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Author Topic: Please help, facing two ACLr allograft surgeries...many questions  (Read 892 times)

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Offline eaglesgirl

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Hello all,
  I am new to the site and seeking so questions I have regarding my upcoming knee surgery. Went to see my ortho doc today and he told me that both my acls are torn and I will have to have ACLR in both legs (not at the same time but over of time). Currently I just have pain in my knees but not using any walking aids.  To give you some background I just had surgery on my right knee back in Jan of 2012 for a meniscus repair. The surgeon said he decided not to do the ACL repair at that time because he didn’t think needed it then, but says now I do. With that said he’s has scheduled me for an allograft aclr using a frozen cadaver graft. My ACLr with meniscus repair surgery will be Jan 9, 2013.  I still have pain issues with my right knee that I just had the surgery on in January, however he want to do my LEFT know first because it keeps “buckling”.  Can anyone tell me if they have ever faced TWO ACLR surgeries within the same year? My doc says he is not planning to prescribe the use of a CPM machine or using a brace after surgery. Is this normal procedure? Can anyone tell me about their allograft procedure, details on what happens before and after surgery.  How bad the pain will be? What's the recovery time? Anything you can share will be most appreciated. I am so scared about this procedure  :'(

Offline skier21

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Re: Please help, facing two ACLr allograft surgeries...many questions
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2012, 04:01:11 AM »
Hi.  I've only had the one ACLr and MCL recon so not sure how much help I can be. However, let me encourage  you and tell you that you can do this and you will make it.  :). I had the allograft and when I woke up I was in a locked  brace. I did not use a cpm machine after my aclr although I  have had rom problems and have used on in subsequent surgeries.  I was on crutches for approximately 8 weeks, but i had the open MCL recon..which is different from your situation. The best advice i can give is to use your polar care machine or ice packs,  stay ahead of your pain by taking your meds as ordered, and work  hard  at physical therapy to regain your range of motion .  Hang in there. It does get better!  Hope I helped in some small way. Good luck!
April 2011 R Knee ACL recon. and open MCL repair
Aug 2011 R Knee Scope LOA and MUA
Dec 2011 R Knee MU
Sept 11, 2012 R knee LOA and MUA, removal of cyclops lesion
Sept 21, 2012 R knee scope infection & debriedment, hemotoma

Offline Snowy

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Re: Please help, facing two ACLr allograft surgeries...many questions
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2012, 06:02:18 AM »
I haven't experienced this personally (I had one ACL autograft) but I do know at least one fellow skier who has been through this (and many who have had two ACL recons in subsequent seasons - i.e. one one year, and one the next). In the case of the person who had two recons within a year, two things were key: keeping the "good" knee (i.e. the one that was done second) in reasonable shape and not overloading it while the first knee was healing, and then timing the second op so that it took place as soon as possible but not before the first knee was recovered enough to hold its own. Both knees need to go through the full recovery process, so it's better to take a bit longer between ops and make sure the first knee is strong enough to do some of the heavy lifting before putting the second knee under the knife. If a knee is buckling regularly then there's definitely a strong case for fixing that one first, since it's at more risk of further damage.

Other than that, the main thing would be the same as a regular ACL reconstruction: do everything you can to strengthen both knees prior to surgery (with a physiotherapist's help so  follow the surgeon's rehab advice to the letter, and make sure you're working with a really good physiotherapist through the rehab. With a second knee to do afterwards, it's going to be extra important to stick to the rehab. Having allografts does mean you'll be spared the additional pain and effort of healing and rehabbing a graft harvest site, but it does mean a slightly slower return to full activity - a balance I'm sure your surgeon has considered. Brace and CPM are totally a matter of surgeon's preference, unless there's an additional complicating factor like protecting a repaired meniscus. My surgeon didn't recommend the use of either, which worked out fine for me. For more tips on how to prepare for surgery and manage in the immediate aftermath, I'd recommend checking out the post-op diaries - there's loads of good info there.

It's way at the end of the spectrum, of course, but in terms of a positive example pro skier Tanner Hall had to have dual ACL reconstructions following a bad fall in which he ruptured both ACLs and suffered tibial plateau fractures in both knees. He recently won his first contest after returning to action. There's no question that it's going to be tough, particularly from a psychological point of view, recovering from one surgery and then going right into rehabbing another...but I hope it's reassuring to know that a good outcome is possible.

Best of luck. We'll all be rooting for you - keep us posted on how you get on.  ACL surgery is not fun, but it is manageable - you just have to take one day at a time, and stick with the rehab protocol.
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 eaglesgirl

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Re: Please help, facing two ACLr allograft surgeries...many questions
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2012, 03:43:49 AM »
Thanks Skier and Snowy, iI really appreciate alll of the advice and tips. How bad was the pain post op scale  1 thru 10 (10 being the worst) You mentioned doing pre op excercies to get the non surgical knee stronger, what are some good workout to do? Would it be a good idea to start weight trainging with leg presses, leg extentions for hamstring and quads? My doc didnt mention anything about pre surgery PT. I am really curious though why he has sceduled me to see him the day after surgery, he then  asked me if I had steps at home to deal with and I said "yes", he just said that may cause u a problem. When I asked him about pain management proceedures he said not to worry, u will have a femorail block and wont feel your leg, What is this block? it seems like some type of needle (which I do not like  :-[ )  OR Is this like a pain pump type of device? I read on various pages about a device called a hemavac ( sorry about the spelling),and it removes fliud from your knee, do the OS remove this b4 u leave the hospital? or is this the reason I have to go back the OS office next day?
How long didi it take u to recover as far as going back to work/drive?
Sorry for all the extra added questions, but I must admit this procedure frightens me a bit
Thanks again...hope everything is going well with your own personal recoveries
Cheers :)