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Author Topic: Ann's acl replacement surgery  (Read 2893 times)

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Offline a2n

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Ann's acl replacement surgery
« on: September 15, 2005, 06:30:29 PM »
I had the surgery on the 12th, spent the night in the hospital, and am home now.   It feels WONDERFUL to be home, and the surgery went very well.   One minute they were talking to me in the operating room, and the next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery asking someone if it was over.  Wow, that is so weird.   The surgery took about 2 hours and other than the allograft to replace my acl, Dr J. said everything else looked better than he expected.   That was very good news.
   So far the pain has been minimal, due to the great meds. It only hurts a little when it is time for another pill, mostly at the incision sites.     They really have pain management down to an art these days.  While in the hospital I was on a Demerol IV which I could push a button every 10 minutes if I wanted to and get a dose.  The first day, right out of surgery I got that going and pushed it quite a bit...... was feeling NO pain.  I was so relaxed, and slept on and off all day.   Later I cut back to about every hour.    I was really very comfortable.   The hardest part was having to have a nurse help me to and from the bathroom with all those tubes connected, and on crutches not able to bear any weight on the leg.    I hated that every time, just because I was so afraid of falling.     
I was on a cpm machine most of the time while in the hospital, and when not in that, I worked on straightening my leg, which went very well.   
My Husband brought me home around 4:30 yesterday, and the knee was starting to say 'hello', so started on the hydrocodone, and within a short time was feeling much better.   Hope I am not slurring my words as I type.  I am certain that if not for the drugs I would be experiencing roaring pain.   I also had a pump that I wore around my waist, with a tube  directly into my leg.   That automatically gave me regular doses of another pain medicine, directly to the knee.   When it is giving the dose, it sounds like a cat purring.  My cat Lucy is very curious.  I was done with that this morning, and removed the tube myself, no big deal.
   I have a metal leg brace that I will be wearing for a while.    It can be released to different degrees of flexation.   Right now I am allowed to bend from 0 to 90 degrees, but no weight bearing at all for a couple of weeks.
   I am instructed to take my temperature every few hours and be alert for any signs of infection.   I think the chances are small that it would happen, but they sure gave me a list of things to watch for, and told me to call at once if I have any doubts.
I had my first post op PT session today, and was told I am ahead of where most patients are at this point, so that was good.   I have been faithful about doing all my exercises, and I think that really helped.    I continue my quad sets and a couple of other exercises, and go back again in 2 days.    I am experiencing some tenderness in my shin, which surprises me, but guess it is part of the experience.   The incision sites all look healthy, and no sign of infection at this time. 
I am so glad the surgery is over!!!!!   Now I'm ready to do the work to recover and regain my strength.
Thanks to all for your support!
Ann
age 53
fall from ladder on July 11, 2005
2 fractures tibial plateau, non-displaced
damaged meniscus
torn acl
acl reconstruction surgery /allograft Sep. 12, 2005

