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Author Topic: 7 weeks post-ACL recon-anxiety/trusting your knee again?  (Read 2061 times)

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Offline dre.acl

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7 weeks post-ACL recon-anxiety/trusting your knee again?
« on: July 06, 2016, 08:24:12 AM »
How have people dealt with/worked on mentally trusting your knee, as your functionality improves, but you still have to be oh so careful of the graft? I feel like this stage where the graft is 'weakest' but I feel 'strongest' is such a limbo stage, and the worry it creates is driving me mad!

My recovery has been quite smooth, I was off crutches at the end of 2 weeks, walking without a brace (as instructed by surgeon/physio). Have been having some patella-femoral pain for the past 2 weeks, which has since eased due to physio strapping it. Physio and surgeon happy with progress. It's strange not being able to feel the tension of the graft anymore (during flexion), that was my safety net to know the graft was still good! These past few weeks have been the hardest part for me mentally so far, because function is returning but I know I have to be careful - it's just hard to get the balance! I walked past a soccer ball at the start of week 4 and lifted it to start juggling with my affected leg, shortly after realising how silly I was being and stopped immediately, oops! I've been going out to dinners/coffee with friends which has been good to get out, but them I am always in a mental battle between enjoying myself but always being so conscious of how I'm walking/how I'm sitting/worrying if I took a wrong step!

I'm lucky that I'm not working at the moment, but my new job as a nurse (starting in August) all depends on my knee being 100% so I think my anxieties are just heightened.

Would love to hear from other people at this stage/beyond this 2 month mark!  :)

Me: Female, 24
Injury: March 8, 2016
Mechanism: Running towards a soccer ball aiming to take a shot, R knee gave way (this was my first soccer training session with my new team, as I decided to return to the sport after 10 years of missing it, dammit!)
Symptoms: Felt a crunch, lateral movement/giving way and was immediately unable to weight bear. Pain and swelling increased over next few hours/days, painful to walk. Used crutches for 3 days. X-ray clean, MRI confirmed tear a week later.
Surgery: May 16, 2016 (a minor lateral meniscus tear was found, but left alone)
Current status: 7 weeks post-op, knee moving freely, minimal swelling, some medial joint pain when walking. Flexion and extension good (gaining hyper-extension).
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 08:33:37 AM by dre.acl »

Offline Torao

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Re: 7 weeks post-ACL recon-anxiety/trusting your knee again?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 08:47:00 PM »
Sadly it just takes time and being willing to do things that may look/feel silly. I haven't had ACL surgery, but with my most recent surgery I basically couldn't impact my right leg for a year with anything more than walking. In getting back into things, I would do things that seemed so small as to be pointless. My first jumps were literally up onto a single panel of a gymnastics panel mat (about an inch or two) and built from there. My first cartwheels the bad leg didn't hit the ground at all even though it was on a really soft surface. It took 5 or 6 tries before I could even bring myself to lightly let my foot touch down.

And with some new skills I go to regain, I have to mentally work myself up to and find some rather inventive progressions. But on Friday of last week one of my coaches looked at me doing a crouch on a window ledge to reach to a lower point and remarked that he hadn't seen me squat so comfortably since before surgery. So eventually you do get to the point where you have built up enough strength and confidence that you don't think about it.

The best advice I can think of is to do your PT consistently. It will strengthen the leg which is what you need to get back to things.

Offline BarefootPilgrim

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Re: 7 weeks post-ACL recon-anxiety/trusting your knee again?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2016, 09:19:31 AM »
I think it's different for everyone, depending on fitness/age/mentality, but it sounds like you're doing well!

That period is always difficult, but listen to your body and your physical therapist and determine how far you can push yourself without risking anything.

Do your PT religiously, but try and make time for distractions as well, going out for a walk, reading, catching up with friends. As time goes by your knee will get stronger, and you'll be able to exercise again which will be a huge relief. All the best!