A Scientific look at Autograft versus Allograft ACL Resconstruction

This has come up a lot in this blog in the posts and comments.

What is better autograft (hamstring or patella) or allograft (from a cadaver)?

As a biology graduate student I have access to scientific publications and some experience in assessin

how t
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g the published information. There are no official published guidelines for doctors, just scientific articles. Here is what I have found from articles comparing allograft to autograft:

1. There is a lack of randomized trials to compare auto- vs allograft. Randomized studies are very important in science. Think about your doctor. He or she has an opinion on which is better. So the graft you get may be biased by that opinion or, if you decide opposite that doctor’s preference, the surgery itself may be biased. Randomized trials would be if you went to the doctor and picked a surgery (allo- or auto-) out of a hat. These have been done comparing patella tendon versus hamstring but not allo- versus auto-.

2. Failure rate for allograft is significantly higher (9 of 158) than autograft (2 of 167) in observational studies. The review (first citation) recommends autograft, especially for young athletes.

3. Greater chance of deep infection with autograft (2 out of 170) versus allograft (4 out of 628). Significant difference, but all in all, risk was low, maybe too low in this study to tell if there is really a difference.

4. Allografts take longer to revascularize

Additional interesting information I found:

0. There is really no difference in results from patella

or hamstring, but patella causes a little more pain. I know this wasn’t auto- vs allo- but still relevant.

1. ACL reconstruction in patients over 50 can be as successful as in younger patients

2. 175,000 ACL reconstructions were performed in 2000

3. Osteoarthritis occurs in 50 % of patients that tear their ACL 10 to 20 years after injury.

4. 60-70% of ACL tears also damage meniscus cartilage.

5. Non-operated ACL tears are more likely to cause further cartilage damage than ACL reconstruction.

6. 15% of patients need additional cartilage or scar tissue surgery after ACL reconstruction (I did for my first knee).

7. Means of graft fixation (how they attach the graft) does not affect outcome

8. Risk of tearing a graft is about 3% after 2 years, the same as your ACL in your other knee (which is what happened to me after 5 years).

I will post later about differences in rehabilitation.

Citations:

Spindler, KP and buying viagra Wright, RW. 2008. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear. New England J of Medicine Katz LM,

Battaglia TC, Patino P, et al. 2008. A Retrospective Comparison of the Incidence of Bacterial Infection Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction With Autograft Versus Allograft. Arthroscopy.

Dahm DL, Wulf CA, Dajani KA, et al. 2008. Reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament in patients over 50 years. JOURNAL OF BONE AND JOINT SURGERY-BRITISH VOLUME

414 Responses

  1. This is awesome, great info Eric.

  2. Would have been smarter if I had done this research before my surgeries.

  3. Hi Eric,

    What do you mean would have been smarter if you did research b/4 surgery? I have to have ACL and meniscus and Dr. wants to do allograft. Is that what you had done?

    Thanks
    G

  4. Very informative! Thank you!

  5. [...] So I’ve been doing a ton of research on it these past few days. I stumbled on this awesome blog entry by Henry. He also went through an ACL surgery and has gathered all the information on this subject [...]

  6. Quick question on point 3. Osteoarthritis occurs in 50 % of patients that tear their ACL 10 to 20 years after injury.

    did you check to see what the data shows if you differentiate ACL tear with meniscus damage vs. ACL tear without meniscus damage? My assumption is that meniscus damage is the underlying cause for osteoarthritis, not the ACL tear itself.

  7. Thanks Henry!! Great info. I am going in for surgery tomorrow. Your blog has been very helpful.

  8. Thanks Eici!! Great info. I am going in for surgery tomorrow. Your blog has been very helpful.

  9. Thans for the info…it somewhat solidifies what I already thought of the two grafts. I also linked this post to my recent post on Eat.Sleep.Run.

  10. Thanks Eric,
    its very useful and informative , realy it is very kind of you.
    im 35 years old ,im planning to have ACL reconstruction suregery + meniscus repair in the coming month . if i ask you to vote for either options what is your choice will be.
    1- Allocraft Vesus Authograft.
    2- BPTB versus Hamstring .

    I also want to know if you could recommend an experienced surgeon in Germany.

    Thanks

  11. with all these statistics is anyone tracking gender?

    women are more likely to tear ACL but the men post more online.

    my acl surgeon was a cowboy… no pre surgery pt, or motion machine or ice machine and the week of healing was pretty low key. it was allograft achilles tendon with arthrex biotransfix II method (.pdf on web site) with bioabsorbable screws.

    btw my range of motion is nearly identical (3°) to normal knee for extension or flex.

  12. forgot to say I am almost at 8 weeks post op

  13. Thanks, Eric! I had the same thing happen… First ACL was 5 years ago (Tendon – Autograph) – no complications. However last week, my second ACL tore (my other knee)… trying to figure out if I want to do the allograph (tendon) this time with the same surgeon.

  14. curious..why is it that the other knee (unoperated) tears? is it from over compensation for the acl rehabbed knee?

  15. Also every so often new testing for allografts are made some for diseases that were’nt tested before.

  16. Sure, I agree. That’s very good advice and I hope I may take that advice. By the way in which, thanks…

  17. I am a 38 year old woman, I had ACL/Meniscus repair using autograft from my Hamstring 18 days ago. Recovery has been great. Quit using crutches after 5 days and was riding a spinning bike 7 days post op. However, this evening I stood up from sitting on the floor and felt a pop in the back of my leg (Hamstring) – now there is pain behind my knee and running up and down my Hamstring. Does anyone know anything about postop Hamstring tears/injuries? thx

  18. Ouch,
    I had multiple, recurring issues with my hamstring that sound exactly like yours. My PT was always massaging the back of my knee and I learned what set it off by trial and error. Sometimes it hurt for a day, sometimes for a couple of weeks after I’d tweek it. I think it really took a year before I didn’t have any problems with my hamstring. It might have been because I was less active after this more recent ACL surgery and lifted more small children.

  19. I’m 2 weeks post op for acl. I am 54 years old and now wondering if my surgeon and I made the right choice. My surgery hurt more than the accident I had. I also have fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis as well as ostoe arthritis. I’ve just plain wore my body out. How long before I can ride horses again, and is the pain from PT supposed to be as painful as post op? I’m thinking I made a big mistake. I’m struggling!

  20. Hang in there. I am 44 and had the op 10 months ago. I had a terrible first couple of weeks. After a few weeks recovery will speed up. I am ready now to start skiing again in a few weeks and can run at 9 miles per hour on treadmill. Stick with your pt, get range of motion back as soon as you can. Keep the leg moving even if it is painful. You made the right decision, if you live without the surgery the risk of big time knee surgery is possible. It will go fast just be patient

  21. Is there any data on how long an allograft (cadaver) ACL reconstruction will last? Does it eventually wear out? Stretch out?

  22. Is there pins and/or screws involved with allograft ACL surgery?

  23. Hey, so I am back :( Had my 2nd ACL surgery 4 days ago. Last year I had it on my right knee, if anyone on here remembered and had a remarkable recovery, returning to basketball in like 3 and a half months. Now I had another surgery on my left knee, after tearing it during a varsity basketball game. So far, the recovery has been so well its scaring me. Absolutely no pain, so far, and yesterday I waled around the mall in my brance for an hour without any crutches. On the second day post op i also maxed out the CPM machine at 125 degrees, so things are going very well. I can walk without the brace, but the doc wants me to stay in it until I get some strenth back. So any questions or comeents let me know

  24. It consistently is amazing to me just how Blog owners such as your self can find enough time and also the dedication to carry on Producing good blog posts your website is fantastic and one of my have to read websites, I’d been more than amazed with the post I just needed to say thanks and congratulations
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  25. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  26. It’s good to see a site to discuss this issue. I am having an Allograph on my right ACL in about 3 weeks and I will get back to you about it after. The one thing I will say now is don’t hesitate to have the surgery to repair the ACL. I waited for decades and my knees have been injured so many times that they have become dangerously unstable. They will buckle getting in/out of cars, getting off escalators, pivoting to go around corners and certainly skiing. This year I damaged my MCL’s in both knees (may have ripped them, will find out when they o the surgery) skiing. I am almost 61 and my doctor was first relutant to do the surgery but I am very active and the knees are truely dangerous and the last time the right one buckled I got dumped so hard on my hip I thought I broke it.

    i will let you all know how the surgery works.

  27. I just found your blog. I just found out that I have an acl injury. This entry in your blog has been a tremendous asset. Thanks for writing it.

  28. I’m thankful to have found this site. I have had recurring problems with my left knee for over 10 years. I first injured it playing softball. Since then it has been “popping out” on a more frequent basis. Now, just over two weeks ago I injured my right knee playing hockey. It felt exactly the same as when I injured my left knee. I heard a “pop” and down I went. I was finally able to see an orthopedic doctor this week. I was shocked to find out that I have two torn ACLs. I haven’t had an MRI yet to find out the degree of injury, but both knees are very unstable at this point. I’m thinking that surgery is a must. I’m 45 years old and I’m very active. Has anyone had experience with surgery on both knees? Would it be crazy to have both done at the same time? Or, how long should I wait between surgeries? Then the question of allograft or autograft….I would appreciate any thoughts on this… I’m very overwhelmed at this point.

  29. Hey,
    Feb 8th I tore my ACL stepping off of a high van, I’m a short girl. I did PT to strengthen my quads my ROM is excellent but my knee is still unstable and they tell me my knee is pretty loose, and am now having the surgery allograph Apr. 27. I am so nervous I get so many different opinions, my boss says he had the surgery and he regrets it cuz he didnt get all his strength back, then I have friends that had the surgery and are back in the gym, running and dancing. I just got fitted for my brace and I hope I wont have to be in that thing for 6 weeks. I had a vacation planned for June 9th, My first vacation ever :( I wanna go, I need a vacation, this blog is very, very helpful Thanks guys
    Ebony

  30. Just curious, has anyone ever chosen to do their acl reconstruction with a spinal block, instead of general ? I have that option, and since one of my fears is being put under, I am actually considering it. I am having my surgery in June. This is a great blog!

  31. Ebony,

    Hang in there. I hear its a long recovery process but totally worth it in the end. I am getting an allograft on May 16th for my torn acl. I spoke with 5 different orthopedic surgeons, my physical therapist, and an athletic training. They all told me to go with the allograft. I am only 24 and they basically said that because I am young my body will have no problem turning the allograft into a strong and reliable tendon.

    I played competitive sports in high school and college and I know 25+ people who have torn their acl (including my sister) and I have never heard anyone say they regret getting the surgery. I do know a few who regret not getting the surgery. So, I think you are doing the right thing!

    Keep me updated on your recovery! We will only be 2 1/2 weeks apart in this process.

    Danielle

  32. Danielle,
    Thanks. I will definitely keep you and everyone updated on my progress. Have you done pt before the surgery?
    I was also very active in sports in high school at 28 now its crazy that I injure myself just getting out of a van. I’m going into the surgery positive. This blog is great. Im soooo ready to have this over with, its so draining. I live in NYC and am not looking forward to the commute on an injured leg, I’ve been doing ok so far, I think I know every elevator in the NYC subway system. Lol Keep the blog going :)

  33. Ebony,

    My orthopedic surgeon wanted me to do 6 weeks of physical therapy before surgery. I am entering my 4th week and already have full range of motion back. My knee feels so good, its almost like I don’t need surgery… but then I take that wrong step and it slips. He has me doing everything! Even side steps on the treadmill. He is working every muscle in my body to help prepare for when I cannot use my injured leg. Right now I am focusing on my abdominal muscles, quads, and hamstrings (on both legs). I see him again tomorrow and he wants to add in some upper body work to help support my getting in and out of bed/couch/bathroom/etc. Its almost like he is my personal trainer… haha. Don’t worry though, he hasn’t forgotten about my injured knee! That is our main focus and he test its strength, flexibility, and range of motion everytime I see him.

    Good luck with your surgery on Wednesday! I will be thinking of you. :)

    Danielle

  34. Hey Danielle,

    I apologize for not gettng back to you sooner, but a day before my surgrey date I was called and told my surgery was postponed due to an emergency surgery. So my new date is May 11, I was very, very upset because all this did was give me moere time to worry and mre time to hear more opinions abot whether I’m making the right decision or not.

