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Author Topic: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10  (Read 148790 times)

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Offline lis1

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2010, 09:25:30 AM »
Hi Snowy

If you can try to avoid the sleeping with a pillow under your knee as it hinders extension and thats what all surgeons want you to get back asap.  I know it's comfortable (i did it too) but in the long run it wont help.  

Sorry about the negative to start with.  Postitve now.  You are doing very well.  If you have a bath where you live then you can run 6 inches or so in the bath and put your leg on the rim if the thought of no shower until then especially of it is as hot there as it is here fills you with smelly dread lol.  I did this after the mosaicplaty which i actually had to keep the cumbersome big crepe bandage on for a week (in the summer) and managed it even though totally NWB..  That said of course if you dont have a bath........

After my first one i had a waterproof dressing on and was allowed to shower before i even left the hospiltal, but then of course here in the UK they tend to keep you in overnight for an ACL.

PS have requested  you on FB..........

Lisa
remidial meniscemtomy 1994
scope and tidy up july 2006
acl reconstruction and microfractures oct 2006 (failed on both counts)
oats june 2008 - very successful
acl revision patella tendon - oct 09

Offline zaiemk

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2010, 11:05:24 AM »
Good to hear you're doing well and even getting out - even if its only to the dump the rubbish.

I think the small wound on your thigh - I have one an inch above my graft incision - is where the 'needle' pulling the graft came through - I think thats what I understand from Deepaks posts.  If its its small and pin size - which mine is - its got some dried blood and is tender to the touch, but no bleeding.  If it is bleeding with movement, take it is easy on the flexing and quads.  Are you taking anything that is a coagulant?

It cant be any fun getting so hot and not being able to bathe - you could test the bounds of your realtionship with J and see if you can get some help with a flannel bath? ;D
I was given some waterproof bandages to cover my wounds so I could have a shower - they worked perfectly.

Take care - listen to your body and go at your own pace.
Zaiem

Offline Snowy

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2010, 05:30:04 PM »
Ah, that makes sense about the needle hole - that's exactly what that small wound looks like. I haven't restarted any of my NSAIDs yet (was going to call the OS tomorrow and ask him when I should, as I forgot to check in hospital) as that wound continues to bleed whenever I move. Unfortunately I've always tended to be one of those people who bleed for ages following a cut, so probably not surprising.

After a mostly quiet day yesterday the leg was really sore again by evening. I found the rush of blood to the calf when I went from sitting to standing almost unbearable by the end of the day; it felt like it was pushing at all the incisions and was quite excruciating. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to reduce this, beyond the obligatory ankle pumps to keep the blood circulating?

Tried a few more quad flexes last night but the better the flex, the more it felt like it was causing all the stitches/staples in the incisions to pull - a really nasty feeling. I am a little concerned about how the incisions are feeling overall - they're very sore when I move, and I can feel them throbbing a bit even when lying still - but can't see them right now, and I'm not supposed to remove the bandages until Wednesday. Did anyone take their bandages off sooner than this? Did you do it yourself or get a doctor to help? I'd call the OS to check but it's Sunday, so his office is closed till tomorrow.

I got another good night's sleep (Lisa, thaks for the tip about the pillow) but this morning didn't get off to the best start; I got out of bed and got dressed, then became extremely dizzy and nauseated and had to rapidly lower myself to the floor because everything was going dark and I thought I was going to faint. (Thank god for those strong swimming shoulders!) The dizziness, nausea and general clamminess lasted about five or ten minutes before it eased. I can't figure out if something is genuinely wrong or it's a combination of the painkillers and the fact that I haven't been eating much. I'm eating a slice of J's pumpkin pie now and drinking tea in the hope that will help, but still feel a bit odd.

