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Offline a2n

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physical therapy question
« on: September 18, 2005, 03:06:35 AM »
I'm just 5 days post op for acl replacement, allograft.   Doing well so far, full extension, good quad lifts, and my therapist now has me trying to lift my foot up with bent knee while lying on my stomach (hamstring curl? not sure what to call it)   I am supposed to practice that and be able to do it by myself in the next couple of days.. The thing that is holding me back is a sharp muscle pain in my inside calf, starting just below the knee.   Something is really pullling.    I can lift the leg with assist with no pain,(by supporting it with my other foot, up and down ) but when I try to do it alone, YOWZA.   I have been working through it, and have made some progress.   My question, is, what is this pain from ?   I don't mind working on this, I'm not a wimp, but I don't want to do any damage either.    I expected weakness in the hamstring, but this muscle pain seems strange.  It is a very isolated "band" that runs down my calf.    Normal ???? or Not ????  Anyone else experience this ?
I have been working on it when my pain meds are at peak.   But, like I said, I don't want to damage anything.
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 annaliese

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Re: physical therapy question
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2005, 03:30:49 AM »
Hiya,

I'm not an expert on ACL's, but I think you might find that the pain is something to do with the graft - perhaps they took something from that area for the graft?  Have you talked to your OS or your PT about the pain?  If not, ask them about the pain.  Pain is not pleasant, and although PT will hurt quite a bit initially, you should not be in absolute agony and the pain will gradually lessen.

My suggestion is to dose up on pain meds and try and work through it.  Talk with your PT and see what they thinks about the pain and perhaps they can find alternative exercises that don't cause you so much discomfort. 

The exercise you're doing sounds like a version of a pilates one I was doing pre-surgery, on a mat on the floor with 1 pound ankle weights.  Are you doing that exercise on a machine or the floor/a physio bed?  If it's on a machine, can you start by doing it with less/no weight and working up by gradually increasing the weight?  Could you do it on a mat or on a physio bed with light ankle weights instead? 

Has your PT got you onto a stationary bike yet?  The PT's over here in Auckland, NZ, love stationary bikes for everything...and so do I!!!  It's the only real cardio work I can do that has any benefit for my knee, and is helping me get my range of movement, strength and flexibility back. 

Exercises after surgery won't always be a walk in the pain-free park, but the more you exercise the less pain you will have.  I had a reconstruction 9 weeks ago and I'm virtually pain free unless I have to do leg extensions or squats!!!

Hope this helps - sorry I can't offer any real insight to the cause of your pain but hopefully I've given you some useful advice for surviving PT and those darned exercises!  If you have concerns, make sure you talk to your OS and PT - they are there to help you, and assist you with your recovery, and you'll probably find that your PT will be your closest ally in the battle for a normal knee!

AnnaLiese  :)
Patellofemoral reallignment, chondroplasty, LR and TTT (L) knee 07/13/2005. 
Currently post-op, down to single crutch and no more brace!!  Screws are named Sid and Nancy :-)
Meniscal tear repair by arthroscopy/menisectomy (r) knee 08/02/2002
Recurrent subluxations of (L) kneecap since 1989

Offline Alla

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Re: physical therapy question
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2005, 03:50:01 AM »
Hey there,

I had an ACL reco in May.... so I know some of what you are going through..... I found the hamstring curls tough going to start with too... so dont worry..... just keep trying to do them you will get there eventually.  I had most of my pain in the hamstring though... only a little in the calf.  If you think about it, the whole area has been quite tramatised by the experience and it will take a little while to settle down.  For me, my qhad muscles are the problem..... they are not painful, they just dont really exist anymore..... and because of this I have had a bit of pain in my knee cap because the lack of quad is causing slight meltracking.  It is getting better thou as I get the muscle back... so keep working through it. 

I've had a relatively pain free recovery from my reco so far, but I do find that when I push my knee too much it gets painful.  I've worked through it and beleive me you do get there.  Take some anti inflams and pain killers before you start exercising, it will help.  You are in early days yet, so keep battling on.... dont stop the exercises that your PT and OS are telling you to do otherwise you will end up with wasted muscles and that is hard to get back.  And alternatively, dont try any new exercises before you have cleared it with your PT and OS.... there are some that you cant do while you are recovering for risk of damaging the graft.... these are mostly exercises where your foot is not planted (leg extensions is one that I was told not to do, as was kicking in the pool), I was not told about these exercises until after the surgery, and it came as a shock to me.

