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Author Topic: Major setback in ACL recovery; 7 weeks post op and sudden pain & swelling  (Read 6106 times)

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Offline jnova

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Hi!

I had ACL reconstruction (allograft) and repair of my medial and lateral meniscus on Feb. 16.   My recovery hasn't been quick, but it has been steady.  I could bend my knee at least 130 degrees, and I was just starting to ascend the stairs using alternating steps.  Because I had a ridiculously large brace up until Monday of this week, I didn't attempt driving until yesterday.  Long story short -- got a new smaller brace, drove past two days, this morning my knee buckled a little as I walked into my office building - didn't hurt but was slightly jarring, knee pain and swelling progressed throughout the day.  By the time I got home, I couldn't walk without my crutches (mind you I've been totally off crutches for two weeks).  Pain is mainly felt laterally and posteriorly, not where acl is attached. 

I am sick with worry that I injured something else, or that I didn't have a good surgical outcome.  I just want my life back!!

Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!

Offline Amy29

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Hi - I had an ACL reconstruction as well a few yrs back.  It sounds like you are doing really well - I couldn't straighten or walk properly on mine for a few months after and ended up having 6 months of Physio before I could return to competitive sport.  I also had to have what is called a biofeedback machine to get my quads working properly.  Also since my ACL recon, I have not been able to kneel on it without having something soft underneath.

Personally I don't think you have done anything to it - think it's prob just your knee getting used to driving again but if you're worried, get it checked out  :)
2003 - Arthroscopy/Menisectomy L knee
2004 - ACL Reconstruction L knee
2012 - Arthroscopy/Microfracture L knee

Offline Im139

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Sounds like only two changes and you ended up with the swelling and pain. New brace and driving? Control the variables as much as you can and don't make more than one change until you know you're good. Irritation caused in 5-6 hours could take exponentially as long to undo. I would consider going back to old brace and not driving. I recommending seeing your OS ASAP and in the meantime, treat your issues with ice and anti-inflammatory and go from there.

Offline Snowy

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If you've been braced since February, it's quite likely that you've lost a lot of strength in the muscles around the knee even if you've been diligent about doing your PT exercises. Between switching to a smaller brace and starting to drive again, you've placed some new demands on the knee this week. Between muscle weakness and new activity, it's not surprising that it would have a bit of a reaction. If it's any reassurance, my knee reacted to most new activities during rehab by swelling up for a day or two, even though it recovered well and reasonably quickly overall.

From what you describe, you *probably* haven't done anything serious but given that you have had a pain and swelling reaction I would still get it checked out by your surgeon or physiotherapist, even if it's just to put your mind at ease. Don't change your bracing protocol unless one of them specifically tells you to do so; I know the previous poster means well, but we're not medical professionals here and they're the only ones who should be telling you to make changes. In the meantime, ice should help with the swelling.

Best of luck! Fingers crossed that all is well.
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 Im139

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I agree with Snowy. Follow your OS or PT recommendations. I assumed you made the brace change on your own without consulting a medical professional. When in doubt always start by check with your medical professional. Also, keep in mind that even though they have years of training they can make errors in judgement too so don't be afraid to seek another professionals opinion if your issues are not being resolved to your satisfaction.