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Author Topic: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007  (Read 7866 times)

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Offline billythehamster

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ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« on: December 18, 2007, 09:02:32 PM »
Well I had my ACL reconstruction yesterday. Basically I was cropped 18 months ago playing football. I never got it looked at until November this year and in that time tried to carry on playing. Which was a really stupid thin to do.

Along with the ACL I also had a tear in my cartliage which was probably caused by carrying on trying to play. The surgeon told me that it was beyond repair and the damaged area had to be cut away.

I am up on on crutches and quite mobile. The pain is not too bad and I am keeping on top of it with a combination of pain killers and ibprofen. The pysio has given me some exercises and I am booked in for my first session of pysio on Friday. Its a session in the hydro pool aimed at gettng the movement going. I am suprised how much weight I can actually put on my leg but it's only the second day so I don't want to over do it.

Nothing much else to say at the moment not looking forward to the long journey ahead but I am determined to play football again. I would love to hear from anyone else who has had a similar injury, how long before you could do competitive sport? Was the knee as good afterwards? etc etc

Offline jathib

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2007, 09:29:35 PM »
Er, you going into the pool four days after surgery? You might want to check with your doctor first. You don't want to soak your knee in water until the stitches are out and the incision is completely healed. That thing could split open and cause a nasty infection. My doctor won't let me into a pool for at least two weeks after even a scope where I don't even need stitches.

Offline billythehamster

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2007, 10:03:28 PM »
I have water proof patches over the scars so this shouldn't be an issue. The OS recommended this method of PT to get the leg moving. When I had my initial consultation with him there was a pro footballer (soccer) player in the waiting room and a pro runner who had just had an ACL reconstruction. Thankfully work provides private health care so I have managed to get a really good OS.

If the pro's use him then I am guessing he must know what he is doing. Thanks for the advise, I will ask the question about infection before Friday
« Last Edit: December 18, 2007, 10:12:02 PM by billythehamster »

Offline BigStein

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2007, 10:16:27 PM »
Hey Billy.  Good to hear that you are up and about.  I had the same procedure done last Thursday (12/13) and was able to put full weight on the leg that day (with leg brace of course) so don't worry about that end of it.  I have been told that it is fine to put as much weight on the leg as you want.  I have never heard of going into the pool that early (but then again there are a great many things I have never heard of so no worries there) so please keep us informed how it goes as I am sure it will be interesting for us all to hear.  Best of luck in recovery!

Offline billythehamster

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2007, 10:50:50 PM »
Hi BigStein

I have just seen your topic and made a comment there and it seems we have been given similar advise. With regards the hydro pool, I spoke to another friend who had an ACL reconstruction. He never went in the pool either although he went to another hospital, let's hope the OS and PT know what they are doing!

Offline BigStein

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2007, 10:53:53 PM »
Oh, I am sure they know what they are doing.  It will be interesting to see if the results are any different than what the rest of us are doing, although it is pretty hard to compare anyway.  But being in the pool sounds like fun to me.

Offline billythehamster

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2007, 04:17:05 PM »
It's the fourth day since the op and I had my first physio session today. The pain hasn't been that bad, I have had most of the discomfort in my thigh. The physio explained today that they 'clamp' this to stop the blood flow whilst they operate. This is probably why it's so sore. I can hobble around without crutches which is good, I just need them for balance.

I can bend my right leg just past 90 on its own but by using the left leg to push the right leg I can get it to bend another 10 degrees or so.

The first physio session was in the hyrdo pool because it has jets it aids with the bending of the knee. The physio gave my leg a slight massage and helped with the bending exercises. I am back there Christmas Eve and on the 28th where hopefully I can do some squats in the pool. The importance of bending is to stop the development of too much scar tissue.

The biggest issue is that I want to be up and about, especially as my two boys are giving their mother a hard time. It's really hard not being involved. I am off to apply some ice now, trying to get the swelling down some more.

Offline BigStein

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2007, 06:35:18 PM »
Bending is great but don't underestimate the importance of extending too, don't want things to tighten up in there that way either.  It all sounds good, though, and I am sure you will be up and around next week.  I am now one week post-op and today I ventured outside without crutches (being careful in the ice and snow) and other than having to walk all stiff-legged with this brace I really have no difficulty at all getting around.  So keep with it and you will be getting after those boys in no time!

Offline billythehamster

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2007, 07:04:09 PM »
Thanks BigStein

I have to say I am not sure I would be brave enough to go out in the snow and ice. Cheers for the info on the straight legged thing. I am doing leg raises and curls (with a pillow under the knee) to help with this but I should probably be doing more. Interrestingly I have not been given a knee brace to wear. My knee was heavily bandaged post op but since they took it off, other than crutches, I have nothing to support the knee, that's probably why I am being more cautious.

I am going out tommorrow with the football (soccer) team. It's their Christmas party so as team Captain I suppose I'd better go. No alcohol and an early night, it would be good to have a laugh and get out of the house.