    My boss is still tellig me not to get the surgery, he suggests that I do 6-9 months of PT to get my knee back to feeling “normal”
    Also, I booked my vacation for June 9, I’m hoping I’ll at least be off my crutches and have ethe brace off bu then. This is sooooo complicated, I’m so frustrated.
    If there anyone out there that can out my mind at ease if my surgery is May 11, how will I be by June 9th. I’m going cazy lol. :(

  35. Ebony,

    That is not good news! Again, let me state that I think you are doing the right thing. Yes, you can survive and be fine without an ACL but you run the risk of doing more damage to your knee. Do you really want to wonder if your knee is going to give out with every activity you do? At 28 you should be able to be active without that worry. Also, you do run a higher risk of getting arthritis in your knee if you DONT get the surgery.

    I think your boss had a bad experience and you shouldn’t let him change your mind. Yes, it is good to speak to many different people to get an idea of what you want… but you shouldn’t let one person sway your mind. I think close to everyone on this site would encourage you to get the surgery.

    As far as your June 9th vacation…. I am not sure exactly how you will feel because my surgery is not scheduled until May 16th. I spoke with my Physical Therapist today about the brace… he actually said his goal is to get me out of it with in 7-10 days… 14 at the most. So I think you should be very mobile, off crutches, and out of the brace by your vacation. Of course this depends on you and if the doctor finds any other problems during surgery (meniscus or otherwise). As far as the pain, I am sure you will still have some pain but it shouldn’t be enough to stop you from enjoying your vacation.

    My thoughts are obviously very clear. Have the surgery and enjoy life with your new ACL! Its better than a total knee replacement 10 years from now. :) Good luck.

    Danielle

  36. vh

  37. Hi, tomorrow may 11 i will have my acl surgery with allograft :) , my question is in how many month you guys think i can come back in full sports???

  38. I had an ACL replacement by allograft in 4/28. The first 3 days were hard, pain and laying on the couch. Day 4 much better stopped pain pills and started to place my foot on the floor with crutches. Day 5 walking with crutches as assistance. Day 6 walking short distances in brace without crutches. Day 8 met with Dr. I am doing well can start using my sport ACL brace and crutches if going long distances ( across parking lots). Since then I have been walking without any crutches, sometimes without brace in the house. Day 12 first day of PT good flexibility bending 100 degrees.

    I ice allot using my cyropak cooler and used a CPM for the first week. My pain is almost all gone. Recovering nicely.

    Expect 6 to 9 months before you can use your leg fully without restrictions. Your knee will feel ready before the ACL is ready so use caution. Day 13 today when wearing my brace I feel like I am at 80% walking well but i know I need to be careful. Can’t wait to ride a bike because it helps my knees feel better. The stronger you are before surgery the easier the recovery. I rode my bike 20 miles the day before surgery, normal for me I ride allot.

    Get a good ACL brace and use it. Do your PT. Every day I feel better. I questioned having the surgery on day 3 but today I know I did the right thing. My goal is to be skiing on Valentines day.

  39. Just found out this morning they have upped my surgery date to Monday the 23rd. Now the nerves are setting in. Have decided to go with the hamstring. If anyone else has had a hamstring I would like to hear how things have progressed for you.

  40. I’m getting my ACL done tomorrow, and I’m so nervous. I tore mine back in December after coming home from college, in a pickup soccer game, after playing 15 years of soccer and this is when i injure it, go figure. But anyways, i’m still going back and forth on whether to get the allograft or the autograft. i’m leaning towards an allograft just because i would rather not have to worry about another part of my body being sore and in need of recovery, any thought would be appreciated. (:

  41. Five minutes on the stationary bike today was easy. It really helps my flexibility.

  42. Danielle,
    Well, doc said flying is a no no even almost 3 weeks after my surgery. Problem is my girlfriend already bought the tickets so my surgery date is moved to june 16, smh. How are you? How was the surgery?

  43. Hi, This website is great. I had acl patella autograft surgery less than two weeks ago. The pain has been horrible, much worse than the actual accident. i know it will get better, it is just frustrating because of the progress i made after the accident. I had a grade III tear of my mcl acl and meniscus. My acl completely snapped in two. My meniscus was shaved down to almost nothing. I am hoping to get back into the gym soon. My legs are very big. My right leg is solid muscle. My left leg(quad) is like jello now and half the size. I was wondering how long it took any of you for your leg to return to normal, and if you feel comfortable playing sports and working out your legs. I feel like the fear will stay with me every time i jump and push the limits of my leg.

  44. I had acl surgery may 19th, 2011. I went with bone patella allograft for a couple of reasons.
    I am willing to wait a couple of months after I’m cleared to go back to full duty (6 months) since it will take a little longer to revascularize than a autograft. I am active but not a professional athlete that makes a living using his legs. If I was then definitely I would use patella auto graft based on its strength.
    I know people who used their patella and have occasional some constant knee pain since 1/3 of their patella was taken along with a piece of bone at each end. I also have thin patellas and I have read where some ortho surgeons will not use your patella if its too thin.

    I recommend everyone go to YouTube and see as many videos from doctors and patients. It helped me a lot. U will have a tough time finding video of a patella autograft surgery but check out the Spanish videos. They call the acl LCA so type this in the search engine and u will see the harvesting of your patella is not Nice!

    I am 2 weeks post op and everything is going good so far. I am at 110 flexion in my leg and physical therapy is going smooth since I didn’t injure (harvest) another part of my body. I do have to wear the leg brace 2 weeks longer than the auto patients but that’s ok.

  45. I am 14 years old, and having surgery tomorrow, using an allograft. I tore my ACL before state finals in track, falling off of a horse. I am so nervous, and am really concerned about getting back into running (long distance). How have people done after the surgery

  46. Thomas- I am in the same boat as you, it has been a month since I tore my ACL, and my left leg is solid (I was squatting 275 prior to injury) and my right leg is tiny and soft. I have been doing calf raises to keep my calves in decent shape, but my quads are gone :(

  47. 6 week Dr. visit today everything is doing well. I have permission to start riding my bike on the street, I have been using a stationary trainer for 3 weeks. Good flexibility, no pain.

  48. Hey all, newbie here – thanks for the info so far.

    Here’s my story:

    Male, 40, decent shape (5’10″, 190), large frame, very active (run, bike, golf, kids). A rookie volleyball player tried to spike on me, I blocked him, his momentum carried him under the net and we collided and I stepped on him and twisted. Lost stability. If I was 20, the same injury would have happened. Been walking around on it since 4/12, played 3 rounds of golf away on a trip last weekend, walked two miles on it in NYC last Monday, walked 4 miles on it Thursday.

    What’s ***** up is that I don’t have classic ACL symptoms. During the initial appt, the doc even put me through the different pivot tests and said it’s def not the ACL since the swelling and my flex/stability wasn’t bad.

    After seeing the MRI, besides the ACL (which is definitely blown, thank you Google) he mentioned there is other misc damage (MCL/PCL/LCL) that will heal itself. I am beginning to wonder if this ACL is an old injury. doc doesn’t seem to think so based on the secondary injuries, but looking at 6 months until golfing.

    Summary: No ‘pop’ when the injury occurred, definite sprains, ripping, etc. No ‘pop’ tho
    I can walk, jog, almost cut (I am tentative doing so however)
    I have my flexibility (I can sit criss-cross applesauce, and can sit on my legs)
    The original exam, the PA said, there is no way this is an ACL.

    I will say, something is wrong. I have swelling, the bakers cyst and some loose matter floating around in there. Like I said, reviewing the MRI, and it def looks torn, but checking out some of these lachman tests on you tube, and it just ain’t like that :P

    I have my allograft scheduled for 6/24. I hope to be back to work by the following Wednesday/Thursday. I bang on a keyboard for a living, and have arranged transportation.

    So realistically for those who have had this done:

    -Recovery time for me with an allograft (I have flexibility now)
    -Day 2/3 with an allograft (what to expect)
    -Back to driving time?
    -Back to golfing?

    I can live without volleyball, but I’d rather have my leg cut off than give up coaching my kids sports.

    Did I mention I am terrified?

    Thanks in advance!

    FB

  49. FB,

    Sounds like quite a situation you are in. Assuming you are just doing the allograft and they do not fix anything else (meniscus, lcl, pcl, mcl…), you should be able to return to a desk job by Wednesday. I had an allograft acl reconstruction on May 16th (Monday) and was back to work May 20th (Friday). I too, had wonderful range of motion and flexibility before my surgery… mostly because the 6 weeks of physical therapy I did before surgery. Day 3 was the worst day of pain for me, but even on that day I would say it was a 4 out of 10. I could knock it down to a 1 with pain meds.

    My surgery was on my left leg, so I drove myself to physical therapy the next morning (sans pain meds). I hear that its usually two or three weeks before you can drive if it is your right leg. You should expect around 9 months before you can get back to full contact sports. However, golf you should be able to get back to within 4ish. But listen to your doctor!

    Don’t be terrified… just be prepared. If all goes as planned, it is not a terrible surgery. Make sure you do physical therapy BEFORE surgery. The range of motion you have before hand is what you will get back after surgery. Make sure your ask for a pain med perscription (I was on percocet). Arrange for someone to drive you to the hospital, drive you home after surgery, and be with you all day afterwards. Find a comfortable spot to park yourself for your days off. Make that spot close to the bathroom if you can! Make sure you have some entertainment (movies, books, computer, etc). If you don’t get an ice cuff, make sure you go and purchase a bunch of ice packs and an ace bandage to hold them to your knee. You will want to ice ALL LOT! Get lots of healthy snacks that you can keep next to you (apples, bananas, cereal, etc). Be sure to make a physiclal therapy appointment a few days after surgery. Finally, make sure you REST! Sleep all day, everyday if you need too.

    The most important steps the fews days after surgery are to RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Ask your physical therapist for a compression sleve. Its much smaller then the ace bandage they will wrap you in and it works wonders! I am still wearing mine 3 weeks out…its great! Also, if you are on pain meds they can make you constipated, so you may want something to counter-act that.

    Good luck and let me know if you need any more help! I am three weeks out and doing great! Almost no pain… a small amount behind the knee cap when doing the stairs. My extension is perfect and my flexion is at 120 degrees. I am in the brace until the end of June but it is unlocked.

    Danielle

  50. Hi Danielle, thanks for the info. If you mean compression sleeve, like a neoprene sleeve with the hole in the knee cap, I have one, that I used when playing vball to avoid cramping except on the day I got injured :(

    The doc actually said that PT won’t really help me since I have really good ROM and flexibility already. He is a very reputable doc, so I kinda believe him.

    Day 1 and 2 I should be able to lay around and do nothing. Day 3 I have a Phillies game that I am trying to attend (my lil guys bday) – but they have special needs seating available. I was hoping to go and sit with my leg straightened and iced if possible. Let me know if I am crazy. The ride to the stadium is about 20 minutes, and we have a SUV, so I can prolly manage that without too much difficulty.

    BTW, the other ligaments feel pretty healed. According to the report the menisci are intact. The pain was really from a bone bruise which feels pretty good (~2 months now).

    :) Thanks for the info, appreciate it! You made me feel better :)

  51. FB

    I got an allograft 20 days ago. I was driving a clutch by day 9 (weeks would have been better though) I rerurned to work in 10 days (desk job). It’s not the most painful recovery but it does stink. :) tomorrow is my last day on crutches.

    I also had a very tight knee under the standard tests but believe me it gives out if I step in a hole o r try to pivot. I’d be inclined to give it a go without aclr for a while if your knee is tight. Some people do fine without surgery. You may also reconsider the patella graft because you’ll be super paranoid about retearing the allo. Right now I wish in went patella but maybe in a year I’ll change my mind.

  52. FB,

    The compression sleeve I am talking about is actually just a thin piece of cloth. You just pull it over your knee and it is very tight to help stop the swelling. I think what you mentioned is more of a brace (I have one too!). The compression sleeve is something I wear from a few inches above my knee all the way down to my toes. It does wonders for swelling!

    I think if you arrange someone to drive you to the game, pick you up, and you have special needs seating with a lot of leg room you should be ok at the game. Make sure you have your pain meds with and be careful getting to your seat. It hurts like a bitch if some knocks your leg. I would arrive either very early or a little after the game starts… same goes for leaving. You don’t want to fight the masses with your brace and crutches.