Offline a2n

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Re: Ann's acl replacement surgery
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2005, 07:00:28 PM »
Had my first post op Physicical therapy last night, and it went great!   The main thing is to have the knee fully extended, and I am fine on that.  Also doing well on the quad lifts.   My PT said I am already 'ahead of the curve' for recovery.   I feel great about that.    Here are things that helped:   I did pre-op PT, LOTS of quad sets, and flexing.   I bought a stationary bike, just a cheap one, but that's all you need, to keep your leg strong and good ROM pre surgery.   It will also be a good rehab tool when I am ready for that.   My PT said that is really the one piece of equipment needed for rehab, and suggested I get one. 
It really helps to prepare your environment for everythng you need before you have the surgery....   Eat healthy and take your vitimines in the weeks before for surgery.   Get yourself as healty as possible so your body can heal.
Have your pain meds ready and waiting. Stock the refrigerator with foods that are easy to grab and go, like fruit cups. yogurt, jello cups, etc.   Have bottled water & meds by your bedside, and easy to reach edables such as granola bars for when you take your meds. (I didn't want to take mine on an empty stomach)   Make up ice bags ahead of time.  Put a note on your door that you may not be able to answer the doorbell, and instructions for any deliveries (have the neighbors accept them for you).
I did not experience any nausea with my meds, but was ready just in case:  I had a plastic dishpan, plastic bags, towel, and bottle of water stashed under my bed, within easy reach in case I got sick and couldn't rush to the bathroom. 
The day before surgery I gave myself a manicure, pedicure, touched up my hair,gave myself a facial, and the works!   I felt so good.  You will have to go without those luxuries for a few days, so might as well go into it looking good.
You won't be able to shower (or feel much like it) for a while, so get a pack of disposable adult body wash pads.... they work very well for the first day or so.  "Baby wipes" are about the same thing.   Put some shampoo and a towel by the kitchen sink, and you can wash your hair easily.    In general, think about what you are going to want, and set things up before surgery.   You will be glad  you did.
I still have a long way to go, and work to do to get my strength back, but so far so good.
When this accident first happened, I went through a lot of pain and emotions, I cried, I was angry, I was afraid,and it was a long, long summer.  But things are looking up now.   I know some of you reading this are in the beginning stages of your experience, and it is a hard place to be.  Get the best O.P. on your side, read the postings here and learn (Wow that helped me SO much) and be patient.  DO YOUR PHYSICAL THERAPY.... ALL OF IT.  This will not be a quick recovery, but you CAN DO IT !   If I, Queen of the Wimps can do it, there is hope for everyone.   I was scared too, but it is all goig well so far !
age 53
fall from ladder on July 11, 2005
2 fractures tibial plateau, non-displaced
damaged meniscus
torn acl
acl reconstruction surgery /allograft Sep. 12, 2005

shadehawk

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Re: Ann's acl replacement surgery
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2005, 07:06:51 PM »


Ann,

Wow, you are doing awesome.....  Everything sounds like it is going according to schedule and you are doing just great.

Wishing you continued good healing.

Shade

Offline a2n

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Re: Ann's acl replacement surgery
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2005, 01:16:26 PM »
Hi Everyone
2 weeks post op, and still doing OK.  0 to 110 ROM and full extension. Good quad set.  Some swelling remains, and my calf muscle has disappeared, but that will come back eventually.   My ankle still bothers me, due to swelling and there is still some bruising, but it has begun to lose intensity.   What a rainbow of color appeared on my leg ! 
I also had  cellulitis  on my shin the first few days, which was very irritating, but has since gotten much better.
Some days have been better than others.   My pain has been minimal, as I had good luck with my meds working.    I hated the dopey feeling though, so stopped taking them last week, except I take 1/2 of one at night.   
I have to wear my brace at all times, even sleeping.   Hard to sleep with it, but I have figured out just how to prop the pillows to make it work.   Kind of.
My OP visit was last friday, and he removed stitches.   3 more weeks on crutches, 3 more weeks physical therapy ( and more to come ) Still no weight bearing.   Doc is taking a conservative approach to my rehab, probably  due to my age, and the allograft.
I have had some "down" days when I feel like this will never end.  I miss my garden,(which has gone to weeds lately) I miss my usual active lifestyle, but eventually I come down off the "pootie pile" and get back into the swing of things.   Sometimes I have a little cry and then get on with it.    It is a real disruption to ones life to go through this, but what a marvel that we can be repaired.   A generation ago I would have been doomed to be "that lady with the cane" for the rest of my life.   I am grateful for this second chance, and intend to learn everything I can from the lessons that are presented to me.
Life is mostly horizontal right now.   I rest a lot, and find that if I am up for an hour or two at a time, that is enough.   I do all of my exercises lying in bed, or sitting, but do them faithfully.   
I have fears of doing something to hurt the graft, and am learning to trust my PT.   
As a result of this entire experience, starting with the accident that caused my injury, I have lost a lot of my self confidence where physical activity is concerned.   I'm working on that too.   I hope that as I heal, my body will send me a different message, and that self assurance will return.
As I re-read my first post in this thread, I can remember the 'happy drugged state' I was in those first days.  It was a good thing at that time.   I was able to rest and just BE for a few days, and so content to be home in my own bed.
Since it was my left leg, I was able to start driving as soon as I could get off the drugs.  That was part of the incentive.... I neededn to regain my mobility.   
I am fortunate to have extended time off from work, so my job right now is to be good to myself and heal.   I am expecting to return to my teaching position in the first part of November.
Every day is a little better.... just a little..... but that is enough.   My body is working, doing it's mending, and I am hopeful.
Ann

age 53
fall from ladder on July 11, 2005
2 fractures tibial plateau, non-displaced
damaged meniscus
torn acl
acl reconstruction surgery /allograft Sep. 12, 2005

