension has made in the last four days, so I assume it's not a bad thing! Swelling is still at about 25 - 30%, but I think the regular lymphatic massage is helping. Just gotta be patient (so much easier said than done.)

Clarkey - That's too bad about the scope. When do you find out for sure whether or not you need it? At least if you have good strong quads going in your recovery will be faster, so the gym work will be well worth it.

Day 25

Upped the flutter kick ratio to 6 out of 22 lengths (822m out of 3014m). It's feeling much more controlled and natural now and not requiring nearly so much work. Also upped both the weight and reps on the leg press machine - still only 120 reps (60 unilateral, 60 bilateral) but it's progress.

Very good session with the PT today. He was really pleased with how much my extension and gait have improved since our last session, which was only four days ago. Quad strength is also starting to improve again after atrophy from the early inactivity. Had a very exciting moment when he waggled the graft (Lachmann test? I've forgotten the official name for it) and said it was feeling good. I explained my problem with the insurance running out, and we've agreed to move our sessions to once a week but to check in via email in between to make sure that all is going smoothly. He said my recovery is basically going very well, and the only thing that's holding me back at this point is the need to balance the rehab work with the risk of aggravating the PFS. I've got a couple of new exercises to do, and approval to up the resistance on the stationary bike as much as I want (yay!) and start the cross trainer on the weekend (yay again!)

I'm going to whisper this last bit because I'm uber, uber excited about it but also don't want to jinx anything. (quietly) Provided everything keeps going smoothly and I don't suffer any setbacks, he's considering giving me an early release to start cycling again at six weeks. Real cycling. Eeee!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 04, 2010, 10:39:54 AM
Snowy congratulation on the thing that I shall not mention in case I jink it..... ;D......
Your doing incredably well, and still my insperation but I am aware of my limitations considering  I wasn't as fit as you to start with and I dont need to get back to anywhere near your level of fitness, saying that I am pretty pleased with how things are going so far so fingers crossd that it continues for both of us.
Keep up the good work and take care Tez     
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on August 04, 2010, 10:47:39 AM
I don't want to jinx, either, so I will give you a "woot woot!" about the thing that shall not be spoken. That's so cool that the "lurch" is actually a good thing! Who knew??

The row of leg presses at my health club is unfortunately situated in front of a wall of mirrors. Accidentally caught a glimpse of myself grimacing like Quasimodo during mine yesterday. Would not recommend!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on August 04, 2010, 06:08:36 PM

the swim didnt happen today cos of an awful migraine that got me late last night, so i decided that as my head still hurt this morning that i would be wiser in waiting until Saturday which coupled with work etc that is the nest day available for a big swim.

Released to do as i wish..............mmmmmmmmmm  pretty much though because of the complexity of 3 major surgeries on one knee in four years, and my weight etc then i do still have some limitations.  Running is out (until i am a sensible weight then we will talk about it), the step machine and i dont play together.  I cannot do lunges at all or weight squats because of the cartildge transplant and how that would expose the plugs and put them at risk.  Apart from that i already have a free rein, although i am sure my OS will go over some stuff with me then.  He has been fantastic, i am sure putting right someone elses wrong cannot be easy, and i know that according to my physio my knee is not the easiest to deal with anyway. 

I am feeling a bit 'teached out' this week.  I have been doing the summer holiday lessons for 1 1/2 hours a day, taught 3 lessons to friends who want to do a triathlon later in the year, my normal 2 hour lessons, plus covering someone elses holiday plus working a full time role as the assistant manager here.  YAWN.........enough and i wont have a proper day off until a week saturday.  So those of you recouperating............enjoy the rest!!! lol

So here i am at work, i have done 2 inductions to the gym and have loads of stuff yet to do, my dinner is in the oven and i finally feel like i might be able to eat it, so i will say goodbye for now and look forward to todays installment.

Love Lisa
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on August 04, 2010, 08:48:40 PM
"leg press machine - still only 120 reps" - now you're just trying to rub salt into the wound, aren't you ?  ;) You're so far ahead of me, you might as well be in another solar system  ;D Not that its a competition or anything, no, not by any means ...  ;D

Great to hear that your extension is now into hyperextension.

Good luck on the unmentionable !
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 05, 2010, 03:23:03 AM
Tez - I have to admit that one of the things I was most freaked out about before surgery is how on earth I was going to get enough exercise afterwards to stay sane. Thankfully swimming has been providing that loophole, and it certainly encourages me to spend more time on anything that will help maintain muscle mass and cardio fitness. It sounds like your rehab is also going really well - fingers crossed that things keep going smoothly for both of us!

Kris - it didn't feel very good but I'll take the PT's word that it's nothing to worry about! Don't you hate gyms with mirrors? I had to do the wobble board/tennis ball thing in front of a mirror in the gym at work, and it was a continual reminder of just why everyone else in there was laughing at me.

Lis - no wonder you're feeling teached out! Hope the dinner tonight helped recharge you. What aspects of your knee does your PT find difficult to deal with? I'm just curious as to what that would mean...if it's the knee itself or a result of the various surgeries you've had. It seems like once cartilage repair is involved, things always get complicated. :(

Deepak - thank you! You'll be back on the leg press machine before you know it. You still have the advantage of being further out of surgery overall, so your graft will be tough enough to take on new activities before mine will.

Day 26

Absolutely no news today. Routine swim, gym, and biking - although very happy to finally be able to break a sweat on the bike now that I can crank the resistance. We have a friend coming over for dinner, so I packed everything into the earlier part of the day; in retrospect not a totally smart move, as the knee is rather achy now. Note to my OCD (which won't listen, but it's worth a try): probably better to scale back rather than cram everything into too tight a timeframe.

 Now it's time to sit back and enjoy the barbecue.  8)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on August 05, 2010, 03:41:09 PM
I do hope that the activity that dare not speak it's name gets the all clear ;D Good about the cross trainer too, give you the opportunity to mix it up a little bit :) There's you at 3k in your 1 hour swim and I'm at 1.25! I think I shall be doing less swimming post-op than you ;) How much weight are you using on the Leg press?

Hope the bbq went well :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on August 05, 2010, 03:53:44 PM
Well done Snowy - I hope everything goes OK for the unmentionable activity. ;D

Do take your own advice and ramp it back a bit in terms of trying to do too much in a short space of time.  You dont want to end up injuring yourself inadvertently due to muscle fatigue - although I think it unlikely in your case.  Its how I ended up tearing my acl - that and the fact that I am carrying excess baggage  :).

Keep on keeping on - but at comfortable pace
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 05, 2010, 09:07:05 PM
Snowy kinda glad that you still feel a bit achy cos so do I after upping the excersises and its nice to hear  someone as fit as you also has pain from time to time ;) and its not just unfit me who feels it.
You are lucky that you can swim everyday I'm sure that must help you feel as if your getting a good work out. I am not a strong enough swimmer to be able to give me any kind of work out at the moment especially without using my legs but I am hopeful that once I am cleared to do the breast stroke with the frog kick I will start getting myself back to swimming regularly
I hope all is going well with you and your not getting too frustrated about how routine all this is at the moment, take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 05, 2010, 09:34:07 PM
Impish - leg press is one of those inclined ones where you're pushing against your own weight, so at the moment I'm keeping things fairly minimal. In addition to my own 120lbs, I've got 30lbs of additional weight on the bad leg and 70lbs for the bilateral press. At the moment the focus is on repetition rather than load, but the PT is okay with me increasing if it gets too comfortable. (I started at 10 and 50lbs respectively, which was a little bit too easy.)

Zaiem - Sadly the same thing that makes me a very dedicated rehabber also gets in the way when I need to vary the routine. I have a mild OCD issue with numbers, which means I have to actually force myself through a psychological barrier to change whatever I consider to be the "standard" exercise routine. I'm find with adding more exercises/reps because that sets a new standard, but find it very difficult to do less! I'm already psyching myself up for the total change of routine when I go back to work.

Tez - don't worry, I have a whole collection of aches and pains! There's the overstretched pulling feeling whenever the knee has stiffened up, the full knee pain from pushing heel slides those last few degrees, the achy sensation from an extended workout...sometimes it feels like I can't go 5 minutes without another weird sensation from the knee. My PT assures me that it's all fine, so I'm just trying not to worry about them too much.

Not being a good swimmer might mean you get a better workout in the water - you have to work harder just to make progress! ;) At least that's what J tells me...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 06, 2010, 06:05:15 AM
Day 27

It wasn't the most fun day to be exercising today. After more than a month without rain, many dry lightning strikes and the usual complement of stupid campers, there are more than 400 wildfires burning across the BC interior. The smoke has reached the lower mainland, and we're under an air quality advisory here in Vancouver. It's so hazy that I could just barely make out the shape of the north shore mountains from our deck. (The scary thing is that I can see the downtown skyscrapers more clearly than I used to be able to see Canary Wharf on a regular summer day in London, and we're about twice the distance from downtown that my old place was from the Isle of Dogs!)

The smoky air and relentless sunshine have combined to create an excess of humidity. Getting in the pool this morning was sheer bliss; I could have stayed there all day. My two 30-minute stationary bike rides actually left me dripping with sweat (there's a pleasant image) and even the regular knee exercises felt like they were taking twice as much effort as usual. Even so, I'm still very happy about being able to crank the resistance on the bike; I've got it pretty close to full and it actually feels like a brief workout now, rather than pointless pedal spinning.

As someone who's always worked fulltime in 9-to-5 type jobs, I'm finding this lengthy time off work kind of interesting. I feel like I'm getting to know a different side of the city, and a different set of people. I've gotten friendly with the regular morning swim crowd at the pool, and there's a lifeguard who always comes over to check how my knee is doing. I spend a lot of time out on the deck either doing exercises or on the stationary bike, and have learned that there's a little old lady who spends her days walking up and down the back alley, drinking coffee in the morning and smoking cigarettes in the afternoon. It's odd how much the people and activities differ from the weekend norms.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on August 06, 2010, 04:18:18 PM
Hi Snowy,

Bush fires are no fun and could be avoided if people where more careful and some people start the fires on purpose as they did when Australia had the bush fires. The weather in the UK has been ok and been a warm summer and not had that many hot days and had rain a few times after a dry spell in June.

The humidity can take it out of you and makes it harder when you are doing a workout so is nice to dip into a pool when the heat gets too much. Its nice to meet new people at the pool and good of the lifeguard to check how your knee is.

The gym I go to 3 times a week, I get to know the people that go there and the staff are always nice. One of the staff let me have an extra months gym membership, when I was unable to go to the gym after my knee surgery.

Enjoy the weekend.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 07, 2010, 04:56:48 AM
Clarkey - Fortunately I don't think we've ever had a case of someone starting a wildfire on purpose here, but between lightning strikes and people being careless with campfires and cigarette butts it's a bad summer for fires already. A few years ago we drove through Barriere, a little town north of Kamloops that was devastated by a huge wildfire in 2004. It was really sad to see - miles and miles of dead, blackened trees, in some cases coming down all the way to people's yards - you could see exactly where the firefighters had set up the guards to protect the properties. Most of this year's fires are in the BC interior, but there are a couple burning in the mountains to the north of Vancouver that are closer.

Day 28 - happy four-week birthday ACL!

Thankfully the smoky skies cleared a bit today, although the mountains are still hazier than normal, and the humidity has improved considerably. To celebrate my ACL's four-week birthday I treated myself to my first cup of coffee in more than two months. The reunion was every bit as glorious as expected and left me feeling full of zip, so I upped the flutter kick ratio to 1096m out of 3094m during my morning swim. First full kilometre with the legs involved! The knee felt really good afterwards so I upped the weight on the leg press by 20lbs, and the reps to 140. I was watching pretty carefully for a reaction after that, but Frank handled it well - in fact he was much less cranky and full of strange twinges than on previous leg presses.

My 30 minutes on the stationary bike has actually started feeling like a (very short) workout at the new resistance levels, and after my first session of the day I did a bit of work on my flex, which had stalled out again. After five minutes of heel slides I was able to get it to 125 for the first time; unfortunately, I wasn't able to repeat this after my evening bike ride where it didn't want to go past 120. In fairness to Frank, he'd  had a busy day and may just have been fed up by that point.

After biking and the usual exercise round I went to meet J at the beach, and took Frank for his first proper ocean swim. It was only about .5k so pretty short in the greater scheme of things, but there's something about being in the ocean that makes me feel like a new person when I get out.

I'm also having to turn my work brain back on after an extended break. I need to contribute some content for a conference session on collaborative library services that I would have been presenting if I weren't on medical leave (one of the other panelists is presenting on my behalf to make sure that the public library side is represented), and I'm meeting my manager next week to talk about the future of virtual reference in the province. I feel like I'm having to move into a totally different headspace, but it's a good reminder that I'll be back in the work world soon enough.

Hope everyone's knees are doing well and everyone's weekends are off to a good start. I'm off to throw a large chunk of salmon on the barbecue, since we're supposed to get our first rain in five weeks tomorrow. :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on August 07, 2010, 03:26:49 PM
Hi Snowy,

Hope the fires die out soon and does not spread too far, not seen it mentioned on the News but have not really watched the News the last couple of days.

4 weeks post op already and time does seem to fly bye and will soon be 1 year post op for me towards the end of the year. Glad you enjoyed your 1st coffee in more then 2 months, I love a good coffee and have a few cups a day. You doing well with your rehab and pyhsio by going for a swim and a good workout at the gym.

We had a few rain showers today so hope you got some rain today as well, hope you enjoyed the salmon on the BBQ last night and enjoy the weekend.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 07, 2010, 08:09:23 PM
Snowy maybe in the summer months you should change your name to Swimmy as you seem to spend a lot of time swimming at the moment, I am so envious of the whole beach thing you have on your door step I am hoping while i'm in Spain I get a chance to go to the beach and have a swim in the ocean. The whole work thing is or I should say was at the back of my mind as well, untill today when I went into the salon for my wages and it was very busy, I started to feel very very guilty that I was off and everyone else was having to do my clients as well as their own, in fact when I got back to the car I told Dougie that maybe I should start working even a couple of days a week, only for him to get quite angry with me for even thinking of it, and to be honest he is right cos walking for any length of time my knee gets quite sore but standing is even worse at the moment  even standing for an hour to iron my knee swells and is really painfull  so I dont think it would cope with a full day at work, never mind the time that all the physio excersises take up during the day and work ???.
Keep up the good work and watch the coffee intake dosn't get you upping the excesises too much ;)
Take care Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 08, 2010, 04:10:12 AM
Day 29

A flying update as J and I are on our way to catch the UFC fights.

Today the weather finally broke and it poured with rain - the end of a glorious spell of sunshine that began before my op. Unfortunately today I also learned that Frank doesn't respond well to wet weather. I probably should have expected this as my knees have always gotten cranky in wet weather, but the recent surgery and residual swelling really compounded things and the knee has been even stiffer than usual today.

Not much to report on the exercise front; usual swim, exercises, and bike sessions. Will be on the cross trainer for the first time tomorrow - probably just 10 minutes to start with, but I'm looking forward to it.

Range of motion continues to be the big problem. Extension is fine - I have no problem locking the knee while standing and am into slight hyperextension when doing quad sets, very close to the other leg - but my flex just isn't improving that much, and I can't maintain the gains that I make when the leg is warmed up. I've gotten it as far as 125 immediately after spending 30 minutes on the bike (with some overpressuring, and the last 5 degrees was very uncomfortable) but I don't think it's much past 100 when the leg is cold. It's probably even worse today with the change in the weather. Knee is still about 20% swollen compared to the other leg, which seems like quite a lot after four weeks. I just wish this would hurry up; I'm so close to things like a normal gait on stairs, and just 5 or 10 degrees more flex would make a big difference. (I can manage stairs fine immediately after getting out of the pool or off the bike, but am impeded by lack of bend the rest of the time.)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on August 09, 2010, 01:17:47 AM
I'm a bit behind with reading your diary, so just saw the photo of you getting into the ocean. It looks like the kind of photo they put on the cover of holiday brochures ! ;D All you're missing is the palm tree ;D

I can just imagine how much you must have enjoyed that swim. How warm/cold was the water - still 20 degrees centigrade ?



Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 09, 2010, 06:16:47 AM
Clarkey - I'm not sure if the BC wildfires will get mentioned on the BBC. Even during our worst fire season in 2003, I don't think there was much reporting in the UK; I was still living in London then, and kept up with the news via the CBC website. It's odd when California wildfires get a lot more attention in the UK. Have you heard anything from your OS yet about whether or not another surgery will be required? I hope you're able to get some answers soon; it must be really frustrating to still have so many limitations a year after your original surgery.

Tez - I'm a big fan of water in all its forms, even if frozen and powdery is my very favourite. ;D I think Dougie was absolutely right to nix the idea of you going back to work early. You need to get to a point where you can stand comfortably for some time before you even think about it. Have you thought about going back for half days initially, rather than full days? Given the nature of your job I think that might be a better option; it would limit the amount of time you have to stand on any given day, and leave you with time for PT if needed. It's one of the options work gave me for going back, although I don't think it's as important for me as I'm sitting at a computer or in meetings all day.

Deepak - the water's warmed up by another couple of degrees or so; on a hot day it was a really nice swimming temperature. I did love the swim; there's nothing better than being in the ocean. The pic was taken at Jericho Beach, which is about ten blocks away from our condo.  ;D

Day 30

Knee is still really suffering from the wet weather. It's been stiff and achy and as a result I've put starting the cross trainer off until tomorrow, when the sun is supposed to make a reappearance. Managed the usual exercises without too many difficulties, although the stiffening in between sessions was worse. I've also started going for short walks where I really focus on trying to eliminate the limp. I can't get rid of it completely until I have another 5 degrees or so of flex, but my gait is definitely better when I concentrate on it.

This was the time post-injury where I rode and somehow managed to finish the 100k Pacific Populaire ( I've still got my finisher's pin sitting on my computer keyboard; my reminder that anything is possible with enough hard work and determination. Unfortunately it's also a reminder of just how limited I am right now, even in comparison to the post-injury period. At this point it's impossible to imagine, regardless of what I do or don't do, that my left knee will ever feel normal again.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on August 09, 2010, 10:27:48 AM
Hey Snowy- hope your weather has cleared up (and the stiffness, along with it!) How'd the cross-trainer go?

It will probably be nice to focus on work stuff for a bit instead of rehab, but I bet it is totally weird! I gotta say, though, especially during a crap knee day it's helpful to have something else constructive to put your mental energy into. Look, though, it's already August... you'll be back to work before ya know it! (evil laugh muahahahahaha)  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on August 09, 2010, 11:30:14 AM
Hi Snowy

I hope your Pacific coastal weather improves for another couple of months before the onset of Autumn.

I'm sure your knee will get back to normal - I share your frustration at this stage, I occasionally think my knee wasn't this bad post injury, maybe I should have left it.  But the long term benefit of a stable knee will be better for overall health.  My OS did say to me pre surgery that the recovery will get harder (psychologically) post 6 weeks - I think I now understand what he meant.  The ups and downs of recovery are mentally draining and send you into a spiral, its difficult to maintain a constant or progressive rehab that gives you the feedback that things are on an upward trend.

But as you said determination and hard work will get you through this stage and onto full recovery - over time....

Take care and keep at it.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on August 09, 2010, 02:41:56 PM

You've hit the nail on the head !

I feel the same. Recovery post-op is MUCH tougher than recovery post-injury. I thought I had seen the worst last year, and this year would be easier because I had already been through it once, but I've found fresh unexpected challenges this time round.

"Always look on the bright side of life" - Monty Python, Life of Brian  ;D

Have I got too much time on my hands ? ... maybe ;D


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on August 09, 2010, 03:16:24 PM
Ah Snowy, I feel your frustration from here. Hopefully some carefully seleted beers will help ease your suffering ;) In all seriousness though, I can just imagine how down you can get when it's not going your way. I hope the swelling goes soon, have you asked you pt any more questions about it? When is your OS appointment?

It's going to be a long, hard slog and I can imagine the little exercises are getting tedious given what you're used to. Just know we're all here to support you (even though sometimes no matter what anyone else says you're still going to be pissed off) and most of us are but a private message away if you need to chat :)

On another note, I LOVE salmon done on the bbq ;D How was your weekend, did you enjoy UFC?

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on August 09, 2010, 03:59:41 PM
oh p.s.!

echoing pete- how was UFC? Alan went to his buddy's to watch but ended up leaving early because the boys were being dull. (I'm sure it's really because he couldn't bear a night without me, no matter what he says... har har)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on August 09, 2010, 04:14:53 PM
Hey there Snowy! Ive been away for last 2 weeks, so have spent a considerable amount of time catching up on your progress!!

Looks like everything is going pretty well. Despite the problems with the weather and flex, you seem to be making good strides, im sure the last little bits will come with time. From what ive read (on here and various other sites) the last little steps back to normality are the hardest, both physically and mentally, so just keep your chin up and keep plugging away, it will all be worth it the 1st time you get back on the slopes! :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on August 09, 2010, 04:18:34 PM
Hi Snowy,

I hope the letter arrives this week for a date to see Mr Green as I would like to see him this month and really want to run again some day and will point this out to him when I see him for a consultation. I think you are right about the BBC and have not really mentioned the BC wildfires.

Sorry that the dry spell is over and now it has started to rain your knee is worse off and hope you manage the cross trainer tomorrow. I can walk without too much of a limp if I walk at a steady pace but as soon as I try to walk quickly I start limping. You may walk with a limp for a while, so hopefully it will go away in time.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 09, 2010, 08:56:21 PM
Snowy sorry the wet weather has had a nasty effect on your knee, lucky for you you dont live in Scotland as we have had yet another wet and windy summer, is it any wonder I feel the need to go to Spain :D..
As for the wild fires it must be quite scary, the closest we got to one was a few years ago in Turkey we were sitting at the pool and you would have though a great black cloud had come over the sun, and the air got darker and thicker and when we could eventually see where the fire was it was heading towards out hotel, very unpleasant!!
I can imagine just how board you must feel with the physio excersises when you think what you usually do for excersise whereas for me I have never done as much excersise every day, well not for a long time lol.
I hope your weather improves and the knee behaves take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 10, 2010, 07:44:18 AM
Kris - I'm actually quite looking forward to the VR chat, as that will be one of my main focuses when I go back to work. UFC was grand - disappointed that the underdog won every round in the title fight and then lost to a submission in the final minute, but there was some really good action in all the fights. I've done enough jiu jitsu and MMA to really appreciate strategy and technique, which has given it a whole new dimension from the days when I just used to watch because it featured ripped half-naked guys being all macho and violent.

Zaiem & Deepak - I completely agree. This is a whole different ballgame to the recovery from injury. It's harder, more painful, MUCH longer, slower and more frustrating, and has the added extra of all the paranoia and worry about the graft and fixation. Psychologically I'm finding it a bit up and down - my personal equilibrium is in a much better place now that I'm back to getting two full hours of good cardio exercise a day, but the wretchedly slow pace of both recovery and the rehab protocol continues to get to me from time to time.

Pete - thank you! I have to say that if there's a silver cloud to this injury, it's definitely all the wonderful new friends I've made via KG. I couldn't ask for a better support network. :) I'm not much of a cook, but I love to barbecue and I'm slowly learning to do creative things on it rather than just cremate the hell out of pieces of meat. If you ever visit Vancouver I'll cook you up a big chunk - I've got a couple of good recipes now, one with cajun spices and garlic and one with a maple glaze.

Roo - nice to see you again! Hope you enjoyed your time away. Any luck on getting a date yet? Have been keeping my fingers crossed for you...

Clarkey - I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you - hopefully the letter will come soon. Definitely make your goals clear to the surgeon, and hopefully he'll have some constructive ideas on how to help get you there. It's awful having to miss out on activities you love.

Tez - thankfully none of the fires are close to Vancouver, but it's awful seeing the devastation they inflict on the forests and communities where they happen. The rain over the weekend might have made my knee grouchy, but it's helped bring a few of the fires under control so that's something I'm really glad about. It cleared up this afternoon and the forecast is now sunny skies again for the next two weeks - our summer took a while to get going here but since the start of July it's been beautiful.

One month since surgery

Had an excellent swim this morning - upped the flutter kick ratio to half and half (1.5k with the legs, 1.5k without) and the knee seemed really happy afterwards. It also poured with rain all morning which kept the pool beautifully empty.

The cross trainer wasn't a huge success. I've developed a very specific issue when I bend the knee in certain ways (e.g. coming down stairs) which is a strong pulling sensation that runs in a band about halfway round the knee, at the level of the lower end of the large incision. Some things don't bother it at all (I never feel it on the bike, for example) but other things trigger it badly. Usually relaxing the knee and then trying the same movement again works, but it was happening on every rotation on the cross trainer as the leg came back up from the bottom of the rotation. It's not painful exactly, it's just uncomfortable and blocks certain movements when it happens.

I kept going for a few minutes and then decided to call it a day until I've had a chance to chat to the physio tomorrow. I don't know if the pulling feeling is anything to worry about, but I'd rather not take a chance on it. The cross trainer session was also at the end of the day after all my usual activities, so I'll be interested to see if it's easier when the knee isn't tired. The pulling sensation could be either scar tissue, something to do with the patellar tendon, or related to the large incision; I don't want to try and second guess it till I've talked to the PT.

Hard to believe that a month ago today was surgery day. Somehow I expected the knee to feel better than this by now.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on August 10, 2010, 02:42:51 PM
Snowy, what kind of equipment is the cross trainer ?  Is that an elliptical type of cardio machine, or something else entirely ?  My PT has cleared me to hop on a stationary bike for 15-20 minutes at no resistance, but I'm jonesin to do something to actually get my heart rate up.  I've lost about 8 pounds in the almost 4 weeks since my surgery (welcome the weight loss, since at 6' and 190+ lbs. pre surgery, I could have stood to lose a few lbs. anyways) - but I imagine some of that 8 lbs. is just lost muscle from my leg, and the bulk of it I probably dropped in the first two weeks, when I was fairly inactive and had little appetite.  Now that I'm getting around a bit more and appetite is back, I'm worried about not being able to do any cardio to keep the lbs. off
My OS hasn't cleared me to swim yet unfortunately, as we've been spending quite a bit of time at my parent's house, and they have a pool in their yard just beckoning to me.  Sounds like he's on the cautious side with respect to swimming, so I think this summer will be lost for me in that respect.

Funny, woke up this morning and realized that tomorrow afternoon will be four weeks since my surgery.  Mentioned to my wife that I too was under the impression that almost a month in, my knee would feel much better than it does.  Been making good strides in flexion gains at PT the last few sessions, but my knee just feels so damn tight, like it needs to be oiled or something.  My rational side knows that things will continue to improve, but my worried side is really hoping that this isn't the best it's gonna get !

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on August 10, 2010, 05:01:18 PM
I've always been quite interested in MMA and UFC but always seem to miss it when it's on. Have a few friends who are massively in to their martial arts, a 1st Dan Karate, a 3rd Dan Jiu-Jitsu and a 5th Dan Aikido to name but a few. Considered it myself for a while but I think my injury record would make it wiser for me to avoid it ;D

Ha, if I ever end up in that neck of the woods I'll hold you to that, cajun spices and garlic sounds awesome :)

Roo, glad to see you made it back from Zante alright, did you manage to avoid any drunken injuries while you were away?

Probably the best move to wait until you've spoken to the physio, a very sensible un-kay-like decision ;)

I'm glad I've found this place too, the support is worth it's weight in gold. I'm also glad that you and Tez are both a good bit ahead of me so I can know what to expect, obviously everyone's different but just knowing you guys have been through it will help me so much. If I'm honest I've lost count of the times my expectations for post op have changed. I initially assumed it would be excrutiatingly slow (still might be) and that I'd be on crutches for weeks and weeks and then very slowly get back to my best. Then as I read how well you guys were doing, my expectations slowly crept up (much as I tried to beat them back). Both of you driving and walking so quickly, pain, while horrible to begin with, seeming to become at least managable over the space of a couple of weeks. But you've taught me a valuable lesson, no matter how well things are going, it's not a straight line, things wont keep going the same way they have been regardless of if that's been good or bad. I've one long term goal, that's being back and being able to train (not necessarily play) at 10 / 11 months post-op. That would put me at the start of pre-season. Outside of that just go from day to day.

Having said that, I say all this now but I know for a fact I'll be getting hopes up with every little breakthrough and become deeply depressed with every set back, but hey, we're all human, lol.

A month already, that really is quite staggering  :o
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on August 10, 2010, 05:09:17 PM
Hey Snowy!!

I have been remiss with posting on here despite reading your updates every day. It sounds like progress is progressing, but I can well imagine that it is a frustrating place to be in. i think the scary thing with recovering from surgery (of any kind) is that some of the control has been taken away. In some ways, recovering from an injury is kind of "do what you can" and see what happens. Surgery brings in so many other variables and you never know if that you're feeling is normal. I can only relate to my impacted wisdom tooth removal - and the pains, swelling, functional changes etc that i experienced and wondered about. I can also empathise with the fact that some cardio must be making you feel WAY better. I had a session with my trainer yesterday - don't see him that much since we moved as its a hour long drive to pay someone, but he and I get on well and he is a friend as much as a trainer. We did some boxing and it is just fabulous to be able to SMACK someone as hard as you can and they don't even move - pads not his head, but still good! heart rate rockets and he split that between some tough upper body weights and I just felt like a new woman after. The knees were niggling yesterday and today they're really nasty with a PFS flare (probably hormonal, why oh why do they do this each month?!) but that session changed my world for a while!

Interesting about the "band" sensation. I get a similar feeling on my right knee (the good one ha ha ha ha) at times. Like something pings and moves. It isn't painful but it is unnerving. Yesterday Sean stretched my legs a lot and my right side hamstrings and ITB were hideously tight, as was my right sided peroneal muscles. I often wonder if the ping is something around the patella tendon having a fight with my muscles. Just a thought. Clearly your PT will be the best person to answer this.

I'm sorry to read you're a bit up and down too - but I know the downs are just as much a part of recovery as the ups. I remember my friend's husband and his TWO ACLrs (both legs a year apart!!) and he took a LONG time to get back to proper function. But he got there, with many frustrations along the way, just as you will.

Anyway I have to just go and help R remove the decaying mouse carcass I sniffed out this morning when we were both late for work. Nice. And I am trying to look at a trip to Canada next year. R and I didn't have a proper honeymoon last year and we both would love to see Canada. So, perhaps we might get to meet and I can sample BBQ a la Snowy!! It depends on funds, work and knees to a degree but it is a definite possibility if that makes sense!

Keep on trucking/swimming/smiling (you have such a GREAT smile!  :D)

Lottie xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on August 10, 2010, 05:49:42 PM
Keep trying to focus on the positives Snowy!! I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be progressing slwer than you expected, but if you think how far you actually have come in the last month: remember trying to sweep the floor in day 2?? ;) And now you are getting beck to normal! Swimming, static cycling, cross training soon!! Just think how far off that seemed a month ago! While I know thats not exactly normal its is a heck of a lot of progress if you look at the overall picture!

Snowy - no i dont have a date as of yet. they've changed the original estimation of a 2 month wait (which has already come and gone - its been about 9 weeks since consultation) to a 3 month wait. Plus the surgeon has gone on a month long holiday :o which may slow the process down even further. However the receptionist/admissions person (i dont really knw who she was!! :P) i spoke to did sound sincere when she said she'd try get me on with a diff surgeon or a still just waiting...and waiting... :( ::)

Impish - no major drunken injuries, at least not relating to my knee anyway! if there were i dont remember any way :P I did manage to bang my head on a door on my last day though... ::) lol

Take care all - and chin up Snowy!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 10, 2010, 10:57:15 PM
Snowy sorry the cross trainer wasn't too comfortable and i'm glad rather than pushing through the feeling that you are going to run it  past your P.T first, the chances are it would be fine but you never can tell what all these feelings are.
I have come to the conclusion that the first couple of weeks after surgery once the pain has improved a bit you get the feeling that the whole recovery thing is going to be no problem because quite quickly you seem to be abel to do all sorts of things you wouldnt expect so soon after the op, only for things to slow down when you hit about week 3 then you start to realise that things will not bounce back to normal quite as quickly as you would want and that it will take the months  that everyone warns you about. The o.s I saw today actually said that much as you can usualy get back to most activites by 8 or 9 months  it will take up to a year for your knee to stop swelling and hurting, so I guess its just a matter of being patient again and not trying to rush things, cos it will take as long as it takes, and just  have the confidence that eventually all these gubbed knees will be back as strong as ever.
I may be talking rubbish and I know I am only just at week 3 but already I can feel things slowing down a bit and the improvements day to day drop to something to be measured week to week instead.
I  have too much time on my hands to think  ;D  ;D
Take care all Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 11, 2010, 01:47:32 AM
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 11, 2010, 02:57:01 AM
Kefta - a cross trainer is basically an elliptical trainer ( They're designed to provide a non-impact workout that's basically about halfway between running and cycling. Don't use one without an okay from your PT or OS, as they do cause slightly more tibial translation than a stationary bike and my PT asked me to hold off when I wanted to use ours earlier. I'm guessing your OS is being more cautious about activities because the process of cell death and revascularization takes longer for an allograft than an autograft. For the swimming, ask if you can swim using a float to keep your legs still. I was initially told it would be around a month before I could swim, but when I said I'd take my legs out of the equation the PT said I could go right ahead and swim as soon as the incisions were healed. I've been doing 3k a day since day 11, gradually introducing the flutter kick as time has gone on, and it's done a great deal to keep me sane (and in shape.) An unintended side effect is that my biceps have pretty much doubled in size!

Impish - rehab is basically a very slow rollercoaster with long flat stretches. I think a lot of it is psychological; in the early days there are all sorts of little milestones like getting off the crutches and managing the first exercises, but then the process slows right down. I was saying (well, whining just a little bit) to my PT today about how slow it all seems, and he said I should be mentally prepared for it to get even slower! At least on this side of surgery it's all a road to an eventual recovery, so even the slow periods are steady progress in the right direction.

Lottie - nice to see you back in the lounge. :) Now a Lottie visit to Vancouver is something I could really look forward to! ;D And I know all the knee-friendly activities and hikes in the area, too. It would be fabulous if you guys could make it out, and we'd be delighted to show you the sights/barbecue yummy food for you/hang out and admire the beautiful Pacific sunsets. And maybe introduce you to a bear or two. 8) Glad to hear you've been getting some good workouts in - there really is nothing like boxing for working out frustrations you didn't even know you had.

Roo - that's a good point, and it's probably good for me to hear the perspective of someone who hasn't been around for a couple of weeks - you're seeing the progress all in one chunk rather than my experience of creeping through it incrementally day by day. Glad to hear you had a good time on your vacation, but sorry the date hasn't come through yet - fingers crossed you find out soon.

Tez - I think for me the hardest thing is that as I gradually feel better and able to do more, I have to hold back on activities because I'm not ready for them yet (although I got a big boost today, as may be obvious.) I think you make a really good point about the measurement scale moving - in the immediate aftermath of surgery things are changing daily, but that gradually slows as you get further out. It's a long road, this one...

Day 32

Woke up to a grouchy knee with a whole bunch of weird sensations, possibly related to the cross trainer session. For the first time today it actually felt odd in the pool - there was a very strange tingling, prickling feeling around the base of the large incision. It freaked me out when it first happened, as it almost felt like something pushing at the end of the incision from the inside. I got paranoid that the screw had popped out of the tibial tunnel, and ended up floating around upside down poking at my leg to see if I could feel anything. It felt absolutely normal to the touch (well, normal for a screwed up post-surgical knee) so I finished the swim and decided to ask the PT about it later. I still haven't figured out if it was related to the pulling sensation, or if it was just another of the odd nerve reactions as the numb patch gradually gets its feeling back.

Knee held up fine to the remainder of the swim, leg press, regular exercise set and stationary biking, so I'd relaxed a bit by the time I got to the PT session. The first thing I asked about was the pulling sensation during the cross trainer workout, and what could be causing it. He said it's most likely the graft pulling at the fixation site due to the increased anterior pressure caused by the cross trainer. He said it shouldn't be exerting enough force to do any damage, but if it feels uncomfortable it's best to hold off on that activity for another week or two - give the bony healing around the interference screw a chance to progress a bit further. Same applies if I get the pulling feeling while going downstairs; use a handrail to take a bit of weight off the knee, while trying to keep gait as close to normal as possible.

I've now gotten to the point where I'm totally comfortable on the wobble board while having tennis balls thrown at me every which way, so he gave me the go ahead to try it on one leg provided I have something to grab if I start to tip over. I've put the wobble board by the fireplace so I can grab the mantlepiece if needed, and will be interested to see how that goes. Extension got a thumbs up, and muscle response is really solid; he wants to work on bulking the quad and calf back up now that the leg seems to be stable.

Then the big news: when I said that I'm doing an hour a day at close to full resistance on the stationary bike with no twinges or discomfort, the PT told me I can start cycling on the road again! There are a few restrictions at this point - nice easy gears, no hills, and stick mainly to bike routes or quiet side streets - but he said that if I'm that confident and comfortable on the stationary bike, there's no reason at all that I can't be out on a real bike. I just have to be very careful, as mingling with other road users isn't quite as safe an environment as a stationary bike and the biggest risk is getting knocked down. Honestly, I could have kissed him.

Needless to say I went home, dusted off my helmet and gloves, and shot straight out on the bike. It was actually slightly nerve-wracking setting off for the first time and I had to make some adjustments to the seat height to accommodate the knee, but by the time I reached the cycle path things were feeling pretty good. I kept it fairly short - about an 8k round trip - but it was just so great to be cruising along the beaches on the bike. I rode out to Spanish Banks, paused briefly to give the knee a rest, then cycled home again with a grin a mile wide. I'm very slow compared to pre-surgery and the knee is still quite stiff, but it didn't feel any different afterwards than it does after a stationary bike session. I think it will take quite a bit more time for things to feel smooth, but the most important thing is that I can ride again. As milestones go, this is a huge one.  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: vickster on August 11, 2010, 08:54:10 AM
Snowy - fantastic that you have got back in the saddle - take it easy and enjoy it rather than trying to kill yourself (please please please don't fall off, we know that might not end too happily  ::) )   Still only 4 weeks since the op  ;D  As long as you stay on the flat and go easy on the gearing, I don't think road cycling is any worse than stationary as you do draft a bit, stand up over the bumps and humps rather than just peddling in a repetitive way for however long.

Nice bike too  ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 11, 2010, 09:28:20 AM
Snowy congrats on the Bike I can see your big smile all the way over here  ;) yet another big milestone in this whole unpredictable thing, I am so pleased for you  ;D
Take care and please take it easy on it
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on August 11, 2010, 11:41:46 AM
sosososososooooooo glad to see you on the bike with a big cheeser smile!  ;D Also glad to see you wearing a helmet, lol! I bet you and the knee are both less grouchy already.

sorry you had trouble with the x-trainer. I am still afraid of the elliptical, arc-trainer, stair machine, et. al. Anything that involves bendy, swingy, possibly out-of-control movements still makes me go clammy at the thought. Gotta get brave yet.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: crankerchick on August 11, 2010, 03:54:32 PM


That is all. :-)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on August 11, 2010, 04:11:28 PM

Getting out for a ride in the fresh air and enjoying the scenery,i can relate to that.

So looking forward to getting back on mine.

It sounds as though you are doing a massive amount of rehab,so dont get too down if you start to" climb hills instead of coasting down them "

You will soon be over the top of the mountain and the hard climb  will be worth it.

Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on August 11, 2010, 05:44:31 PM
Congrats on getting back on your bike Snowy !! 

Thanks for the cross-trainer info.  I see my OS next week for a post-op week 5 check-up, so will ask him about incorporating some sort of cardio back into my life.  I had tried the elliptical machine at some point a few years back, but found it very uncomfortable on my ACL deficient knee.  Maybe now I can give it a go again (after OS clearance of course).  Will also inquire as to whether I can start to swim without legs - good idea to prop them on a float. 

Enjoy riding again .... In years past, late September/early October would find me doing an 80 mile Bike MS Ride (loop through manhattan, through the lincoln tunnel into NJ, up the NJ Palisades and back over the George Washington Bridge into manhattan).  Looks like I will be missing it this year for the first time in ages. 

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lwillson on August 11, 2010, 09:43:25 PM
Hi Snowy,  super big yaaaay for seeing you back on your bike again  ;D  It really is one of the best feelings to be able to move around freely again and absorb the fresh air and general lumps, bumps , hills, and sights.  And far more fun than static bikes.  A really big well done. 

I guess you're off the clipless pedals for a little while - I spoke with PT and OS on this point - PT was a little wary of said pedals in general, but OS suggested they're not a good idea in the first few months because if you fall over / stop quickly, you may be a little wary of flicking the ankle out and then tumble to the ground which would not be overly helpful for head, body, or new ACL.  Anyway, I am sure little trivia like this are no barrier to your rampant touring of Vancouver and surrouding countryside.  Get out there and enjoy.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 12, 2010, 03:33:30 AM
Vicks - that's basically just what the PT said. If you can ride a stationary bike you can ride a real bike; you're just putting yourself in an environment that isn't quite as safe and predictable, so you need to be careful. I'll be taking it pretty easy. :)

Kris - it's actually illegal to ride without a helmet here, and the cops will ticket you if you don't have one. Plus I like my brain inside my skull. :)

Kefta - I was scheduled to ride a 120k road race from Vancouver to Whistler this fall. I'm still sad that I had to sell my registration. :( Next year we should both be back in the saddle....

Lawrence - I won't be going near clipless pedals for a while. The twisting motion wouldn't be great for the graft, plus I had a tendency to forget that I was using them and regularly topple over when I stopped at traffic lights. Not something I want to be doing with a graft to protect. :)

Cranker, Tez & Shelli - thank you! I'm very happy. :)

Day 33

Spent the day being plagued by strange sensations from the knee. I'm really uncertain as to what's causing them - I'm feeling a lot of tingling, prickling and pulling around the large incision and in a band just below it, as well as a sort of ache from a spot just to the left of its base (I think that's the tibial tunnel). Apart from the ache, most of the sensations feel like they're right on the surface, at skin level or just below. Logic says this is most likely scar tissue under the incision and nerve responses as the numb patch continues getting feeling back, but it's also quite disturbing.

I don't know whether to bother the OS with it or not; my PT certainly didn't seem to think it was anything to worry about (though he wasn't sure exactly what it was) but it's new, it's strange, and I can't help but be a bit concerned. I think I've gotten a little paranoid about the tibial fixation after the PT said that he thought the pulling sensation on the crosstrainer was the graft tugging at the fixation, especially as I know that slippage around the screws is a big cause of graft laxity. Curse my tendency to read everything I can lay my hands on about ACL reconstruction.  :-\ I guess if it still feels weird in a day or so, I'll call the OS.

Had coffee with my manager this morning, which made me rather look forward to going back to work. We've got one very exciting project waiting for my return, and the projects that have been ongoing in my absence are all doing well. We're going to go ahead with my return as planned on September 7th; they're willing to do a graduated return if needed (I'm pretty sure it won't be) and be flexible about my daily schedule to accommodate whatever rehab requirements I have at the time. I'm very, very lucky that work have been so supportive, and my manager in particular; I think it probably helps that she also had knee surgery in the fall, so she understands how it feels!

Didn't make it out on the bike today as poor J got stung by a wasp and went into mild anaphylactic shock, which necessitated a trip to the doctor and some medication. She's fine now, just rather tired, but I didn't want to leave her alone while she was recovering from the reaction. Went for a second stationary bike session instead, which wasn't all bad given that the good weather has returned.

Hope all your knees are well and happy. Cross your fingers that mine scales back on the extra-weird sensations soon. And if any of you who are a little way ahead of me felt anything like this, please let me know! I have no barometer for "normal" anymore.  ???
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on August 12, 2010, 09:05:57 AM
Hi Snowy

The wierd sensations if that close to the surface of the skin could just be some of the nerve sensations coming back.  I still get some of that now, but have come to the fact that i will not receive all sensation back due to the amount of times an OS has been poking around inside that knee of mine.  It does feel wierd though.  At this stage it is unlikely to be anything to do with stuff coming away from the tibial tunnel, though it has to be said that around this stage of your recover is when everything is revasculising, and again that could be the cause of the strange sensations too, you are nearing 6 weeks are you?

You are good getting out there on your bike.  I am still nervous now about being out on the road.  When i did my sponsored ride from Peterborough to York in September last year i invested in the dual pedals, clip in one side or normal the other, and have not yet been brave enough to get out there with my feet clipped in, even though there is no more risk to do so at this stage than someone with a normal knee.  In fact K the thing i am finding the wierdest right now is that apart from the wierd random thing that still happens on occasions my knee if feeling more 'normal' than it has in many a year, and i have got used to it being 'not normal'

I love the fact that at some point in the future you might like to get involved in some way with one of my projects for the poor, i would love to get some people from further afield involved and if you are seriously interested then it will be possible.  I have 6 weeks (mon) to go until the next trip.  The lady i am going with has promised me a day trip to Jinja, the source of the nile, and i will take so many pictures that anyone who is my friend on facebook will enjoy looking at them.  At the moment with all the stuff going on at work, (i still have a job but who knows for how long) it is planned stuff like this that keeps me going.

I am still losing weight.............yeah...........still working hard with my trainer.  In fact yesterday his order of the day was to take a rest day, so after my shift at work i went and 'chilled' in the sauna, which resulted in a 9 1/2 sleep last night, cant remember when that last happened.

So have a good day and although i dont post often, i do read and you are still doing great.  Remember that!!!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on August 12, 2010, 02:56:32 PM
Sorry to hear about the latest strange sensation running through your knee ... I wonder if it's not just some scar tissue being pulled on during the cross-trainer movement.  I would have thought that nearly 5 weeks post-op, the bone plugs from the graft would already be well on their way to healing and incorporated into the tibia and femur.  I was extraordinarily paranoid during the first couple of weeks post-op, so I know the feeling well of being worried about the health of the graft !!
I've come to believe that ignorance really is bliss when it comes to this ACL stuff - wish I hadn't read as much as I did pre and post-op ....

Now, I just try to reassure myself that I've done everything to protocol and that if somehting has gone wrong, it was just meant to be ........

Hopefully, the sensation and the associated worries will pass through the course of a good day or two !
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on August 13, 2010, 12:30:39 AM

Congratulations on the unmentionable being mentionable !  ;D You do look very happy in the photo  :)

I get pain on the shin around the lower incision. I've been concious of it for the last couple of weeks - maybe it was there all along, but now that my calf pain has disappeared I have something else to obsess about  ;)

I think I have felt a pulling sensation in the knee joint when I have accidently

1. caught the foot on something as I'm walking. getting into/out of the bath.
2. suddenly had to put most of my weight on the knees, e.g. in the first week when I went to sit on a stool & the stool slid backwards on the floor ...  :o
3. walked on uneven ground and ended up having to put most of my weight through the bad knee, while twisting the knee ...  :o
4. pulled off my sock too fast from the foot on the bad leg.

Sorry to hear about the terrible reaction J got due to the wasp sting. Glad she's OK now.

I'm afraid I'm a bad person to ask for a barometer of normality, since I'm a statistical anomaly in the set of ACLr rehabers - way outside the bell curve  ;D


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 13, 2010, 02:51:48 AM
Swift update as I'm just on my way out to take a friend for her birthday dinner....

Day 34 (where is the time going?!)

First of all, thank you all for taking the time to write such reassuring replies...I read them this morning and they did a lot to settle my paranoia down. Realistically these sensations are most likely nerve issues (the tingling and prickling has nerve pain written all over it), and more to the point - if I did pull the graft away from the tibial fixation, there's nothing I can do about it now. As Kefta says, I've done everything by the book (or by the PT, to be more accurate) and what will be will be.

Mentally that put me in a much better place, and I had a really good swim this morning - up to 12 lengths flutter kick to 10 without now, and I honestly feel like I could happily ditch the float completely. I'm just trying to take it easy because I swim a long way and I do swim every day, and I don't want to flutter kick the knee into a bad place so I'll just keep easing back into it.

Came home and went for a 45 minute bike ride, which made me very happy. Being out on my bike really does make me feel like I got a little piece of myself back. Next step is getting comfortable enough to go back to functional riding (e.g. to the pool and gym) to help me get ready for the return to bike commuting when I go back to work. My ride to work takes about 35 minutes and I have another 3 weeks to prepare, so I think it's a realistic goal. At the moment I'm sticking mainly to bike paths, and am still quite cautious stopping and starting when I'm on the road. It's just going to take a bit of practice to work with the way my knee currently feels. The good news is that it's really happy on the bike when it's in motion, and has felt good after both rides.

This afternoon I took our friend A to the Aquarium for her birthday, where we saw adorable sea otters, bouncy dolphins, lively belugas and a porpoise that A, J and I helped feed when she was first brought into Marine Mammel Rescue two years ago (petting a porpoise feels exactly like petting a wetsuit). I was on my feet without a break for four hours; Frank is now slightly swollen and stiff, so I'm applying a quick ice pack before we head out for dinner.

Hope you're all doing well. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on August 13, 2010, 04:00:58 PM
Hi Snowy,

Day 34 already and did promise on Tueday that I would post on your diary, would have posted yesterday but my post op diary took longer then expected to write. You doing better then me by going swimming everyday and only manage to go once a week at the moment. I may also start to cycle more in the open rather then on a boring stactic bike at the gym.

Not too long till you get back to normal, by working again in 3 weeks time, hope the strange sensation will go away soon through your knee.

Enjoy the weekend.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on August 13, 2010, 04:08:18 PM
Sounds like you had a very good day Snowy ... Glad to hear it !

Wise to stick to bike paths for time being - unfortunately here in NYC, bike paths are largely on the street, next to the moving traffic.  Think it will be ages before I feel comfortable enough to ride the NYC streets again !  They have improved the bike and jogging paths along the east river and hudson river over the years, but they tend to be crowded, so still not a safe place for me to ride just yet (plus, i haven't actually been cleared to ride anything other than the stationary bike).

Hope the weekend brings the disappearance of that odd sensation you're having ...

have a good one

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on August 13, 2010, 05:06:22 PM
Hi Snowy

Hope all is going well on the bike and with all your rehab,i hope i can be out on the bike sometime soon.
But just getting in the pool today felt like step 1 on my recovery pathway,

Hope you have a great weekend

Shelli  :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on August 13, 2010, 06:14:42 PM
Bah, I know this is exactly what I'm going to be like...*random odd sensation in knee* "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!" *obsesses*
That's probably the bit I'm looking forward to the least :(

Glad you're limiting yourself still even though you feel you could be doing more, you seem to be getting the hang of this easing back in to things malarkey, I suppose that's what rehabs all about. It's hard work physically because you've got to build yourself back up, but the mental side seems to be the most challenging bit of it. I've not got a massive amount of mental strength so I think I may be in trouble, lol.

I can only imagine just how good you feel being out on the bike again, much as I'm sure the stationary bike is good for rehab the real things must make you feel so much better (there's that physical vs mental thing again)

Hope it's all going good today and Frank has calmed down a bit
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 13, 2010, 08:08:10 PM
Snowy I really appreciate the fact that you are just over a week in front of me rehab wise as its brillient for me to read all the strange and uncomfortable sensations you are going through, It stops me freaking out about all the different feelings I am getting, all I have to do is look back a few days on your thread and hey presto the feeling I am getting are well documented by you, so thanks very much your a star.
So pleased your getting out and about on the bike it must make a big difference to how your feeling between that and the swimming your doing so well.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 14, 2010, 03:39:47 AM
Lis - glad to hear all is going well and the weight loss and training are continuing to be successful. I would love to do some kind of fundraiser for your African projects - I do try and do some kind of charity event every year, but was thwarted this year by the injury and surgery. I'll probably plan something for next summer, once I'm done with knee rehab.

Kefta - it's funny, I was quite chilled out about the graft to begin with but now the paranoia is in overdrive, I think because a) I'm doing more and b) I know that I'm entering the phase where the graft is at its most fragile. It's hard not to fret about it constantly. Cycling in New York sounds about as much fun as cycling in London, where it was basically a death wish. Vancouver has a great network of bike routes on quiet side streets, and the current municipal council has been putting proper separation in for a lot of the downtown routes. Even so, I'm going very carefully right now - I'm still hesitant starting and stopping, so I'm approaching intersections very cautiously.

Deepak - the pain around the lower incision sounds familiar. I think it's a combo of scar tissue pulling away and nerve sensation returning. I'm trying not to let it bother me too much, but it's hard not to think about it. I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that apart from a slim foundation of shared experience, there really is no "normal" in this process...

Nick - glad to hear that you're thinking of getting out on the road on your bike - it won't be the same as running, but is definitely more fun than the stationary bike. Does cycling cause your knees any problems?

Shelli - isn't it a great feeling to get back in the water? I remember my first dip in the pool - it did feel like the first step back toward my pre-surgery life. I hope you'll be on the bike soon. :)

Pete - yep, that's exactly what it's like! It's funny, in the early days the whole joint hurt and I didn't worry about it much at all. Then the pains separated out, and I started to focus in on them and get a lot more jittery. It's partly the stress of doing more and knowing that the graft is fragile, too. Look at this as a learning experience for the mental strength. ;D For my part I have good willpower and an abundance of determination but no patience, which is a lousy combination for something like this.

Tez - glad it helps! I hope you manage to avoid some of the weird sensations, though - I seem to have enough for the both of us!

Five weeks post-surgery

Woke up with a stiff knee from all the standing around yesterday. It loosened up a bit after exercise and I ended up riding the bike to the pool, which was a little nerve-wracking. However it felt very good to see my bike on the rack when I came out - I never did break myself of the habit of looking for it every day when I was driving! Had one nasty twinge on the way back when I forgot to change into an easier gear before moving away from a light, but it was over on the lateral side of the knee rather than near the incisions. I'm going to try and get a new chain for my downhill bike over the weekend, as the one I have lost a couple of links and as a result some of the lower end gears are glitchy. It never bothered me before, but I think the knee would prefer smooth gearing for now.

This afternoon I had one of my idiot moments. I slipped stepping off the wobble board, stumbled, and landed heavily on my bad leg at a slightly awkward angle. It didn't bend too much and I don't think it twisted, and there was no pain or discomfort, but needless to say I completely freaked out now about any damage I may have done. Of course it happened on a Friday when I can't get in contact with the OS till Monday, but I emailed my PT to see what he thought. He emailed me back to say that if there's no swelling or reaction, it's very unlikely that there's anything to worry about. Am still taking deep breaths over the whole thing, and would also like to note for the record that my PT rocks.

On the plus side, my proprioception has really improved this week - I'm now up to 25 tennis ball catches while standing on the wobble board on the operated leg only. I also managed to touch 130 degrees of flex for the first time while the knee was warmed up, though later in the day I couldn't get past 125. I'm at about 115 now when the leg is cold. It's still awfully slow, and I'm spending a lot of time on ROM exercises.

I also found a wonderful quote today that really sums up my responses to the few friends and family who continually express their horror that I want to ski again after all of this:

"S**t happens, and if we just want to restrict ourselves to things where s**t can't happen...we're not going to do anything very interesting." (Laurence Gonzales, author of Deep Survival)

Danger Kay gives that one two thumbs and one rather gimpy knee up.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on August 14, 2010, 03:40:58 PM
Hi Snowy,

Five weeks already since your surgery and hope the fall you had on your bad leg has not done any damage as the last thing you need is a new knee problem. At least your phsyio has reassured that you have not done any further damage. You doing really well by cycling to the pool and a new chain may sort of the gears. Enjoy the weekend and hope the weather better where you are as its been raining here most of the day.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: zaiemk on August 14, 2010, 05:23:32 PM
Hi Snowy

Its good to hear you are doing so well - definitely get the chain changed on your bike, you dont need any jarring changes or a laboured push off.

It doesnt sound like you have done any damage coming off the wobble board, the work you have been putting into the muscles probably helped to steady you so that you didnt put any strain on the joint.  You sound like you landed ok on it - and to be honest I did this a couple of times when I first got on the wobble board.

The quote is good - in my experience s**t happens everywhere  :) Or does it just happen to me???

Take care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 15, 2010, 12:37:29 AM
Nick - my biggest concern with the stumble was damaging the ACL graft, as it's at a very vulnerable stage at the moment. I hope the fact that the leg didn't bend too much didn't put excessive strain on it, but it's hard not to worry about it when I know that it's quite fragile. Without wanting to rub it in, the weather here is glorious right now - 30 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. I hope you get some better weather soon.

Zaiem - it was just such a stupid thing to do that I'm still kicking myself (or at least I would be if I had a good kicking leg). It was just a momentary lapse in attention, whereas up till now I've been very careful getting on and off the wobble board precisely because I didn't want to do anything like this! I did have some warmth and swelling in the knee last night, but not until about five hours after the stumble happened so I have no idea if that was related or if it was just a response to the day's activities. Indeed, s**t does seem to happen regardless...I think it's just part and parcel of being alive. ;)

Day 36

Still feeling a bit paranoid about my stumble yesterday. I have a feeling this ultra-paranoid state isn't going to ease off until I reach the magic 12-week mark where the revascularization is complete and the graft isn't quite so fragile. It's so difficult not to worry about everything; even though I can see that certain activities are just fine at this stage (they're on every rehab protocol), it's impossible not to fret when one of them causes a tweak or a twinge or feels uncomfortable. I wish there were an easier way to check in on the graft and see how it's doing in there.

Good swim this morning in spite of an overcrowded pool. Flutter kick is now feeling completely normal apart from a little bit of stiffness in the knee, and of course whatever odd sensations it happens to be producing on a given day. I'm really tempted to ditch the float but think I'll hold off for another week or so to be on the safe side. Stopped at the gym on the way home for a visit with the leg press, which is now up to 210 reps. I'm sure the folk at the gym think I'm really weird because I show up every other day, spend 15 minutes on one machine, and then leave.

Took the bike out for my fourth ride this afternoon. I took the bike path along the beaches and then rode back along the northern edge of the UBC campus for 13k in total, which took me just under an hour and a half. I wasn't sure how far I was going because my knee was really stiff when I set out, but by the time I reached the end of the beach path it had loosened up and was feeling better. It was aching a little for the last stretch on the way home, so I'm icing it now and hoping there won't be any adverse reaction to the longer ride. It was a glorious day to be out on the bike; brilliant sunshine, a light breeze off the ocean, and gorgeous views across the Burrard Inlet from Marine Drive. I'd still love to be able to go further and for longer, but I'm very grateful to be able to ride at all at this stage.

Still getting a lot of odd sensations from the knee at the moment. Lots of tingling, prickling and pulling. None of it is severe but it doesn't really help with the paranoia, and I'll be glad when it all settles down.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 15, 2010, 10:56:51 AM

Snowy your not alone with the feelings of parenoia I worry about every wee wrong move, for me specially going up and down stairs I still struggle with them and feel a definate pull when going down which I am thinking is coming from the graft or where its fixed to the bone, I've also had a couple of stumbels usually tripping over the dog who loves to be as close as possible to me, usually under my feet, and each time its happened I've been worried that I could have done some damage to the graft but I feel if something has happened theirs not much I can do about it after the fact so why get too worked up about it ;)
glad your cycling and swimming are coming alone well and lucky you with nice weather we have has a rubbish summer, at least I have my week in Spain to look forward to.
Take care Tez   

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on August 15, 2010, 01:49:20 PM
Hi Snowy
we too had a glorious sunny day today despite it being "winter"it was 20 degrees but no chill in the air,it felt like a hot spring day.
Thats one of the reasons i love living here, having warm days in the winter interspersed with the wet cold ones.

I hope all those strange feelings in the leg start resolving soon,i know i would be just as paranoid not knowing whats going on in there.

I can relate to your bike ride in the sun and a nice breeze blowing,you cant beat that feeling,everytime i head out in my car lately i am envious of all those people out in lycra on their road bikes.
If im lucky i may get to ride the bike in the gym this week!!!

Heres hoping we all have a positive progressive week.

Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 15, 2010, 06:01:37 PM
Well, apparently I overdid things yesterday - it might have been the leg press, the bike ride, the night out seeing friends, or a combination of the three. The knee feels rotten this morning; stiff and achy as hell, with particular discomfort running through the back of the knee. Extensive icing hasn't helped at all. I'm going to take it fairly easy today - gentle exercises only - and hope it settles down.

Our two social outings this past week have actually made me quite concerned about going back to work. Both involved a lot of sitting, one at a restaurant where the leg was down and one at a friend's house where she provided a chair for elevation. Both resulted in extreme discomfort; it's just impossible for me to stay in one position for that long without the knee stiffening up badly and becoming really sore. I actually do a lot better when I'm moving around; lots of standing also makes the knee a bit achy, but it's nowhere near as bad. How on earth am I going to manage two or three hour meetings?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on August 15, 2010, 06:58:36 PM
Hey Snowy - sorry to hear about your concerns regarding work. I know obviously post injury and post op will be two quite differnet experiences, but i always find that when im at work (standing for 7/8 hours a day) i try and do some gentle excercises when i feel my knee getting stiff/achey/swollen. For example ill stand doing shallow one legged squats (shallow, so i can try and hide it from my boss and customers!!) or do SLRs, whenever i have a spare 5 minutes. I find this helps quite a lot. I know obviously this might not be as easy for you in meetings, but if i were you id try and excuse myself for a toilet break halfway through, just to stretch your legs, and/or just bend and straighten your knee under the desk!!

Take it slow today - listen to Frank! ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on August 16, 2010, 12:30:42 AM
I second roo222. Listen to Frank.  ;)

I don't understand the biological reason for it, but it does seem that sitting with the knee flexed, or even sitting with the knee elevated for a couple of hours is not conducive to happy knees.

I think this may be what caused my downward trajectory in week 4. I spent 2 hours with my knee elevated at a meeting with colleagues. Afterwards, the back of my knee was really painful. I suspect that I strained the hamstring harvest site. Even now, at almost 8 weeks, the hamstring harvest site is very sensitive to over-stretching : doing heel hangs for more than 10 mins causes the hamstring to ache.

Hope things settle down for you !


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 16, 2010, 05:05:55 AM
Day 37

After a grim start, I took things really easy today. I went for my regular swim and the cool water and gentle flutter kick soothed cranky Frank the knee right down while I was in the pool, but by the time I'd driven home he was back to aching and grouching. When J came home from work this evening we took a gentle walk down to the beach and I went for another long swim, way out from shore as the sun sank behind the mountains. The ocean is about 7 degrees colder than the pool, and did wonders for the aches; it's like a full body Cryocuff! I think the spectacular setting was also medicinal. :)

It felt very unnatural not to be on any kind of bike or doing my regular exercise routine, but given how bad Frank has felt most of the day I think it was probably for the best. I haven't tested my flex but I'm pretty sure it's not much past 90 because of the stiffness, and every time I sit with my leg in one position it takes me an age to coax it into a different position (e.g. straight from bent or vice versa.) PT said rest, ice, elevate, and don't worry.

I really hope things feel better tomorrow.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 16, 2010, 07:13:56 AM
Frosty beer mug 1; Kay's left leg 0

My ex always used to say "Things don't happen to Kay; Kay happens to things." Those of you who have been following my posts since my original injury may remember me falling off the stationary bike and causing a suspected nose break while putting laundry away. (In the past I have also concussed myself while unloading tiles from a dolly, broken two ribs hanging Christmas decorations, and broken a toe answering the phone.) And for the latest installment in the Danger Kay collection...

We have a couple of big frosty beer mugs for drinking chilled beverages on hot summer days. They're made out of thick plastic in two layers, with water in between. The idea is that you put them in the freezer, the water turns to ice, and when you fill them with beer the beer stays cold until the ice melts. When the water is frozen, they're pretty heavy. So tonight I opened the freezer to put away the ice pack I'd been using to soothe my knee, and one of the frosty beer mugs made a bid for freedom (or possibly a suicide plunge). It dropped about five feet out of the freezer door and bounced directly off the bony part of my left foot, shattering the plastic shell on impact.

Now I have an enormous, slightly bloody welt on my foot, and the beginnings of an interesting looking bruise. And of course it's my left foot, so now I have a double limp on that side - the knee and the foot. I'm tempted to crack a beer to take some of the sting out, but what would I drink it from?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on August 16, 2010, 09:42:17 AM
It's been a couple of days since I was along to catch up with everyone and my my haven't you had a time of it! You sound worryingly close to being as injury prone as me, perhaps you too have "chocolate bones syndrome" as my friends have so kindly suggested I have. I know those mugs well, I can't imagine your foot was massively pleased about being jumped on by it. You'll just have to take the beer straight from the bottle ;) I'd probably get it looked at as well, metatarsals are very easy to break, just ask David Beckham ;)

Sorry to hear about the knee reacting badly as well. I know what you mean about the work worry, I may just tell them that I'll be coming in wearing shorts for a while so I can ice the hell out of it while I'm sat there, lol. I think it's probably the combination, lots of activity followed by sitting for an extended period seems to be a bad combination. I get that discomfort in the back of the knee alot as well at the minute, I wonder what causes it  ???

Hope you feel better today and no bits of crockery / glassware / cuttlery make a mad dive for any of your limbs ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on August 16, 2010, 11:49:20 AM
Well i must say life certainly does seem to be" throwing"excuse the pun,lots of challenges your way,but you seem like the type to just soldier on and deal with everything like a real trooper.
My philosophy is" if you fall in a hole you can dig yourself out"
Hope the poor foot is feeling better,and the persistent swelling is soon a distant memory.
Im just the opposite to you in the injury department,my fall off my bike in march was my first real injury i have ever sustained,i have never broken a bone,had stitches and rarely get sick,i think i take after my tough old mum and her mum was the same.

Im sure things will be better tommorow,just put your suit of armour on before starting the day !!!!

Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 16, 2010, 12:51:16 PM
Danger Kay strikes again although I wouldnt have thought putting an ice pack  back in the freezer as particualrly dangerouse but me thinks you just attract danger ::) I hope your foot feels better today and if your not feeling as if its improving you should take yourself off to A&E and get it checked out, I'm starting to think I shall have to fly out to Vancouver with a big roll of bubble wrap to keep you safe.
I also hope Frank in behaving a little better and as for returning to work if your finding sitting for any legnth of time causes you knee pain and stiffness maybe it would be better to put the return off another couple of weeks untill you can comfortably sit  without any problems.
Take care and watch out for flying beer mugs.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on August 16, 2010, 04:00:16 PM
Snowy, sorry to hear you had a less than ideal weekend with respect to the knee, and now your foot !

Three years back, moving furniture in anticipation of the arrival of our 1st baby, and not realizing that my wife had left her 3 lb. dumbells on our dresser, I started to slide the thing towards another wall.  Well, one of said dumbells ended up falling off the dresser and landed smack on a couple of my toes.  Miraculously, didn't break anything, but was hobbling around with my toes taped together for a week or so and had to wear sneakers to the office (along with my suit and tie !).  Fun Stuff !  Keep icing that bruise and it'll ease up in a day or so.

With respect to the return to work, having been back at my desk job since one and a half weeks post-op, I can maybe give you a few pointers.  First, I try to take a walk around the office once every hour or so - the circuit seems to help keep the knee more fluid throughout the day (or at least as fluid as this knee will get these days).  Also, I rotate between sitting with my knee bent and then occasionally, pull over another chair and just extend it for a few minutes.  With respect to meetings, everyone here knows my deal, so no one thinks it's odd when i stand up mid meeting to stretch a bit, etc ...  Also, I keep an ice wrap for the knee in the office freezer and use that a few times a day.  Finally, my desk chair is on wheels, so every so often I do a sort of single leg excercise, where I use my weak leg to slide back and forth - have found it helps loosen up knee, and as a bonus, is a flexion excercise too (also good for the hamstring).

Hope you feel better all around today ....
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on August 16, 2010, 04:42:21 PM
Hi Snowy,

Sorry you are having problems with your knee still and hope things start improving for you soon as I know how much you enjoy cycling and there is nothing worse when your knee stops you doing things you enjoy doing. I know Tez is also having problems with her knee, so both know what its like having had the same type of surgery.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on August 16, 2010, 05:34:12 PM
Just checking in and it seems an eventful few days has been had.

I went to the OS today 10 months out from the 2nd acl, it should probably have been the last visit.  I took him one of my home made crumbles for him and his wife to enjoy.  He pulled prodded, bent etc the knee with no reaction......................seems very stable.  However because of the random pain thing going on he doesnt want to let me completely loose until we know that whatever it might be is nothing to worry about, so i am going for an MRI scan on thursday morning.  He will then ring me with the results and we can discuss whats going on or not as may well be the case.  The hospital were extremely apologetic that they couldnt fit me in today as i have a 70 mile round journey, but i dont think that 3 days is too bad to wait.  Paul my fab physio is pleased with this as he has had a good poke around the joint and cant figure out what it is.  This is the best outcome at the mo i think.

So i then came back and did a monster training session with my personal trainer, and he has set a steady 10km on the rowing machine for tomorrow so if anyone feels like joining me i am up for some company. (another 1lb off this week)

So have a good knee day everyone.


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on August 16, 2010, 11:50:48 PM
Frank has spoken !  ;)

The knee gods are displeased. You may need to sacrifice a tomatoe to the knee gods to appease them. ;D

Hope today's been a better knee day than yesterday. Having said that, if a "bad day" in the world of superhumans is one where you "only" swim twice, I'd like some of those bad days.  ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on August 17, 2010, 01:30:24 AM I have to drive to Vancouver to slap you silly?  You really don't have to work so hard.  I know that you know this!  Sometimes less really is more.  Although I'm not nearly as active as you were in the past, I've noticed that one of the biggest problems I've had that I constantly compare my workouts to what I used to do.  Because of this, I sometimes push myself more than I should be.  Not anymore!!!  (Especially now that I'm paying out of pocket for my rehab!) As much as we'd like to, we just can't expect to pick up where we were pre injury and go from there.  My anerobic threshold used to be at about 90 percent of my MHR.  Now I feel that burn at 75 percent.  Sometimes it just is what it is.  Forgive me if I am getting to preachy...I'm tired and have had a few beers:)  Anyway, I wish you a better day tommorrow.  Peace, love, and healthy kitties.   :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 17, 2010, 05:24:33 AM
Will try and catch up with personal replies tomorrow - for now, just a very quick update while our dinner guests and J slaughter zombies on the Wii.

Day 38

After a rare day of rest yesterday, I seem to be getting over the weekend hiccup. I still have a slight ache through the back of the knee and a bit more stiffness than usual, but overall Frank has felt much better (better clearly being a relative thing these days.) Did the usual exercise routine and two short bike rides with no problems at all, and managed to flex to 125 when the knee was warmed up.

Had a great swim this morning - the knee felt as close to normal as it has since surgery during the lengths where I was kicking. We went to the beach again in the afternoon (still in the midst of a 30 degree heatwave) and I went for an ocean swim; again, the cool ocean water felt like a cryocuff for the entire leg. Perfect medicine. :)

This morning I also saw my GP for the first time since surgery. She was really pleased with how things are going, and was very surprised to see me arrive on a bike. Given the amount of swelling I still have at this stage (about 20% over the good knee) she also switched my regular naproxen prescription for diclofenac, which is stronger and should do more to settle the remaining inflammation.

My PT is going to give my knee a quick check on Wednesday to check for any damage resulting from the wobble board tumble, which is great. Things are settling down and I hope I didn't do anything drastic, but it's better to know for sure.

Okay, it's my turn to take on the zombies - hope everyone and their knees are doing well.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on August 17, 2010, 10:37:34 AM
Hi Kay,

Glad to hear you are feeling better. I think cool water and zombie-slaying should be an official part of ALL rehab orders! Hoping your rx change will knock out the rest of your inflammation... take that, Frank...

We're finally on the verge of a break from the heat here, and I think it's going to do the kneetard a world of good. Any chance of your summer blast moving out soon?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on August 17, 2010, 05:38:33 PM
Hi Snowy,

There nothing wrong in having a days rest as you are keeping physically active and are doing really well 38 days after your new ACL. Sounds great swimming in the sea and seem to be having a heatwave, which is always good as its nice to cool off in the sea.

Sounds like you have a understanding GP and good she changed the meds stronger to reduce the inflammation. Be good to put your mind at ease when your physio checks if you knee is ok after your wobble board incident.

This time next week I will be posting on my post op diary and will know what next will be done to get my right knee back to normal again.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 17, 2010, 08:33:14 PM
Snowy how your foot today after the fight it had with your beer mug?? Also hows the knee behaving I hope its starting to settle down a bit now. You are so lucky having lovely warm weather and a beach in your area, it must feel amazing to get into the sea water for a swim, I know you do appreciate how lucky you are, I'm just jealous :P
Good luck with your P.T appointment and I hope he can put your mind at rest re the wobble board incident, also that the declifenac helps with the left over swelling and inflamation.
Take care and hugs from cold wet windy Scotland Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 18, 2010, 12:36:36 AM
For all those who enquired after my foot, it's well bruised but otherwise okay. Fortunately it's barefoot/flipflop weather here, as it's very uncomfortable when I try and put on a real shoe.

Impish - looking forward to a surprise shipment sometime in the next 28 days! ;D Have you sampled yours or are you waiting till after surgery?

Shelli - I have a track record of injuring myself in really dumb ways, usually while doing harmless household tasks like hanging laundry. It's actually relatively unusual that I hurt myself doing something that actually justified it, i.e. flying through the air on skis!

Tez - I can't push my return to work back any further, as I'm using up all of my banked sick time. Unfortunately we have no short term disability cover at work and LTD doesn't kick in for six months, so I'd be on EI if I didn't go back on time - and that wouldn't be enough to pay our mortgage. If I was really struggling I think HR would be willing to let me work from home, but that would make the handover from the person who has been acting for me very tough! Fortunately I think there will be a lot of flexibility around things like taking longer breaks to work out and moving my start and finish times if needed, so hopefully that will be enough.

Kefta - thanks for the tips! During my prehab phase I did adopt quite a few of those techniques, and discovered that the table in our boardroom (which is very fancy and has a lot of wooden ledgey bits underneath) is actually very well suited to propping a sore knee up for quad flexes. Thankfully I have a supportive manager, sympathetic coworkers and am used to the compromised dignity that goes with sitting on my office floor to do heel slides, so hopefully it will be okay. One good thing about going back is that we have a small but well-equipped gym at work, so I'll be able to do exercise sets on my lunchbreak.

Lis - Congrats on the continued weight loss! Sounds like they're working you pretty hard, but it must be very satisfying. 3 days actually seems extremely quick for an MRI - there's a chronic shortage of MRI appointments here in BC, so typically you have to wait 4 or 5 months unless you're willing to go private (which I ended up having to do.) Any ideas on the source of the pain at this stage?

Ouch - when the weather's this good and the beach is this close, the challenge is not swimming four times a day. ;)

Robin - I'm getting better about not comparing what I can do now to what I can do before, but there are times when the limitations really sting. The trouble is that up to a certain point, the activity helps the knee - it's just a very fine balance when adding new things or increasing reps. Lesson learned this week is that perhaps it's better to do those things one at a time, rather than all on the same day.

Kris - we've got a couple of damp days forecast toward the weekend, but other than that it's unbroken sunshine in the forecast. I'm not unhappy about it (it's a great excuse to go plunk down in the ocean) but the trouble is that all the still, hot air means we're once again under an air advisory caused by smoke from the fires in the interior. Hopefully if we do get some rain it will clear the air a bit.

Clarkey - my GP is excellent, and was a really big support after I tore my ACL. Unfortunately (for her patients) she's going on mat leave in a month or so, so we won't be seeing her for a while. Will be keeping my fingers crossed for you that you get some good news next week.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 18, 2010, 03:43:02 AM
Day 39

Today marked another small milestone - first day of full cycling self-sufficiency. I rode to the pool and back in the morning, and the gym and back in the afternoon. It's not that I don't like driving - I actually love to drive - but I love to cycle even more. :)

Frank has settled down considerably today. Swimming is now an exercise in restraint because the leg feels so good in the water - a little stiff, but closer to a normal leg than it feels anywhere else. My self-imposed flutter kick reintroduction calls for 12 lengths with / 10 without until Friday, then 16/8 for a week, and then ditching the float completely. Cycling also felt pretty good; the first couple of minutes are always a bit of a challenge as I work the stiffness out of the knee, but it's moving reasonably once I'm warmed up on the bike. Still very slow, and I miss being able to tear up hills or stand up and pump the pedals, but to be out on the road on a beautiful day feels pretty damn good regardless.

No issues with the leg press or usual exercise routine, and I was - just - able to touch 130 on flex once the knee was warmed up. Flex progress is still painfully incremental - several days with no change followed by an improvement of just one or two degrees. I should really switch my iGoniometer off for a week or two and stop tracking it so obsessively, but I'm also aware that it's the one area where I'm lagging badly behind schedule and I want to keep an eye on it. On the plus side proprioception seems to be mostly restored to its pre-surgery level - I'm now up to 50 tennis ball catches while standing on the operated leg only.

Given how much better things have been today, I'm optimistic that the change of NSAIDs will prove beneficial. I'd become a little dubious about how much effect the naproxen was having, as I've occasionally forgotten to take it and it didn't seem to make much difference. My GP seemed pretty confident that the diclofenac would be an improvement, and so far it things are going well.

The fact that things have settled down is good, but I'm glad I'm seeing the PT tomorrow - I'm still a bit concerned about possible damage from my tumble. Funnily enough, J is with my PT right now - she's still struggling with the running injury to her leg, so we're bringing in the big guns to try and get her fixed. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on August 18, 2010, 04:15:23 AM
Snowy well done with the cycle commute to the pool and gym,i am very envious,and going to find out today if i can start on the bike in the gym.

Im glad Frank is behaving,hope the Diclofenac helps,I was prescribed it 3 times a day after surgery but no matter how much i ate before i took them i felt slightly nauseaus and squirmy in the tummy all day.
I did persist for a week to get the  benefits for my knee.

Good luck with the PT and im sure everything will be OK.

Its a cloudy grey sky day here today so good chance to sit back with the leg up this morning and watch a DVD,going to physio at 3pm.

I bought about 60 DVDs back from Bali and havent watched any yet !!

I hope Js leg is ok.

Have a great knee day

Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on August 18, 2010, 08:13:53 AM
Hey Snowy

Good news on the full day of cycling! Also good news that the Diclofenac might be helping too. Like Shelli I struggle with that one, it really makes me feel sick and bad heartburn even if I take the darned things they give to "protect" your guts. The Naproxen is quite tolerated for me too, but I feel it does little more than a higher dose ibuprofen you can buy OTC here. I am hopeful the celebrex might work for Bob, and hopeful it won't create death prematurely...he is quite calm the past two days so I guess I need to wait til a flare happens and see if it calms it down. Otherwise I have a skewed baseline.

I can understand the obsession with the flex and to some degree (oooh see what I did there...) you do need to be aware of it and monitor it, but I think perhaps a week of no measuring might show bigger progress and be more psychologically positive! I know my friend's hubby took a LONG time to get flex back in his 2nd ACLr knee. His first came back quickly, but he found the second a lot harder for no obvious reason. But he is all fine now (although banned from football ever again!!).

I'm going to try the tennis ball catching - I often wobble around on the BOSU or power plate but have't tried any catching. One of the trainers at my gym is always working with a guy and they were doing single legged balance on BOSU this week with him catching a 6kg medicine ball and throwing it back. I'd have been in the middle of next week.  :o

I'm of to the gym this morning for some light cross training and some heavy abs and weights then I have a 240 mile drive to Newcastle for a client tomorrow then driving home. EEEk. that long in the car isn't great so I'm booked into a decent hotel with a pool and spa so i can steam and stretch this evening before hitting the room service menu! Thank goodness for an auto car...

Take care and enjoy the swimming/pedalling/drugs/sunshine!


Lottie xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on August 18, 2010, 01:51:43 PM
Glad to hear that things have settled down a bit with your knee - sounds like that day of rest really did some good.

I too have come to the conclusion that Naproxen doesn't do all that much - Was given a scrip for 500mg pills at my one week post-op appt and was taking two a day for a week or so (every 12 hours), then dropped to one a day for the last week and a half.  Last few days haven't taken any as sort of an experiment, and frankly, my knee doesn't feel any different w/o the stuff than it did with it and I haven't noticed any change in swelling. 

Don't sweat the flex - you're getting there gradually, which is all that really matters.  A degree or two here and there, and you'll be back to normal flex in a matter of weeks.  I asked my PT to only measure flex once a week, just to give us a weekly benchmark, otherwise, I'm trying not to focus on the little incremental ups and downs all that much.  Mind you, I'm still a headcase about all this knee stuff, but maybe just a tad less without the flex focus.

Think it's incredible how mobile you are at this stage.  Between the swimming, walking and now the biking - well, guess I'm jealous truth be told.  Hope I get there myself soon and you should be encouraged by how much you're able to do already.

feel well .....
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 18, 2010, 07:26:30 PM
Snowy congrats on the full day of cycling it must feel so good to be back in the saddle whenever you want, between that and the swimming your doing really well. I dont have a clue about the degree of flex on my knee but I dont think its all that good at the moment, extension for me has never been a problem I could get the knee straight while still in hospital but flex is another thing, it feels very stiff and sore to bend past 90 but I can get it past there if I really push it  just not sure how much.
It sounds like you will be fine with your return to work what with a gym and the fact you have understanding co workers who dont mind some of the weird things that have to be done to keep Frank happy.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on August 18, 2010, 07:38:00 PM
 :) :)Yay, Snowy!  WTG. Got to love those milestones.   :) :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 18, 2010, 09:01:20 PM
Quick update - PT tested the graft and pronounced it "solid". He thinks the slight reaction I had after my fall was just from the jolt to the joint, which is still weak and susceptible to impact; however, because I didn't twist the knee or bend it too much when I landed, I didn't damage the graft. Very relieved and will now try and dial the paranoia back a little, at least until the next time I do or feel something weird.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on August 18, 2010, 10:22:58 PM
Hi Snowy.

First off - congrats on getting back on the bike for a full day! I can imagine thats a huge mental achievemnet, as much as a physical one. As ive said before, one more step towards a 'normal' day to day routine. 8)

Secondly, great news that the graft seems to be holding up, despite a degree of worry. Also i can imagine your 'paranoia' is actually standing you in good stead. Better be overly worried and protective, than be complacent and trying to take on too much, or not get any potential problems checked out!!

Best of luck with your continued recovery.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on August 19, 2010, 12:00:32 AM
Excellent, glad to hear the PT is happy with the joint :) and Roo is right, a little paranoia is a good thing. Remind me of a quote that

"Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you..."

In this case "they" obviously refers to knee demons....or something.

I'm def saving the beer for when I've got something to celebrate

Speaking of beer, have a look here

This be the company we discussed on facebook. The beer in that story sounds a bit mad, but if you go to the bottom it goes through all the other stories they have had written about them. An interesting and refreshing approach to beer and plenty of wit and dry humour thrown in (the name for their low alcohol beer is a work of genius)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 19, 2010, 05:54:32 AM
Snowy so pleased that your P.T has given you the all clear on the graft, even though you know the chances of actually damaging it are pretty low, there is always that fear in the back of your mind that your the one who will do something silly to put it at risk.
I hope everything else is still going well with you.
How about Jen how is her leg doing I read somewhere that she was seeing your P.T so I hope he can help her the way he has helped you.
Take care Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 19, 2010, 07:29:47 AM
Shelli - hope you enjoyed the DVDs! Thankfully I seem to have quite a strong stomach for the NSAIDs, so I'm hoping the diclofenac will be okay - it does seem to be making the knee feel a little better.

Lottie - the catching really helps with building proprioception, especially if you can get someone else to fire the balls at you randomly. When I started I couldn't even stay on for three of them with both legs on the board; now I can do 50 on just the operated leg. I was the source of endless hilarity for my coworkers back when I first started trying it in the gym - there were tennis balls, wobble boards and flailing Kays going every which way. Hope you're enjoying your night in the hotel and the pink wine and celebrex cocktail - how are the knees and onions feeling?

Kefta - it's funny because I'm mobile and doing a lot, but the knee itself still feels incredibly limiting. It pulls, catches and aches pretty much constantly, so nothing that I'm doing feels easy. Now that your brace is off, you should start increasing activity very soon. Did you ask your PT about swimming with a float? That's something you should be able to do as much as you want, and has kept me sane since the staples came out.

Tez - I'm looking forward to building up the biking a bit more; I'm only doing about an hour to an hour and a half a day at the moment, as I don't want to push it. It's also quite challenging sticking to flat areas; Vancouver is quite hilly! I'm going to ask the PT on Saturday when I can start riding up hills again. My PT keeps telling me not to worry about the flex, that it will come if I'm patient; but unfortunately I'm not very patient. ;) How are your incisions doing?

Robin - thank you! Hope your MCL has settled down from Dr. Ben's latest frictioning. :)

Roo - I agree that a little paranoia is no bad thing. Unfortunately since the tumble off the wobble board it was really starting to overwhelm me, so I'm glad to have my mind set at ease. I don't think I'll be entirely free from it for a long time. Have you had any further word on a date? Am keeping my fingers crossed for you...

Pete - I fell off my chair laughing when I found the Nanny State beer. I'm currently rounding off the day with the wonderfully named Thirsty Beaver - it's an organic amber ale from the Tree Brewing Company, based in Kelowna. I'd love to try some of the Punk Dog beers, though I'm honestly not sure that anything with 30+% alcohol can really be called beer. ;) Even so I figure I should try the "Sink the Bismarck" one day, if only because my grandfather was the navigator on the HMS Sheffield, the ship which actually did sink the Bismarck.

Day 40

Not too much to report today, apart from the PT's reassurance on the graft. Swam, did lots of knee exercises, cycled to the pool and back in the morning and along the westside beach loop in the afternoon.

I think the diclofenac is helping. I'm not sure why I think this, because nothing has really changed. My flex is as restricted as ever, I still have the same pulling feelings and pain when I bend the leg cold, there's still the same discomfort and weird nerve sensations and aches as before. But it's almost like all of it has been scaled back a tiny fraction - maybe 1% - an almost imperceptible difference, but because it's across the board it's still something I'm very much aware of. It's not big enough to change anything much, but it's there.

Overall I'm still very conscious of how limited the knee is. It doesn't feel as much that I'm making progress as that I'm learning to live with the restrictions imposed by the discomfort in the knee, and finding ways to do stuff regardless. 40 days out, I still can't imagine a time when I'll feel normal or really, truly better. I wonder when, or if, that will finally happen?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on August 19, 2010, 12:13:27 PM

Hi Snowy,

Very glad you got the all clear on your graft today,that must have lifted a big weight off your shoulders.
But from your last post i get the feeling things are getting you down a bit with the frustration of feeling like you are treading water and not going forward.
This must be very frustrating to someone who is used to being so active,wish there was a knee fairy who could make it all better for you.

I believe that with your determination your knee will be back on the skis in record time.

You are such a great inspiration to us all going through our own rehabs with your posts and very encouraging words.

Big Hugs and lots of positive vibes from Aussie to you :>)


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on August 19, 2010, 05:52:28 PM
Snowy, glad to hear all went with your PTs check of the graft - amazing how getting a simple ok from the PT or OS can just instantly put our mind at ease. 

Just went through my latest bout of the "will this ever get better" syndrome Sunday evening .... This recovery process is just so frustrating and the mind games it brings about are just so counterproductive.  For what it's worth, I think your progress is a real barometer by which a number of us measure our own recoveries against.  These mental ups and downs are part of the process and no doubt that you will evetually get better and back to feeling "normal".  Try to stay positive and when you're not feeling so great, feel free to vent to the rest of us, because that's part of why we're all part of these boards. 

By the way, finally got clearance to hit the pool .... Thanks for the idea re: keeping my legs on a float.  My OS actually said that at this stage, would be ok to swim with a regular straight leg kick . Not sure I feel up to that yet, so will likely try to float idea out tomorrow afternoon !

Feel good ....
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 20, 2010, 04:35:31 AM
Day 41

Nothing exciting to report on the rehab front today; just the usual routine. Had some more strange nerve sensations in the pool; this time it felt like a small bug was trapped under the skin and trying to jump out. The knee settled down afterwards and had its least noisy bike ride yet this afternoon (I say noise because the standard catching and pulling isn't painful, just annoying.)

Unfortunately I also found out that I'll be losing my beautiful rehab spot in the sun for a while. We're having all the decks of our building redone, and the construction guys have decided to start at the top and work down - which means our deck will be done first. We (by which I mean J, since I won't be any help) have to clear it over the weekend, and then it'll be torn out on Monday. It needs doing, but too bad it couldn't have waited until I went back to work.

Sending good thoughts to Musketeer Impish, who will be under the knife in just a few hours! We're all rooting for you. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on August 20, 2010, 04:18:40 PM
Hi Snowy,

I had what your are describing as if there a small bug under your skin trying to get out but has not come back the last few weeks. Shame you have no decking this weekend so maybe you can go to the beach instead if the weather is nice this weekend.

Been a really cool damp day here in the UK and can say that so far August has been a washout and had our summer in May & June and Tez will say the same thing as Scotland weather is even worse then the English weather. A South African guy I met once calls the UK Mud Island, as its always raining for most of the year.

Hope you have a good weekend and weather is better where you are.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 20, 2010, 11:13:02 PM
I need all the good thoughts you can spare for our little kitty. Mara has been off colour for a couple of days, then went downhill rapidly this morning. She has a massive infection and because her system is already weak, it's not fighting it very effectively. She's on IV antibiotics at the vet's this afternoon, will come home with us overnight, and then go back to the vet tomorrow to go back on the IV for the day. She's a little fighter and she's come through health crises before, but at 20 years old it's always touch and go when something goes badly wrong; the vet said her prognosis is "very, very guarded."  :'(
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on August 20, 2010, 11:42:05 PM
Oh no! So Sorry about Mara  :( fingers crossed she will be ok. I know you really care about your cats and it must be really horrible, I know how you feel from when my dogs have been in a similar position, really hoping the antibiotics work and she improves!

Glad your knee tested well and that you were able to get that reassurance. I was really pleased for you with the cycling again and I know you are frustrated with it but from here it sounds like its going really really well, you've worked so hard. Really hoping the little niggles get better!

Hoping for good news for Mara, let us know.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 21, 2010, 12:16:39 AM
Snowy sending healing vibes and wishes to poor Mara I really hope shes ok as you said she is a fighter, I will say a wee prayer for her tonight (((((hugs)))))) to you all
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 21, 2010, 04:04:16 AM
Thanks so much, guys. She's not doing too well - her whole system is failing because of the infection, so it all depends on how she responds to the antibiotics. We should know by this time tomorrow whether she's going to pull through or not. The good news is that we've been able to bring her home overnight, so we made her a little nest on the couch and she's resting there right now. We're giving her fentanyl to keep her comfortable; after she's had a dose she's able to walk around a little, in a very stoned kind of way. (Fentanyl is 80 times stronger than morphine - in fact it's what they gave me in the hospital when the post-op pain broke through in the recovery room.) We're both pretty distressed, especially J - she's had the girls since the day they were born, which is more than half her entire life.

Day 42 - six weeks post-surgery

Obviously knee stuff took a back seat to cat stuff today. In the morning I upped my flutter kick ratio to 2k with the legs and 1k without; the knee was a little stiff afterwards, but felt really, really good in the water. I'd say that's the closest I've gotten yet to feeling normal. Unfortunately all the benefit immediately disappears the minute I'm back on dry land, but I'll take what I can.

I missed my lunchtime exercise round because of the emergency dash to the vet, but did manage to fit in a brief bike ride before picking J up from work and Mara from the vet. What was interesting was the effect of the missed exercises; the knee felt like a block of wood and barely bent enough to get the pedals around. It took a good five minutes of riding for it to feel warmed up, whereas normally 10 or 12 pedal rotations is enough to do it. It's a fragile house of cards holding up my current mobility level; pull one out and it's amazing how fast it collapses.

I'll try and catch up with everyone else's diaries tomorrow; now J and I are going to go hang on the couch with little Mara. Keep the good thoughts coming her way; she needs them right now.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on August 21, 2010, 04:34:08 AM

Hi Snowy

sorry to hear poor little Mara is not doing too well,as a cat lover myself i know how close we become to them,mine is 16 yrs old and has been blessed with good health and still runs around chasing things like he is still a kitten.
Im glad you are able to bring Mara home so she can be in her own cosy environment im sure that helps all of you.
Big hugs to you Jen and Mara

On the knee issues i think you should become a mermaid as it seems your knee seems right at home in the water !!
Its hard to reason why its seizing up so much,its not my knee but i can feel your frustration.
Has the swelling improved with the Diclofenac ?

On the subject of Fentanyl I also had it post op in recovery and in my PCA pump,cant have morphine as im allergic,it sure is strong stuff and really makes you drowsy.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on August 21, 2010, 11:07:49 AM
Hey Snowy

BIG BIG hugs to poorly Mara, as a fellow cat lover I know how horrible it is. I know you'll do the best for her and she will know she is being loved and looked after and cared for. Boris and Lottie send their love and Boris will find a big fresh moth as a special get well treat. All fingers and paws crossed that she pulls through, sending positive thoughts and love from over the ocean.

And Frank - he needs a spanking. He'll get looser, he is clearly just being difficult as so many males are at times!! Keep up the good work, he will feel normal again, have faith grasshopper.

Hugs to you and J and Mara

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on August 21, 2010, 12:19:06 PM
Hi Snowy,

Sorry to read about poor Mara and always loved cats and there nothing worse when they are ill and you have had her for a long time become a family member. I love my cat Ellie who will only be 4 in November and hope she lives a long life as the last 3 cats I have had alll got killed on the main road I use to live on. At least Ellie is safe in my flat as she always been a house cat and seems happy enough indoors and do not have to worry about her getting losed or stolen or even worse run over.

Hope Mara fully recovers and can enjoy the weekend.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 21, 2010, 04:21:35 PM
Proper replies to come as I'm running out for PT, then back to the vet - but thank you so much for the good Mara wishes. She was very subdued last night, but this morning she asked for food when we got up and then had a little groom after she'd eaten her breakfast. I think that's reason to be cautiously optimistic. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 21, 2010, 07:15:58 PM
Snowy me thinks Mara is a super cat to go with you being super woman, what other super powers do you both have?
Seriously I hope Mara continues to improve and feels better soon.
As for you this whole rehab thing is so unpredictable, I have a good idea as to how you are feeling about things, the ups and downs dont seem to have much rhyme or reason and it gets so frustrating, but I think we all just have to be prepared for things to creep forward slowly and hopfully surely.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on August 22, 2010, 12:08:02 AM
Just caught up with your diary.

Sorry to hear Mara's taken a turn for the worse again, although by now, you've hopefully had some good news at the vet.

All the best for Mara's recovery.

I agree with Shelli that you would make a great mermaid  ;)


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on August 22, 2010, 12:33:28 AM
Hey snowy, only just getting caught up with you now. Sorry to hear about Mara. I really hope she improves, keep me posted on how she's getting on.

As for the knee, I have this horrible feeling that I'm going to be in the same boat as you. When I get up from the sofa it's horrible for a few minutes really uncomfortable, but after that it seems to be ok. Still can't bear any more weight on it at that point, but it definitely loosens up.

I hope Mara improves and Frank has the sense to shut up :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 22, 2010, 03:26:13 AM
Hey guys,

I'm afraid I'm very behind on everyone else's diaries and personal replies due to our crisis weekend - bear with me as I will catch up, one post at a time! And thank you all so, so much for your good wishes and thoughts for Mara - it means a lot.

Day 43 - the knee

Had a good session with the PT this morning. We're dropping the sessions to every two weeks, and Jen and I will try and manage more of the hands-on stuff at home. I've got a bunch more exercises to do - squats with weights, rowing machine in small doses, some other machines at the gym - and other than that, it's just more of the same for the time being. He said I'm now in the most boring phase of rehab, but I can live with that as long as everything's working. He massaged the muscles in behind the knee and calf, which have been a little sore; they felt much better afterwards, though they're grumbling now after 300 reps on the leg press. (In fact overall knee has had a pretty stiff, cranky day today - but some days are like that.)

We also talked about my ongoing stiffness; he said it's partly due to the swelling and partly due to the amount of work I'm putting the knee through. An easier rehab schedule would probably increase the flex quicker, but he said it's going to come in time and at this point the gains in leg strength are well worth it and will stand me in great stead as I move forward. (My muscles have downsized on that side, but have very good definition and I'm not having any issues with leg control or proprioception.) He also recommended that I spend some time in the hot tub (woohoo!) working on flex to try and encourage it along.

Other than that, the usual: swim, gym, bike, exercises.

The kitty

Mara  has once again defied all medical odds by rallying through the latest crisis; she's home now, doing much better, but will need one more day of antibiotics tomorrow. She's still in some discomfort and we're giving her fentanyl for the pain when it gets bad, but most of her symptoms have abated and she seems to be feeling better all the time.

The bad news is that the infection has wiped out most of what was left of her kidney function (she already had renal insufficiency and we give her fluids every other day to help keep her hydrated.) She's been absorbing IV fluids all day and it took more than 10% of her body weight in liquid to rehydrate her - her kidneys are barely working at all. The vet said that one more infection or illness will be it for her; she won't be able to bounce back again. She's also going to need IV fluids twice a day for the rest of her life. We're more than willing to do that for her if it means she can have a few days or weeks more of happy, comfortable time with us, but if she's still dehydrating badly or the procedures are making her really unhappy then we'll have to make a tough decision.

Jen has had the girls for 20 years, and they've been part of my life in Canada since the day I arrived here 6 years ago. We love them to pieces - it's really hard to imagine life without one of them. :(
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on August 22, 2010, 04:58:16 PM
Hey snowy - and mara.

Just wanted to wish mara the best of luck, i really hope she pulls through. I know what you and J are going through, at the end of jan my cat of 17 years fell ill - unfortunately she passed away a month or so later, despite signs she was going to be ok. Im only 19, so its still really wierd for her not to be around, i cant even remember not having her! :'(

Im sending plenty of good wishes, thoughts and hugs to you, Mara and Frank.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on August 22, 2010, 09:23:25 PM
I understand completely, just a couple more days of comfort for her would be worth the time you could spend together if it turns out she isn't strong enough to keep going. I've had my cat for 15 years so, like Roo, I can sympathise greatly with you and J. I hope she improves and you get to spend as much time as possible together :)

As for the knee, glad to hear you're able to add a few more exercises in now. Even if this is now the most boring period at least you can start to set varied workouts for each day so you're not just going through the same process day in day out. What sort of weight are you doing the 300 reps with? and in how many sets?

I'm glad he's been able to point to a reason why you're flex isn't where you'd like it to be and that while it's probably annoying, it's slow return is allowing you to benefit in other areas.

Good luck to you and the Kitty for today

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 22, 2010, 09:36:15 PM
Hi Snowy so pleased Mara is feeling a little better, its hard when your pets are getting on and have any kind of illness its trying to decide whether by keeping the treatment going your doing the best for them, but only you and Jen can tell wheather she is still enjoying life, ad you have both done so much for her so far, fingers crossed she keeps well.

As for your knee as usual all the excersises your doing is putting me to shame, saying that I am still doing what I have been given to do every day and on Wed I am hoping that I will get some new stuff to do as the physio said he would have a look at the protocol from the hospital and see what else can be added, something to look forward to  ;D
Take care and hugs to you Mara and Jen   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on August 23, 2010, 12:23:09 AM
Glad to hear that Mara pulled through again !  :)

Re your exercises, if you can do squats with weights, you're doing really well. Weighted squats are one of the best ways to build leg strength, and paradoxically requires relatively strong muscles in the first place to support carrying the weight. They also require propioception to balance the left & right side of the body while doing the exercise. Are you doing them with dumbells, barbell or smith machine ?

I can agree with your physio that building strength is more important than increasing flexion. I'm learning the hard way that weak muscles = poor knee function. I think it took me nearly 6 months post-injury to get my flexion to the same point as the good leg due to remaining swelling, but it didn't detract from my recovery.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 23, 2010, 03:29:04 AM
Hey gang. Thanks for all the good kitty wishes - she's home now and resting comfortably. She's been coming home at night but spending the day at the vet's on IV antibiotics, but as of tomorrow she can move onto pills. She was really happy to get the IV catheter out of her leg, and is now catching up on some sleep on the couch. Laya has snuggled up on the back of the couch so she can watch over her sister. :)

Roo - sorry to hear that you lost your kitty. :( That's a great age for a cat, though - and I'm sure she had a wonderfully happy life with you.

Impish - it's an inclined leg press, so I'm pushing against my own body weight (approx 120lb) plus 90lbs of weight on both legs, and 30lbs when I just use the bad leg. I'm doing sets of 15 reps, alternating unilateral and bilateral.

Deepak - haven't tried the squats yet (gym day is tomorrow) but the PT suggested using the machine at the gym which rests the weight on your shoulders. I can't squat very deeply yet, but strength definitely isn't a problem.

Tez - keep us posted when you get the new exercises!

Day 44

Frank was incredibly cranky today. I've been having problems with the muscles through the back of the knee, which are all feeling a bit overstretched and sore. It was worse than ever today, so I've taken it very easy - just did my swim plus the usual exercise routine, and I skipped the exercises (hamstring curl and glute bridge) that involve those muscles. I think the knee is a bit more swollen than normal, too. I can't think that I did anything specific to trigger it; the only possibilities are the extra reps on the leg press (but they felt fine at the time) and moving the barbecue as part of our deck clearance project (but it has wheels at one end, so I wasn't carrying that much weight.) I'm unsure whether I should be heating or icing the sore area; both seem to help. It's had a bad effect on my flex, which is now hampered from behind the knee more than in front; I think I've lost at least 10 or 15 degrees since yesterday.

I felt awful watching Jen and one of our neighbours clear all the heavy plants off the deck last night; I hate having to sit by and watch other people do all the hard work. It was quite a task as the previous owners had left a whole bunch of really large wooden planters that hadn't been moved in a decade, and half of them turned out to be rotting away. We actually have more space on the lower deck than I realised! J was at work today so I went and cleared up all the dirt, leaves and detritus that the planters left behind, and tomorrow the deck gets ripped out.

Feeling a bit down because of the sore knee, and because I missed my bike ride today. This is such a painfully, aggravatingly slow process. I wish there were some way to turn the clock forward to a point where it would just feel better.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on August 23, 2010, 10:30:22 AM
Hi Snowy-

That mara is one tough kitty! So sorry about all you've been through this weekend. Pet parenting is no joke sometimes. Hope the little patient is resting comfortably!

You're doing awesome on the leg press- I am just managing 70lb. on the flat, seated leg press machine still. I think that the position of the machine has a lot to do with it though... the knee angle is still a little scary.

Sorry frank is being a butt head and that you had to skip the heavy lifting (as far as I am concerned that's the only advantage of having knee issues, but I'm a lazy ass... lol) Keep your head up. I know it's tough to not be able to bike/exercise reliably but you will get there! One day at a time and all that  :)

take care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on August 23, 2010, 10:57:06 AM
Hey Snowy!

SO glad that little Mara is hanging in there - she is one tough little feline cookie! Boris and Lotie send their love to her.

BUMMER that Frank is being cranky, must be the season for cranky knees. Have you got rain? Mine have acted up since our dry spell broke, I am working on convincing R that we can relocate to the Canaries and he can commute to the UK for work whilst I do something nice (I thought....nail technician...Reiki fosterer..) in the warmer success yet but I'll persevere!! Frank clearly walks a fine line between doing too little and his owner getting frustrated and him getting stif and too much and then geting a bit niggly and swollen. Patience will pay off but I know what you mean about wanting to spin things forward so you know what you'll be getting in 6 months time. or even 12 months time as that seems to be the kind of frames you work in when you have a knee issue.....I know if I end up with some bionic bits I will be thinking in 1-2 years which is going to be VERY hard for me too. I wonder if the leg press is actually annoying the PFS and thats translating into a generally unhappy knee? does it usually affect the kneecaops? I know for mine it is a balance between a few presses and then eeek the knee gets very sore. Just a thought.  :-\

I was reading about someone with some flex and stiffness things who stuck a bag of peas (or proper ice pack!) behind the knee right in the bend and it helped things get moving. I know I generally ice all round the knee but perhaps a definite shove of the ice into the back might cool Frank and his tantrums down a bit.....

Anyway, I am hoping that Mara continues to make progress and that Frank wakes up in a better mood!!

Love and hugs

Lottie xx

PS Thanks for the email - will reply later!! x :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on August 23, 2010, 03:43:43 PM
Snowy, sending good thoughts from NYC for a quick recovery to Mara.

Maybe this back of the knee thing is standard for those 5 1/2 + weeks post-op, because beginning sometime mid-week last week my hamstring started tightening up on me something fierce.  Was/is particularly problematic after walking for longer than 15 minutes and, espcially in the late afternoon/evening.  Mentioned it to my OS at my appt. last Thursday and he explained that it is the hamstring, and in my case, it's not yet stretched out all the way and is overworked to compensate for my pathetic quad.  He recommended stretching the hammy, having my PT work on it a bit and suggested some heat in the morning and evening.  The heat seems to be work a bit, but only temporarily.  The stretching is definitely helping a bit and my PT massaged the area pretty good today, so will see how it feels tomorrow .....

Finally made it into the pool this weekend and my knee didn't like it - just felt very very weird.  Did you have that sensation the first time you took a dip - I doubt it, sounds like you took right back to the water like a fish, but figured i would ask.  I ended up just walking in the shallow area a bit and then taking a dip in the hottub, which I liked much more ...

Good luck with the kitty and with your knee !
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 23, 2010, 05:06:28 PM
Morning all. Currently waiting on the deck guy to come and start tearing our deck up before I head for the pool. Frank is feeling a little less cranky this morning, though my large incision is looking a little red and sore at one end - I've been dosing it with polysporin in case it's trying to infect.

Kris - the little patient is up and about and very cheery this morning. It's almost like she knows she doesn't have to go back to the vet. It's great to see her looking so happy - it's always tough to know if you're doing the right thing resurrecting a deathly sick 20-year-old cat, but clearly she's still more than able to enjoy her life. R.e. the leg press, will be interested to see how things go when I'm reunited with my old nemesis at work, which is a regular flat machine. I suspect my weights will have dropped significantly from pre-surgery.

Lottie - no rain but we have had a change in the weather, from very hot and humid to cool and fresh. I don't think this is a weather-related pain, though; those tend to be a deep ache under the kneecap, whereas this is soreness through very specific muscles in the back of the knee. I suspect the culprit is too many hamstring-related exercises. J did some massage on it last night and that combined with the day of rest has really helped, but I will probably skip the hamstring exercises for one more day. The leg press is something that aggravates the PFS, but as yet I don't think I'm doing the weight or quantity or reps that would trigger it - I'll soon know once I hit that point. The PT has been pretty careful about mixing up my exercises so as not to overload the kneecap and set off the PFS, and so far it's been working.

1-2 years of recovery is a pretty scary thought. From my experience with this recovery, I think one of the most important things is to have plenty of options lined up - upper body cardio, swimming etc - to ensure that you get enough exercise to stay sane and healthy, regardless of how the knee is doing. I think my tendency to bounce back very fast from serious injuries has also made this recovery harder, because I had no sense of what it would be like to have to move at such a glacial pace!

Hugs back at you. :)

Kefta - I think you're right, as my PT certainly didn't seem that surprised by it. In my case I think it was a surfeit of hamstring exercises that were most likely responsible as my quads are in really good shape for this point post-op; I've had no pain from the harvest site in ages, so I've been doing quite a bit of gentle strengthening work and possibly just overdid it.

Actually I have to admit that the first time I got back in the water, while awesome, also felt very weird indeed. Getting in the water felt very strange on the incisions, although I realised after a bit that the cool water was also quite soothing on the swelling and so tried to ignore that. My OS had said I could try a flutter kick right away, but it took a couple of weeks before I was able to do one properly; initially my leg felt so floppy and uncontrolled that I just stuck to swimming with the pull buoy. (I was in the water at 11 days post-surgery, so still dealing with a lot of swelling and discomfort at that point.) If your leg is weak it will feel very strange, because it takes more work to control it in the water. When I got to around the 4-week mark and the nerves started regenerating, I also found that a lot of the nerve sensations were exacerbated in the water. I think having water all around the knee just made me more aware of them. It took a while for me to train myself into being able to ignore them.

I think for me I was able to channel my excitement at being able to swim into overriding a lot of the strange sensations that I had to deal with, but they were definitely there. The more you get in the water, though, the better the leg will feel - particularly as you start to get the strength in your quad back and control it better.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on August 23, 2010, 05:10:19 PM
Snowy - for you.......x

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 24, 2010, 05:10:04 AM

Day 45

Frank had an in-betweener day today. Still very stiff, but a lot less achy than yesterday. Skipped the hamstring exercises again, but will go back to them tomorrow. Had a soak in the hot tub after my gym session, and the leg did feel looser afterwards.

I also managed to walk down a flight of stairs normally for the first time! I wasn't able to repeat the feat later in the day, but the fact that I managed it once was encouraging. The restriction that's been stopping me going down stairs is a "sticky" area just under the large incision that catches and pulls, and I've been doing friction massage on it for a week or so now to try and get rid of any adhesions. It's still there, but I think it's gotten just a little bit better.

I also went for my first bike ride with company. My friend A and I went for a short ride over to the beach, fed carrots to the little baby bunnies, and then went for dinner. It made me feel a bit more normal, as I haven't done any riding with friends since a couple of weeks before surgery.

The lower deck is still largely intact, but the stairs to the roof deck have been disassembled. Remember a few weeks before surgery when my ACL-deficient knee and I spent the day on a ladder scrubbing balcony railings and cleaning windows? The construction guy who's working on the deck just power washed the entire area, and did a way better job. I could have saved myself the hassle and wobbles if I'd only known...

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 24, 2010, 05:31:35 AM
Update - just checked my leg and the incision is definitely infected. Dammit - how could this happen at 6 weeks out, when they're totally healed over? Will be going to the doctor first thing tomorrow.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on August 24, 2010, 06:12:12 AM

Hi Snowy

Well done on getting down the stairs,it sure is a great feeling isnt it,i too found that it is easier at certain times of the day.
Just to know you can do is a big" step" forward !!

There is nothing better than sharing a bike ride with someone else so know the how this would have felt for you.
I have a friend who is an institute of sport accredited cycle coach and he will be the person i will be riding with once i get the allclear.

I hope the decking gets sorted out quickly for you,i had some done out the front of my house last year,and filled in my pool and decked over it as well,i always have somewhere to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.

Sorry to hear the leg is infected,if the wound had already healed it may be an internal suture that hasnt dissolved,they can cause infection as the body recognizes it as a foreign body if it doesnt dissolve.
I discovered a few days ago i have a tiny piece of undissolved suture poking out the end of my main wound below my knee,its not causing any problems at present but will get physio to check it fri,I am massaging pawpaw ointment into my scars a few times a day.

Glad to hear Mara is back to enjoying her life at home with her loving family ...:>)

Good luck at the drs

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on August 24, 2010, 12:41:20 PM
 >:( i hate infection. I had an undissolved suture as well and it made my incision look sort of gross and inflamed.

YAY on the stairs! Going downstairs normally is a huge milestone, especially if you couldn't after your injury (I sure couldn't.) Remember these types of small victories on your next tough day  :)

hope you're having an ok day
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 24, 2010, 12:49:13 PM
Snowy thats not so good if there is an infection in the incision site please let us kow how it is once you get it checked out.
also good for you managing stairs normally hopfully it will get easier and easier the  more you do them.
I hope the work being done to your deck goes well and it donsen't take too long to get it back to normal, I always feel when there is any work being done to the house the whole place is upset,
I hope Frank is behaving and Mara is feeling better take care.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 24, 2010, 04:13:57 PM
Morning all,

Just having breakfast and waiting for the doctor's to open at the moment - I want to get this infection checked out and medicated as fast as possible. The lower half of the incision is inflamed and angry looking, with hot red skin around it. I have absolutely no idea what could have caused it; I don't have internal sutures as far as I know, and the incisions had healed over really well. I've also tried to be really careful with it in any situation where infection might have been a risk. I'm just hoping this won't stop me swimming, as that would make me really depressed.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on August 24, 2010, 04:22:41 PM
Good luck !! hope it's nothing serious enough to keep you out of the pool, but at least you're on top of it real quick, which can only help the issue get resolved quickly as well.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on August 24, 2010, 06:53:46 PM
Booooooooooooooo to the infection - boooooooooooooooooooo.....PLEASE let us know what the doctor says. How frustrating. I guess only a bit of something yukky is enough to infect the skin. It sounds like it is just only the skin though, so that should clear up quickly with the right stuff.

Dammit!! Or ACK!!!! as you would say..... :-\ :'(

Hugs from me, Boris-Gladiator and Lottie-Mog

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on August 24, 2010, 08:35:57 PM
Damn it as right!!!  Sorry to read about the infection, Snowy :(  It's always something these days, isn't it?   Truly, this is a test of patience and endurance.  More hugs...Robin
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 24, 2010, 09:15:03 PM
Good news! Not an infection. It's irritation caused by over-zealous scar mobilization.

Doc said don't do any scar mobilizations for a few days, and be very careful with it until it settles down because it will be prone to infection while the skin is irritated.

Oops. :-[
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: vickster on August 24, 2010, 11:16:57 PM
Great news!  :D

Now make sure that you do as you are told ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 24, 2010, 11:23:16 PM
So pleased its nothing to worry about, just need to do what your told and give your poor scar a bit of a rest ;)
take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on August 25, 2010, 12:40:08 AM
Congratulations on the stair walking !

Glad to hear that your "infection" just turned out to be over-zealous scar mobilisation. It's easily done.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on August 25, 2010, 03:03:03 AM
That is great news that it is not an infection. You must be very relieved.

Are you allowed to swim yet or do you have to take a few days off?

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 25, 2010, 03:23:24 AM
I was in the pool about 15 minutes after seeing the doctor. ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 25, 2010, 03:39:39 AM
Day 46 (I think - I'm starting to lose track)

So today I had a really good day. It's probably the best that the knee has felt since surgery, and was a much-needed glimmer of hope for the future.

It was more than due; the last four days have been really rotten, and I have to admit I've held back a bit on venting about just how awful the knee has felt because I didn't want my diary to become a tedious pity party. The pain in the back of the knee was really severe over the weekend, the stiffness has been terrible, and yesterday I could only just turn the pedals on my bike. It was bad enough that I was feeling pretty frustrated and depressed about the lack of progress.

Today has been completely different. The stiffness has eased off a bit, but more importantly the awful sticking sensation at the front of the knee is feeling considerably improved. I think this may be down to the fact that I've been doing friction massage on that area every day to clear any adhesions that might be causing it. I was able to walk up and down the stairs with almost normal gait all day, which is amazing as stairs have been a bit of a nemesis for me. Walking feels easier, and even the bike felt better thanks to the lack of catching at the front of the knee.

Realistically I need to remember that rehab is not a linear process, and that it's quite likely that tomorrow, or in a few days time, I'll have another run of bad days that will leave me gnashing my teeth about the agonizing slowness of the whole process. But today, even though I still feel a very long way from normal, I do feel more hopeful that things will get better in the end.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 25, 2010, 10:07:19 AM
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
So pleasedyou are having a good day, hoping the one good day turns into 2, and 3 and 4 and 5 etc good days
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on August 25, 2010, 10:41:59 AM
Woohoo! Glad you are feeling better and have made it through another patch of the rough stuff.

Enjoy the pool, bike, etc. and keep your head up. (otherwise you'll get water up your nose/tumble off the bike- haha!)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on August 25, 2010, 11:03:23 AM
Yay!! Excellent news on the lack of infection and the better day - Bob is also feeling calm today, we truly are knee twins!

Today's cheezeburger, especially for Frank... :-*

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on August 25, 2010, 01:44:56 PM

Ho Snowy
glad to hear it wasnt an infection after all.
On the subject of internal sutures everyone on here who has had surgery will have internal sutures whether they know it or not.....
Any surgery requiring layers of skin muscle etc to be cut through to carry out these procedures has to be sewn up again in layers so it will heal and then the outer layer of skin is sutured either with a continious dissolvable suture/normal removable sutures or staples.
Even minor lacerations often require internal sutures before the outer layer of skin is sutured.
If you google internal sutures there is some very interesting info ........including the fact that they dont start breaking down for for up to a couple of months as they need to hold the internal structures together while they heal.

Sorry youve had a bad few days,but great to hear your back on track again,the stair accomplishment feels great doesnt it,i was at a friends this evening helping out with their 2 young children(their 9yr old daughter died suddenly in feb and they are still struggling to deal with it)
I had to go up and down 2 sets of stairs so was good practise,to think a week ago i thought it would be ages before i could do it.

It sound as though you just climbed another mountain and come down the other side, i get the feeling from now on things are just going to get better and better for you. :>)

Yay for KAY go girl .......................

Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 26, 2010, 06:10:38 AM
Kris - head up at all times. ;)

Tez - I got two; not quite so sure about the third (see update below...)

Lottie - glad to hear that Bob has settled a bit as well. Long may it last!

Shelli - thanks for the extra info on sutures. Sorry to hear about your friends' daughter - what a terrible thing to have to deal with. :( I'm sure they appreciate your support immensely.

Day 47

Another good day. The release of the sticky patch (I don't really know how else to describe it) has made a whole world of difference to the way the knee feels, and its capabilities. Everything just seemed easier today, from walking to biking to the leg press machine.

If I had to try and sum up the change that happened in the last 48 hours, I'd say that my knee, while still weak and achy, actually feels like it belongs to me for the first time since surgery. Not having it catch and stop dead every single time I try and bend it makes it feel like a joint that, while still in need of considerable work, might one day be able to carry out the tasks I ask of it. Up until now it's felt so bad that I haven't had any confidence that that would ever happen, even though my rational mind knew that eventually it should.

I added in some new exercises today - squats on the wobble board and some flex work in the hot tub - and increased the weight and reps on the leg press again. I noticed on the bike that my left leg is starting to feel just a little bit stronger; my muscles are still much smaller on that side, but they're feeling very solid and look well-defined. I hope this is a sign that I'm turning the corner and starting to regain strength in that leg. Proprioception seems to be about at its pre-surgery level; the wobble board squats weren't problematic at all. Overall flex hasn't improved - I got to 130 with some effort after working on it in the hot tub, and it's at about 115 when the leg is cold - but I'm resigned to the fact that this particular battle is going to be a very long one. I'm just grateful to finally have functional flex in the range that I do have; I hadn't realised quite how badly the catching was impeding me.

This afternoon I went to work for a meeting with my manager and goodbye party for one of my very favourite coworkers. It was wonderful to see everyone again; I work with a great crowd and I have really missed them during the past couple of months. I caught up with friends, said hello to my office (currently being occupied by departing coworker), ate a great deal of cake, and had my incisions admired by large numbers of people. It felt like I'd never been gone, and made me really look forward to my official return in 10 days. I know it's going to be a big challenge managing work and rehab, but I also know that I will have tons of support and some very good people around me.

When I came home I headed out for a really gorgeous bike ride along the westside beaches: glorious evening sunshine, dusty bike trails, little ocean wavelets lapping at the shore, and hazy blue mountains in the distance. All in all, a very good day.

Unfortunately I suspect that tomorrow won't be quite so good, as I tweaked the knee during some over-enthusiastic exercises tonight and now I have some unpleasant anterior pain. Am administering an ice pack and keeping my fingers and toes crossed that this won't be a bad setback. Mostly, though, I'm grateful to have had two good days where I finally felt an appreciable improvement in the knee. It's been a long time coming.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kittyspit on August 26, 2010, 06:56:51 AM
kay, you are officially my hero.  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on August 26, 2010, 12:04:15 PM
Yay Kay!!!!!  Your good knee news just made my morning.  Hope that it continues.  NOW come the usual warnings...don't work it too hard.  As I'm sure you know, you are most prone to reinjury just as it starts to feel more normal.  Have an awesome and painfree day, girl!!!  You deserve it.   ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: BlueTopaz_ZA on August 26, 2010, 01:45:11 PM
Hi there

I don't check in for a few days and see how much happens, WOW! :o
Glad to hear there is NO infection and that Day 46 and 47 were good ones! I cannot wait to be that far into my "adventure".
I must research this friction massage you mention.

Living by the sea is such a blessing.

Hope day 48 was fantastic  ;)


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on August 26, 2010, 02:27:05 PM

Hi Snowy

Great news on the latest achievements,well done and im sure the knee will feel fine tomorrow after some icing and a little tlc.

Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on August 26, 2010, 03:58:34 PM
wow, kay, time flies! I was all set to say something along the lines of "You can't possibly be ready to go back to work, you weren't due back til early September..." and then I looked at the calendar (duh)  ;D Sounds like the transition back should be ok for you since you are doing so well already. It definitely makes it tougher to stay on top of the kneehab, but if anyone can do it you can!

The resolution of the "sticking" is great news indeed and it seems like it's making a world of difference for you. hope you're having another good day today.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 27, 2010, 04:17:06 AM
Aargh! Just typed an entire entry and then lost it.  >:( Take two...

Kittyspit - I'd watch out for that; I have a tendency to overdo things then regret it later. ;)

Robin - I'm being careful, but also really appreciating my newfound freedom of movement. :)

Doreen - Agreed completely r.e. living by the ocean. We're just a few blocks to the beach, and I limped there as soon as I was able - I think it was around day 10 post-surgery.

Shelli - You were right; apart from a little lingering achiness, there were no ill effects this morning.

Kris - I have no idea where my summer went! Apparently rehab, while tedious, does make the time fly.

Day 48

Feeling good. ;D

It's funny - I waited so long for any significant improvement in the knee, and now that one is finally here I can't celebrate because I don't completely trust that it will last. However, after three days I'm starting to feel cautiously optimistic that I may have turned a bit of a corner.

Woke up this morning with a little aching from my tweak last night, but no resumption of the dreaded stickiness. The leg felt strong during my morning swim, and pulled its weight well next to the other one. Squats, which were next to impossible a week ago, have suddenly become straightforward (even on the wobble board). Best of all, cycling has become much easier now that my leg bends more freely. Today I took the road bike out for the first time since surgery, and biked up to UBC and through Pacific Spirit park in about 45 minutes (the same route took me 1:10 a week ago). I feel much stronger and more confident on the bike, although needless to say both my cardio and leg strength are pitiful compared to their pre-surgery levels. Still, it was a big psychological boost to be out on the road bike and able to open it up a little bit on the flats. I also made it up the UBC hill with no twinges.

Came home, iced, did some flex work and got to 135 with quite a bit of effort. :)

I'm sure the sticky patch was either one large adhesion or lots of small ones (it was right on the surface - it literally felt like someone had superglued the skin down) and a combination of ultrasound and daily friction massage was key to making it let go. I'd gotten so used to dealing with it that I just assumed it was a normal limitation, but not being hindered by it is awesome. I feel like my knee, while stiff and achy still, belongs to me again; and if this lasts, I can really begin to move forward.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 27, 2010, 04:26:41 AM
Snowy so pleased your "sticky patch" seems to be over, there are so many strange feelings in these acl op'ed knees its hard to pin point exactly where they are coming from, and what is causing them, I didnt realise how long I would spend trying to work out what was going on inside my knee from day to day.
Very pleased you are looking forward to going back to work, even more so since reading on FB that you have worked out how many of each excersise you have done since your op, to my mind that is the actions of someone who need's a bit more mental stimulation than they are geting at the moment ;D
Wee question how does your knee feel when just walking around normaly, do you still have any pain? I do with most steps and wondered if this is to be expected 5 1/2 weeks post op.
I hope you Jen and the kittys are all doing well take care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 27, 2010, 05:47:05 AM
I confess that I actually did the math on the exercises while in the pool - I got curious about how far I'd swum, and it just kind of went from there. I think I need one of those waterproof MP3 players to distract me underwater. ;)

There's still a little bit of stiffness when I walk which makes me limp slightly, but no pain. However, I'm not sure that I'm a good comparison for that one because my walking has been really strong from the start - I was down to one crutch at 3 days, off them completely at 5 days, and walked 4km at 10 days, which I think is quite atypical. My PT attributed it to my general leg strength; having strong muscles around the knee supports the joint and minimizes pain in day-to-day activities, but it's not really a fair comparison when I was cycling at least 200k a week before surgery. There are certain exercises that make my knee hurt, particularly when I'm starting something new, and it aches a lot when I've exercised it hard. Things like walking, swimming and cycling really don't bother it too much, though.

Another reason I'm really glad that the sticky patch has gone is because it was the source of a lot of pain - each time it caught and I had to force the knee through the bend it hurt a great deal. I think that's another reason I've been happier the past few days - way less pain. :)

I think for all of us, our strengths and weaknesses in recovery are quite different. I've gotten a lot of benefits from my muscle condition, but I'm badly hampered by my natural tendency to swell. Poor Frank is still about 30% swollen, and a lot of my limitations - especially the ongoing stiffness in the knee - come from that. Perhaps some of the others could share their walking experiences to give us a broader range of comparisons...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on August 28, 2010, 01:17:28 AM
Yes...I wanted to come on here and see that you had 4 good days in a row and  :) :) :) :)  yes!!!!  Sounds like you've done it my friend. 

You have worked your butt off, Snowy and it's paying off. Try to enjoy where you are right now.  You've done amazingly well and I'm soooo happy to read that you have been happier due to way less pain. 

Maybe it's time to celebrate with a microbrew or two?   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 28, 2010, 02:50:17 AM
Day 49 - 7 weeks post-surgery

Four good days. ;D

First swim at 20 lengths (2.7k) with the legs and 2 (0.3k) with the pull buoy. No ill effects at all. Adding more squats into the daily routine now that I can finally do them comfortably. Leg press machine up to 100lbs bilateral and 40lbs unilateral. Cycling feeling better all the time. I'm getting increasingly hopeful that I'll be able to go back to work as a bike commuter, which would be awesome.

I won't pretend the knee feels great; it's still getting very stiff when I sit or stand still for too long, and it's still quite achy. But the new-found freedom of movement is doing wonders for my strength, stamina, pain levels and general mood. I so hope this lasts!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on August 28, 2010, 09:42:54 AM
wow girly, my first thought is how big is this pool..........150m long?  I want to be in that pool not turning around so often it would be bliss. 

Havent checked in and said hi yet this week and the anticpated busy day at work isnt yet happening so checking in now.

I havent yet had the results from my mri so the phantom mystery pain that happens randomly hasnt yet been explained and i still dont know if i will be seeing the OS again so no news on that front.  I am 10 months out and wanted to particpate in an 8 hr spinathon at the gym to raise money for the local special care baby says 'NO'.  Permission granted to do 1 hr on 1 hr off, good enough...........mmmmmmm not sure yet.  I told him he was supposed to have given me freedom by now and he had said 9 months and i am at 10.  He said i have given you some and loosened the ropes but not yet cut you free!! HUH

Weight wise is all happening in the right direction and i am still so focused its good.  Few things happening personally which are bringing me down somewhat but i will get over it and it will be sorted, just soon would be good.

4 weeks monday is so looking forward to that its unreal.  I have to send my passport off this week for the visa, should have done it last week but had to wait until pay day!!!

Keep going good, am pleased to read positive things.....

Love Lisa
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on August 28, 2010, 12:18:50 PM
Hi Snowy,

Sorry I have not replied to yopur posts this week but was pretty worked up about my knee and did not have the time to reply to other members threads. Being told to force the knee through pain has ended up making my knee worse and now hurts going up and down the stairs and was ok before forcing the knee through pain.

You doing really well with your swimming and can see you real enjoy going for a swim and can do more squats. The leg press is a great way to build up the quads again and also use one at the gym. Be great to cycle to work rather then use the car or public transport. Its more healthy and has less impact on the enviroment.

Your knee going to feel stiff for a while and should slowly improve. Its bank holiday weekend in England and got Monday off work but had to work this morning and will do the same on Sunday but at least I got the whole of Monday off.

Have a good weekend.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 29, 2010, 03:33:09 AM
Lis - you've seen the pic now, but the Kitsilano pool is 137m long. I feel incredibly lucky to have it right on our doorstep; it's less than 10 minutes away by bike and I've appreciated it more than ever this summer. I do hope that one day you can visit and try it for yourself; it opens for the summer season at the beginning of May, so it's actually possible to spend the day skiing and then stop for a dip in the pool on the way home. :)

Glad to hear that the weight loss, fitness goals and Uganda preparation are going well. How long is your trip this time? Do you ever keep a blog of your trips, or is it too hard to get regular net access? I'd love to be able to follow along and hear about what you're doing. Sorry that the mystery pain is still ongoing, but hopefully the MRI will shed light on it and the PT will cast off the last few chains at that point.

Nick - I've just been catching up on your diary and I'm so sorry to hear how tough things have been the past week. Don't let them fob you off - it's your knee and you deserve the chance to have it properly diagnosed and put right. It's very tough when knee pain interferes with everything from passtimes you love to the things you need to do at work. I hope that the pain management clinic can either offer some practical advice to help, or refer you back to your OS if it's clear that they can't improve things for you.

Day 50

I celebrated day 50 by going for a 25km bike ride. ;D

Not too much else to report; I also cycled to the pool and back, did another swim mostly without the pull buoy, and added some weights to most of my daily static exercises (SLRs, etc.)

Starting to believe that this improvement is going to last.  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on August 29, 2010, 04:22:11 AM
Snowy, been off enjoying a short vacation with my family, so just catching up on your daily updates ...
So happy to read about the big improvement youve experienced these last few days.
Hope it keeps heading in the right direction from here on out and, hope it bodes well for my own 50 day post-op anniversary the middle of this week.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 29, 2010, 07:55:33 AM
Snowy really please your good few days look like they may turn into good week then few weeks etc.
Your pool looks amazing and massive I can see why you love swimming there so much, and the swimming must have been a godsend for you while other forms of excercise are a no no just now.
I really hope that these improvments continue and your having a great weekend.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tony1233 on August 29, 2010, 01:05:33 PM
Hey Snowy, I havent been on much but when I have been on I was reading It's great that you're doing and feeling a bit better as of late. I'm so glad that you're doing well! Hopefully like Tez said you will keep feeling good for days, then weeks, then months and well you know how it goes :)

Xx Tony
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on August 29, 2010, 02:32:30 PM

Hi Snowy

I think i remember saying to you not so long ago that i thought you had reached the top of the mountain and now you are coasting down the other side,well enjoy the ride girl its just going to get better every day,no looking back now :>)

Im so envious of your 25km bike ride,the weather has been perfect here for riding sunny days and no wind.

Im so happy that your knee is behaving well, after all the trouble it has caused you.

Hope youve had a great weekend.

Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 30, 2010, 03:22:17 AM
Kefta - the improvement in the knee was definitely a big psychological boost, too; I was really starting to wonder if it was ever going to feel better. For quite a while it did feel more like I was learning to manage the limitations and do stuff anyway than that the knee was really improving. I gather that an improvement somewhere around the 6-8 week mark is fairly normal, so fingers crossed that you and Tez will experience the same thing in due course.

Tez - I honestly don't know what I'd have done without the swimming. The Kits pool is only open for another two weeks, so after that it will be back to the Aquatic Centre for the winter. Unfortunately the Aquatic Centre has a more limited schedule, and along with my return to work I suspect that means I won't be able to keep up the daily swimming. However I'll have the gym at work, so no excuses not to be in there every day.

Tony - good to hear from you! Sounds like you're having the speediest surgical recovery ever. :) Hope all continues to go well for you, and good luck with the job hunt - have been keeping my fingers crossed for you. When do you take your RCMP tests?

Shelli - I think there will still be good days and bad days, but hopefully no repeat of the awful sticking. I'm sure it must have been an adhesion below the large incision that was causing all the problems; I'd assumed it was just part of the general stiffness, but once I started the friction massage (which is recommended for gummed up tissue) it released in a few days. I only wish I'd been more specific with the PT about it, as I could have started working on it sooner!

Day 51

Frank had a very stiff (but not sticky, thankfully) day today; I'm not sure whether the culprit was the longer bike ride and extra squats yesterday, a sudden change in the weather overnight, or hormones (which I'm starting to realise do play a part in the way the knee feels.) Took it fairly easy today as a result; I left the leg press over till tomorrow, and just swam and did my basic exercises instead. I'm actually finding that most of the basic exercises feel too easy now, even with extra weights (I can pretty much do SLRs in my sleep) so I might talk to the PT about switching some of them out for things that work the muscles a bit harder.

Swam the full 3k without the pull buoy today! It wasn't intentional; I just completely forgot to grab it for lengths 10-12, which are the only ones I've been using it for. Frank didn't seem to mind and in fact felt looser after my time in the pool, although he stiffened up again once I'd been driving around running errands for an hour or so.

Next week will be interesting; I'm loaning my truck to a friend who is using it to take his daughter to university on the other side of the country. Not only does this mean the truck going on a 10,000km road trip without me, but it also means we'll be without a vehicle for a week (the trip will take two weeks, but a very good friend is lending me her car for the second week.) The timing's not ideal as the whole arrangement was made long before I had a date for knee surgery or any idea how slow recovery would be, but I didn't want to bail as it's the only way my friend can spend the time with his daughter and he's also repaying us with handyman work on the condo, which is badly needed. I'm just very relieved that I'm able to ride my bike to the pool and gym now; even a week ago I think it would have been impossible for us to manage without a vehicle. The car I'm borrowing for the second week is a stick shift, so I'll get to see how Frank copes with a clutch.

Hope everyone is having good knee days out there. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on August 30, 2010, 11:25:26 AM
hi Snowy!

Glad the stickiness is still nowhere to be found, although stiffness is annoying- I'm with you on that today, unfortunately. Still haven't gotten the wobble board for my desk either! Might be doing some kicks on my imaginary bio-dex machine today.

I am also crying over seasonal pool closure. Obviously I don't swim at all like you do, but it's been a lifesaver, especially on the bad knee days when everything else feels yucky. The indoor pool doesn't have the same pull as the outdoor one (plus it's warm, so no fun anti-inflammatory effects!)

Hope you can keep this good thing going for your vehicle-free stretch. I bet you will have no problem though!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: BlueTopaz_ZA on August 30, 2010, 01:29:17 PM
I was so intrigued by the mention of a 137m long pool I just had to Google it. WOW impressive!!!

Your recovery and fitness levels are really impressive. I am getting very excited about being able to get physical in the next 2-3 months, which will be just in time for our summer weather.

As for being Car-los (thats my silly word for being without a car  ;)) next week, I hope its not too much trouble, and I really doubt (based on your fitness and the cycling you are managing to do) that you will battle with a clutch when you do get your friend's car to drive.

Have a great day!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 30, 2010, 06:59:02 PM
Snowy you will be fine when it comes to driving a car with gears I have been since 2 weeks post op and now don't even think about my knee whan I'm driving, the week without a car on the other hand may not be quite as easy ;)
I can understand your stiffness I am struggling with that as well but when I saw Paul today he said that a lot of that is coming from the swelling I still have in my knee I think the fact that didnt have a lot of swelling right after my op I asuumed whatever I had was long gone apart from the pouch above the harvest site but Paul said he though I still had a fair bit and that is causing the knee not to bend very well and the stiffness, at least I know now what is causing these feelings and its nothing to worry about.
I hope your recovery keeps going from strengnth to strenghth.
Take care Terri
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on August 31, 2010, 07:05:47 AM
Kris - agreed that the indoor pool just doesn't have quite the same appeal. I'm trying to console myself with the fact that it has a hot tub attached, however.

Blue - it's an AMAZING pool. I'm always incredibly grateful to have it in the summer, but this year more than ever!

Tez - I'm sure you're right; I can't imagine the clutch being a problem at this stage. The remainder of this week will be an interesting challenge - the truck went off tonight to begin its journey to Montreal in the morning. I have a couple of options if we need a vehicle in the meantime - fortunately insurance here is all done through the province and any insured vehicle can be driven by any licensed driver, so it's not nearly as complicated to borrow cars as it is in the UK!

Day 52

Today I ended up on an unintentional visit to the PNE ( The PNE is a Vancouver summer ritual, but I hadn't planned on going this year due to the knee woes. It's a long story as to how I ended up there anyway, but I had a pretty good day; we saw the Superdogs show, petted some adorable baby beefs and baby bacons in the farm tent, saw some llamas with very bad haircuts, and ate a ridiculous number of mini donuts. I also just failed to win a mini dirtbike at one of the game stands, for which Frank (and a variety of other body parts) will probably thank me in the long run. The crowds made me very nervous and J guarded my left side all day, forming a much-needed defensive shield against the many unsupervised small children who unerringly headed straight for my bad leg as they charged headlong around the arena.

We're also having a serious debate at the moment about whether our ten-year plan should become a right now plan. We have a long term goal of moving somewhere where we can have some land and be relatively self-sufficient, and a few days ago I stumbled across a real estate listing for our dream home: We could actually afford to buy it if we sold our condo (Vancouver real estate prices are insane) with a similar mortgage to the one we have right now, but the problem is that we'd have fewer work opportunities on the Sunshine Coast than here in the city, so paying it might be a challenge. It's so perfect that we're both kind of tempted to say the hell with it and just go for it and see what happens next. On the other hand, I'm not sure how Frank would feel about all those stairs. ;) It's not such a bad dilemma to have, really; a choice between two very different lifestyles that are both awesome in their own way.

Today the deck guy ripped out our back door and put in a new one; while this work was out of scope of the original deck resurfacing project, I'm very happy as the new door he found for us has a full-length glass panel and really opens up that end of the living room. Not so happy about the fact that the new deck surface is still curing after five days, so the cats are left to pace miserably at the patio doors wondering when they'll be able to go outside again (as are we).

Somehow I also found time for a swim, gym, bike ride and regular exercises as well.  A busy day. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on August 31, 2010, 10:14:42 AM
Snowy glad you had a good day out, I know the feeling of kids running around and aiming for the bad knee, it never fails for some reason its like a magnet to anyone barging around ::)
As for the house oh my god!!! its stunning. it looks totally amazing, I can imagine its a very hard decision to make such a massive move but I believe lifs too short to leave things that you feel pasionate about, I assume both you and Jen would have to find jobs closer to the new house, how easy would that be?? anyway I hope you both make the right decision for your future, but even having that as an option makes me quite jealous ;D
Take care Tez     
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on August 31, 2010, 12:04:22 PM

Can I come and live in the new house please?!!! PLEASE?!!!!!! Wow!!! What a tough decision. I've emailed you this morning but have been delighted with Frank's progress in your diary. I know what you mean about the knees and hormones, mine are also prone to fluctuations throughout the month, very weird!

Hope things keep on improving and Frank stays loose and non sticky - I think he's turned the corner (ssshush whisper don't tell him I said that  ;) ;D)


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on August 31, 2010, 12:11:23 PM
I read the "description" on the realtor's site and swooned! "Do you have a dream of a place in the country with a woodstove, organic gardens, privacy to be naked outside, and rooms and space for all the creative projects you would love to do, and access to the ocean to get away from it all?" YESYESYES!!!! I would like to move in also  :) The stairs look a bit sketchy but there is no time like the present- sure doesn't hurt to investigate it now. And why wait 10 yrs for something so wonderful?

Sounds like you've been busy, but as long as busy Frank stays happy Frank that's all that matters. Wishing you a non-sticky and non-stiff day!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on August 31, 2010, 11:44:08 PM
Well, what can I say. I've run out of superlatives (I'll try and get some more tomorrow from the supermarket  ;D) - 25k bike ride, on top of the daily 3k swim and the gym. I just have to hang my head in shame ...   :-[ ;D

I thought Kris was kidding about the description, but that was the verbatim text on the advert. I've actually been on holiday to a place like that and I understand completely the attraction. The difficulty with those locations as you said is the limited work options, which is why I'm still in a city.

Hope Frank is being less stiff today  ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 01, 2010, 04:43:54 AM
Isn't it a wonderful looking place? At this point I think it's unlikely that we'll buy it - tempting though it is, we also need to be practical about this and we definitely wouldn't be able to retain our current earning capacity if we moved north, and I'd hate to have our dream move turn into a stressful financial nightmare. We may still have a change of heart, but realistically I think we need to spend another few years getting ourselves into a position where we can make that kind of move and be comfortable and secure. I think this has motivated us to make it a five year plan rather than a ten year plan, however.

Ah, it's nice to dream, though...

Day 53

I missed my swim today for the first time in 42 days.  >:( We had a busy day today and I only had a short window to fit it in, and ended up losing that to a problem involving my road trip friend and the truck. We were able to get things sorted out but I didn't have time to make it to the pool.

Given that it also rained like crazy all day today I didn't take the bike out (slick roads, bad visibility and fragile ACL; not a good combination); instead I stuck it on the indoor trainer, cranked the resistance to max, and pedaled furiously for an hour while watching ski movies. Frank went a bit stiff afterwards, but settled down with some icing. I so want to be able to go out on the road and ride like that for whole days again. At the moment the knee starts to get achy at around the hour mark whether I'm on the road or on the trainer.

I did manage to flex the knee to 135 degrees today. The range of movement from 0-110 is now completely comfortable; 110 to 120 is a little tricky; 120 - 130 requires active pressuring; and 130 to 135 hurts like a son of a bitch. I guess it is getting there, but oh so painfully slowly. At this rate I may be able to do a heel to butt touch in time for the 2011/12 ski season.

I also made a very important preparation for my return to work: I bought a pair of flat-heeled work shoes (the first I've ever owned.) Much though I don't want to, I have to face up to the fact that none of my current work shoes are going to share my immediate future. I hope I can wear them again one day...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on September 01, 2010, 10:24:40 AM
aww... flat shoes! Definitely feel your pain on that one. While I have made progress in this arena, there is a closet (and two shoe racks) full of stillettos that I am certainly in no shape for yet. A side effect of the knee drama has been a lot of shocked people who didn't know how short I really am  ;)

Sorry you missed your swim but I'm sure you'll make it up. No sense biking in the rain and hurting yourself either! 135 degrees is great, even if it hurts... and heel-to-butt is flippin' overrated! (I did it once by accident, ok I tripped really... and don't recommend to any geek, ever.)

hope you and Frank have a great day.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 01, 2010, 10:41:36 AM
Snowy I also feel you pain with the whole flat shoe thing with me at 5ft2 my heels were a big part of my life but the health of our knee's is more important than the way we look [i think if i keep telling myself this i will convince myself] In fact the physio has said when I get back to work I should really consider wearing trainers as the cushioning that they have could help with the pain and stiffness while standin :P so any ideas of what to wear that looks smart enought for the salon but also goes with trainers.
The house looks amazing but I supose you have to be practical especially where work comes in to the equasion, but it is a fantastic house ;D
I dont know the numbers or degrees of flex  have but Paul tried to get as much bend in the knee as would happen and its still no where near that of the good knee which he has put down to the fluid I still have.
Wise woman doing without the bike ride when the weather is so wet that would be all you need as you perpare to get back to work is to have another accident only this time by coming off your bike in the rain.
Are you getting excited about heading back to work? I hope so!! it is just another step in getting back to normal.
Take care Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on September 01, 2010, 11:11:48 AM
Hey snowy, well I finally caught up with your diary. I'm glad to see you've made some good progress, that sticking sensation sounds familiar and I'm glad you managed to get rid of it :) Good to hear you've been able to get the flex up a little more as well.

I'll post more later but for the time being, answer me this. At about this stage (week and a half or so)what exercises and how many sets/reps per day were you doing? I'm not really sure what I should be doing and I'm seeing some serious wastage in my left quad.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on September 01, 2010, 02:59:48 PM
Snowy, so pleased to read that you've had a whole bunch of days in a row with this sustained improvement in the knee .....  Dare I say that you've made it over the hump at this point - will surely be some off days here and there, but must be such a psychological boost to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel (though it sure is a long tunnel !!)

Have to say, seems to be something about the 6-8 week mark ... I'm definitely noticing a difference in how my knee feels these last few days (7 week mark for me today) - the constant stiffness seems to be abating (definitely still has its moments, but it's not a 24 hour thing at this point), the walking is getting better and more secure (I know you've been up and about walking well for weeks now, but for me, only just noticing a real normal stride in the last couple of days), and I'm finding that just day-to-day tasks (like putting socks on, etc ...) are becoming much less awkward.

When do you go back to work ?? 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 01, 2010, 06:15:30 PM
Wooohooo, great news on the continuing progress and I think that ROM is coming along, as you say its a case of slow and steady wins the race... 8)  Sensible call on the no biking on greasy roads - eeeeek. I had to laugh at the knee grumbling after an hour at max resistance - I haven't had ACLr and mine would grumble after about 10 minutes at max resistance!!!

Tez - a quick though on shoes for work, have you checked out Merrells? I am a flat shoe girl, used to manage a few heels but combined knees and onion now renders me flat or a very slight wedge (I am 5 foot 8 though so I am lucky!)...I love Merrells, funky and also got good insoles and you could probably combine them with some trousers that are smart casual for work, not sure what type of thing you need to wear but they do lots of different styles and colours. they'd definitely help support the feet while the knee keeps healing.  ;D  You could always get some MBTs and rock your way around the salon.....

Hugs to all xxx

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 02, 2010, 03:33:50 AM
I go back to work on Tuesday, September 7th - so just a few days away now. I'm very much looking forward to it (I've missed my coworkers a lot, and am excited to get moving on some of our fall projects) but am also a bit concerned about how to manage Frankenknee's rather extensive list of daily requirements. I do know I'll have lots of support, so hopefully it will all be fine. Monday is a stat holiday - Labour Day - which means I'll go back to a four-day week next week followed by a four-day week the week after thanks to my regular compressed day, which will help me ease back into things.

We're still torn on the whole issue of moving out to the woods. One one level I know that this isn't the right time, and consequently it would be buying a lot of stress that would make the experience less than perfect. On the other hand...well, you all saw the pictures. ;) We're going to take some time to think about it over the next week or so and see what conclusions we come to.

Tez, I'd also recommend checking out Skechers - they have some nice crossover shoes that look smartish, but have all the comfort of runners.

Day 54

Decided I needed to make up for the missed swim yesterday by putting Frank through his paces today.

Got up and did an exercise set with extra squats; cycled to the pool and went for an energetic 3k swim with no pull buoy (I think the pull buoy can join the crutches in the storage room now); cycled to the gym and did 300 inclined leg presses with 100lbs of weight for both legs and 40lbs for the bad leg, plus a bunch of ab work; cycled home; ate lunch and did an exercise set with more extra squats and extra weights; took the road bike out and cycled 30k in roughly an hour and a half, including a massive hill. Icing my knee ready for the last exercise set now.

The bike ride was my longest and best yet; in spite of the extra distance, Frank held up well and I can definitely feel some strength improvements compared to a week ago. I'm still oh-so-painfully slow (I used to do multiple wind sprint laps of the UBC hill for fun) but as long as nothing happens in the meantime, I think bike commuting next week is a go.

I'm not quite sure how to describe the mental point that I'm at right now. I'm immensely grateful for recent improvements, and more hopeful and optimistic as a result. I'm wary, because I know that this is the point everyone warns you about: you start to feel better, but the graft is still uber-fragile. (I'm being very careful not to do anything that my PT hasn't okayed, even machines in the gym that I'm sure would be fine.) I'm very sad that it's September now, and I'm missing the "ski season is just around the corner" excitement that normally comes with that. I'm still frustrated by the things that my knee won't do, although less so now that my cycling range is improving. I feel pretty good about where things are at since the improvements, but most of all I'm daunted by the amount of time still ahead of me in this rehab process.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 03, 2010, 06:42:00 AM
Day 55

Took it easy today to give Frank a break after yesterday's activities. Swim, usual exercises, and a 15k bike ride (plus the 6k ride to the pool and back.)

Knee was a little stiff today, but considering that yesterday was its hardest workout yet I'm pleased that it didn't feel any worse. I think I'm getting better at judging the difference between pushing into that zone of slight discomfort that helps set the bar a little higher overall, and pushing into enough discomfort to cause significant problems.

I feel in an odd space at the moment. There's still a lot the knee won't do, but I finally feel better enough to be pushing it quite a bit harder in some areas. At the same time I'm very conscious of the fact that the graft is still fragile, and pushing it is only good up to a point. This whole process is such a balancing act...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on September 03, 2010, 11:16:04 AM
Hi Snowy,

That workout balance is very tough and something I still struggle with today. I've never been a fitness guru by any stretch, but as someone who used to be in shape it's hard for me to change my whole approach to fitness. Pre knee, more was always better- worst case scenario was the "good sore" that comes from a major workout... and now that's no longer the case. Somehow I guess we'll just figure it out (I hope)  :)

Big plans for your last weekend before back to work? I can't believe it's here already... seems like just yesterday you were playing tour guide with your fam and now here you are back to the rat race!

hugs to you and frank
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 03, 2010, 12:22:07 PM
Snowy your last weekend before your return to work how are you feeling now thats its nearly here?? I bet you didnt think whe this all started that you would be heading back to work on your bike, which shows you how well you've done, and even though you feel there are still some things your knee wont allow you to do just look at all the things it will let you do 8 weeks after an aclr, I think we all feel that frustration of wanting to do something but knowing its not something we should do to protect the graft, I think its a lesson in patience and restraint and for someone like you with your go get em attitude that must be so so hard.
thanks to you and Lottie for the shoe advice I shall have a wee look for some decent trainer like shoes :)
Take care amd make sure you enjoy your last few days of freedom before your return to work.
((((hugs)))) Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on September 03, 2010, 04:06:31 PM
Hi Snowy,

Its good to give your knee a break if you been working it hard the day before and doing really well swimming and cycling. As you said its normal for the knee to feel stiff after all the physical activities you have been doing, best not to force the knee too much if it causes discomfort.

Can now have a relaxing weekend before going back to work again, that at least it gives you something to do and gets you out of the house.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: BlueTopaz_ZA on September 03, 2010, 04:09:57 PM
Hi Snowy

Hope you are at least finding some peace in this odd space you find yourself  :)
I guess going back to work, is perhaps a bit daunting as you are incredibly commited to your exercise and fitness. Are you a bit worried that (realistically) you wont have the time to keep at it?

Dont be too hard on yourself, you are doing phenomenally!

Have a great weekend, enjoy those last days of summer.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on September 04, 2010, 02:44:05 AM
OMG Snowy...I can't believe how hard you've been working out!  So good to hear that the knee is allowing for this.  :) :) :)  You are the Lance Armstrong of the Knee Geeks.  You must have an incredibly high pain tolerance.  You did so much even with a torn ACL, what's next????  You are amazing and an inspiration.  Enjoy the weekend and get those flats ready. ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 04, 2010, 03:19:45 AM
Kris - I know just what you mean. My legs and lungs feel like they could ride for miles, but Frank has very definite limits. No big plans for the weekend - J is working and I'll be trying to pack as many knee exercises as possible into the final three days of full-time rehab. I can't believe it's time to go back to work, either - where did the last eight weeks go?!

Tez - I have mixed feelings about going back. Really looking forward to seeing everyone, but a bit concerned about how the knee will handle the decreased activity and increased sitting. Still, it's been a while - I think it's time to try and get back to normal.

Clarkey - it's definitely a bit of a balancing act making sure I'm working the knee hard enough, but not overdoing it. I have a natural tendency to overdo things, so I have to be very careful with this. ;)

Blue - I think I'll be able to fit a decent amount of rehab in even after going back to work, but the focus will probably change a bit. I definitely won't be able to swim every day because the outdoor pool is closing and the Aquatic Centre schedule doesn't line up very well with my work schedule. However, I'll be able to do lots more gym work - we have a small but well-equipped gym in the building so I plan to be in there every lunch break. I'd like to spend at least an hour a day on the bike (which I'll manage if I'm cycling to work) and I should be able to do my regular exercise set before and after work. It's the swimming that will really lose out, but hopefully I'll still be able to go at least three or four times a week.

Robin - aw. :) I am blushing furiously at my computer. I have to confess though that the knee isn't very painful right now; it has the odd nasty twinge and it aches a bit after strenuous exercise, but since the sticky patch let go the overall pain levels have improved considerably. The exception is flex exercises, which make me sweat and swear and want to throw things.

Indian summer is here - ah, glorious sunshine! Our deck got its final resurfacing today; it can't be walked on for two days but it looks lovely. Next week they'll put back the stairs and railings and order will be restored.

Eight weeks post-surgery

Today with great excitement I turned to the second page of my ACLr rehab protocol, having finally moved out of the "2 week to 8 week" stage. Imagine my delight when I discovered that all it says is "Progress above" - i.e. keep doing all the same things that I'm doing now, but with more weights and reps. >:( There are a handful more exercises at 12 weeks but no real change until the 16 week mark, when the running and plyometrics (including hopping!!!) start.

Frank had a good day today. Upped the weights on the leg press to 110lbs (bilateral) and 50lbs (unilateral) with no ill effects. Swam, went for a 25k bike ride at a slightly faster pace, and did lots of exercises. I've switched up some of the exercises to try and increase the effect; I'm finding squats particularly effective for working the quads now that I can go deeper. As a result I'm squatting away with whatever variations I can come up with - fast, slow, with weights, on the wobble board - as much as possible. My GP gave the leg a quick review in the morning, and said it feels and looks much improved from the last time she saw it (about two weeks ago).

I was at the GP with poor J, whose leg woes continue. Her running injury is starting to improve now that she's seeing my PT, but during her last MMA training session the toenail was ripped off her big toe. It then got infected, and the first doctor she saw (at a late-night clinic, so not our regular GP) told her she didn't need antibiotics, and should use a piece of dental floss to trim pieces off the infected skin! After struggling through this insanely painful ritual for a couple of days, we decided an urgent second opinion was required. Our GP was horrified when she heard about the dental floss, and has prescribed antibiotics, epsom salt baths, and painkillers - a much kinder treatment.

Something interesting that I was thinking about today is that my PFS is as quiet as it's been in about ten years. I think the combination of post-surgical rest, gentle activities and strong NSAIDs finally tamed the inflammation. It will be really interesting to see how it responds as weight and reps ramp up in the gym, and if it can tolerate the impact exercises once I get to that point. I'm mentally prepared for those to be very painful because they always have been in the past, but I can't remember a time when I went into them with the PFS really settled, or when I built an exercise program up as gradually as ACLr rehab. It would be fantastic if a side effect of surgery was a real improvement in the constant anterior knee pain, but given some of the things I'll be doing later in rehab I don't want to get my hopes too high just yet.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on September 04, 2010, 01:46:41 PM
Hi Snowy,

You are doing really well and glad you are able to do long distance cycling and can swim ok and do leg weights and can really test out Frank. Poor J and cannot understand how anyonce can suggest using dental floss remove infected skin and glad the regular GP has got some common sense. Great about your PFS, as maltracking can be hard to get right again, be good if it remains how it is at the moment.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 04, 2010, 06:30:20 PM
Snowy I'm so pleased your PFS seems to have setteled down for now, long may it continue!!
I am pretty sure your return to work will be truimph and Frank will do as he's told, once he realises that he will still get his workout at lunch time and after work  :)
Poor Jen and her toenail just the thought of having your toenail ripped off makes my blood run cold, never mind having an infection, I hope the antibiotics work and she feels better soon.
Enjoy your last couple of days before the return to work and make the most of that fantastic pool before it closes for the season.
Take care Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 05, 2010, 02:09:11 AM
Day 57

Three minor pieces of news from an otherwise routine day.

At lunchtime today I got a call from the UBC MRI department. They finally had a date for the MRI that my sports medicine doc requisitioned in March, to determine whether or not my ACL was ruptured and I would need surgery. If I ever needed validation that spending that $1000 on the private MRI was the right thing to do, that was it. The MRI date was mid-September; I would then have had to go back to the UBC sports medicine doc (3 months) to get a referral to one of the UBC surgeons for a consult (18 months) to set a surgery date (6 months). If I'd stuck with this route instead of going private for the MRI and looking elsewhere for a surgeon, I'd be having my ACL reconstruction about this time in 2012.

As some of you know my truck has gone on a road trip to Montreal with a good friend. It arrived in Quebec today, and is now closer to Tez in Scotland than it is to me! After five days without a vehicle the one thing I have learned is that I absolutely cannot live without a car, so my wonderful friend Annie loaned me her Toyota until the truck makes it home. I picked it up this afternoon and learned that Frank has no problems at all handling a clutch. It's like a little baby leg press. :)

And this morning I swam 3k in 55 minutes - first time since surgery that I've got my time under an hour.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on September 05, 2010, 12:21:32 PM

Hi Snowy

Well done on the great swim time :>)

We obviously have a much better public hospital system over here,an example: when i had my first post op review with my surgeon a guy i spoke to in the waiting room had his surgery a couple of weeks before mine....same surgeon,different hospital,and he had only waited 4 months from his injury(which is the same amount of time i waited to get the knee back to normal as possible and strong before surgery)
My best friends daughter has had several knee surgeries over the past few years and all done through the public system,she said they have never had to wait long and she said the secret is to choose a private surgeon who operates in the public system as the wait to see them and for surgery is much quicker.

Glad to hear Frank is having a good workout with the clutch !!

Enjoy your last bit of freedom before you go back to work :>)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 05, 2010, 05:15:49 PM
That's interesting - it's the other way round here. The surgeons who work privately as well as in the public system have the worst wait times of all. The OS I was originally referred to was one of those, and his wait time for a consult was 18 - 24 months.

Our medical system is a really mixed bag, to be honest. We pay a small premium for healthcare in BC - about $50 a month - and the basic services, like family doctors, x-rays, etc are fantastic. I don't think I've ever waited more than half an hour to see a doctor here even without an appointment, whereas in the UK it was often two or three days before you could see a GP. Of course this in turn put a lot of strain on hospital ER departments, which also had crazy wait times; I've only had to go to Emergency three times here, and was seen within an hour every time. In the UK I don't think I ever waited less than six hours, and I was once left in a corner for four hours with a head injury following a motorbike accident (it turned out they forgot about me, and I was too concussed to realise how long I'd been there.)

Unfortunately our current provincial government has been systematically dismantling our healthcare system for the last 12 years, and as a result certain aspects of it aren't good. Most surgical wait times are okay but orthopedics are horrendous (just my luck), and there are a lot of fairly basic services that are no longer covered by MSP (like physiotherapy). I have an extended health plan through work, but it's not a very good one and the limits are pretty low - PT, for example, is just $800 per year, which isn't enough to deal with any kind of serious rehab from injury or surgery. There are also huge waits for diagnostics, especially MRIs. There are huge variations by region as well, and Vancouver has the worst wait times in BC.

The lesson I learned is that it's worth being a (polite) pain in the ass, and if you're proactive it's possible to beat the system. I wasn't prepared to accept a two-year wait for a consult, so I basically just took things into my own hands and found my own surgeon. If that hadn't worked, our plan was to stay with my in-laws and have the surgery in Victoria, where wait times are a lot more reasonable. In the end I waited exactly four months from injury to surgery, which wasn't bad at all. I did have to swallow the cost of the MRI, though, as there was no way around that aspect of it.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 05, 2010, 06:12:37 PM
Six months on...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on September 05, 2010, 06:37:08 PM
Based on the "comical" (comical if they weren't so serious) wait times that you were offered, I feel that I've fared quite well with the NHS !

I would've had to wait 6 weeks (although some other knee geeks have had NHS MRIs within 2 weeks) for an NHS MRI, so I decided to go private for that. Other than that everything else was NHS : 6 months post-injury physio, another 6 months wait for op, and now what could be 1 year post-op physio.

How is J's toe now ? I can't imagine how painful it must be to have a toenail ripped off ...  :o

I just calculated that to swim 3k in 55 mins, your average time for a 25 metre length (I know your length is around 150m, but this is just to compare with my pool) is 45 seconds, which is about what I could do for one 25 metre length sprint pre-op ... !

Yes, a clutch is going to be a doddle for you after all the leg presses you've been doing  ;)

Just read your blog entry for the day of injury - I can't believe you drove for 2 hours with a ruptured ACL ! I was carried on a stretcher to an ambulance after my injury  :o

Good luck for the coming week at work !


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 06, 2010, 05:21:21 AM
Deepak - this is why I hate swimming in 25m pools! Even the Aquatic Centre (50m) feels incredibly short in comparison to the outdoor pool. One more week and it will be time to make the switch...

Poor J is still in a lot of pain. The irony is that my friend loaned us her car because she was worried about how I'd manage without one; however I'm doing pretty well on the bike and probably would have been okay, whereas poor J needs rides to work because she can't walk! She's on some really heavy duty antibiotics - both oral and topical - and we're hoping that they will take effect soon.

That drive was one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life (prior to surgery, which took uncomfortable to a whole new level). The knee had swelled badly by then and was so painful that even the centrifugal force of a slight curve on the highway was excruciating. I just figured that if I could grit my teeth and get through it I'd be home in two hours, whereas if I'd called friends it would have taken at least three hours for them to get there and I would still have been facing a very uncomfortable couple of hours on the back seat at the end of it. Still, not an experience I would care to repeat.

Day 58

Another really good swim today. I would say that in the pool, I now feel about 99% normal. Wish I could say the same about dry land!

Six months from that day in the terrain park when one mistimed jump changed everything. Hard to believe that's all it is; it feels like it happened in a whole other lifetime. In spite of the fact that the accident left me on a very difficult path, I've learned a lot and it's forced me to do some much-needed prioritizing. The real silver lining, though, has been all of the wonderful, gimpy-kneed friends that I've made. Hard to imagine that if I'd landed that jump, I wouldn't have had the chance to get to know you all. I would have saved myself a lot of pain and frustration, but I would also have missed out on some fantastic new friendships.

One more day of full-time rehab to go, and then normal life resumes. I'm still worried about managing all the knee's daily needs, but it's time.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 06, 2010, 08:20:14 AM
Just for the memories. Whistler mountain first aid room, March 5th 2010.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 06, 2010, 09:23:45 AM
Snowy, there is a giant banana in the recovery room with you..... :o :o :o ::)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on September 06, 2010, 11:48:27 AM
Hi Snowy!

So glad you are still improving and things are looking up even more! good luck with starting work again, I am sure you will find it a bit difficult at first but the 4 day weeks will help and then you will be able to find a new routine for everything that works, I am sure as with everything else you'll still do great, and I bet you are looking forward to getting back!

Was glad to hear you did not have an infection, that would've sucked, especially this far out and when you were just turning another corner, also I was so pleased to hear Mara is feeling much better, how is she now? You and J are great with looking after your cats and giving them everything they need for a long and happy life from the sounds of it, hope she continues to get better. I Got my puppy back from 2 weeks at the kennels yesterday while we were away, the kennels are really good with the dogs, but I still missed him awfully and glad to have him back even if he is just sleeping constantly!  ::)

Eurgh really hope J's toe improves the dental floss treatment made me shudder reading it, can't believe the GP even suggested something like that!!  :o

Must have been a shock getting the MRI through finally, bet with the surgery and everything you had forgotten about that from so long ago, from the sounds of the awful waiting times that could have been, you have been lucky!


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 06, 2010, 12:39:55 PM
Snowy good luck for your return to work tomorrow, I cant believe its that time already it seems like yesterday we were the 3 muskateers, you, me, and Tony waiting for our surgery dates  and wondering who would be first in for their op, I feel as if that's the three of us moving on to the next stage of all this, with you back at work, Tony ended up without the aclr and he's now doing so well and getting back to sports and I will be heading back to work when I get back from Spain, I am proud of all of us ;D
Your right about the friends that we have all made through having dodgy knee's, I'm a believer in fate and that things happen for a reason, so maybe the reason for this was for us all to meet new people ;D.
Enjoy your last day of not working and rehab and I really hope Jen toe feels better soon take care
((((hugs)))) Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Cosmicsnuffle on September 06, 2010, 12:54:48 PM
Hey Snowy ...

