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Author Topic: ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...  (Read 1762 times)

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Offline unicron

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ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...
« on: October 13, 2017, 04:47:42 PM »
Right before the 4th of July, I was training in submission fighting (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) a sketchy training partner 50 lbs heavier than me took out my ACL.  Was attempting to position for a shoulder throw, but he decided to jump guard and landed way low; on the side of my knee!
Other students across the gym heard the infamous pop; was initially painful, but that changed to a stinging/numbness.   was able to stumble out of the gym and drive home despite the injury being on my right knee.

Saw an orthopedic surgeon a few days later and was told to regain range of motion and build back up strength.  The week before the surgery on 8/11, I was feeling pretty good.  Had been freestyle swimming and riding my tri bike outside for up to 30 minutes.

After waking up from the surgery, I was in more pain that expected!  Pain killers helped alot, but the side effects were not so great.
constipation and nausea...side effects were almost worse than the actual pain itself.  I think it was vicodin...but i quickly started to dial back the doseage; and after day 3 i stopped taking them.

week 1, spend as much time on the CPM machine as i could.  Was in an immobilizer and was told to keep it locked.  Not in too much pain, like I said comming off the pain killers i felt was far worse; still constipated.  Instructed to wear the immobilizer while sleeping...that was not to comfortable.  I remember i was using crutches to get around, but was progressively putting weight on my injured leg.

week two, i unlocked the mobilizer a few degrees when not walking, for more comfort.   and had been practicing in my car (parked)...shifting my foot from gas to brake; trying to gain agility to operate.   built confidence enough to drive to work on day 12.
I thing before the end of week two, the surgeons office said i could unlock the brace progressively for walking.







Offline unicron

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Re: ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 05:15:10 PM »
week three is about when the bulky compression bandage came off; which really kept me from getting ice to the knee. 
As i was instructed not to remove the bandage.  Was given more flexibility on the immobilizer and was told i can slowly ween off of the immobilizer.
At this point in time, i had grown attached to the immobilizer and was scared to move around without it!
Simultaneously I had been given a Donjoy full force (short version) brace.  it was meant for when i started to step up my rehab process...jogging and such.  but i wore it out to when i took my daughter to the park or where ever i thought i might loose my footing.
I was right on schedule or better for gaining flexion, but a few degrees from full extension.
At this point i noticed that my knee would lock while standing and trying to bend my knee.  pretty scary sensation, told my PT and surgeon about it; both recommended to forcefully move my kneecap around by hand whenever i could.

About a month post op....my knee stopped locking as much.  There was an excercise where i had to walk over plastic cups spaced evenly out to help my gait.  the week before i could not get my knee to stop locking to be able to perform the exercise.  After a month in...the locking stopped.  But i still feel tightness in the knee cap while bending certain motions/exercises.


Offline unicron

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Re: ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2017, 05:25:28 PM »
two months post op:  riding stationary bike with light resistance from 10 to 15 minutes at least every other day.

quad exercises daily.  squats, partial pistol squats, leg press.  a few different exercises using those steps at the gym and the 1st stair step at my home.  using both hip abductor machines at the gym.
been freestyle swimming at least once a week with a buoy inbetween my legs.  have been instructed not to swim with kicking yet.

I know it's only been 9 weeks...only two months post op.  But i am a bit concerned with the behavior of my knee cap.
Still walking with a limp, as i am not able to freely swing my foot out to full extension when walking.
Also i feel pressure just underneath my kneecap when i do force my leg out to full extension and heel striking.

I don't feel anything via stationary bike, but definately on the elliptical especially when i try my hardest to get as much extension as i can.

knee cap does not seem to be tracking freely just yet...there is still a bit of swelling left if you compare to the uninjured knee.
searching in this forum and online, it has been suggested to concentrate on the VMO muscle; have been doing it for the past week. 

i feel my leg strength is coming back nicely.  extension is 1 degree away, and i can bend my leg to where my heel is a couple inches away from touching my rear.

will keep working on PT...have a checkup meeting with the surgeon in 2 and 1/2 weeks. 
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 05:46:17 PM by unicron »

Offline jeffmc

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Re: ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2017, 07:12:43 PM »
How was your check up Unicorn ?   I'm wondering if you are 41 years old or your allograft donor was 41 years old ?