Offline BigStein

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2007, 12:23:13 AM »
No knee brace huh, very interesting.  I certainly think you can get around without it but it seems a bit unnecessarily dangerous.  Not due to the support so much to make sure you can't overextend if the footing gets bad or you were to trip or something.  I would be curious to know why they don't do it if you don't mind asking your PT.  I keep finding major differences in rehab procedures and I find it interesting and surprising.  Doesn't seem to be any right or wrong though, so as long as it works no harm done.  I would certainly be more cautious too, though. 

I'm sure some time out will be great, have fun.

Offline billythehamster

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2007, 11:45:01 PM »
1 week since the op and I am really please with progress. I had my second lot of PT in the Hydro Pool and although it was quite painful doing the exercise but my leg felt really good afterwards. I don't need my crutches but the Physio said to take them when I go out. The main reason is that it makes other people give you a little more space than they normally would and just in case you need help with balance.

I asked about the brace she said that they don't like to use a brace as the movement helps prevent scar tissue. There is a lot of blood and fluid in the knee as a result of the op. It also helps with muscle tissue on the calves and thighs not wearing away and the more you use the knee the more stable it will become.

A interesting exercise was getting me to stand on one leg in the pool. The left knee (not operated) was stable but I could feel the wobble on the right. Apparently this is a good exercise to help the brain work out how to balance again. It also helps strengthen the knee and the tendons and ligaments around the knee.

With a little help from the PT (and a lot of pain) I could get the leg straight (perfectly flat) and with regards the bend I can get it past 90 easily without any help.

I have one more session in the pool on the 28th but for now I itend to chill out and enjoy Christmas. No beer though :( . I hope you all have a good Christmas!!
« Last Edit: December 24, 2007, 11:47:49 PM by billythehamster »

Offline BigStein

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2007, 03:58:20 AM »
No beer?  Blasphemy.  Have a great Christmas anyway.  Sounds like all is going well.  Can't figure out if the pool is all that important as my PT had me past 90 on the 4th day after surgery with no pool.  Just another way of doing it is my guess.  As long as we all end up well in the end, right?

I gotta get to bed since my kids will be up in a few hours.  Merry Christmas.

Offline billythehamster

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2007, 09:07:09 AM »
I think that with bending and straightening it probably doesn't help that much. However I was able to stand on my right leg (operated knee) and lift the left leg off the floor. The knee was wobbling as the muscles where working hard to keep me upright. Also proprioception is a key elemenet to recovering. The OS said that in around 20% of cases people will still have instability in the knee, this is due to proprioception and the way the brain 'remembers' where all your limbs are in space. Balancing helps with proprioception and the only way this can be done safely so soon after the op is in the pool. If I fall then it doesn't matter as I won't have the whole weight on my body shifting onto my bad knee.

It seems that PT's all have their own methods and we are probably their guinee pigs ;D

Offline BigStein

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2007, 07:29:49 PM »
Billy, I am not ashamed to admit that I had to look up "porprioception".  Add it to the list of things I have learned in this process.  And the funny thing is, I realized the error of my ways after I typed that last message.  I figured the pool was for standing and no so much bending.  What can I say, although you couldn't have a beer the other night, I was able to have a few while wrapping presents and I will blame it on that.

Very glad to hear that all is going well, though, and can say the same here.  Tomorrow marks two-weeks post-op for me and I am feeling good.  The bike gets easier every day and all the other exercises are going fine.  I hope they let me unlock the brace when walking (as I have been doing it around the house now and then anyway) and hope to climb the stairs with both legs in the near future.

Hope the holidays continue to treat you well.

Offline billythehamster

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Re: ACL Reconstruction Monday 17th December 2007
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2007, 08:26:05 PM »
Hi Big Stein. Thanks for the update. Regardless of what my physio tells me I am getting a wobble board. Here are the details:

http://www.return2fitness.co.uk/Rehabilitation/Wobble_Boards/wobbleboard51

A friend of mine had a ACL recon 5 years ago and he said this worked wonders. I imagine after the 6 week stage you would look at using one of these. They cost around 20 I would imagine about 20 USD also.

I had my staples out today. The incisions in my knee are not very big and it looks like I won't have much of a scar. I am a little disappointed about this, if you have a major knee op you want the scars to show for it!!!!  ;D

I am able to walk around with a slight limp and no crutches. I do take them when I am going out of the house just in case I slip but today I felt I didn't need them.

I can bend to about 100 degrees and as the swelling comes down I find I am getting more movement.

The biggest issue is that I had a hamstring graft and in the morning I have to stretch it for about 10 - 15 minutes as it gets really tight. I have my final session in the pool tomorrow and I am hoping to be on the bike next week.

The beer fast was self imposed, I didn't fancy slipping. There will be plenty of time for beer in the next few weeks.