Banner - Hide this banner





Author Topic: Acl and the older lady!  (Read 8228 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Acl mum

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
  • Liked: 10
Acl and the older lady!
« on: September 03, 2013, 10:19:55 AM »
I hope my posts will encourage the less sporty ,over fourty  year olds fight for surgery.
About fifteen years ago, on a skiing holiday my family urged me, a natural snowplougher, to go in the next class to do parallel turns. I thought the Swiss instructor said 'follow me' , but sadly I was wrong and wrecked my knee. With three teenagers  and a workaholic OH I didn't bother getting any treatment and was just careful with it. After a few years I started noticing increasing instability. A couple of pivoting slips in the kitchen caused slight problems. The final crunch ( literally) happened two years ago,  slipping on wet tiles in a mountain cafe while the rest of the family skied. Everything was torn. I bought a hinged knee brace from physioroom, which was great.
 At the GP I was told that they didnt do surgery on the over-fourties! By now I was 61, and a very active outdoorsy type. I was sent to Physio, which was excellent, and he too said it was unheard of to refer people like me for surgery. However if I wasn't happy, after doing everything he threw at me, to go back to the GP.  After an icy winter when I had to crawl across some black ice to the back door, and yet more falls I went back fighting to the GP.  My other arguments included  knowing another acl-er who broke her hip aged 70 because of it causing a fall, and someone else who developed balance problems with Parkinsons and the Un- operated acl  is now a disaster.
The GP agreed to refer me, and the next hurdle was approached. I wanted a specific local surgeon with  an excellent reputation. 'Oh the computer (choose and book system) can't do that.' I then suggested she wrote a letter to him instead. She looked gobsmacked,  being unaware that they could still refer to specific people , and agreed.
One month on, I met the surgeon. His first words were 'I'm not ageist'.  His closing words were that I was suitable for the operation, and two months later, here I am, on Day 15 post -op!!
 
So anyone who wants treatment, don't be fobbed off, do the physio and keep fighting!
More post- news later.
 

Offline IHMK

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • *
  • Posts: 249
  • Liked: 26
    • I Hurt My Knee
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 12:26:47 PM »
Hooray!  Welcome to the realm of post-op diaries!  I am so glad to hear you finally got your way, but outraged that you had to fight so hard for it.  That's just nuts.

How are you doing, 2 weeks in?  How did it go?  Details, numbers, tell all!
My knee story: http://www.ihurtmyknee.org

28 March 2013: tore right ACL (also meniscus tear, MCL tear ["Unhappy Triad"!!], tibial plateau fracture & condylar bruise)
28 June 2013: surgery to reconstruct ACL (allograft)

Offline virtual_me

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • Posts: 157
  • Liked: 7
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2013, 12:59:39 PM »
That's terrible that you had such a fight for it.  What was their reason for saying you shouldn't have surgery?!

Anyway, I'm glad you've finally had it done and are on the road to recovery and doing so well already from the sounds of your walk!

Offline Kaputt_Knee

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 24562
  • Liked: 75
  • [Ed: Sue sadly passed away in 2016]
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2013, 01:38:48 PM »
Ageism and shortage of funds - two of the active older person's greatest enemies in terms of getting treatment in some parts of the world!

I was told categorically by my UK orthopaedic surgeon that he never operated on anyone over 35!  :o Which was interesting as he had operated on me twice already and I was 38 when he carried out the first one!  ;D As I pointed out this discrepency, he conceded defeat and operated, carrying out his first patella tendon reconstruction (although mine was technically a revision).

Fast forward to me making mincemeat of my other knee in 2006 and the attitude here in Germany was totally different - what are your goals, and an expected return to sport! When that reconstruction was eventually revised, same question and same answer from me - to get back on my skis by the end of the coming season. Oh no he said ...... (I filled with horror dreading the next part) .... it is only August now. If you work hard at the rehab you should be able to ski by the beginning of the season! Cue great signs of relief and big cheesy grin! Due to the damage he found when he went in, he apologised and said it might take a ittle longer - it did, about 6 weeks longer!!!!!!  ;)

Fight for what you know is right for you! Far more young people suffer reconstruction failures due to a combination of going back to sport too hard too soon and not rehabbing properly and continually. With age comes the realisation that perhaps you are not indestructible after all and the hard work in PT is perhaps boring but necessary!  ::)


[edited to correct spelling mistake  :-[ ]
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 04:38:05 PM by Kaputt_Knee »
1989 big trauma R. knee - sorted
1990-2004 3ACL recons and 20+ arthroscopies -RK
3/06 LK ACL torn!
4/06 ACL recon, kneecap broken
09 &10/06- 2x meniscus trims
3/07 - Notch Plastic & Lateral Release
14/8/08 complete revision ACL plus LCL/PLC recon
6/2/09 returned to skiing! Whoopee

