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Author Topic: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?  (Read 24035 times)

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Offline LILS

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2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« on: February 19, 2010, 04:50:20 AM »
Hello,
    I will be having my ACI surgery soon and will be given 2 weeks off for convalescent leave. When I go back to work after that, I will be sitting strictly at a desk all day. I don't do any lifting or anything strenuous at my job. My questions are: Is 2 weeks enough time to be off, even if I will be sitting at a desk or is that too soon to go back to work? Will I need to find something to prop my knee up all day at work? Will it be okay to wait to use my CPM until evening, since I will be at work all day? I've just read that recovery is rough the first FEW weeks and that's from people that are at home the first 4 weeks. Has anyone here gone back to work within 2 weeks after ACI surgery? I will be completely non-weight bearing for my right knee for 6 weeks. Sorry for the questions, but my OS isn't too informative and is hard to track down everytime I have questions. I'm in the military, so I don't have a choice of what OS to use. Thanks for any help!
Mar 16, 2010 ACI/HTO Surgery
May 26, 2009 Microfracture Surgery/ACI Harvest
2003 Medial Meniscal Tear Repair

Offline SevenofNine

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 09:58:14 AM »
Hi Lils,
I'm at Day 17 post op today & there is no way I would contemplate going back to work; yes I have a desk job but consider the following from my current experience:

*getting to & from work - with it being your right leg, this could take 6-10 weeks before you can drive;
*I ice my knee 4-5 times a day;
*I mostly have my leg elevated except when I'm doing something to self care - I live alone;
*I do sets of exercises daily - not anything drastic at this stage but will increase with time

My OS gave me 6 weeks leave to start with but I'll no doubt extend this as formal physio will kick in soon;I have accumulated a lot of sick leave as like many on this site I was fit & active so rarely got sick - just saved all my sick leave for my worn out cartilage hahah. Crutching is hard work ;D Sorry I can't comment on CPM as it's not mandated here in OZ.

Best of luck with your op & keep us posted ;)
Cheers,
7of9
May 22 2013 RK LR & medial capsular plication, debridement, meniscus repair
Feb 3 2010 LK MACI
Nov 4 2009 LK scope - meniscus repair, debridement,      biopsy for MACI

Offline Rennschnecke

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 10:26:01 AM »
Hi Lils

2 weeks sounds early to be going back to work but I think some people have done that on a part-time basis. :-\  Check out posts by Erin, who has recovered successfully.  Also look up ArmyJohn (?) and check out the leave time he had.  There are also others from the military who have posted on the board.

You need to talk to your OS and find out what they would recommend for following their rehab protocol.  I have heard that some people are on the CPM for 12h a day, in which case there is no way you'd be able to do that and be at work. :o  My OS was kind and told me to do 3–4 h a day but I also had a bundle of exercises to do as well to maintain muscle.

If you are NWB for 6 weeks, you may find it easier to be in a wheelchair when at work as it's tempting to WB.  You may also consider negotiating adjustments to work if you really need to go back.  I think that some people negotiated home-working to avoid boredom. ??? I found that I just couldn't manage laptop and CPM at all.

I would think the best place to start is to tackle your OS.  They would recommend the appropriate time off and your workplace should honour that.  I think the problem is that many people don't understand ACI and think that it's straightforward to recover from knee surgery (e.g. meniscus ops).

Sorry you've had to deal with this.  Best of luck with sorting out work etc. :)
1/05 Ski accident: 5/05 ACLr LK; 10/06 Scope – debridement, trochlear cartilage lesion (Gr4); 12/08 Scope – chondroplasty, hematoma; 5 & 6/09 MACI patella & trochlea 'kissing lesions', ROM 0 to 80; 9/09 Scope – LOA, IPCS & patella infera; 9/10 Scope – AIR & LR.

Offline ajschnelk

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 03:12:48 PM »
2wks will definitely be early, but not impossible if your  job is not all that demanding.  Are you having anything else done at the same time?  I had aci with an AMZ and i did two 1/2 days at 3.5wks post.  I probably could have gone back sooner if it weren't for the AMZ pain.  I went back full time just a few days past 4wks and it didn't seem too bad.  I was NWB for 6wks but started driving around 4wks.  I am at a desk most of the time as well, so i was able to prop the leg and ice throughout the day pretty easily.  I would then go home and use the cpm for the rest of the night...usually 6-7hours.  However, if possible, I'd try to take at least 4wks.  Best of luck!

Offline LILS

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2010, 01:34:22 AM »
Thanks for all the advice everyone. ajschnelk: No, I'm not having anything else done. My OS is actually the one that said I only get 2 weeks off for this procedure. He did tell me I have to stay in the hospital overnight for pain management; that alone scares me. My job would be fine with me taking more time off, but since I'm in the military, we can't just take off work. We have to be on leave. I had to burn up all my personal leave, when my daughter was in ICU for 1 1/2 months. When I had my microfracture and ACI harvest, I got 2 weeks off and that was a scope. It just seems weird that I will only be off 2 weeks when I will have an incision running down my knee. This is the same OS that did the mfx and harvest. As far as driving, I planned to drive right after my 2 weeks, when I have to go back to work. I hope that won't be forbidden, because there will be no one to drive me to all the PT sessions. My husband will be at work. As far as pain, at 2 weeks, should I be good to go without narcotics? The sad thing is I work in the same hospital as my OS! I can't see being doped up at work. LOL. Unfortunately, I won't be able to work from home. SevenofNine: Crutching was a nightmare for me last time. Last time I was NWB for 6 weeks, I FELL multiple times :'(; that's posted on this site too  :-[ . I think I will use one of our wheelchairs from work this time. It's so embarassing, since I work there. Oh well, we will see. Rennschnecke: I will try to find the posts you mentioned. Thanks again everyone!
Mar 16, 2010 ACI/HTO Surgery
May 26, 2009 Microfracture Surgery/ACI Harvest
2003 Medial Meniscal Tear Repair

Offline Rennschnecke

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2010, 01:53:51 AM »
Lils, you may be OK to go back to work at 2 weeks, but you'll probably be aware that everyone recovers differently so can't say whether or not you'll still be on narcotic painkillers.  I am still on them at 8 months but I'm an unusual case.

Would it work to go back to the OS and discuss further?  You would probably feel better knowing what you could do if you really were not up to going back at 2 weeks.  There would be enough case histories here to back you up.

All the best  :)
1/05 Ski accident: 5/05 ACLr LK; 10/06 Scope – debridement, trochlear cartilage lesion (Gr4); 12/08 Scope – chondroplasty, hematoma; 5 & 6/09 MACI patella & trochlea 'kissing lesions', ROM 0 to 80; 9/09 Scope – LOA, IPCS & patella infera; 9/10 Scope – AIR & LR.

Offline LILS

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2010, 02:38:16 AM »
Thanks, Rennschnecke. I think I will discuss the 2 week thing more, because I just can't see it. Or I can just go back to work at 2 weeks and then have a screaming/crying fit everyday. I bet they would send me back home then. It would be bad for business (the hospital) if they didn't. I don't think my OS would want his other patients to see me in the halls everyday screaming in pain  ;D. That might scare his patients away.
Mar 16, 2010 ACI/HTO Surgery
May 26, 2009 Microfracture Surgery/ACI Harvest
2003 Medial Meniscal Tear Repair

Offline ajschnelk

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2010, 03:07:48 PM »
I was off all meds at the 2wk mark, and that was with an AMZ... but like Renn said, everyone heals differently. 

Offline kralldaddy

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2010, 09:29:44 PM »
I'm am pondering the same issue.  2 weeks seems like a long time to me too and I'm really struggling with anything longer than that.  But as I've seen from other posting and input from the Dr. the better you stick to the rehab plan the better the results. My issue too is driving as it is my right leg too and I too sit at a desk most of the day, but I can't be wacked on pain meds and be productive at work. 

best of luck.
3/10 ACI
11/09 Menicus Repair/ACI Biopsy

Offline LILS

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2010, 03:07:53 AM »
kralldaddy,
     I was just worried that 2 weeks wouldn't be enough time. I will see how much pain I'm in at the 2 week mark. If I'm in a lot of pain, I will just take an additional week off. Luckily, I get paid no matter what, so that won't be an issue. My husband works at the hospital with me, so he can drive me worse comes to worse, but I HATE relying on other people. It will suck no matter what being on those crutches again for 6 weeks. I don't know who is planning on driving me to all these physical therapy appointments. My husband has a job to do too, so I can't rely on him all the time. Hopefully I will be allowed to drive at the 2 week mark, even if that means I will have to ditch the pain pills. I guess time will tell.
Mar 16, 2010 ACI/HTO Surgery
May 26, 2009 Microfracture Surgery/ACI Harvest
2003 Medial Meniscal Tear Repair

Offline etrusc0

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2010, 07:24:05 AM »
Two weeks is rough.  It can be done.

I did it.  My wife dropped me off at a coworkers house in the morning and we drove in together for two weeks until I felt more comfortable driving myself.  Definitely prop the leg and Ice as much as possible while there.  I also sit at a desk - still trying to find a way to carry a cup with crutches.  :)  Then when I got home I would fall asleep on the floor with my leg attached to the CPM.  It was rough, but each week gets easier.

Good Luck.

Mark
Left Knee
93 - broken femur, damaged cartilage
99, 01 - microfracture
05 - ACI - Patella, Trochlear, MFC (Dr M.)
11 - Osteochondral Allograft MFC (Dr M.)

Offline Rennschnecke

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2010, 10:10:57 PM »
Hi Lils

I read somewhere on this board that some PT places can organise medical taxis for you.  I'm not in the US so don't know about this service.  I guess it also depends on where your PT is as well.  I'm sure something can be worked out as you won't be the first one in this position.  It's just nice to know beforehand though isn't it?