Still trying to catch up with all the news and failing.... so just on your most recent highlights ... Wow on the sub-hour swim! Ouch re J's toe :-(((! And YAY for your return (hopefully commuting on the bike?!) to work.

You're not only an inspiration in what you do but also in how consistently you provide support for others. 

Respect xx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on September 06, 2010, 04:51:07 PM






ALL THE BEST.........

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 06, 2010, 07:15:50 PM
To Snowy and Frank!


Lottie, Bob, Danger-Bogs and the onions xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on September 07, 2010, 03:58:34 AM
That's great news that you are ready to go back to work and get back to living your life again. The first few days will seem a bit strange, but you'll do great.

It's a good thing you didn't wait for your MRI, you would have missed all of this upcoming ski season!!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 07, 2010, 06:16:42 AM
Vicky - yep, I'm glad I have a couple of four-day weeks to ease back in. Mara's doing pretty well - she's quite wobbly from the neuropathy in her back legs, but happy and affectionate and eating like a tiny black horse. Glad to hear you had a happy reunion with your puppy - I'm sure he missed you while you were gone. J is also doing better now she's not having to attack her infected toe with dental floss. I have no idea what the doctor was thinking - needless to say we won't be visiting that clinic again, even in a late-night emergency!

Tez - it feels such a long time ago that we were all still on the "before" side of our surgeries! You're right, we've all done so well - as have the other members of the ACL class of 2010. I hope you have the most wonderful time in Spain; you've really earned a good break before you go back to work.

Cosmic and Shelli - thank you both so much, but I feel very undeserving of that kind of praise. I'm just gimping along like everyone else, trying to figure it out. :) As for support and inspiration, you guys - all of you - have provided it in spades. I don't know what I'd have done without you this summer. :)

Lottie - thank you! The real world is looming...

Kristin - the ironic thing is that had I waited, I would have been able to ski this season! I had such a good recovery from injury that I was back skiing with a brace after 6 weeks. The way the timing's worked out I'll probably lose almost all of this season, but I am holding out hope that I might be able to get some spring skiing in if all goes well. I did actually think about waiting for surgery so that I could fit it in between the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons, but the risk of doing more damage to my knee from the ACL deficiency was just too high. I'm hoping that sacrificing the bulk of this season will be worth it.

Day 59

It feels like the night before the first day of school. Except that I'm packing ice packs and ankle weights rather than pencils and exercise books.

It bucketed with rain all day today which made for a very empty pool this morning. Just five more days of the beautiful outdoor pool left! I feel like the summer completely disappeared on me; I think I was so wrapped up in surgery and rehab that I didn't even notice it passing by, and now fall is in the air and it's time to see how the knee copes out there in the real world.

Frank is quite stiff tonight - he swelled a bit after a lot of errands and housecleaning today. Overall, though, things aren't feeling too bad. Oddly I'm finding that as I feel better, that nagging paranoia about how the graft is doing is escalating back up again; I think partly because I'm doing more, and partly because I'm sometimes able to move the leg without thinking about it rather than being hyper-aware of every single movement the way I was before. I worry that without even realising it, I'll do something I shouldn't and then have to deal with the consequences. I have my follow up with the OS two weeks tomorrow, not long before the all-important 12 week mark, and I just hope everything will check out all right. It's probably not helping that I've really had to scale back the PT for financial reasons, so I'm mostly managing my own recovery now and not receiving that regular reassurance from the PT that everything looks and feels okay.

Well, I think it's time to go sort out my work clothes and make sure I have everything I need for the morning. As long as the rain eases off, I'm going to take the bike. Might as well start as I mean to go on. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on September 07, 2010, 11:03:36 AM
Hi Snowy,
Hope you and Frank are having a positively uneventful day back at work! Thinking of you this morning  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on September 07, 2010, 03:33:48 PM
Snowy, just wanted to wish you best of luck today with your return to work ... I'm sure it will be a triumphant one !

As an aside - if it makes you feel any better, I'm in the midst of a wicked recurrence of the knee paranoia right now.  Have been bugging the last two days that I may have damaged the graft - and really can't think of anything specific that might have done it.  Maybe it's all part of the ordinary course of recovery ???????

Good Luck !!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on September 07, 2010, 05:26:04 PM
Hi Snowy,

Hope the 1st day back at work is not too stressful for you and sure it wont take you long to get back into it again. Be nice to see your work colleagues again after being away for a while. Hope Frank is ok when you are working today after doing all the house cleaning yesterday. Not too long to wait till you see your OS again who can put your mind at ease about the graft!

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on September 07, 2010, 10:16:22 PM

Really hope you had a great day at work and the knee also enjoyed it!  ;D

I know what you mean about physio reassurance, even though I know what I am supposed to do, I wish I still had someone telling me I was doing ok with the exercises (and to test the stability!!). How often are your appointments now? And at least the surgeon is soon (and the 12 week mark) to put your mind at rest again.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 08, 2010, 04:21:49 AM
One tired Snowy checking in...

Day 60

First day back went very well. Took about 15 minutes for me to feel like I'd never been gone. Email was horrifying (880 new mails in my inbox, 1366 including the ones I'd set to go straight to other folders) but I deleted most of it this afternoon. My lovely coworkers threw me a welcome back party which made me go a little misty-eyed, and there were Timbits galore. I haven't attempted to pick up the reins on any major projects yet; I should be getting the first reports tomorrow. Frank didn't get a complete day off the normal rehab routine; I made it up to the gym at lunchtime for some knee stretchies, and had a successful (but slow) bike commute both ways.

I have to admit I was exhausted by the end of the day, and feel completely wiped out now. I'm not sure why, since it's not like I really did much apart from catch up with people and delete emails. I did see the physio after work - first appointment in about 3 weeks - and he seems happy with how things are going. I'll see him again after I've had my follow up with the OS. He told me not to worry too much beyond the basic exercises this week; make work the priority until I've had a chance to settle in, and make sure I get plenty of rest.

Still trying to keep the graft paranoia under control. I wonder what it is about feeling better that makes the worry get so much worse?

All in all I think today was a success. Will be interesting to see how the rest of the week goes as I find out what's been going on with all of our web projects in my absence.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 08, 2010, 09:45:00 AM
Snowy really pleased the return to work went ok and Frank didnt give you too many problems, and it sounds like your co workers were happy to see you back, I think your physio is right this first week back should be spent getting yourself back into the swing of things, and the amount of physio you have done I would imagine doing a little less for the first week wont do you any harm, 
I hope you can get a good nights sleep so you wake up refreshed and ready to face another day at work.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 08, 2010, 11:33:30 AM
Sounds like all went well, must be nice to get back to some normality. I find sometimes I forget I am other things attched to my knees so when I have to concentrate on work, it is quite refreshing!

Take it easy this week, keep up the basics but get plenty of sleep and rest as well. You're still healing.


Lottie xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on September 08, 2010, 01:55:45 PM

Hi Snowy

Glad the first day back went well,another step in the right direction on the road to recovery......

Make sure you take it easy as just getting back into being back at work can take its toll on the body.

Enjoy the rest of your week :>)

Shelli xx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: BlueTopaz_ZA on September 08, 2010, 02:52:52 PM
2 days into your work week by now, hope you are coping and Frank is being co-operative.
Can identify with being soooo tired by simply dealing with emails and getting back into the swing of things  ;) so don't be too hard on yourself.

I don't do the amount of physical activity you do, am stuck at home, and still need my solid 8 hours of sleep and find I am tired by 8pm.

Hope you have a restful weekend lined up!

Take Care

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 08, 2010, 05:55:57 PM
Not at work today.

Mara got very sick again overnight. She's reached the end of the road now, and we'll be taking her to the vet this afternoon.

For now we're just making sure she's not in pain and spending this last little bit of time with her.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 08, 2010, 06:20:41 PM
Ooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh Snowy......................... :'(

I'm SO sorry to hear little Mara is so poorly. I have tears running down my face. I know so much how you and J must be feeling. Sending lots of love and best wishes and thoughts across the ocean. This is such a tough decision. You love Mara and always will, that can never be taken away. Not much I can say apart from the fact I am thinking of you all.


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 08, 2010, 06:30:37 PM
Snowy so so sorry I can understand how hard today is going to be for you and Jen, but just remember you have given her a wonderfull life and ther's no cat out their that could be more loved or have had better care taken of her.
(((((hugs))))) to you and Jen take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Longwalker on September 08, 2010, 10:59:23 PM
Snowy, I haven't posted in your diary til now, but I have to say that I feel so sad to hear that you are saying goodbye to your much loved pet.  I know she has had a splendid life.  It's always so hard to be the one responsible to end their lives humanely.  I've gone through it several times over the years with dogs and cats, all of them beloved friends.  I'm thinking of you.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: vickster on September 08, 2010, 11:07:21 PM
Snowy - to echo the others - so very very sorry to hear about Mara.  She has put up the bravest fight over the last few weeks and months. 

Thinking of you and J at this toughest of tough times  :'(
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on September 09, 2010, 12:35:16 AM
Sorry to hear about Mara. Hope you & J are coping ...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on September 09, 2010, 12:56:36 AM
Oh no. I am so sorry to hear about Mara, she had done so well to come back from her recent problems, you must be so sad  :'( I really admire the way you and J have made sure she has had such a long life and looked after her so well, especially recently with her medications and such, know that you and J were the best things for her, did an amazing job, and I hope you got to enjoy some time with her today. Thinking of you,

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on September 09, 2010, 01:11:35 AM
((((Snowy and Jen))))  So very sorry to hear that Mara took a turn for the worse.  As many others have said, she was some lucky cat to have two people in her life who cared so much for her.  Please know that I am thinking of you guys tonight. :'(  XX
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 09, 2010, 01:52:55 AM
Thank you all so much...the vet was kind and gentle and Mara died peacefully in our arms at about 4.30pm. It doesn't seem possible that she won't be coming home this time.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on September 09, 2010, 04:25:46 AM
I'm really sorry to hear about Mara. She was very lucky to have had such a good life with you and J and although it wasn't planned, it was good that you got to spend extra time with her the past few weeks as you rehabbed your knee.   

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 09, 2010, 06:05:47 AM
Thank you again for all your good thoughts, guys. It makes me mist up a little coming here and reading them; today was an absolute heartbreaker.

Poor Mara got sick again last night. She threw up a couple of times right as we were going to bed, and then at about 4am, she came to us and cried until we woke up. J got up and sat with her for a while; we knew that something was badly wrong, as she never wakes us during the night. At 6.30am I got up for work, and although she was walking around she was still being horribly sick on and off. Normally I deal with her morning meds and food, and my heart sank when she wouldn't eat. No matter how sick she's been in the past, she's always kept her appetite and eaten well. This morning she wouldn't even take a treat. She kept walking from water dish to water dish, lowering her head to try and drink but obviously unable to follow through because she was so nauseated.

I woke J up about 15 minutes before I was due to leave for work, but I didn't have to tell her what was happening; after sitting with Mara in the night, she knew we were at the end of the road. The vet was pretty clear about that when Mara had her last miracle recovery: she'd bought a little extra time, but with almost no kidney function left there was no way she'd be able to fight off another infection.

We left a message for the vet asking them to call us when they opened, and I called work and explained what was happening. (To their credit, they were absolutely fine about it even though it was only my second day back after 8 weeks on medical leave.) While we waited for the vet to call, we talked about the options. We really wanted the end to come at home, but our vet doesn't do home euthanasia. So our alternatives were putting Mara through a trip to the vet to have her put to sleep by people she knows, or saving her the trip but having a stranger do the deed. After talking it over, we both felt that we really wanted to take her to our vet; Dr. Nicky has shown her the most amazing care over the last few years, and Mara knows and trusts her.

Because our vet closes the practice for at least an hour when a cat is euthanized (to give owners privacy and as much time as they need to grieve) the earliest we could take her in was 4pm. We were torn between feeling grateful to have the time to say goodbye, and just wanting the end to come because we could see that Mara was in pain and suffering. The vet had offered us pain medication to help her through the day, so I cycled over and picked up some fentanyl for her. After giving her the pain relief she wobbled out onto the deck and cried at the foot of the space where the stairs to the roof deck used to be (the deck renovations are still ongoing). The roof deck has always been one of her favourite places, and it was obvious that that was where she wanted to be. We took her up there and she spent the day lying in the sunshine, sniffing the fresh air and taking little drinks of water when she wasn't too nauseated. We had to keep the fentanyl at a really high level to stop the pain breaking through, but I think it meant she enjoyed her last few hours as much as possible under the circumstances.

By the time we wrapped her in a blanket and took her to the vet she was almost too weak to move. Nonetheless, she fought the sedative when the vet gave it to her; she really didn't want to go under, and somehow found the strength to struggle a little tiny bit. Eventually the sedative calmed her, and we took her through for the final injection. When it happened J and I were both holding her and telling her how much we loved her. They gave us as much time as we wanted to sit with her afterwards, but we both felt that she was gone and we'd said the goodbyes that we needed to say while she was still there.

Coming home without her was really hard. Especially as poor Laya (her sister) somehow knows that this time is different, and that Mara isn't coming back. She's been wandering round the condo, looking for Mara and crying pitifully when she can't find her. We're trying to keep ourselves distracted, and giving Laya as much comfort as she needs. I'm going to miss Mara desperately; she's been a part of my life in Canada since the day I arrived here (six years ago today, sadly enough). She was the smartest cat I've ever known, and we called her the little nurse cat because she always knew when one of us was ill or sad, and stayed close for comfort. Sad as I am, though, my loss is nothing compared to J's; she's had Mara since the day she was born, more than 20 years ago.

Day 61

Somehow I couldn't bring myself to care about my knee at all today.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on September 09, 2010, 10:42:36 AM
I've got chills reading your post. Losing a pet is such a sad thing, and I hope you and J are coping OK. The way your vet handled it sounds wonderful and much more private than the experiences I've had. It's nice that you were able to reciprocate for your little "nurse cat" in the end and give her the best and most humane last day possible.

I know it's so gross for people to say "I know what you're going through" so I won't... but I do know how absolutely heartbreaking it is to be in this situation, and my thoughts are with you.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 09, 2010, 10:56:58 AM
Kay thinking of you and sending hugs and healing wishes to you all..
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on September 09, 2010, 02:05:28 PM
im so sorry Kay, thinking of you and Jen.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 09, 2010, 03:08:17 PM
Thank you again, guys...sorry for venting all over my diary here, but I really needed to write about the day somewhere and you're the best and most sympathetic support network I know. I think the next little while is going to be very hard; poor Laya is still bereft and it felt horrible this morning waking up and not finding my little morning friend waiting for me. (Mara and I were almost always the first up, and she'd wait eagerly in the kitchen for me to get her morning insulin injection out of the way and then give her breakfast and a treat.) The chair where she used to spend most of her time looks weirdly empty. I know she had a wonderful life, and much more time with us than most little kitties get, but it's still very hard to be without her.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on September 09, 2010, 04:00:01 PM
So sorry to hear about the loss of Mara.  I have always struggled when you have to make that decision, and have had to do it more times than i wish with our puppoes over the years, but the love you showed and the memories cannot ever be taken away.

Thinking of you x x
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on September 09, 2010, 04:13:39 PM
Hi Snowy

Feel free to talk about liitle Mara, its the best way to help deal with losing a very special part of your life .
I know what its like to lose a cat and then every little special place they slept,reminds you of them and the smallest thing can trigger all those special memories.
Because she was a part of yours and Jens life for such a long time there will be so many wonderful memories to cherish but i know the ache in your hearts must be hard to bear right now as you adjust to life without her.
My hugs and thoughts to you and Jen
Shelli  xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 09, 2010, 05:46:14 PM
Oh Snowy I have tears in my eyes reading your post. I think you and Jen have absolutely done the best thing you could do today for Mara. I went through so much of the same thing with my little Fran, and I was with her when she went to sleep in my arms too. I think I cried so many tears that day but I was so glad I was with her at the end. Mara has had a wonderful life, and I totally understand how empty the home feels when one is not there. Fran used to fly down the stairs to see me every time I got home (I lived alone at the time) and in the morning, she'd race upstairs, leap on my bed and then suggle under the duvet with me and my morning cuppa.

Remember the happy times and how much of a loved pet Mara was. When Fran went (and Saggy before her) I planted a little shrub in their memory and we brought them both with us in tubs when we moved. I also keep their ashes which R finds a bit weird but which is part of me remembering them - I don't need to be reminded but I just fel it is something I want to do.

Finally - let yourself feel sad and lost and upset. Its completely normal. You'll miss her. Pets are family members. Send my love to J too, and look after each other.

With big hugs,

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 10, 2010, 04:47:11 AM
You guys are such a wonderful support network. I hope you all have people in your lives who tell you often how amazing you are.

Going to work was hard today - I just wanted to be at home - but at least it was a distraction. J and I are doing okay as long as we keep busy, but I feel heartbroken every time I think about Mara. Poor Laya is completely bereft; she alternates between circling the condo searching for her sister and curling up sadly on the couch, crying a little every now and again.

I'm keeping an eye on everyone's diaries, but don't have the emotional energy to post much at the moment. I promise to do better when I'm feeling a little more resilient.

Two months post-surgery

Still finding it hard to think about much other than the kitties. I went through the daily knee motions today; three sets of exercises and a gym workout at lunchtime. I also cycled home around the seawall; it's a great ride for a rehabbing knee (flat and all on dedicated bike paths) and the views of the Burrard Inlet and north shore mountains are just gorgeous. I normally do a circuit of the seawall most lunchtimes during the summer, and I'd missed it a great deal. I felt like I needed to be out there today, like it would help somehow.

Now that I'm back at work I've accepted that I won't be able to keep rehabbing at the level I was before, but as the new routine takes shape I think 2 to 3 hours a day is realistic. If I get up early enough I can manage sets of the core exercises before work, at lunchtime and after work; my daily bike commute is just over an hour for the round trip, or more if I extend it like I did today; and I can visit the gym for an hour every lunchtime. I'm too wiped out by the end of the day to do much after work, but hopefully that will improve as I get more used to being back.

While I was carrying Mara up and down from the roof deck yesterday, I couldn't use the handrail because she was curled up tight in my arms. Consequently I wasn't able to steady myself, and began walking down the stairs with a completely normal gait (something I hadn't done previously without using the rail to take a little bit of weight off the knee.) Today at work I managed the stairs normally most of the day, so I think that may have been the little nurse cat's last gift to me.

I miss our little girl so much. She was such a good friend and such a loving cat. For a tiny kitty, the hole she left behind is truly enormous.  :'(
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: BlueTopaz_ZA on September 10, 2010, 01:46:13 PM
For you Snowy (as someone whose pets are like 2 more children in the house, I know it cannot be easy)  :(

"I just wanted to let you know that I made it home.
The journey wasn't an easy one, but it didn't take too long.
Everything is so pretty here, so white, so fresh and new
I wish that you could close your eyes and that you could see it too.

Here there is no sadness, no sorrow, and no pain.
Here there is no crying and I'll never hurt again.
Here it is so peaceful when all the angels sing.
I really have to go for now... I've just got to try my wings."

Author Unknown

Hope it was a better day today.
Have a restful weekend.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on September 10, 2010, 04:14:14 PM
Hi Snowy,

So sorry to read up about Mara and as Lottie pointed out if you are a cat lover your post about her final hours can make anyone shed a tear and can imagine how upset you must be after having had her for over 20 years. Its a good age to reach for any cat and think she would be 100+ in human age, so had a good innings but still a shock and upsetting when it happens.

Its good to keep yourself active doing PT after the loss of Mara and glad you can cycle in nice surroundings. You still doing well in your PT even though you doing less due to work you still doing more then most people would do during the day.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on September 10, 2010, 09:04:23 PM
Hey Hon,

I'm glad that you took the time to post the details of Mara's final hours here on earth.  It was a very sad but beautiful posting.  I'm so very happy to see all the support, kind words and love that you have gotten from your knee geek friends for I know it takes a tiny bit of the sting out of your loss. 

Although my heart was heavy everytime I thought of the three of you today, it was lightened by the fact that I know that the grief you are feeling today will disappear and leave you with gratitude for the many beautiful memories Mara has left you all with.

Take good care.  XX


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 11, 2010, 03:10:28 AM
Thank you Blue for the poem, Nick for the sympathy, and Robin for the thoughts. This forum really is amazing - I'm so glad to have this source of support right now. I think facing Mara's death on top of the knee and my return to work has pretty much done for my normal resiliency.

Day 63

Had a pretty rough day today. I'm not sure whether I sat too long without moving or whether Frank's not up to the weight machines on two consecutive days, but after my lunchtime workout he seized up completely and then ached like a rotten tooth for the rest of the day. Oddly the only time when he didn't hurt was on my bike ride home - I wasn't even sure I was going to make it but after a few blocks he loosened up a little, and actually felt better for the remainder of the ride. Am currently dosing with ice and painkillers, and will have to skip my evening exercise round.

The knee pain really got to me today. I have no emotional resilience at all right now, and it just made me feel hopeless; like no matter what I do, I'm never going to feel fit and strong and healthy again. Objectively I know that there's an end to this knee road that's just too far away to see from here, but today I couldn't imagine ever getting there. Seeing other people in the gym and bike riders breezing past me on the bridge just brought home how slow and weak and clunky I feel. I can't imagine taking a step without thinking about it, never mind being able to jump or run or even just stand up in the pedals and really cycle. I know that this is just the events of the week overwhelming me and I'm mad at myself for not being stronger and fighting it off.

I'm also starting to realise just how much we'd structured our daily routine around Mara's medical needs. It feels like the days are full of holes.

Tonight we brought her ashes home.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 11, 2010, 10:55:10 AM
Hey Snowy

I'm so sorry today wasn't such a good day. The description of "holes in the day" seemed very familiar after Fran went. I guess my only advice is that things do get easier and you start to feel less raw and remember how much love and joy Mara brought into your life. At first though the grief is just sadness and missing her, which is normal. being normal doesn't make it any easier though. I found the ashes both upsetting but also strangely comforting.

The knee - booo to the stiffness and I can totally understand how frustrated you must feel when you think you won't ever have a strong knee again. Remember though you've been dealing with PFS for years and yet have still done things that most normal knee people would not dream of. You will conquer the ACLr recovery, but unfortunatately it brings pits along the way and is so long it must feel like wading through treacle. I'm a big believer in our bodies reflecting our mind too and I suspect that your knee has reacted partially to the sadness and upset you've gone through. My knees are always worse when I'm worried or anxious too - perhaps its all in my head but I can feel a physical change when my mood is low. Don't be mad at yourself, although you are Super woman and Danger Kay you're also allowed days when you want to curl up and bawl in frustration - and can do.

Take care and big hugs to you and J,

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on September 11, 2010, 02:14:44 PM
Hi Snowy,

Sorry Frank is given you even more problems and are feeling more pain and discomfort and are doing the right thing by icing the knee and taken some pain killers to reduce some of the pain. I know what you mean when you see other peolple able to be more active then you and get annoyed when I see people jogging and I cannot and may never be able to again which would be a big blow.

Nice that you have Mara's ashes and would you scatter them in her favourite outdoor place!

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 11, 2010, 06:16:25 PM
Snowy so sorry Frank has been a bit grouchy, but I'm not surprised what with the return to work and the emotions over poor Mara its not surprising that your knee is reacting to it all, I just hope that things will improve over the next few days.
I really sympathise with how you and Jen are feeling now that Mara is gone, its like a part of you has also gone and much as its hard to think you will ever feel like you'll get that part back, you will and along with that will come all the lovely memories of  the things that made Mara the cat she was.
healing thoughts are sent to you Jen and poor Laya, and I hope you all feel better soon
Take care Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 12, 2010, 04:35:39 AM
Day 64

Apparently this week can and will continue to get worse. My large incision is infected.

It's probably just as well they prescribed me heavy-duty antibiotics that mean I have to avoid alcohol, as I would otherwise be attempting to drink myself into a stupor.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: crankerchick on September 12, 2010, 05:54:55 AM
Wow Snowy I'm so sorry to check in and see even more crappy news. But at least an infection is easily treated with some rest and antibiotics. I know it's a setback, but that's just it, it's only a setback. The larger picture is one that will have you with a fully functional knee and you'll be able to do whatever you want. Just gotta keep focus on that long term picture, not the immediate stuff.

Hang in there.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on September 12, 2010, 05:56:12 AM
Sorry to hear that you have had something else thrown at you this week. I hope the antibiotics work quickly.

Take care of yourself and J and I hope things get better for you guys soon.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 12, 2010, 09:38:56 AM
Booo Snowy, what a pants week you've had. BUT although an infection isn't ideal in the incision, it might explain why Frank wasn't feeling too happy and as Cranker says, some rest and the right medications will quickly sort it out. Hoping for a speedy improvment.

Sending hugs and wishes that next week brings a better few days,

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 12, 2010, 11:02:18 AM
Snowy sorry about the infection that sounds like all you need to end a terrible week, I hope the infection clears up quickly and you start to feel better soon.
Take care Tez 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on September 12, 2010, 12:31:15 PM
Oh, Snowy :( :( :(  Sending warm thoughts and healing vibes your way.  XX
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on September 13, 2010, 01:10:41 AM
You poor thing, this week has been rough for you  :(

Is your infection a soft-tissue infection (like the one Zaiem had) or a joint infection (like I thought I had) ?

I know you might feel like you'll never be able to do all the things that you used to, but you will, I promise (if not, you can come over to London and beat me up  ;)). I went through the same despair when I had my inflammation and wasn't able to do any exercise, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Also, you've gone straight back into doing full days at work. I found even half days exhausting in the first week. Just clearing out my mail box on the first day felt like a huge challenge after being away from work for 2 months. Are you able to take "walking breaks" every 30 mins. so your knee doesn't get stiff ?

The super model and I send you hugs and the super model wanted you to know that she did decide to get her navel pierced, and was wondering if you could recommend a style of navel ring  ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 13, 2010, 03:44:45 AM
Thanks for the good thoughts and healing vibes. I'm working on trying not to let this grind me down too badly. It hasn't been easy; yesterday was also GranFondo day (the inaugural Vancouver to Whistler road race that I was supposed to ride in) and today Whistler Blackcomb posted photos of the year's first snowfall. I feel like everywhere I look I'm being reminded just how much I can't do.

Day 65

I'd noticed earlier this week that my incision was looking red and angry, but having overreacted last time and been told it was just irritation, this time I underreacted by assuming it was the same thing. Last night part of the incision burst in a very unpleasant manner, sending us straight to the doctor. He confirmed what was, by that point, fairly obvious: the incision was quite badly infected and needed immediate treatment. He was fairly confident that the infection hadn't penetrated deep enough to put the joint at risk yet, but needless to say I'm pretty worried by the whole thing.

The doc put me on mega-strength antibiotics that have to be taken four times a day and at least two hours either side of eating, which is making it quite impossible to have meals at sensible times and is also complicating my NSAID regime, as the anti-inflammatories have to be taken with food. (J and I are now on identical antibiotic/NSAIDs for our respective ailments, so we're at least getting to do this ridiculous pill/food dance together.) The incision is looking a bit better today; there's a raw red patch, but it's not as angry-looking or sore as it was before it burst.

What baffles me is how the incision could possibly have gotten infected. It had healed well, and the scar was looking very neat before this happened. I'd been careful to avoid working on the scar directly since the irritation incident, and it hasn't been exposed to anything particularly unpleasant that I'm aware of. In fact I've taken a lot of care to keep the incisions clean, although I don't keep them covered. J thinks that our immune systems are shot from too much emotional stress this week, and the infection just found a weak point.

I'm trying not to feel too beaten up by this, but it's hard given everything that's gone on this week. We're still struggling to come to terms with losing Mara, and watching Laya searching for her sister is just heartbreaking. Poor little Laya; Mara was very independent and never seemed too concerned when Laya was away at the vet's, but Laya is a very social little cat and has always relied heavily on her sister's presence. We're giving her as much love and affection as we possibly can, but she still seems very lost and lonely.

I did manage to figure out one of the reasons Frank was feeling so bad by the end of the week. He was missing his swims. I went to the pool yesterday and was amazed by how much the knee rallied in the water, and how much better it felt afterwards. I have to figure out a way to swim more regularly during the week - unfortunately I think the only way may be to bite the bullet and start getting up for the before-work swims. Wish I was more of a morning person.

Today marked the very last day of the outdoor pool season, so I slapped a whole bunch of waterproof bandaids over my infected incision and headed down to the pool in the pouring rain. I wouldn't have missed it for the world; that pool has been a lifeline, keeping me sane in those early days of rehab when I couldn't do much at all. When I think back over the strange summer of 2010, the strongest memories are the hours I spent working my way up and down that pool in the sunshine, gradually mobilizing my body and teaching myself to kick again. Today I matched my pre-surgery workout time and while I was in the water, it almost felt like there was nothing wrong with my leg at all. Not much else feels anywhere near normal, but swimming is actually getting pretty close.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: BlueTopaz_ZA on September 13, 2010, 07:49:59 AM
I can't imagine taking a step without thinking about it, never mind being able to jump or run or even just stand up in the pedals and really cycle.

The day will come ... we promise  :) If I think back, it took me about a year to not think too much about it.
And if it makes you feel any better, my physio reckons that everything he saw with regards to my injury & surgery, tells him even someone with a "normal" ACL could have injured themselves the way I did. So it wasn't because I'd had previous ACL surgery.
The more I think about it, I realise it was more to do with not being as fit as I usually was, and then tackling a new activity. Live and learn!

You said yourself the other day you walked down the stairs and you didnt have to work too hard at it, and that only 2 months post surgery, so you are doing very well!!!


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on September 13, 2010, 08:11:01 AM

Hi Snowy
So sorry to hear about the infection,sometimes infections that come after the wound has healed are caused by a disolvable stitch that doesnt dissolve then sets up an irritation like a foreign body and gradually causes inflammation and works its way out.
Im sure nothing you have done would have caused it.
Im sorry this has come at a time when you have so much already to cope with,and missing the bike rides too is an awful blow.

But chin up and soldier on and you will be back to your old self in no time.

Hugs and warm healing vibes to you and Jen
Shelli XX
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on September 13, 2010, 11:49:34 AM
oh snowy.... sorry to have missed another few days but I am sending you a big, squeezing, uncomfortable hug (the grandmotherly kind!) and one for Laya too. Hope you are feeling better now that you are getting pumped full of antibiotics. What a BUM DEAL!!

The end of the outdoor pool season has the kneetard upset too... we'll have to figure something out I guess. It's definitely tough to keep up with everything when you are working.

have a good day
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on September 13, 2010, 04:00:25 PM
Hi Snowy,

The last thing you needed is to have a infection in your incision area after what you been through last week with poor Mara and can have bad periods during your life and things can only get better from here. Hope the antibiotics work for you and clears the infection and can have a better week then the last one.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on September 13, 2010, 05:03:02 PM
Hi Snowy ... been out of pocket since mid week last week for the holiday and just catching up to the knee boards now ...

So sorry to read about your loss  :'( 

Doesn't seem fair that on top of the loss of Mara and your return to work and just the day to day grind of the ACL recovery, you now have to deal with the infection of the scar area !

Wish there were some words or advice that would help make it all better for you, but best I can come up with, and which I really do believe in, is that time heals all wounds .....

Hang in there Snowy !!!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on September 13, 2010, 08:50:16 PM
Hey Snowy,

Just buzzed on in to say hi and let you know that I'm thinking of you.  Hope that freaking infection is coming under control.  Oh, and remember what you told me...a good optimist gets down but doesn't stay down.  But seeing what you've already been through, I think you already know that.  Warm healing thoughts to all of you.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on September 14, 2010, 04:13:58 AM

Hi Snowy
Hope the antibiotics have started to work and the knee is feeling better.....

Hugs from Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 14, 2010, 04:42:09 AM
Hey, my friends. I can't tell you how much your supportive comments mean right now - I'm taking a lot of strength from them.

Shelli - I'm so glad you posted about the stitches - I'd put money on that being the culprit, as the infection did seem to come up from under the surface and there was absolutely nothing at skin level that could have led to an infection.

Dorren - glad to hear this is normal, and that you at least know that your injury was bad luck rather than not taking appropriate care of your new ACL. As my Facebook profile quote says, "s**t happens, and if we just want to restrict ourselves to things where s**t can't happen...we're not going to do anything very interesting."

Kris - thank you for the hug. Much needed. :) Although I'm tempted to revise the phrase "bum deal" to "knee deal" - somehow seems more appropriate for our little gang!

Clarkey - thanks for the good thoughts. When do you head down to Devon? I'm not surprised you love Dartmoor so much - close access to the moor was one of my favourite things about living in Exeter. Have you been to Hay Tor yet, and Fingle Bridge? They were two of my favourite spots.

Kefta - you're right, and thank you. It's really not a fun time right now, but I know that if I stick with it things will get better.

Robin - likewise, on all counts! I promise not to stay down too long - it takes a lot to squash my natural optimism, but the past week has been a bit overwhelming.

Day 66

Gah. Things seem to be going backwards for me right now.

On the positive side, the infection site is actually looking quite a lot better today. Since it drained it's nowhere near as red and angry, and seems to be healing up well. On the negative side, Frank had a very bad day in general (again); I've lost 10 degrees of flex, stairs suddenly became really difficult again, and I was in so much pain by the end of the day that I couldn't even bike around the seawall on my way home.

I'm trying to work out what's behind this. It's hard to say: there's the infection; the total change of normal rehab regime since going back to work; the lack of swimming; the detrimental effect of sitting at a desk all day. It could be any of these things, or any combination. It could just be that I don't have anything in reserve to deal with the knee after losing Mara.

Whatever's going on, I need to find a way to fix it.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: vickster on September 14, 2010, 07:11:59 AM
Hey Snowy
Sorry to hear about all your troubles.  I hope Frank perks up properly once the antibiotics have worked their magic and you are able to get back to everything you have been able and want to do :)  Take care of yourself and the pesky knee

Vicks :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Cosmicsnuffle on September 14, 2010, 07:36:15 AM
Snowy -

Franks protestations may be due to one thing or may be a combination of all of them.... it's challenging to find a solution when there isn't source of aggravation.

Inactivity affects my knee most - it seizes up and just grumbles wholeheartedly (if knees have hearts!), so the changes in your progress may well be the desk potato (as opposed to couch potato) regime.

Try not to be too hard on yourself - which I know is tough at the moment. It's easy to underestimate how emotionally draining your return to work has been, plus Mara's passing and not just the grief that has caused but also the change in your everyday-ness....and the infection.... they all add up to a barrowful of stress... which often accumulates at your weakest physical point and manifests in a physical way.

...and say after me ... it takes time!

Day 66 and doing what you are doing is cool :-))) - and we know from rehab so far that this is a convoluted journey which, no matter how much it frustrates us, is often out of our control! Let's hope your knee-downs this week are the springboard to next weeks leaping advances in kneehab.

You will get there .... because not getting there isn't an option!

Respect, hugs and some of Cameron's left over birthday e-cake.


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on September 14, 2010, 03:14:13 PM
Hey Snowy,

I haven't posted in quite some time. Firstly I'd like to pass on my condolences about mara, to both yourself and J. Having had my fat cat for 15 years I can only begin to imagine how hard it's been. It sounds like your first week back was a real challenge, between trying to manage your rehab, getting used to being back at work, dealing with your emotional turmoil and frank not playing ball either.

I've been doing a little practicing ahead of getting back to work and have had a little success. I've used an old pc tower case that is about the same height as my chair to put my foot up on and kept it elevated. I've managed to sit at the computer for 3 hours before the pain and swelling get beyond comfortable so if you could find something to keep your leg elevated through the day it might help, especially seeing I'm only just past 3 weeks. Might not look terribly professional though ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Cosmicsnuffle on September 14, 2010, 04:30:36 PM
Sorry - just re-read my post and due to multiple edits the first paragraph didn't make sense ... it was supposed to read...

"Frank's protestations may be due to one thing or may be a combination of all of them.... it's challenging to find a solution when there isn't A SINGLE IDENTIFIABLE SOURCE source of aggravation."

Doh me for not proof reading again!

Hey Impish- haven't had a chance to say but congrats for being on the "other side"!!

Hugs  :-*
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Cosmicsnuffle on September 14, 2010, 04:40:09 PM
Aaaaagh - I think I'll try one more time and then try doing something that doesn't require mental or manual dexterity..... (ironing???)

"Frank's protestations may be due to one thing or may be a combination of all of them.... it's challenging to find a solution when there isn't A SINGLE IDENTIFIABLE source of aggravation."


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on September 14, 2010, 05:12:09 PM
Hi Snowy,

Hope you having a better week then the last and Frank does not give you too many problems and will vist Fingle Bridge & Hay Tor. My Dad use to live in the Village of Belstone just outside Okehampton and when he was a child and may have been there yourself as its worth a visit as you have Dartmoor National Park at your doorstep. Also often see Dartmoor Ponys in the Village Green and always visit Belstone everytime in am in Devon and eat and drink at a Pub called 'The Torrs' that serves fantastic food in Belstone.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 15, 2010, 03:59:07 AM
Day 67

Somewhere beyond exhausted. It's becoming apparent to me that I have not yet found any kind of balance between work and rehab, and currently it's the rehab that's suffering and the knee that's paying the price. Unfortunately, I'm much too tired to do anything about it. I think the infection and the emotional upheaval probably aren't helping with the exhaustion.

Will try and write something more coherent, along with some proper replies, tomorrow.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on September 15, 2010, 04:06:22 AM
Hi Snowy-

I started to write this note and saw that you had just posted. Right now just try to get through the rest of the week treading water with whatever energy you have left. You may not gain any ground in your rehab program, but you shouldn't lose any either. Next week emotionally and physically you should be feeling stronger and you can try to set up a schedule that works for the knee and work. Hopefully the antibiotics are starting to clear up the infection and it will turn into a minor set-back in the course of your rehab.

Everyone here is thinking of you and wishing you a fast recovery. Stay strong and you'll get through this.


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on September 15, 2010, 10:24:11 AM
Hey Snowy,

Sometimes it's enough just to drag yourself through the day. The proper balance will come in time. For now you have to take care of yourself.

sending tons of well wishes
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on September 15, 2010, 05:09:05 PM

Hi Snowy

Sorry your on a downer with everything youve had to cope with lately,things can only get better and they will,you know we are all thinking of you and wish you all the best.

Maybe your body just needs to rest to help you heal physically and emotionally,I know you will bounce back when ready and the rehab will be back on track.

Warm hugs and wishes for a speedy recovery

Shelli XX
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 15, 2010, 06:53:14 PM
Hey Snowy

So sorry to read that you're having a tough time. Rehab is such a long process and its tough then hitting work again. Don't underestimate that the mere experience of surgery just drains you, however fit and well you are in yourself. Its the body healing and that exhausts you. Take things easy, the rehab won't stall if you have a few days of rest. be kind to yourself physically and emotionally. Cry when you need to. I have every faith that gorgeous smile will be lighting up Vancouver again within a few days.


Lottie xxxx

PS - Big fishy kiss from Danger-Bog to Danger-Kay xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on September 15, 2010, 10:51:26 PM
Hey Snowy,

Ditto what Lottiefox says.  Thinking of you and hoping all is well.  XX

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on September 15, 2010, 11:28:24 PM
Sorry things are still tough for you.

I agree with what everyone else said, just try to take care of yourself this week. If that means work & rehab takes a back seat, so be it !

Glad that your infection is healing - that's one less thing to worry about.

To make up for my lack of eloquence, this is what I'm trying to say :
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 16, 2010, 05:47:18 AM
Day 68

Hey, my loyal and ever-supportive friends. I'm sorry to be so lame at the moment; I just feel very drained of energy and enthusiasm, and am having trouble finding my normal good cheer. I owe you all some proper responses and I need to catch up on everyone else's diaries, but I have a feeling that may not happen until the weekend.

Today was slightly better, though Frank is still cranky and very stiff. I managed a decent workout at lunchtime, and spent some time focusing on my flex. My ability to bend the knee has regressed alarmingly (from 135 to 125 since I went back to work) but after some extremely uncomfortable forced flexion, I was able to get it back to 130. I think I'm going to have to start setting aside a bit of time each day just to work on flex. I also had a chat to my manager about trying to find a better balance between work and the knee needs, and we came up with a couple of ideas that will hopefully improve things.

This evening my truck came home, which made me very happy. (It has spent the past two weeks on an 11,000km adventure to Montreal and back with my friend Erik, who was delivering his eldest daughter to university.) Due to a miscommunication over arrangement, I ended up having to bike from downtown out to the southeastern edge of Vancouver for the truck pickup. It was the first time I've done a longer city ride on a hilly route, and the knee held up pretty well - especially as it also rained lightly most of the way.

Once again I wound up completely shattered by the end of the day, but at least today I feel like I did a bit more to justify it.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: BlueTopaz_ZA on September 16, 2010, 04:09:21 PM
Hey Snowy

You are entitled to your down days ... in reading your diary I think this is one of the first times you have allowed yourself this, you are so inspirational and dedicated to Frank and to this forum, so you just feel what you need to feel right now and take a little break (agreeing with all the other lovely folk who have said pretty much the same :)).
No wonder you are exhausted, when you add it all up  :'(

Take care and hope the weekend is restful and rejuvenating.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on September 16, 2010, 10:03:21 PM
Yes, are entitled to feeling down.  I actually felt badly after one of my posts to you about remaining optimistic.  It will happen when it happens.  You'd have to be mad not to have down days...or even weeks! 

I think I speak for the crowd when I say that you owe the board nothing.  We have all been comforted by your good energy and uplifted by your positive thoughts at one time or another.  We aren't awaiting proper responses.  We just want you to know that we care about you!

Big hug, girlie!   :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Cosmicsnuffle on September 16, 2010, 10:08:42 PM
Nicely said Seerobinbike :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 17, 2010, 04:30:33 AM
Day 69

Aw. If there's a silver lining to this whole knee saga, it's all of you wonderful people. :)

I had a small win today - I went down to the Aquatic Centre for a swim at lunchtime and had a much more comfortable afternoon as a result. It was a short swim - 50 lengths (2.5k) in 45 minutes - but clearly the motion made Frank feel better and cope better with the second half of the day at my desk. It took me an hour and forty minutes to make the round trip, so I'm going to talk to my manager next week about adjusting my work day to give me a longer lunch break. She's been very sympathetic to the knee issues, so I hope she'll be supportive of a temporary change to my schedule.

Unfortunately, my general falling out with the gods of fate continues. The infection in my incision is looking much better, but I was becoming increasingly concerned about a very sore lump higher up my leg. I went to the doctor this evening and it turns out I have a secondary infection which wasn't responding to the antibiotics. Some very unpleasant business with a large needle ensued, followed by another prescription for more, stronger antibiotics. (I think my immune system is absolutely trashed from the stress of losing Mara, lack of sleep since going back to work, and the general demands of healing a post-surgical knee.) Worst of all, I've been told I shouldn't swim for two days, cycle or work out strenuously until I've finished the antibiotics. I may not actually follow this advice all that closely, as it's too depressing for words.

However, today is also our sixth wedding anniversary. J snuck in and filled my office with beautiful flowers while I was out for my swim at lunchtime, and as soon as she finishes work we're going to our favourite restaurant for dinner - very small, full of First Nations art and candles, with the most amazing West Coast cuisine all made from local produce. Ultimately, regardless of how many infections I get or how little my knee bends, I have J - and that makes me the luckiest person in the world. I refuse to be beaten down by all of this when I still have so very much to be grateful for.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on September 17, 2010, 10:57:41 AM
So bummed to hear about the infection, but you will conquer this one too. Sending you healing vibes across the interwebs!

I hope you had a wonderful anniversary. Sounds like the swim was just what you needed. I know the Dr's orders were not what you wanted to hear... but maybe if you can just stretch and relax for a couple of days, then just swim till you get toward the end of the antibiotics cycle? While these setbacks are frustrating, it would probably be more frustrating to do even more damage in the long run, right?

PLEASE don't tear your hair out about this and know that we are all with you. (We're all in this together, gal!) One step forward, two steps back is a very common tempo for me, too... but recovery done properly seems to take a lot of time and patience. Now I am starting to sound like my OS so I must retreat! Ack!

Seerobinbike is SO right. You've got a giant cheerleading squad here, just minus the outfits because they don't look so great on busted knees  ;D

Have a great day, I'll be thinking of you.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on September 17, 2010, 11:08:14 AM
Snowy I'm giving you a DIRECT ORDER! This weekend the only thing you're allowed to do is relax. Go out, have a few beers, go for a few more meals (finances permitting of course) it's the weekend of your anniversary so you and J should just spoil eachother. Not only will this mean you're obeying the doctors orders, but some R&R might help your immune system recover. Think of this the same way as the post surgery period, you've been through a massive trauma and now you need rest to let your body recover.

Find a sunny beer garden somewhere, get yourself some excellent local beer and bask in the glow of the sun and your wonderful wife.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on September 17, 2010, 11:15:34 AM

I second that direct order snowy...........take the weekend to chillout and just enjoy Jens company and give your body a rest.

Shelli xx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 17, 2010, 11:31:21 AM
I am also chiming in with the orders!!! Rest!! Your body is worn out - it can't regroup and fight off things if its feeling tired and exhausted. Have a weekend of rest and some beers and relaxtion with Jen. Keep up the stretches, but nothing exhausting. I too am sounding like an OS (I might start offering scopes soon, I have some implements and enough drugs to keep people sedated.... :P).

You will get through all this, it is two steps forwards and one step back with knees, with or without surgery. Think of the PFS - and sometimes when things flare you just have to listen to your body.

The large needle sounds fun. NOT!!

Sending hugs and we're only nagging coz we loves ya  ;D

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: vickster on September 17, 2010, 11:29:00 PM
Just to echo the others, you really need to let that infection heal and the all the other bits of you to rest up...don't endanger the graft and the rehab for the sake of a couple of on your beer lifting arm  instead 8) and I'd certainly stay away from the pool for a little while

Neelie has spoken!  ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 18, 2010, 02:04:59 AM
I promise to take it fairly easy...I want the infection to heal, but for me doing nothing is far more stressful than doing too much. ;) I have (with sorrow) stayed off the bike today; for some reason the doc seemed way more concerned about me cycling than swimming.

Day 70

Apparently the universe isn't done with us yet.

J finished her second course of antibiotics yesterday with no sign of any improvement in her infected toe. She took it back to the doctor today for review, and at about 3.30pm I got a call saying that they were going to operate on it and she was just waiting for the anaesthetic to take effect. I jumped in the car and was at the doctor's in time to hold her hand as they surgically removed most of her big toenail. (It's a good job neither of us is at all squeamish.) She was only expecting them to take out the infected area, so the extent of the procedure came as a bit of a shock. It's called a "wedge resection" (commonly used for severely ingrown toenails) and has a recovery time of around two months.

So once again we're a rather sorry post-surgical household. Thankfully we're well stocked up on gauze, saline solution, NSAIDs and even a few leftover oxycodone. J has to take at least a week off work which is a bit of a disaster given our already decimated finances, and she's very stressed about not being able to work out or train.

So the knee's taking a back seat this weekend, as taking care of J will be the main priority. My PFS is starting to flare up again and the kneecap has started to crack and pop like crazy, which I've heard a few other people say happened to them at around this time but is still quite unnerving. Perhaps a weekend of rest will help it settle down. On the plus side, both infection sites are looking a lot better.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: toughsteakdan on September 18, 2010, 08:44:11 AM
Dear Snowy and Jen.....I know this is late but I have read your heart goes out to you both on the loss of touched me so much with the care you gave her in her last day as I have been there myself with my past cats Jack and Molly.  I would hope to do as much for Syd if his time comes some day.

You seem not to be in a good place at the moment but things will change so rapidly as that 'dam knee' heals and becomes super strong again.  Just be where you are for a little while and chill.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on September 18, 2010, 11:26:38 AM
Hi Snowy,

Sorry Jen needs surgery on her infected toe and hope it went ok and been through alot lately with the loss of Mara and you infected incision and glad its starting to clear up a bit. Shame that the PFS is starting to give you more problems.

Just relax this weekend and drink red wine rather then beer as red wine in moderation is good for your health.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on September 18, 2010, 12:14:26 PM
Oh, Man...sorry to hear that Jen is having such a tough time.  No rest for the weary, huh!?  She's lucky that she has you to look after her. :)  I suppose that if we don't slow ourselves down, Mother Nature steps in to do it for us.  Sending you all well wishes and hugs.  XX
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on September 18, 2010, 03:29:48 PM

Gee you too really are having a tough time,especially when you are both needing lots of TLC you need a magic fairy to come visit and cheer you both up.

Hope the toe isnt causing Jen too much pain and your knee is starting to behave.

Hugs from Shelli XX
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 19, 2010, 07:03:24 PM
Dan...thank you...that means a lot. It was an awful thing to have to do but at least we were both there for her when the time came.

Clarkey - I'm actually avoiding alcohol this weekend as I'm concerned that my immune system is in really poor shape and needs all the help it can get. Hopefully I'll be ready for a glass of red wine sometime next week. :)

Robin - she's actually handling it remarkably well - she's more concerned about not being able to exercise than about the huge gory hole in her toe. The doc told her she might be able to use a stationary bike without discomfort (all her normal options are out) so I had the seat post cut down and she's going to give it a try this afternoon.

Shelli - we really do! We seem to have had more than our share of bad luck recently. I've given up wondering when things are going to turn the corner at this point.

Day 71

Yesterday was a total bust. To wrap our rotten week up nicely, J came down with a regular flu and I came down with a stomach flu. I spent half the day asleep and half throwing up, then passed out and slept for 12 hours straight at about 10pm. Needless to say I did nothing at all for the knee, which is very stiff this morning as a result. I think I feel a bit better today, though I haven't attempted to eat anything yet. (J is baking a loaf of fresh bread so I have something nice and simple to try and digest.) J's toe is doing pretty well considering; it keeps bleeding and looks very gory, but she's finding that the pain is no worse than when it was infected - she says it's very similar to the jaw pain after having a wisdom tooth pulled.

Laya is now the only healthy member of the household. I'm wondering how long it would take to train her to make cups of tea and go out on grocery runs. ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on September 20, 2010, 02:47:58 AM

Hi Snowy

I cant believe you and Jen have more illness to cope with,just when you think you have had enough bad luck thrown your way.
If i wasnt sooo far away i would come over and be nurse to you both,and Laya could direct me to the shops to get the groceries.

Hope you are both feeling a lot better today and Laya has the household running smoothly.

Sending warm fuzzie get well vibes across the ocean to you and Jen.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 20, 2010, 06:13:30 AM
Aw. :) It speaks volumes for your recovery that you're already feeling able to nurse someone else! Thank you for the good thoughts; they're very much appreciated.

We're doing a bit better tonight; I rallied enough for a gentle 30 minute ride on the stationary bike, and Jen managed to make the crosstrainer work with just her arms and one leg. (You can see why we're such a good pair - we're as bad as each other with this stuff.) I'm hoping that the new week will be a healthier one for both of us.

Laya had an exciting evening as our friend's kitty Butch came over for a playdate. It wasn't an unqualified success (lots of hissing as boundaries were being set) but nor was it an unqualified failure (no actual violence, and a detente was established at either end of the couch.) She's now keeping Jen company for the Sunday evening cartoons. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 20, 2010, 10:57:51 AM
Oh Snowy I come back from my lovely holiday to read about all the horrid things that have befallen both you and Jen, I am so sorry things are still not back to normal, and you have had so much to deal with, from the sound of things you and Jen both could do with getting away from everything for a couple of days, any chance of a wee break for you both? as I feel as if my week away has helped me so much even just the fact that I didnt spend any time thinking about the knee and all that I should or should not be doing for it has helped me enormously, and I am feeling so much better about everything else thats going on with the family just now, after spending a week with good friends chilling out and enjoying the sun all feels right with the world.
I really hope all this is just a passing blip in your recovery and both you and Jen feel  better soon, and as everyone else has said you have been such a support to us all on this board you deserve only good things to happen to you both,
Take care and (((((hugs))))) Tez     
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on September 20, 2010, 03:31:03 PM
Good to hear that you all are doing better!  Can't believe you both managed a workout in spite of it all.  You gals are something else.  Tee, hee that Laya had a playdate.   :) :) :)  Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of all of you and hoping this week is better and brighter than the past few have been.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on September 20, 2010, 03:58:14 PM
Hi Snowy,

Hope this week better then the last 2 for you, Jen & Laya and are doing well on the stationary bike and crosstrainer. Glad that Laya has some company since Mara passed away. Only another 4 days of work before I head off to Devon and Cornwall, could do with a break.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 21, 2010, 05:43:58 AM
We have three foster kittens!

We've been increasingly worried about Laya's loneliness; she's been getting more and more subdued and withdrawn now she has no other kitty to interact with. However we were both very hesitant to bring another cat into the house as a permanent addition; neither Jen nor I quite feels ready for that, but more importantly we were really concerned about what might happen if Laya didn't like that particular cat. So we'd been thinking about fostering as a way of introducing her to other cats, which would give us the option of keeping them if Laya bonded with them or letting them go on to permanent homes if she didn't like them.

So tonight we stopped by the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association to find out more about fostering. Of course it turned out that they had three very timid three-month-old kittens at the home in our neighbourhood, desperately bored in their confined little kennel and very much in need of a temporary home to help socialize them ready for adoption. So now we have three foster kittens: a lively little tortoiseshell, a curious but timid tabby, and a very nervous little grey. The tortoiseshell is currently attacking her reflection in the mirror, the tabby is exploring the bookshelf, and the little grey is hiding in the carrier. The two bolder kittens are incredibly playful, even though they've only been out and about for an hour or so; I think they're really appreciating being out of that little kennel.

It remains to be seen what Laya will think; at the moment the little kittens are confined to the spare room, so they won't encounter each other for a week or so. It's actually quite an ideal setup; if they don't get along we'll just keep them separated, but if they do the kittens can eventually have the run of the condo with Laya. We're making sure she gets plenty of attention so that she knows she's still our #1 cat. Even if it doesn't work out, we'll have given three needy kittens a loving home for a little while.

Day 73

Oh yeah, that whole knee thing...

Actually had quite a good knee day today. I'm still easing back into things after our weekend of woe so kept the exercises fairly gentle: an hour on the bike and an hour in the gym. It held up to exercises well, was really comfortable on the bike, and I managed to walk up and down the stairs (I work on the fifth floor) several times with no handrail assistance.

One thing I am noticing is that my kneecap has gone incredibly cracky and clicky recently. It seems to pop in and out of its groove and it cracks even more than normal. I suspect this is down to muscle weakness around the kneecap (although my muscle definition is really good, they're still very small compared to the other leg) so I've been doing a lot of dips to help with VMO strengthening. Anyone else noticed anything like this?

Okay, time to go - poor little Blue (the grey kitten) is still hiding, and needs to be coaxed out with treats. Hope everyone is having a good knee day.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on September 21, 2010, 03:45:46 PM
Glad to hear things (knee and otherwise) are beginning to calm down a little for you .... Sounds like you've had a real tough two weeks there.

Funny - a gentle exercise session for you consists of an hour on a bike and an hour in the gym - that sounds like what I considered to be an incredible workout in my pre ACL recon days !!!
It's all relative I suppose, but I do wish I had your discipline.  Only 9+ weeks out of surgery and I'm already finding it tough to make time to get even three weekly knee exercise sessions in. 

I've been experiencing pain around my kneecap for a few weeks now (had it early on, went away and now its back again), but it doesn't sound like the same thing you're experiencing - mine seems to not be related to movement within the groove, but is just always there.  That said, I remember reading before my surgery that kneecap pain post-op was very common - and it was definitely related to the kneecap not being entirely on track because of muscle weakness.  Would think it will get better as your VMO tightens up. 

Again, glad you're on the mend from the last few weeks .....
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on September 21, 2010, 05:16:46 PM
Hi Snowy,

Would be nice for Laya to have a companion as she was use to having Mara around and if you can find another cat that she can get along with then go ahead and keep which ever cat gets on best with Laya.

Its always nice to have a good knee day rather then a bad one and glad you managed the stairs ok and can use the bike at the gym for a good hour. My muscles definition is smaller then my other leg and now over 10 months post op and working hard at the gym to get them larger and stronger. Maybe you are right about the cracking and clicking could be due to muscles weakness and can always phone your OS to ask if this is normal or not.

Have a good time with the kittens and who knows may find one that gets on well with Laya.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 21, 2010, 07:21:24 PM
Day 74

After our series of disasters and the arrival of the kittens, I almost forgot that it was my followup with the OS today (10.5 weeks post-surgery).

He gave my leg a thorough inspection, pronounced the graft "very solid" (with a big smile) and told me I should be back on the ski slopes in March. ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 21, 2010, 08:46:25 PM
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
So pleased that you have had a bit of good news, it must be a great relief to know the graft is good and you'll be back on those slopes before the end of the season, I'm just so pleased that after all you have been through recently you have some good news at last.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on September 22, 2010, 11:14:02 AM
really the only thing to say about that: WOOHOO!  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 22, 2010, 08:18:18 PM
I think Frank appreciated the OS complimenting him - had an excellent workout and bike ride yesterday. I have to admit the news was a big boost, especially the skiing. I know my surgeon aims for release to full activity at around 8 months, but there's always that nagging fear that I won't make the required progress - or that I'll be told that most things are fine, but I should wait till next season for skiing. It's still going to be tough seeing all my friends hit the slopes in November, but at least there's hope that I'll get out there this season if all continues to go well.

Kefta - My pre-surgery activity levels were really high, which I think has been a mixed blessing. On the plus side, my legs were in great shape going into the surgery and I think that really helped with things like coming off the crutches quickly. On the down side, they were accustomed to such a high level of exercise that the drastic reduction resulted in significant atrophy. My left leg still looks ridiculously scrawny compared to the right, even now that I've been doing more strengthening exercises for quite a while. I think it's missing the all-day bike rides more than anything - I wonder when the knee will be strong enough for those?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on September 23, 2010, 12:53:41 AM
He gave my leg a thorough inspection, pronounced the graft "very solid" (with a big smile) and told me I should be back on the ski slopes in March.

Congratulations !  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 23, 2010, 07:02:39 AM
Day 75

This week I've been really upping the ante on some of my exercises. I got the okay from my PT to use the Stairmaster machine in the gym at work, and am absolutely loving it. With most of the cardio equipment (elliptical, rowing machine) how hard I can go is limited by what the knee will allow before it protests, and I can't get a really strenuous workout. On the Stairmaster I can climb at a rate that has me pouring sweat, and the knee seems perfectly happy. It's muscle weakness rather than joint pain that stops me, and that's exactly what I want to be working on.

I've also upped the weights on most exercises that I'm doing, and started adding 150 reps on the murderous lying-down leg press (it probably has a technical name, but I don't know what it is) as well as the regular leg press. I've also bought a second wobble board for my office, and am making myself get up every hour and doing 50 single leg dips on it. The dips really work the VMO, which I hope will help with the tracking issues in my knee. I've also stopped taking the work elevator unless I'm having a really bad knee day, which means I'm clocking up a lot of stairs over the course of the day. The more I do, the easier it gets.

Tonight I'm actually having a horrible knee night, but I think that's because we spent two hours moving furniture as part of our ongoing efforts to kitten-proof the spare room. Overall I feel as though the knee is starting to rise to the challenge of increased gym time and less frequent swimming. I still want to try and swim more, and my manager has agreed to give me two extended lunch breaks a week to swim starting next week. However the gym is now my easy access rehab tool, and I think I'm starting to figure out how to make the most of it. I do feel some real improvement in strength this week, which is great.

The big concern at the moment is still my inability to bend the knee beyond a certain point. I have to admit that I'm feeling quite discouraged about my flex right now. I've made back the ground I lost when I started work, but I haven't seen a single degree of overall improvement in well over a month. The knee hits a particular point and then just refuses to go further. Trying to force it beyond that point is brutally painful, and physically impossible. I can grit my teeth and push through the pain, but beyond that limit it just won't go. I have no idea what else to do; I'm doing my flex exercises and working on a forced flexion program every day, but the knee just won't cooperate. I'm going to talk to my PT when I next see him on Friday, but at previous appointments he hasn't seem overly concerned about flex; he says it will come in time. My OS, on the other hand, was definitely a bit concerned that I couldn't bend further. The range of motion that I do have is getting more comfortable all the time, but I need to improve its terminal point and I don't know how.

On a happier note, there are two seriously adorable kittens grooming each other on a chair beside me. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on September 23, 2010, 10:34:40 AM
Hey there!

Sounds like your workouts are going awesome (aside from furniture moving, ewwww). I'm a little jealous of your success on the Stairmaster though, gotta say  ;D I have tried it several times with less-than-stellar results. At my gym it's always the way skinny people on those machines and it sure would be nice to be one of them!

Not sure how discouraged you should be about flex since you're doing EVERYTHING right... all things in time, gal.

Give those kitties a squeeze for me  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on September 24, 2010, 01:09:41 AM
Ohhh...thank Heaven for little kitties. :)  Give em all a squeeze for me, too!!  Good to hear that everything is going so well for you after such a bad few months.  I've said it before, but you are the Lance Armstrong of the knee world.  You have ACL surgery just a few months ago and you're already kicking butt.  Some of these football players should take a few lessons from you, my dear!!

Glad to hear you've found an exercise that will help get that heart rate up and get you sweating.  If you work out on the elliptical, be sure it's a Cybex Arc.  Have been reading some nasty things about ellips causing knee pain, especially in people with patella tracking problems.  Hopefully, your gym has one!

Big hugs from me on all fronts.  Good to hear that things are looking up for you Snowy.  You've worked your butt off and it shows.  XX
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 24, 2010, 08:02:06 AM
Day 76

The kittens are ridiculously cute. We haven't introduced them to Laya face-to-face yet, but just the smell and sound of them is making her interested and curious again. It's great to see after she went so sad and subdued after Mara's death. I'm breathing a sigh of relief as we both had a small fear that it was just more change and disruption for her, but it actually seems to be making her happier. We'll see how she does once they become more than just a smell on the other side of the door...

Poor Frank had an awful day today. Too bad, after such a good week. Unfortunately reality is descending at work, and after two weeks of easing back into things my schedule is starting to look a little more like it used to - in other words, today had six hours of meetings. All the sitting was absolutely brutal; I propped my leg on spare chairs, I quad flexed, I did surreptitious patellar mobilizations under the desk, and I even got up and did dips and toe raises at one point. Regardless, the knee totally seized up and felt like a block of (painful) wood by the end of the day. My manager was a bit worried about all the presentations I have coming up, but I actually think they won't be too bad as I'll be on my feet and can move around a bit. I'm much more worried about meeting-o-rama days like today...

It's actually been one of those days; this morning someone held the elevator in our building and I ended up having to carry my bike down four flights of stairs (so not fun on a bum knee) and this evening the ski movie I've been looking forward to for weeks was cancelled 40 minutes before the show. However, I did manage a really good lunchtime workout.

Swim tomorrow. Can't wait. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 24, 2010, 10:27:51 PM
Hey Snowy

Been following the diary but not had chance to post. The kitties look awesome as mentioned on facebook! Such little cuties! I hope Laya can learn to love them, I suspect they will do much to keep her young at heart when she gets over the initial territory defense activity. Keep us posted.

Bad news that Frank had a bum day. Sitting is never great is it, even just with PFS and with a rehabbing ACL it must be doubly tough. Hopefully as Frank heals and settles he will tolerate normal sitting a bit better and eventually will be a well behaved knee! I think the flexion will come, but it must be frustrating. Did your OS seem to think it was still normal, if a little slower than expected? I think people regain ROM to differing levels at differing times and those final degrees are just proving tricky. Is the knee still swollen? You'll have to threaten Frank with a strong resistance band, a door knob and a slamming.... :o

Robin - just picking up on the ARC trainer comment. My gym has those and they are fabulous for me (two maltracking patella). A standard cross trainer tends to hurt, and sends my calves into cramps. The ARC is great as you can set incline and resistance but the knees stay in a line. I have found that over zealous ARCing can create a strange patella tendon feling but otherwise its awesome.

Snowy - hope the weekend is good for you, the kitties, J and her poorly toe and the much anticipated swim!


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on September 24, 2010, 10:36:22 PM
Sorry to hear that Frank doesn't like sitting in meetings all day. I don't think I could have managed a whole day of sitting 2 weeks after I went back to working. When I've been working at home, I found that I had to alternate elevating my foot on another chair with frequent rest breaks where I either just sat with the knee flexed or walked about for a few mins to loosen up the knee.

Are you still getting any swelling and therefore do you need to ice the knee ? I wonder if you need to ice the knee at work ?

Anyway, as we both know, Frank and you will be much happier after the swim today  ;) I'm also finding it impossible to fit in swimming during the week with working, so only manage at the weekends.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 25, 2010, 05:54:10 AM
Robin - I'm not familiar with the Cybex Arc. How does it differ from a typical elliptical? Luckily they're not something that has ever caused me knee pain; it was impact activities like running that tended to be more of a problem prior to the ACL tear. We actually have a machine at home which is the one I use most regularly - I think the brand is Tempo.

Lottie - the OS thought my flex was a little behind where it should be. My PT really isn't concerned about it at all; he says it's slow, but in keeping with the trouble I had getting full flex back after injury (it took four months before I was able to touch heel to butt) and he thinks it will take about 6 months based on that experience. He's been so spot on about every aspect of my recovery that I'm inclined to trust him, even though that missing 10-15 degrees is frustrating.

Deepak - I have a bit of residual swelling left (about 10% over the other knee) but that's it at this point. I ice the knee after exercise, so at work it gets an icepack when I arrive in the morning and one after my lunchtime gym session. Sitting makes it really stiff, but it doesn't seem to swell appreciably. I think I'm just going to draw a line and say that I can't deal with that many meetings in a day. Unfortunately my job is the kind that often feels like one endless meeting, but clearly I need a bit more control over my ability to move around at this point. I did keep the knee elevated and tried to move it gently as much as I could, but it wasn't enough. I think I might actually be better off if I had a job that required me to be up and on my feet more!

Day 77

Swim was awesome. :)

I also had a PT session this morning - my first in about three weeks. The PT was really happy to hear the progress report from the surgeon. He measured my quads and calves; quads are 2.5cm smaller than the right leg, calves 2cm smaller. This is actually very good news on the quad front, as the last time I measured (a while ago, before I'd started doing any real strength work) they were 4cm smaller than the right quads. I hadn't noticed the increase (all I see when I look in the mirror are two completely different size legs) but clearly all the squats and leg presses are doing some good.

The PT also thinks my leg strength is good enough that I should begin my running program next weekend, when I hit the 12 week mark. I'll be starting with light jogging on the treadmill for very short intervals; he wants me to work up gradually over the next month until I'm doing 12-15 minutes. He was also very pleased to hear about the Stairmaster success; he says that at this point that's very good for my leg strength, and good for the graft. I've also been instructed to test out the good and bad legs on the leg press, and see what the max weight I can push with each is. I've been sticking to about 30kg on the bad leg so that I can get a high number of reps in, but I think it's capable of more. The good leg, I have no idea - I've been avoiding unilateral presses on that side to avoid setting off the PFS.

Our deck is finally finished (way overdue - long and tedious story there that I won't go into), so we moved a bunch of plants back out there tonight. I was really happy that I was able to help Jen move the big planters; a month ago when the deck work began, we had to get one of our neighbours to help her because I was concerned about the weight. We also bought living room curtains today, so I was up and down a stepladder trying to figure out how to take the current curtain rail down. It all makes me feel like I'm a more productive member of the family than I have been for a while, even though my attempts to remove the rail left me with badly cut knuckles and not much else to show for it. (It's still up there, taunting me.)

I also have some news that literally makes me go slightly faint with joy when I think about it. Over the last couple of seasons I've finally been able to afford some decent ski equipment, and it's really made me appreciate the enormous difference that having a quality ski makes. Last year I had to make a tough call between buying a touring setup or an all-mountain ski for resort use, and since I was doing most of my skiing inbounds at Whistler I opted for the latter. My Shoguns are incredible skis and it was definitely the right choice given my current priorities, but I have felt pangs ever since whenever I've looked at the AT ski that I really wanted (the Praxis Backcountry). I was particularly sad that they changed the ski graphic for 2011, as the 2010 BCs had a really beautiful topsheet. (This sounds trivial, but I'm not a fan of the kind of ski graphics that are in vogue at the moment - my Shoguns kick ass, but look terrible.) So to cut a long story short I ended up in email correspondence with Keith, the owner of Praxis Skis, and he is handcrafting a pair of 2011 BCs for me with the original waterfall graphic. They'll be out of production some time in November, and ready for my return to the slopes in March. HANDCRAFTED TOURING SKIS! I can die and go to heaven now. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on September 25, 2010, 11:40:36 AM
Hi Snowy,

Glad you enjoyed your swim and had a successful PT session yesterday morning and now have the weekend to look forward to. Your quads will slowly get bigger again if you keep on swimming and doing your PT. Glad you can start to jog again and can only dream about jogging at the moment and is coming up to 3 years since my fall.

Must be a good feeling to have the deck finally finished as you have not been able to use it for some time and maybe a bit late to sit outside on it as the weather is cooler now so can use it gain in the Spring. Good you are able to afford ski equipment as the season will be starting soon so the ideal time to buy the equipment.

Have a good weekend.

Nick  :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 26, 2010, 01:48:06 AM
Day 78

Today I went for a 40km bike ride up and down the hills of Marine Drive. Knee held up well - it only tired during the last two or three kilometres. It took me two hours so I'm still very slow, but the strength gains from the extra time in the gym showed in both the distance and the length of time I was able to keep riding. And I had a small revelation about why cycling is such a psychological boost: on the bike, I don't limp. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on September 27, 2010, 01:03:00 AM
Hey Snowy,

No limp equals a good day.  ;D ;D

Good to hear that although your knee is coming along just fine with just a few speed bumps in the road lately.  Congrats.  Just wanted to get back to you regarding the elliptical.  The Arc has been out for several years but it seems that they are just beginning to appear in the gym around here.  The idea behind the ArcTrainer is that the motion of your feet is in a slightly different path than on an elliptical, and this different movement is supposed to reduce torque stress on the knee because the foot plate angle is slightly different.  I haven't used one personally but my bro-in-law was telling me that he gets an unbelievable workout on these things compared to the traditional ellips and in half the time. 

Love those kitty pics on FB!!!!  Take care, Snowy!!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 27, 2010, 07:07:49 AM
Day 79

Since nothing of any interest happened with my knee today, I offer you a picture of a kitten who would like to be a Knee Geek when she grows up.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on September 27, 2010, 01:35:09 PM
A day with nothing of interest regarding a knee sounds like a perfect day to me !
Hope you enjoyed it.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 27, 2010, 06:27:46 PM
Snowy as usual you are doing so well, 40km bike rides etc what a star you are.
As for your kittens they are the most beautifull things and I can tell by your posts that they have brightened up your world a little after the passing of Mara, I hope they have the same effect on Laya when you decide to introduce them.
Take care Tez 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 27, 2010, 08:56:47 PM
I can haz scren saver yez????
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 28, 2010, 07:00:52 AM
Day 80

Over the past few days, my strength seems to have come on in leaps and bounds. My quad muscle finally curves out from the leg again; it's still considerably smaller than the other side, but has gained 1.5cm from its most atrophied point a few weeks ago. All my weight-based exercises seem to have gotten easier and I was able to climb 100 floors on the Stairmaster in just under 20 minutes at lunchtime. The knee is a bit achy tonight, but overall I'm feeling a huge improvement in the general condition of my leg muscles. The kneecap popping out of track is happening less as the muscles strengthen up, too. Nervously waiting for the start of my running program at the weekend; it's an exciting rehab milestone, but I don't really like running and I'm a bit worried about how the PFS will react.

155 days until I can ski again (provided nothing goes wrong.)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on September 28, 2010, 11:38:53 PM
Ah, the Snowy we all knew has returned !  ;D 40km bike ride up & down hills in 2 hours and 100 floors on the stairmaster in under 20 minutes ! When do you resume leaping over tall buildings ?  ;)

Yes, I'm also noticing a great improvement in strength, although not enough to end the knee pain. That I'm sure will only end when my quad has been completely rebuild.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on September 30, 2010, 06:08:21 AM
Day 82

Climbed 200 floors on the Stairmaster in just under 30 minutes today. It's kind of funny - I've always hated Stairmasters, but right now I'm loving it because my muscles aren't used to it and it gives me such a good workout. My goal is to climb the equivalent of the Grouse Grind on it by the end of my rehab - 1200 floors. Hmm; perhaps just climbing the Grind would be a better goal. At least that way I'd get awesome views and a beer (and bears) at the top.

I have a question for everyone who had hamstring ACLrs. How do you find lifting your operated leg off the floor toward your butt when you're standing? Not with your hand for the heel to butt touch, but just lifting your heel toward your butt unassisted. I'm getting pretty good at hamstring curls when lying on my stomach (can do 100 with double ankle weights without difficulty), and can get to about 8 inches away from my butt if I pull the leg up with my hand; but I still find it almost impossible to curl my leg up toward my butt on its own when I'm standing. There's just nothing there to pull it up. Of all the things I'm doing for rehab right now, I think that's the hardest. I'm really curious to see how other people are finding it.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on September 30, 2010, 11:02:05 AM
Hi Snowy while reading your last post I realised I had never tried the leg lifting towards the bum thing so gave it a shot and was surprised how weak it felt, like you when lying on my stomach with  ankle weights its no bother but when standing I can get it to about 90 degrees and no further whereas the other leg can go well past there, the op leg also feels very weak while lifting it and just feels kinda strange.
As for all your other ativities you as usual put me to shame, but I am starting to get back into excersising every day at last, since Gordons death I didnt even think about it between work and all the things that I needed to do my physio took a back seat, so went to rehab class yesterday and it gave me the incentive to get back into everything again.
Take care Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on September 30, 2010, 12:31:06 PM
Thankfully my gym doesn't have a Stairmaster!!!  ::) :P

Well done Snowy on the increased work and stamina and muscle strength. Things are coming along nicely. Good luck with the jogging too - I really hope the PFS doesn't flare up. Is it essential to try the jogging? I know you said your PFS flared badly after the pre ACLr attempt and it would be a shame to start them off again.......I can manage a very very short little job but anything else and the kneecaps protest. I can also feel it just banging through the joint as I run, so I have decided that I can live without it. I guess it will be useful to see if you CAN jog and perhaps then revert back to non impact work? Or is the plan to build it up? The guy I know at the gym with two totally bum knees (Been told he needs TKR and only 49 - VERY fit and strong now) has started running and is now up to 10k and is doing the Surrey Slog - an off road mud festival 10K! He says he is fine afterwards so long as he keeps in his pace. He is running around the 48-50 minute mark for it, but being hyper competitive now wants to improve every time he runs. So - he improved...and couldn't walk for 3 days without agony! He has accepted he is a 50 minuter!!  ;D

How are the kitties doing? Have they met Laya yet?!!!


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on September 30, 2010, 09:16:07 PM
Gasp!  Why am I not suprised that you've set your mind on 1,200 floors???  Well, you do know best by now, I suppose.  ;) ;)  I'm so afraid to push myself these days that I probably do too little versus too much. 

Is jogging part of your rehab?  It's just so jarring on the joints that I can't imagine it being all that good for you.  My hubby and I were talking this morning and maybe sounding a bit like old farts but since we've both been plagued with knee injuries, we've decided that not pushing things is the answer to preserving what we have.  I still hope to be cycling at 80 and I know for a fact that I won't be if I continue as I have in the past.  God, hope this doesn't sound like a lecture to you!  Just be careful, Snowy. 

Thanks for sharing all the great shots of the kitties!  Love, love, love them.  Be good and take care! 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on September 30, 2010, 11:53:35 PM
Having picked myself off the floor after reading that Kay did 200 floors in under 30 mins, I've just tried the Kay knee test, and surprisingly I too wasn't able to flex beyond 900, despite being able to do a weighted hamstring curl beyond 900. "How jolly curious Watson !" exclaimed Sherlocke.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on October 01, 2010, 12:12:54 AM
I've had two additional surgeries since my ACLr, but I just tried and I can only also lift my leg to about 90 degrees when I'm standing. That is strange. I'm going to see if my PT remembers if I could lift it more last Fall when my knee was still good. I know even now I can bend it a lot further than that when lying down.

I found this article in a fast search, so I guess it is common.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 01, 2010, 06:55:33 AM
Tez, Deepak and Kristin -
the op leg also feels very weak while lifting it and just feels kinda strange
- that's it exactly! While I'm not so glad that we all have the same problem, I'm relieved that it isn't unusual. I'll have to talk to my PT about it next time I see him, and find out whether it's something that is ever likely to come back. I can also get to about 90 degrees, but no further - and I'm well past 90 with the regular hamstring curl.

Lottie & Robin - Unfortunately running is an essential part of the full sporting rehab. It's one of the stages that I have to be able to do successfully before being allowed to move on to the next stage (along with waiting for an eternity, which seems to be part and parcel of every stage.) I have to be honest and admit that I have never liked running; I didn't care at all when I was told I should think about giving it up to avoid aggravating the PFS and OA. My PT is very aware of the complicating factors and is managing things carefully, but we know there's a risk that this phase of rehab is really going to trigger the PFS again. My understanding is that it's important that the knee joint is able to cope with the demands of running (and later, plyometrics) in order to get back to full strength and functionality, and that it's an important part of ensuring that all the muscles around the knee are built up again. I'm going to be careful with it, and probably stick to the treadmill and soft grass to try and minimize impact on the knee. But if it's something I have to do to ensure that the knee is one day capable of skiing again, I'll grit my teeth and bear it for as long as I have to.

Kittens - they're doing great! In fact, so great that they've been put on the VOKRA website for adoption. :( They're all completely socialized now, and have turned into little love bugs who roll over for belly rubs and pets and sleep on our laps. Unfortunately their meetings with Laya haven't gone very well; there has been a lot of hissing and defensiveness. Being quite a dominant female, Laya has never gotten along with other female cats (apart from her sister) and the kittens are all girls, and old enough at 4 months to be considered a territorial threat. We're still trying, but it seems quite unlikely that she's going to accept them. The good news is that our next door neighbour is very taken with little Blue and he's seriously considering adopting her as a companion for his cat Rocky. Rocky and Blue have met a couple of times, and get along really well. We've gotten very attached to the kittens, but ultimately it has to be about what will make Laya happy. The kittens are so sweet that they won't have any trouble finding homes, and if they do move on we'll be able to help another set of kittens in need - and give Laya a chance of finding a little male kitten to bond with. (Jen thinks that's much more likely, as she's gotten on quite well with the boys she's lived with in the past.)

For those who haven't yet seen the kitteny cuteness, they can be viewed at: - mouseover the pics till you find Blue, Pixel and Scamper. They each have a little bio and four photos.

Day 83

Asked my PT if I could climb the Grind yet. He said no. >:(

On the plus side, I honestly feel as though I could climb the Grind provided I took it really slowly and carefully. The strength gains are continuing and making a big difference. I'm starting to have moments, especially in the first half of the day, when my leg really feels like it belongs to me again. I managed 200 floors on the Stairmaster (in 27 minutes) for the second day in a row today, and upped the weights on the regular leg press and the reps on the lying down leg press (I'm sure it has a technical name, but have no idea what it is). I'm gradually accepting that I'm just not going to be able to swim as much now that I'm back at work; it's easier to take now that I'm seeing some real gains from the added gym time. My knee does ache more from the extra strength work, but the improvements are worth it.

Two things I'm pleased about: I haven't skipped a lunchtime gym session since returning to work, and I haven't yet taken the car to work (even on the day it rained torrentially). I'm also being pretty good about not taking the elevator at work; I'm going up and down five flights of stairs several times a day. Sometimes down is almost normal, and sometimes it's a ridiculous lurch. It's still very dependent on what kind of knee day I'm having overall. I'd say I'm consistently managing 2 hours a day of rehab now (3 on good days), which isn't bad considering that I'm back at work full-time with a fairly heavy project load.

Tomorrow I'll be at 12 weeks post-op. In 152 days I'll be able to ski.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on October 01, 2010, 04:55:50 PM
Hey Snowy, ive been keeping a regular check on your progress, but not really had chance to post in last couple of weeks.

Just wanted to say really glad that your rehab seems to be going smoothly, especially with going back to work full time :) 152 days and counting... 8)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 02, 2010, 04:17:35 AM
Hi Roo! Great to see you. Any word on your date yet? How is the knee feeling?

Day 84

I worked the knee pretty hard in the gym the last four days, so took it easy today with a 40 minute bike ride and a 1 hour swim. Will probably give the treadmill a first try tomorrow - eep!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on October 02, 2010, 11:26:02 AM
Knee is same as before really, no problems. But YES i have a date!! :) 14th of october, so just under 2 weeks away. Am definately looking forward to joining you all as post ACLr :D 8)

That'll mean i will be 1 day over the 18 week target the NHS set themselves, but im not too bothered, more exited to actually get it done.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: crankerchick on October 02, 2010, 08:18:13 PM
Hi Snowy, just checking in and its great to read that you are upping the ante on your exercises and training. The knee will protest, but it will like it in the end!

I know what you mean when you say you feel like muscle weakness is what stops you and that is exactly what you want to work on. I had a similar gripe when it came to my hip. It just felt so weak, but all the exercises that would target that weak area were painful and made the annoying snapping. But I think now with the plate gone, the snapping and pain should be better and I'll finally be able to build some strength back in that hip. As time progresses for you, that strength will start to come back to and it won't be limiting.

So great to read someone else pushing hard through the rehab everyday, it's totally going to pay off for you!

Keep it up!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 03, 2010, 06:46:05 AM
Roo - congrats on the date! That's great news, and not long to wait. Which graft will you be having? Is it going to disrupt your course much, or have you been able to take time off?

Latise - that's exactly how I feel about the muscle weakness. The good news is that in the last week or so I've really started to see some gains in muscle strength, which is fantastic - I think that shifting the balance of my rehab from pool to the gym, while demanding for the knee, is definitely paying off overall. I'm trying to keep up a minimum of 2 hours a day of focused work on the knee; it's definitely harder now I'm back at work, but I think that's what it needs to maintain the kind of progress I've been making. I'm so glad to hear that all is going well for your hip; I'm sure that getting the hardware out is going to make a huge difference.

Day 85

After a relaxed day yesterday, I put Frank through his paces today. We're having a gorgeous Indian summer here - it feels like August, not October - and I couldn't stand the idea of being inside, so instead of the gym I went out for a long bike ride. I finally hooked up my new cycle computer to the road bike and kept a careful eye on speed and cadence during the ride, and as a result managed the same 40k as last weekend in 1:45 - 15 minutes faster. The knee felt pretty solid throughout. I also did a whole bunch of general strengthening exercises, and then wrapped up the day with a 6k walk to Kits Beach and back. I haven't been walking enough lately - since I was allowed back on the bike, I've been cycling everywhere I can and the longer walks fell by the wayside a bit - but the knee held up pretty well. It's just a little achy now.

J pointed out tonight that periodically I'll say things like "Next time, I'll definitely do [this particular thing] differently." She thinks it would probably be better to aim for not having a "next" ACLr...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on October 03, 2010, 09:38:41 AM
Apologies for my confusion with Vancouver-UK timing....but I believe we may have a Snowy birthday?!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/size]

Hope you have/had a fabulous day with some important birthday cake!!


and a big meow and mouse head from Danger Bogs

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on October 03, 2010, 01:25:15 PM
Snowy happy birthday I havn't been on FB today yet so didnt realise it was your special day ,I hope you have a wonderful day and you get spoiled rotten, cos you deserve only the best things to come your way.
I hope you have something lovely planned for your birthday and you have a great time.

I agree with Jen maybe rather than thinking about what you would do differently next time you should concentrate in never damaging your acl again ;) and from the work your doing to make sure the muscles are as strong as possible your acl should be well protected when you get back to the slopes.

Take care Tez xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 03, 2010, 06:47:43 PM
Thanks guys! Yes, Frank is now a 34-year-old knee (he feels about 70 today, which is an improvement on the 90 he felt a couple of weeks ago.)

We're having a fairly low-key day today given all the stuff we've had to deal with recently, but we did go out for a lovely sunset dinner last night at the Boathouse restaurant on Kits Beach ( I have also heard rumours that a homemade maple cake may be making an appearance later in the day. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on October 03, 2010, 09:42:28 PM
Thanks Snowy - i will be getting the hamstring autograft, and ive got a very good idea of whats to come thanks to yourself and all you other wonderful and informed people out there!! 8) ;D

As far as the course goes, it shoudlnt disrupt it TOO much. I will obviously be moving back home for a week or so post op, but having briefly spoke to my tutor we should be able to arrange him emailing me reading or lecture note or whatever, to keep me from falling behind and also give me something to do. Luckily my uni campus is only about 45 mins drive from my house, and my dad works from home and he's already said he'll be happy to ferry me to and from lectures if/when i feel up to it - so i should only miss about a weeks or so of lectures. Only problem might be when to move back to my uni flat - its on the 3rd floor, so lots of stairs and not ideal for crutches, so im just going to wait and see on that issue!

Happy Birthday as well!! WOW - 40k in 1hr 45!?! i dont think i have ever been able to manage that pace, good knee or not! Your doing fantastic - keep it up, you'll be back on the slopes in no time. 8)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on October 04, 2010, 12:24:37 AM
Happy Birthday Kay ! I remember being 34. Things were different then. You could get a loaf of bread for tuppence ...  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on October 04, 2010, 04:59:15 AM
Kay your only 34 I dont know why I'm am so surprised at that fact I suppose because you are always so wise and compasionate, I always think of you as being older than that, not that you look any older I must say you dont you look like a young fit 20 something, you just come accross as older in writing if you know what I mean, I'm probably not explaining myself very well, your just very wise and together for a 34 year old.
As you can probably tell its the middle of the night and I'm talking rubbish but honestly it is meant as a compliment
Take care and enjoy your maple cake which sounds lovely... Tez xx   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Longwalker on October 05, 2010, 12:40:03 AM
I'm a day late as usual, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Snowy!!  You ought to be well pleased with the amount of work your knee is tolerating.  It sounds awesome!

Lucky you to be within walking distance of the gym.  My office was too, until they moved us to a new location.  Now it takes me 15 minutes to drive there from the office, which only leaves 30 minutes to work out, so it hasn't seemed worth it.  But I got re-motivated and went at lunch Friday and today!

I'm not cleared for "stairs as exercise" yet, but hopefully soon. 

As a resident of a multiple-cat household, I can attest that it sometimes takes a very long time to get an adult cat to accept another cat.  Our latest showed up on the porch New Year's Day of 2009 (we named him Happy).  It took over a year to integrate him with the other 5, and there is still one cat who takes every opportunity to sneak up behind him for a quick swat and dash. But at least now they can pass each other in the hall without a disagreement, as long as I'm watching :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on October 05, 2010, 01:08:23 AM
Oh no! Sorry I didn't realise you have just had a Birthday!! I hope you had an amazing day, and that the homemade maple cake was yum!

I'm so glad to hear that things are looking much better for you, you and J certainly have been through a lot, but hopefully you are both doing better. The kittens sound like they were a great idea for all of you, hope they are behaving themselves, the picture was sooooo cute!

Glad to hear the knee is doing well and you are able to go for crazy long bike rides in the gorgeous weather!  ;D

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 05, 2010, 03:54:29 AM
Tez - that's okay, no offence taken! In fact very much the opposite. In reality my knee makes me feel about 100 and my brain still feels like it's running away from the grownups, so I guess it all balances out. :)

Alice - thank you! I have to admit that having a gym in the building at work makes a huge difference to my ability to get there - I have absolutely no excuse not to go. Even today when I had a presentation that ran across my lunch hour, I made it up at the end of the day. With the cats, we're really hoping that Laya will bond better with a boy - she's social by nature but has never really gotten on with other girl cats apart from Mara.

Vicky - it was extremely yum! Jen is an awesome baker. ;D The kittens are pretty darn cute. We're down to two now, and they'll be off to a new home together later this week.  :(

Day - erm - 87, I think

Woke up with a cold, which severely dented my motivation today. However I dragged myself to the gym after work and put Frank through a rather lame exercise routine for an hour or so, culminating with a first foray onto the dreaded treadmill. I kept it short - just two minutes - but touch wood, it didn't feel too bad. The real test will be to see how the kneecap feels after it all stiffens up. Like everything else, I found that my left leg has completely forgotten how to run and will have to be taught how to do it all over again.

This inability to do the things that used to come naturally is a bit unnerving, but I guess it makes sense when you think that the construction of the leg is entirely different now. It's missing a major part of the hamstring, has tendons in the knee where a ligament used to be, and has drillholes and screws where there used to be uninterrupted bone.

I think the best way to describe the treadmill encounter is awkward and a bit uncomfortable. I also managed an hour on the bike, but called it a day after that as I was feeling pretty rough. I'm hoping that an early night will nip the cold in the bud; I have a major presentation and television interview coming up on Thursday, and am not thrilled about the idea of being pale, wan and blowing my nose every 30 seconds.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on October 05, 2010, 05:44:39 PM
Hi Snowy,

Was really nice in Devon and Cornwall and know you use to live in Devon and is somewhere I would like to sometime in the future. I really like Okehampton and love to live there if I found a job down there as property is cheaper then where I live in Birmingham and could buy a larger flat for £10,000 to £15,000 less then mine so could reduce my mortgage payments. I would love to walk in Dartmoor and would also cycle more as its too dangerous to cycle in Birmingham. Also have a leasure centre that cost 3 million so have everything I want at my doorstep.

Sorry you have a cold and hope it does not last too long and is the time of year when colds are about with the cooler temperatures now autumn has arrived. Its good to do a workout at the the gym with a cold as you sweat it off.

Here is a flat in Okehampton I really like in a good area and is cheaper then my flat and is a lot nicer then my present flat with an extra bedroom.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on October 05, 2010, 08:07:46 PM
Hi Snowy I really hope your cold is feeling better, or I should say you are feeling better, and the cold has gone ;D
So pleased you got what I was saying about appearing older in writing even though you look younger, after I posted it and read it back I wondered if it made sense [my excuse is it was the middle of the night].
As usual sounds like Frank has been working hard, it must be nice to have a gym in the work place to use at lunch time, I think even I would make use of such a thing.
Congrats on the run even though it was a quickie its a start, and if its part of your whole rehab then it another step closer to being released to full activity.
Take care Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 06, 2010, 09:37:46 AM
Nick - that's a lovely flat! Are you planning to job hunt in the area anytime soon? If so do let me know, as my dad may be able to help you - he's very involved with Devon Heritage and may know of some opportunities.

Tez - cold is still there but I'm trying to medicate it into submission. I don't have time to be sick at the moment. I am very grateful for the workplace gym - I honestly don't know what I'd do without it right now. Not only does it have all the equipment I need to help my knee, it means I can't make excuses not to work out - it's just two floors above me, so I have to drag my ass up there every lunch time whether I like it or not. And if I have a presentation or meeting, I can just go after work instead. ;)

Day 88

Treadmill got off to a bad start when the "increase speed" button got jammed on, and I suddenly had to do an athletic star jump sideways to avoid being fired off backwards as it approached warp speed. I tried again afterwards and managed 3.5 minutes at a steady jog. The knee felt really weird afterwards; not bad exactly, but the patellar tendon started to feel like it had been superglued down. I hope the impact from the jogging isn't creating more adhesions.

I took a break after that due to the odd knee sensation, and went back to the gym after work for a more extensive workout instead. Managed 200 floors on the Stairmaster in 26 minutes. Following that and a bunch of leg presses I got on the bike and cycled home; Frank felt great during the bike ride, but really stiff and achy for the remainder of the night. I'm starting to realise that my continued ability to ride the bike to work and back is one of the most important psychological elements of my recovery so far. It really helps me feel like normal is possible.

I have a probably silly dilemma pending. On Thursday I have an extremely important presentation and TV interview, and I want to wear heels. I have no idea what Frank would make of it, or what my PT would say. But I don't own a single pair of reasonably stylish flat shoes, and I really don't want to look like crap for the occasion. What to do? Probably best to call the PT and ask. No presentation is worth compromising the graft...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on October 06, 2010, 12:15:38 PM
I vote heels! But only wear them for the immediate interview and revert to heels immediately after! Avoid walking if you can!  :)

(I'm a slave to vanity, so anyone sensible feel free to chime in.)

Hope you're feeling better and glad you survived a rogue treadmill. Scary stuff, those suckers are possessed!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 06, 2010, 03:57:43 PM
Ack - most unhappy Frank this morning. Stiff, sore, swollen. An objection to the running? Not sure but he's not a happy knee.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on October 06, 2010, 05:02:50 PM
Hey Snowy,

Sorry bout your cold my dear and the fact that your knee is acting up.  Hope you feel better soon.  Just read the post about your adventures on the treadmill...yikes.  You've got good reflexes!!  Glad you didn't get hurt and that you got back on. :) I'm thinking back to something you posted several weeks ago that mentioned a fear that your past knee injury would hold you back because of fear of reinjury.  Hum...sure didn't deter you from hopping back on the treadmill after it tried to throw you off.  Guess we can add brave to your growing list of superlatives now can't we? 

Get better soon!!!  
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kefta on October 06, 2010, 05:12:13 PM
Snowy, I bet it is a reaction to the running ... most likely the impact if i had to guess.
My PT last night had me bunny hop off of a step for the first time - I'd say an inch and a half or so in height.  30 reps in total.
Didn't bother me at all while doing the exercise, but woke up this morning with some swelling and more stiffness.  I'm sure in my case it's the joint responding to the new impact excercise. 

Good news is, the stiffness has eased considerably over the course of the morning, so maybe you'll be feeling a bit better as you start moving about ?

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Longwalker on October 06, 2010, 05:53:36 PM
Ugh, a cold and a stiff swollen knee in the same day.  Poor you!

My doctor and PT would say - okay, you found out that 3.5 minutes of jogging was too much for Frank.  Let the knee rest a day or two until it feels better.  Then go back and try again but reduce the time.  Maybe jog 1 minute or maybe a walk/jog combo for 2 minutes.  If Frank tolerates it, then increase your jogging time by 10% per day.  It's a slow process but better to give the joint time to adapt to the increased demand rather than try to beat it into submission!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 07, 2010, 12:08:48 AM
Hey guys,

Need some good thoughts here - the knee feels awful (achy, stiff, and sort of stuck down around the shin) and even my PT sounds quite concerned about what I'm reporting. He wants to see me ASAP, but he's not in today and I'm out of town tomorrow so I can't get to him till Friday morning. I don't know what's going on with it but it's really not happy, and I'm worried.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Longwalker on October 07, 2010, 12:24:45 AM
Snowy, I'm sending good energy ------------>

Even if you could see your PT immediately, he would probably tell you to rest the knee for a few days and see what happens.  So get busy resting it!  No gym tomorrow, just as much rest as you can give it!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on October 07, 2010, 12:41:55 AM
I agree with Longwalker, take it easy today and have a rest day for a change ! Frank will appreciate it.

I don't know anything about fashion, but I would also say that Frank will thank you for not wearing heels for the presentation and TV interview. Anyway, who's going to be looking at your feet ?! During a presentation you usually have a desk to cover your feet, and I guess that the interview will be above waist height on camera so you could be wearing bunny slippers for all the difference it makes !
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on October 07, 2010, 08:25:35 AM
Snowy so sorry Frank is so unhappy healling ((((hugs)))) sent your way from Scotland, I think the others are right maybe its time to have a rest from all the extreme excersises just to give it a chance to recover a little, As for the heels for the interview, if heels help with your confidence then as long as your not going to be walking around much it should be ok, I hope things feel better soon and good luck with the interview.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on October 07, 2010, 10:04:04 AM

I'm so sorry that Frank is misbehaving. I hope the PT can give you some ideas about what is going on. I wonder if perhaps the jogging has just caused something to swell that wasn't swollen before and the whole knee is protesting. Hopefully a bit of rest and some ice will allow time to settle down. Try not to worry (ha ha ha so easy to say that isn't it,.....not so easy to do...)

Keep us posted and sending hugs from over the oceans,

Lottie xxxxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on October 07, 2010, 10:44:04 AM

That craps! :(  Positive healing thoughts and hugs from me also.  All I can do is agree with the other wise geeks here and tell you to give poor Frank a rest.  I know that will be extremely hard for you. Longwalker has told me to do so on many occasions and I've said to myself 'Ya, right, impossible!'  But I did it and think I ended up better for it in the long run.  (Thanks, LW!) 

I have been absolutely addicted to working out.  I've cycled with the worst saddle sores a gal can imagine with a little tape and gauze, through bouts of you name it even if I could barely walk until my knee finally protested soooo much that I couldn't do it. (Truth be told, it took having the surgery to stop me in my tracks.) All of a sudden I had all these gaps of time that I just didn't know that the F to do with and guilt galore.  What I've learned it that it really is O.K. not to do ANYTHING for a while.  You won't lose your edge or your cardio fitness if you rest for just a bit, I promise!!

Maybe a coincidence but I'd venture to say that it was probably that damned treadmill that has stirred things up even if was a brief jaunt.  I know you said that your PT said that the treadmill was part of your intro. into plyometrics but maybe you can both rethink that.  Ask 10 different PT's and they'd probably all have a different approach as to what's best for you so don't necessarily one persons word for it. 

Boatloads of healing thoughts to you and Frank.  XX
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on October 07, 2010, 11:04:38 AM
Booooo!!!!! Sending you healing wishes for relief soon  :'( Totally unfair.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on October 07, 2010, 01:04:54 PM

Hi Snowy

 so sorry the knee is playing up again,I agree with everyone else back off the training and try and ice and elevate as much as possible,and anti inflammatories.

Hope the pt gives you some encouraging news on friday,i will be thinking of you.

Sending some good aussie vibes your way

Shelli xx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 07, 2010, 03:24:56 PM
Very quick update as I'm on my way to the ferry in a few minutes for the trip to the island. Not quite awake enough to tell how the knee is doing this morning, though my initial impression is that it's a little less sore than yesterday, but still quite stiff and uncomfortable.

Heels have been approved. :) Presentation was tested on all 3 kittehs, who all fell asleep a few minutes in.

I won't be back in Van until late tonight, so by default today will be a no gym/no bike day - though with the trip, presentation and interview I'm not sure how easy it will be on the knee.

Thank you all for your good thoughts - I really hope it's just some reactive swelling and I haven't screwed things up badly. Have gone back on the Diclofenac temporarily as a precaution.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on October 07, 2010, 05:50:03 PM
Hi Snowy,

How annoying it must be for you to have problems still with your knee and could be scar tissue reforming again which I hope does not happen to you after all you have been through lately. As the others have said take it easy and give Frank a break and do not overdo it too much and ice the knee when you can.

I have been all over the UK on Holiday but Devon is my favourite county and not sure if its a good idea to move away from my family who live in the midlands, north and south east. I always loved Okehampton and prefer to live in a smaller town then a major city or a village. Your Dads involved in Devon Heritage is that English Heritage as well as I would like to work in a large stately garden rather then a golf course.

Hope you have a good time on the island and take it easy with Frank.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 08, 2010, 02:09:36 AM
Here I am on the ferry home, making the most of the free wifi that BC Ferries finally started providing. Unfortunately it's so slow that I'm having to browse simultaneously on a laptop, iPhone and iPad so that I have something to look at on one while pages download on the other two. The workstation where I'm set up should have a label saying "tech floozy."

So the presentation went great today; I did end up sitting for it, but given that it had a lot of online demos I'd have been tied to the computer a fair bit anyway. The videotaped interview was a bit rambly, but they said they'll be editing it before it gets aired.

And yes, I wore heels. :) When I put them on this morning it felt so strange that I was really worried I might fall over. Then I realised I'd left my one and only pair of smart flat shoes at work, so it was on with the show. They were the lowest pair of heels I own, so about 2 inches. Once I was used to being on heels again they felt fine; not really any worse than regular shoes. I'm so happy about this; wearing flat shoes at work just feels wrong.

Frank is achy now, but I think that's entirely expected after a long day on my feet. No real sense of how yesterday's problems are doing, as it hasn't been in any way a normal day. I see the PT first thing tomorrow.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 08, 2010, 07:37:20 AM
Update: Frank feels pretty horrible now, but given the day I had today I'm not really surprised.

We delivered the other two kittens to their new home today. They're staying together, and they've gone to one of our closest friends so we'll still be able to see them regularly. The spare room seems very quiet without them, though Laya is finally allowed back in and she has plenty to say about all the strange smells in here. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on October 08, 2010, 07:57:36 AM

Good work on the heels and the presentation!! I have to say I have given up with heels apart from pair of wedge shoes that are kind of smart (about 1.5 inches) and some boots with a very low wedge type heel. The knees are *OK* with a bit of a heel but the onion kills. I have resigned myself to life in trainers once I am qualified!! Hope the PT visit goes smoothly, keep us posted. The spare room must be very quiet...perhaps Laya would like a young male kitteh to bond with?  :P  Might not create so much territorial stress for her and if its really young she'll quickly become the boss......and it might keep her young at heart....

All fingers and Danger Bog paws crossed that the PT says this is a minor blip,


Lottie xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on October 08, 2010, 08:12:27 AM
Snowy good luck with your P.T appointment today I really hope as Lottie says its just a blip or the running was just a wee bit too much or too early for Frank to cope with for now.
It sounds like your day went well yesterday and great news the heels were a succsess or not too much af a disaster anyway,
Please let us all know what your physio says after your visit I will keep my fingers crossed that all is well with Frank.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on October 08, 2010, 10:56:16 AM
congrats on the presentation, heels and kitty placement!

wishing you good luck at pt- that it's nothing to worry about and maybe you get some relief after!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on October 08, 2010, 04:22:33 PM
Hi Snowy,

I hope your PT appointment goes ok for you today and Tez is right maybe making Frank run was too much and sure you will be able to run again soon. I am coming up to my 3rd year of not running this month and will be able to run again some day.

Glad your presentation went smoothly yesterday and flat shoes are better on the knees then heels but if you only wear them when going out or on special occasions, I am sure Frank wont mind. Pleased you found a good home for the kittens.

Have a good weekend and hope Frank behaves!

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 08, 2010, 06:30:14 PM
Very swift post-PT update.

There are a couple of things going on with the knee, but the main culprit for the increased pain and stiffness is a PFS flareup most likely caused by the unaccustomed impact of running. Both the kneecap and patellar tendon were really sore when the PT worked on them, though they're feeling much better after deep tissue massage and ultrasound. The PT doesn't want me to stop the running completely, but I'm going to have to ease in really gently and monitor the state of the kneecap very closely. I'll also need to see him a bit more regularly for the next few weeks.

Now we're off to Whistler for the Turkey Sale and a day at the new Scandinavian spa tomorrow. And maybe some bear-watching from the hotel hot tub, which overlooks the mountain. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: BlueTopaz_ZA on October 08, 2010, 07:27:31 PM
Hey Snowy

I see have missed quite a bit!
I too caught a cold, just as I was allowed to go FWB so it was really an irritant.

Hope Frank is feeling better and youre having an awesome weekend - sounds amazing!!!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on October 08, 2010, 08:05:59 PM
Snowy so pleased that Franks problem is not acl related I know that dosn't help the pain your having but at least you know now its not any kind of graft problem, I hope the PFS flair settles down soon.
Your weekend sounds amazing I want to sit in a hot tub watching for bears too ;D
Take care and have fun Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on October 08, 2010, 11:57:30 PM
Glad to hear that the presentation and interview went well, and that you were able to wear heels.

Good news on the knee pain. Running is a big step (pun intended), so maybe try power-walking first to ease into it, like Shelli's programme.

The super model & I are also going away for the weekend to one of the mountain resorts in the Chilterns, where we may watch hedge-hogs from our hotel  ;D ;)  :P
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on October 09, 2010, 01:00:57 PM
Hi Snowy,

We thought that the pain could be caused by running but if like me you enjoy going for a jog its hard not to if knee flares up. As I said before not been able to run for nearly 3 years and would like to be able to run again some day even if it ment a 2nd scope. Have a good time today at the Scandinavian spa.

Still undecided about moving down to Devon as none of my family live in the South West but one of my sisters lives in South Africa and you now live in Canada. It takes 3 hours to drive from Okehampton to Birmingham if you dont stop and drive at 80mph.

Enjoy your weekend at the Scandinavian spa.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 11, 2010, 03:08:45 AM
Hi everyone! Back in town and finally have a moment to breathe. I'll update on the last few days now, and try and catch up on replies in the morning when I'm a bit less tired.

Three months and one day post-surgery (or, day 92)

I was glad to see the PT before our trip away, even though the diagnosis wasn't the greatest. I suspect that the rest of my rehab will be a delicate balancing act between building strength and managing the PFS. The hands-on PT helped a lot, but I can still feel that nagging, angry pain under the patellar.

Fortunately the weekend away came at a really good time. We visited the Turkey Sale (I was very restrained and didn't buy anything, but helped my friend Kirsten choose some new skis), soaked in the hot tubs, saw bears foraging on the mountain just yards from the hotel, and walked down a steep, bumpy ski run littered with rocks and drainage ditches in the pitch dark with only iPhones for light. I'm pretty sure that isn't on any ACLr rehab protocol, but Frank survived. (I was actually quite impressed by how well he held up to all the uneven walking as we went up and down Merlin's - a steepish intermediate run when it has snow on it - at least four times.)

Yesterday we spent the day at the Scandinavian baths, which was wonderful. The baths are gorgeous; terraced pools and waterfalls set into the side of a mountain just outside Whistler village. You follow a little routine of 10 minutes of warming (hot pool and waterfall, steam room, or Finnish sauna) followed by a cold plunge (icy pool and waterfall) followed by 15 minutes of relaxation (pine solarium or outdoor fire pit). We repeated the cycle four times, and by the end of it I was so relaxed that it felt as though all my muscles had turned to limp noodles. Even better, I tested Frank afterwards and he bent to 140 for the first time! Haven't been able to do that again since, but it was very encouraging to see that in an uber-relaxed state it was possible. I'm sure the ice/heat sequence helped, too.

We drove back to Vancouver through an absolutely torrential rainstorm on the Sea to Sky highway; more than 100mm of rain fell overnight. On the way back we picked up a message from the woman who runs the orphan kitten rescue centre, asking if there was any chance we could take a new set of foster kittens who urgently needed a new home. Of course we said yes, and now we have FIVE tiny coal-black kittens! They are the cutest little things; they're tiny and fuzzy (they still have their baby coats) and almost impossible to tell apart. We had them in a cage in the living room overnight, where one kitten cried for its mom and the others played Tarzan on the cage ceiling. In the morning we learned that the kittens are teeny enough to squeeze out between the bars of their cage; three little Houdinis went adventuring before they were spotted and recaptured. We relocated them to the bathroom, where they are loving the additional space and playing endless games of chase.

Best of all, while they were in their cage in the living room Laya came out to meet them. She hissed a couple of times, then settled down to eat nearby. She spent most of the evening out in the living room, seemingly not bothered at all by the kittens. In the night when Sad Kitten (now named Volkl) was crying, she kept running out to check on her - and at one point when Volkl got really frantic, Laya jumped on our bed to wake us up. I think we might have a chance with these little guys.

Today I finally started some climbing on the bike - I went out for a brief 20k ride, and managed to lap the UBC hill (approx 2k long, nice taxing gradient all the way up) three times. Just a start, and I'm still very slow compared to before, but the knee was fine and I feel like I'm getting a bit closer to real cycling.

More tomorrow - our SIX cats (we're definitely crazy cat ladies now) are in need of attention and snuggles. Happy thanksgiving, everyone!

UPDATE: We have named the kittens Kismet, Kaia, Volkl, Snowdemon (Snowy for short) and Sprocket. Offering a small prize to the first person to correctly guess who picked which names.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on October 11, 2010, 04:08:22 PM
Hi Snowy,

Glad you had a good weekend at the Scandinavian baths and sounds very relaxing and at the same time did some good for Frank and was able to go 140. Its must be really nice to look after 5 kittens and Laya and are keeping yourself being busy looking after them, must be still small to squeeze through the bars.

You are doing well doing a 20k bike ride at the gym and will soon be able to do some proper cycling outdoors. Hope you have a good start to the new week and Frank does not cause you too many problems.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on October 12, 2010, 08:43:25 PM
Hi Snowy hows Frank feeling?? has he recoverd from running yet? it sounds like your scandinavian spa should be part of the prescribed post op protocal for an aclr, I for one would enjoy that very much, Congrats on the proper bike ride I'm sure just doing things you would normaly do again must help how your feeling.
The kittens are soo cute I hope it works out with Laya maybe because they are so young her motherly instincts will kick in and she will feel protective of them, I hope so...
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on October 12, 2010, 09:13:13 PM
Hey Snowy,

Sorry to hear of your mini setback but glad it's something that's manageable.  Hey!  You are stand up riding?  WTG, Snowy.  Go easy.  Am wondering whether you got a chance to pick up a foam roller.  I love mine and roll daily.  This might help your PFS if you concentrate on ironing out your ITB and gluts (esp. the medias where angry triggerpoints gather) regularly.  I stretch regularly but still can't believe how tight I am once I get on the roller.  I was a bit irked that I paid $40 for the thing but it's proved to be a good investment.  Be sure to get the firmest you can.  If you shop on Amazon, you can get a a nice firm one for alot less than $40. and all those kitties!  You and Jen are angels (and perhaps a bit nuts?)!!  Five baby kitties?  Wow.  I'm superduper impressed.  So glad that you were able to keep these guys and gals out of the shelter.  They will do so much better with so much attention and love.  I loved the story about how Laya came to wake you guys up because Volkl was crying.  So sweet. :) :) :)

My guess is that you named brainer, Sprocket and Kismet.  Let me know what I win if I'm right!