    Also, I would mention pre-operation physical therapy to your doctor one more time… just in case. I am not a doctor but I would say 50% of my pre-op physical therapy was actually strengthening other parts of my body. I worked a lot on building muscle in my good leg and in my hips to make up for the loss of strength I have in my bad leg because of surgery. The surgery has taken away most the strength in my quads and hamstrings. The strengthI built during PT (in my hips and good leg) have been a GREAT help! Its just a thought but I would suggest it.

    I should mention that I am 25 years old… which probably will make a difference in the recovery I had compared to what you will experience. Just be careful and take it day by day. If the baseball game comes and you are in tons of pain, don’t go. You can bring your boy to another game (I realize that will be heartbreaking for him but he will forget all about it once he is at a game with you!).

    Good luck!
    Danielle

  53. Yeah, i feel ya, but I have this bakers cyst and tightness on occasion that the doc says wont go away without repair. I am hoping he opens me up and just says, “ah, wasn’t torn, just needed to clean some stuff up.” :)

  54. Sorry Danielle – #53 was @ Jon.

    @ Danielle – thanks for the advice. The Phillies are super-accommodating to their fans, so I don’t really have any worries about entering/existing/enjoying the game. Wife will be there to assist and carry the ice in a cooler :)

  55. hey how do i know if a Therapist is overworking my knee????
    i made my surgury in miami and stay 3 weeks taking PT in miami, now im back to my country and im like little scare because people is not well prepare here…. my new pt is making me to do 15 repetitions 10 times with like 10 seconds of rest for 3 exercises and like 30 repetitions 10 times with 10 seconds rest for 2 more exercise… i have and allograft need some help on this :(

  56. Great site. Thanks to all for sharing your experiences.

    I had ACL surgery this morning (allograft). PT begins tommorow. I partially tore my ACL in September 2008. Officially diagnosed in Dec 2008. Wish I would have had surgery at the time.

    I’m 42 years old and live a fairly active lifestyle. I’m not a big runner, but I generally do cardiovascular 5 days a week using a stair stepper or elliptical. I’ve been limited to a stationary bike for the last couple of months because my knee didn’t feel stable. Also, I do resistance training 3-4 days a week. Most importantly, i’m an avid golfer and play close to 100 rounds a year. My doc thought allograft was appropriate considering my age and activity level (i no longer have a desire to play sports that include running and changing directions).

    I’ll be glad to share rehab experiences in order to give others realistic expectations. All of you have helped me a greatly. Thanks!

    Take care for now an good to all currently rehabbing.

  57. Jerry – would love to hear your experiences. Next Friday is my date with the scope :) How has it been so far?

  58. FB and Jerry,
    I am also having a allgraft, this is my second ACL Repair. My date is 6/30.
    My first graft was the patella graft and it was 18-yrs ago.

  59. FB
    I was 22 when I had my first and same as you the dr just thought it was cartlige damage until they did the scope. When I was totally relaxed he checked the acl and it definately slid out, of coarse I didn’t feel it, because of being under anesthesia. I was playing softball a year later and running. By keeping active I had a little stiffness. When I was put on bedrest with my last pregnancy it really stiffend up and then after delivery I started to walk and the stiftness went away.
    I am now 40 and some what active now. With having 2-boys the last 9-months have been the hardest, I have not been able to play basketball, sledding or ice skating with them because of how unstable my knee is. I put my surgery off until June because of saving time off. I am a nurse and on my feet most of the time. I am just hoping it is just the ACL, my dr. told me the MRI wouldn’t be accurate due to having the 2-screws in it from the previous ACL repair. I am just waiting for the day I can walk without it sliding, that bugs me the most. I hoping to be off work for about 4-weeks.
    Have fun at the Philly’s game and just be careful, you should do fine.
    Lori : )

  60. Ya know what stinks? My knee has felt near normal for the past 5 days. Swelling is down, bakers cyst is down, I am walking normally. I asked again if the MRI could be wrong, and the Dr. said “Sometimes they are inconclusive, (pause), but not in your case.” :) Anyone have this happen, where they felt near normal?

    Anxiety about the procedure is starting to set in.

  61. Update!

    I am 1 month out from my allograft acl reconstruction on my left knee. My knee feels excellent. I cannot wait until it gets back to “feeling normal” but I am happy with my progress. Sadly, I am in my brace for another three weeks. Not because I am in bad shape, but because I can’t actually get into my doctor until then! My physical therapist has been really great at instructing me to take my brace off and practice walking. She is willing to let me know when she feels my leg is strong enough to go without as well. So I do plan on listening to her… she is the one who sees me every week!

    I can fully extend my knee with ease and no pain. My flexion is a little bit behind (130 degrees) but I did learn that apparently the extension is more important. The bending will return with time. I rode 5 miles on the stationary bike on Sunday. It felt great! Of course it took me forever.

    My pain level is at a 0 most of the time. However, my knee does get very stiff if I keep it extended or flexed for too long. As long as I go slow and stretch it out, the stiffness goes away fairly quickly. I can walk very well without the brace but I do have to think very hard while I am walking. I have to tell my leg to go heel-toe and fully extend at the end of my stride. If I do that, I walk with almost no limp!

    Anyway, I hope everyone is getting through. I realize this surgery hasn’t been as easy for some of you. I wish you the best and remember that hard work pays off!

    Danielle

  62. FB & Lori,
    It’s been a little over two days since the surgery. Everything appears to be going well. My doc said he had to clean up my meniscus too, but it was minor.

    I started taking prescribed pain meds (Percocet) the afternoon after the surgery. I wasn’t in pain (I received a femoral block) but the doc suggested I started taking the meds to stay ahead of the pain. Good advice! The femoral block started to wear off the morning after the surgery. My “resting” pain has been tolerable so far (under 5 on a 0 to 10 scale). I’ve had only 2 occasions where the pain was greater than a 5. Both times occurred about an hour after Physical Therapy and didn’t last long. I’ve gone to PT both days. My next scheduled PT appointment is Monday.

    Obviously, I’m using crutches. I was able to put a decent amount of weight on my knee the first day. The knee is definitely a lot more tender now since the block wore off. It’s sore to walk on now. And I’m trying to avoid putting any pressure on it. All in all, the knee is feeling pretty good while I am resting. Hopefully, I can start lowering the amount of pain meds I’m taking by tomorrow.

    The best advice I can give is to keep the knee iced and elevated. Try to keep your knee elevated above your heart. It makes a significant difference.

    I’ll try to keep both of you updated. Let me know if I can answer any questions.

    Best of luck to both of you and hope you have a speedy recovery.

    Jerry

  63. Good Reading this blog. Just had my surgery yesterday. Complete Tear from playing soccer. I am 47 years old elected Allograft and hope to return to soccer in due time. First major injury I everhad. No broken bobes,etc. I was a bit nervous, but it went very well. The Femoral block wearing off so pain getting a bit worse, but bearable with the Vicodin they prescribed. Got my first post surgery PT appt tomorrow, hear it is pretty painful and nurse suggested having an extra pain killer an hour before:-). I also had a few weeks of PT before deciding to have the surgery.Sounds like the extra flexibilty was helpful to some here in the blog. Doesn’t really seem to be any solid evidence that autograft vs allograft makes a big difference. Too late now I guess:-)

  64. FB,
    My knee feels pretty good most of the time, but every now and then it will slide. Then when it slides then I can’t wait to have the surgery done. Keep in touch and update, as so will I.

  65. @Lori, I will. I am hoping to provide updates here. Knee a bit tight today, so I know it needs to be fixed.

    @Dave/Jerry/Danielle, love the info. Thank you!

  66. Mine gets that way when the weather changes.
    Have a great day
    Lori

  67. Just had my allograft surgery yesterday. I was able to put weight on it right away with the help of crutches. I got this ice machine that i’ll be putting on today. Only thing I had a problem keeping food down yesterday and this morning. So right now im getting a whole lotta rest keeping a pillow under my knee and im gonna have some toast later.

  68. 4th day post op.

    I plan on sitting on the couch all day with the cool water machine wrapped around my knee while watching the US Open. Also, going to do some rehab excercises…not looking forward to that. I see percocet in my future.

    Good luck to this rehabbing!

  69. Day 4 for me. Had my first post op PT visit yesterday. Got all the bandages off, not a pretty site to see. Therapists did some measurements for swelling and felxibility and promptly had me walk with my crutches to the stationary bike for some back and forth motion excercise. Leg is pretty stiff and swollen, but I was surprised at the actual range of motion vs pain. After some other basic excercises, got Ice and Ultasound treatment and off I went. Got the next 4 weeks scheduled for PT. Tough for the active person to have to sit around, but honestly each day is better. Modern Medicine is indeed amazing.

  70. Is the cool water machine necessary? I was eying one up online. Wondering if I can borrow one, or just use large ziploc bags as ice packs. Thoughts? 4 days left.

  71. At 33 I had an allograft on my left knee in 2004. Had the epidural along with general anesthesia. Worse part of the experience for me was after the epidural wore off and the first 3 days that followed. Began rehab with PT on 4th day. After going through the rehab process my knee felt great and had no problems. Returned to all activities that I enjoyed pre surgery. Snowboarding, coaching my sons baseball team.
    Now 7 years later my acl has torn again. Many years of occupational abuse in the construction field has taken its toll. I opted for the allograft again. I think its a no brainer since it is a much less invasive procedure than patella or hamstring autograft. Patella causes kneeling pain and why weeken your hamstring which makes the rehab process even more difficult. My issue is a tear in the miniscus has my knee locked at a 90 degree angle which doesnt allow any pre op strengthening. Surgery is scheduled June 29.
    Best advice I can give to anyone is to totally commit to PT program. It’s very easy to get discouraged in the short term post surgery. Staying commited to your therapy will yield great long term results.

    FB : The cold water machine is nice to have but pricey. Go to your local med supply store and get the large gel ice packs. put on compression stocking then use wide ace to secure gel packs to area.

  72. FB,
    I am going with the polar care unit. I went through alot of ice pack with my first surgery 18-years ago. My patients at work seem to do well with the polar care units and like it. Of coarse my patients are usually between the ages of 12 to 17 that has had knee surgery.

    My knee was really stiff on sat. and sun. I helped out in a first aid station and the Ragnar Relay race we have every year. The weather was cold and I stood for most of the 6-hours and then doing the up down motion when taking care of the runners really bothered it also. 9-days and counting until surgery date.

  73. PJ, did you use pain meds during the first three days?

  74. Post Op day 5 (allograft) and this swelling is driving me crazy. Its like a knot on my knee, waiting to hear from doc about my follow up appt. She did say shes more concerned about me straightening out my knee and before I see her to work on the straightening and leg lifts

  75. Unfortunately the pain meds make me sick. The only thing i took was an anti inflammatory during the process.

  76. Ebony, is the swelling annoying and painful? Or just annoying?

    PJ – what did they give you?

    Just got my EKG, t’s crossed, i’s dotted. Now just pure anxiety until Friday.

  77. FB
    The swelling is annoying. Made my follow up with surgeon for this Friday. I have to be evaluated before I do pt, that won’t be until July 6. This process is taking so long. I have oxycodone for pain, thats it.

  78. Wow, my follow up is scheduled for 7/6 and I didn’t even have my surgery yet. BTW, if this conversation is getting annoying to the masses, I’d be happy to spin up my own blog, or use email. (FYI, I find it very helpful :) )

  79. What city does everyone live in, im in New York City, iit takes so long to get appointments. I don’t have a car so I hage to arrange rides. This is a headache but im staying optimistic

  80. 7th day. Things are progressing…slowly. starting to get a little ROM back..slowly. Pain more tolerable. Haven’t taken any narcotic pain meds in almost 48 hours. Still taking NSAIDS. The last three days have been very similar. Wake up feeling a little better then the day before. Do PT. Ice, rest, and elevate. More PT. More ice, rest. Leg starts to burn and swell in the evening and lasts till bed time. Sleep for a couple hours. Restless napping the rest of the night… Repeat cycle.

    Good luck tommorow FB! Best wishes for a complete/speedy recovery to all those currently rehabbing!

  81. FB and Ebony
    I already have my follow-up appoint made also for 7/6. I don’t think the conversation is annoying. I have my pre-op on Monday. I live in Clinton, Ut. One my biggest concerns is pain medication. I am so sensetive to narcotics so that worries me a little. I was told by my Dr. that I can’t ibuprofen for 2-weeks and that is what I currently take for pain. So I guess i will wait and see, besides doing the ACL he is going to clean up the arthritis I have in there too. So he is more worried about the arthritic pain vs sugery pain.
    FB, you will do just fine try not to be too anxious. Good Luck! 8o)

    Lori

  82. About 36 hours to go….

    Thinking back to when I broke my ribs, I took one Oxy and that was it. Never took another. Also, when I got my wisdom teeth out (impacted), I took a half a vicodin once. Never went back. Hoping this equals a high tolerance of pain :P

    I live just outside Philadelphia… Grew up in the Overbrook section of West Philly…

  83. FB- they tried oxy, vicodin, percoset, tramadol. All of which made me sick. Ended up just taking naproxen and dealing with the discomfort.
    1 week to go. Can’t wait to get this thing unlocked out of this 90 degree bend.

  84. FB – Good luck. Outcome is well worth it.

  85. OK, got the call – 9:30 AM tomorrow. Catch y’all on the other side….

  86. You do fine, good luck tomorrow.

  87. Ok guys, just came back from my first follow up after surgery. She made some calls and got my pt bumped up to monday. I need to work on my leg straightening and leg lifts at home, any tips on that, tgat hurts like hell and I’m always so hesitant cuz it feels weird.

  88. Ebony,

    Sit upright on a bed or couch with your leg straight out in front of you. Put a pillow or rolled up towel under your heel then let gravity take over. Your knee will gradually begin to sag and straighten. These helped me straighten my leg.

    Good luck!

  89. OK peeps, deed is done. about 5 hours after surgery, no pain at all (yet), leg locked at 0. Ate a bunch of graham crackers and diet ginger ale. Watching a movie, but feel like getting up and walking around :) I really, really want to bend my leg.

    Injury was isolated to the ACL and respective particles.

  90. 8 weeks ago I had allograft ACL replacement. (ACL tear, class 2 MCL damage and minor meniscus tear) I was home no longer than 2 hours before I was using the CPM started at 45 degrees. I used the cryocuff nearly continuously for the first 7 days even sleeping with it and then on and off for the next 3 weeks. 3 days of Oxycontin stopped when the pain diminished. Had some minor swelling the first week after only when I spent allot of time on my feet. I started walking without crutches about day 5 wearing a brace. My brace was never locked. I slept with my brace, foot propped on a pillow for the first week after then slept without the brace which seamed to help my mobility.

    I think keeping my knee cold really helped. At times it was so cold my foot felt like it was freezing and my toes would cramp. I used the CPM 8 hours a day for the first week then less the second week. I started PT about 19 days after surgery. The PT was very helpful in increasing my range of motion and revealing the minor pain.

    Today my knee feels normal. I wear an ACL sport brace if outside the house or doing anything strenuous. My Dr. gave me permission to ride my bike on the street 3 weeks ago. I ride my bike every day between 10 and 30 miles a day wearing my brace. In 4 more months it should be like I never injured my Knee. I am 53 years old and an avid cyclist. I waited 2 1/2 months after my injury before having the surgery. I was very active after the injury even riding my bike 20 mile the day before surgery.

    Good luck in everyones recovery and be careful not to reinjure.

  91. Day 1 post surgery, some sleeping issues once the block wore off, but slept enough. Pain is tolerable right now, hoping this is the worst of it. I feel pretty good up on the crutches and cheated a bit and waddled without them (brace locked at 0). Also feel good when not hyperextended, but I know max is needed. Taking the vicodin and it seems to relieve the pain a bit, but I didn’t get the fuzzy high like I was told (which is a good thing :P ) Taking aleve and aspirin as well per the doc. May start some self PT today, I will check in with the doc on Monday.

  92. Day 2 – there was a family party going on at my house yesterday, so I had plenty of people to wait on my. When I felt fatigued, I rested. I am able to walk up/down steps and when I don’t feel comfy, I use crutches. Stopped taking Vicodin – didn’t seem to help too much. Switching to ibuprofen. When my leg is up the pain is a 3, when down, it is a 0. Rotated between leg up and down during the night. Used some ambien to sleep, worked well. Going to try to remove the dressings today and clean up a bit.

    Question, when I am flexing I hear creaking sounds, I was nervous that the graft was coming loose, but it would happen on extending AND flexing. Happen to any of you?

  93. This day 3 post allograft for ACL replacement, medial meniscus tear but it was able to be stitched but they found a huge piece of my cartilage gowdged out of the medial cartilage (that this pain was from the meniscus tear) which they call a micro-fracture. This is going to give me the most troube as I cannot weight bare for 6 weeks. My surgeon put several micro drill holes in the cartilage which is suppose to bring blood to the surface and encourage scare tissue growth to fill in the hole. I have be taking oxycontin 5mg with 325 acetominophen q4h using alarm clock. So far pain has been manageable. Only hurts with mobility. Will try cutting down to half a pill as tolerated, won’t try to be a hero.

    I had full rotation and no problems with pain or walking pre-op, Had 2.5 weeks of rehab and felt great. I am in a different place now. Looking forward regaining use of both legs. Crutches are not fun. Slow but sure.

  94. Want to know if anyone else has had a microfracture and wishes to share the experience. I am so disappointed that I cannot weight bear and get into the rehab more aggressively. I will be lucky if I don;t need a hip replacement after only weight baring on my left side for 6 weeks. BTW, received femoral block in recovery post-op which is the kindest thing they can do for you. NO pain until the block wears off, which was about 24hours for me. Will check out microfractures on U-tube and elsewhere. Pls share if you have any information regarding rehab with this procedure.

    Thanks

    Sue

  95. Day 3 – stopped Vicodin. Ibuprofen only, pain at a minimum right now. Went to the Phillies game, they provided me with ice and special access seating, I kept my leg elevated on the railing and iced a few times. Used crutches to get to and from. Waiting for a call from the doc, I have some wound care questions, as well as PT. Hoping to start formal PT today. Did some self stuff – leg raises, ankle slides, quad flexing, etc. Feel like I could do more, just want to get a confirmation. Saw my staples for the first time, three small holes with 2 staples, and one about an inch long with 8 or so staples. There were no steri-strips, so that is what my ? is about. I need a full shower, the spot cleaning is getting old :)

  96. Day 4 and 5, walked around without crutches, and only using some ibuprofen. Took the bandages and ace bandage off, just have band-aids under my brace. Doing lots of ankle flexes and occasionally unlock the brace and flex. I have to admit, I’ve only iced a few times per day, need to do more. Went to PT eval yesterday, flex was about 95 without feeling like my staples were going to pop. Also, still have this stupid bakers cyst, which should subside now that the knee is fixed (per the doc). Heading back to the office Thursday, arranged for rides thru next Thursday. Doc on Tuesday. May do some tests to see how well my driving reactions are (foot brake to gas, gas to brake, etc). My commute is short and slow (<30mph the whole way for 7 miles or so, and early morning, so there is little to no traffic). Been quiet out here lately, am I jabbering too much :P ?

  97. Fb,
    Sounds like you are doing well. I had my pre-op yesterday, so now just waiting for Thursday to roll around. So until then just working my last 2-shifts and getting everything prepared at home. Hoping to be able to go a Demolision Derby on Saturaday. Most likely you should be able to shower if you don’t have sutures, but is good to check with your dr. first. Have a great day.

    GolferSue,
    My dr. talked to me alittle about micro fractures, If you have not looked it up yet on You-tube, prepare yourself. Did you get set up with a CPM machine?

  98. No, you are not jabbering too much, so did the Phillies win?

  99. Haha Lori – the Phillies did win. I sat behind sec 104 in the special needs seating area. By law they are required to reserve a number of seats for that purpose. Parked close so crutching to and from wasnt bad. Once you were at the gate, they will cart you (and my fam) to your seat. Super-accommodating, if it was the Eagles stadium across the street – they would let you bleed out on their sidewalk.

    Good luck on Thursday Lori :)

  100. Thank you,
    We are going try to go a a Raptors game which is in the Pioneer League, right now I can’t remember their sister team. My boys are just finishing up with little league baseball and it has been fun watching them.

  101. Well I have my time for tomorrow, it is not until 2:25, I was so hopin’ it would be earlier.

  102. Back to work today. Little more swelling and achy-ness, hoping that I am not overdoing it. PT @ 6PM. Brace is annoying.

    Hope Lori is doing well :)

  103. Hi everyone
    I didn’t get home from the hospital until late and I have slept most
    Of the day. So I had the ACL repair, meniscus had to be removed
    Also 3 bone fragments was removed. I have to sit with both legs straight
    for 15 minutes and I have to use the CPM machine for 4 to 6 hours
    everyday. No weight bearing accept for toe touching. Start physical
    Therapy on tues.

  104. Just saw the doc, staples out 120* flexion (been using the brace religiously), he said I can lose the brace, but use something to support it and stick with PT and see him in 4 weeks. Started driving. Thank goodness! Good luck all :)

  105. Well I have my first PT appointment today. I think I over done it the last two days. I have been doing the exercises that I was given and have been using the CPM machine at night while I sleep. I go to my post-op dr. appointment tomorrow.

  106. Hey, you used to write great, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  107. Sorry, I haven’t been online much.
    I had my first PT appointment yesterday and the therapist was impressed by how straight I was able to get my let and I have a 90-95 on flex. I just started some stretching and strengthing exercises.
    I had my Post-op dr appointment today and it went well, I got to see and have the pictures from the scope. My dr. was supprised with all of the damage that was in my knee that I was not in constant pain or how I could walk on it. The meniscus that was removed was totally dislocated and out of place and he also showed me the bone fragments that was taken out. The Dr. showed why my other ACL went out, but the precedure was done 18-years ago. I am still on crutches and brace, with limited weight bearing, not strong enough for full weight bearing. Then he took 25-ml (almost a oz.) of fluid off my knee. On pain medication which was my big concern, I have been taking lortab 7.5mg but only half during the day when needed and a whole one at night then I was prescribed phenergan with I take when I take a whole tablet. So with that said have not taken much pain medication but have use my polar care unit all of the time.

  108. Day 14 – keeping the brace off while in the office (all day), but thinking about every step. Some achyness, jury is still out on PT, they have me doing thus far:

    Stationary bike – 10 min
    Hammy stretches – 3 sets or 10 reps
    Calf Stretches – 3 sets of 10 reps
    Quad presses – 3 sets of 10 reps
    Extended leg raises – 2 sets of 15 (these kill)
    Side extended leg raises – 2 sets of 15

    and some ultrasound on my bakers cyst. Grrr, still there :(

    Does this sound in line with other folks PT? How much longer until I can golf, I am a righty, so it’s on the rear (right) leg :)

  109. That sounds about right.
    At least you get to go back to work.
    I have to wait until i have all movement before I get to go back to work.
    About golf as your therapist or dr.
    8D

  110. Hi All,

    I did post a email a few days ago but it seems to be gone. I am 14 days post-op today. I saw my Dr. today and he removed the stitches. I was told that I cannot weight bare as earlier states for another 4 weeks due to Microfracture procedure. I question to all of you is do any of you have any ankle issues. My right ankle is still 20% larger than my left ankle and is still badly bruised and is extremely tender. Can’t even imagine what it would be like to walk on it even if my knee was not done. It appears there was alot of squeezing on my ankle during surgery, I am guessing to try and align my knee in the proper positiions during surgery.

    I am quite concerned. I used to have swollen ankles a fair amt as a kid, OK I am 53 but still in fair shape and it doesn’t seem right, ankle pain is huge from just touching it slightly. Has anyone experienced a problem with their ankles. I am wondering if there are broken bones??

  111. Hi Lori, I was not given a CPM machine, likely because I cannot have anything that compresses the area on my knee where I had the microfracture.

  112. Did you happend to ask your dr. about your ankle. My ankle on the opposite leg is sore, but I have injuried that ankle many times also. I just finished doing my home PT exercises and now icing and elevating my knee. I did pretty well after venturing out to lunch and a movie with my family.Have a good night.

  113. Hi Lori,

    15 days Rt allograft, meniscus repair and microfracture surgery on Right femoral chondryl joint.
    I did ask about my ankle yesterday but was told it may be sore do to how it was held during the procedure. I notice it turns dusky coloured whenever I am up on my crutches. Also the long I am on my crutches the worse it gets in both pain and in bluish colour down my leg , and into my toes. It is also bruised and swollen 15 days post-op.