Offline unicron

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Re: ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2017, 09:22:22 PM »
How was your check up Unicorn ?   I'm wondering if you are 41 years old or your allograft donor was 41 years old ?

my subject title is misleading now that i re-read it!
I am 41 years old.  I don't know the age of the donor, but it was an achillles tendon.

When i started to mention my symptoms to my surgeon (right before three month post op), he says I am "overthinking"...and to just stick to the PT program as much as possible, and things would loosen up.  He also said at this point, I could do the below items:
-freestyle with kicking
-biking outdoors, as long as I was confident to
-start jogging on the AlterG treadmill

Offline unicron

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Re: ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2017, 09:42:53 PM »
At exactly 4 months post op now.

Let's see, locking has improved. I still feel it during some motions, I feel that it gets worse if I tighten the quads.
PT showed me a quad stretch, perhaps that will help a bit.
But i can usually go through the entire PT session without a lockup.

Extension has improved slightly.  I noticed in the morning the operated knee is less far off from the other knee.  But i can get to zero or sub zero extension after a minute of warm up.
Still does not quite swing freely to full extension when walking.  so i have a limp still; not as quite as bad as before though.
I started walking backwards on a treadmill, exaggerating backwards gait...i head it helps extension.  10 minute sessions.

As far as cardio goes, i have not been swimming as much; now that i have been riding outdoors on the weekend on my triathlon bike.  Started with a couple 30 mile rides, then went has far as a 55 mile ride.  Last week was a 36 miles, feeling a tad bit stronger every time.

I visit the PT once a week, have been on the AlterG treadmill twice already.  First time was 75% body weight, jog for about a minute and then walk two minutes.  Did this cycle 5 times.
Last week was 80% body weight, and jogging for about 6 minutes total.
I am shooting for 7 minutes of jogging tomorrow @ 80% body weight.

Schedule for the past few weeks:
- Stationary bike, 10-15 minutes, ~ 4 times a week
- Weekend triathlon bike ride 2-3 hours
- PT visit once a week
- Gym visit, twice a week
- walking backwards on the treadmill for 10 minutes, ~ 3 times a week
- working on extension, propping my heel on any object i can find, 30-60 minutes daily
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 09:54:46 PM by unicron »

Offline exrunner1

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Re: ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2018, 12:30:18 PM »
At exactly 4 months post op now.

Let's see, locking has improved. I still feel it during some motions, I feel that it gets worse if I tighten the quads.
PT showed me a quad stretch, perhaps that will help a bit.
But i can usually go through the entire PT session without a lockup.

Extension has improved slightly.  I noticed in the morning the operated knee is less far off from the other knee.  But i can get to zero or sub zero extension after a minute of warm up.
Still does not quite swing freely to full extension when walking.  so i have a limp still; not as quite as bad as before though.
I started walking backwards on a treadmill, exaggerating backwards gait...i head it helps extension.  10 minute sessions.

As far as cardio goes, i have not been swimming as much; now that i have been riding outdoors on the weekend on my triathlon bike.  Started with a couple 30 mile rides, then went has far as a 55 mile ride.  Last week was a 36 miles, feeling a tad bit stronger every time.

I visit the PT once a week, have been on the AlterG treadmill twice already.  First time was 75% body weight, jog for about a minute and then walk two minutes.  Did this cycle 5 times.
Last week was 80% body weight, and jogging for about 6 minutes total.
I am shooting for 7 minutes of jogging tomorrow @ 80% body weight.

Schedule for the past few weeks:
- Stationary bike, 10-15 minutes, ~ 4 times a week
- Weekend triathlon bike ride 2-3 hours
- PT visit once a week
- Gym visit, twice a week
- walking backwards on the treadmill for 10 minutes, ~ 3 times a week
- working on extension, propping my heel on any object i can find, 30-60 minutes daily

Thanks a lot for sharing your information. What kind of allograft did you get done and who is the doctor.

Offline Steve99

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Re: ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2018, 05:39:56 AM »
38 years old myself and blew out the knee doing BJJ.  Sucks big time.  Mine was an MPFL and meniscus re-tear (had it repaired before).  All from
Pulling spider guard.  Buddy went to pass it, foot went one way, knee went the other way and pop goes the weasel.  6 weeks post op and a little ahead of schedule in recovery but not taking anything for granted.  Iím sure being off the mats is brutal as it is for me.  Canít really offer any advice on ACL recovery as mine is different but been watching tons of videos and reading articles which Iíd encourage you to do on returning to BJJ after knee surgery.  Seems like itís gonna be a step by step process before rolling live like slowly getting body into a colder pool.  Good luck on the recovery.  OSS!