If you have any doubts about the pain, or anything.... talk to your OS and PT.... be guided by them.... they should know what they are on about.

Alla
Torn ACL December 04
ACL Reco May 05
Cleared to return to sport May 06

Offline a2n

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Re: physical therapy question
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2005, 03:16:16 PM »
Thanks for the responses.   I'll keep working on it.    To answer your question, I am not using a machine or anything yet, just lifting my foot and leg while lying on my stomach.    It does get a bit easier each time, and I've stopped the swearing for now. HA.
I bought a stationary bike for when I am ready for that, looking forward to being able to use it.   I used it a lot pre op, and think it helped over all.
I am just so happy to be on THIS side of surgery!   Onward and upward!
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 Ferris

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Re: physical therapy question
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2005, 07:35:08 PM »
I had the same problem as you until my physio told me to use my good leg to support the bad - I used my good leg until I felt that my bad leg felt good enough to do it on its own (I tried it from time to time).

Rachel

Offline a2n

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Re: physical therapy question
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2005, 12:06:45 AM »
Yes, it does help to assist with the good leg!    I found that even having the good leg moving right beside the bad leg helps.
I have been working on this all weekend and am pleased to say that I am getting better each time.  Being on the "up" side of the pain meds DOES help too.   I'll have to remember that when I go to PT tomorrow.   
Thanks !
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 ski bum

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Re: physical therapy question
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2005, 12:23:04 AM »
Shortly after my allograft reconstruction, I had a strange pain emerge in my inner calf too--felt like an electric pain down the leg.  Very bad.  It eventually went away.  No one seemed particularly worried about it.  I think the only concern would be if your calf were hot and/or red in addition to painful--possible signs of infection or a clot.

You should like you're progressing very well.  Hope it keeps going like that!

Andy
12/23/04:  complete ACL tear, partial LCL, tibia bruise
1/19/05:  allograph ACL
7/8/05:  AIR-scar tissue & ACL graft girth reduction
8/4/05 nearly full ROM-released to ski
8/11/06: AIR-scar tissue, grade 3 cartilage potholes on femur
10/13/10:  Mfx, L knee to fix 3cm pothole

Offline a2n

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Re: physical therapy question
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2005, 02:13:22 AM »
hey that sounds just like what I am experiencing!  My PT did not seem particularly concerned either, but, like you said, it felt almost like electricity.....a SHARP muscle pain.   Hope it goes away.   
Thanks.
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 ski bum

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Re: physical therapy question
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2005, 02:16:15 AM »
Well, if it is the same--don't worry--it WILL go away.  But it will take awhile.  I think I felt it for some weeks afterwards.  But it never got worse or interfered much with anything.

Take care.

Andy
12/23/04:  complete ACL tear, partial LCL, tibia bruise
1/19/05:  allograph ACL
7/8/05:  AIR-scar tissue & ACL graft girth reduction
8/4/05 nearly full ROM-released to ski
8/11/06: AIR-scar tissue, grade 3 cartilage potholes on femur
10/13/10:  Mfx, L knee to fix 3cm pothole

Offline jhvan

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Re: physical therapy question
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2005, 05:38:02 PM »
I am 14 days post op from an allograft and meniscusectomy (spelling).  I experienced the same exact pain you are and when my PT noticed my face scowling during the exercise, he said that will go away but it was probably due to the swelliing.  it is especially bad in the morning when I first got out of bed.  My PT recommended wrapping my leg from foot to just above the knee with an ace bandage.  Since I have been wrapping it at night, I dont have that pain in the morning or when I do that exercise.   ;D I think wrapping it keeps the fluid away from the area.  Last week Friday I was also struggling with my range of motion so he put me on a stationary bike and that helped a bunch!  I have been doing that now just a few times a day and boy are things coming along.  Take it slow because you dont want to push it and then end up with more soreness than you have already.  Mine knee feels better every day!  Good luck!















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