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Author Topic: 3 months Post ACL. Graft too Tight? Advice Anyone!!!  (Read 8212 times)

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Offline Rammy

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3 months Post ACL. Graft too Tight? Advice Anyone!!!
« on: February 20, 2006, 12:41:47 AM »
Hi, I had my graft 3 months ago and I am starting to get worried. It seems to me that by now I should be at least comfortable if not pain free post surgery.  >:(

I had a hamstring ACL replacement but the pain is now pretty much a constant with the knee feeling incredibly stiff. I have been doing physio to the letter. I have trouble locking my leg straight, well I can't I am still 2-3 degrees off. Bending is good 120 degrees. The trouble is that when I am standing for more than 10-15 mins I can feel a pain growing within the knee, when I rest it just constantly aches, not excrutiating but generally uncomfortable. I have to get up and walk it off for 2-3 minutes. I clicks rather too much for my liking too. My OS firstly gave me a steroid jab to help this but 10 days later no difference. I have just had another MRI scan and am waiting for the results. I have been told my graft is tight but PT has done little to help over the last 6 weeks (The PT even put his whole weight on the knee in an effort to push it down straight) and now says that its pointless to do anything more apart from quad exercises until he gets the results of the MRI. I haven't even been told to start jogging yet thats how far behind I seem to be.

I am having to start back to work tomorrow on light duties just to get some money in but all I can think about is my knee. Can anyone help me in advising me what to do next and what to do if this graft is too tight. Really starting to wish that I never had this op done. Thanks Jon

Offline feeny

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Re: 3 months Post ACL. Graft too Tight? Advice Anyone!!!
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2006, 04:00:37 AM »
Hi Jon

I am not sure what to tell you. In my early days both pre and post op my PT was ADAMANT that I get full extension. He basically sat there yelling at me to push harder and harder (with my quads) and put little electro-meters on my quads to measure my output until I satisfied him and got that early extension. Both my PT and my OS highlighted the importance of it.

I am not sure what they are hoping an MRI will show - but if it were my knee, knowing what I know now - I would be asking for an alternative opinion form both an OS and a PT.

My knee does not behave as yours - I am about 4 months out. It has never behaved in the way you described - perhaps your graft is tight - in which case appropriate PT may help to stretch it - I would certainly get in contact with the original OS as well and demand to know what is going on and what the best hting to do is.

I hope things get better Jon- Please keep us posted.
Sep-05 ACL rupture, Medial mensical tear, MCL rupture
Oct-05 Had it all repaired (hamstring graft, meniscal rivet)
-and then-
4.5 Months post-op Snowboarding like a demon
7 Months post-op Successful return to indoor soccer (YEH!)
-and then-
Mar-2015 Arthroscopy to fix meniscus

Offline LP32

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Re: 3 months Post ACL. Graft too Tight? Advice Anyone!!!
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2006, 06:14:24 AM »
Hi Jon-

Yes, sorry to hear about that.  I hope the MRI sheds some light.  If I were you, I'd be curious to know if it were the mechanics of the knee or muscle-tension related.  I know someone who had a similar problem and her doctor was going to knock her out and try to manipulate the leg.  Another thought that I had would be to possibly get in a hot tub or sauna, have the muscles nice and warm, and then see if you can get it straight- to see if it's mechanically related, lie on your stomach off a bed or a table with your legs dangling and have someone see if your legs dangle the same length from the floor.  I was told to dangle for 10 minutes a day, which can help with extension by the shear pull of gravity.  (start the dangle from end of the quad down)   

I'm in line with Feeny- I'd get another opinion, probably after you get the MRI results so that the new OS can view.  Hopefully it's not an issue where the graft was placed improperly, but I would not think that it would be if you are only a couple of degrees off.  I'm hoping that your muscles were simply tense when the PT pounced on it.   

As far as the clicking issue- mine almost went away with more quad strength.  I've done something else, although I'm not certain at what point this would be recommended (I'd ask the doc)- I walk around with 10 pound ankle weights- upstairs, downstairs, etc.  It's amazing how much easier and normal the walk feels after you take the weights off. 

Also, for VMO strengthening, which I also found helped my clicking- I did the straight let raises with my foot facing outwards with the 10 pound ankle weight.  I also did leg curls w/ the ankle weight, but only to about 30 degrees- I was told straightening the leg with weights puts pressure on the ACL from 0-30 degrees.  I'd be sitting on the couch and simply raising my leg with the weights for as long as I could hold it, then repeat.  These simple exercises, plus walking around with ankle weights really helped my clicking- I think more so than a hour at the gym! (at least for the clicking issue)       

Good luck Jon!

Offline celinenj03

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Re: 3 months Post ACL. Graft too Tight? Advice Anyone!!!
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2006, 12:58:55 PM »
Whenever someone posts a complaint like this I wonder if they had true full extension and range of motion PRIOR to surgery. Most good OS's are adament about this. My OS's philosophy is that he won't even operate unless the leg is straight PRIOR to surgery. He is from the Rothman Institute in Philly. If you go in with a bent knee, you come out with a bent knee is what he believes. My PT also preaches the same and the exercises are a killer but I know they are necessary. I've been working to get my leg straight for nearly 2 weeks. It's straighter but not quite straight yet. I won't dare schedule my surgery until I am there. Just have to be patient even though I want to get this over with in the worst way! I also have a tears in my MCL in addition to a completely ruptured ACL and it seems the MCL is giving me the most trouble and pain AND stiffness.
Terrible Triad - 1/16/06 - Basketball
3/15/06 - Scope/Cleanout of to achieve full ROM
5/3/06 - Surgery-ACL Reconstruction-Allograft
9/12/07 - Large Loose body removed;Grade 4 Lesion on LFC
9/17/08-Microfracture, Lateral Release (all right knee)

Offline rocketman

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Re: 3 months Post ACL. Graft too Tight? Advice Anyone!!!
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2006, 01:15:00 PM »
I got full extension on my operated leg a few weeks ago.  However I had the PT measure my other leg and it was at 5 degrees. ???    My advice is lay on the floor with the heal under a few books for at least 10 minutes at a time.
ACLR 1/16/06 w/ Lateral Meniscus trimming

Offline mestope

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Re: 3 months Post ACL. Graft too Tight? Advice Anyone!!!
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2018, 08:51:26 PM »
Hi Rammy,

Not sure if you will see this as it's been a good 12 years since your posting (haha), but I'm in a very similar situation and am worried about the same thing. Have been super focused on gaining extension, and am making no progress, just lots of pain and a pinching sensation coming from inside of my knee (feels like from my graft). Doc told me my graft was tight and PT is focusing on stretching the graft... I dont know if it will even stretch. Let me know if you ever found any resolution or conclusion, or where your knee is at now - feel free to message me! Thanks for your help