Take care and hope that your knees are behaving. ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 13, 2010, 04:03:48 AM
Nick - I definitely recommend the Scandinavian baths! Wish I had them closer to treat my knee every week. I'm sure I'd be making much better progress!

Tez - Fingers crossed, but Laya has responded really well to the kittens so far. She hissed a bit when she first smelled them, but then they came running to the front of their cage and it was almost like she shrugged and went "Oh, they're just babies." She seems quite relaxed around them and was even checking up on the sad little kitten when it was crying during their first night here. We're hopeful that a successful integration will be possible this time around...

Robin - I've been meaning to get a roller; Amazon is a great idea. I'm not actually allowed to stand up on the pedals on the bike yet, but I have been cleared for serious climbing as long as I stay in the saddle. It's nice to be able to tackle some proper hills again. :D

Kitten names: Jen named Sprocket, Kismet and Kaia. I named Snowy and Volkl. The clue is that Volkl is a brand of ski (pronounced "vocal," so it really suits this noisy little kitten). We're not 100% fixed on the names as the kittens' personalities are still emerging (they're so little that they're still figuring out for themselves who they are) but it's nice to have names rather than descriptions for them.

Day 93

I resumed my grim battle with the treadmill today. 5 minutes in the gym at lunchtime. It didn't make things feel appreciably worse, but it didn't make them feel any better. My PT is really keen that I continue attempting to run, but just keep it short and add time very gradually. I don't think I will ever enjoy running (and nor will my knees) but it's important to show that Frank is up to its demands. In spite of the running trauma, going down stairs felt really easy today. I didn't have my cellphone handy to measure, but flex was also looking good - when I pulled both knees back in a heel slide there were only a couple of inches between the toes on the good leg and the bad.

Inspired by Cosmic, I checked out the size and shape of my remaining numb patch. It's diamond shaped and about the size of two decks of cards.

I am finding this stage of rehab hugely tedious, since the only real addition in about six weeks is an activity I don't enjoy. I also find that my general knee mood is still very variable - some days I can see the distance I've come and it feels like normal will be possible again in the future, but other days all I can see is the distance still to go and it feels like I'll never have a normal leg again. Patience, patience...

On the way home I stopped to pick up a parcel at the post office. I was delighted to find it contained a selection of delicious looking lava lamps. I am currently sampling one called Waggle Dance, and pronounce it excellent. Thank you, Pete!  ;D

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on October 13, 2010, 01:18:14 PM
I'm glad to hear it finally arrived ;D Was starting to wonder if customs had got their grubby mits on it, I'm pretty sure I posted that in August :/ I've forgotten what I actually sent you now.

I know I haven't been posting much but I have been lurking and trying to keep up with everyones progress, I've had very little time on my hands of late. I probably won't be in work tomorrow (I too have contracted a nasty cold) so I shall use that time to post and catch up properly.

Til then, enjoy the lava lamps :D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Longwalker on October 13, 2010, 05:21:06 PM
Snowy, I'm surprised your PT wants you to run on the treadmill when your knee is still upset from the last time.  Well, if it feels bad again, you always have the option to stop running until Frank gets happier.  Sometimes you are the only one who can make the right choice based on how your knee feels. 

I'm glad your older cat is tolerating the babies! 

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 13, 2010, 10:04:20 PM
Pete - it was an awesome surprise! Definitely a big thumbs up on both the Waggle Dance and the wheat beer that we sampled last night. I believe we have two different kinds of Innis and Gunn and a Czech Pilsner still to come.

Alice - unfortunately it's a rather complicated situation with regard to the running, which is why the PT's advice might seem odd. The discomfort I'm experiencing isn't the ACL, it's aggravation of my PFS. This is a chronic underlying condition, and for me successful long-term control of it is actually more dependent on my building up strong muscles around the knee than on resting. If I rest the pain would subside when I was doing nothing, but it would respond exactly the same way the next time I got back on the treadmill. If I can keep the aggravating activity to a point where the pain is tolerable, eventually the muscles will strengthen up and the pain will undergo a longer term improvement. This is what I mean by a very delicate balancing act! It's going to be tough managing the PFS alongside my ACL rehab as it progresses, especially as the new tasks get tougher.

Day 94

Bizarrely (whispers so as not to jinx) Frank feels great today. No stiffness, no soreness, no limp, flex to 140, comfy going down stairs and positively bouncy going up. ?!?! Definitely not complaining, but awfully confused.

Since he's feeling so good I just put him through a really punishing lunchtime gym session, so we'll see what happens next...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on October 14, 2010, 01:30:56 PM
Snowy I will also whisper but I hope frank continues to feel good, its a great feeling when you start to feel  normal again, so I hope the bouncy feeling with stairs is just the start of feeling bouncy doing everything. I feel I am at the stage now when I spend less and less time thinking about my knee and more time doing everything I would normaly do, and its such a good feeling that I hope you experience it soon.
Take care Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on October 14, 2010, 05:58:24 PM
Hi Snowy,

My physio also told me to run if I can and even if its just on the treadmill its better then nothing but still cannot run on a normal surface as the bottom of my right knee starts to hurt. But I told my physio that my knee swells up more after using the treadmill so told me to stop and go swimming instead. I still use the treadmill at a slow pace as its something I enjoy doing and wont let my knee stop me from using the treadmill.

Glad Frank was ok yesterday and reached 140 and can use the stairs ok and are enjoying your work out at the gym. Do not push Frank too hard even if he feeks ok.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: impishgrin on October 14, 2010, 07:26:49 PM
Ahhhhhh snowy, I do love your attitude "my knee feels fine, I must push it further to see if it will hurt" it's almost like you miss the discomfort ;) I'm glad Frank is behaving himself, having looked at the pics of your time at the Turkey sale and the hot tub etc I'm not surprised, that sort of treatment is bound to be beneficial :D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on October 14, 2010, 10:48:39 PM
Hi Snowy!

Sorry to hear that the PFS has returned and is being a pain with the ACL rehab, I suppose the difficulty now will be managing the needs of that and the ACL rehab, how annoying. No doubt you will be back to skiing as soon as possible despite the setback. Hopefully you wont get too many setbacks as a result of the PFS and Frank stays happy and remains grateful for the trip which sounds wonderful  :)

Six cats!!!!!!  :o But they sound adorable!! Pictures please!!! Great to hear that Laya is liking the company too, it is so great you and J giving them a home, do you think you will keep any of them? I am not sure how it works.

I get to start physio tomorrow at last, and am currently panicking about finding my way around the hospital as it is huge, and I don't usually go there for physio and it is hidden somewhere deep within. May have to add in an hour or so to my schedule just to find the place  ;D I also got a referral today from my GP to see a different surgeon, and am relieved everything seems to be getting sorted!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 17, 2010, 02:41:22 AM
Full update and replies pending - our social life has suddenly spiralled out of control, and the kittens are filling what free time we have.

However just wanted to share the news that yesterday I cycled 70k in 3:15 - average speed 21 km/h. Very proud of Frank. He felt pretty sore the last 10k or so, but no ill effects today apart from a little stiffness. I'm sure it did the muscles around the knee wonders, and it helped me feel like I'm that much closer to being back in the game. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on October 18, 2010, 06:08:05 PM
Snowy well done on the bike ride 70k is a fair distance for anyone never mind someon with a fairley new acl...but i spose its only to be expected from super woman Kay  so glad that your feeling as if your getting back to your usually self and activities, it feels so good to think you can start getting back to your everyday stuff without thinking about Frank all the time, long may it continue..
Take care Tez

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 19, 2010, 05:17:51 AM
Nick - enjoy your trip to Poland!

Pete - am missing the hot tub badly! And yes, you're pretty much spot on about my approach - if Frank doesn't hurt, I'm delighted and immediately push him twice as hard to see if he can do that without hurting.

Vicky - we're hoping to keep two of the kittens. :) We've been integrating them with Laya and as long as they're respectful and don't jump all over her, she's handling them really well. They're such sweet little things - bundles of little black fuzz. :) How did your PT go? And how come you're going to be seeing a new surgeon now? Hope the knee is feeling good and the graft is solid.

Tez - I still miss my 100k+ rides. ;) I don't think I'm at the point of doing things without thinking about the knee yet; I'm very aware of it all the time, especially when doing something like the bike ride where I'm pushing it further than before. I'm definitely feeling more normal in my every day movements, though. Hopefully the day will come...

Day 99

The good news: ran for 10 minutes on the treadmill and the knee didn't explode. Also, I've gone back to wearing heels at work.

The bad news: I went to see the doctor tonight about some persistent cold symptoms and on-and-off fevers that started about five weeks ago when I had the two skin infections, and she thinks I have MRSA. :o I'm praying it's just a regular staph infection, but the fact that it seems to have survived two courses of strong antibiotics isn't promising. DAMMIT!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 20, 2010, 02:58:36 AM
I went to see my own doctor this morning, as I wasn't very happy with the minimal information the walk-in clinic gave me last night. My doc thinks it's probably not MRSA, but a severe staph infection that almost certainly started with the secondary infection that happened after my incision infected five weeks ago. That does explain why I've been feeling so crappy for the last month; I thought I was just exhausted from going back to work!

Day 100

100 days since surgery? Really? I can't decide whether it feels like it just happened yesterday, or in another lifetime. This seems like a good time for a general overview of where things are for me.

Overall, I feel like things are going pretty well at the moment. I'm really happy with the progression in muscle strength; there's only a 10 pound difference now in the maximum weight I can leg press with the good leg and the bad leg, and the total weight and reps are close to my pre-surgery level. Interestingly, strength is back before bulk - I'm still missing about 1.5cm of calf and quad muscle. My PT said this would happen, but it seems a bit odd. My muscle response is still slow; when I clench both quads while standing and then release, the good leg springs back instantly while there's a very slight lag on the bad side.

Flex is finally making progress, probably due to the fact that I've been diligently following a daily forced flexion program for about two weeks. Today I was able to get the bad leg to within 5 degrees of the good leg in a heel slide. The stiffness is more obvious when I try and pull my heel to my butt; there's still about a six inch gap. Recent progress does make me more confident that I will get there in the end, even if it does take six months (my PT's prediction).

I still don't really enjoy running, but I'm finding there's a certain satisfaction in doing it because it's a big milestone for the knee and an important step toward recovery. It's making the knee achy and a bit stiff afterwards, but I think the impact is helping strengthen the joint and I can feel it working some long unused muscles around the knee. I'm managing 10 minute stints on consecutive days now, so it's coming along. The PFS is still present but the really sharp, spiky feeling has settled as the knee adjusts to the new activity.

Two things I'm pleased about are that I haven't skipped a single lunchtime gym session since I came back to work six weeks ago, and I haven't taken the car in once. I'm managing to keep the rehab at a solid two hours a day on weekdays - an hour on the bike, an hour of weights and strength exercises in the gym - and then going for longer bike rides and/or swims on the weekend. I'm finding this routine fairly easy to maintain, and it seems to be enough to keep making steady forward progress. There are still bad days, of course, but overall things seem to be going in the right direction.

100 days since surgery. 133 days until I can ski again.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on October 20, 2010, 06:30:02 PM
Hey Snowy,

Sorry to hear that the infection is still being a pain, hopefully your GP can do something to finally get that sorted out.

However, everything else sounds great! Glad you are making lots of progress with the flex again and you are continuing with the running, you are very motivated working so much and still doing lots and lots of rehab during the day, I always found it hard and unbelievably tiring to have  a full day and then having to do knee exercises

Your kittens are adorable!!!! You and J are lucky to have such little cuties! But they are more lucky to have you two looking after them, hope you get to keep a couple!!

Love that you are counting down the days until you can ski again, it'll be no time  ;)

I should really update my diary, so much has happened, was going to wait until something more positive happened, but I am feeling happier about everything now with the referral and an awesome physio so shall update soon. Graft pretty much hasn't been very good since the cast came off, it tests badly and I have had no relief from this surgery and my surgeon is being very unhelpful now, so it was time (even though I feel bad!!)

Also- 100k+ bike rides?!?!?!  :o

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kneesgood on October 20, 2010, 09:08:26 PM
Hi Snowy,
Sounds like everything is moving along ok now.
Just a question, how come you say you have still 133 days to go until you can ski? Is that coming from your OS or PT? As you say you are running, which is a high impact sport.
I skied on my right knee after 4 1/2 months with OS approval. With mine I had menicus repair and a hamstring graft.
When I did start skiing I spent the whole Australian season skiing groomed runs then a month on the groomed in the states. Then after that was full on off the groomed and it was good.
Keep up the PT and you will be strong to ski.
PS. I trust my right knee a lot more than my left and that was before I did my left.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on October 21, 2010, 01:18:44 AM
Hey Snowy Gal,

Wow, Snowy.  70K and in damn good time.  Way to go!!! You've worked hard for this and are reaping the benefits. :) :) :) :)

Sorry to hear about the infection.  Can't believe you managed the ride and all the other activities you've been doing with that staph infection!!  Only you, my friend.  :D  Hope it gets better soon and that you feel better soon.  Good job with all those darling kitties.  You will surely go straight to heaven for this.  Keep the pics coming.  I show them off like they are my own. :D  XX

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 21, 2010, 05:45:15 AM
Marty: Good to hear that your right knee came out of its recon feeling so good - that's very reassuring!

My OS doesn't release to full activity until 8 months post surgery. When I asked for the rationale on the timeline, he explained that although the graft regains strength earlier on in the rehab process, it takes that long for new bone to grow in around the screws in the bone tunnel. Prior to that, there's a risk with cutting and pivoting activities that if you put too much pressure on the graft you'll just rip it away from the fixation. The knee is able to sustain impact as soon as the joint and muscles around it are strong enough, but impact doesn't put the graft under the kind of stress that cutting, pivoting, and lateral pressure does. Much though I wish I could ski sooner, I trust my OS and I'd rather be patient and be certain the graft is secure when I do take to the slopes again. I'll just have to ski like crazy in March and April to make up for lost time. :)

Vicky: Oh, wow. That's awful news about the graft, especially after the hard work you've put in. I'll head over to your diary and read the full update, but I'm so sorry that you may be facing more surgery. I think you're definitely doing the right thing going to another surgeon, and I just hope that he has some good news for you.

I used to do 100k+ rides once a week before the whole ACL thing happened. I miss them...

Robin: I was especially pleased about the average speed - I've been very slow since I got back on my bike, but it's starting to pick up a little now. :) I have to admit that the infection explains a lot - I have not had my usual zip for the last little while - thankfully the new meds seem to be working and I hope to be back to full speed soon.

The kittens are little Internet superstars - I'm amazed by how many people in how many different countries are following their exploits! Laya is doing really well with them, and I think we're definitely going to be able to keep two. We're just dreading having to decide who stays and who gets adopted out.

Day 101

Ran for 15 minutes today! Knee did not explode. I figure now I can run away from bears again, provided they don't chase me for more than 15 minutes.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kneesgood on October 21, 2010, 08:45:29 AM
Hi Snowy,
Thanks, thats a good explaination of the time line.
When you go skiing in March and April, go out nice early while it's firm and finish up as it starts to get too slushly.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on October 21, 2010, 05:44:32 PM
Hi Snowy,

I know you will listen to what your OS has suggested and will be able to go for a ski soon but not at the start of the season. The last thing you want to do is ruin the surgery you OS has done and once the bone regrown round the screws can ski as much as you like if knee not too painful.

Glad you may be able to keep 2 kittens that Laya does not mind be around with, my cat Ellie was purring loudly when I got back this afternoon while holding her in my arms.

Nick  :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on October 21, 2010, 09:01:15 PM
Snowy good for you running without your knee going into melt down is deffo a good sign, it would apear Frank is on his best behavior [I hope I aint jinking him by saying this] cos after all the work you've put into your rehab you deserve to be back on the slopes as soon as your allowed.
Good news on the kittens it sounds like Laya is going to have some young companions to keep her happy.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 28, 2010, 08:17:04 AM
Ran for 20 minutes on the treadmill today. Knee did not explode.

We also have two new members of the family as of about 6pm tonight. We signed adoption papers and Freya and Smoky now officially belong to us. :)

The three that we can't keep (to our sorrow; if we had more room we would have loved to keep all five) are now on the Orphan Kitten website; you can check out their bios and pics if you're interested:

Today the year's first snow flew on the North Shore mountains. It made me very conscious that I'm still limping away on the ground.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on October 28, 2010, 12:28:20 PM
I am really not even a "cat person" but those babies are toooo much! cute cute cute.

Good job on the non-exploding knee. I know treadmill runs are no consolation for missing out on snow, but you will be there soon. I bet a fully-rehabbed knee will be so fun to ski on (way better than a 75% rehabbed one that was prematurely rushed on to the slopes!)  ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on October 28, 2010, 04:18:16 PM

Hi Snowy

Great work on the treadmill,and a big congratulations to you and Jen on the new additions to your family.

I have been following the photos and videos on facebook everyday,those kittens are so fortunate to have had such a loving home to start their lives in.

They all look so happy and content :>)

Hope the other 3 find such loving homes too.


Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on October 28, 2010, 05:44:12 PM
Hi Snowy,

Great news about the new family members and sure Laya will soon get use to them and look lovely and are going to a lovely home and foster mother. They look really cute and must be so pleased to have found them and sure they will bring you years of joy. Good for you doing 20 minutes on the treadmill, I also do 20 minutes, but only at 4mph as any higher makes my right knee swell up more.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 29, 2010, 07:32:52 AM
Proper update tomorrow, but I just had to share this story with you guys.

Today at work we had our annual staff conference, which included a Technology Petting Zoo - basically an opportunity for people to come play with new gadgets. I took my iPad along, and it got lots of attention. One of the first people to pick it up was exploring various apps and started looking at the photos, which mostly date from my post-surgery period. She flipped past two lovely pics of snowy mountains, then with the third pic treated herself and the half-dozen people looking over her shoulder to a closeup shot of Frankenknee's staples five days after surgery.

Needless to say a few of them left the table rather hurriedly, and looking slightly green around the gills...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on October 29, 2010, 11:24:49 AM
hahahaha- AMAZING

way to give them an orthopedic education! I bet Frank looks quite photogenic on a large iPad screen :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on October 29, 2010, 11:25:35 AM
 ;D hahahaha, i bet not so many people were keen to look at your iPad after that!! I also wanted to say congrats on the new kitties, unlike kris i really am a huge cat person, and they are ADORABLE. i really was tempted to adopt one myself, before realising that you lived in Canada, which might have made the process a bit trickier ;)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 29, 2010, 06:45:33 PM
Day 112

Oh my. Went to PT today and apparently I am developing an overuse injury of my left IT band - I have early stage runner's knee. My PT, who is normally pretty unflappable, was very impressed; he said that at less than four months post-surgery, it's quite unusual to be able to do the level of exercise required to cause overuse injuries. He rewarded me for this with the most thorough needling I've ever received - my leg and back looked like a pincushion.

Off to buy a foam roller now...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on October 30, 2010, 11:50:22 AM
Hi Snowy,

Having runners knee just shows how much physio you have been doing since your surgery and bet your physio does not see this very often in the patients he sees who are less then 4 months post op. Glad you enjoyed the annual staff conference.

Enjoy the weekend.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on October 30, 2010, 12:31:26 PM
Only you, Snowy!  Yes...foam roll away!  I love mine and it only takes about ten minutes to work your quads, ITB and glutes.  What's this needling thing your PT did?  I don't believe I've ever heard you mention it before.

Hey, congrats on your newest additions to the family!  They are so freaking cute!!!

Have a good weekend and stop trying to mess your knee up again, ok? ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on October 31, 2010, 01:57:48 AM
Good god almighty, foam rollers are torture devices! How can something so innocuous looking possibly hurt so much?!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on November 01, 2010, 01:14:22 AM
Congratulations on running for 20 mins, and also getting an over-use injury.  ;)

I don't think Frankenknee was all that frightening. You should have shown them some of the other photos on the "we are knee geeks" website - very Halloween  ;D

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on November 01, 2010, 10:04:32 AM
Hi Snowy,

Told you the foam roller is no joke! I think that foam rollers go to the same school as Big Brad.  :) Keep it up and you WILL get relief though. Muttering under your breath helps too, in my unscientific opinion!

Wanted to share because I just came across these in Whole Living magazine over the weekend- they are supposed to do the same as a roller with more targeted accuracy (which I bet means they hurt even more but are probably slightly more effective even) and only $10. Am considering a pair since I haven't bought my own roller yet.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on November 02, 2010, 05:32:43 PM
Hi Snowy,

The foam rollers sound a bit dodgy and never come across them but sure they do their job. Just as well I reduced my time on KG at the Library from 5 days a week to 3 days a week as none of my regular KG members no longer post as often on their post op diarys as they use to. I am fine about it, as I go swimming instead of the Library, which is better for my knee and health.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Longwalker on November 02, 2010, 11:34:15 PM
Snowy, congrats on the new feline family additions.  Wish I could have more cats too, but six is really too many, and all ours are young cats.  We'll probably never be able to move when we retire.

I hope the PT gave you a running program that will circumvent the overuse injury - i.e. less running!  Foam rollers are cruel treatment for something that already hurts.

Almost forgot to mention to Nick - swimming is a much bettr choice than more computer time!  My knee really loves it too.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 03, 2010, 02:44:13 AM
Hey gang!

Nick, you're right - I haven't been posting as much these days. The knee's progress is slow enough now that there are big chunks of time when really there's nothing to report, or at least nothing beyond "minor grumbling" or "Frank had a good day." My physiotherapist warned me that rehab was only going to get more boring, and he had a good point!

I'm glad to hear that you're using the extra time to swim rather than go to the library. Not that I have anything against libraries given that I spend 35 hours a week in one, but Alice is right about swimming being better for knees than computer time!

Kris - that's funny, my PT suggested using a tennis ball to really target the trigger spots. If you have any tennis balls lying around you may be able to save yourself $10. :) Between that and the foam roller, I'm swearing a lot these days. My IT band still feels like rolling on sharp, heated knives; my quads are tight as anything just above the knees; and my left hamstring has a knot the size of Greater London in it where the tendons were cut out. The kittens can't figure out why I spend so much time on the floor making anguished noises.

Alice - I would love to run less, but the PT says keep it up unless things take a significant turn for the worse. If that happens he'll tape my knee, but for now the priority is trying to keep going with the rehab program without letting either the IT band syndrome or the existing PFS get too out of hand. He has suggested going up to the UBC running track so that I can run on a softer surface, so I might try that over the weekend. I really wasn't a fan of running before, and I'm not loving it any more thanks to this experience!

The kitties are wonderful; I so wish we could have kept all of them, but it would have been too much for Laya. At 20 she's earned the right to some peace and quiet, even though being on her own was clearly not good for her either. I think two is a really good compromise, as they'll each have someone with matching energy to play with when Laya has had enough of them. She's actually doing wonderfully with the kittens; they're allowed to sleep with her now, and she doesn't mind them running around as long as she has a good perch from which to watch them.

Roo - if only you could adopt one of the kittens! Little Kismet has found a new home and will be leaving Friday; I'm so sad, but glad that he has a really awesome family to go to. He's currently sleeping on my lap, purring away like a little motorbike.

Deepak - librarians apparently don't have the greatest tolerance for post-surgical pics. I actually thought Frank's staples were pretty neat and tidy. ;)

Day 116 (past 16 weeks on Friday!)

I'm struggling a bit with the IT band syndrome, which is causing some significant discomfort - my lateral condyle feels as though someone has taken a steak hammer to it. In spite of the PT's instruction I'm scaling back the running a bit in favour of swimming for a few days; it's a good opportunity as I'm off work this week, so I can actually make it to the pool every day. I figure I'll pick up the running again on the weekend, but probably not push my current speed/time much until things settle down. I trust my PT's advice as he hasn't steered me wrong yet, but I also feel like I should give the immediate discomfort a few days to settle.

Swam 4k this morning; now that I'm back to full strength in the pool, I can really feel the flutter kick working that weakened hamstring. Grow, little hamstring, grow!

The foam rolling is torturous horrible torture. Does anyone know how long it should take for the band to stretch out and get some relief? Currently it seems to be getting worse rather than better, although that may be partly because I'm getting better at finding the trigger points. I'm diligently rolling away at least three times a day, but my patellar still seems to be way off kilter.

Am thinking of trying my first group bike ride on Sunday. The bike club I used to ride with has a 70k ride around Vancouver's west side planned; if I do run into difficulties trying to keep up with the group, I won't be too far from home. I've cycled up to 70k by myself, but that was self-paced. However I've been working on hills and climbing speed and can now comfortably lap the UBC hill five times (just over 2k a lap of steep climbing) so I think I'm ready to try out a group ride.

Psychologically, this is a strange point. 16 weeks post-surgery, and getting close to the rehab halfway mark. Some days I feel really happy with how well the knee is doing; some days I can't believe that it's still so generally stiff and achy. I've been trying to put a value on how it feels right now (50% of normal? 60%?) but the problem is that I don't really remember how normal felt, so I can't quantify it accurately. I know it's a lot better than it was, but I also know that it has a long way to go.

Ski season is three weeks away. I hope to handle opening day with dignity, but it's quite likely that I will be found crying in a corner somewhere.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on November 03, 2010, 06:05:18 AM

Hi Snowy,

Sorry rehab is not progressing as fast as you would like it too,and the ITB is still painful.

I found within a week of using my roller i could roll pain free,i did a few self massage sessions on it as well in that time,it was almost unbearable initially and not able to bear full weight but now take full body weight and pain free.

I have 1 of the trigger point rollers which is not smooth but has different areas which are textured and simulate using fingers on trigger points.i have had trigger point massage before and it is agony.

With regards to the running, at my physios advice i did all mine on soft grass at the oval.

Still loving the daily kitty photos on facebook,you should start their own facebook page :>)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 03, 2010, 06:19:10 AM
Ah, that's good to hear - I'm only a few days into the foam rolling, so I probably need to give it more time.  I had trigger point massage after a bad rotator cuff injury five years ago, and I do remember that it was agonizing but brought dramatic relief. I thought about getting one of the trigger point rollers, but the guy at the store said it's best to get used to the regular roller first. (He must have sensed that I'm a foam rolling wimp.) I think I may invest in it once I've gotten a little more sanguine about the whole process, though.

I've only been running on a treadmill up to now, which is a little less demanding on the knees than running outdoors. My PT was quite concerned that I make sure I only run on a giving surface when I move to outdoor running, rather than pounding concrete too much.

The kittens are so wonderful. I don't want to give any of them up!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on November 03, 2010, 10:55:04 AM
Heya Snowy.

I never thought of the tennis balls, but you're right, it would be the same thing, huh? I do probably have a bunch, for a while my in-laws kept buying them for my dog, despite the fact that she's never had any interest whatsoever.

Sounds like you should be getting some relief from the rolling soon. I'm glad that Snowy the super-athlete is also not a fan of running, that makes me feel so much better! To me it's so pointless and really unpleasant compared to other forms of exercise, but I thought that was because I'm just a wimp (probably partially true!)

Good job staying on track with the rehab. You will be out on the slopes before you know it- but you're totally allowed a pity party on opening day!

squeeze those darn cute kitties for me  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on November 03, 2010, 07:45:45 PM
Snowy those foam rollers sound painfull but with any luck it should improve the symptoms you have been having, it sounds like a good idea to reduce the runing for a bit to see if things improve and I know you much prefer swimming anyway so that should help you feel a bit better anyway, is running something you really have to do during your rehab, you have said you dont enjoy it and it seems to cause  some problems with your knee so just wondered if there was something else you could do that would engage the same muscles without all that running.
As for those cute kittens they are so lovely I think it will be so hard for you and Jen when the time comes for the ones you aren't keeping to go to their new homes, just wish I stayed closer to you cos I would love to adopt one though not sure how Misty would take to it ::)
Take care Tez     
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 04, 2010, 04:16:30 AM
Kris - I find running intensely boring compared to other forms of exercise, and for the past six or seven years it's also caused me such significant knee discomfort (it's a big PFS trigger) that I basically avoid it whenever possible. I'd so much rather be on my bike if I'm going to be out and about exercising - it's not as uncomfortable and going faster means you see so much more.

Tez - sadly I do have to run as part of my rehab. For return to sports the rehab is structured and you have to show that the joint is strong and stable enough to manage one part of the program before moving on to the next. The running program is a fairly significant component of the second half of rehab, leading into plyometrics and eventually cutting and pivoting. I won't be running regularly once I'm done with rehab, however. :)

I'd love to see Misty with a kitten! We're going to bring our neighbour's dog over for a visit in a week or so - we'd like the kittens to be comfortable around dogs. Guinness is the perfect pup for the job as he grew up with a cat and is very good with them.

Day 117

Fantabulous day today! Gordon Campbell, the loathed and reviled Premier of BC, finally fell on his own sword and resigned. Although we won't be completely out of the woods until the BC Liberals (don't be misled by the name; our provincial liberals are as right-wing as they come) are completely ousted from power, this news is the equivalent of the first buds of spring appearing in Narnia after the White Witch's endless winter. It feels like a shadow has lifted and the whole weary province is blinking at the unaccustomed light.

I celebrated by going out for a long bike ride in the beautiful fall sunshine. For the first time since surgery, I took the bike over the Lions Gate to the hills of North Van. I cycled to Horseshoe Bay and back via Marine Drive, a leg-aching 60k of continual elevation change. It wasn't the longest ride that I've done, but was by far the hardest. The knee held up well until the final 10k, when the pesky IT band tightened up and started to protest quite noisily. However I made it home, which made me very happy. 3hrs 20 minutes, average speed 18k/h - not bad considering that included some monster hills.

Of course this is the same ride that barely stretched my legs on a Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks before surgery, but I can't get too hung up on that at the moment. The fact that I was able to complete the ride was a huge achievement. Getting closer to the all-day rides with the bike club.

Okay, off to do some foam rolling (given the way the IT band felt at the end of the ride, I don't think this will be fun) and then crack a bottle of something to toast Gordo's political demise.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 08, 2010, 12:36:28 AM
Day 121

Braved my first group ride today. It went really well - the knee held up great and I was able to keep pace with the group, although I'm now firmly in the middle of the pack rather than up at the front. The average speed in the morning was 25km/h, which is a bit faster than the 20k I've been averaging on solo rides.

Most of the riders bailed after lunch, so my friend J and I went off on a leisurely extended ride around Stanley Park for the afternoon. With the fall colours in full blaze, it was incredibly beautiful. Total riding time was 3:45, and total distance 71k - so my longest ride so far (just - previous best was 70k.) That said it was a much easier ride than Wednesday's hilly extravaganza, even though that route was 10k shorter.

The knee feels fine now, which is a relief as it has actually felt like complete junk this week. Hopefully this means that the IT band is finally starting to respond to its hours of daily foam rollering. I'm really happy that I can start riding with the bike club again; I love spending all day out on the bike, and the guided rides open a lot of new territory for me to explore on my own rides.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on November 08, 2010, 01:31:37 PM

Hi Snowy

Well done on the group rides,i have to get my fitness level up before i can get back to my group rides.

Our friday morning ride before work at 5.50am is a 40km river loop,with an av speed of about 28 to 30km/hr.

Doing another 6am ride with my friend tomorrow,and now i can play tennis 3 times a week my fitness levels should improve faster.

My son is a keen cyclist as well and is goi g to get his biked sent over from melbourne so we can both ride together.

Keep up the good work on the bike.

Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on November 09, 2010, 05:30:22 PM
Hi Snowy,

I have gone back to using the PC at the Library rather then going for a swim, the reason being that the traffic on the way back is heavy and have to leave straight afterwork to miss the heavy traffic getting there as the area the pool is in get congested with traffic. My Local one is under recontruction and wont open till December 2011. Also do not really like swimming and not the best swimmer and do not enjoy going so go once a week on Wednesdays for 40 minutes as the Library is closed all day on a Wednesday. I just spend longer at the gym instead and use the leg press rather then swimming.

Shame about your IT band syndrome but your knee seems to be doing ok and always nice to have a week away from work. You enjoy swimming and can swim well while I am not the best of swimmers and more of a gym person and once a week at the pool enough for me. You done well to swim 4k and I have to stop for a break after swimming 2 lengths. Be nice to go for a bike on Sunday if you feel up to it and  hope Frank can cope with it ok. 16 weeks post op and I will be one year post op next week Tuesday on November 16th and wish I could say surgery has benefited my right knee.

Glad you managed to go for a group bike ride yesterday and could keep up with the others and done really well to cylce 71k in 3:45. The tree colours are fantastic this year in the UK and sure its the same in Canada. Only 3 more weeks till my appointment at the Pain Clinic and hope they can work out what it could be, I think it may be AF.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: mightyjack on November 09, 2010, 10:01:33 PM
Hey Snowy,

Wow nice job with your group ride.  You’re an inspiration!  I’ve been seriously considering making the jump from running to biking.  It’s much better for the health of the knees.  Any suggestions on a good quality bike?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 10, 2010, 01:48:32 AM
Jack: I have a preference for Rocky Mountain bikes ( but Trek and Norco are both excellent options for good quality bikes that won't break the bank quite as badly as something like Cannondale or Cervelo. Are you thinking a road bike, downhill, urban or hybrid?

Nick: the fall colours are just gorgeous here too. Sorry to hear that the swimming isn't fun; sounds like you're better off focusing on the gym for now, although swimming is great as it doesn't put the knee under any stress.

Shelli: I'm impressed that you get up at 6am to ride! I often think about going for rides before work in the summer, but in practice I'm just not enough of a morning person to drag myself out of bed that early. That's a good average speed, too! I'm still slower than I used to be, but my endurance seems to be coming back quickly which is great.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 10, 2010, 01:54:31 AM
Day 123: 4 months post-surgery, halfway through rehab

I was hoping to celebrate my halfway mark with some good news (that the IT band problems finally seem to be easing a little), but unfortunately that's been eclipsed by some very bad news.

The symptoms of the infections that I had a few weeks ago resurfaced, so I stopped at the doctor on my way home. And it turns out that I do have MRSA.

Currently my doc is trying an intense round of the sulfa-based medication that I took last time, as that did seem to cause the infection to subside. If that doesn't work, the only treatment route left is intravenous vancomycin.

I am not thrilled about this.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Bigman78 on November 10, 2010, 02:30:00 AM
Snowy - as mentioned in the other thread I am really sorry to hear this. Hang in there, keep positive and hopefully all will be ok.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: mightyjack on November 10, 2010, 04:06:53 AM
Hi Snowy,

I am sorry to hear about the MRSA.  I hope you get past this soon!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on November 10, 2010, 04:44:14 AM

I'm so sorry to hear that you are still having problems with infection and that it is MRSA. It's good that you were on top of it and knew to seek help right away when you saw it coming back.

I really hope that this next round of antibiotics wipes it out for good.


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on November 10, 2010, 06:29:12 AM

Hi Snowy
sorry about the nasty MRSA infection,hope the current treatment gets on top of it,its probably draining your energy so hopefully you will be spinning up the hills on your bike once its under control.

It sucks that you have yet another obstacle to overcome,but we are all thinking of you and lots of positive thoughts are coming your way.

Shelli :>)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on November 10, 2010, 08:10:57 AM
Snowy so sorry about the MRSA it seems to be one thing after the other with your post op recovery but with any luck the meds your on now will be enough to catch and cure the infection before it gets any worse. Its time to start looking after yourself and taking it a wee bit easier to let your body recover from this PLEASE ::)
Take care and feel better soon Tez xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on November 10, 2010, 11:06:04 AM
Snowy, this is such a bummer. 2010 has really been a cursed year for some of us and I am starting to think that maybe it won't get better til it's over  :-\

I hope you won't need the IV meds, but mrsa is no joke. How are you feeling?

Despite this setback you are still owed many congrats on the halfway point of your rehab. Another damn mountain to climb (or bike over I suppose?)

hang in there soldier!  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on November 10, 2010, 05:42:32 PM
Sorry to hear that you've got an MRSA infection.

I hope you won't think I'm nagging you, but I agree with Tez that you need to let your body rest to fight the infection.

All the best & hope the infection clears soon !


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 11, 2010, 04:58:57 AM
Thanks, guys - really appreciate all the good wishes. I'm feeling a bit disheartened by the whole thing, though I guess at least now they've figured out what it is and can get on with treating it. I get to start my days now by shoving antibiotic cream up my nose with a Q-tip, which just isn't fun. And after sharing the good news with my manager this morning I learned that we actually have an OH&S policy on superbugs in the workplace. A hand sanitizer will be placed outside my office door so that anyone having a one-on-one meeting with me can decontaminate on their way out. Also I'm not allowed to use the workroom phones, or let anyone use my phone (see photo below).

Kris - I actually feel okay, just very run down and tired. The only other symptoms I have are a rash on my leg, irritated nostrils and random fevers.

Tez - You'll be pleased to hear I did take it easy today. I gave the gym a break, and just did an hour on the bike. I don't want to back off on the rehab too much, though - I still have a lot of muscle to rebuild. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on November 11, 2010, 05:54:08 PM
Hi Snowy,

So sorry you be diagnosed with MRSA and hope the treatments are successful for you and bet its the last thing you needed. Infections are treatable and can takes a while to recover from the ordeal. Sorry I could not post sooner you know yourself that Library's are closed all day on a Wednesday and dont have the internet at home.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 15, 2010, 02:29:21 AM
Update from the biohazard containment zone...

Day 128

I'm cautiously optimistic that the sulfa drug is starting to work on the MRSA. I still feel pretty run down, but the worst of the symptoms are definitely easing - my nose feels less irritated and the rash on my leg has mostly gone. Am crossing my fingers that I won't need the IV treatment.

Went out on my second group ride today. The weather was dreary and damp, but we cycled all the way along River Road and along the Fraser to Steveston, then back to Vancouver and home via UBC and the westside beaches. Total distance 82k in 4:02 - longest and furthest ride since surgery! The knee was actually kind of cranky when I set out (I think due to the dampness) so I was especially pleased to have completed the ride.

The swelling in my bad knee is 99% gone; apart from just a touch over the portals, it now matches the other knee again. Wish I could say the same for my calf and quad muscles, which are still looking very puny even though they're feeling much stronger. New exercises added into the rehab regime include hopping and low-weight, high-rep leg extensions. I had a horrible week or so after the IT band injury, but the last few days things have been feeling good.

It's been dumping snow in the mountains and Whistler is opening on Friday, a week early. This is going to make me very, very sad.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: LARSknee on November 15, 2010, 02:44:10 AM

Hi Snowy

Well done on the big bike ride,I did a leisurely 35km with av of 22km/hr yesterday with a friend i havent ridden with since pre injury.she has suffered from chronic fatigue after multiple sickness this year and pushing herself too hard on the bike.

I have organized to ride at 6am tomorrow before playing tennis mid morning then off to pick up Kat and take her out for lunch.

Great to hear the MRSA symptoms are easing,how long do you stay on ABs ?

The last 2 weeks at physio the patient before me has been a lady who works as pharmacist in lge public hospital and works as ski instuctor in the east and i think she said whistler she has been teaching for years.
Apparently her previous physio was doing nothing for her recovery and seeing her from last week to this week she was so much better, I am so lucky to have such a great physio.
Did you ask your physio about rock tape ?
A lady at tennis yesterday who was using rock tape knows the rep who supplies it inPerth.


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Bigman78 on November 15, 2010, 05:05:08 AM
Good signs Snowy and I'm glad you're feeling better! I hope you avoid the IV treatment also....

Wow I'm impressed - 82km!! Fantastic effort! Great news about the swelling also, I still have a fair bit but it's much better than 2 weeks ago. So you get to do some hopping at this stage, excellent! I hope the rehab continues to go well and hopefully that nasty infection stays away for good this time!!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 15, 2010, 07:14:04 AM
Shelli - glad to hear that you're back into the regular riding too. I asked my PT about the rock tape, but at the moment he wants to see if we can fix the problem by loosening the IT band before we try taping. Taping addresses the symptom rather than the underlying cause, so while it would give me relief from the discomfort it wouldn't help me fix the tight IT band that's causing the patellar to maltrack. If all the foam rollering doesn't loosen the IT band, then he'll use taping to stop the injury getting worse while we figure out some other way to stretch it out. I think the foam roller is working, though - I have to be diligent with it, but it's not nearly as uncomfortable as it was at the start.

Bigman - me too! Keeping my fingers crossed. Tried my first few hops yesterday and they seemed fine - no problems afterwards. I also knelt down on both knees for the first time since surgery yesterday. Admittedly it was on a fairly soft surface, but it felt like a big milestone. I guess there are still a few, even at this stage of rehab. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on November 15, 2010, 07:47:16 AM
Hey Snowy thats great news about kneeling...............hi!

Been meaning to check in with you for ages and just dont seem to have touched the ground much since Uganada, which i am sure if you have seen the FB pics you know was awesome and everything else.  Another one on those 'Time of my life' moments thats lasted 16 days.  I am fortunate to have had a few of those.

So now its on to planning the next trip which is likley to be Zambia next year probably late June.  I have a meeting with a lady that we will be working with on the 26th Nove so will know more then.

Anyway back to knees as i could ramble on forever about those kids.

As you will have seen on FB i have now been dicharged from the hospital, which for the first time in 5 years means i have no current OS.  His words were that although he didnt need to see me again that did not give me licence to go and do whatever i wanted.  There are still issues with the knee and there probably always will be, but the fact that it is stable, does not cause exxcesive pain and i am now able to function menas that he can release me.  The random pain that i was experiencing before the MRI could have been one of 2 things and is likley to have been the first, or a combination of the 2. 

1     There is quite a lot of scar tissue on the 'inflamed' fat pad!
2     There are a couple of new osteophytes on the medial joint line

Having been inside this knee 5 times now it would not be useful to attempt to solve these problems by adding more scar tissue, and so we continue the way we are.  I can push swimming and can push rowing as neither irritates or disrupts the knee.  I can use the bike within my limitations but be wary about doing large distances on multiple days.  So this week, just for fun i will be swimming 4 miles........mad i know especially when 3 hurt the next day, but i am trying to see if i can do 5 before the festive season is here.  I have done 5 once before but i was about 19 and weighed considerably less than i do now.

Talking about weight it is getting annoying now but i have 2lbs to go to hit 2 stone and then we start the next goal and it is becoming very stubborn to get rid of.

As i left the OS office i text the physio and the first thing he said was that i didnt have the licence to do as i want just because i had been discharged. lol!!!!  I asked hime if he was sure he hadnt been communication with MR G.

So thats all my knee news for now.  I will try and check in a bit more often, but i do read whats going on with interest, particulary with you and Tez.  Oh and the best news is that i can ski...........carefully...........and continuing with a brace wont be a bad thing because it will keep me reminded to be careful, but as the OS is a skier himself he said just be careful and you should be fine.  If i was a new skier then he would have give me totally different advice.  So whether i can find the funds to go this year or not is the question.............i sure hope so its been 3 years!

More soon

Love Lisa
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on November 15, 2010, 04:20:06 PM
Hi Snowy,

The meds for the MRSA is going to make you feel run down and not yourself for a while until its under control and glad the symptoms are easing. Well done cycling 82k in 4:02 so soon after your surgery and are doing really well with your rehab. Good that the swelling has almost gone and will always get some swelling by the portal areas.

Lisa thats great news you have been discharged from the hospital after going there for the last 5 years, you must be really happy about it.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on November 15, 2010, 08:09:59 PM
Snowy well done on the bike ride ;D there goes super Kay again MRSA and all, you are indeed a remarkable person it just shows how strong you are and how determined you are to get your knee as good as new.
How are you finding hopping I decided I didnt hop before my op so I dont think I really need to start now, even though I did try a couple when my physio told me to start when I was about 5 weeks post op  :o I have bought myself a wobble board so now with my excersise bike, gym ball, theraband and wobble board I can do most of the excersises at home that I was doing at my rehab class, just need to motivate myself a bit more and all will be well, so if you have a little motivation to spare send some my way please.
Lisa great news that you have been discharged from your O.S and your doing so well with the weight loss tha last couple of punds are always the hardest to go, but with all the swimming you do I'm sure it will happen soon.
Take care all Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on November 15, 2010, 08:38:34 PM

Oh, no...MRSA?!  Glad that things seem to be under control anyway.  Sorry it's been so long since I've checked in with everyone; I've had some crazy weeks filled with way too much work in the past month.  So happy to read that you have been doing lots of cycling although I know you'd prefer to be skiing.  Soon enough, huh? 

Regarding your ITB, is your PT doing any work on your gluts to help loosen the band?  It's virtually impossible to help the ITB without first releasing the tensor fascia lata and the glut max.  Once these muscles are released, the band will soften up enough to do some myofascial work to finish the job.

Miss you and glad that you are doing better.

Robin XX
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: mightyjack on November 16, 2010, 03:26:15 AM
Hey there supergirl… I mean Snowy,

82k… MRSA and all!  Way to go. I’m glad to hear your feeling better. I don’t know how you do it. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 16, 2010, 05:23:58 AM
Lisa - it's too bad the knee isn't 100%, but really good that you no longer need the guidance and care of the OS. Sounds like you have a really good handle on what needs to be done to keep in shape without overdoing things. Will keep my fingers crossed that you can get a brace and get some turns in this season. It's a La Nina year here, so they're expecting bumper snow on the west coast. Also glad to hear you have another visit with the kids taking shape - even if it's not for a while, it's something to look forward to.

Clarkey - thank you! How's your knee feeling now? Have you been able to do any more treadmill running? Your appointment must be coming up soon - hopefully they can give you some more suggestions.

Tez - just as well you only did a couple of hops at that point! My leg held up to them well (they're not much tougher impact-wise than running) but I can't push myself very high on that side - muscle weakness, I assume. Sounds like you're well equipped to keep up the exercises; when you need motivation just look at your pup when she wants to go for a long walk. :) Being on your feet all day will probably be helping strengthen up all your muscles, too.

Robin - glad to see you! I missed you too. How's that knee holding up? Any more medical adventures (eastern or western) to share? My PT does the IMS (intramuscular stimulation - using needles to release tight muscles) all the way from my lower back through the glutes and IT band to the knee. It's horribly uncomfortable but really works. On my own I've just been foam rolling away from the butt down. The amazing thing is that although the IT band still needs diligent attention, the huge knot in my hamstring that's been there since surgery has completely gone. Hurt like hell the first couple of times I rolled it, then it just released.

Jack - I think I've learned to ignore the exhaustion. ;) Also I'm so happy just to be out there that it does make it easier to push through the general tiredness from the MRSA. That was the first ride where I've really felt my leg muscles the next day - a good sign, as I need to be working them harder to try and get a bit of muscle bulk back! My left leg is a scrawny wreck compared to the right leg. I don't know how it can stay that skinny given everything I'm doing to build it up...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 19, 2010, 07:01:17 AM
Day - er - 132

Today was my monthly six-meeting Thursday - literally back-to-back meetings from 8.30am to 5pm with an hour for lunch - which generally plays havoc with my knee, since sitting for long periods still makes it grouchy as hell. Today I strapped an ankle weight on before the first meeting and did surreptitious leg extensions under the desk on and off, which really helped with the stiffness. At lunchtime I ran for half an hour (4.5km, or 2.75 miles) - my longest run so far. No grumbles afterwards, even though I forgot to ice.

Cranky Frank has actually been feeling really good the last few days. I'm finding that these patches of near-normality don't last - I know that tomorrow, or maybe the next day, I'll go into another phase where things seem to regress a bit and there's more pain - but I'm encouraged that the good spells are lasting longer now.

I still limp very slightly when I walk. It really is slight - almost unnoticeable - but I'm conscious of it and J has spotted it too. I can't work out if it's because my leg really has forgotten how to move the way it did before; if it's down to the last few degrees of flex I'm still missing; or if it's a permanent change caused by the difference in hyperextension between the two legs. I naturally hyperextend quite a bit, and the left leg has a more normal extension now. (My PT says this is likely permanent - I've had my current extension since almost day one - and it's not unusual to lose hyperextension after surgery, since the surgeon tests the graft at full normal extension.) However one of my coworkers was watching me run today and my running gait is completely normal.  ???
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on November 19, 2010, 04:18:08 PM
Hi Snowy,

When you said on FB six monthly meeting thought you it was some form of physical activity knowing how active you are at the moment. Sitting for a long period can make your knees become stiff and painful and was good that you could go for a run during your lunch break.

I always walked with a limp since my fall but less noticeables since I have built up my quads. I am not working this weekend, which is a nice feeling after working the last one. 

Enjoy the weekend.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Longwalker on November 19, 2010, 07:49:18 PM
Snowy, hooray for normal-feeling days, even if not all of them are.  One normal day means there will be more in the future!  Is your limp caused by pain, or by the mechanics of walking?  I have more flex and hyperextension in my good knee, but I don't feel that I'm limping when I walk.  Even on days when Mr. Knee is more swollen than others it doesn't cause a limp.  Go figure.


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on November 20, 2010, 04:14:14 PM
Yay for some good news on the knee front!!!  Even though you have those occasional bad Frank days, things must be looking up if you are able to cycle at such a good clip.  I can't even believe that you are running!!!!  Just be careful with that, my dear. 

Glad to hear that your PT is addressing your glut muscles even though it sounds kinda torturous.  I've never even heard of IMS.  You are lucky to have such a progressive therapist. 

I've got to laugh when I hear you speak of the snow so excitedly!  I think it flurried for the first time here this season in Saugus, MA and all I could do was cringe.  I really need to move somewhere like San Diego where it's 75 and sunny year round.  Well, you wouldn't be Snowy if you didn't love the cold and snow, would you???  Here's hoping that your first run on the slopes is coming up soon! 

Kiss all those adorable kitties for me.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 22, 2010, 03:57:07 AM
Day 135

Today was awesome.

I was supposed to go out on my regular Sunday bike ride, but after it snowed on Friday the ride was cancelled. One of the riders suggested that perhaps we should go snowshoeing instead. Oddly snowshoeing did not seem to be on my rehab protocol, so I emailed my PT and asked if it was something I should be doing. He gave me his blessing with the proviso that I stay out of deep snow.

So this afternoon my friend K and I headed up to Cypress, strapped on our snowshoes and headed through some surprisingly soft, pretty snow to Hollyburn Peak. Now, in fairness to my physiotherapist I'm pretty sure that when he approved this activity he imagined us hiking gently around the relatively flat, groomed trails within the ski area. I'm fairly sure he did not imagine us taking the 8km unmarked backcountry trail to Hollyburn, which is two-thirds steep uphill and includes a particularly steep and scrambly section to get to the peak itself. In fairness to K, she made a very spirited effort to convince me to turn around at the point where we left the ski area boundary. In fairness to me, I was having absolutely no trouble with the steep climbs and I knew I'd figure out a way to get down in the end.

It was so, so worth it. Just being in the mountains made me feel a hundred times better about everything. It's been far too long since I stood in a snowy landscape and breathed that cold, clear mountain air. The views from the peak were outstanding; light and clouds over Vancouver and Howe Sound, and towering peaks to the north and east. Standing on top of the mountain, knowing that I'd climbed there under my own steam, I felt as close to normal as I've gotten since this whole thing began. I started to believe that there may actually be a light at the end of this tunnel, even if I can't quite see it yet.

I did manage to find a way down. The problem with the steep downhill wasn't that the knee couldn't cope with it (in fact I had no pain at all throughout the hike); it was that the snow was so soft that the snowshoe claw couldn't grip properly, and I started to slide. Because I couldn't guarantee that I could control the slide, I didn't want to risk the knee. I ended up sliding down the steeper sections on my butt, holding my bad leg up and out of the way (30,000 SLRs have to be good for something) and using my hiking poles for steering and braking. It actually worked pretty well.

I am so, so happy that I got back out in the mountains. 100 days until I can strap skis to my feet when I go there. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Bigman78 on November 22, 2010, 06:36:12 AM
I'm really happy to hear about the awesome day Snowy!! Congrats on running the 4.5 kms as well - that's a great effort!!

The day spent in the snow sounds perfect for you.... I've never seen snow due to previously playing soccer on weekends during winter in Australia but have been keen to go! Hopefully next winter I'll get a chance. The way you described it below sounds breathtaking!

How's everything going on the MRSA front? Hope it's all under control.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on November 22, 2010, 10:34:11 AM
Different strokes for different folks... snow and I are not the best of friends... but you look SOOO happy  :) and pain free at that!

congrats on the snowshoeing, and perhaps this is one clever way to get you through to ski time? 100 days... tick tick tick!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on November 22, 2010, 07:12:43 PM
Snowy -- Kris is right you look so happy out in the snow and those 100 days will fly past especialy if you can get out to play in the snow now and again, but again I agree with Kris in that snow is not a great favorite of mine either, whenever we have snow here the whole place grinds to a halt, roads are closed, trains and buses are off and I usually cant get my car out of our street, so my opinion is tis nasty stuff ::)
Please Frank is holding up ok take care

Tez xxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on November 22, 2010, 08:52:24 PM
Great pic and great description of the snow shoeing.  Never done it myself but sure sounds like fun...............snowwwwwwwwwwwww i want some!!!  LOVE IT!!

Skiing is currently looking like it will be off the boss is making me take 8 days annual leave at Christmas..........long story but was the reason behind my stress on Sat, i had i though saved enough, i need 4 days to go with my mum for a sneaky cheap week somewhere at new year, now looks because of the way that my rota falls at Christmas that that won't be possible.........boooooooooo :( :'(

If you could have seen my personal trainers face today though when i told him i wanted to go skiing you'd have laughed!  He asked what my surgeon and what Paul thought about that, so i told him! haha. Only got my interests at heart though bless him.  Oh and no wiegh in today as the super fat
bmi percentage scales thingys weren't working so we didn't do it.  Bit of a bummer as i think i have lost this week but never mind i am sure he will do it as soon as they are working again.

My knee continues to be good, Paul reackons there is still improvements taking place though, and will continue that way until about the 18 month mark..................but not had to take any pain killers now at all for over a month!!!

Tez sounds like you doing pretty good too, and pleased to hear it.  I have been house and 16 year old sitting for a friend for the last 2 weeks so havent been on FB much, but hope to catch ya on there again soon.  I am back home now with a whole new appreciation for my single no responsibilites lifestyle........