Offline smiley196

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Re: Ann's acl replacement surgery
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2005, 09:10:07 PM »
Ann,
sounds like your doing awsome and thats great, keep up the great work!
krista
*16 years old*
Left Knee:
Torn:PCL, ACL, MCL
SEVERAL dislocations
Grade 3 Chondromalacia
Medial & Lateral Meniscus tears
Plica Syndrome
Sept 14th 2005-(LK)ACL recon, TTT, menisectomy,plica removal

May 26th/06-Torn ACL(RK)

June 14th/06-(LK)ACL graft recon, screw removal, menisectomy

Offline a2n

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Re: Ann's acl replacement surgery
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2005, 11:45:12 PM »
A happy day for me, my OP said I may begin weight-bearing and careful walking again.    I feel so liberated.
My PT started some appropriate new exercises today too, like walking backwards slowly on the tread-mill.   It was kind of fun, although somewhat challenging.   I was holding onto safety bars at all times, so wouldn't fall.   I have had GREAT PT.
I feel like I am on the 'home stretch' now.   I have 5 more weeks of PT, and the expert guidance is helping me SO much.
Get all of that you can folks.
I'm looking forward to being able to walk into a store and shop normally again.  Think I'll go tomorrow.   Woo Hoo!!!
Ann
age 53
fall from ladder on July 11, 2005
2 fractures tibial plateau, non-displaced
damaged meniscus
torn acl
acl reconstruction surgery /allograft Sep. 12, 2005

Offline jb-knee-geek

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Re: Ann's acl replacement surgery
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2005, 08:55:03 PM »
sounds like you're on your way back, congratulations.

your notes mention meniscus damage, did you get it repaired?
torn RK ACL March 2001, surgery Aug. 14 2006, after 4 knee sprains since Oct. '05.  Allograft, ~40% medial meniscus removed, some wear in the trochlear groove. Everything else looks good.

Post-op diary: http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=29749.

Offline sparkle999

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Re: Ann's acl replacement surgery
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2005, 08:55:54 AM »
hi there...i had my recon on oct 24th

When could you drive and was it a manual car? I did my left ACL and want to get driving asap
xx
35 y/o
ACL rupture
loose body under kneecap
impaction fractures
injury 19th march 2005
scope 9th may
recon 24th october 05

Offline heather k from wales

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Re: Ann's acl replacement surgery
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2005, 06:47:13 PM »
I was cleared to drive a manual car at 6 weeks post op.  Absolutley NO driving whilst wearing a brace.
Mmmm, I felt safe and confident to drive at about 3 weeks and drove at about 4.

Heather ;)
91 Mangled Right knee on trials motorbike
94 Meniscus Repair
95 ACL/LCLrec,notchplasty,bone graft
01 90% Menisectomy
02 Scope
03 ACLrec,LAD
OA,osteophytes
04 Ch'plasty, ACLdeb,Suprapatella mbr ex, haematoma
04 Scope
March 06 Scaphoid op/bone graft
Nov 07 Thyroid Cancer ops x 2, radiation