    Also had the physiotherapist note that my right foot flexion and extension were extremely limited compared to my left foot. So I called and asked if I could have an ankle x-ray to rule out a fracture. Better to be safe than sorry. Part of the clinical diagnosis is seeing if you can stand on your ankle, but that is not possible because I am ordered 6 weeks no weight baring and this is only week 2.

    Will be getting an ankle x-ray in the next few days. (I will be icing it, to reduce the swelling as sometimes you cannot visualize a fracture if there is too much swelling).

    Glad you were able to get out to a movie. That’s a plus. Good luck with your recovery everyone.

  114. Hi GolferSue
    I hope the x-ray will turn something up it sounds like there could be a fracture. My husband is in the middle of working his 24-hours on and 24-hours off, so that ment my boys (10 and 14) had to help with taking care of me more. So we went to the movie.
    I am getting ready to go to Physical Therapy. I tried to do the CPM machine last night without taking pain medication which only lasted for only 3-hours.I think last night was my worst night for sleeping. Plus I have my setting is at 95 flex and 0 extension so that could have been it also.
    Hope everyone is recovering well.

  115. So I figured out my reaction on Pain. My knee really doesn’t hurt much at all, when I notice pain is on the kick-up at pt and home exercises. So when I get emotional just about in tears I figure it is time for pain medication. But other than that I am just working on my home exercises and I am at 100 on flex and O on extension on the cpm machine. I only have one site that is swollen its where one of the incisions are and where one of the straps from the brace goes.

  116. Hey guys,
    Quick question…how does everyone slee, what positions? I sleep on my stomach regularly but since the surgery 6/16 sleeping on my back is sooooannoying and uncomfortable. I wanna twist abd turn so bad…

  117. *sleep…forgot the p

  118. I sleep on my back because I use the CPM machine. When I take a nap durning the day I prop my knee on a pillow and sleep on my side. Of coarse I still have my brace on. Try different positions you will find won that will work.

  119. should say “one that will work;”

  120. 17 days allograft, meniscus repair, microfracture repair

    I sleep on my back and it has been this way for 17 days. I dread going to the bedroom at night. I have to take a pain pill which lasts about 4-6 hours max. I cannot turn, way too painful. I usually fuss for about 5-10 minutes with pillows all over the place trying to support my leg my back and lower spine. It is not fun.

    My ROM is only about 65 degrees when I manually try to bring my leg back. However it I dangle it over the couch or wheelchair it is about 85 degrees. The ligament feels incredibly tight.

    Also big question. My leg turns dusky (bluish) when ever I am up on crutches. Its like my circulation is being cut off. My ankle swelling is going down finally. I still cannot dorsi flex much but can plantar flex all the way. Will see about an xray if no more improvement this week.

    Has anyone experienced this constant colour change with standing up and crutch use????

  121. GolferSue,

    That sounds like me, my ligament feels tight too and the only way I’m able to get 110 ROM is when they help me at PT, other than that it feels like something’s stopping it. When I go from sitting to sanding it feels like a rush of pressure around my knee.
    I can’t wait for my leg to feel like one whole leg again, it feels like my bottom half of my leg is seperate from my thigh.

    I’m so uncomfortable at night and having to wake up 5am for work sucks after not having a full night of sleep.
    Does everyone sleep with their brace on?

  122. @Ebony, even though I was cleared to take the brace off, I used it up until Saturday night. I slept with it locked in extension on my back and sometimes on my side.

  123. Very sore and tired leg last night. I tried to put more weight on it and over done it. Did not sleep very well, sore leg, CPM machine, son on oneside and small dog with son, cat on the other side. We all slept on the couch. So trying to take it easy today, accept for doing home exercises and stretching. Next PT visit is on Wed.

  124. after having a baby I almost freaked out with the weight I was left with and I have gone through seven books on how to lose weight & I finally found one which was worth it, you all should have a look at it at http://fatloss4free.com it worked well for me:)

  125. Hello all,
    tore my ACL seven days ago and doc is recommending surgery right away. My biggest concern is I am in nursing school and my semester starts at end of August so I am unsure if I’ll be ready to go back to school when the time comes. Also, I work as a CNA and am on my feet 8 hrs/day helping patients on an orthopedic unit :) , does anybody have any ideas on when I could possibly expect to return to work? Finally, I am in ok shape but I have not had any PT and the doctor doesn’t seem to think this is a problem. My other option is to go to therapy and strengthen my body for about a year and do the surgery next summer in May. Any feedback is much, much appreciated.

  126. @Ana, any other damage? I waited about three months for my other damage to heal, and have had an easy recovery so far (6/24). How well are you walking/standing, etc now? What is your activity level?

  127. Ana, I am almost 7 weeks post op and I still can’t imagine having to be on my feet all day. The surgeon and PT have both remarked that I’m making tremendous progress and have warned me not to overdo it. I chose to go with an allograft because I’m 46 years old, so the graft is just now getting the blood flow it needs to “become part of me.” I tore both of my ACLs and didn’t realize it until I had the newest injury checked out. In hindsight I know exactly when I tore the first one…..about 12 years ago.It is possible to function quite well without an ACL. Some people choose to forgo surgery all together. I would highly recommend getting your current injury healed (of course the ACL won’t heal) but there may be some swelling. Ask a PT for some exercises that you can do at home to strengthen your muscles around the knee and then shoot for surgery in May. I’m a teacher and I went to work for a few hours a day about 12 days post op and it was tough. There was definitely more swelling and pain while I was on my feet and then later in the day. If there is other damage to your knee in addition to the ACL, that may play a role in why your doc is recommending surgery right away. I hope this helps. It’s just my thought of course! Good luck!

  128. Hi Anna,
    I am a nurse, I work on the Pediatric unit, NICU and Family Birthplace (post-partum). When I hurt my knee/ACL, I did this back in Sept. 2010, I did not have enough time to take off and my family counts on my income to survive. So I waited until June 30th which is now our slow time at work. I continued to work out at the gym, mainly the stationary bike and some weights. I also talked to the “knee guy” from our in hospital PT and he gave me some stretches to do. Straight leg lifts, quadcepts and some others. If you nursing school is as intense as mine was, we could only miss 2-days of school. We even had a student come the next day after having her appendixs out. My advice is to wait until you are through with school, because nursing is stressful enough without having to do it on crutches. I first re-injuried my leg three weeks before I went back to school. Needless to say I didn’t go get it check back then (4-years ago), I limped and hobbled for about 3-6 weeks on it then re-injuried it again in Sept. I was and LPN going back to get my RN. I wore a brace and countinued to workout. I am currently 2-weeks post-op tomorrow, I can fully straighten my leg, and flex 112, still not fully weight bearing, brace and crutches. I can return to work this came by our employee health nurse: when you can fully do your duties/job (bend, lift, transfer etc.), I can work in my brace.
    When I first went and seen my dr. last year he could have done the surgery the next week, but finacially I could not do it and he was ok with that. I knew my ACL was gone, but I didn’t know of anything else until they got in there. I could not have a MRI because of a previous ACL repair. I had autograph (patella) and this time I had the allograph. My dr also set me up with CPM machine that I have to increase 10-degrees every day. Good luck in your decision you can email me if you have any questions or post on the blog. lsdunstan@msn.com

  129. @FB I do not have any other damage, just the left knee ACL. Christina and Lori, thanks so much for your replies, I also think waiting it out is probably a better option for me at this point. Lori, thanks for your email, I will definitely email you as I am sure I’ll have more questions in the future.

  130. Ana, I am having (what I think) is an easy recovery, I have a desk job, and still find that I am on my feet too much. After my injury, I was able to do almost everything except run fast and play softball/volleyball. If you don’t have pain, and you can deal with it, it may make sense to strengthen and wait it out. I will say, my thoughts were that there is no great time to do it and I just had to put something on the calendar, but I am in the workforce and have children and an overactive social calendar :P
    I think (I don’t know) that my recovery has been easier since all of the other damage (MCL/LCL/PCL) had healed reasonably and I had no menisci damage, so the repair was just the ACL.

    I can provide you my email as well, this blog is great – not sure if we are using it for it’s intended purpose tho! (Almost need a messageboard :) )

    –Frank

  131. Hiya! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share. Thanks!

  132. Hello all,
    I (29 male) tore my rt acl in January 2011 . I will be having surgery on the 20th of July.i had my pre-op today and I left with more questions then when I went in. This site has helped but I’m still nervous . My main question is about autograft vs allograft. I want to be able to return to my active life (i.e basketball,softball, yes softball and others .) . I was told that either one will be able to get me back in the same amount of time. Is this true? Also the longevity of them . O ,and did I mention I’m really nervous . I’ve even started to doubt my doc lol.

  133. I have now have both. My first ACL repair 1993 was autograft and now allograftm

  134. So I am going to be a whiner for a minute (totally out of character for me)
    Worst Day ever Wed (yesterday)
    So my husband is starting his on/off shift for the next 6-days, my 14-year old went on a scouting trip.
    1) Hadn’t slept for 2-nights
    2) Went to physical therapy, Had a different therapist she told me
    I need to get my pain under control (oh did I mention no pain meds
    since Sun.) As I told her not much pain just a little discomfort now and
    then. So I got the speech me being a nurse that I know your body
    heals with sleep and rest.
    3) Picked the other son up from summer kids club and talked his grandma
    into lunch.
    4) Then had to take my son for his football physical
    5) Home finally for a little while.
    6) 2–hours later down to our city’s carnival the good part, I took my
    chaIr and camped out while my kid played
    7) Went and got a late dinner my mom dropped my son back off at the
    Carnival and I went home.
    I now can take motrin, So I took motrin placed my polar care on and went to
    bed. So without being able to drive yet I counted on my mom to do running
    around. This is kind of a regular day without surgery.
    I feel a lot better today. Thanks for letting me Vent. Everyone is home today.
    If you got a kick out of this, I am glad because I laughed at it today.

  135. Oh yeah and to add to the list my arms pits were killing me I felt this was strange after being on crutches for 2-weeks. I later on figured out what I did different, just a different piece of clothing if you ladies KNOW what I mean.
    I vegged out most of the day on the couch with brace on and elevated. I have Physical Therapy tomorrow. The only thing is my incision sites are so sensitive.

  136. Hey guys,
    Is anyone else having post-op depression? I am 4 weeks post op. I have seen much progress and my strength is coming back slowly but surely. My commute to work sucks, I take a bus to a boat to a train every morning, I am so slow, tired from not sleeping well and getting depressed with feelings of “never being the same” are affecting me bad. I haven’t been myself and have been smiling and laughing less and less.

  137. Hey Ebony, I did and I guess still do just a bit, cause I see my friends playing ball, golfing, running around with the kids, etc. You are in a tough spot since you are in NYC and rely heavily on public trans. It is a slow process, but I can assure you, work at it, get your PT, stretch and strengthen as much as you can and you will get there. Hang in there.

  138. Thanx FB

    It gets pretty tough and the only time I do feel good is right after I finish PT.
    Quick question…I naturally have hyperextension in my knees, my doc did tell me that’s not normal and hyperextension does play a factor in tearing your acl. But Im finding it hard to get my injured knee to hyperextend like it used to. I’m starting to think it just wont happn an i’ll have 1 knee thats hyperextended and one knee that is straight which will leave me with a limp…anybody else have this problem?

  139. Ebony,

    I think I am also suffering from some post op depression. I’m not feeling motivated to do much of anything, I’m tired all the time, and most days I don’t even feel like taking a shower. Part of it I think, is that I can’t be doing the things that really keep me active during the summer months. Also, I’ve gained some weight since my knee injury. That is REALLY bothering me. Unfortunately eating seems to make me feel better! (Until I’m done eating, when I feel frustrated and guilty for not having more self control!)

    The tough part is that I’m a teacher, so my summer schedule is pretty wide open with exception of some meetings and “homework” for this fall. I would really like to be enjoying my summer break. I guess on a good note, I have gotten a lot of reading done!

    I wish you well, Ebony…..you are not alone!

    Christina

  140. Hey Ebony,

    Yes, I am going through it now. It is hard for me going from very active to having to count on other people to take me places now because I can not drive my car. My car is a standard, left knee done so using the clutch is out of the question. Plus now it feels better I have over done it on a couple of days.