I'm a little worried that something's not 100% right. That's the trouble with going through something completely outside your previous experience; there's no real barometer to tell what "normal" is! I wish it wasn't Sunday; it's probably nothing that a quick call to the OS wouldn't sort out, but his office is closed till tomorrow.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 05:36:04 PM by Snowy »
Mar 11: R Biceps femoris tear (skiing)
Jul 10: ACLr (hamstring autograft)
Mar 10: L ACL rupture (skiing)
Feb 06: L partial ACL tear (kickboxing)
Dec 03: R bone edema (motorbike)
Jan 01: R patellar chip (motorbike)
May 93: R ACL sprain (hockey)
Ongoing: bilateral PFS and OA

Offline Lottiefox

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2010, 05:52:01 PM »
Hi Snowy

I have absolutely NO experience first hand of ortho surgery (yet) but that description of your morning almost faint rang a bell for me regarding another KG member. Andi (Doublemom) had a similar experience getting out of bed about 5 days after her TTT and LR - I know it knocked her for six and sounded very similar to your reaction. I think the conclusion on her thread was it was pain, getting up from lying down, blood rushing to wound sites/screws etc......

I think the feeling that its completely out of your usual zone of knowledge is such a valid point - so of course you tend to worry at anything that seems weird. I will be exactly the same; how on earth can you tell if a wound is meant to hurt all the time?! I can only add a bit of common day thoughts - if you cut yourself (and I have had a few spectacular chops on shattering glass objects in my time) or burn yourself badly (again, some disasters with candles) then the wound does hurt even when not doing anything for a fair few days. I remember burning my whole little finger badly once and for 3 days the pain even without touching it was unreal!! I guess with a surgical incision it is even deeper so the pain is to be expected, especially when combined with bone work. I don't know, I am talking from NO experience (ask me after weds!) but try and relax if you can and cal the OS on Monday just to check. And make sure LOTS of fluids, ooodles of them.

Take it steady, these are definitely going to be the worse days. I'm thinking of you over here and the onions are admiring the Snowy knee's bravery and recovery! (and wondering if they can email [email protected] to request a 3 week nerve block on the toe?)!

Hugs

Lottie xxx

PS The other thing that struck me - you are FIT (ooerrr!) and your resting heart rate is probably pretty low. I know last year when I was cardio fit before my knees flared up I sometimes got that weird dizzy sensation for no reason at all when I got up especially if I was a bit dehydrated or had been in bed (and lost fluids). My resting heart rate was pretty low this time last year and the doc said that sometimes happens (everything else was fine - BP etc all tip top). It might explain the violent reaction to getting up after a big op.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 05:59:28 PM by Lottiefox »
Bilateral patella OA since 2009, no surgeries.
Euflexxa working well x3 to current
Right forefoot CRPS post fusion surgery 2011
Refusing to let the ailing parts stop me....

Offline tez27

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2010, 06:36:15 PM »
Snowy so sorry your having some unpleasant after effects of your surgery I think Lottie is right when you think of everything that has been done inside your knee its no wonder it hurts maybe you should ask for some stronger pain killers to get you through the next couple of days, the feelings of dizzyness and nausea could possible be the after effects of the anasthetic I have felt pretty wiped out for a good few days afterwords in the past, there are so many things it could be it's hard to pinpoint what would cause these symtoms, although if your not sure about anything then get in touch with your O.S first thing tomorrow and check it all out with him. Remember also how important it is to keep hydrated and even if you dont feel like eating try and get something down as that could help you feel a bit better. The more I am hearing about how things are going with you the more I am hoping I will be kept in hospital for a couple of days, as at least the staff could keep me right about what is to be expected, also it wont hurt that I should have extra pain relief if needed.
I hope today is a better day for you and you feel better soon take care
Tez
L K injured 25th June 2008
scope Jan 5th 10
diagnosis ACL rupture
fiberous band excised from acl
ACLr July 19th 2010  scope on 24th Sept 2011
ACL has failed incorrect tunnel placement
23rd July 2012 1st stage of a 2 stage ACL revision
10th May 2013 2nd stage ACL revision

Offline Cosmicsnuffle

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2010, 07:46:46 PM »
Hey Snowy,

Oh you poor sausage  :(.