Offline a2n

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Re: Ann's acl replacement surgery
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2005, 12:24:03 PM »
About the meniscus repair..... when the Dr. got in there, he said it was not nearly as bad as he had initially expected.  So, not much had to be done with that.   He may have cleaned up a little, but nothing major.    He did note the beginnings or arthritis, the very early stages, but at my age that was to be expected.
About the driving.... I have an automatic, and it was my left knee, so driving was not a problem once I was off the pain meds.
I was lucky there.
Well, tomorrow I return to my job as a high school art teacher, and will be on my feet all day again.   I am ready (I think) as I have continued with physical therapy, and will still go in the evenings after work, up until the week before Thanksgiving.   That has been what has gotten me strong again, and I cannot stress enough the importance of good PT.
I am really working hard now on balance and strength.   I continue to use my stationary bike here at home too.   My limp is nearly undetectable, except when I am tired at the end of the day, and I can do stairs normally if they are not too steep, and if I am not carrying extra weight (like grocery sacks)   
Since I have an allograft, and it is still fragile while it 'comes to life' in my body, I will continue to be very careful for another 2 months.   No jumping or hard pivoting etc;   That's OK, after all that I have been through I think I will continue to be more careful anyway.   Seems like once you get hurt really bad, it kind of wakes you up to being more cautious about things.
Hope all of you 'newbies' out there have good luck with your surgeries and healing.   I feel very fortunate to have been referred to a great OP, and to have the insurance to cover my expenses.   Quite frankly, I would have figured out a way to pay out of pocket if it came to that.   Thank goodness it did not.   
Best wishes to all of you, and thanks for all the support.
Ann
age 53
fall from ladder on July 11, 2005
2 fractures tibial plateau, non-displaced
damaged meniscus
torn acl
acl reconstruction surgery /allograft Sep. 12, 2005

Offline jb-knee-geek

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Re: Ann's acl replacement surgery
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2005, 06:08:55 PM »
congratulations on your speedy recovery and thanks for the detailed posts. keep posting when you get the chance and let us know how you're doing.

I'd say the hard part is teaching high schoolers! HA!
torn RK ACL March 2001, surgery Aug. 14 2006, after 4 knee sprains since Oct. '05.  Allograft, ~40% medial meniscus removed, some wear in the trochlear groove. Everything else looks good.

Post-op diary: http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=29749.

Offline a2n

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Re: Ann's acl replacement surgery
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2005, 10:52:53 PM »
Hi Everyone, just thought I'd let you know how things are going.
I have been back to work since Nov. 17th, on my feet most of the time teaching high school art.  The first couple of days were tiring, but I quickly got back in the routine, and am doing just fine.   I have full range of motion now ( can almost touch my behind with my heel ) and no problem on stairs at all.  There are days when I almost forget that I had the surgery!   I am so pleased.   This did not all happen at once however, it seemed that each day has been a little better than the one before.  Noticable improvement daily.   I have continued physical therapy and a pretty rigorous workout three times a week, until last week, when my PT said I had "graduated".   I must once again stress the importance of PT in recovery.  I continue working on a stationary bike at home.
I am still working on balance, and do an exercise daily where I stand on one leg at a time for 30 seconds, then try to do it with my eyes closed.  It is quite a challenge, and really fine tunes your muscles used for balance. 
I feel that I have come out of this in at least as good, if not better shape than before my accident. 
I continue to life life very carefully, as I know the allograft is still not at it's strongest.  But I feel just great.
Life is good.
age 53
fall from ladder on July 11, 2005
2 fractures tibial plateau, non-displaced
damaged meniscus
torn acl
acl reconstruction surgery /allograft Sep. 12, 2005

Offline a2n

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Re: Ann's acl replacement surgery
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2006, 01:00:46 AM »
Hello Everyone
I am now 5 months post op and everything us going just fine.  All back to normal again.
I have my old walk back, no limp, and most of the time don't even think about my knee.   I am still ( and probably always will be) more careful after having experienced this once.   Once is enough.   
I do notice that on stairs, my repaired knee is a little weaker than the other one, but that too seems to improve.
I don't feel comfortable kneeling on that knee yet, but can get down on the floor and back up again, have full range of motion, and can do most everything else as before injury.   I'm on my feet all day teaching high school, and that is OK too.   No pain.
I am not cross country skiing this winter, and darned if there isn't the best snow for it !!!! I will wait for next winter though, as advised by my PT.
I am so glad I had the surgery done, and grateful for the support I got here.
Ann
age 53
fall from ladder on July 11, 2005
2 fractures tibial plateau, non-displaced
damaged meniscus
torn acl
acl reconstruction surgery /allograft Sep. 12, 2005