    Other than that when I went to Physical Therapy on friday, which went better than wed. my flex is now at 120. I have to call up to my Dr. tomorrow and ask about the CPM machine. I have met what the settings are at, so I don’t know if I need to continue to use it.

  141. So I feel much better today, I got out of house for a few hours today. My husband was invited to a meet and greet with a new country artist. So we had lunch and got to listen to some of his songs. This was great, but I was so tired when we got home. It was good to have the adult time with my husband. I also called and talked with my dr. and I don’t have to use the CPM machine (WaHoo). Have you ever tried playing the Wii when you are not able to stand without crutches. I did this and it was fun getting back into the swing of things, playing with my boys.
    Happy rehabiting and recovery. 8>)

  142. Hey Christina,
    Im positive I gained weight. Good Humor has become one of my good friends lol. It is a really tricky injury. One day I think my flexion is getting better, next day it feels like I’m getting nowhere. Im usually out n about in the summer months too, so this is really difficult. This blog helps me a whole lot. And this njury is teaching me a whole lotta patience, I have nooo patience at all and everyone says be patient the worst part over, really? Lol
    Hang in there Christina, we’ll be fine soon :)

  143. Hi Ebony and Christina
    I know how you feel, the other day at PT I did better than I
    Thought I did. My knee felt stiff but my flex had improved from
    the last visit. I can’t wait until I can fully workout. My youngest son
    made me pinkie-swear I will do my “workouts” like I am suppose to
    and he will do his best with his football conditioning. The past a
    couple of years I would get out and run with him.

  144. Hi – I am having an acl allograft done on my left knee August 4th. I am turning 47 this year. Injured my knee skiing when a snowboarder hit me hard and had a bad landing that caused my tibia to slightly break but did a near complete tear on my acl. The accident happened in January 8th, 2011 did all the PT I could do. I feel fine now and am quite active hiking is what I have been doing and a lot of walking. Although I still feel some instability on my left knee that is why I am choosing to do acl surgery. My doctor told me the way to go for me is doing the cadaver (allorgraft) reconstruction on my acl. I am getting a bit anxious about this. Has anyone had any infections or blood clots after acl knee surgery?

    B

  145. Hi Brenda,

    Welcome to the club! I am 46 years old and had an allograft almost 8 weeks ago. I was a little weirded out by the thought of the cadaver part as well as being worried about your exact same concerns. The chances of anything like infection or clots are pretty slim. Every thing went very well with my surgery. I will have my other knee done in December. I will go with an allograft again. This is a great resource when you have questions. Good luck to you!

    Christina

  146. Hi Christina,

    Thanks I appreciate your response. I will try not to think too much about it. Just hate that I have to start all over again with the crutches and rehab and not having to wear heels for a long time ha ha. Are you still on crutches and a brace? And did you get those ice machines to bring home for swelling? Anyway speedy recovery to you. Keep us posted. I cannot wait to get to ski again with my 11 year old by the year 2012.

    Brenda

  147. Brenda,

    My doc didn’t prescribe the ice machine. I bought a couple of good ice packs from my PT office. It sounds like frozen dishwasher soap in a ziplock would have worked just as well though. Icing is key however you decide to do it!

    I stopped using crutches at about 2 weeks post op. I was actually able to put weight on the leg immediately following surgery. (With the brace on.) All of my stitches were internal, so I was able to shower right after the surgical dressings were removed…the day after surgery at my first PT appointment.

    I stopped using the brace at home after about 4 weeks. At 6 weeks I got the go ahead to stop wearing it at night. That was a huge relief! Now I only wear it if I’m on grass or other uneven ground.

    I’m feeling pretty good now, so the tough thing is patience. It is a bummer not being able to do all my normal summer activities. All in time…

    Christina

  148. Hi Brenda
    I am 41, I had a allograft ACL repair 3-weeks ago, plus some other stuff was fixed and cleaned up in my knee. My dr. set me up with a Polar Care machine which is awsome, I still use it occasionally after physical therapy, he also set me up with a CPM machine I was suppose to start the night I had my surgery,but since I didn’t get home so late I started it the next morning. I also used the dish soap ice packs which was great when I could not use the polar care. I had hurt my knee almost 10-months before surgery, my knee felt good but every 1-2 weeks my knee would slide just to let me know something was wrong, instability when it slid. This was my second ACL repair on the same leg. I am on crutches and brace still but putting weight on it. I have not had any problems, with a ted hose on the opposite leg and on the knee surgery leg had the ace and gause wrap on. After 48-hour I was able to shower and then placed the ted hose on that leg. I had to wear the ted hose until my leg quit swelling.
    :>)
    Lori

  149. Hi All
    Well I went to physical therapy yesterday, 5-new exercise was added and 3 existing exercises a 2-lb weight was added. One of the harder one was having to balance on my left leg by the end of 3 minutes my leg was really shaking. But by the end of therapy my leg felt tired but felt good. My flex went up from 120 to 127.
    So I broke down and took half of a Lortab 7.5mg because my knee is alittle sore, but this time taking the Lortab it made me really sick, It had been over a week since I have taken it. I have been just taking the ibuprofen and I have done well with that. Luckily I did not end up in the ER, this was like the mild form of a reaction that had when I took percocet 5-yrs ago and did end up in the ER.
    This my worry before I had my surgery, I am glad it happend now instead of then.
    I though my leg would be stiff today but it feels really good.

  150. My doc had a cryo cuff machine sent to me. Its kinda annoying sometimes having to keep making sure I have enough ice but other than the machine is cool

  151. Has anyone had pain in their callf? Recently ive been feeling a bad pain in my calf when Ivs been during then I get up to wall it hurts really bad

  152. @Ebony, yes, I’ve had pain in the top right of my calf on occasion. For the last four days, I did self-PT (I am away on business and my knee is sore, hoping I didn’t overdo it. I am using a cold pack knee brace with a bulb thingy that compresses, that helps. Otherwise I stretch, stretch, stretch, and that sometimes takes away the calf discomfort.

    @Lori, sounds like you’re doing well so far!

    Does anyone know if I can walk too much? I use a neoprene brace when walking more than a short distance..

    Keep it up peeps….

    –Frank

  153. FB
    After looking it up, I saw it might be from not walking heel to toe. I have been having a hard time doing that so sometimes I find myself using the front of my foot and not my heel when I walk. Hows your walking?

  154. My walking is better now than before the injury. I am starting to not think about every step when walking :)

  155. Ohh, ok. Very good for you :) I still do the heel toe dialogue in my head lol

  156. Hi,
    I have been having soreness behind my knee and in the top of my calf, but I still have bruising back there. My Physical Therapist this some of it is from my brace. I am trying to put more weight on with the brace, and walk heel to toe, I get lazy and do toe to heel once in a while.

    Have A Great Day!
    Lori

  157. Even at 8 weeks post op I still find myself having to think about going heel to toe. I’m walking without a limp, but if I’ve been on my feet a while it’s easy to fall back into the habit. My PT really pushed me to keep walking faster. He said that’s the best way to get full extension. Try walking quickly if you’re not going from heel to toe…..it doesn’t work very well!

    I also had calf pain due to the irregular gait that I had for a while. I did lots of stretching which helped a lot.

    Good luck!

    Christina

  158. Love this blog. It has been very helpful.

  159. Hi Everyone,

    Well Physical Therapy was ok today, my knee was alittle stiff. My flex was 124 so off from tues. I had one of the other Physical Therapist and he did a different kind of rub down and it was sore. Then he told me I could go to one crutch unless going long distances, so I asked about my brace. He check how my straight leg raises went and then he said I didn’t need the brace. I think I will sleep in it still, though. Leg feels wobbly/weak, I guess that is to be expected.
    Hope everyone has a great weekend.
    Lori

  160. HI Everyone, 3 weeks post allograft, meniscus repair and micro-fracture procedure

    I am still partaking in my 6 week plan for non weight bearing and can only extend to 90 degrees, you want to talk about slow. I also have alot of problems sleeping, Still vey difficult to find a comfortable position. Have to lay on my back and use lots of pillows. My biggest concern is that my foot still turns blue and my lower calf and ankle area whenever I am up on crutches. I had an xray but they tell me it is negative. My Dr. was on holidays this week. I discussed an MRI with his Rn and they will get back to me. I have yet o find anybody anywhere that has had this symptom and this is most concerning. I am patient but don’t want to ignore something this odd or abnormal.
    Honestly at this point I am scared about the prospect of walking. I would not have done this if I knew what complications might arise. The microfracture was a surprise post-op which I had not been informed about. I sure hope this turns out. Sorry for laying it on the table but this is my story.
    My best to the rest, keep posting the positive, I am just low on faith tonight. Must get more positive.

  161. Hi GolferSue,
    I would be concerned also. I was able to take away one crutch and the brace on friday. Needless to say I am paying for it today. I have over done it and my knee is sore and I am emotional. You might want to get a second opinion if you can’t get a hold of your dr. I know that is probably not what you want to do, but won’t hurt.What has your Physical Therapist said about it? Keep your chin up things will get better. I have and are still having those days.

    Lori

  162. Thanks Lori,

    I appreciate your support. I will contact my GP and let him know my concerns and see about getting a second opinion. My physiotherapist(s) seem to want to downplay my concerns as they are all part of the same hospital system. They hear my concerns and give me the impression that they realize this is unusual but they also give me the impression they are on side with the physician as this one of their main referring physicians so they are not going to make waves. I meet with my surgeon next week so I hope to have the second opinion appt arranged for shortly after that if I can get one that soon. Sounds like you are making good progress. It is encouraging to see people move forward and do well. Thanks again and keep up the good fight.

  163. How’s everyone doing? I am just about 5 weeks post-op now, feel pretty good, can actually see my kneecap again. However I am in constant fear of pulling my graft out though (I am a type-A panicky person). Anyone know what kind of force it takes for something like that to happen? Can’t really find it on google. Next visit to the doc is 8/2.

    I was away on biz last week, prolly logged 12 miles over the week (using a neoprene sports brace). PT going well. Flex at 140*, Extension at 0. Stupid bakers cyst still comes and goes – that is the most annoying. Any advice for it would be much appreciated. :)

    –Frank

  164. Well I went to the dr yesterday and they were please with the progress I have made. I was released to go back to work and continue with physical therapy, no running but I get to start riding the bike and the elliptical. I walk pretty well when I don’t think about it, but by time evening comes my knee is quite swollen, so I have been I icing it before going to bed.
    I hope to be back to work later next week, when I took my release to go back to work, the employee health nurse said no because my dr marked light duty (no running or sports/PE).
    So now I have to call my dr to see if he will release me to go back with no restrictions, eventhough I know I can’t run. So my fingers are crossed in hope he will do this. Oh 4-weeks post-op today.

  165. YAY Lori :) Hope the work thing gets smoothed out…

  166. LORI – so you how many weeks total did you have to miss work? I work myself and was curios to know how long before I can get back. Just a computer related desk job but still..curious to know..

    Take it easy and great to hear everything is working well.

    B

  167. OK guys
    Just came back from my second follow up, I’m 6 weeks post-op and my dr said my knee looks superb. She was very happy with my progress and I was glad I made her smile :) My PT is magnificent with soft tissue massage and I know that helped me a lot. My calf pain is gone and I am being more aware of using my heel again. After looking at my x-rays the dr said everything looks good just put more weight on my knee (nI do find myself favoring my uninjured leg) and I do have some fluid there that will be absorbed by my body soon.

    I also have a desk job and I took only 2 weeks off of work, that’s all I could do because I was going insane.

  168. 5 weeks post Right knee allograft, meniscus repair and micro-fracture repair.

    Still not weight baring. No CPM machine recommended to me by dr. or physiotherapists. Have followed every exercise given to me. ROM 92% sitting up and having leg pulled back, ROM 102% when leg agains wall. Leg is very stiff at this point (very understandable). Achilles tendon area very sore on right foot as well as the bones near my ankle area. Leg and foot still turn redish blue whenever leg is dependent, foot even staying redish/blue post exercises. Given new exercise today where I peddled against zero resistance. It is a long slow process. Meeting with surgeon next week to assess my knee and permit me to start weight baring. Luckily I am taking classes on line or I would be going coo coo. It is a little nerve racking wondering if my foot was injured during surgery 5 weeks ago. It was xrayed by surgeon’s office who said it was negative. I am the slowest horse in the “barn” so it is difficult to see everyone progressing at a good clip. I am glad for them, just worried about my state. Hanging in and doing all that I am told.
    Have a good weekend and keep getting better everyone.