Let me start with the blood rush pain in the calf - like you I found it excruciating - it'd put me off getting up for the loo, which then meant that I reached panic mode to get there in time  - not advisable ::). I tried heel slides and gentle mobilisation before getting out of bed, also gently lowering the leg to the floor over a few minutes to let the blood return slowly. I think some of them may have helped to reduce the pain slightly but I never found an answer.... if I remember rightly it was easing by the time Lottie visited at about 10 days.

The nausea and blackout/dizziness may well be due to your fitness/resting low blood pressure - mine is usually low with a low resting pulse and takes a long time to get back to normal after an anaesthetic.
Make sure you are getting plenty of clear fluids and eat little and often if it helps. Try to take time when you move or change position to allow your body to adjust.

The bandages - the crepe was removed in hospital before discharge - so I went home with low-adhesive dressings on which were covered with a shower proof dressing. I was advised to see the district nurse after 2 weeks to get them changed... that seemed a little long to me (especially in the heat) so I did them after about a week. My most seepy wound was the portal on the medial side, like you I could feel it pulling and oozing when I moved over the first few days. My main wound was sutured with dissolvable stitches - a very neat job, then stuck with surgical tape crossed over the wound to make two star shapes (I think the surgeon may have had a creative streak - perhaps an alter ego working in textile design).

The puncture wound on the thigh is where the graft is is pulled through... mine looked like some kind of crop circle arrangement with one main puncture and a row of 3 neatly spaced below.

With the flexion - I'd say to go as far as you can without making the incisions feel sore - just for the first few days.... you will be able to bend it more as the knee settles. The cuts heal remarkably quickly considering!

.... and I agree with Tez - if you are unsure about anything then contact your OS in the morning.

Hugs

xx
Oct 04 - torn meniscus
Dec 05 meniscal trim and debridement
Sep 09 torn ACL, kissing contusions, knee locked 30-60o
Jan 10 ACL stump debrided, lateral parrot beak meniscal tear trimmed
May 10 ACLr (Hamstring)
Aug 11 mfx (focal lesion lateral femoral condyle)
Jun 14 100k walk London-Brighton 28hrs

Offline clarky_vl

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2010, 09:08:46 PM »
Hey!
Sorry you are beginning to feel crappy! Reading your description was a bit weird because I have been feeling a bit umm ill I suppose for the last couple of days, including the dizzy/clammy/nauseated moments. I usually do get quite sick after surgery, so I was expecting this, not entirely sure why though. In hosptal they say it is just due to the standing up when you have been lying down thing, but I think it was a combination of the anaeasthetic and surgery, medications, and I don't know about you but I really haven't been eating since surgery, just no appetite and feel a little bleh. I think all of this would kind of make us feel really well, weak I guess, and especially with the pain/blood rushy leg thing!

I usually get the bandages removed the morning after surgery (always been in hospital so they have done it) and then just had the dressings on, they get checked and changed at five days and then left on until stitch removal and then maybe some more put on (just because I am totally paranoid that while they are still so fresh and not covered I will end up catching them on all sorts-ouch!)

Also, Zaiem is right about the little wound- it is the guide wire from pulling the graft through (and for my revisions, removing screws) I hope that stops bleeding soon, how strange that you are normally quite a bleeder!

Anyway, hopefully you'll soon be improving  :) Are you watching the World cup final? I am watching it at the moment curled up with my puppy, but my leg has been pretty painful again today!

