The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: patty on June 05, 2018, 09:12:28 AM

Title: Walking after 5 weeks of NWB - MF and 1 stage ACL Recon
Post by: patty on June 05, 2018, 09:12:28 AM
I am now 5.5 post op , I had: Femural MF, Meniscus tear repair, patella decompression, 1st stage ACL review , Bone graft.

As part of the MF, OS recommended 5 weeks of NWB. It was a surprise (since he only told me about the MF after I woke up from the GA) and a bit of a struggle. After the OP I have been attending 2 x a week of Physio.

I started putting weight on my leg 4 days ago as per OS instructions and under PT supervision.

I am using crutches to walk but I still feel sometimes a sharp pain on the knee and also feel that the knee cannot take the weight. PT said it would 2 -3 weeks before I can walk without crutches. I find it very optimistic as at the moment I am feeling very insecure about walking with both crutches not to mention going without them at all.

I know everyone is different but I would like to know anyone else's experience.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Walking after 5 weeks of NWB - MF and 1 stage ACL Recon
Post by: BornToRun on June 05, 2018, 09:46:40 AM
Hi Patty, with one ACL surgery under your belt already you probably know way more about this than I do! But just to say that I found the transition from two crutches to one to none quite fast post op. It was within a couple of weeks more or less. BUT, even without 5.5 weeks NWB, there were definitely shooting pains walking. They were mostly around the lower knee area, by the larger incision, and went on for a few weeks. Also, my sense of balance was completely shot and I had to take every step veeeery slowly and deliberately. Any steep gradient was out as well. Three weeks post op I simply couldnít go up a hill in Cornwall and was completely stranded at the bottom. Iím now 7.5 weeks in and I still have a bit of a limp I canít shake off, even though I can go up and down stairs as well without crutches (down is a bit uncomfortable). So I found it both quick and slow re walking and crutches. But as I said, you probably know way more than me about this from your first op.
Best of luck with your recovery, fingers crossed!
Title: Re: Walking after 5 weeks of NWB - MF and 1 stage ACL Recon
Post by: patty on June 05, 2018, 11:39:07 AM
Hi Born to Run

Thank you for taking your time and replying to my message.

My first ACL was 14 years ago and what I can remember, apart from very limited ROM (and a struggle to get the ROM going) the transition to be able to walk again was smooth 6 weeks after op.

My struggle this time is different because of the MF (which is totally new to me) and the fact that I was 5 week NWB.

I can totally relate to the difficulties of walking any steep gradient! (or even not that steep.. but just a bit of an incline!!!)

Good luck with your recovery too! :)
Title: Re: Walking after 5 weeks of NWB - MF and 1 stage ACL Recon
Post by: BornToRun on June 05, 2018, 11:53:33 AM
From what I hear, MF tends to be painful, so that sounds consistent with what you are saying about the pain on walking. And I hear you on even small inclines, especially down hill!! And on ROM; I had a small meniscus repair so the physio hasnít been pushing the flexion. He says it will come by itself, and so far, touch wood, heís been right. Every now and again it seems to gain a few degrees all of a sudden and for no reason. But itís still not all there... My extension is there, but goes away if I get stiff, or exercise the hamstring, or sit with the knee bent. Again he says thereís nothing blocking it, so not to worry. These knee injuries / operations / rehabs seem designed to mess with our heads, donít they?

When is the second stage of your reconstruction due?

 And if you donít mind me asking, how did you retear it?

All the very best for your recovery, and lots of sympathy for the NBW. It would have driven me mad, youíve done so well to stay sane!
Title: Re: Walking after 5 weeks of NWB - MF and 1 stage ACL Recon
Post by: patty on June 05, 2018, 05:33:07 PM
My sanity is totally questionable at this stage! ;D Ended up buying a wheel chair so I could get out of the house, talk about cabin fever!!!!

I wish I could tell a fancy story on how I damaged my knee! But in my case it was carrying a TV down the road and twisting my leg on uneven pavement! I had just picked the keys to my new place and I had the sky engineer coming to install the services before I moved in. He got here and he told me he needed a TV in order to do the set up. So I popped to my old flat which was just 5 mins down the road and on the way back....BANG!  :(

As for the second stage, we do not even know if we will do it. According to the OS we will re-assess in 10 - 12 months time. As part of the 1 stage I had to have a bone graft to replace the pin which was removed. So OS wants to make sure that the graft is settled. If we go ahead with the second stage, I will not do it until January 2020 as I would like to enjoy the summer next year! :)

Good luck with your recovery too and getting your ROM back!

Title: Re: Walking after 5 weeks of NWB - MF and 1 stage ACL Recon
Post by: BornToRun on June 06, 2018, 10:15:38 AM
Completely understand where you're coming from re the wheelchair. We considered one on our recent trip to Venice (booked pre injury!) as the physio seriously restricted how much I was allowed to walk. In the end we got by on the Vaporetto with me waving my crutches about a lot for seats and space.

Ouch re TV/injury! At least I hope it was working for your 5.5 weeks in bed!! I'm not sure if it's a consolation, but I found it comforting when the physio who saw me pre op said "There isn't much you could have done, if the ACL is ready to go, it'll go one way or another." Did yours detach rather than tear then? Fingers crossed for no stage 2, and absolutely second wanting a proper summer. In my head I was going to enjoy this one, but I realise now just how long and up-and-down this recovery is. I think with the best will in the world people just don't "get" that until they've been in that position. Lots of people say "oh, it really takes 6-12 months? surely not! I know someone who made a miraculous recovery from a broken toe! etc." - meaning to be nice, but ARGHH!!  Sorry, rant over.