  169. Hi Brenda,
    Well I am 4-weeks out, I have been released to go back to work next week. I am nurse and our employee health nurse kinda thought I needed more time off, but since the dr said it was ok and I have the paper copy of the release she didn’t say anymore about it. So long story short where you have a desk job you might could be back sooner.

    Hi Peeps,
    So I was so frustrated when I left physical therapy on Tues. I had the therapist that fills in when one of the regular ones is out of the office. He measured my leg without being warm my flex was way off it was only 110 (passively). So today at therapy I express to them today about what happened. So with that said my measurements today was alot better; flex 134 after rub down and 124(passively).
    Oh did I mention that my knee really doesn’t hurt, but the pulled calf muscle is making it really hard to walk even with a limp.
    Have A Great Weekend Everyone.
    we took our boys on a mini vacation before I go back to work and my youngest starts football.

  170. Woke up sI sore today. PT added lunges yesterday and I’m still having difficulty walking down steps so we added more exercises to help that. Also did some balancing exercises where I had to valance on foam on one foot while throwing a ball to a trampoline and catching it. I wish I could show u guys the wonderful medical tape my PTherapist uses to make these awesome support braces with. It’s awesome. Hang in there everyone :)

  171. This morning my follow up went well (~6 weeks) no restrictions for walking (no brace required) still no clearance to golf (other than chipping/putting) or cycle though. Elliptical in the next week. Saw pics of the surgery, my old ACL and my new one. Steps are easier now, feeling good, was cautioned about this time, where I feel and look good, the graft is not healed. No laxity at all in repaired leg (thats a good thing). Scheduled 9/8 appt, hoping to get running and golf clearance then.

    Ebony, talk to me about these support braces. Would like to hear more.

    We should get everyone together for a party when this is all over :P

    –Frank

  172. FB,
    Its this medical tape that my physical therapist puts on various places on my knee that acts as support without wearing a brace and it also corrects and mobilizes my kneecap. So after she does my deep tissue massages she puts the tape on. The tape stays on in the shower and has definitely helped me while im out and about everyday. I wish i could post pix up. Its awesome

  173. Shut the front door, you have a therapist that gives deep tissue massages. Never mind that I am 5 1/2 weeks out and not weight baring yet and you all are about to start running and golfing. I will be happy to walk a cup of coffee from one room to the next. I am approx 112 degree max flexion. I have a long way to go. (post microfracture, ACL/meniscus repar). I hoping to touch down with my right foot after Dr. appt on Thursday. Keep up the good work.

    Sue

  174. Hi there

    Been searching around for some useful information regarding ACL surgery and this site is just amazing.
    i’ve done my first ACL back in 2006 with a PT and I’ve torn it again in June 2009, I kind of ignored the accident and convinced myself that my knee is okay until i started playing football again last April when my knee was starting to give way…to cut long story short..X-Rays, MRI and my new ACL is torn again!
    i’m not suffering from any pain or any problems unless i play sports (football to be specific) . the question that has been on my mind for the past few months is , SHALL I OPERATE AGAIN? or shall i just work out my hamstrings and strengthen my legs and leave it!
    The Surgery as you all know is hard and painful, plus i just turned 34 so i dont expect the healing process to be as before.
    Allograft Vs. Autograft!! i have tried the PT and personally i wouldn’t do it again, the pain on your patella remains for more than 2 years! in case i decided to go for a revision, i would like to seriously consider an allograft, what do you guys think?
    and by the way, where do they take the allograft from, i mean which part of the body?

    thanks

  175. At GolferSue – you had wayyyyy more damage then I had at the time of surgery, so I would expect you to take a little extra time in healing. You’ll be back on the links in no time :)

    @Ebony, the medical tape sounds painful (for a guy) :P

    @Lui, I am not sure on the ‘second time around’ surgery, but after all my other damage healed, I only needed an ACL. With the allograft, I was bearing weight immediately (like, leaving the surgery center), by day 3 I went to the Phillies game and off pain meds, by day 6 I was back to work. Brace off at day 14. I am probably on the extreme (good) case, but I feel much better now than before the surgery. See my previous posts for more info…

    Had to skip PT yesterday due to work obligations. Hope this doesn’t become habit…

  176. @ GolferSue the massages are aweeeesome. it has helped me so much!!

    @ FB lol, no its not painful at all

    I have pt tomorrow and the exercises are geting more aggresive. I’ll tell u all about it. Happy Healing folks :)

  177. Hi Guys,
    Sorry I haven’t post for awhile. I am 5-weeks out and doing pretty well. My first back at work was on Thurs. Aug. 4th. We ended up having 1-patient and so I only worked a half of a shift. My leg was swollen alittle so I iced while watching my son’s football practice. So next week back to full time hours.
    I went to Physical therapy the next day, my flex is 138 (passive), my hamstring muscle was tight, so now I have to stretch that out.
    Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

    Lori
    PS @FB your Phillys almost lost to the Rockies =)

  178. It should have said my first day back at work>

  179. I am not sure if I am having a setback, or what. My swelling seemed to increase over the weekend, sure I had my share of beers and it was hot as hades around here.

    Friday was 6 weeks, and I don’t think I did anything exerting over the weekend, and pain isn’t an issue.

    Hmmmmmm… Thoughts?

    And Lori, my Phillies just ripped off 9 wins in a row. Sorry we beat up on your team so badly :P :) :)

    –Frank

  180. Hi All –

    “ACL Allograft reconstruction on Left Knee” 46 yo

    Hi All -
    Surgery Date was August 4th 8am.
    Thursday- Went home at 10am. Surgery went well although the anesthesia effect on me was not pleasant. Doc told me to eat a litle here and there as I was going to be really hungry after not eating since midnight before surgery day. Came home had some bite of food here and there…could not put food down yuck…rested all day..knee felt heavy…-Doc had me bring home one of those ice machinses a recovery wrap system by Vital wear..really helpful for the swelling. Percocet was prescibed as well as celebrex. Leg elevated the whole time with an embolism stocking to help for swelling?

    Day 2 FRIDAY>>> Post Op doc visit went well doc showed me the incisions they were so small I could not believe it. My knee of course still very swollen. Everything looks great my spirits are up. On the way back home did a Costco trip with my hubby but I was really slow very careful and took my time…during the evening I guess all the pain that I was not feeling earlier started so I had to take percocet fof the first time – did help but the ice machine was amazing.

    Day 3 SATURDAY>>> Stayed home all day my 11 yo daughter was my little nurse…Ice machine almost all day..I was told to at least keep it going for at least 72 hours after surgery…Still on both crutches..pain mediocre but livable…not too extreme.

    Day 4 SUNDAY>>> Walking with one crutch some weight on my left knee feeling so much better. Everytime I would raise and rest my leg after sitting for so long when standing up I feel weird with the left knee feels heavy..still slow as a snail but glad to have done surgery..it only took me 7 months to decide wether or not to go ahead and do this ha ha..

    Day 5 MONDAY Aug 8>> I am walking without my crutches every now and then but making sure I do not put too much weight on my left leg. Very careful…Called my ortho’s office and asked if I could get rid of this ted hose soon…my first evaluation PT appoitnment is set for this Wednesday…I can’t wait…

    PS. This blog really helped me understand more about what to expect during and after surgery. Everyone has it’s way of healing fast or slow. I think the key is to take it slow and know and understand what your body is capable of doing after surgery..I wish all of us a speedy recovery!!!

    Brenda

  181. Hi All,

    Brenda, I’m right where you are. Or pretty close. :) 43 – year old equestrian, mom, small business owner, former serious athlete, now just a serious mess. Tore ACL, MCL, and meniscus in April while doing an emergency dismount from my horse. Had to wait 8 weeks for MCL to heal and get a bit of pre-op PT in.

    Had my surgery Aug 3. Hamstring Autograft. I had the surgery in Providence, RI. Love my surgeon. Had my first PT just 2 days after surgery. They kept me in hospital overnight as part of surgeons SOP. His post-op protocol was awesome for pain control. They sent me home with some Vicodin, but that slowed my breathing down so much it scared me. So I switched to 2 advil every 5 hours and haven’t had any trouble with pain.

    It’s one week today from the op and I’m down to 1 Advil three times a day. I have the CPM machine and use it only for a few hours in the evening each night. Plus I do my PT exercises three times a day.

    The harvest site is the most painful, but still very tolerable. It only really hurts when the leg goes from horizontal to vertical after long periods.

    I can walk without the crutches in the house but I’m nervous to do so. I have my second PT today. Hopefully it will go better than the first one, when I was still pretty heavily drugged up!

    Looking forward to hearing about your PT Brenda. I hope it goes great! Happy healing everyone!!

    Helena

  182. Brenda (from SF)

    Hi All –
    ACL on Knee (ALLOGRAFT) 46 yo.

    Hi Helena – great to hear you did your surgery and everything is going ok. You are so brave to have done the hamstring autograft procedure. I have been going back and forth for at least 7 mo since a snowboarder hit me up in the slopes in Tahoe (torn acl and a tiny fractrure on my tibia)…anyway..good luck and keep us up to date on your progress.

    I was leaning towards doing the same thing but I was too afraid to injure myself to repair myself kinda thing…my ortho suggested to go allograft for my age…You have no idea how hesitant I was about going allograft. This blog along with other websites out there and with the help of my ortho explaining to me one too many times about what the allograft does do – apparently in 2-3 years my body will replace the cadaver cells (revascularize) the allograft functions only as a framework? Way to go for you…I cannot believe you sound like you are doing so well…way to go…I just make a joke out of it..My gf’s tease me franken-knee? Ha ha…I have a donor card that I have to fill out and thank the family for…it will probably just go to the company who arranges for donors and stuff…so sad.

    At home I limp around without the crutches…a little weight here and there..but when we do go out I am too afraid not to use at least one crutch…Today is my first PT eval…gosh I am back to square one..did PT after my accident for about 6 weeks. I am starting all over again. Does anyone here have a fb page? I think we should set one up ha ha…The most I am looking forward to after all this is done is to be able to walk without having to think and favor one leg knowing that the other could give out with stability issues…also I cannot wait to go back and hike our beautiful Montara Mountain here in the coast…going back to using some high heels,dancing,running, biking, skiing…swimming…aahhhhhhhh all the possibilities. But the part that makes me mad is knowing that if I agressively pursue what I used to love doing is having to injure myself again?? This makes me mad at that reckless snowboarder…I guess I just have to move on..;-(

    Take it easy everyone and good luck to all the progress…key is SLOW but SURE…

    Brenda

  183. High heels! I have been jonesin’ for some cute heels all summer. Like you, Brenda, I’m petrified that if I go back to my usual ways (which is pretty hard on my knees) I will re-tear the graft. Thing is— if we’ve gone 40-something years doing the things we love and doing them with gusto, perhaps our new ACLs will hold up just as well as the old ones. At the very least, you have to think that as we age we really aren’t as hard on our bodies as we once were. (I’m an optimist!)

    Allo – Auto, I think in the end the long term viability of your graft depends on how seriously you take the healing process. Most of the reports I hear of failures are either catastrophic incidents (such as Henry’s), poor initial surgical techniques, or getting back to intense sports too soon. See? We have the luxury of other people’s hind sight! (There’s that optimism again)

    My second PT appt was SO much better than my first because of the difference one week of healing makes. I got this electrical muscle stimulater thingy on my quad which contracts the muscle for you. My job is to hold the contraction. Super cool. It helps remind the muscle of it’s former shape and size.

    So after one full week post-op I have 104 flexion and 0 extension. My PT wants to go a bit more on the extension because I have a slight natural hyperextension. I admit, resting the heel on towel to let gravity pull the joint down is a bit ouchy.

    The other cool thing I used today was a gadget that has a sticky monitor attached to my quad. When the muscle is relaxed, the gadget shows a green light. When the muscle is fully contracted, the gadget light travels left to right and turns yellow. So if you want that little yellow light to appear, you squeeze your big old heart out. It’s so motivating.

    So Brenda / don’t worry about PT. Your second session will be better than your first. It feels like you’re back to square one, but the return curve is much steeper. :)

    Now it’s time to rest a bit, ice a bit, and pat myself on the back. Maybe later I’ll log on to Zappos and see what’s new in heels.