Vicky
11/10/07 ACLr-hamstring, lat meniscectomy, microfracture
29/7/08 ACL revision-hamstring/LARS
7/7/09 ACL revision-quad/LARS
20/2/10 Screws out, bone grafts, arthroscopy.
6/7/10 ACL revision-BPTB allograft
14/3/11 Screws out, bone grafts, arthroscopy.
Then: ACL revision + extra-articular repair

Offline zaiemk

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2010, 09:17:38 PM »
I love this forum - the wealth of knowledge and experience thats being openly shared is so reassuring and answers so many concerns.

Hi Snowy, I'd just echo what has already been said.

When I used to wake up in the middle of the night or morning for the first 5 days (and still after staying any one position for any prolonged period of time), I did some ankle pumps and heel slides to get the blood flowing a bit and rub the calf and shin.  Then slowly get up and stay stood for a bit, moving the leg in small movements until I felt a bit more stable.  As Cosmic has very astutely pointed out allow time for this when you need to make a move for the toilet. ;D

I completely understand what you're saying about the pulling sensation at the incision sites - it will ease as you continue flexing over the days - dont  over do it if it feels too uncomfortable.  I hold the last heel slide at the flexed position for a while, it does feel 'stretched' at the incisions at the tibia and femur (tightest) graft sites.  I am lucky my dressing was removed after 24 hours and changed.  There was al little seeping at the graft site on the thigh - although I kept worrying from the sensation that it would be worse.  The nurse came to remove my dressings 4 days later and they have been off since.  No seeping, but a little redness.  Very sharp pain if I happen to accidentally catch any of the clips - owwwww - not looking forward to having them cut out next Thursday.

The head rush and fainting is probably a combination of a number of things - meds, tiredness, pain, and heat.  I'd be more worried if you had secondary symptoms like a fever/temp and vomiting/diarrhoea.  Keep on with the painkillers, take on lots of fluids, eat well and rest as much as possible.

Take care
Zaiem

Incidentally, I've written this during what I thought would be a poor match - its actually a lot worse - and it looks like they want to torture us with an extra half hour plus penalties :'(

Offline Lottiefox

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2010, 09:27:32 PM »
Not wishing to hijack the ACL chatter - But...

Zaiemk - HOW DULL IS THE FOOTBALL?!!!  ::) :P :o

This should now be a golden goal...but I fear we're looking at penalties. Yawn. Should have cracked into my Prime Suspect boxed set DVDs (1448 minutes of murder for my onion recovery Days 1-4 elevate and rest that foot). Followed by Trial & Retribution Boxed Set.  ;D

Snowy hope you're feeling a bit more comfortable....

xxx
Bilateral patella OA since 2009, no surgeries.
Euflexxa working well x3 to current
Right forefoot CRPS post fusion surgery 2011
Refusing to let the ailing parts stop me....

Offline zaiemk

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2010, 09:45:01 PM »
Apologies from me as well

The final match has been pantys - apart from one or two moments.  Yesterdays match was much better.

The Dutch are giving a lesson in how to kick people if they get within one foot of the ball.
 ::) ??? :o

Offline clarky_vl

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2010, 11:01:40 PM »
The match was indeed a bit rubbish.....

I was hoping it would go to penalties though, I love them!! Sadly with that very very late goal I had sat through 2 hours of boring football for nothing... Well, I did have a nice nap in the middle too  ;D

...Also learnt never to annoy someone from the Netherlands  :o

Oh and back to the knee stuff, Snowy I don't suppose you know if you have stitches (absorbable or not) or staples or whatever? At what points are you going back for post op appointments? (sorry if you already answered these somewhere!)

Vicky
11/10/07 ACLr-hamstring, lat meniscectomy, microfracture
29/7/08 ACL revision-hamstring/LARS
7/7/09 ACL revision-quad/LARS
20/2/10 Screws out, bone grafts, arthroscopy.
6/7/10 ACL revision-BPTB allograft
14/3/11 Screws out, bone grafts, arthroscopy.
Then: ACL revision + extra-articular repair

Offline kneetmare

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2010, 11:05:57 PM »
Hey Snowy, just dropping in to wish you the best of luck with your recovery. Sorry to hear about the pain and dizzyness, I hope it improves for you. Don't try and do too much, get plenty of rest and i'm sure in no time things will start to improve! :D

Offline Snowy

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2010, 11:25:23 PM »
That game could have used a good head butt to liven it up, a la Zidane. I watched the whole thing, but our kitties were less tolerant than Vicky's puppy - they wandered out onto the deck and fell asleep in the sun instead, which is about what the match deserved. Oh well. At least the Germany-Uruguay game yesterday was a cracker.

