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Author Topic: flying 3 weeks post ACL recon  (Read 930 times)

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Offline feggie

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flying 3 weeks post ACL recon
« on: November 17, 2005, 03:13:01 AM »
I will be flying on a 3 hour flight next week, 3 weeks post ACL reconstruction.  I still can't completely bend my knee, and wear an adjustable brace, which I keep locked when walking, and can unlock when I sit.  I have a seat reserved where my leg can go out into the aisle when it is clear. I flew immediately after I tore the ACL on  a 10 hour flight, and had a bulkhead seat, which is actually the worst, as there is nowhere to put your leg.  I experienced severe swelling at that time. Any advice?
complete acl tear w/ meniscus damage 4/05; acl allograft recon. w/ meniscus repair 11/1/05

Offline Heather M.

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Re: flying 3 weeks post ACL recon
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2005, 04:20:03 AM »

Are you physically able to bend your leg enough to sit properly in the seat, without putting your leg in the aisle?  Because I *highly*recommend against putting your foot in the aisle, for a couple of reasons:  1) it's against the rules, and if you have a flight attendant who goes by the book, you could be in trouble if you can't put your leg in the proper spot; 2) it is excruciating when someone kicks the foot on your post-op leg as it hangs in the aisle.  I know, you think you'll have time to pull it back in...but I didn't.  And I saw stars.  The jamming motion of being kicked was horrible, and I almost tripped this poor guy who just wanted to go to the bathroom. 

So please, for your sake, don't plan on putting your surgical leg in the aisle at all.  And they will not let you sit in the emergency exit row, either--no one with assistive devices, braces, crutches, etc.  Or who boarded with help of a wheelchair (which I sometimes do because my home airport is Phoenix, and you can end up walking miles to your gate).

Is there any way to fly first or business class?  Fly a red-eye that *hopefully* won't be fully booked? (That's tougher and tougher these days, though.)

As for swelling, it will be your worst enemy.  Don't take your brace or shoes off during the flight, or you might have trouble getting them back on.  There are disposable, single use chemical ice-packs that you can buy.  Or ask the flight attendant to get you some ice.  Ask your OS or PT about wrapping the leg with an ACE wrap to keep swelling down.  Pump your ankle every 5-10 minutes for at least 30 seconds, and walk around during the flight if possible.  Do quad sets and calf contractions to keep blood from pooling in your leg.

Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja