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Author Topic: Post-op swelling of leg  (Read 619 times)

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Offline Hill Girl

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Post-op swelling of leg
« on: March 28, 2017, 07:03:49 PM »
Second question post ACL reconstruction on 23rd March (See Cruciate section for my "numb bum" question!). 

Currently "enjoying", as expected, the joys of a massively swollen leg, right into my foot (even the underside of it last night). When I stand up having had my leg up all the fluid then rushes painfully downwards so it's hard to walk until all this has settled.  Doing lots of foot pumps, ice, elevation - basically bed rest other than when doing exercises.

I'm just looking for moral support/affirmation it won't take too much longer to be through the worst of this.  (I'm Day 5 out from hamstring graft). Doing alright with the rest of it by comparison!

Many thanks.
Mar 2006 ACL rupture skiing.  Bone bruise.  No ACLR - lots of rehab got me back to the hills.

Feb 2016 Medial meniscus bucket handle tear left knee, c75% removed.

ACLR (hamstring autograph) 03/17

Patellofemoral/trochlear wear in the other knee

Offline tinydinosaur

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2017, 10:34:28 PM »
I always found around two weeks post-op things start turning around, getting up to use the bathroom, get food/water isn't so much of a burden as the post-op inflammation is starting to settle, your body is removing the excess fluid. Cool packs really help accelerate this process or a cryo cuff, getting lots of water and vegetables even if your digestive system is still out of whack from anaesthesia and/or drugs.

Hang in there! Watch movies/tv or read or play video games any low energy activity that helps keep your mind off of it and helps you pass the time.

Offline Hill Girl

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2017, 11:14:44 PM »
Thank you for your reply!  I ended up back in hospital today as my GP was concerned about a possible DVT and it turns out that I have a haematoma in my calf, no wonder it was so painful!  I've also lost the ability to go up steps (having been able to climb a whole flight of stairs to bed until yesterday).  But I've had excellent (UK) NHS care today and they've thoroughly checked me out and brought forward my first physio appointment in case there is anything they can do to help with all this.

Bit scary overnight last night whilst I wrestled with the "is this level of trouble in my lower leg to be expected or not" and "should I go to the hospital now or call GP in morning?" and the "I don't want to make a fuss/perhaps I'm not as tough as I thought I was" questions no doubt others have wrestled with.  But I did the right thing apparently.

Onwards and upwards, thanks again Tinydinosaur, I appreciate your reply.

Phew, long day!
Mar 2006 ACL rupture skiing.  Bone bruise.  No ACLR - lots of rehab got me back to the hills.

Feb 2016 Medial meniscus bucket handle tear left knee, c75% removed.

ACLR (hamstring autograph) 03/17

Patellofemoral/trochlear wear in the other knee

Offline minka

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2017, 12:41:13 PM »
im 66  and i think sonme of us expect a bit to much in the earlie stages the thing is they pack you knee with stuff after opperation and it isnt as sore as when after 4 days this starts to wear off.
I to have had this foot thing feels bloated under foot and the toes can go blue then warm up.
did they not give you compression stockings to wear for the period until the swelling gets better these socks ar to enable you knee to pump blood round.
let us know how you are doing   regards john

Offline Hill Girl

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2017, 04:30:35 PM »
Thank you John,  happy to report a real shift in how I'm feeling and getting about in last 24 hours, fingers crossed for steadier progress from now on. The haematoma seems more comfortable and I've got a good routine going now, which includes allowing time to let the blood get flowing after standing up and before attempting the steps up to the bathroom, yes I can do the steps again, phew!

I don't think I had stuff in my knee that lasted post-op to Day 4 - it hurt like crazy by 1130pm that first night in hospital, then it improved for the next two days until the swelling/bruising became an issue and caused pain in itself, masking anything coming from the knee/op site itself.

Compression stockings were not prescribed other than whilst in hospital/Day 1 for the non-operated leg. They would have been unbearable on the hamstring graft site which is below the knee (and probably on the haematoma on my calf too.  I did ask my GP about this following the DVT scare and she said no and important thing was to keep getting up, foot pumps etc.

Best wishes.
Mar 2006 ACL rupture skiing.  Bone bruise.  No ACLR - lots of rehab got me back to the hills.