Thank you all so much for the shared experiences, advice and reassurance. Zaiem and Cosmic - it doesn't sound as though my calf surges are any worse than yours, so I'll stop worrying about them and just focus on gritting my teeth and getting through it. I find them much easier to manage earlier in the day, perhaps because I'm tired by evening and just a little less on top of things.

I suspect the morning pain meds coupled with lack of food (and quite possibly a low resting heart rate, too) were to blame for my dizzy moment this morning. Vicky, that's exactly the way I've been feeling about food - not actually nauseated, just not hungry and completely uninterested in eating. I've made a bit more of an effort today (thank goodness for Jen's home baking and ice cream) in case that did contribute to the light-headedness this morning.

I took a peek under the bandages just to see if there was any obvious cause for concern, and found a knee full of staples underneath. I wasn't completely sure if I'd have staples or stitches (most people seem to have stitches, but my OS did mention "removing staples" right before I went into surgery) but that does help explain the soreness and pulling sensations from the incisions. The knee is very swollen and a bit hot, but there were no immediate indications of infection or anything else panic-worthy.

Overall the knee has actually felt better this morning, in spite of the bad start to the day. I've been mostly getting around with just one crutch for support and full weight through the operated leg, and ankle pumps haven't been as uncomfortable as yesterday. I've been testing the flex a bit while getting on and off the couch (it bends a little bit, but it's hard to tell how much because the bandages are in the way) but haven't tried a heel slide yet. It's getting very sore again now, so perhaps after the next round of pain meds.

While J was out running errands I decided I've been useless long enough, so I very slowly and painstakingly swept the condo. It wasn't actually too hard with one crutch and the broom for extra support, but took forever. J came home just as I was finishing up and sent me packing straight back to the couch when she realized what I was doing. (Where's the smiley face for guilty?) I have to admit that the knee is feeling pretty achy now after being upright for that long.

I think one of the things that has taken me by surprise is how different the surgical recovery is compared to the recovery from the initial injury. I was imagining a similar or marginally worse degree of pain and immobility, but it's on a different scale entirely. I guess that makes sense, though; when I tore my ACL I just had the tear and bone bruising to deal with, which is entirely different to having bones drilled, hamstrings harvested and the knee shoved full of surgical instruments.

Thanks again to everyone for your words of reassurance. I don't know what I'd be doing without you guys right now. :)
Mar 11: R Biceps femoris tear (skiing)
Jul 10: ACLr (hamstring autograft)
Mar 10: L ACL rupture (skiing)
Feb 06: L partial ACL tear (kickboxing)
Dec 03: R bone edema (motorbike)
Jan 01: R patellar chip (motorbike)
May 93: R ACL sprain (hockey)
Ongoing: bilateral PFS and OA

Offline kcknee

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2010, 12:37:14 AM »
I'm so glad to hear that you are out of surgery and starting to recover.

I had the blood rushing to the calf feeling after the ACLr surgery and the fasciotomy surgery, but not after the scope to remove my ACL. I never found anything that helped to relieve the pain except the foot stool in the bathroom to rest your foot on, which caused less pain compared to the pain of resting your foot on the ground. The good thing is that the pain reduces over the first week.