Offline unicron

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Re: ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2018, 04:25:53 PM »
Thanks a lot for sharing your information. What kind of allograft did you get done and who is the doctor.

I am in southwest Houston, the doctor is Steven Flores out of Memorial Hermann.

I believe he used a non-radiated achillies tendon that has bone on one end.
There are two calcium screws in my knee and a stainless screw as well.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 04:42:28 PM by unicron »

Offline unicron

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Re: ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2018, 04:41:22 PM »
Sorry, have been away for a while...

~ 5 Months post op, I started running on a normal treadmill.
When the run starts, I feel a bit of sensitivity in the knee but it goes away after I get warmed up.
I used a real gentle schedule.  Run a couple minutes, walk a minute, and repeat.
During this time, I worked up to a 5K within 4 weeks.

~ 6 Months post op, I started running outside.  Was also able to work up to a 5K within 4 weeks time, but I think I injured my patella.  As in patella tendonitis.

My weekly schedule at this time was:
-stationary bike for 10 minutes every other day
-Run outside every other day, about 2-3 miles
-strength training at the gym and at home 2-3 times
-when weather allowed on the weekend, road biking...30-50 miles
-Orange theory fitness on Fridays

I introduced a spin class for the first time since the surgery on a wednesday, felt fine afterwards.
Went for a morning run thursday, i beleive i felt some discomfort at the end of that run.
Then Friday at Orange Theory fitness, I felt a sharp pain under my kneecap on the treadmill.  pretty much had a sting feeling with impact.
I jumped on the stationary cycle to finish out the class, which did not hurt.
Took a week off, and tried to run a few times...but the pain persisted.

Offline unicron

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Re: ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2018, 04:46:54 PM »
38 years old myself and blew out the knee doing BJJ.  Sucks big time.  Mine was an MPFL and meniscus re-tear (had it repaired before).  All from
Pulling spider guard.  Buddy went to pass it, foot went one way, knee went the other way and pop goes the weasel.  6 weeks post op and a little ahead of schedule in recovery but not taking anything for granted.  Iím sure being off the mats is brutal as it is for me.  Canít really offer any advice on ACL recovery as mine is different but been watching tons of videos and reading articles which Iíd encourage you to do on returning to BJJ after knee surgery.  Seems like itís gonna be a step by step process before rolling live like slowly getting body into a colder pool.  Good luck on the recovery.  OSS!

Ohman...I am sorry to hear bud!!!!

I recently met a woman on Facebook (ACL recovery club)...she is in her late 40's.   I forgot how she tore her ACL, but she got a patella autograft from my surgeon, Steven Flores out of Houston.
She returned to BJJ competition after 10 months post op!!! 

Man, I don't know if i am going to return to BJJ.  Been training for about 5 years total...just got promoted to purple belt; i feel like i have had my fun.

OSS!

Offline unicron

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Re: ACL allograft from a pretty active 41 year old...
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2018, 05:01:30 PM »
I am at 7 months post op right now.
The good news is that the locking is pretty much gone.

Prior to this month, at almost a daily occurance...i would experience some mechanical resistance at times when...
-walking backwards
-partial pistol squats
-step downs
And then all the sudden...there would be a crack/pop!!!  and then the resistance is gone.

Anyhow the resistance and the crack/pop is not as dramatic as it was before.

I have not seen the surgeon yet, but I am two weeks into following what i read online for treating patella tendonitis.

Protocol:
I pretty much took two weeks off....took it real easy.  just swimming freestyle laps, minimal resistance stationary bike.
And working the PT quad exercises without any weights.
Online sources also said to use a decline angle...to work single leg partial squats.

Present day...which is after two weeks, I returned to the gym with minimal weight on the leg press (90 lbs).
Went for a slow paced 50 mile bike ride with high cadence, no hills...which did not seem to upset the knee.
Plan to slowly increase weight/load.
Also plan to take a break from running for about 3 months.

Going to post my symptoms on another thread as well...to see if anyone has any suggestions/opinions.















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