The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: johnama on June 13, 2013, 06:07:49 PM

Title: Pre op advice?
Post by: johnama on June 13, 2013, 06:07:49 PM
Hello all.  First of all this website is awesome.  It is nice to have an outlet and not have my poor Mom or bf hear any more of my whining.  With that said, I woudl like some advice.  Just got diagnosed with torn ACL and meniscus.  I have a surgery scheduled for the 25th of June.  I was just wondering what I should be doing pre operation.  I have heard the more you can engage the quad, the better.  Also, what can I expect for right after the surgery?  My doctor is out of town, so I am getting anxious.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Pre op advice?
Post by: Clarkey on June 13, 2013, 06:48:41 PM
Hi johnama,

I have had one key hole surgery on my right knee not for a torn meniscus or ACL just a medial plica removal and fat pad trim that's classed as a soft tissue injury that can have the same symptoms as a torn meniscus with pain and catching in the knee.

Make sure you keep your quads strong pre-op by doing the physio exercises your PT has given you to speed you your recovery post op. The quads are going to get wasted after surgery and need to be built up again as the muscles will feel like jelly after surgery and quads will shrink in size and have to do follow the muscle strengthening exercises religiously a few weeks after your surgery to make a quicker recovery that your physio will go through with you.

The general anesthetic tends to stay in your system for up to 48hrs and may feel like you got a hang over when you wake up in the recovery room.

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Title: Re: Pre op advice?
Post by: Katidid1 on June 14, 2013, 10:16:54 AM
Yes, if you can have strong quads it really does help.  I've worked out for years with heavy weight.  Tore my meniscus by stepping off my carport and twisting my knee.  At any rate, my recovery has been fantastic.  I started back running just three weeks post meniscus removal (40% removed) and started back weight training lower body at the end of the third week and am now in my 4th week and doing really well.  If they do a pain block, you will not feel your knee the first day, but it will be pretty painful for the next few days.  I had pain for about two weeks.  I started walking on mine within three days without crutches.  Good luck!!!!
Title: Re: Pre op advice?
Post by: tez27 on June 14, 2013, 04:02:28 PM
Its not long till your surgery now and I am sure your surgeon will have his own protocol for rehab after your ACL reconstruction, all surgeon have their own ideas of what happens after surgery, I have had my ACL reconstructed for the second time 5 weeks ago and this time my surgeon has me partial weight baring for at least 6 weeks with very little in  the way of physio until I see him in a couple of weeks, whereas last time I was off crutches within 2 weeks and got right into a rehab program with my physio starting a week after surgery so a lot of how things will be for you depends on your surgeon,
 It can be a long recovery and most people are not released back to full activities until about 9 months post op but again it depends on what you want to do and your surgeon.

As for the first couple of days its important to stay ahead of the pain, it is pretty painful to start with, but if you keep on top of the meds it should be fine, just make sure your prepared for coming home, I think you will need someone with you for the first few days because you wont want to be left alone when your on crutches and not able to do much for yourself, also be prepared for not being out and about right away and get everything ready for you initial recovery, if you are alone make sure you have premade meals that are easy to prepare and also make sure you have ice on hand because you will need to ice your knee regularly, I got myself a cryocuff which has been the best thing ever but ice pack or even frozen peas can work just as well.

If you have any more questions just ask there are loads of us on here who have been through this and a few of the others have fantastic knowledge of all things ACL related.

Take care
Title: Re: Pre op advice?
Post by: johnama on June 21, 2013, 04:52:02 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice and encouraging words!  Looks like I'll be getting the hamstring graft.  As for my meniscus, they are going to have to wait and see how bad the damage is and decide whether or not to repair it or remove it. 
Title: Re: Pre op advice?
Post by: Hiker girl on June 22, 2013, 05:17:15 PM
Good luck Johnama! 

Keep ahead of pain and swelling!
Title: Re: Pre op advice?
Post by: eternalhope on June 23, 2013, 02:10:54 AM
Hello - i'm actually new to this board (great, by the way!). 9 days post op for the same procedure (ACL and meniscus). Part of my meniscus removed, another piece repaired. I tore my ACL while MMA sparring, tried to heal a few weeks, went back 4 weeks later and tried to do more sparring. Took a step back to throw a punch and my leg completely gave way. I really think the second time is where the most damage was done.

A few things that sometimes are overlooked prior to surgery is making sure your 'resting station' is all set and ready to receive you when you are back from the hospital. Comfortable bed / couch set up with extra pillows for elevation, extra tables for electronics, books, everything to keep you busy for a few days. Try to make sure all avenues to the bathroom are clear without obstructions as you will be going there quite often as the anesthesia and other drugs find their way out. Keep the remote close by as well. If you get any kind of meniscus repair, that will hinder your mobility by a few weeks. I was laid up in bed for approx 6 days and worked from home on my laptop. It sucked, but there really wasn't anything else for me to do besides get up and crutch around the house for a bit every few hours..then it was back to bed.

As far as pain, I was taking percocet. Only took them for 3 days as I really didn't like the way they made me feel, and even then i had minor withdrawals but nothing serious. The lack of pain from the femoral block is deceptive - you'll feel like a million bucks - for the first 24 hrs until the block wears off. At that point, I starting getting some wicked spasms all over my leg. Be ready to call for anti-spasm meds if you need them. Some people don't have a problem with spasms, but I surely did. Make sure you take your meds on schedule because catching up is VERY difficult. I didn't wake up the first night to take my meds and the pain was terrible. Most of my pain was in the patellar graft site, and I hear the hammy graft is much more tolerable.

Finally, have LOTS of ice ready and waiting. I purchased an Aircast CryoCuff ice/compression machine that has been a Godsend. The automatic machine was 189.00. You fill the cooler with ice and water, wrap the cuff on your leg, plug it in and you're done : ) If not, you'll need to switch out ice bags very frequently. Ice and elevation will be your friends as you need to keep swelling under control.

Hope all goes well with your surgery!
Title: Re: Pre op advice?
Post by: johnama on June 26, 2013, 04:30:31 AM
Well I am about 12ish hours out now.  Feeling pretty good.  They ended up repairing my meniscus so while I may have a longer recovery, I am happy to still have it.  Would love to go to my doc I saw a year ago and tell him he over looked my ACL tear then...eternalhope, I got a Game Ready machine for ice now and ice/compression later.  You are so right, It has already become my BFF.  I know I will have some pain after the nerve block wears off so I am trying to take some pain meds at intervals, not over do it.  A little sore at the hamstring harvest site.  So thankful to have my Mom around to get me water/food/everything!
Title: Re: Pre op advice?
Post by: Clarkey on June 26, 2013, 03:52:02 PM
Hi Johnama,

Glad your surgery was successful and now the hard work begins the start of your recovery process that takes a while with a bit of patience. The knee will look very swollen for the 1st couple of days that slowly will go down and can then have your stitches removed and have your 1st proper bath or shower as you cannot make the dressing or incision wet. I may be totally wrong thats at the back of my mind that I could not get the portals wet for the 1st few days when I had my scope on my right knee in November 2009.

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