Feb 2016 Medial meniscus bucket handle tear left knee, c75% removed.

ACLR (hamstring autograph) 03/17

Patellofemoral/trochlear wear in the other knee

Offline Ayan

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2017, 08:50:42 AM »
I had my op on 20 th..so we are almost recovering simultaneously..I had a patellar graft. Sorry to hear about the haematoma. Do the for extension exercises regularly. I do it almost every 2 hrs while I am awake..keep your foot elevated..
Get ice packs regularly.
I feel a bit of a movement on the lower outer side of the knee sometimes while putting pressure on the foot or sometimes while doing my heel slides. I am a bit worried. :( Anyway , I will see my doctor on 5th.

Best wishes for the recovery.

Offline Hill Girl

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 05:17:10 PM »
Thanks Ayan!

Lower leg swelling still a major issue at times in spite of doing everything I should/shouldn't, patience will clearly be required!  Later in day/nights are particularly tough.  There is a fair bit of bruising still to work its way down the leg so a way to go yet.  Applying lots of arnica gel.  Calf still so tight it's hard to put any weight onto that foot at all. 

I see the physio tomorrow so had better refine my many questions into a more manageable list, concentrating on what matters for the next few weeks rather than "will I be ready to do x, y, z on such and such a date"!

I hope you are getting on okay, I think you had a follow-up appointment today.

Best wishes.
Mar 2006 ACL rupture skiing.  Bone bruise.  No ACLR - lots of rehab got me back to the hills.

Feb 2016 Medial meniscus bucket handle tear left knee, c75% removed.

ACLR (hamstring autograph) 03/17

Patellofemoral/trochlear wear in the other knee

Offline Grizzla

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2017, 05:19:25 PM »
Can I ask, out of interest - did you have any anti-coagulant or blood thinning drugs with and after your operation? I was prescribed them (abroad) when I tore my ACLs and badly tore my MCLs and was told that there was bone brusing and a joint full of blood. Apparently it's quite routine out in Europe.
That wasn't surgery, I know, but I would have expected some form of anti-DVT protection after such a surgery and especially if expected to be reasonably immobile.
Hope that it's getting better. Is the weather's heat (temporary) helping or hindering?
late March 2017 - ACL complete rupture (per MRI) and MCL 'rupture' (ungraded) in both knees simultaneously + haemarthrosis (bad skiing fall).
No previous known knee issues.

Offline Hill Girl

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2017, 05:42:37 PM »
Hi there

No, no routine prescribing of blood thinning drugs for me.  GP did say she would give me an injection that day if the hospital was not able to check me out for DVT the same day but fortunately they saw me asap and did ultrasound and blood tests to rule out a DVT there and then.

You've reminded me too that I had very bad pain from the pooling blood in the back of my calf after my initial ACL rupture (11 years ago) and that was painful but didn't last as long as this post-op swelling (now Day 18 I think).

Physio has cleared me for additional exercises today so increased activity and time spent on rehab should help clear things faster as the circulation improves and I'm making every effort to get more weight through my leg in spite of calf pain. Still got a very colourful leg thigh to ankle and a fair bit of more obvious bruising to disperse.

Not needing pain relief by day but have just seen GP re what to take and when to help during the night so we'll try a new regime tonight - here's hoping!

Best wishes.
Mar 2006 ACL rupture skiing.  Bone bruise.  No ACLR - lots of rehab got me back to the hills.

Feb 2016 Medial meniscus bucket handle tear left knee, c75% removed.

ACLR (hamstring autograph) 03/17

Patellofemoral/trochlear wear in the other knee

Offline Ayan

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2017, 08:53:58 PM »
Hi hill girl,
How is the knee now? Have you started walking normally? And his much degree flexion has been advised by the Physio?
Hopefully the pain is much less now and the swelling has gone down..

Best wishes!

Offline Hill Girl

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2017, 09:54:22 AM »
Morning Ayan

Hope you are doing okay - 3 days ahead of me right?! 

