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Author Topic: ACL Recon/Microfractre - Calf Pain- Cramp vs DVT - Anxious "Googler"  (Read 1364 times)

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Offline Ontherise

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Surgery was Friday. No complications. I'm not a smoker, a bit overweight and a bit too sedentary with my job and lifestyle. Never smoked.

Surgery went well - was a hamstring autograft, microfracture was small - about 1CM area, doc didn't even want a CPM because it was a small area and off to side (or something).

Have had two days of PT, mostly sitting back keeping my leg elevated. Doing my exercises 2-3 times a day (Heel Slides to 80 degrees - though I can push to 95, PT told me not to do that again; Quad Sets, Ankle Pumps) and almost constantly wiggling my toes and doing ankle pumps while sitting back.

Today I was up the most since Surgery. Did some dishes while letting my braced "bad" leg dangle, crutched around in-laws for kids birthday party, stood up a lot there too with braced leg hanging.. I tend to keep my toes pointed up when it dangles, just a reaction I have, I guess - I'm paranoid about the NWB orders.

So anyway, while doing the dishes I started feeling what felt like a Charley Horse at the tip of my calf in the "bad" leg. It was just a small area on calf. Sore to touch/massage and I can activate the pain by flexing my toes up (the pull on the ankle pumps.. sort of the motion I've been doing).. Every instinct in me tells me it is because I've been keeping that leg down, around, not elevated, and keeping those toes sort of up/calfs flexed. No redness, no excessive heat to touch, and it is just that small area.

The more I look up things on google the more anxious I feel though :-) I'm not asking for a Diagnosis here, just asking for experiences from others with the leg in the brace. I presume some calf tenderness is a bit normal if sort of keeping it flexed like that, I also presume some pain is normal when letting the leg hang down so much. It hurts even if I relax the calf and touch it - but it sort of reminds of me of the kind of leg cramp I sometimes get pushing really hard in a kick drill while swimming/etc.

Should I just get off Google and go to bed and see how it feels tomorrow? Or should I be more concerned this early with just those symptoms?

Offline rnm37

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Re: ACL Recon/Microfractre - Calf Pain- Cramp vs DVT - Anxious "Googler"
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 08:41:41 AM »
Hi Ontherise,

If you are genuinely worried then the best course of action is always to go see your OS or physio to get it checked out - it is pretty much impossible to diagnose things over the internet!

What I will say is in my experience the calf pain does get pretty bad, theres a lot of bruising and other rubbish coming out of your knee and down your leg - I was basically convinced I had DVT at one point aswell but the majority of the time it is just a result of the trauma of the operation. Just stick to your exercises - ankle pumps, calf raises, calf stretches and assuming theres is nothing seriously wrong then the pain will start to go down eventually.

Hope it's nothing serious and all the best with your recovery,

Ross
June 2012 - ACL rupture and lateral meniscus tear

December 2012 - ACL recon (hamstring autograft) and meniscus trim

October 2013 - Retore ACL and tore medial meniscus :(!

January 2014 - Revision ACL recon (hamstring)

Offline Ontherise

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Re: ACL Recon/Microfractre - Calf Pain- Cramp vs DVT - Anxious "Googler"
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 09:21:24 AM »
Thanks Ross -

I'll definitely mention to my Physio. Next appointment is on Friday. I may end up talking to OS today anyway to get a refill on pain control and will ask then also. Was actually about to stop taking them a couple days ago but I've noticed that I'm stopping a bit early on the extensions on my exercises. Physio suggested I take them more regularly instead of sporadically (I had pretty much discontinued the regular 2x a day med and just took the as needed if it got bad after exercises.. noticed it is harder to play catch up that way). He really wants me at full extension as soon as possible and said it is better to take the meds if it helps. I want hyperextension like I had before so think it is a good idea on the meds. It's funny because 2 days ago I called OS to ask what I could switch to for pain control that was over the counter since the pain was pretty much gone. I told the PA that I was impressed and feeling good. He said "don't get too excited yet!" The calf pain is definitely not horrible, think it is really just the normal tightness post-op and maybe the brace rubbing up against top of calf muscle a bit also.

Offline Ontherise

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Re: ACL Recon/Microfractre - Calf Pain- Cramp vs DVT - Anxious "Googler"
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2013, 11:01:13 PM »
Called the surgeon's PA to ask about some of the pain and options for pain control so I could push through exercises and get to 0. I mentioned the calf pain on standing and the tight/swollen bruise. He got concerned and suggested ultrasound. Said it is likely nothing, and this is common symptom with the hamstring cutting, the microfracture and the bone drilling and grafting and it is made worse by the NWB protocol for the micro fracture - but every so often when they send someone down to an u/s for these symptoms it turns out to be a DVT - so in the "better safe than sorry" school of thought he ordered the u/s. Went to it today and everything was fine. No DVTs anywere, no clots anywhere... Just looked like a bunch of fluid in that tender area, vascular tech said it will work in eventually and just keep doing the heel pumps.