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Author Topic: Knee surgery this week! Approximate time to return to work/driving/activities??  (Read 2262 times)

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Offline AntsKneeOp

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Hello All!  I try to keep my mind off it as much as possible, but I am going through knee surgery next week.  I have an acl tear which my doctor wants to repair with the hamstring method and I have a meniscus tear.  Regarding the meniscus tear, the doctor isn't sure based on the MRI if it is repairable or not, but recomends the repair if it is possible.  As I understand it, the short-term recovery is a bit longer with the repair.

Worst case scenario (short term recovery wise)- if I end up with the repair,   how long would it take for me to return to doing my job as an Accountant?  (desk work)

How long would it take for me to be able to drive a car with a manual transmission? (my right leg- gas/brake is being operated on)

How long til I'm off crutches, and back in the weight room, doing upper body lifting while my leg heals/goes through rehab?

I'm not too nervous about the procedure, mainly feeling a little blue about the time I'll spend away from some of the activities I enjoy.  :-/

Any advice/reassurance is appreciated.

Anthony      San Francisco Bay Area, California

jemjem1

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Hi :)

First off all good luck with everything!!

I am kinda going throught the same thing I tore mine wow it hurt like cravey and it has just popped again. After I had my arthroscopy I was told that it will take me up to three months to be back to normal (without) activities. However I may need the reconstruction doing as I'm not doin brill at the min. My consultant told me that after a recon op I would be looking at aprox 9 months before I would be back to as normal as I could be playing sports. If your quads r in good shape an u can train them well threw ur PT I recon u shud b pushing a small amout of weight on it between 6-9 months from what I was told by my doctor but some can recomend upto 12 months depends on how strict they are with their patients I guess. I have no idea about the cartlidge damage an they prop won't know them selfs untill they have a look.

Most ppl are off crutches between 2-4 weeks some even sooner everyone is different. An I guess it depends on ur over all determination an pain barrier as to how soon u r back to normal. I don't know if this is much help cause its all differnt person to person.

But please please please tell me how u get on with the surgery because I will no doubt be having the same thing done. All the best xx

jemjem1

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Oh sorry forgot to say. Driving depends but in the UK as far as I know its when u are capable of doing a emergency stop without discomfort and work will depend on what work u do. X

Offline Snowy

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Sorry to hear about your pending surgery. Although it's very daunting (especially as you get closer to the date), the good thing is that ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair has an excellent success rate. It's just a bit of a long haul getting through rehab, and you do have to be very strict about following the protocol.

Every recovery is different, so the answers to your questions are going to depend very much on how your recovery progresses, your surgeon's protocol, and the physiotherapist that you're working with. Finding a really good physio is key to a successful recovery, so I'd recommend getting this lined up beforehand if you can.

Your surgeon should give you a recovery protocol that outlines expectations for the return to various activities. Surgeons base these timelines on things like the graft type and the fixation they use, so you do need to be really disciplined about sticking to it and not getting frustrated if you hear about other ACL patients who are progressing at different speeds. (The patellar tendon graft, for example, has bone plugs which heal faster than the hamstring graft fixation, which requires bone to grow in around the screws.)

Expect be on crutches for a little bit longer if you have the meniscus repair, as it will need to be protected. Again, some surgeons like to get you weight-bearing asap (I was PWB from the day of surgery, and off crutches after 5 days) but others prefer to protect the graft for longer during the early healing phase.

For a desk job, it's really going to be up to you. I have a desk job and took 8 weeks off to recover and focus on my rehab, but realistically I could have gone back after about 3 weeks if I'd really had to. I know folk on the board who have gone back to desk jobs after as little as 2 weeks, or stayed off for up to 12. For a desk job, as long as you make accommodations (e.g. keep the leg elevated; make the time to do your regular exercises) it's not too much of a problem going back earlier; if you have a physical job, it's a lot longer.

Driving will really depend on how your leg feels. It's not quite as taxing operating the gas and brake as the clutch, but you do need to make sure you can react quickly enough to stop in an emergency and it takes a bit of time to get the reaction speed back in your operated leg. Don't go back before your doc says you're ready, as your insurance company may not cover you in the event of an accident. 4-6 weeks seems standard, but it really does depend on how you progress.

As for the upper body weights in the gym, you can do those as soon as you like - they don't interfere with the leg or recovery in any way. I started doing some gentle arm workouts at a week post-surgery, and once they took the staples out after 10 days I was straight back in the pool swimming as hard as I could with a pull buoy to keep my legs still.  You can expect to be on the stationary bike fairly soon after surgery and back doing gentle gym work (leg presses with very low weight, etc.) inside the first month. With a hamstring graft you'll be looking at somewhere around 9 months to return to full activity if your recovery goes smoothly. Again, though, the timelines are dependent on your surgeon's protocol, so make sure you know what to expect from this.

Best of luck! Hope all goes well.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 06:41:37 AM 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 AntsKneeOp

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Ok.  We'll see how this all goes.  I have an online class I am signed up for to do some more work to help keep me busy (plus rehab) and am planning on buying another game or two for my xbox.  I also have xbox live so can download movies without needing to go anywhere.
I'll be in touch on this forum as I recover through this process.  Thanks for the info

Anthony    San Francisco, CA;  USA

Offline MUMofpain

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Hi, My 16 year old son is now at 18 weeks post aclr with hamstring graft.  All going ok but you do need alot of patience with the rehab.  Do what the physio say and stick to their protocol.  I think my son is at the stage where he thinks he can do more then he should and I have to keep reminding him. Walking and cycling is ok now and some gym work.  He started jogging on the treadmill at physio a couple of weeeks ago and that really cheered him up  :) :) :) :) :).

All the best with your op this week, I'm sure it will go great!
27th September 2010 - Tore acl at football
12th January 2011 - ACL reconstruction (Hamstring)

Offline AntsKneeOp

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Spent a lot of time yesterday/last nite moving musical instruments, xbox, laptop, etc., downstairs.  Had the surgery today.  Fortunetaly, found out that my meniscus did not need a repair (the Doctor just 'cleaned it up a bit') and I had the hamstring aclr performed.  I declined the nerve block (as I already filled the Rx for my painkillers last night).  Someone will be coming by my home tomorrow morning to drop of the CPM machine.   My knee is wrapped in a big dressing and the post op brace.  Day 1 is almost over. lol

Offline Snowy

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Congrats on getting through surgery! Hope your recovery goes smoothly. :)
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 Usman5

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@AntsKneeOp  How are are you feeling now?















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