Making progress - swelling decreasing and managing to get more weight through leg. Walked round and round our deck yesterday and was really beginning to move better (the rest of our land is too rough and slopey to be safe right now).  Had a bit of a scare the other night going up stairs and messed up hamstrings (and hopefully nothing else!). Another tear-jerking tweak this morning trying to put sock on!  Pretty uncomfortable again last night in terms of the lower leg swelling, but I did try no heavy duty pain relief - think I need that for a wee bit longer ... Knee itself feels pretty good.

Quad strength is really coming back but I'm not doing anything other than straight leg raises and quad contractions so far. 

I guess it's best we don't compare progress too much day by day as although there are key milestones/generalisations we'll all progress differently and rehab protocols will vary.  eg Flexion-wise it seems I can (carefully) "go for it now" but I'm still taking things pretty steady/discomfort v pain are my guide!  I'm aiming to try out the static bike with physio tomorrow if I can demonstrate enough flexion, then I'll be a happy girl as I can get my family to set my turbo trainer up outdoors on fine days and gradually build up the cycling.

Tomorrow will be 3 weeks - half way through the 6 weeks I'm to be on crutches (interestingly I've now developed constant tingling in right little finger which I understand is due to compression of the ulnar (?) nerve from the weight I'm taking.  Will ask physio about it/look at adjusting crutch height again tomorrow.  It's amazing all the other knock-on effects/how hyper-sensitive and aware you become of any changes to your normal self!

All the best to you and others going through ACL rehab!
Mar 2006 ACL rupture skiing.  Bone bruise.  No ACLR - lots of rehab got me back to the hills.

Feb 2016 Medial meniscus bucket handle tear left knee, c75% removed.

ACLR (hamstring autograph) 03/17

Patellofemoral/trochlear wear in the other knee

Offline Ayan

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2017, 03:51:18 PM »
Hi Hill girl(your name would be better!!),

Its good to talk to you and know that you are recovering well..

My Physio has advised me off the crutches since last week and asked me to work on my posture while walking..
I am trying to walk, though am limping a bit..knee feels weak.. :(

Sometimes I have a little bit of a pain on both sides of the knee..Had a scary moment last night when had to move my leg sideways in a hurry due to reflex action as a bee was about to sting me on the thighs..leg moved awkwardly sideways..didn't feel much of a pain though..but both the sides of the knee felt a bit more painful since yesterday night..putting ice on it ..

Putting weight on my legs as much as I can..but walking is not normal yet..
I have not more than 90-100 degrees flexion.. :(
I do quadriceps clinching, heel slides, have started with quarter of a squat (about 45 degrees bent with 2-3 repititions  each time)..some prone knee bends till 90 degrees.

Read somewhere that the new ligament is most susceptible to tear from 6th to the 12 th week after op. So be careful about that..I have not started any cycling yet..
Next appointment is on 25 th April.
Let's see how it goes.

Good wishes for the recovery..

Offline Theninver

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2017, 12:22:13 AM »
thanks guys for amazing responses, they are really helpful... after all, that's why I am now here... getting answers... gonna search further as I also have swelling of leg...
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 07:06:34 PM by Theninver »

Offline Hill Girl

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Re: Post-op swelling of leg
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2017, 09:09:32 AM »
Update on the post-op swelling at one day shy of four weeks post-ACL - there is light at the end of the tunnel!  Lower leg is just swelling at end of day/night now and the intense pain from the pressure at night is restricted more to my ankle only now (this is where most of the obvious bruising remains, still black/blue).  Calf (and shin) still very tight but have added in gentle (and with not too much weight on my leg) calf stretches to my routine now and I've also been on the exercise bike several times and, once I get going, this feels SO good!  Must generally be feeling so much better as I am getting restless for more exercise!  Two more weeks on crutches but I'm finally putting much more weight through my leg and remembering how to walk as the calf pain and swelling has improved.  The other standard rehab exercises prescribed for me at this stage are going well and the hamstring area is settling/regaining strength.  Best wishes to other rehabbers.
Mar 2006 ACL rupture skiing.  Bone bruise.  No ACLR - lots of rehab got me back to the hills.

Feb 2016 Medial meniscus bucket handle tear left knee, c75% removed.

ACLR (hamstring autograph) 03/17

Patellofemoral/trochlear wear in the other knee















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