Did one of my physio prescribed 30 minute walks yesterday and because it was the evening  and I'd been sitting in the office all day, it was limpy and achey. GRRR!  >:( So yes, I do still get aches walking occasionally! Mostly in the "zone of ouch" by the long scar. Despite not having been NWB!!

Sounds to me like you're doing extremely well in the circumstances. Bestest of luck, keep your chin up, and do let us know how you get on. It's very interesting to hear from other people going through (approximately) similar things. And sorry for the epic long message!  :)
Title: Re: Walking after 5 weeks of NWB - MF and 1 stage ACL Recon
Post by: Vickster on June 06, 2018, 10:40:43 AM
Maybe try rolling a tennis ball gently back and forth under your desk while sitting to keep the knee moving
Title: Re: Walking after 5 weeks of NWB - MF and 1 stage ACL Recon
Post by: BornToRun on June 06, 2018, 12:00:00 PM
Vickster, that's a great idea, thank you!  :) :)

One for Patty too if she's behind a desk already?

I get up every 30 minutes on the clock and do heel slides under the desk as often as I remember, but the tennis ball would make it easier :)
Title: Re: Walking after 5 weeks of NWB - MF and 1 stage ACL Recon
Post by: patty on June 07, 2018, 01:06:07 PM
Born to run, you were very brave going to Venice on your crutches! Specially with people rushing around and the influx of tourists. I know Venice very well as my mum is from there! :) 

Regarding my ACL it was a proper tear! The impact on my knee was quite strong. I had my first ACL reconstruction in 2004 and I had a few problems up to 3 years after the operation but for the last 11 years my knee had been strong and never had any problems at all. I had been ice skating, HIIT and the lot and never had any problems whatsoever! :) At least the TV was useful during the recovery time! I am still unsure for the 2 stage. I do not feel confident to be walking around without an ACL! But we will see how it goes and if I can actually survive without the ACL.

A bit of an update: Had physio yesterday. During the session, I swear I thought he was going to break my knee! I was in so much pain! Basically he was working on my ROM. During NWB I was on 133 (I reached 135 at a push) but then since I started 'walking' it went back to 125. He said this is due to the swealling and I am now back with my cryocuff (it makes such a difference!!!)

Physio also recommended at least 2000 steps everyday. (he uses my fitbit to measure my steps) and he also put me in one of those gym machines for leg raises with 5kgs on it. It was a bit of a stuggle to get the full extension so he was happy for me to do as much as I could comfortably do it.

Must admit that today my leg feels a lot better and I feel more confident in walking. Still a bit wary but a lot lot better.  I actually left physio yesterday walking on one crutch only. But been on both crutches most of the time!

Hope you are feeling a bit less achey and stiff!

As for  Vickster's tip I will adopt this technique! Really need to work on my ROM. Although I am still working from home and I get a chance to walk around the house on regular breaks, It is a good thing to do will stuck in front of the computer.

SO born to run.. any idea when you will be able to resume running?

Title: Re: Walking after 5 weeks of NWB - MF and 1 stage ACL Recon
Post by: BornToRun on June 07, 2018, 06:29:20 PM
Yikes Patty, sorry to hear the knee survived ice skating and HIIT, but gave in to the uneven pavement! That said, looking at the pavements outside our flat, I'm not surprised. You don't even notice them until you're injured, but the first few days post op it felt like I was negotiating an obstacle course!

So glad to hear the walking is improving! How's the pain? And is the ROM holding up? Are you having to do the dreaded heel slides? I found that once the swelling above the knee on the outer side went down a bit, the flexion did suddenly get better. Fingers crossed for the same for you, and that the cryo cuff knocks it on its head. The physio massaging my calf and hamstring today also really helped with flexion as well as extension oddly?

Re your extension and walking troubles, we must be knee twins. I had a double whammy of the 8 week surgeon follow up and physio today. And the first thing the surgeon said was that I don't straighten my leg as  I walk (which I'd figured  ;D). He frightened me to death with talk of scar tissue removal surgery if I don't fix my extension ASAP!!!  But then he saw that once he pressed down on the leg and the muscles relaxed, the extension was there. So a little less panic, and he confirmed the graft is still there and strong  :) :) So that was a scary start to the day I could have done without!

The physio looked into it and assured me there's no scar tissue build up at all, just tight muscles. He then dug into the scars, calf, hamstring and flexion with a vengeance and made me do tonnes of exercises to force me to stop  pushing  my knee cap inwards as I walk. There were all sorts of sensations that I didn't like doing that! But he assured me I wasn't popping my graft :) My hammie AND my foot are now taped up to help with the gait. So you're not the only one with walking troubles! I swear I'm overthinking it so much, I'm beginning to walk weirdly with the other leg too! Are you finding that? Or is it just the shooting pain?

I won't lie, Venice was a bit nerve wracking! But from going on the tube here I've learned to demand a seat no problem if one isn't forthcoming. And crutches + death stare are great at fending off clueless tourists. My main terror was the vaporetto bobbing up and down once it got going. So I always comedy hobbled to get a seat before it could make off with my new ACL! Such a lovely place though. Hope you have an excuse to visit often. I made the husband promise to go back next year...

Great idea re working from home btw. I was intending to do 2 weeks and then go back gradually, but I managed 4 fully from home. Even now I only go in 2-3 times a week. It also helps with fitting in all the exercises, and it works as my boss works from home most of the time too. Are you due back soon, or can you stay at home for longer?

As for running, the physio is talking at the 4-5 month mark all going well. To be honest though, right now I'd love to just WALK properly and for as long as I like. He's allowing me two half hour walks a day, but no more as I haven't got the muscles yet and he thinks it'll just irritate the knee.  I'm one of those people who finds it very hard to keep still even when I'm at home though, as my fitbit shows!! :)

Are you a runner?