So snowy i am counting down for you too, oh to,live in the mountains and have it on my doorstep what a dream that would be...............

Lisa x
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on November 23, 2010, 05:14:19 PM
Hi Snowy,

Good for you making the most of the snowfall by going snowshoeing and doing 8km and are lucky to live so close to the mountains, you right there is nothing better then being on top of a snow mountain on a clear winters day.

Now 99 more days till you can go Skiing again which will fly by and now the snow is on its way to the UK with arctic conditions coming towards the end of this week. 8 inches of snow is forecast in some parts of the UK.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 25, 2010, 10:03:48 PM
Proper update and replies coming soon - the draft City budget just came out, so I've been having a crazy work week. However...

Day 139

Just ran my first 5k. ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Bigman78 on November 25, 2010, 10:51:45 PM
Congrats!! That's a fantastic achievement snowy!

Looking forward to the full update :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on November 25, 2010, 10:57:25 PM
Well done Snowy you are an insperation to us all....and a total star :D
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 26, 2010, 07:56:25 AM
Bigman - as may be obvious from my username, I recommend everything to do with snow wholeheartedly. :) It really is breathtaking - I think my favourite thing about it is the way it transforms the landscape into this different world, a monochromatic space where everything is clean and clear and removed from all the normal everyday stresses and worries. I won't be completely happy until I can be back in it on skis.

Kris - 96 days now! Hope you're doing okay and the kneetard is starting to recover from the steroids.

Tez - Vancouver doesn't cope too well with snow either, but I adjusted to it as part of the everyday scenery (rather than a fun place to ski) during the winter I spent in Calgary in 1997. When it's -30 for days on end you just have to adapt to it - and get used to driving on sheet ice and ruts rather than tarmac. It's funny that we're so close to the mountains here, but because Vancouver itself is at sea level it's not really used to heavy snow.

Lis - That's too bad about the skiing this year, but I hope you'll get out next year and make up for it. We have a spare room if you ever want to come and ski the west coast - as well as Whistler just up the Sea to Sky Highway (about 1.5 to 2 hours drive with the Olympic road improvements) we have three resorts right here in Vancouver (Cypress, Seymour and Grouse on the north shore) and Mount Baker just across the border in Washington State. I'd love to show you the sights! Snowshoeing is a lot of fun, especially if you're looking for a less knee-stressful activity - essentially if you can walk you can snowshoe, it's just a slightly better workout and you get to spend time in beautiful mountain scenery without getting buried in snowdrifts. :)

20 weeks post-surgery

First of all, MRSA update. I finished the sulfa drug a few days ago and am currently waiting nervously to see if any symptoms resurface. So far I haven't seen any sign of them, but last time it took about ten days after I finished the last medication for symptoms to reappear. I am really hoping this has knocked it on the head - there are worse things than IV treatment, but I'd rather not go through it if I don't have to. I feel like my body's been through enough this year. So for now just keeping my fingers crossed.

As far as the knee goes, things have been pretty good. It still has bad days but I'm able to do more and more and the spells of feeling normal are definitely increasing in frequency and duration, although that's not to say that it doesn't hurt like hell from time to time (mostly for no apparent reason). Right now I don't think there's anything I can do exercise-wise that actually feels difficult, or like the knee can't cope with it. That said I'm still on the "straight leg" limitation, i.e. no cutting or pivoting. On Christmas Eve I'll hit the magic 24-week mark and then lateral movement begins.

The snowshoeing trip was definitely a big milestone in that it's the first time I've really tested the knee out in the wild. Psychologically that was huge, and has definitely helped me feel a lot more positive about the stage I'm at. For the first time I think I'm really focusing on what I can do, rather than fretting about the stuff I can't do yet. Running 5k today was pretty big as well, given that I hate running and probably haven't run a straight 5k in about 8 years. We've been having a cold snap in Vancouver and it's been snowing like crazy since about midnight last night. Our work gym is on the 7th floor, with all of the cardio equipment (treadmills, exercise bikes, stairmasters) facing a floor-to-ceiling window. I ran and ran with the snow falling like crazy and odd gusts of wind whirling it around like a giant snow globe, and before I knew it I'd hit the 5k mark. I think the visual reminder of what I'm working towards was my motivation.

I think I'm hitting a really important turning point in that I am starting to believe there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm past the halfway markt; I'm able to do a lot more; the knee is having more and more moments when it actually feels like a knee again, and not like a weird and sometimes painful block of wood. There's still a very long way to go, but I'm more confident now that I will get there in the end.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on November 26, 2010, 10:30:05 AM
Oh thats a great offer and i amy well take yopu up on it.  I am still working on it for this year really really want 4 days back then i can go somewhere cheap and cheerful for new year, with my mum
.  I would love to return to Canada, i loved it there a lot............shhhhhhhhhhhhh don't tell the us peops on here but i prefered the skiing there to Breckenride.............shhhhhhhhhhhhhh now ( and thats not just because Breckenridge was the acl rupture point in my skiing career)..

Id love to try snow shoeing too, and hey the way the weight is going i will be a whole new person by then lol.

Isnt it strange how we snowy poeple get inspired by seeing it rather than the opposite.  I remeber when training for the marathon that i ran on Christmas day because it was a training day, it was the longest run i had done up to that point, it was cold and frosty with a few flakes in the air, freeziong cold and i loved it!!  So pleased you hit 5k and i bet knowing you it was a pretty good time too.  My trainer is pushing me to new heights constantly and i didnt know m,y body could do half the things he is getting it to do right now haha.

As for numb spots that people have been talking about now for a lil while............mine is still there and probable always will be and its much quite a big chunk of my leg.  You do over time get used to it though and eventually it does stop borthering you.

The light at the end of the tunnel is coming Snowy, if you can see it then you know that every day takes you that bit closer.......................yeah!!!

Well back to the grindtone i just really wanted to say well done on the run and fingers crossed that they nasty bug we aint mentioning is now gone forever!!!!

Lisa x

PS have a great weekend, i am going shopping tomorrow!!!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on November 27, 2010, 12:26:22 PM
Hi Snowy,

Winter has arrived early in the UK and even Birmingham had a light dusting of snow last night that was not forecast. Today max is only 0oc or below in some parts of the UK and glad to have a nice warm flat with Ellie sitting on my lap while watching TV.

Good you have finished taking the sulfa drugs and hope it has done its job in evadicating the MRSA. Glad your knee is doing ok and its normal to to get good and bad days and think we will all feel some knee pain after surgery and will never be 100% again. The snowshoeing trip must have been fun and hope Boris was ok and running 5K is not too much for him. Reading how well you are doing and running again gives me some hope of running again some day.

As I said in Tez's thread I having problems now with my left knee as well as right so looking forward to my appointment at the Pain Clinic on Tuesday.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 27, 2010, 11:26:28 PM
Lisa - I promise not to breathe a word, although all the ski mags agree with you - in every resort guide I've read this year, Whistler has come out tops. They had a 50cm dump over the past two days so I'm gnashing my teeth and trying not to feel too impatient - I still have three more months to go before I can get back out there! I'm also planning to ease back into it with a few days at Cypress or Seymour before I even think about heading up to Whistler. Perhaps when I finally make it back there I'll stop and put up a little memorial by the jump where my original ACL perished.

I think you'd love snowshoeing. It's not as much of an adrenaline rush as skiing but it's such a lovely, peaceful way to explore a snowy landscape. A couple of the local mountains do night-time snowshoeing with fondues and hot chocolate as part of the tour, which is on our list to try this year. There are so many options around here, too - groomed trails on the north shore and then all the wild backcountry around Squamish and Whistler to explore.

Happy car shopping. Let us know how you get on!

Nick - so sorry to hear that your left knee is bothering you now as well. Do you think it might be suffering from having to compensate for the pain in the right knee? I know you have to kneel a lot for work, and I'm guessing that with the right knee problems your left knee has been doing more than its share of the work for a while.  I do hope you get some positive answers from the pain clinic; you've been putting up with this for an awfully long time now.

Day 141

Had another fabulous snowshoe hike yesterday. The snow in town had turned to rain and was washing away, so we headed over to the north shore to find some more. And find it we did - it was absolutely puking on the mountain, with about 30cm of fresh powder when we arrived and more falling all the time. The avalanche risk on the backcountry trails was classed as extreme so we didn't stray too far from the ski area boundary, but in the falling snow it was still a completely magical hike. I also overcame the psychological barrier that stopped me walking down the very steep sections last time; having figured out that there was no physical reason for it I made myself walk instead of sliding yesterday, and was just fine.

On the way down I briefly succumbed to snowy euphoria and turned Frank upside down in a snowdrift. Don't tell my physiotherapist.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on November 27, 2010, 11:41:45 PM
Congrats on getting out and about with the snowshoeing, it looks absolutely amazing. I really love snow myself, although living in the UK we dont really get much, and what we do get cant really be compared to what you get over in Canada!! Although im not so keen for it this year as i wont be able to enjoy it as much and the added risk of slipping etc. ::)

Dont worry, the 3 months will fly by - it will all be worth it that first day back skiing. Just think how far you've come since the dont have far to go now! :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on November 28, 2010, 02:05:31 AM
Hi Snowy,
I am new to the site.
Wow Lots of snow on the West coast. :o
I am in On and it is just starting to snow here. 
So glad to see you are almost back to normal.
Take Care.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 29, 2010, 01:56:50 AM
Roo - we don't typically get a lot of snow in Vancouver itself, but the mountains start right behind the city so it's not too far away. :) This year is a La Nina year, so we're expecting it to be colder and snowier than normal...just my luck when I'm out of the action for most of the winter!

Rknees - nice to meet you, though sorry that troublesome knees bring you to the board. What's the story behind your knee issues and ops? I hope that whatever problems you've been experiencing are well on their way to finding a solution.

Day 142

Hasn't been the greatest weekend here - as those of you who are following Cosmic's thread will know, we learned yesterday morning that a friend of ours died in a climbing accident in Nevada on Friday. It really puts everything in perspective; my knee woes suddenly seem very trivial. She was young and fit and strong and so full of life. Jen knew her better than I did (their friendship went back a long way), but it's still a shock to lose someone so unexpectedly.

I took my knee for its first outdoor run today. I managed to keep going for a full hour and 8.2km. (I'm not winning any speed prizes, that's for sure.) To my surprise, I think I actually enjoyed it - it was certainly preferable to pounding away on the treadmill in the gym, which bores me to tears.

All my friends are up at Whistler enjoying powder turns in the snow.  >:( Suddenly March seems a very, very long way off.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on November 29, 2010, 02:48:22 AM
Evening Snowy
So sorry to hear about your friend.  She went doing something she liked doing which is a blessing of the worst kind.
As far as the knees just a long boring story not really worth the effort.
Here is the short version.
Pain in knees since 14-15years of age (46 now) Continual subluxes over the years.
Pain really bad since I was 30 but sucked it up while my kids were growing up(4 of them). June 09 finally went to GP and saw OS in Sept 09 Surgery Nov 09, Trillat(TTT) LR, mega scope cleanup, Grade 3/4 defects on patella and femoral cart, PFS.  RK  Left knee will be fixed in Feb 2011 same as right..  As they say same s**T different day.
Been pretty much most of my life. Can't change it just keep going.
Glad you got out for a run.
Hang in there the snow will be there in March.
Take Care.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on November 29, 2010, 10:23:05 AM
Hi Snowy,

GREAT pic  ;D No tattling here!

Hope you and Jen are hanging in ok and that your outdoor shenanigans are helping to boost your mood during this tough time.

Happy Monday (ok I tried to say that with a straight face, but just gagged)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on November 29, 2010, 04:40:05 PM
Hi Snowy,

Really sorry for the loss of your friend, you and Cosmic must be feeling terrible and must still be in deep shock at the moment. 

One positive thing is that Boris is doing ok at the moment and can run ok without too many problems. As you will know already have an appointment at the pain clinic in the morning and could be right and my left knee may be playing up due to my right knee compensating due to the trauma its going through.

Nick  :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Bigman78 on November 30, 2010, 12:34:54 AM

I'm really sorry to hear about your loss also. My greatest condolences to you and Cosmic. As RKnees4 said at least she went doing something she enjoyed doing although it still doesn't make it any easier. Hope you get through this difficult period and as you say it puts everything into perspective.

On a positive note I'm glad the progress with the rehab is going well.... great news regarding the 8.2km run outside! Well done. I really hope the MRSA continues to stay away....

Take care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 30, 2010, 05:51:26 AM
Rknees4 - thanks for the kind thoughts. This is very much what J says in regard to Heather's death - that it's better to go doing something you truly love than to face a drawn out, painful death from illness or old age. I think that also contributes to the shock, though, as you don't expect to lose someone who's young and fit and healthy.

I'm sorry to hear of all your knee woes - that's a very long journey that you've been on. Has the work on the right knee helped substantially? I guess at least you know what to expect but that's very little consolation.

Kris - not such a bad Monday for me, I'm using up a little vacation before the end of the year. :) We're actually doing okay - I think all the crap we've been through this year has at least increased our resiliency. Hope you're doing okay and the kneetard is starting to settle after the steroid shot.

Nick - I am keeping my fingers crossed for you - I really hope the pain clinic can come up with some answers. My knee still has on days and off days, but overall I'm happy with its progress. Still feels very slow sometimes, though!

Bigman - thank you - appreciated. It's a strange and horrible thing, but we'll get through it - I think it's probably harder for J than for me, as she had known Heather much longer and at one point they were very close.

No signs of the MRSA symptoms recurring, which is one thing to be thankful for. Let's hope I've seen the back of it...

143 days

Had an interesting PT appointment today, but will hold off on posting about it until tomorrow when I have my not-quite-five-month followup with the surgeon. No ill effects from the long run yesterday; my muscles were a little tired, but the knee feels fine. Minimal needling from the PT, which I hope is also a good sign. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on November 30, 2010, 01:35:04 PM
Hi Snowy
My story is no worse thn any other knee geek.
S**t happens.  Part of life I have found.
My thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been touched by  Heather's life.
The shock will where off and everyone will go on.  We don't have much choice in these times.
Hope you and J can cope with the kind of year you have gone through together.
The work on the right knee has helped alot. but the damage is already done, and where I am here in ON we don't have as much choice for specialized OS we kind of have to take what there is. ::) The one I do have is maticulous in his work but I really don't have any option but to deal and wait till I am old enough for a TKR
My hubby is great. I am a farmers wife.  If I can't do something on the farm I used to do he is OK with it.  He laughs that it will be a race to see which one of us will hit the wheelchair first. He is 10 years older than I am. ONe of can ride and the other can hobble along behind and use the chair as a walker. Sometime all you can do is laugh.  Beats crying.
Thanks for your concern.
You and J take care,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 30, 2010, 07:18:18 PM
Rknees - very wise words. One of my favourite quotes, which I ran across not long after my current knee saga began, is: "s**t happens, and if we just want to restrict ourselves to things where s**t can't happen...we're not going to do anything very interesting." I quote that to the folk who say they can't understand why I would want to go back to skiing after all of this. ;)

Sounds like you have a supportive family, which makes a world of difference. As you say, laughing sure beats crying - and wishing things were different or hadn't happened won't change a thing, so it's much better to put the energy into moving onward and upward (even if it sometimes feels like two steps forward and one back.)

Thanks again to you and everyone else for your kind thoughts about Heather. I think we're over the initial shock now, though it still sucks. A loss like this does put everything in perspective - knee troubles seem very insignificant compared to what Heather's family must be going through right now.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on November 30, 2010, 07:41:33 PM
Day 144

Finally, some good news!

This morning I saw my surgeon for what will most likely be the last time. He tested the graft and gave a huge smile; he said it feels absolutely rock solid and he can't feel any perceptible difference in stability and strength between my two knees. He also checked my ROM and extension and was very happy with both. He asked about activities, and seemed pretty impressed with the list of things I've been doing. And then he told me I can start skiing again in February! There will be some restrictions initially - groomers only, no moguls or jumps - but that's fine with me. It will give me time to get comfortable on skis again and work on refining my technique, which I'm sure will be as rusty as hell. 63 days to go! That sounds so much better.  ;D

One other interesting piece of information he gave me is that I have a staple in my leg. I thought the little bumps I could feel under the large incision were the end of the tibial tunnel, but it's actually a staple that was used as extra fixation for that end of the graft. So I will beep when going through airport metal detectors! He did say that if I ever find that it causes irritation it's a very simple procedure to have it removed, so I'm keeping that in mind although it doesn't seem worth doing at the moment.

My appointment with the PT yesterday also went very well. He was really pleased with the progress I've been making, especially the running. My scrawny little calf is finally responding to all the heel raises I've been doing - it's now only about half a centimetre smaller than the other side (up from about 2cm initially). Quad is about 1.5cm smaller, so still some work to do there. Any suggestions for really beefing up the quads (other than my good friend the leg press machine) would be appreciated. He recommended carrying on with everything I'm doing for now, then around Christmas we'll start doing some lateral movement drills and more plyometrics to get me ready for my return to the slopes.

Definitely feeling a bit more cheerful now. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on November 30, 2010, 08:21:13 PM
Snowy so so pleased that all is going so well and you will be getting back on the ski's sooner than you though, I must say that if anyone deserves to make a 100% recovery from this its you, you have worked so so hard and it would apear its now paying off big time, as I have said before and most likely will say again you are a star and an insperation to all of us knee geeks.
Take care Tez 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on November 30, 2010, 08:39:56 PM
Afternoon Snowy,
That is excellent news :D
Look out mountain, Snowy is almost ready!
So very happy for you.
Take Care,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on December 01, 2010, 02:17:47 AM
That's great news that you are almost recovered and on track to ski this season!!!

It sounds like next year is going to be a much better year for you. I can't wait for this year to be over too. I think I have one more surgery to get through this year and then hopefully I will finally be done. I don't think I'll be skiing again, but just living normally and not having the knee/leg be the focus of life would be great.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on December 01, 2010, 10:19:47 AM
So excited to hear your good news! (And now on top of everything, you get to be the bionic lady with your staple... hehe). Now you're just showing off, bumping up the ski season and all  ;) It will be here very soon!

I also only know the leg press machine as a "safe" quad builder for the knee-deficient so I will listen to any advice people have also, my quad is still kind of garbage. (Not that I am doing any kind of fitness at the moment, but hopefully soon)

Congrats, this is due in major part to all of your hard work so you deserve these awesome results!!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on December 01, 2010, 11:03:33 AM
Thats great news.

I too am working on getting that 4 days back that i need to go away and its looking promising.

Pick up new car friday, 5 years old, low mileage and not trendy so a very good price, not much trade in on mine but never mind!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lwillson on December 01, 2010, 09:52:54 PM
Hi Snowy, really good news that you can go skiing again in Feb, that is only just around the corner and sooo close.  Somehow I get the feeling this has refreshed your motivation and will provide splendid focus for all those PT / gym sessions going forwards.  Can't think of much more on the quads front - hard cycling and leg presses seem to be the best things around?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 02, 2010, 12:15:10 AM
Thank you all! I'm really stoked about this news. It's amazing how much difference knocking 30 days off the total has made - 90-something sounded like such a lot, whereas 60-something sounds far more manageable. My goal now is to absolutely blast this leg for the next two months, to regain as much quad mass as possible and really get strong and in the best possible shape for hitting the slopes.

Day 145

With that goal in mind, J and I hit up the gym together today. Working out with J is always motivating because she is insanely fit and strong - in a completely different league to me - and it gives me something to aspire to. I spent a full hour on the Stairmaster and climbed 405 floors, then went and kicked around some pretty substantial weights on the leg press. I also made the happy discovery that the fancy leg press at the local gym doesn't cause the same scraping kneecap sensation that happens when I up the weights on the one at work. Visited a whole bunch of other machines; everything was very successful except the hamstring curl, where progress on the operated side has been stalled out for what feels like forever. Then we went and sat in the hot tub for a while to soothe our tired muscles.

A couple of workouts like that each week and I should be ready for the start of my season...two months today.  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: mightyjack on December 02, 2010, 03:05:56 AM
Great news snowy!  There should be plenty of skiing left in the season.  I’m sure the knee will be more than ready for the slopes. That’s the payoff for all your hard work with rehab.  Congrats!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on December 03, 2010, 12:54:02 AM
Just caught up with your thread, and the great news that you'll be able to ski again in 60 days ! Congratulations !  ;D

If you're allowed by your physio, doing free-weight Squats & Dead Lift is the quickest way to build up your quads - however, your technique must be spot-on to avoid injury !


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Bigman78 on December 03, 2010, 01:21:20 AM
I, like everyone else am very happy to hear about your news!!! Congrats Snowy and I'm pleased to see you not even mentioning the MRSA so I assume that is now under control. Wow skiing again in 60 days must be very exciting for you! I'm sure time will fly and you'll be on those skis in no time!

As for building the quads Deepak beat me to it - squats are the best way to go in my opinion. Free weight would be ideal (obviously ensuring proper form and a spot) but doing them on a smith machine is a great and safe alternative. Apart from that you seem to be doing everything possible to build them up! One legged bridges are also another good option.

You have done really well to bridge the difference between your calves and quads to date so well done. Hope I can do something similar over the next 2-3 months.

All the best!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 03, 2010, 02:47:59 AM
Thanks all! Unfortunately I'm not allowed to do either dead lifts or free weight squats because of the pressure they put through the kneecap - both pretty much guarantee a PFS flareup. I am able to do the squats on the machine, which I spend almost as much time on as the leg press. ;) I can do regular squats without weight as well (watching form very carefully) but at this point I think I've done so many that my quads have gotten used to them. I probably should have mentioned that the PFS limits some of the best quad building activities, which is too bad.

During our outing to the gym yesterday I discovered that they have two new torture machines which are apparently awesome for building up the calves, quads and hamstrings (or what's left of hamstrings for us ACLr folk):

I'm going to ask my PT if I can be unleashed on these, since they look like they'd provide an awesome workout targeting just the kind of muscles I need to build.

Day 146

Finally made it back to the pool this morning - first time since the MRSA diagnosis, since I wasn't supposed to swim while officially a carrier. (The MRSA does seem to have gone now - thankfully - just crossing my fingers it doesn't resurface.) Had a fun but rather humbling experience while I was there. A group of competitive swimmers doing speed intervals asked me if I'd like to join them, and like a fool I said yes. The result was an absolute killer workout, but shattered any illusions I may have had about the state of my cardio fitness. Admittedly I've always been an endurance rather than speed athlete, but trying to do 100m reps at 1:35 intervals was brutal! And of course I was just slow enough that I'd get to the end as the next interval began, so no rest breaks either. I'll sleep well tonight...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on December 03, 2010, 09:21:12 AM
Hi Snowy

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek that swimming interval training sounds gruesome!!! I'd have drowned as I am NOT a swimmer by any means!! Perhaps I need to get hubby down to the pool whilst there are some competitive swimmers....might spur him into greater things!

I know the problem with the PFS flare ups and tendency to find quad exercises stress the kneecap. The only thing I'd add in (and you probably do it already) is to vary the tempo of the exercises you CAN do such as the leg press. So, slow up, quicker down, or quick up, slow down for a count of 5 and so on. Forces the muscles to work through their full range and both eccentrically and concentrically, plus some use of the synergistic muslces if you incorporate any static holds at the tops of the movements. I found I can manage Sumo (wide legged) squats better, with careful form of course, and they can be adapted well to variations in tempo. My PT used to devise some variations that made my quads burn - quite hard when you can't work them that hard!

Keep up the good work!!

Lottie xxxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on December 03, 2010, 11:11:12 AM
Hey Snowy,

The summit trainer is NO JOKE! I work out at a LifeTime Fitness so I am familiar with that particular model. For me, it causes too much patellar unpleasantry... but it is definitely a quad burner, so I hope you get the go-ahead.

Competitive swimmers are insane, and I suspect they have gills instead of/ in addition to lungs! Don't beat yourself up too much, at least you got a killer workout in  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on December 03, 2010, 02:18:43 PM
hey Snowy congrats on the recent progress :) Ive used those machines before at (what used to be) my local gym...and they are brutal. they are great for your quads though, so i would definatey recomend them, if of course your PT gives you the all clear. Just thinking about using them my legs are starting to ache ;)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 04, 2010, 07:03:33 PM
Lottie - thanks for the tip! I'm actually prone to zoning out and falling into a rhythm on the machines, so I don't always remember to vary the tempo.

Kris & Roo - PT says scary summit trainer is a go! Looking forward to trying it out next time I'm at the local gym.

Tomorrow will mark nine months since that fateful day in the terrain park. Hard to believe that's all; it feels like a whole lifetime ago. It's funny how one fraction of a second can change everything.

Yesterday we went out for another amazing snowshoe hike on the north shore. It was a beautiful day: we started out in dense fog, then the skies cleared just as we neared the peak. Being able to get back out in the mountains, even if it's not on skis, has led to an enormous psychological barrier falling away: I realised that this week, I've finally started to believe that I'm going to get better. Until now it's been impossible to imagine that the knee will ever feel normal again. It still has a ways to go - I know that I'm not ready to ski yet, no matter how much I want to - but at long last I believe that it will get there in the end.

Day 148 (21 weeks post-surgery)

First 10k run.  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 06, 2010, 06:39:06 AM
Day 149

Celebrated the 9-month anniversary of my injury with another milestone: a 90k ride with the bike club. Well, it was really a 70k ride, but at the end I felt like I had more in the tank so I rode the UBC loop to add another 20k. Then I went to the gym for an hour. :)

Now I'm very tired...

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on December 06, 2010, 10:20:48 AM
Unhappy anniversary to you, but what a way to mark it! Yet another milestone, way to go. Very much enjoying your snow pics, it's easier to enjoy without being out in it! We are still basically snow-free here in Detroit... fine with me because I have no flat boots and am still wearing ballet-style flats. Will continue to do so until my feet turn blue, it's a Michigan winter-denial thing. In college there were always girls who wore open-toed shoes til the first major snowfall, this is sort of a lesser version I guess!

Glad the summit trainer is a go- it's your funeral not mine ;) You will have big, engaged muscles in no time with that bugger.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on December 06, 2010, 01:08:12 PM
Snowy nine months ago I bet you didnt see yourself having to go through all this, but look how far you've come with your detemination and lust for life...running 10k and cycling 90k and thats before your back to 100% fitness, I also am enjoying your beautiful photos of the snowy scenery, we have had more snow this morning and I have taken Misty out for a romp in the feilds behind our house and its looking lovely here before it turns to slushy stuff. And the good news is I got myself a good knee support and wore it for my romp, and the knee felt pretty good, well much better than my last trip out in the snow.
Keep up the good work and take care Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 07, 2010, 05:54:50 AM
Hey Snowy,
I just love your pics of the mountains.  Always wanted to travel to the west coast but being hitched to a farmer makes that almost impossible.  The cows can't live with out him that long.  It is snowing like crazy here in ON.  All the skiers and winter enthusiests will be thrilled. me not so much.  I am more a spring, fall person.
Way to go on the bike. I expect that totally brightens your day. :D
Well better go crash for the night, or morning as it is almost 1 a.m.
Take Care,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on December 07, 2010, 05:34:09 PM
Hi Snowy,

I have been too busy the last few days to post on KG as I am selling some die cast F1 cars on Ebay to fund my medical expenses. I do not mind selling the cars as they in my wardrobe gathering dust so the best thing is to sell the cars to make some cash. I have been doing my homework to get my right knee sorted and going to try and see an OS as well as Mr Brown at the Sports Injury Clinic. You will laugh at the OS's name its Mr Martyn Snow who works for the NHS at the Sports Injury Clinic and good at fixing young patients knees. I will give more info on Thursday about what my plans are when I see my GP on Friday.

Congratulations on reaching your 9-month anniversary and doing really well to cycle 90k. Also great news that the MRSA has finally gone and like you said lets hope it does not come back again. How is the cold weather affecting your knee the last couple of weeks both my knee hurt more but feel it more in my right knee then I do with my left. I never really felt too much knee pain pre op but since the surgery my right knee alot more painful when its cold outside.

Nick :) {2010} :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 08, 2010, 03:40:30 AM
Well, apparently the gym after the bike ride was a bad idea - I've had a horrible couple of days with no sign of improvement yet. Massive PFS flareup exacerbated by a sudden change to wet, gloomy weather. Haven't been able to do much beyond my regular hour on the bike yesterday or today. Not fun at all.  >:(
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on December 08, 2010, 08:11:01 AM
Snowy sorry your having a flair up (((((hugs))))) from the frozen north of Scotland feel better soon ;D
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on December 08, 2010, 09:02:12 AM
Awwwwwwwwwwww Snowwwwwwwwyyyyyyyy sorry to hear that the knee is acting up......dare I say i suspect it wasn't the bike ride plus gym but a reaction to the increased running.......speaking as someone with PFS I know it just kills my kneecaps. Never at the time, but always a few days afterwards. Its the impact and stuff and it sets off that hideous chain of inflammation. Given that you were biking loads and swimming and so on without the massive flares I'd just be putting my money on the running at the root of this....just my thoughts (from an anti runner for anyone with shonky knees!)

Anyway, the old drill of some rest and ice and some pills should hopefully kick it into touch. The only good thing about having PFS is that you know it does pass. Its just horrible whilst it gnaws away. Sending hugs for a fast anti flare up and return to activity (but maybe a tad moderated for a while?! Frank is quite *new* still!!! )  ;D

/Lottie lecture off  :P

Hugs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on December 08, 2010, 10:21:36 AM
 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Hope you're feeling better soon. RICE RICE RICE! (also hugs)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Longwalker on December 08, 2010, 06:22:55 PM
Snowy, thanks for the beautiful photos.  I LOVE that Peak photo!  We almost have enough snow in the southern Sierras for some snowshoeing.  Maybe one more good snow and there will be enough.  Snowshoeing is one of my favorite things in the winter.

Well, you overdid it, but I think you'll be good to go in a few more days.  It's so hard to contain ourselves when we are having a good knee day :)

My bad quad is still smaller than my good one, but it is just as strong.  In fact, the hamstring on my bad leg is actually stronger and can handle more weight on hamstring curls.  Strange.

The best way to build quad muscle without tweaking the kneecap is to hike hills all day, IMO.  There is nothing that makes my quads as sore as a major hillclimb taking 2 or 3 hours or more with no rest stops.  Steep enough so you can only walk around 2 km/hr or less, and you have to stop to take a drink because you're breathing too hard to drink while walking.  It is much easier on the patellas than squats.  You have to build the endurance in your "downhill" muscles but once they get strong, your knees should be okay with hills both directions.

Hope things are improving hourly!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on December 08, 2010, 09:21:07 PM
All right Snowy.  I've decided not to give you a hard time about overdoing it. I should know you by now, Ms. if One is Good, Two Must Be Better!  Get well soon.

Robin XX
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 09, 2010, 01:43:01 PM
Morning Snowy,
Hope the knee is feeling better now.
It is still snowing here in ON. Most we have had in a few years.
That wet cold stuff in hard on post-op knees and other knee stuff.
Take care,
Healing rays coming westward.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 09, 2010, 08:37:52 PM
Hey gang. Not the happiest week here in Snowyland - still trying to get the PFS flare under control. Judging by previous experience, I'm expecting a fairly miserable week to 10 days. Taking it very easy at the moment, just cycling each day and doing SLRs to keep things ticking over. Taking some slow release naproxen and icing lots to try and settle the PFS down, but both knees are still very sore and stabby.

Lottie, you may well be right about it being the running. It's just odd that I didn't feel it the next day, but the day after that; normally I know if I've overdone things as soon as I wake up the following morning, but the day after the run the knees felt great and I was raring to go on the bike ride. Having said that, running has been the only major trigger I've had so far in rehab and 10k probably was asking a lot of the knee at this stage. I'll be very glad when rehab is over and I can scale the running back again.

Alice - that's exactly what my PT said about the snowshoeing! It's hiking with a bit more cushioning and some added work lugging the snowshoes about and walking in deep snow, so steep trails like Hollyburn Peak (where the pics were taken) are a fantastic way of building muscle mass. I'm hoping my knees will settle enough to get out at the weekend - we'll see how things go.

Off to the gym now for a gentle, gentle workout. Poor knees. :(
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 10, 2010, 04:03:46 AM
Evening Snowy,
Sorry about the PFS flare up, I feel your pain. :(
If I did a work out like yours I would never be able to walk.  My PFS flares very easily and always has.
I hope the weather clears a bit your way and you get some relief.
Take care,
Take it easy Snow
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 10, 2010, 06:56:52 AM
Gentle workout = 300 floors on the Stairmaster in 40 minutes. Brought to you by the school of Snowy Does Not Learn™.

Oddly, my knees felt a little better afterwards.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on December 10, 2010, 11:08:36 AM

nonetheless- glad you feel better... and as usual I wish I was half the badass you are  :) PFS is no match for the Snowy School, DNL(TM) Dept.

I did a little "snowshoeing" this morning too- dragging myself and my effects into the office in the snow from my parking spot (uphill, unshoveled sidewalks, wearing cozy but inappropriate footwear). Knee cries. Ibuprofen + acetominophen + coffee = breakfast of champs (and gut rot later)

tgif- hope you don't have any angry hornets today
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on December 10, 2010, 07:24:14 PM
Snowy, Kris is right you are indeed a crazy person, though I hope your crazyness has indeed helped the knees feel better.
Hope you Jen and the kitties are doing well and all looking forward to christmas.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 11, 2010, 06:36:32 AM
Check out my Christmas gift from Jen! Frank is going to FLY!  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on December 11, 2010, 08:13:21 AM
Danger Kay strikes again!!! ;) It looks amazing not something I think I would like but it really looks like good fun, when are you doing it?? 
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 11, 2010, 06:52:05 PM
Probably sometime in the new year - I'll have to check with my PT and make sure that Frank is safe to go flying at this point. I'll be curious to see how much it feels like a real parachute jump.  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 12, 2010, 05:06:46 AM
Sounds right up your alley Snowy.
I get enough of an adrenaline rush walking across something slippery, or when a cow freaks out an wants to chase me.  Can't run anymore.  You can see the problem with that.
Make sure Frank is good and sound before you give that a try. 
Nothing like adrenaline junkies, kind of wish I had a little more of that in my personality.  God made me just way to mellow.
Has it stopped raining in Van yet.  The radar looks awful messy that way.
Take Care Snowy,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Kat_Walk on December 12, 2010, 12:42:49 PM
Hey Snowy!
After your kind words on my diary, I thought I'd just pop over and say hi! Shelli (LarsKnee) has only lovely things to say about you. I must say I am very impressed with your Christmas Gift. I'll share a little something with you if you promise not to laugh.. Ok, you promise??.. my husband got some crazy wacked out idea that our city needed one of those wind tunnel machines, so he designed one! Stop laughing!! He's a design draftsperson with a wicked imagination, and me? ahh, me not so much. Actually, I think I told him he was mad. He tried in vain to convince me it was an awesome idea and of course used his male friends as "market research". Needless to say we do not own a wind tunnel.  :)

Hope the knees are holding up!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on December 12, 2010, 11:32:07 PM
Just catching up with your diary again.

Beautiful snow-landscape photo ! Whoever took it has some artistic talent.

Sorry to hear that your PFS is causing you grief, but glad to see that it hasn't prevented you from living life to the full (forget glass half full or half empty, yours' is clearly brimming over) !  ;)

I have to agree with kris_83 on both accounts. You are indeed a crazy person, and I wish I could do half the stuff you do !  ;)

The wind tunnel flying sounds great fun, and less risky than jumping out of a plane, especially with a dodgy knee when you land ... 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 13, 2010, 04:25:02 PM
Rknees4 - I'm actually looking out the window at a little patch of blue sky now! The clouds finally seem to be retreating to the east. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure the weather forecast says they'll be back before the end of the day - it has been quite an exceptionally wet November and December here. Normally this would make me very happy as it would all be falling as snow up on the mountains, but not so much this year. :(

Being chased by a cow sounds extremely adrenalizing to me, especially as I actually have a distant relative who was killed by a cow. I'm not sure of the details but apparently it fell or sat on her while she was walking her dog. I had no idea until J and I were in the UK on vacation and walking through a field of cows, and J expressed surprise that we were able to walk right through the herd. I was reassuring her (having grown up in a farming area) that cows are very gentle, and then my mum shared the story!

Hope your knees are doing as well as possible today.

Kat - That's an awesome story! Imagine having the skills to design your own wind tunnel! I'd want a portable one out on the deck. ;D It's actually not a bad business idea at all - they've become hugely popular here and in the UK, and if you see the prices they charge ($100+ for 15 minutes of instruction and a 1 minute flight) I'd say they have the potential to be quite lucrative. Heh - your husband sounds like a guy after my own heart. ;)

Deepak - good to see you! Hope all is going well with you. Those are J's mountain pics - she has a great eye with a camera. How's your knee holding up these days? Are you feeling like you can see the light at the end of the tunnel yet? I thought I caught a glimpse of it a couple of weeks ago, but the PFS flare has blocked it from view temporarily.

22.5 weeks post-surgery

Not too much to report. Both knees continue to be grumbly, so I haven't attempted any running this week and have stuck to the bike, Crosstrainer and Stairmaster. Things seem to be settling down slowly; at this point the good knee actually feels slightly more stabby and unhappy than the bad knee.

It's been puking snow all weekend in the mountains, and I'm giving serious thought to hiding some of my skiing friends from my news feed on Facebook. I feel like I'm missing out horribly at the moment, and reading about how much fun everyone else is having is just making me sad.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 13, 2010, 06:10:32 PM
Hey Snowy,
Hang in there.  It won't be long now till you can hit the slopes.
Just think how great the snow base will be.
About the time you are getting the skis all shined up I will be hitting the OR.
Cows are a lot like people, you get some really nice ones and then you get a miserable one. Been chased on more than one occasion. Been fenced(when they push you up and over a gate or fence) on several occasions, worst one was when I was about 7 months pregnant with kid # 2.  don't recommend it. :o
Hope the PFs settles down soon.
Take care Snowy, sending positive vibes your way. 8)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on December 13, 2010, 10:21:52 PM

Yes, J does indeed have a great eye with a camera. That photo should be entered into a photo competition - I'm sure it would do very well.

My knee is doing well thanks. I sort of see light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a long way off.  ;) The fact that I can do plyometrics now gives me a lot of confidence, since I know that the physio wouldn't allow me to do plyometrics until my knee was strong enough, however I know I have a long way to go to get the knee stable by rebuilding the muscle.

It does very much feel like a marathon (not that I've ever run one), in the sense that it goes on for a long time, although there are occasional moments of elation when I realise that I can do something for the first time post-op. Life in general is much easier than it was in the first couple of months post-op when I was limping, severely limited in what I could do, couldn't sleep due to the pain and the adrenalin that had nowhere to go. Being active is much easier than being a couch potatoe.  ;D

Hope your PFS flare up clears soon & you can get back on track.


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 14, 2010, 02:44:31 AM
Rknees - that rather puts it in perspective. It must be tough knowing you've got the op looming over you in the new year. What sort of timeframe have you been given on recovery?

Being fenced by a cow while seven months pregnant doesn't sound fun at all - how does kid #2 feel about cows now? Hope they weren't put off in utero, so to speak!

Deepak - the marathon analogy is a very good one. I should have remembered that my knees didn't like marathons even before they got busted and operated on.  :-\

Day 157

Have to admit that I'm feeling a bit worn down by the PFS. Both knees are cranky as hell, and the kneecaps are protesting with sharp stabbing pains on the leg press and even doing things that doesn't normally bother them at all, like kicking down from a standing start on the bike. I'm maintaining a no-impact daily exercise program (1 hour on the bike, 1 hour of carefully managed weights in the gym) because I don't want to lose the ground I've made regaining muscle mass, but I don't feel like I can progress things at the moment. The bad knee is definitely more swollen again, and I've lost about 5 degrees of flex and have had to start doing proactive exercises to maintain my extension for the first time in a couple of months.

It's so frustrating - a week and a half ago things were feeling great and I honestly felt like I could see the light at the end of the tunnel for the first time. Now it's been comprehensively snuffed out. I'm back in a place where it's really hard to imagine that the knee will ever feel normal again.

I guess I have to reassure myself that at least it's not surgical complications causing the setback (the symptoms are bilateral, and the "good" knee actually feels worse at this point although it's not experiencing the same flex/extension problems) but I'm not sure what else I can do at this point to get things to improve. I've cut out all of the typical aggravating factors, started taking OTC naproxen again, and am spending lots of time on the basic PFS exercises. I feel stalled, frustrated, and in constant pain.

I see my PT again next week; until then, I don't think there's much more I can do than the things I'm already doing.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 14, 2010, 03:55:37 AM
Hey Snowy,
Hang in there Snowy.  This knee junk is especially hard on you sporty types.. Your brains are in need of the adrenaline you get.  I think that makes it worse.
I get the frustration.  My knees are doing the swell ache with intermitten jabs.
The light will return Snowy, patience my friend. ;)
Keep taking the Naproxen it will slowly help.
Just life with bad knees, no worse than anyone else here..
My OS is rather tight lipped, getting anything out of him is a lesson in patience.  Just your typical TTT/LR/scope clean up.  The first one took me about 9-10 months till it felt somewhat normal.  Number 2 kid loves the cows she has left the farm and just turned 20 on the weekend.  She is now living the small city life. I have 4 girls, it is like hormone hell when they are all home.  Glad there are just 2 left to keep on top of.
Take Care,
Hope the knees feel less painfull soon.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Bigman78 on December 14, 2010, 05:35:26 AM
I'm not sure what is worse - 90km on the bike, a 10km run or chasing my wife around in Bali whilst she's on a shopping spree!!! :p

It's been a while since I've been on a bulletin board but I've now caught up on your progress. I see you had a bit of a hiccup but I'm sure you will get through it stronger than ever. Just continue to remain positive and as usual listen to your body! It's quite incredible to what you've done up to now, hope you can keep it up and continue to inspire us all!

Very happy to hear you're clear of the MRSA. I really hope it doesn't resurface... all the best!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on December 14, 2010, 10:45:44 AM
Snowy so sorry to hear the PFS is still causing you problems I know how frustrated it must be for you to have to cut back on all the excersises you do every day, I just hope it starts to improve soon, and as you said the fact that both knees are involved means you know its not ACL related, that at least must make you feel a little less freaked out about it all.
Take care and feel better soon Tez 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on December 14, 2010, 11:48:55 AM
Agreed- knowing it's not surgical complication does help, but it's still frustrating as hell! Are you also affected by bitter cold? While I am quite used to it in this neck of the woods, my knees never seem to react well.

Take care of yourself and sending healing happy wishes your way.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on December 14, 2010, 05:36:36 PM
Hi Snowy,

Must be a big blow for you to have PFS and be restricted in what you are able to do as I know how much you like your exercise. I know how you are feeling as I would love to be able to run again and now into my 4th year since my injury and still no real progress.

I hope things start to improve for you soon and can go skiing again soon as I know you were hoping to go skiing again and hope that the PFS does not prevent you doing what you wanted to do for a while now as I know how much you wanted to ski again.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 17, 2010, 03:55:10 AM
Hey Snowy,
How's Frank doing today?
Hope the PFS flare up has settled down a bit, and you are able to do more of what makes you happy.
Still snowing here in ON.  Don't think it will ever stop now till spring.
Just sitting here with my ice getting snapped on my TY3's.  I am starting to feel like a druggy. Just hate taking stuff.  But I can't walk unless I do.
No win situation I guess.
Well take care Snowy.
Have a good weekend.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 17, 2010, 06:29:32 AM
Rknees - not sure anyone should describe a TTT/LR/cleanup as typical! That sounds pretty big to me. Whereabouts in Ontario are you? We're seeing a lot of snow in the mountains but only that one week in town so far, though I think there's more in the forecast and it's turned very cold tonight...

Bigman - I'll take the bike, I think! ;) I hope I'll be out the other side of the current hiccup soon; unfortunately it's been a balancing act all the way through my rehab, and periodically I get the balance wrong. Still doing what I can (no impact exercises) in the meantime.

Tez - not freaked out at this point so much as fed up. My PT has done such a good job of managing the PFS during my rehab (he's adjusted the surgeon's protocol right the way through to make sure we don't overload the kneecaps) and it was my own stupid fault that I overdid it. Looking back, I can't believe I thought that 10k run was a good idea - but I was so stoked that the operated knee was holding up to the running so well that I forgot about the PFS risk. I'll know a lot better next time.

Kris - cold isn't too much of a problem, but I really feel it when it turns wet. Makes poor Frank ache like a rotten tooth. I'm glad cold doesn't seem to be a trigger - that wouldn't help with my return to skiing!

Nick - I can't believe you've been waiting 4 years for progress, that's awful. :( I really hope that your new plan of action and the new opinions bring some more positive and constructive news for you. They shouldn't be dismissing your concerns; if your knee hurts, there's something wrong and it needs to be fixed.

23 weeks post-surgery

Thanks to all for the good thoughts. Not much news or progress to report: knees are still angry (especially Frank) and not very happy with anything that I'm doing. They'll be getting a bit of a break tomorrow as I'm on a leadership course at the City all day, and then we're hosting our annual Christmas party in the evening - so probably the most attention the leg will get is a bit of foam rolling. Christmas day and Boxing Day are also likely to be exercise free zones as we'll be over on the island with J's family, so that's three days in the space of two weeks - eep - normally I give the knees one to two days of rest a month! Curious to see if it helps or hinders the PFS...

Things are definitely not doing too well right now. The bad knee feels tight and glitchy all the time, and I have that familiar angry hornets/burning/rotten tooth sensation under both kneecaps. I keep hoping I'm just hyper-aware of how bad it feels, but then I have coworkers constantly saying things like "Wow, you're limping pretty badly today" and I realise it's not just in my head. On the plus side, I don't seem to be losing strength - the bike, Stairmaster and various weights and machines are all doing fine. I just can't go near anything that involves impact right now, which means no real forward progress. I'm also having to work quite aggressively to maintain flex and extension.

Something I'm still very grateful for is the degree of support that I'm getting at work. We're under huge pressure at the moment as my team has two critical projects approaching launch, so our workload is sky high even with the holidays approaching. However my manager remains very sympathetic to the fact that I'm still in active rehab, and is very supportive of whatever I need to do to stay functional. I seized up completely in a lengthy meeting first thing this morning, and had to immediately go to the gym for the best part of an hour to foam roll the responsible muscles and then ride the stationary bike until the knee finally gave a relieved sigh and relaxed. I'm very lucky to have this degree of flexibility, especially given how much we have going on right now.

Not too much else to add at this point. My countdown to skiing is now below the 50 day mark, which I would be excited about if I didn't feel so crappy right now. I'm just worried that given the current problems, I won't actually be ready to ski at that point. I know I couldn't do it now, and in spite of that good week where I finally glimpsed the light at the end of the tunnel I'm now not sure that I'll be able to get strong and mobile enough in time. This is pretty depressing.

On the plus side, no signs of the MRSA returning. I still feel kind of run down and tired compared to normal, which I suspect is an MRSA hangover. I think for my new year's resolution this year I'm going to focus on sleeping more and maintaining a healthier diet, as these are the two areas (especially the sleeping) where I tend to fall down badly on doing the right things for my immune system.

Hope you're all doing well and everyone else's knees are behaving better than mine.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: hibiscus_tea on December 17, 2010, 11:57:26 PM
Hi Snowy!

Glad to hear that the MRSA isn't returning.  And sorry to hear about your knee acting up.  Still, you and other ACLr people who had the surgery earlier in the year are totally motivating me and it's good to hear the reality of it all... that some days are just better than others. 

I wonder if I have PFS... my PT says it's probably the swelling that's still present, but I dunno... it just doesn't feel right.  How is it diagnosed?  I feel like I have the symptoms, but maybe it's too early after surgery to really know? 

Anyway, I hope you have a good weekend and that your knee will cooperate.  Who is "Frank" by the way? :P

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 18, 2010, 02:04:06 AM
Hey Snowy.
Sorry to hear Frank is being miserable. :-\
I am in South Western Ontario a couple hours from the news maker highway closure problem.
I guess after you live through one TTT/LR/Cleanup the next doesn't seem so big.
As for the tired it could just be the gloomy rainy stuff and too much work. 
Try and get some extra rest and lots of OJ
Take care Snowy.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 19, 2010, 04:39:22 AM
Hi Tea! I think you're probably still a bit early in rehab to be at risk of PFS, especially if you only just came off the crutches. It is something to watch out for if you're prone to anterior knee pain, especially during the phase of rehab where you're doing loads of repetitive exercises but the leg muscles (especially the VMO) are still weak. The main symptom is pain under the kneecap. Your PT should be able to diagnose if you start to experience a lot of pain under the kneecap.

Hey Rknees! You've got some serious weather going on over there. I'm sure it helps knowing that the first op helped, so if you can just get through the second one both knees will hopefully be happier.

Day 161

My knees are weird.

They continued to feel like crap all day yesterday, and kept me awake half the night (well, technically about a quarter of the night as I didn't get to bed until 3am) after five hours of standing at our annual Christmas party. This morning they grumbled and grouched and generally seemed sulky and out of sorts. At noon we headed up to Grouse for a snowshoeing trip with a few other brave folk from the party, and pretty much as soon as I started getting ready both knees settled right down.

On the mountain we trekked through knee-deep snow, went adventuring in the bear habitat, and got completely lost and ended up scrambling up a vertical bank by a frozen lake. I dived head-first into snowdrifts, somersaulted down hills, slid off a small cornice on my butt, and rolled sideways down a slope without a twinge of protest from the knee. It's almost like they were so happy to be out and about in the snow that they forgot to hurt.

Odd, but I'll take it. Will be interested to see how they feel tomorrow.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 19, 2010, 05:32:30 AM
Hey snowy,
Glad you got out to take Frank snowshoeing, he just enjoyed the adrenaline rush.  Lucky knee.
Hope tomorrow the knees are still happy.
Snow angel how appropriate.
Ther first knee isn't perfect but for the most part it feels better.  But the damage done is done.  Hard to go back on that. I hate when they ache and keep me awake.  Real bummer.
Well take care Snowy.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 20, 2010, 06:33:35 AM
Rk4 - it's too bad that they can't do more for your knees, but I guess at least the TTT/LR/cleanup is preferable to a full replacement at this stage. Does the "good" knee that was already operated on still keep you awake at night?

Day 162

Rather proud of the knees today. Went on a second snowshoe hike, this time into the Seymour backcountry. It was a fantastic hike - blue skies, tons of fresh snow, a good steep trek up Mount Seymour, Brockton Peak, and First and Second Pump peaks before dropping down into the valley - I guess about 10k for the round trip. One of the friends who accompanied me described it later as "the kay-led death march into the mt. seymour backcountry" and suggested that I'd been moving like I was on jet fuel; not bad for a 5-month-old ACL.

After I'd driven my gasping buddies back into town I picked up J from work and we went to the gym for a couple of hours. This time, however, I stuck to abs and upper body work - I have no desire to aggravate the PFS when it finally seems to be settling. Then we soaked in the hot tub for a while before heading home.

The only thing that has made me sad about this weekend is seeing all the skiers on the slopes at Grouse yesterday, and scores of backcountry skiers enjoying the powder today. It's probably not surprising that last night I dreamed that I was skiing. 45 days to go, and today the knees felt good enough that it's started to feel like a realistic timeline again.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on December 20, 2010, 11:56:37 AM
Glad to see you out in the white stuff again! You'll be up on skis verrryyyy soon, so it's time to get that silly PFS under control. I was happy to read that you stuck to an abs and upper body workout for once... it can be frustrating but sometimes it's the best thing for crabby knees (spoken like a true person who is not currently exercising, I know)  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on December 20, 2010, 12:24:30 PM
Hi Snowy,

Because of a bit of snow in Birmingham all the Library's were closed on Saturday and bet it does not happen in Canada and the Library's remain open unless the snow is very heavy. We had about 8 inches of snow and have have left work early today because the golf course is closed all day and maybe all week if the snow does not thaw.

Day 161 did not sound like a very nice day for you by not being able to go to sleep due to knee pain. Sounds like you are making the most of the snow and going walking alot and glad your knee seems to be holding up. You will soon be on the ski slopes before you know it.

Nick  :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 20, 2010, 07:04:13 PM
Hey Snowy,
Glad to hear you managed another shoe trip.
Hope the knees continue to co-operate.  Sounds like the PFS has finally quieted down.
As for my post-op knee it still keeps me awake periodically.  Usually when I have pushed the boundaries of over doing it.  But on the whole it is better.  The hardware causes some problems, but not quite ready to have that knee sliced open again to get it out.
Yes alittle to young for a TKR but wouldn't surprise me if I have one at 65.  But I will probably try to tuff it out until science comes along with something less drastic and painfull.
Take Care Snowy it won't be long and you will ski again.  The snow is not going anywhere soon.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on December 23, 2010, 05:12:26 PM
Hiya Snowy

May i use this time to say Happy Christmas to you and J, have a great time.

I have not been reading much etc recently as theres been too much going mum is in hospital and has been there for 2 weeks and is likely to be in another week yet.  She didnt have an op until Tues this week so because it is stomach surgery wint be allowed out until toilet and food is normal and she hasnt yet eaten so its a few days away yet, what with running to the hospital every day, working full time, ensuring mums dogs are looked after and doing my normal things too its been a bit manic to say the least......gunna need those few days leave i have left at the end of it thats for sure, even if i dont make it to the slopes........

I am well, the knee is behaving.  continues to get stronger.  I have goals for nexy year and have already entered one outdoor swim race (over a mile distance) and plan on enetering at least one more if not 2.  There are 5 in total but i do not plan on doing the one in Scotland, only because its too far to travel.  Would like to do the 2 miler in Windermere though!

So Zambia looks likley to be 8/9 july for 10 days with swims and work etc so plans are afoot for me to make 2011 my year of achievement, at least that is what i am saying it will be..............positive thoughts!

My weight has gone down another 2lbs, i am now at 2 stone 2 lbs and do not plan on going too mad over Christmas.  I am focused and motivated and want to stay that way.

So K have a great Christmas and i will chat again soon

Love Lisa x x
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Longwalker on December 24, 2010, 12:52:12 AM
I'm so happy to hear about all the snowshoeing you are doing!  This latest California storm has dumped a lot of snow in the nearby Sierras, so I hope to be up doing the same thing soon.  My knees definitely like hiking better than standing or even sitting.  Next party, just haul a chair around with you and sit down.  You have a great excuse for it.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 24, 2010, 03:17:17 AM
24 weeks post-surgery (tomorrow)

After a truly miserable day yesterday (for those who haven't been hanging out at Cosmic's Cafe, my very dearly loved downhill bike was stolen) I actually have some unexpected good news to share today. Not the return of the bike, sadly, but maybe even better.

