The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: kellyellyy on April 05, 2013, 08:14:44 AM

Title: 5 months ACL post op. What's normal?
Post by: kellyellyy on April 05, 2013, 08:14:44 AM
Hi guys, this is the first time using the message board. I'm a high school softball player and a future collegiate player. I ruptured the ACL in my right knee almost exactly a year ago and had surgery on Halloween of last year. I just have a few questions that I'd like answered but I'm not sure if I'll be returning to therapy so I don't know if I'll have a chance to ask my therapist.

It's been 5 months and a few days since surgery using the patellar tendon. I did that hop test thing about a week ago and apparently I'm at 80% of the uninvolved knee and my physical therapist said I should be around 90%. Should I be worrying? I take my rehab pretty seriously although I have slacked for a maybe a week a time or two so I've by no means been the perfect patient. I'm concerned that I'm not working hard I horribly behind in my rehab, or is this a semi-normal occurrence? I would have asked my therapist this when I went for a session last week but I guess I didn't think anything of it then.

Also, is it normal to still have pain at this point? I always feel like I need to kick my foot against my butt to loosen up my knee because it feels kinda tight and kinda hurts when trying to fully extend it while standing. I don't think my extension is 100% either though so I guess I'll just ask if that's a bad thing too at this point? Note that I am pretty hyperextended and can "straighten" the knee, just not to the point that it's bent backwards as far as the other one goes.

Thanks to anyone who might be able to help me out here. ;)

Title: Re: 5 months ACL post op. What's normal?
Post by: Ron Da Silva on April 05, 2013, 09:57:50 AM
Hi there Kellyellyy, I have been in a very similar position to you and am now 10 Months post op but I had a Hamstring Graft as opposed to the Patella. First of all I would say not to worry about being slightly behind as everyone heals at different rates especially as not everyone will do the same rehab at the same intensity so it does sound like you are doing fine. If you are concerned at all I would definately recommend contacting your OS though as they will be able to put your mind at ease.

With regards the pain, I can't really comment accurately as I had a different Graft but at the 5 Month mark I certainly had pain at certain ranges of motion but from what I understand this is normal as the 3-6 month period is where the new graft is developing its own blood supply and a critical time in the healing process but again, I would recommend speaking with the OS if you have any concerns at all just for peace of mind.
Title: Re: 5 months ACL post op. What's normal?
Post by: Snowy on April 06, 2013, 05:13:30 AM
80% at 5 months sounds pretty good. Don't forget, it's not just the healing process that you're dealing with  - it's the long, slow haul of getting back to full strength after a leg has been operated on. The nature of ACL rehab means that you inevitably lose muscle strength and tone during the early stages, when your activity is very restricted, and that takes a lot of time and hard work to come back. It sounds like you've been pretty diligent with your rehab for the most part; just keep working away at it, and things should come.

With regard to the tightness and discomfort, again I can only speak to my own experience but I certainly had both of these sensations at the five month mark. In fact I would say it was a full year out of surgery before those sensations completely went away; however by that point they were pretty inconsequential and weren't impacting my activity levels at all, so I rarely thought about them. It was similar with extension; I got full regular extension back fairly quickly, but hyperextension (I naturally hyperextend by a few degrees) didn't come until months later.

If you have concerns I'd definitely recommend having your OS take a quick look at your knee, if only to put your mind at ease. But it sounds to me (admittedly just a fellow patient, not a medical professional) as though you're well on track.
Title: Re: 5 months ACL post op. What's normal?
Post by: kellyellyy on April 16, 2013, 06:47:12 AM
Thanks both of you guys! I actually feel a lot better about my situation now.