I did have the nerve block following the surgery, but it didn't really do much for the pain. The 2 epidural I had did not help much either when I had my son. Going from the worst pain I have had being a 10 (surgical complication at age 21 caused major inter cranial bleeding that severely compressed nerves at top of spinal column for two week period - notice any unlucky pattern with surgeries? :)), childbirth with non working epidural was about a 7 and the ACLr was about a 6.5. With the ACLr, the worst pain was when I awoke from the anesthesia through the evening of the next day (and a few weeks later when I had the first swelling complication the pain was as bad as just out of surgery). It didn't help that the foam mattress topper on my bed the first night was digging the brace into my leg until I figured out why it was hurting so badly and changed beds.

I was not allowed to bend my leg at all for 10 days. In the shower I used a wooden cheap tall stool that I could hold on to to move under the water and put my weight on. It was scary with the brace off and having to keep my leg perfectly straight. I wrapped my leg in plastic wrap and plastic bags covered by elastic bands and duct tape.

Take things slowly and keep taking your pain medicine while you need it. Hopefully every day starts getting a lot easier for you.

Kristin
12/31/08 - Skiing injury L knee
6/1/09 - ACL stump removed from joint
8/31/09 - ACLr - Hamstring Graft
12/21/09 - Ant Fasciotomy 
8/26/10 - Anterior Interval Release
12/6/10, 5/5/11, 12/22/11 - Fasciotomy
12/7/12 - Nerve Decompression
6/3/13(m), 7/29/13(l), 12/13/13(m & foot) 2/3/14(l) Fasciotomy

Offline ouch09

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Re: ACLr Musketeer - Snowy's reconstruction, 9.7.10
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2010, 02:02:28 AM »
Glad to hear that you're feeling a bit better & the pain is easing.

I was told by a nurse in the orthopaedic dept to take my crepe bandage off on day 2. This was fine, since none of my wounds were still bleeding (or so I believe). Given that yours' are still bleeding I would seek clarification from your OS. I had water-proof dressings on my wounds under the crepe bandage. The dressings were all bloody, so perhaps the wounds were still bleeding, but the blood was contained within the dressings.

For the "blood rush to the calf" pain, the best (non-chemical) pain relief I found was to lie on my back, stick my leg vertically in the air & do the ankle pumps. I still do these several times a day when I can feel the calf is feeling swollen, although since my achilles tendon is still sore I don't point & flex my foot, but just point & flex my toes. I know this doesn't help when you get out of bed or stand up from sitting, if you have to be on your feet, but once you've done your errand (e.g. a trip to the toilet) try this.

I know what you mean about feeling useless lying around, while someone else does the chores, but I learnt the hard way that for the first few days you have to take it very easy & let your body recover. I found myself being tired for no apparent reason (of course the reason is that you've had hamstring muscle sliced out of you & a hole drilled through 2 bones & your quad) several times a day & needing to just lie down & sleep. Despite my bravado on my post-op thread, I wasn't cleaning the floor till day 7, and even then it was just 2 rooms in a small flat.

Re eating, a very good piece of advice from mollyc on fergy's "Useful things both pre- and post surgery" thread on the cruciate ligaments forum, was eat following the surgey as if you have had stomach flu, i.e. bland & light food. If you've got over that stage, eat lots of fresh fruit & veg to get lots of vitamins & anti-oxidants. Since you've lost blood, you need iron. I ate brocolli to get my iron. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious.  ::)

I would also mention the dizzyiness to your OS, in case this is not just due to your high-fitness & therefore low heart-rate.

Don't worry about not being able to do the heel slides. As you've probably heard, the mantra on the cruciate ligaments forum is "getting your extension to 0 degrees is more important than getting flexion in the early days".

I can completely empathise with you re feeling horrible & sticky in the heat and not being able to shower for a few days. Its not pleasant, but you will really enjoy your first post-op shower when you are able to !  ;)

The super model sends a virtual bouquet of flowers  ;)

All the best,

Deepak   
ACL rupture playing football May 2009
ACL hamstring autograft reconstruction 24-6-10