I saw my PT today for my 24 week assessment. He gave me a slight ticking off for the 10k run and subsequent PFS flare, but a big thumbs up on everything else. He cleared me to go into the final stage of the rehab protocol, and discharged me! He says at this point I'll be fine to manage the rest by myself, and only need to see him if there's an unexpected problem. Tomorrow I get to start some advanced plyometrics and lateral movement, like running figure eights.

It gets better, though. I'm going to let you guys into a secret that I'm not going to share anywhere else (except with J, obviously.) He's given me two specific tests to work toward over the next 2-3 weeks, one involving running and one involving jumping. As soon as I'm able to complete both tests...I can ski.

Obviously I'm not counting on anything because it may take me longer than that to pass the tests, especially if I trigger another PFS flareup with the new activities. But man oh man...I can't believe it could be so close!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 24, 2010, 03:30:12 AM
Hey Snowy
Sorry to hear about the bike.  That is a total downer for sure.
Good to hear skiing is close at hand.  You go girl!
Well need to go drug up a bad knee night. Was a total over due day., shopping and house work are not a good combo for me.
Take care Snowy,
Merry Christmas and a great New Year.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on December 24, 2010, 03:16:46 PM
Hi Snowy,

The Library is open today till 5pm but does not reopen till next week Thursday. I am so sorry that your bike was stolen and hope the Police can find the bike but rarely do they find stolen items in general, does your house content insurance cover your bike! (is it a pedal bike or motorbike?)

Typical you overdoing it lol and getting told off by your PT but would do the same and use the treadmill at the gym when my PT told me not too. I have been discharged by my PT as I know what physio to do at the gym and home and be wasting my money seeing him. You will be on your skis before you know it, and hope Boris behaves himself.

Happy Christmas!!

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 25, 2010, 04:49:12 AM
24 weeks today I went to the gym, and tried out the first of the PT's two tests - jumping repeatedly across a 4-5 metre distance, then trying the same thing a) faster and b) in a fewer number of total jumps. No objections from the knee at the time; it's feeling a little swollen tonight (not badly) but that may also be because I did 50 minutes on the crazy summit trainer at the hardest setting I could manage. Wanted to get a good workout in ahead of the Christmas break. :)

And right on cue, as though to tempt me with the idea of going out and skiing again, today these arrived in the mail. They're completely unique - the only set of 2011 Praxis skis to be made with this topsheet - and were individually hand-crafted. I'm not even sure if I'll get out on them this year (backcountry skiing the season of my recovery seems a little ambitious) but oh, I can't wait till I can. Best Christmas gift ever. :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on December 25, 2010, 02:36:49 PM
Great to hear that your physio has moved you onto advanced plyometrics, which is always a good indicator of recovery ! You're ahead of me if you're doing figure of eight exercises, since those are really tough pivoting exercises.

How does your knee feel now, besides the PFS ? Does it feel "strong" ? Mine still feels much weaker than the good leg, and regularly gives way slightly.

Sorry to hear about your bike being stolen. Hope your report to the police re the advert on Craig's List (I'm sad to hear that Craig's List is now being used to sell stolen goods, but then I suppose that's no different from Ebay ...) renders some positive results.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 27, 2010, 06:29:16 AM
Deepak: haven't had any problems jumping or hopping; I should be trying my first figure eight runs tomorrow...

My knee feels rock solid apart from the PFS. I would say that the only pain I get from it now is from the PFS, rather than from the surgery site. I haven't had any instability in the knee at all since surgery; however I am conscious that the whole leg is a touch weaker than the other side. This doesn't manifest as much in strength and endurance as it does in a slight feeling of latency compared to the good leg. It just feels like the muscles don't respond quite as fast. This is where I think the plyometrics should help. The operated leg also still feels stiff in comparison to the good knee; again, it just doesn't seem able to move quite as quickly or freely.

I'm only a degree or two off full flex now, but I'm about 3 inches away from a heel to butt touch on that side. However I've been working away on the hamstring curl machine in the gym and I'm finally starting to see some real progress on that functional deficit where I had difficulty curling my leg back toward my butt unassisted. It still has a hard stop at about 95 degrees, but I can kick it up to that point smoothly and comfortably now.

I think all our bodies respond a bit differently to the challenges of surgery and recovery, and strength and stability have been strong points for me whereas stiffness and muscle latency have been the areas where I've struggled.

No word on the bike, but I didn't really expect any. We were pretty relieved that no-one broke into our condo while we were away for Christmas; since the place is all windows it's obvious when there's no-one home, and we didn't know how desperate the bike thief would be. Thankfully we're not going anywhere for a while now.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on December 27, 2010, 03:04:41 PM
hippity hoppity hip hop HOORAY!  ;D And figure eights next, what a badass!!!

Your skis are so pretty, but they will look 100% better with you strapped into them! I am so excited for you.  ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 28, 2010, 02:56:13 AM
Hey Snowy,
That is one nice looking pair of skis. :D
Sounds like it won't be long and the hills will be alive with Snowy.
Keep working and the leg will catch up to the other.
Take Care,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 28, 2010, 04:05:10 AM
I'm dreaming about skiing every single night now. :)

So after a lengthy session at the gym (an hour on weights, and an hour with my new best friend the crazy summit trainer) I tried my first figure of eight runs. I made a little course that took me through three full loops, and ran it four times for a set. I did five sets, and then stopped to see how things settled down. I think that was probably good for the first day.

It felt a little odd at first while I was running; not painful, just unfamiliar. Then it sort of settled into feeling like a normal run. The encouraging news is that there was no weakness or instability at all. By the time I'd cooled down from the workout the knee felt a little stiff and I iced it as a precaution; however, it's hard to say whether that was due to the lateral movements or the hour on the summit trainer. I'm keeping a very close eye on the knee this evening, but the test will be when I wake up tomorrow morning. It feels okay right now.

A short while ago I strapped on my ski boots and clomped around the house a bit, then put on a couple of pairs of skis. This wasn't just desperate jonesing for a fix ("You've resorted to condo skiing," J commented); I wanted to see how the weight of the skis and boots and the skiing positioning would feel, and if they would cause any twinges. I figured right after a really hard workout was a good time to test for weakness. I lifted the skis up and down, leaned forward into my boots as far as I could, and tipped the skis up on one edge and then the other and put as much pressure as I could through them. Aside from the fact that this is a deeply unsatisfying exercise when you're not actually moving, everything felt fine. In fact it felt like hugging an old friend after way too long apart.

My only problem now is that I'm second-guessing my PT, because my OS was pretty adamant about not trying to rush rehab and the PT's instructions would put me on skis a good month ahead of the OS's schedule. However, my PT has tweaked other aspects of the rehab program - for example, he let me go out on my bike two months early, and had me running a month early - and so far he's never guided me wrong. I know of a couple of other folk who have been out skiing at roughly the same point (6 months post-op) with a hamstring reconstruction; I just don't want to do anything stupid given how hard the road to this point has been and how well things are going right now. Halp!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on December 28, 2010, 11:20:36 AM
I don't blame you for being worried about screwing up at this point- so far you've done absolutely everything right. Might it be smart to check in with OS and get his blessing before you hit the slopes? (Or are you worried he'll say no? ;) ) Since the rest of your rehab has been ahead of schedule, it seems likely that you'll get the go-ahead.

As entertaining as condo-skiing sounds, I don't know if it's going to cut it for you in the long run!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on December 28, 2010, 12:45:15 PM
Snowy you are doing so well and as you said you seem to be progressing on most things quicker than your os predicted so maybe the sking will follow on as well I hope for your sake it does and possible more so for Jen's sake as I'm sure it ust upset her to see you unable to do something you love so much, but I tend to agree with Kris and think maybe it would be an idea to run going back to sking as quickly as this past your OS, just in case I know it would kill you to have a setback at this stage in your rehab.
Good luck with it all anyway I'm sure you will be fine whatever you decide to do put it this way the amount of work you have put into your knee you deserve the strongest knee every.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 28, 2010, 10:45:50 PM
And the next morning....

...the knee feels fine. In fact, it feels really good today.

OS is away over the Christmas period, so I'd have to wait until pretty much the time he okayed me to ski anyway to get clearance from him. My PT has rehabbed hundreds - if not thousands - of ACLs, and he's never steered me wrong yet.

Decisions, decisions...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: vickster on December 28, 2010, 10:54:46 PM
I reckon it would be best to wait for the OS to ok it.  When did you last see him?  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on December 28, 2010, 11:18:38 PM
I was looking at my ACLr rehab diary and I was also cleared to start jumping between 6-7 weeks. At that point they had me doing squats, jumping (both feet and side to side hopping) and leg press. I know that I am not the poster child for a successful rehab, but the aggressive rehab protocol that my surgeon used does work for most patients and has a return to full sports activity in a 4 month timetable. The 4 month anniversary from my surgery was last NYE, Which was also the one year anniversary from the date I tore my ACL. The plan had been to go skiing on that day.

It sounds like your PT used a pretty aggressive protocol with your rehab and you have definitely done a lot of muscle strengthening and endurance work. If you can pass the jumping tests that your PT gave you by working up to it gradually to let your knee adapt and not rushing through it, I think you would be ready to ski. Can you see your PT for a final test before hitting the slopes? 

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 29, 2010, 01:57:13 AM
Vicks - at the beginning of December, at which time he was really impressed with my progress and lopped a month off the original date he'd given me for return to skiing. His main concern was getting my quad beefed up a bit, which my PT has been focusing on since then.

Kristin - was your graft hamstring or patellar tendon? I know kaputt_knee returned to skiing at 5 months post-hamstring graft, and over on the skiing forum where I hang out most folk seem to be starting back on snow at about the 6-month mark (which I'll be at next week). The patellar tendon folk are out a bit faster, probably thanks to the bony healing.

It's such a tough call to make. I trust my PT completely, and he did put me on a slightly more aggressive rehab schedule than the surgeon recommended with the goal of getting me back in six months. The OS himself already said that he was happy to take a month off his typical return-to-full-activity timeline (8 months) at my last checkup. Wish he was around to call, but I don't think he's back in the office till Jan 21st and he already cleared me to ski on Feb 1st. :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on December 29, 2010, 02:38:15 AM
I had the hamstring graft. I had been told after the surgery that I would be cleared for all sports at the end of the 4 month intensive program.  I started having my first complication at 3 weeks with the crazy inflammation/infection swelling, but continued following the program with an inflamed swollen leg. I had jumping at around 6-7 weeks, hopping shortly after that and I was jogging on the treadmill at 3 months when the compartment syndrome symptoms became so extreme that my OS started listening to me. Up until I was pulled from PT at the beginning of last December, my PT and I were working towards allowing me to ski on NYE. I obviously never made it that far and do not know if my OS would have suddenly limited skiing while allowing all other contact sports at 4 months, but I assume if I had not had complications I would have been skiing that day.

Why not send your OS an email explaining your PT's program and return to skiing date. If he doesn't have any strong objections, I think that if you don't do any extreme skiing you would be okay. Start skiing slow and like the rest of your rehab build up and add new things in slowly.


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 29, 2010, 03:07:13 AM
Do you know what kind of fixation you had with your graft? I know at this point it's the bony healing rather than the graft itself that's considered the risk factor, although I imagine after 6 months it's pretty well filled in. I had two bioabsorbable interference screws in the tunnels, and a staple at the tibial end.

I know my OS's program is by his own admission slightly on the conservative side, and my PT said he felt it was a bit too conservative - hence his starting me on things like running and road biking ahead of schedule. The OS obviously leaves a bit of room for manoeuvre given that he already bumped up skiing by a month. Unfortunately I don't have an email address for him (having had a relatively problem-free recovery, I've never had any reason to contact him outside of scheduled appointments) and his office doesn't list an email contact, or that option would be ideal.

I am thinking at the moment that I will keep testing out the jumping and figure-eight running for the remainder of this week, and if the leg continues to feel strong and happy then I might try skiing the following weekend. That would put me about three weeks ahead of the date that the OS cleared me to ski, which seems like a good compromise.

Both the OS And PT were pretty clear on what kinds of skiing I should and shouldn't be doing to start out with, so I won't be going crazy when I do hit the slopes. :) I imagine the first time I'll be on green runs only, looking like a total gaper. But that's okay, at least I'll be on snow...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on December 29, 2010, 05:03:43 AM
I'm actually not sure of what kind of fixation of the graft I have. I can ask my OS on my next appointment which unfortunately isn't for a few weeks, but because he is not the OS that did my ACLr surgery, I don't want to bug him with an email.

My OS for my ACLr had this really long ACL replacement graft choice speech that went into all sorts of details first on why each of the other graft choices were not preferred before finally getting to the hamstring graft option. During the whole speech, I was wishing I could fast forward him to see what graft was last on the list, since that obviously was going to be the graft I ended up with. By the time the hamstring section of the talk happened, I was just glad to know which graft I was getting and my mind was racing too much to retain all the details.

Is your PT having you do the side hopping over the stick now along with the straight jumping? I had a lot of problems, but last Fall none of them were yet with my knee. My knee was really strong and stable then and I had pretty much full range of motion so I actually moved through the rehab steps close to on track for my OS's schedule.

If you call your OS's office, can you ask them if they could forward a question for you on to your OS?

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on December 29, 2010, 08:42:46 PM
Hey Snowy!

Wow.  Congratulations on your rock solid knee and your gearing up to ski.  Bet you thought this day would ever get here, huh?!

Totally understand your apprehension about returning to the slopes in spite of all your skiing dreams.  It's only natural and normal that you will have a bit of fear.  Yes, even you Danger Kay!  ;D ;D  I felt the same way about returning to cycling after getting 'doored' during one of my rides.  Of course, I'd ridden thousand of miles prior to the accident, but when it came time to get back on the bike I was nervous.  Wicked nervous.  So nervous that I rode my new bike around a parking lot for a couple of days prior to getting back out on the road.  My abilities hadn't changed, of course, but my confidence had.  When the time comes to get back out there, do it in small steps. ( walking around the condo with your ski boots on.)   :)  And know that all your kneegeek friends will be there with you in spirit when the day comes. 

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on December 29, 2010, 09:25:51 PM
Hey! Good progress on the lateral movements and the absence of PFS! Can you make mine go away too?!  :P

Personally regarding the return to skiing.....I'd wait til the OS clears it. I KNOW your PT has been great, I KNOW you trust him, and I suspect he would be completely on the money but why screw up all this hard work for the sake of a month or so? Life is short. But not so short that its worth messing up your progress for the sake of a month of final strengthening, getting the legs used to lateral movements again, specific ski prehab/rehab and then making sure you're fighting fit to hit the slopes. However strong you are you'll be nervous, thats natural but take views from the person who has been IN your knee and who knows this best. I'd HATE for anything to go wrong for the sake of a short short while.....just my (probably over cautious) nature....

Stay patient grasshopper, the Danger-Snowy will return to the slopes before Boris has had chance to hunt down a whole fleet of shrews!!
(and with current hunting time that isn't long!!)

Take care

xxxx :D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 30, 2010, 05:08:02 AM
Hey Snowy,
Just sitting here with my kitty  hanging over my shoulder. :P  She makes it very difficult to type.  How are those little fuzzballs of yours doing?
By the sounds of your PT it won't be long and you will be swoshing down the mountains again soon.
Well time to crash for the night.
Take Care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 30, 2010, 06:31:08 AM
Hey gang,

Well, I'm trying to do the smart thing - I'm holding off on the skiing for now (even though there's metres of fresh powder and a bluebird day forecast tomorrow), mainly because I've heard it's a total gongshow on the local hills with gapers and hordes of kids everywhere. I guess that's the result of endless fresh snow falling during the school holidays. I'm still mulling over the idea of going for a very gentle test ski next weekend, after the schools go back. We'll see. It doesn't look as though I can contact my OS before the 21st, and while I definitely don't want to rush things I'm not sure how long I'll be able to maintain this level of self control. ;)

Part of what's influencing my thinking is that Frank feels really solid right now. I went to the gym today for a brutal two-hour workout, including 500 floors on the Stairmaster in 1:08 (my goal is to get to 500 floors in an hour. Then I'll be ready to start doing the Grouse Grind again - well, once the snow melts in May.) Everything felt great afterwards; no swelling or complaints, no PFS twinges, and Frank actually felt extra bouncy and strong going up and down stairs later in the evening. This is one of the reasons why my PT was comfortable with releasing me to ski; he has no doubts at all that I have sufficient leg strength now to manage it. He told me to think of it as another rehab drill: keep it very simple and easy for the first month or so, with lots of nice easy carving on green and blue runs. Essentially the muscles are strong and responsive enough, and the graft healed enough, for me to ski. The risk is the same as it was when he cleared me to ride my bike a month after surgery: the activity itself shouldn't pose any threats (as long as I'm careful) but I need to be very mindful of the immediate environment, and not fall.

Overall, the only real lingering issue with the knee is some residual stiffness. I feel this most at the end of range-of-motion; I'm missing about 2 degrees of flex in a heel slide compared to the good leg, and 2-4 inches on a heel to butt touch depending on whether I'm warmed up and having a good knee day when I try. It also feels very stiff when the weather turns wet, stiffens a touch after some activities, and very occasionally for no reason that I can tell. The other issue, which doesn't really affect anything and hence is not of much concern to me, is that I still get a lot of odd nerve sensations around the numb patch. Most of the time it's just numb, but after hard workouts it tingles and gets a pins-and-needles sensation. The skin over the numb area also feels slightly different - a little bit rougher than normal. Fortunately my family doctor talked to me quite extensively about the nerve regeneration and told me that it would quite likely feel odd for up to a year, and possibly longer. If that's the worst I have to deal with, that's fine with me.

No word on the bike, but I wasn't really expecting any. I've only ever known one person who got their bike back after a theft, and that was because a wheel fell off and the thief abandoned it. I have posted a bunch of reward notices, but am not optimistic. Having just forked out the final $6000 of the strata special assessment for the deck repairs (due Jan 1st - happy new year) I can't even contemplate getting a replacement for a while, but we'll see how badly I start jonesing for some trail riding in the summer.

Rknees - the fuzzballs are great! Freya is sleeping on my lap, Smoky is on J's lap, and Laya is curled up by the baseboard heater. :) What kinds of kitties do you have?
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: vickster on December 30, 2010, 12:39:32 PM
The 21st is only a couple of weeks more and there is plenty of the winter left (unfortunately for those of us who hate it ;) ).  However, it sounds like your mind is made up.  So just be careful and take it easy!!!  Presumably, at the weekend, the slopes are still busy?  Look after Frank's brother too! :)

Bummer on the bike :(
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on December 30, 2010, 02:46:44 PM
Morning Snowy,
Just paln old kitties. 5 to be exact.  Being on a farm makes for lots of needy ones. Artemus is a tortisie schell who is almost 8,She was born on my front step is Sept and 3 weeks later her mother was killed by a car so we brought her and her syblings in, homes were found for all but her, so she became our house cat. Tabby is of course a Tabby(brown and grey) is 3 my husband accidently stepped on her when she was about 2 months old and tossed her in the door and told me to fix her up.  She was fine but quite sick as that is what happens on the farm.  She is my kitty and often just hangs out on my chest like the baby she is. Next is Kit she is white with a few tabby spots,She is just 1 and was my daughters Birthday present last year, as at the time there we only 2 in the house.  The Charlie entered in an almost dead state, he is white with caramel colored spots he either fell or was run over, he had a broken leg an smushed back feet but with lots of love and antibiotics he is just fine though due to his injuries we couldn't put him backin the barn.  He just totally lucked out. Now we have Pudgie my youngest brought him in to clean him up as he was sick but for some reason he is still here in the house he is about 3 months old.  Amazingly everyone gets along which is not always the case when new ones are brought in..
That is the cat story.  Unfortunately with barn cats comes dumpers from town and these guys are all the products of dumpers.
Hope the knee has a good day.
Take Care
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 30, 2010, 06:51:22 PM
Vicks - honestly, by the 21st I don't think it would even be worth bothering the OS with the question, since he cleared me to ski on Feb 1st anyway. My mind isn't made up by any means, I just know it's going to be hard to resist given how certain the PT is that I'm good to go. Probably doesn't help that I can actually see the ski slopes on both Cypress and Grouse as I sit here typing - we have a lovely view over to the north shore from our living room and office.

Rk4 - sounds like there's lots of love to go around for the kitties, even though they're farm cats. That's pretty awful about the dumpers, but glad the kitties have you and your daughters to take care of them. You're very lucky they all get along so well; our two kittens are best buds, but Laya's tolerance of them goes up and down. At the moment they're so rambunctious that she's finding them quite irritating, but she'll still let them come and sleep right by her once they're tuckered out for the day.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: vickster on December 30, 2010, 07:04:47 PM
Ah right, I had slightly lost track of the dates :)  I am sure you'll come to the right decision, be that wait until the 1st or not ;)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 30, 2010, 07:42:02 PM
I'm not sure if this is an omen or not, but I just won a Whistler lift ticket in a Facebook contest.  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on December 30, 2010, 08:43:31 PM
Snowy congrats on the lift ticket win, it would appear that something is pushing you toward those slopes sooner rather than later, just be carefull when the time comes to get on those new skis, I'm sure whatever you decide will be the right decision for you.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on December 31, 2010, 03:19:53 AM
Kay as I'm up again at stupid O,clock  and thinking about the last year I wanted to say a big thank you, you have been a total star with your advice, encouragment and motivation over the last year, I appreciate all the time you have taken to help not just me but everyone on this forum, I really hope 2011 brings you a healthy knee that takes you sking and cycling and swimming and all the things you love to do, your another person who only deserves the very best.
Take care I hope you Jen and those cute kittens have a healthy and prosperouse new year 
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on December 31, 2010, 04:21:26 AM
Thank you - that means a lot. :) And I echo the same back to you and all the other knee geeks - I honestly don't know how I would have made it through the year without your support, sympathy, advice, and humour.

Day 173 (or 5 months, 21 days...or 25 weeks less a day...)

Today I cycled my first 100k since surgery. At the expense of two lightly frostbitten toes (it was very cold out today), but that felt like an appropriate milestone to wrap up the year.

One more day left, and then it's onward and upward into 2011!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on December 31, 2010, 12:32:09 PM
Hi Snowy,

Us KneeGeeks have not had a great 2010 knee wise and keep saying every year this will be the year my right knee gets sorted it out but never seem to get anywhere. You are doing really well post op and doing more then your fair share of physio. I know that 2011 will be the year when you can ski again and hope 2011 is the year I can start running again.

Happy New Year.

Nick :) {2010} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 01, 2011, 04:54:26 AM
Hey Snowy,
Lift tickets eh!
Must be a sign.  Won't be long now.  Condo sking, always a first for everything. ;)
Happy New Year to you, J and the little fur balls.
Take Care,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 01, 2011, 09:16:01 AM
Happy new year, Knee Geeks! Western Canada has finally made it into 2011.

Thanks to each and every one of you for being one of the few silver linings in a pretty awful year. When I look back on 2010, I have no idea how I would have gotten through it without the help and support of the knee geeks. It's crazy to think that a year ago, I didn't know any of you - you've been kindred spirits on this unexpected rollercoaster ride of injury and surgery. I know the friendships will last long after recovery is done.

Tonight we had a little ceremony where we took all of 2010's wretchedness, put it in an envelope, tied it up tight and then burned it on the fire. In my envelope I put the letter I got from Whistler ER telling me my ski season was over, the post-surgery PT prescription from my OS, a set of minutes from the strata council meeting where the first special assessment was passed, and Mara's last vet bill. I know it's just symbolic, but we both felt better afterwards.

I go into 2011 feeling full of hope. May it bring nothing but the best for all of us.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: bean11 on January 01, 2011, 09:28:39 AM
Cheers and may you Have a very good 2011 that symbolic thing you did was good as "you"    'rknees4 and knee geeks have given me something to look forwood to while I wait for time to pass, thanks heaps from yer OZY friend Stephen M ! ;D :D :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 02, 2011, 06:36:44 AM
Hey Snowy
Looks like New Years Day is almost done in Canada.
Hope you and J had a very good day. :D
Take Care,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on January 03, 2011, 01:01:09 AM
Hey Snowy, after being away for a couple weeks Ive only just caught up on your progress - Congrats! It must feel great to be so close to getting back on the slopes. Just dont push things too fast, the worst possible things to do would be to do something too soon that might set you back. Saying that i know you wont do anything too risky :)

Hope you had a great christmas and new year
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on January 03, 2011, 02:43:13 AM
 "Would our paths crossed if every great loss had turned out a gain?!"

Sometimes I feel honored to be a KneeGeek. :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 03, 2011, 04:40:45 AM today I fell down the side of a mountain.

We were out snowshoeing, and the group we were with were really keen to do the Mt Seymour Peak. The final stretch up to the peak is a 55 degree slope, which is a difficult scramble at the best of times and not the greatest if your snowshoes lack uphill traction, like ours.

It took us two tries and well over an hour to get to the top, and we eventually made it via a small chute with a few trees at the upper end. The scramble up was pretty tough, and I'm sure I made my knee do lateral things and twisting things that it hasn't done since July. I have been working on lateral movement in the gym, so I hope this didn't do anything too drastic to it. And the views from the top were utterly amazing.

Then we had to get down. We were working our way down the same chute and Jen was inching her way along below me when the branch I was holding slipped out of my hand. I plunged 100 feet or so down the side of the mountain, fetching up in a snowdrift in front of another stand of trees. (Poor J mistakenly thought I'd gotten fed up with the slow progress and let go deliberately, and came flying down after me a second or two later.) The fall itself is a complete blur - I tried to hold my left leg out of the way but I had no control whatsoever over the slide and it definitely took at least one knock.

During the 4k trek out the only pain I had was a sore spot under the incision. By the time we reached the parking lot my knee was stiffening a bit and it's definitely none too happy tonight, but at the same time it doesn't feel super-bad. My concern is mainly that I've yanked at the graft fixation in the tibia, since this is where the sore spot is. Also my OS emphasized that that was the risk factor of unauthorized activities at this stage of rehab.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to get to a doctor this week, but I'm thinking an x-ray might not be a bad idea.

I'm also hanging my head because this was a really, really stupid accident that was entirely of my own making. I realised on the scramble up that it wasn't a very good idea to continue, but somehow I never seem to be able to stop myself once I've started toward a goal. Hopefully I've learned something today.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 03, 2011, 05:26:49 AM
OOOOooo Snowy, :(
I am so sorry to hear that, but maybe you just pulled it a little and everything will be fine.
Sh*t happens, Quit second guessing yourself you at least were living life to the fullest and that is nothing to be ashamed of.
I am up in my usual pain So I thought I would check and see what you were up too.
Try not to worry until you have something certain to worry about.  Just take it easy for a couple days to see what is up.
Take care,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on January 03, 2011, 10:16:06 AM
oooppps snowy! you DORK!  :P

Hope everything is OK and I am glad you learned a valuable lesson. You're still superwoman, no worries there! Take care of yourself.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on January 03, 2011, 10:52:23 AM
Noooooooooooooooooooo falling off mountains is not in the rehab plan! I am sure you've probably just done a bit of a sprain/bruise but an X-ray might not be a bad idea. I KNOW that feeling of wishing you hadn't tried something - but to be honest you could fall down the condo steps just as easily so don't be too hard on yourself.

Keep us posted and perhaps today....should I say it.....a *rest* day might be in order?  :P 8)


Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: vickster on January 03, 2011, 11:59:03 AM
Oh dear, Snowy...eeek! 

As the others say, I am sure it is fine if there is not lots of pain and swelling, but best get checked out asap and perhaps hold off the skiing for now  ;)  Bet you are a bit stiff this morning even if it just your pride that is bruised  :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on January 03, 2011, 01:41:52 PM
Sorry to hear about your rough day on the mountain. Hopefully your strong leg muscles were enough to protect your graft fixation from taking too much of the strain on your way up the steep pitch and hopefully the fact that it sounds like your leg was not planted or tensed when you fell means that you should have suffered only bruising and nothing worse. I do think your poor knee deserves a little break after that adventure. Please do get it checked out before you think of skiing or pushing it to its limits again.

Good luck.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on January 03, 2011, 04:25:31 PM
Oh my god only our Snowy could fall off a mountain when she is rehabing after an aclr ;) ::)
I really hope all is well when the intial stiffness improves I'm pretty sure you have built up your leg muscles enough to protect the graft fixation, but agree its a good idea to get an x.ray even if its just to set your, and everyone elses mind at rest that all is ok with old Frank, also agree a little R&R is called for to give all your muscles a rest today cos I'm pretty sure there will be the odd ache and pain in a few other spots too..... well lets face it you did FALL OFF A MOUNTAIN.....
Take care Tez   
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 03, 2011, 07:36:45 PM
Thanks all. I'm still a bit sheepish about the whole thing, and if I have done something bad to the knee I know I have only myself to blame.

So an update this morning...I'm very stiff and sore all over, with an awesome bruise on my arm where I whanged off a tree on the way down. (I was trying to grab it in a last-ditch attempt to arrest the fall, but was already moving much too fast.) The knee is achy and a bit stiff and twinged a little on my bike ride to work, but no severe pain or significant swelling. It doesn't feel much worse than when I've pushed it at other hard workouts and/or new activities.

On the one hand, I suspect this is something I'm going to go through whenever I try something new, do something foolish, or just experience odd knee pains for the next year or so. On the other hand, because the fall was such a tumbling, flailing blur I don't know exactly what happened to the leg on the way down so it's hard to evaluate how much pressure I might have put it under.

Taking it very easy today. I think Frank has earned a break. If I still have any soreness or stiffness in a couple of days, I'll head to the doctor.

It was a really spectacular view from the top...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 03, 2011, 09:16:22 PM
I see why you wanted to get to the top, that is a beautiful picture. :o
Take care,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 04, 2011, 04:21:50 AM
Dropped a line to my PT explaining what happened and giving him a very detailed description of how things feel now. After calling me a nutter, he said he thinks it's unlikely that I've done any damage but I should come in so that he can give me a once-over. I'm going to try and make an appointment for later this week - I think it's worth getting it properly checked out just in case I've done something bad. It doesn't feel awful, but it doesn't feel that great either.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 04, 2011, 05:04:49 AM
Hey Snowy
Getting it checked out is probably a good idea.  If nothing else it will give you some peace of mind which in the knee game is a necessity.
Have a good night.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 05, 2011, 07:40:12 AM
Knee has felt okay today - no soreness to speak of - and held up fine to the usual bike ride and lunchtime gym session. I stuck to fairly easy exercises in the gym - weighted SLRs, hamstring curls, leg press - plus a spin on the stationary bike. At the end of my workout I actually managed my first heel-to-butt touch since surgery; I don't know whether that's positive (improved flex) or negative (loose graft).

Still feeling a bit paranoid, and my PT is going to squeeze me in for a checkup tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: bean11 on January 05, 2011, 10:10:19 AM
Oh dear snowy hmmmmm taking risks well as long as youve not  done any more damage, 8) Im guessing from the last statement heel to butt ,to me sounds maybe your very lucky and just done a bit more stretch like at the physios might of even helped a little bit by fluke  ;D I wish you well as I cant really talk about not taking a risk for that reason of will and gutso deternination luv yer OZY cobbar Stephen dont stress U will be OK x ::)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on January 05, 2011, 12:51:17 PM
fingers crossed that you've just done a "super stretch" to get to heel to butt. No pain with it at all?

good luck at PT, I expect you will get called more names, then get the all clear!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 05, 2011, 03:40:29 PM
Oh, the heel to butt stretch wasn't completely pain-free - I always have some discomfort as I go through the last few degrees of flex. I can go smoothly from about 0-135 now, but the last little push to 140 is the bit where I still have difficulty most days. It took two or three tries to get the touch, and that was only when I was well warmed up after a good workout.

Off  to the PT in a bit...fingers still crossed!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on January 05, 2011, 04:04:48 PM
Oh dear Snowy! :o The fact that you dont have any swelling or pain sounds like a good sign, but i think your right to get it checked out asap! Especially for your peace of mind...

Good luck, hope the PT visit goes well!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 05, 2011, 05:34:13 PM
Well, all is good - PT gave me a bit of a lecture about appropriate risk levels for this stage of healing (which I took on the chin as I thoroughly deserved it) and gave my leg a thorough tugging before pronouncing everything secure. He said it's quite possible that the graft pulled a bit at the fixation, but if there's no pain, swelling or laxity then nothing bad has happened.

So, a very valuable lesson and a lucky escape...
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on January 05, 2011, 06:16:20 PM
Snowy so so pleased that all is well with your graft,, me thinks you have been one lucky girl ;) ;D at least now you've seen yout PT you can relax and get back to rehab without worry. plus it wont be long untill your back sking and you should start to feel as if this past year has been like a bad dream and you have your full life back.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Bigman78 on January 05, 2011, 10:43:08 PM
Good to hear you escaped any major damage to the graft Snowy!

As you've said a very valuable lesson for you and I'm sure to you'll be more careful in future! Good to hear about the heel to butt touch! That's a good achievement... I'm still 10 inches or so away but I'm sure that will improve in future!

Take it easy!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 06, 2011, 03:21:24 AM
Hey Snowy
So glad to hear all is well.  That will help ease the knee anxiety a fair bit.
Take Care,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: bean11 on January 07, 2011, 04:34:21 AM
 I new ya would be OK snowy thank f___k youre a trueblue ripper lass im stoked you escaped mate best wishes bean ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 07, 2011, 05:01:30 AM
Hi Snowy,
Just up in pain once more so I thouhgt I would say Hi.  So what is on the agenda for you and J for the weekend.  More mountaineering ;), or something a little less exciting like condo sking?  Me I will be taking care of my better half.  He had half a dozen teeth extracted so he isn't a very happy camper right now. I am glad he didn't go to the barn to milk tonight, and hope he sleeps in tomorrow. He does need to take it easy for a few days.
well better go crash,
Take Care,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on January 08, 2011, 02:28:54 PM
Hi Snowy,

Sorry for not posting for a while but as you know have limited internet usage at the library so do not have much time to post on everyones threads. Thanyou very much for posting in such detail about IMS on my thread it is very kind of you to take up your time to give me advise and guidance and think it could be what I just need to get back to running again. Like you love to ski I love to go out for a brisk jog and be great if I able to do it again. I get told it no good for my knees running but do not really care as I can always have a new knee when I get old but even that might not happen as some people run all their lives and do not need a TKR when they get older.

You just like me and like to overdo things and hope Boris does not cause you too many problems. Was funny what your PT said to you on your FB status but as long as your knee holds up ok then why not overdo things and see no problems doing it your way.

Nick :) {2011} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on January 08, 2011, 11:38:55 PM
You fell down the side of a mountain ?!

Well that's nothing compared to what happened to me this week. I was hiking on one of the taller mountains in the Chiltern mountain range, when I fell several hundred metres onto a glacier, from which I slid into an icy ravine. I was stuck at the bottom of the ravine with no means of getting out.

After hours of wondering if I would die in this ravine, I happened upon the entrance to a cavern. I went into the cavern in the hope that this might be a way out of the ravine. Eventually I found myself in a Nether World (a bit like the Netherlands, but without the canal-side cafes) that time forgot.

It was a world populated by Dinosaurs. I learned the rudiments of their language and was therefore able to befriend a Pterodactyl, who offered to fly me back to my world, which is how I am now able to type this post.  ;)

Seriously, I'm glad to hear that no damage was done from your accident.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 09, 2011, 03:06:19 AM
Hey gang....

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: lis1 on January 09, 2011, 03:32:52 PM
Check you out!!!! Am jealous have the holiday left but no money so another ski season without skiing for lil ole me ???

Fab though...+ = a happy Snowy eh?

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 09, 2011, 06:06:54 PM

It's funny - after the whole snowshoeing tumble I had no intention of trying to ski anytime soon. But when my physiotherapist checked me out on Wednesday he reminded me that the knee is more than strong enough to handle carving on groomers, and once the achiness from last Sunday wore off the knee has felt great this week. I've been cranking out a full hour at high resistance on the Stairmaster every day with no objections at all. It's actually felt better than it has at any time since surgery - strong and stable and not protesting even slightly at any activities. I think the crazy snowshoe hike put a few long-unused muscles through their paces, resulting in a big improvement once the achiness wore off.

The weather forecast for this weekend wasn't great and I was worried that conditions on the mountain would be pretty sketchy, so I hadn't really thought about skiing. But reports yesterday morning indicated that the slopes were actually in reasonable condition, so we decided to go snowshoeing, throw the skis in the car, and make a final decision once we'd arrived and had a chance to look at the snow. I was actually very nervous driving up the mountain; and even after we'd checked things out and I started putting my gear on, it didn't seem remotely possible that I was finally about to ski again. I think I've dreamed about it so much that the reality felt like another dream!

The good news is that it all felt great. I took things pretty easy and only skied for a couple of hours; I started out on a gentle green run and then moved up to a short blue before heading to Mystery Peak for a few top-to-bottom laps on a longer blue run. (I think the European equivalent would be blue/red runs). A few long-unused muscles protested a bit, but the knee itself felt fine. The left leg is definitely weaker than the right, but not as much as I expected - I could put good pressure through the outside ski on a carving turn on that side, and the ski didn't feel too squirrelly. I can see from the photos that I was very tense and rigid for the first few runs - my stance is awful in the pic I posted - but that improved a bit as my confidence in the knee grew. I had no problems managing the longer run in one go, although I think the vertical drop at Seymour is only just over 1,000 feet all told.

The knee felt a touch achy afterwards, but no more than it usually does after a new exercise or particularly strenuous workout. Today it feels fine. And I feel like I have my soul back. :)

I'll probably try and hit up the North Shore mountains a few more times in January and early Feb, and see how things progress. I won't actually be able to go much this month as I'm out of town for one weekend, so I'll be easing back into things fairly slowly. Next big goal: return to Whistler.  ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Bigman78 on January 09, 2011, 10:54:18 PM
WOO HOO!!! Congrats snowy on finally getting back on the skis!!

I can imagine how excited you feel as I am dreaming of the day I'm back on a football pitch playing football! How exciting for you! It must feel like you have your entire life back! I'm sure you'll be makling up for lost time over the next few weeks / months!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on January 09, 2011, 11:24:18 PM
Congratulations on getting back to skiing three months before originally scheduled !

No-one can say that you didn't put the effort in to get here.

I now understand why you like cats - they have 9 lives ... as do you, I suspect !  ;) :P ;D
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 10, 2011, 04:55:42 AM
Way to go Snowy, :D
I am so very happy for you. and before February, you should be so proud of yourself. Wise just to take it easy first few times out.  Save Whistler for the end of Feb or beginning of March.  That will give you time to get your ski legs back.  This is almost as exciting as when my kids all took their first steps. ;)
Me just 31 days and counting til the slice and dice. Kind of wild actually I have so much to do before the big day. A few hundred miles on the stationary bike and lots of cleaning.
Well take Care Snowy.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: bean11 on January 10, 2011, 05:13:43 AM
Onya snowy its so good to see you escape the mundain life   ;) small but not insignificant advancements must feel so gooooooood again goodonya glad your " Condo skiiing" days are gone best wishes for a healthy future from OZ 8)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on January 10, 2011, 11:37:37 AM

rip condo skiing!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on January 10, 2011, 04:38:22 PM
Hi Snowy,

It could only be you that would start skiing earlier but if you knee is feelng ok then why not, congratulations as I know how much is means to you to be able to ski again. I hope to follow you and be able to run again if the IMS works for me as I always loved jogging as you have loved skiing. 2011 could be the year as you have had a good start to the year and hope my 4th yea ofr not being able to run will be my last.

Nick :) {2011} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on January 10, 2011, 06:22:36 PM
Snowy I am so so so so happy for you ;D :D :) ;D :D especially now you have told us all that the knee feels good after the return to the slopes, I can imagine how upset and annoyed you would be feeling if the knee had let you down after all the hard work you have put into your rehab so I was waiting with bated breath to hear the after story of how everything went, I couldnt be happier for you, and it goes to show what you can do if you work hard at your rehab [that last bit was a wee dig at myself lol]
I'm sure you feel complete again just please no more falling down montains or doing any dodgy jumps etc.
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: roo222 on January 11, 2011, 10:04:06 PM
That's absolutely fantastic!!! ;D Getting back to skiing 3 months early is brilliant. I have to say that to see you (and other's on this board) getting back to doing what you love, especially a bit early, is a great confidence boost for the rest of us, and it certainly gives me more motivation to do the excercises and work on my rehab as much as you have.  8) ;D 8) ;D

Congrats again!!!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on January 12, 2011, 07:18:55 PM
Hey Snowy!

Congratulations for getting back to skiing, and earlier than you thought! you deserve it after everything you have put into your rehab, and glad the latest setback turned out to have done no harm to the knee.

Good luck with the skiing, fingers crossed you never have an injury like this again, and the knee behaves  :)

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 14, 2011, 01:05:13 AM
Hey folks,

Hoping you can spare some good thoughts for J today - she's not doing well at all. She had a bad infection in her leg that got a lot worse over the weekend; they put her on antibiotics, but she had a severe allergic reaction to them and in the meantime the infection has increased in severity with high fever, subcutaneous bleeding, swelling and loss of sensation in her foot and ankle. We spent most of last night in the ER, and I have to take her back tonight for further outpatient treatment. They have her on IV antibiotics for the infection and a strong anti-histamine to try and control the allergy, so she's quite doped up and not very happy at all.

I'd really hoped we were done with hospitals for a while, but apparently not... :(

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kcknee on January 14, 2011, 02:28:34 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about the problems that J is having now. The two of you have been through way too much and seem to be taking turns with this infection. Would it make sense or even be possible for you to start taking antibiotics now as a preventive measure? That way maybe any trace of the infection could be gone from your house and you guys could get back to enjoying life.

Wishing J a speedy recovery.



Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: mightyjack on January 14, 2011, 04:15:56 AM
Wow! Congrats on getting back to skiing.  I’m happy for you….and maybe a little jealous! Take care of yourself and have fun!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 14, 2011, 04:37:58 AM
Hi Snowy,
So sorry  to hear J isn't well. Not staring 2011 off to good are the 2 of you.
Hope J feels better really soon.
Sending some prayer that way, :(
Take Care Snowy, Tell J we are all thinking about her.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: tez27 on January 14, 2011, 08:08:33 AM
Snowy (((((hugs))))) to Jen I really hope the docs get her sorted asap, you two seem to take it in turn to have a hard time :(
Take care Tez
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on January 14, 2011, 01:10:20 PM
Oh no! That sounds awful!  :( Really hope J gets better soon!

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: kris_83 on January 14, 2011, 01:50:37 PM
ugh more bad luck?! Hope J is feeling much better soon... sending all my best thoughts and lots of hugs
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on January 14, 2011, 04:14:26 PM
Hi Snowy,

From good news to bad news, Jen is in the best place and hope then can sort out her problem soon.

Nick :) {2011} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: seerobinbike on January 14, 2011, 09:11:31 PM
Oh, no, Snowy!!  That sucks. :(  Sending lots of prayers and well wishes your way.  If it ain't one thing, it's another, huh!?  XX 

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on January 15, 2011, 02:47:25 PM
I've just read your post about J. Sorry to hear that she's going through a rough time. Hope she's feeling better.

I know though that you'll be taking good care of her.

Sending hugs to both of you,

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: vickster on January 15, 2011, 05:16:50 PM
Sorry to read about J's latest woes  :(  I hope she is now well on the mend.  Wish her well from me :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Lottiefox on January 15, 2011, 06:59:31 PM
Sorry, but I am going to swear.

Bloody hell, haven't you two had enough **** in 2010? I hope J is soon on the mend. Surely 2011 has to improve for us all? Me with my bummed out back now, and you falling off a mountain (albeit with positive results!) and J in ER.

Sending big hugs and purrs from me and the mogs for a fast and full recovery

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 16, 2011, 07:17:43 AM
Lottie - KG censored you! Apparently it thinks this is a tasteful, sensitive thread. No idea where it got that impression. ;)

Thanks all for the good wishes. It has been a very rough week here - I think this is the sickest Jen's been in all the time I've known her. Yesterday the violent rash from the first set of antibiotics finally started to recede, and today her fever broke and the infection site started to look a lot better. We've been in the hospital every night since Wednesday for rounds of IV antibiotics, and today when we went in the doc on duty said that he thinks she's safe to move onto oral antibiotics. The way it works for this treatment is that you go back to ER and are fast-tracked through, and the antibiotics have to be administered at 24 hour intervals. Yesterday's visit was particularly unpleasant; 11pm on a Friday night and the whole ER was a miasma of alcohol fumes, pain and misery. It made me quite happy to have given up drinking.

Anyways, J is much happier now that she doesn't have to go through more rounds of IV treatment, and with the fever broken is feeling more like herself. She doesn't remember much of the last three days, which is an indication of how bad things were. I'm happier too now that she's doing better. We also got the good news that our second nephew arrived safe and sound yesterday morning, albeit rather late and weighing almost 10lbs. This does mean that I will probably need to schedule a visit to the UK later this year, as I really ought to meet the new family member in person - who's up for a get-together?

Day 190 (where does the time go?)

Since this thread is supposed to be about my knee... ;)

Thanks for sharing the excitement over my return to the slopes, although I have to confess that it's only two months ahead of schedule rather than three (return to full activity is scheduled for March 9th). Still doesn't seem quite real, especially as my plans to catch a few turns this weekend had to be put on hold for obvious reasons. I'm planning on a night skiing session at Seymour on Monday, as their excellent Girls Ride Free promotion (free skiing/boarding for women in return for making a donation to breast cancer research) has started up again. Now that I know Frank is up to skiing I'm really keen to get out again, but I don't want to push things too hard just yet.

Other than that, the knee is doing really well. Still a bit stiff and occasionally grouchy, but the spells of feeling genuinely normal are getting more frequent. I can jump and hop without a twinge, although I can't get quite as much height on a single leg hop as I can with the good leg; the operated side just doesn't feel as springy. I imagine that will come with time. Calf muscles are a matching pair again; quad still needs a bit of work to catch up to the good side, but the knee joint feels strong and stable. Overall I'd say the light at the end of the tunnel is definitely visible now, even though it's still a little way off. Roll on March!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: ouch09 on January 16, 2011, 01:31:11 PM
Glad to hear J's feeling better.

I'm definitely on for a get together - it'd be good to meet up in person, rather than just over the ether.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 16, 2011, 07:05:14 PM
Hey Snowy so glad to hear J is starting to feel better. :)
At least your knee was up to taking care of her this time. Nice to hear of the new arrival, you must be thrilled.
Take Care and keep us posted on J.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Bigman78 on January 17, 2011, 12:26:32 AM
Hi Snowy,

I'm really sorry to hear what Jen is going through. We've both been there ourselves and we know how hard it is to cope with. I'm glad to hear she is feeling better and hope the rest of the recovery goes well. Congrats on the new arrival!!

It's also good to hear about your continuing excellent progress! You've done well to get the calves matching again! Quads seem to take longer from what I've read but you'll get there.... unbelievable to think it's almost been 200 days for you! Keep up the good work :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 20, 2011, 05:12:13 AM
Hey Snowy,
How is J making out?  Hope she is continuing to improve.
Me I am just up in pain, so I thought I would drop by and say Hey. :'( Just about finished the painting about a 10ft section left. Just paying a high price for doing it.  but the thoughts of having to look and the grungy old paint was just more than what I would be able to stand.  The new stuff looks great. Well better go crash before I start drooling on the key board.
Take Care, Have a good weekend.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 22, 2011, 05:49:30 AM
Hey gang!

It's been a busy week here. J is doing much better; she's still tired, but the infection is looking a lot better and the worst of the symptoms are gone. As she recovered the poor little kittens went into the vet to be spayed and neutered; I picked them up last night with instructions to keep them in cones for five days, and not to let them run, jump or wrestle. ("It shouldn't be difficult," said the vet. "They'll probably be very subdued for a few days.") The two little invalids arrived home, divested themselves of their cones in about 10 seconds flat, and proceeded to embark on an elaborate game of chase that took them over most of the living room furniture. Their aftercare instructions made me laugh, as they're not only impossible to achieve but could have doubled as early ACLr rehab protocol (see attached picture...)

Day 196 (or really, Day Two)

Today I took Frank back to the slopes for his second skiing test. It was also a reunion for my regular ski buddy K and I; the last time we skied together was on the final day of last season, when she took a tumble on the Horstmann Glacier and went home in a cast. (Ski season 2009/10 took a heavy toll on a variety of ligaments.) We went up to Cypress, only to discover that the forecast snow was more of a slushy rain. The result was very wet, heavy conditions; tricky to ski in at the best of times, full of opportunities to catch edges and take tumbles, and not suited in the slightest to gently breaking in a new knee.

I had a blast. The tough conditions were a real test of my leg strength and response, and I was really happy with how well I coped. I'm not skiing at anything like full strength and my technique is still hampered by a combination of concern for the knee and adjusting to the different way the leg feels, but I was able to put some real power into my turns and cut through the heavy crud far better than I expected. I also lasted for close to five hours before my quads finally mounted a protest at the unfamiliar exercise. Not only were we able to ski down the former Olympic skiercross course (scene of gold medal wins for Ashleigh McIvor and Maelle Ricker in Feb 2010) but I took Frank on his first black run, the Rainbow face. I'm a long way from being able to straightline it the way I used to, but it felt good to be back.

I came home, iced, and then soaked my tired knees in a hot bath. Frank was definitely aching a bit by the end of the day (though I think that was mostly muscle fatigue) but there were no sharp shooting pains or significant red flags. I'll be interested to see how things feel tomorrow.

My first day on skis was unfamiliar, cautious, nerve-wracking. Today was fun and exhilarating in spite of the immensely crappy conditions and my physical limitations. There's still a long way to go to get back where I was, but I'm happier with where I am now than I have been in a long time.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on January 22, 2011, 12:45:01 PM
Hi Snowy,

So pleased that J is feeling alot better and now on the road to recovery. Your kittens have been spayed and neutered and I call them lamp shades rather then cones. You are really testing out Frank and glad you are enjoying skiing again and Frank was bound to be in some pain after testing him out and a nice hot bath would do him a world of good.

I hope you do not mind me asking in you thread and maybe too impatient and pushy but was hoping that one KG Member could tell me if I have PFS in my right knee according to Mr Green's letter as I just like to know if it is PFS or another type of knee problems according to his notes. It only has to be one short paragraph.

Enjoy the weekend.

Nick :) {2011} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 22, 2011, 08:19:57 PM
Hey Nick,

No problem at all - I hadn't seen that you'd added the letter from Mr. Green to your thread. I've taken a look and added a few comments.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 22, 2011, 09:09:15 PM
Hi Snowy,
Glad to hear J is feeling alot better, that infection stuff is frightening at the best of times.
How are the little furballs today? As far as keeping them quiet, you may have to keep them apart for a day or 2.
Way to go on the skies hope Frank is still happy today and not suffering from the days exploits.
Yes surgery day is now fast approaching.  Everyone will pitch in when the time comes, but they like it when mom takes care of everything.
well better go supper time is fast approaching.
Take care Snowy.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on January 23, 2011, 05:08:20 AM
Hey Rk4! Hope all your preparations for surgery are going well. Not much time left now...

The little furballs are doing really well today. We just gave them their evening pain meds so now they're really stoned and wobbly. They've been super affectionate ever since they got back from the vet; I think they really missed us while we were gone. Smokey has lost all his inhibitions on the pain meds (he's normally quite an anxious, nervous little cat) and keeps trying to persuade 20-year-old Laya to be his wrestling partner while little Freya doesn't feel up to it. Needless to say Laya does not think that this is a good idea. Freya is a little quieter than normal, but otherwise doing well. She breaks out into the loudest purrs every time we stroke her at the moment. :)

Frank was a bit stiff today, but again no sharp or alarming pain - I think it's mostly muscles protesting at the unfamiliar use. I have a busy couple of weeks coming up but hoping Day 3 won't be far away.

Take care and hope the knees aren't bothering you too much tonight.

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 24, 2011, 02:00:52 AM
Evening Snowy,
Glad to hear Frank didn't totally hate the sking.
Surgery is now 18 days away.  Still feels like forever, probably because I have been waiting so long. Well got to go.
Have a good week at work and hope J continues to get the strength back.
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Bigman78 on January 24, 2011, 04:24:52 AM
I'm also glad to hear that Jen is feeling better. I'm assuming she's on anti-biotics now? Hope her recovery continues to go well. As for you Snowy you are flying at the moment! Great to hear you went skiing again for the 2nd time and that this time you enjoyed it a lot more! Even better news is that you didn't have many issues with the knee afterwards. It's a great sign and hope all continues to go well!
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Clarkey on January 25, 2011, 05:52:32 PM
Hi Snowy,

Have what I call lamp shades be removed from your kittens yet who will soon recover from their surgery's. Hope Frank does not give you too many problems and he seems to be holding up well to all the skiing you have been doing. Thanks for the reply on my thread and have my 1st IMS session tomorrow with Dr Brown at 5:30pm. I am then off to Birmingham City Centre to meet up with a Aspergers support social group that run every last Wednesday of the month.

Nick :) {2011} :)
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: clarky_vl on January 26, 2011, 02:28:05 PM
Hey Snowy,

Glad to hear the skiing is still going great, and you are getting less anxious about it the more you ski, the knee seems to be responding really well to it other than normal acheyness which is great!

How is J doing now? Hope she continues to get better, and the kittens too! they sound soooo cute, it must be lovely having those two and Laya running around the place, even if they weren't listening to their vets advice!  :P

Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on January 27, 2011, 03:57:56 AM
Evening Snowy,
How are J and the post op furballs doing?  Hope everyone is continung to get better.  Just 2 weeks till the hack and cut. Now it is starting to feel close.  Something about the 2 week mark that makes it feel real.  Have just about everything done, just the final good scrub of the floors and clean a few corners I know the kids and hubby won't venture into. Knees aren't happy camper tonight. slipped on the ice today and thery both got a bad twist that they didn't appreciate. I take my hat off to skiers and skaters my knees have never enjoyed either, just to ouchy.
well better go take care and have an adventurous weekend.  ;) Take care of Frank
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Rknees4 on February 02, 2011, 04:03:12 AM
Evening Snowy,
Hope all is well. The clock continues to tick only 9 more days, then I can join the in agony club. Snowing like crazy here in ON tonight.  The big storm system from Texas has moved in and is providing the ski hills with mountains of fresh white stuff.
Well better go.
Take Care,
Title: Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
Post by: Snowy on February 03, 2011, 05:20:47 AM
Hey Rk4! Good to hear from you; hope all's well and you're not buried in snow from the big storm. Lo