Offline Acl mum

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
  • Liked: 10
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2013, 02:03:09 PM »
The GP was evasive at the first refusal. I didn't push her for a reason,hoping that the first physio old enlighten me. He thought it was either funding or ageist attitudes to fitness levels  of older people.
Anyway, the day surgery unit was brilliant, and surgery with nerve block absolutely fine. The anaesthetist was chatting to me and said 'by the way, do you know they are holding your leg up in the air'. Luckily I was sedated enough to think that that was hilarious.
The first few days were uncomfortable but much better than I expected. Thanks to you folks I was fairly organised for life with crutches. I was surprised to be able to weight ear.  Day  5 was PT and gentle exercises and homework book. No numbers yet. The plan is  6 sessions with him,then to join Acl Class in the gym. I enquired whether  that would be all sweaty footballers. He looked sheepish and said that we would all have tailored plans. He asked me what targets I had, so I said to walk downhill on the moors in a straight line, not sidestepping, to go to a posh dance and not have to hang onto my partner for grim death,  to jog gently, and to be able to step off a moving canal boat safely. I have dogs, and would love to pick up the agility class I had started , which I gave up because there was too much turning.
Different bits of the knee take turns making themselves known . Today it's a bit creaky. Last week I had the yellow staining down the shin from synovial fluid, but that has gone. The two tiny cuts are healed and the inch long one on the graft site is healed but a bit sore,and the hard lump is going .i think the inner stitches are dissolving. There's a band of swelling just above . I have a cryocuff, which is great.
I don't like standing much, walking is good and I have gained the confidence to use stairs without the crutch,but still like it for reassurance.
I'm not in a great hurry to get super fit, I just want to get the graft and the lateral ligaments and tendons normal. I assured the surgeon that I had no intention of playing football or rugby and spoiling his handiwork.

Offline PhillyCanuck

  • MINIgeek (20-50 posts)
  • **
  • Posts: 43
  • Liked: 1
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2013, 02:32:27 PM »
Great story!  Congratulations on seeing it through, and good luck with the rehab.   Hope you are able to avoid   'sweaty footballers'.  I'm still laughing.

Offline virtual_me

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • Posts: 157
  • Liked: 7
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2013, 09:57:48 AM »
It sounds like you're doing fantastically!

My NHS physio has an ACL class also, but only for those of us who I think are over about 9 or 10 weeks post surgery.  The others are probably 20-something year old footballers.  At least I tore mine doing something more original (falling off Ben Nevis!)!  This injury has shown clearly to me that I'm not indestructible after all (somehow, amazingly, (I'm very clumsy) I had never had a major injury before).

My aunt and uncle had massive trouble finding a new GP when their one retired (they're in their early/mid-'70s).  Definitely awful ageism in the NHS due to the way the it is run.

The GP was evasive at the first refusal. I didn't push her for a reason,hoping that the first physio old enlighten me. He thought it was either funding or ageist attitudes to fitness levels  of older people.
Anyway, the day surgery unit was brilliant, and surgery with nerve block absolutely fine. The anaesthetist was chatting to me and said 'by the way, do you know they are holding your leg up in the air'. Luckily I was sedated enough to think that that was hilarious.
The first few days were uncomfortable but much better than I expected. Thanks to you folks I was fairly organised for life with crutches. I was surprised to be able to weight ear.  Day  5 was PT and gentle exercises and homework book. No numbers yet. The plan is  6 sessions with him,then to join Acl Class in the gym. I enquired whether  that would be all sweaty footballers. He looked sheepish and said that we would all have tailored plans. He asked me what targets I had, so I said to walk downhill on the moors in a straight line, not sidestepping, to go to a posh dance and not have to hang onto my partner for grim death,  to jog gently, and to be able to step off a moving canal boat safely. I have dogs, and would love to pick up the agility class I had started , which I gave up because there was too much turning.
Different bits of the knee take turns making themselves known . Today it's a bit creaky. Last week I had the yellow staining down the shin from synovial fluid, but that has gone. The two tiny cuts are healed and the inch long one on the graft site is healed but a bit sore,and the hard lump is going .i think the inner stitches are dissolving. There's a band of swelling just above . I have a cryocuff, which is great.
I don't like standing much, walking is good and I have gained the confidence to use stairs without the crutch,but still like it for reassurance.
I'm not in a great hurry to get super fit, I just want to get the graft and the lateral ligaments and tendons normal. I assured the surgeon that I had no intention of playing football or rugby and spoiling his handiwork.

Offline Hobblescotch

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 216
  • Liked: 20
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2013, 09:43:03 PM »
I love your list of knee goals! One of the things on my list is to take a dance class and wear heels. It's quite a diverse list you have, but all of which require excellent knee stability; I'm appalled that the GP refused at first! I thought it was pretty standard practice for the GP to refer you to a specialist to have the discussion about whether it would be appropriate for you - most orthopedic surgeons will know enough about what's going on in the field of ACLr to know that the level of function and desired activity are more important than age. Good for you for insisting on talking to the right person!

You said that you'll start the ACL class after 6 physio sessions - any idea when that will be? I'm at 11 weeks and I've still only had 4 :) Also, it sounds like you're doing quite well and could show those sweaty footballers a thing or two!