All the best
1/05 Ski accident: 5/05 ACLr LK; 10/06 Scope – debridement, trochlear cartilage lesion (Gr4); 12/08 Scope – chondroplasty, hematoma; 5 & 6/09 MACI patella & trochlea 'kissing lesions', ROM 0 to 80; 9/09 Scope – LOA, IPCS & patella infera; 9/10 Scope – AIR & LR.

Offline LILS

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2010, 02:19:20 AM »
Hi etrusc0: Thanks for the info. I feel better knowing others have done it. I've already worked out who will carry my morning coffee for me at work.  ;D. I did that the last time I was on crutches too. I felt guilty about it, but I got over it.

Hi Rennschnecke: Thanks for the taxi suggestion. Unfortunately, my PT is on our Air Force base and they don't have taxis. Some bases do, but not mine. The PT facility is only about 1/4 of a mile away, but I had to go 3 times a week last time. Yes, it would be nice to have everything planned out, but I know it's not always realistic. I just hope I can drive at the 2 week mark, so I don't have to inconvenience anyone, as well as myself. Unfortunately, it's on my right knee, so I'm not sure if I'm allowed. I don't have my pre-op appt with the OS until Monday, so I have many questions and driving will be one of them. Thank goodness for this site for all the good info.
Mar 16, 2010 ACI/HTO Surgery
May 26, 2009 Microfracture Surgery/ACI Harvest
2003 Medial Meniscal Tear Repair

Offline LILS

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2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI/HTO SURGERY? METAL PLATE THINGY TOO?
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2010, 03:40:36 AM »
Okay, I had my pre-op appointment today. I was told I'm getting a HTO along with the ACI, which I wasn't told about until today. I've never even heard of an High Tibial Osteotomy. He even talked about some metal plate thingy (not the medical term  :)) that he will be putting in. He also said one of the head honchos of Genzyme is personally flying my cartilage down and will assist/watch my surgery. I have no idea what that's all about, since I think I was too in shock from the metal plate thingy to even ask why he was coming to "help set everything up". Does anyone know when you get a HTO if the metal plate thingy is standard? He said my defect (cartilage loss, not alignment) was pretty significant (silver dollar size). Am I really going to be hurting after all of that? Back to my original question before I knew about the HTO: Is 2 weeks off enough time after the surgery, now that more info has been revealed? More importantly, will I set off airport security metal detectors with that metal plate thingy? That's a little humor, cuz I'm a little freaked out about the new info. I did make sure I asked for a toilet seat riser though; that was a priority  ;D.

Do you think an AMZ is about the same as a HTO, pain wise? I was reading ajschnelk's reply and trying to gauge where I might be at at about 2-3 weeks. I know everyone is different though.......
Mar 16, 2010 ACI/HTO Surgery
May 26, 2009 Microfracture Surgery/ACI Harvest
2003 Medial Meniscal Tear Repair

Offline cfranc

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Re: 2 WEEKS OFF AFTER ACI SURGERY?
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2010, 04:33:03 PM »
Hi Lils...Logging in from the US.  So forgive me some of your terms are a little foreign to me..not sure what an AMZ is.

I had a TTO and ACI on Feb 3rd and am now 5 weeks out. I have two friends here who have also undergone the same procedure, one even works for Genzyme and was part of the team working on the Carticel for awhile.

The good and bad news:  1 had complications and was out 8 mos, 1 was back at work within 2 weeks.  So yes, it can be done.  Luckily I was able to get a total of 8 weeks off.

I was completely off my pain meds by the end of week 2 and most by the first week and 1/2.  I never even took the full dosage allowed.  But here's the catch, I kept my leg elevated and iced constantly so I was able to keep the swellling down. 

You could probably get away with going back after 2 weeks but if you can squeeze out more I would go for the maximum you could.  The faster you get the swelling down the faster you will heal.  Also, PT can take up a lot of your time.  I am on the cpm 8 hrs a day (for total 6 weeks - so one to go!) but also add on an additional 2-3 hrs a day for stretches to get my ROM back. 

I've essentially given up muscle retention for the moment as I tend to swell more than others and just acheiving ROM back has been a challenge.  Getting that back is the most important for two reasons if you don't get it back early you may never get it back and development of scar tissue could cause you to have to go back in to clean it out.

Anyway..I would be more than happy to detail out how things have gone for me to date.  Also despite living alone I've found that when in trouble you may have more friends than you think and so many folks have offered their help...either dropping off food, driving me to PT or just keeping me company. 

We'll all help get you thru this!
Cheers!
Christine



Jan 1991 Lateral release
Nov 1997 VMO/Lateral release
April 1998 scope to remove bone chips
Feb 2002 VMO/TTO
Oct 2009 Biopsy for ACI
Feb 3, 2010 ACI/TTO















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