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Author Topic: Post ACL Reconstruction Concerns (7-8 Weeks)  (Read 989 times)

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Offline kdicke

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Post ACL Reconstruction Concerns (7-8 Weeks)
« on: April 04, 2014, 11:10:04 PM »
For a little background: In the military. On Feb 10th, 2014 I had an ACL reconstruction. I chose to do the hamstring graft, but they ended up being "too small" to use. In the end, they found one hammy of mine that qualified, morphed it with a donor graft and screwed it in. As of right now (week 7-8), I have 135 degrees flexion and 103 degrees extension. Its a military hospital with a not so great reputation and I don't get to see/talk to my OS but once a month, so I mainly discuss issues with my physical therapist/technician (military enlisted do the exercises and the officer I get to see once a month). I would love to agree with my technician that everything is fabulous, just cant help but look for some other opinions.

Now for the concerns: It is week 7-8, I have a bit more swelling than week 6 (I credit that to the 12 hour workdays in the ABUS). I ice and elevate, but it just seems like I never have the required recovery time needed. My reconstructed knee cracks painfully at times. My knee feels super stiff all day long, ice helps a little. I am fine to walk most of the time, just the stiffness feels odd and sometimes a dull pain remains as I go. I think that might also be because it is a little painful to keep full extension. The oddest thing that I have encountered and the thing I would like cleared up the most is that most of the time, when I go from a flexion to extension state, I can feel a movement under my knee, like something is trying to catch up, if I "play" with it too much it leaves my extension in a dull, aching pain.

So, with that all said, can I trust what my OS and PT say, that everything is great and I should stop worrying, or should I push for a OS appointment outside my appointment a month from now? THANKS!

Offline dugz one

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Re: Post ACL Reconstruction Concerns (7-8 Weeks)
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 10:16:00 PM »
get an MRI. get all your questions answered from an MRI. get an appointment ASAP so you can sleep at night.

Offline Snowy

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Re: Post ACL Reconstruction Concerns (7-8 Weeks)
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 03:51:36 PM »
An MRI isn't likely to shed much light at all on these kinds of issues. It would only be helpful if you had concerns that the graft was no longer intact, which it doesn't sound like is the case at all.

To be honest, this sounds like a pretty normal recovery to me, especially if you're not getting a lot of rest time. I certainly had similar symptoms well past this point in recovery. The stiffness took months to resolve completely (my PT kept telling me I just needed to be patient) and the movement is likely a consequence of muscle atrophy post-surgery - the whole structure of the knee isn't as well-supported when the muscles weaken.

If you're concerned then definitely bump up the OS appointment so that s/he can take a look sooner, but if it's any reassurance this all sounds quite normal based on my experience. ACLr is a big, invasive surgery, and it takes a long time for the knee to get over the trauma. I think someone on here described it very well - recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.
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