Offline Acl mum

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
  • Liked: 10
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2013, 09:57:56 AM »
DAY 17
Oh yes, I'd forgotten about shoes with heels more than an inch high!  None left in my wardrobe.
The last couple of days have been pretty idle. The band of swelling above the knee has  gone down almost completely. I'm sure that swelling hampers the exercises a lot.  I can see my kneecap to give it  it's wobbling treatment., and all incisions healed. The one at the top of the shin where the graft is fixed seems to be very firmly held together under the surface, hard all around, but not pulling.
Extra physio in the house is dragging laundry baskets with a dog lead on, gentle squats in front of washing machine,  ditto for feeding dogs, picking up dog poo,  gardening for a while, and trying to put nail polish on toes that seem far away!
Yesterday my son took me to a small supermarket, and I took a crutch for self defence against small children running about, without whacking them.  I'm certainly slower at getting round, and the brain is stagnating too, but that's Kneeworld.  A friend of mine ,who is 66 , broke her foot at the weekend falling off a stepladder whilst redecorating, but she and her crutches have still gone  500 miles in a car and  on a ferry  to Orkney. There's no holding these modern older ladies back!
Tomorrow is my second PT visit,which I am dreading, but I hope I will get some proper feedback. I think Acl classes are a couple of months away ( well into the football season).
Phillycanuck: I'm sure Canadian ice hockey players are fragrant and charming in comparison!

Offline nshah

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Liked: 1
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2013, 12:21:26 PM »
At least I tore mine doing something more original (falling off Ben Nevis!)!
I had a car crash whilst on my bike so quite an unconventional injury too. Everyone seems to think I got off lightly but it certainly doesn't feel like that.

@aclmum I'd probably be classed as a sweaty footballer if you saw me at your acl class but we're all nice people :)

Offline Acl mum

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
  • Liked: 10
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2013, 01:23:54 PM »
I 'll never hear the end of the footballer comment!  :)
 DAY 17 confession...... I gave into temptation and got the car keys out.  After seeing how the knee felt pressing on the clutch pedal (manual gear change  4x4) , I started it up and went up and down the drive a couple of times.  Ok I know that's against the rules, but it makes you feel good! Nothing felt twangy in the leg either.
When did anyone else start driving?

Offline IHMK

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • *
  • Posts: 249
  • Liked: 26
    • I Hurt My Knee
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2013, 03:15:22 PM »
I started out in an immobiliser brace, so driving simply would not have worked for me until the brace was unlocked, which happened about 3 weeks post-op so that's when I started driving.  It was a bit painful but I did it anyway - freedom!!!

I always say, it's better to ask forgiveness than permission ;)
My knee story: http://www.ihurtmyknee.org

28 March 2013: tore right ACL (also meniscus tear, MCL tear ["Unhappy Triad"!!], tibial plateau fracture & condylar bruise)
28 June 2013: surgery to reconstruct ACL (allograft)

Offline PhillyCanuck

  • MINIgeek (20-50 posts)
  • **
  • Posts: 43
  • Liked: 1
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2013, 08:42:32 PM »

Phillycanuck: I'm sure Canadian ice hockey players are fragrant and charming in comparison!

Charming, of course!  Many of us are.   Unfortunately, fragrant as well, just not at all in the positive sense of the term.  Wife used to make me leave my equipment in the garage, and then complained it caused the cars to stink.   

Glad to hear you are doing so well!  And congrats on the short drive.    I can't wait to drive again.
 

Offline Acl mum

  • Regular Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
  • Liked: 10
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2013, 04:14:25 PM »
Oops, I've just remembered that most of the local Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team are Canadian.  This may get interesting!
The hospital rang at 8am to postpone my second physio appointment til next week, after I have seen the surgeon.  I will just carry on with the first stage exercises. It's raining so I have stayed in being lazy whilst I have the opportunity. My OH is off work for the next fortnight so it won't be peaceful, and he likes eating three times a day which will wreck my weight loss. On the plus side , I will get out more.

Offline Hobblescotch

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 216
  • Liked: 20
Re: Acl and the older lady!
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2013, 12:15:23 AM »

Phillycanuck: I'm sure Canadian ice hockey players are fragrant and charming in comparison!

Charming, of course!  Many of us are.   Unfortunately, fragrant as well, just not at all in the positive sense of the term.  Wife used to make me leave my equipment in the garage, and then complained it caused the cars to stink.   

I will second the fragrant comment of hockey players - I think the full-body coverage just increases the volume of stinky. On the other hand, they do have quite charming gap-toothed smiles...  ;D

Which leg did you injure? My apologies if you said it and I missed it. I think that and your transmission (standard/automatic) have the biggest impact on when you're supposed to drive. Having recently moved to London (when I am much too terrified to drive), I think location matters too - you need the reflexes of a cat to drive here!

I'm sure you don't need this warning, but make sure you're getting enough protein if you're trying to lose weight while recovering from surgery. Especially in the first few weeks, your body needs more than usual to repair all that tissue - hamstring muscle to build back, immune/swelling response, wounds to heal. Most people losing weight eat lots of protein anyway because it's filling, but I just thought I'd mention it in case :)

It sounds like you have some excellent dog rehab going on too - I know mine likes to be involved in my rehab. Picking-up-dog-poo squats are not my favourite, but on the other hand it's a good mandatory strengthening and balancing exercise!















support