    Here’s to more happy re-habbing!

  184. I’m only on comment #75, but I’m finding the conversations very helpful ! Thank you Ebony, Lori, Jerry, FB, etc!

    [right knee] I ‘partially tore’ my ACL, tore my miniscus in 3 places, and sustained a bruised femur on 21Apr2011.
    I am scheduled for an ALLOGRAFT on 6Sep2011.

    I’m 30 and was playing basketball with 18-20yr olds at the University where I work. Snap, crackle, pop, and down I went. I slunk, crawfish / wounded dog-like around a partition and surveyed the damage. One of my coworkers grabbed my foot and worked my leg around like I was some kind of bendy toy while I winced. A$$. :(

    By the time I have my ALLOGRAFT on 6Sep2011, it will have been 4.5 months since my injury. Thank you, worker’s comp. :/

    I can’t run, which is awful, b/c I’m used to running 3x a week (and yoga, weights, bike, rower, elliptical, aerobics, softball, etc etc). I completed my 3rd marathon at the end of Feb 2011 and I’m hoping to be back to running (or run/walking) shape by Feb2012 for my 4th marathon. :)

    My calve and quad muscles magically disappeared about 1.5 months into my injury. :( As I was able to do more (with brace) to workout, I’ve been gaining back some strength. I had physical therapy for about 6 weeks, but it was not as extensive as some of the PT i’ve seen in this blog. [Electro therapy and take-home excercises]

    I still have the rest of the blog/comments to read, but if you have any advice for me, send it my way!

    The main things I’m concerned about are:

    Should I have an allograft vs autograft ? My doc basically told me allo is better… I’m active and I want to remain that way for a long time!

    How long will I be home from work? I work at a university as an Army ROTC instructor/recruiter

    How long before I drive? [right knee]

    How long before I can drive a stick? [i have 2 classic cars]

    How long will I have to stay at my parents house? hahaha

    Again, tell me what i need to know! I’m getting nervous!

    ~Valerie w.

  185. FB (Allo 6/26, Male 40)

    Valerie –

    Welcome! Sorry to hear about your injury! Here is my .02 (sorry if this is redundant)

    I had an right knee allo, but I am also a bit older than you and I am the provider for the fam, so I wanted to get back to work asap. I didn’t want to have to deal with my hammy or patella tendon healing. I was on my feet (braced) immediately after surgery and was off crutches in 2.5 days. My top pain level was 3 out of 10. You have some other damage which may require additional repair and recovery.

    I have a desk job and only missed three days of work. I am a crazy dedicated work person tho.

    I was driving (auto) after 8 days. Prolly could have done sooner.

    I am at 7 weeks, walking perfect, no pain, still some healing going on. Can’t even see the scars (I have oliveish skin) and am still doing PT (mostly self at this point). Cant wait to get my ass into shape again – I have to wait for my next checkup (9/13) to get clearance to golf/run, etc. I have 15 lbs to get rid of since my injury in April.

    Feel free to ask questions here. I know that the peeps here helped my through this ordeal.

    Holla!

    –Frank

  186. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Rats, my allo was 6/24. Name adjusted accordingly :P

  187. VWfrog / Valerie

    Frank,

    It is good to hear that your pain was minimal. I hope I’m that fortunate!

    As for EL – Beees… I’ve been really tracking my caloric intake and using my Garmin +HRM/ footpod to meaure my caloric expenditures when working out. I also use http://www.myfitnesspal.com I’m VWfrog on there.

    I’m going to gather up some you-tube vids for good calorie-burning ‘after ACL surgery’ workouts. I did a search yesterday and came up with a few. :)

    I want to RUN !!!!

    ~vw

  188. Hi Peeps,

    Sorry I haven’t post much in the last couple of weeks. I went back to work full-time hours last week. So two of the three days I wore my compression sleeve and didn’t on the third. The two days I wore it was way crazy days at work, you know people thought they needed to have babies =). The third day I was on my regular unit, pediatrics, where we had 1 and then admitted another one. So by the time Friday night came along, my knee and ankle was swollen not really much pain just some soreness and I was way tired.
    PT is going well on tues of last week my flex was 140 and on Friday of last week it was 142. So with that said my PT routine was changed. No more stetching type exercises now just building type exercises. Today was 2nd time with new routine and it feels good to be doing some normal exercises. Now I can’t wait to hit the gym, hopefully next month.
    So between working, PT and attending football practice with my son it has been busy. Walking on grass at football I can feel a little instablility, my PT therapist said this is normal but a good thing.
    Happy Recovering and Healling to all.

    Lori
    Go Clinton SeaHawks Jr. PeeWee.

  189. Lori, that’s really good news! Must feel good to be feeling the progress!

    I am 2 weeks post-op today. Met with the OS yesterday and had those itchy stitches out. Ahhhhh. Now I can finally take a serious shower!

    Everything looks good. A bit of swelling around the kneecap is to be expected. I have no pain except for an occasional “twinge.” I call ‘em zingers. They don’t last long… just a few seconds, and they move around a bit.

    My brace is now unlocked and PT is still focusing on quad sets and neuromuscular training. I can walk around the house without crutches if my brace is locked at zero. If I unlock it, I have to be careful. There is a lot of instability there.

    I learned yesterday from my surgeon that it takes my graft 12 weeks to fully heal to the bone. My hamstring graft was fixed with plastic screws that were countersunk. But tissue takes that long to both adhere to the bone and to transition from tendon to ligament. Until that time, if I stress or stretch the graft, it could compromise the strength long term.

    The docs and PT don’t want me going past 105 flexion for a while. I have full extension, and they say that is the key to the graft healing nice and tight. Keep the leg up and in full extension. They also said that ice not only reduces pain and swelling, but that it directly aids the healing process.

    I’ve added weights to my left lifts (just 2 pound ankle wraps). It feels good (and burns calories VW!). PT today and I’m looking forward to it.

    VWfrog / I found that cruising around on my crutches outside got my heart rate up and worked my triceps! LOL You’ll find ways to keep those calories burning. I just took off 16 pounds prior to the surgery and can already feel those pounds knocking on the door. Can’t wait to get on a bike!

    I did my own barn chores this morning. Got up at 5am, fed the horses and turned them out into their pasture. Not a lot of work I admit, but a HUGE step toward physical independence. It was nice to be the one to hear their nickers at daybreak. :)

    Happy, happy everyone.

  190. Awesome, Helena! Crutch work-out!

  191. Do you mind if I quote your writing on my Self Help Forum? I think your topic suits my audience perfectly. Uhmmm, thanks for posting this.

  192. Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your theme. With thanks

  193. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Sorry for the radio silence, now entering week 9, had a little scare last week, when I squatted down to tie my little girls sneakers, no pop or anything, just started to notice swelling and some stiffness. Just got rechecked by the doc and he assured me the my new acl is tight and in tact. Whew.

    Feeling good, hoping to get clearance to street ride my bike (heading down to the beach next week), golf would be a bonus too, but I doubt I will get clearance for that.

    Haven’t heard too much from anyone – hope you are all well!

    –Frank

  194. Christina (Allo 5/26, Female 46)

    Hey Frank and others…

    I just had my 12 week check-up after a right knee allograft. It sounds like I’m on target with rehab but still need to work on strengthening my quads and core. I just recently started road biking again. I was warned that if I had to suddenly stop and jump off my bike I would most likely re-tear my ACL. So, I waited patiently. I still haven’t gotten the go ahead for golf. I’m guessing it won’t happen this summer at all.

    I think the most difficult part of rehab is feeling good but having to wait to participate in the activities I’m used to doing. It sure doesn’t help with the weight loss plan!

    I get to start the whole process again in December when I have my left ACL replaced. I guess I don’t need to worry about biking or golf at that point! Gotta look at the positives!

    Christina

  195. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Yep Christina – just got the call from the doc. No running, golf (aside from chipping/putting) and no bike. Boo. I guess I’ll have to drown my sorrows in craft beer next week at the beach then. :P

    I am going to be 25# over my normal weight by the time I can do anything. Grrrrr.

    But, being a guy, I can lose weight rapidly. :)

  196. Leslie 50 female

    Complete tear of ACL in Jan 2011 when another skier decided to use me as his pushoff coming off the chairs. Dr. suggested allograph.
    I agree. I am ok walking and little to no pain at this time. Knee feels a bit unstable and if I turn just right it feels like it wants to go out again but has not done so for several months. Also meniscus tear. I believe that if I do let this go and not have surgery I will evantually do something to throw it out again and way down the road there will be arthritis and scar tissue in knee and I will have wished I had went with the surgery. Still undecided about surgery but have it scheduled as I am leaning towards it. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Trying to do it now-met the $3000 deduct this year.

  197. Christina (Allo 5/26, Female 46)

    Hi Leslie,

    Sorry about your skiing mishap. For the past 12 years or so I have survived without an ACL in my left knee. I had no idea it was torn until I tore my right ACL! I just thought I had a loose LCL…..that was what my original doc told me 12 years ago. My left knee has “gone out” many times during the past 12 years. I never know when it will happen – getting into the car, walking on uneven ground, boot camp exercise class (while wearing a brace), jumping off my bike quickly, etc…

    So…..after I tore my right ACL playing hockey in April I decided to have them both fixed. I want to remain active and I don’t want to worry, down the road, whether my knee will go out and I’ll fall and break a hip! I had my right knee fixed first (newer injury) and I will have surgery in December on my left knee.

    You can function without an ACL. Certainly surgery isn’t necessary and there are risks involved, but
    I guess if you want to remain active and continue doing the things you are currently doing, my suggestion would be to go ahead with the surgery.

    I’m three months post op at this point and my knee feels great. There are many activities I still can’t do because the healing process for an allo takes quite awhile. I still feel some slight pain or discomfort under my kneecap when I do certain things, but the surgeon said that as my leg regains its strength that will diminish.

    I wish you well with whichever path you choose!

    Christina

  198. FB
    Ah boohoo going to the Beach, seriously have fun. I miss the beach, but we have Mountains though.

    Leslie,
    I my knee has felt so good after this surgery. I am doing squats and before surgery I would not have did this. My acl repair was the second on this knee. So I don’t know how long it has been, babying that leg. I know for the last 9-months I was afraid to do anything in regards of my knee going out. If you can do it I would do the surgery esspecially if you are active. The last nine months was hard because I couldn’t do the things I normally would, now I can’t wait to start going to the gym regularly and doing the sports thing with my boys.

    Lori

  199. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Haha, Lori, stupid Hurricane Irene is screwing up those plans.

    Just done 9 weeks, entering 10. Feelin pretty good :)

  200. Hi Gang! Good to hear some of you are getting clear for at least something. Funny, FB, I would think the whole beer drinking thing could be just as risky as bike riding! ;)

    I’m at 3 weeks post-op and moving along fairly well. Off crutches for a while now, and PT says I should be able to divorce my brace next week. I had the autograph and the hamstring harvest site is feeling so much better in week three. Really not a problem at all.

    My only concern is a sharp pain directly under my kneecap, and only when I do use a very specific set of muscles. Since I didn’t have the patella tendon autograft, I’m stumped as to what could be causing this sharp (but very temporary) pain. My PT aware, but not alarmed. I, however, am obsessing over it.

    Other than that, I still ice and elevate at least 4 times a day. If I don’t bend it regularly, my goodness it gets stiff and ouchy. Anyone else find this to be true?

    Well, off to to some more hurricane prep. -H

  201. Duh. Autograft.

  202. Christina (Allo 5/26, Female 46)

    Helena,

    Hopefully Irene isn’t going to affect you too much!

    I have the same knee under my knee cap. My surgeon told me at my 12 week check up that it will go away as my leg muscles regain their strength. He wasn’t concerned at all.

    Divorcing the brace is a liberating feeling!

    Good luck!

    Christina

  203. That’s good to know Christine. I have just heard a few too many stories about pain that was supposed to “go away” but never did. On a good note. Irene left us with very little damage. Just some power outage for a few days, but we were prepared. Had plenty of stored water, candles, flashlights, and packaged foods. The weather was so lovely the day after, we actually camped out in the back yard!

    So how are you feeling at week 12? What can you do now that you couldn’t do at 6 weeks?

  204. Christina (Allo 5/26, Female 46)

    Hahaha! Helena, I don’t have the same KNEE under my kneecap! It’s much better than the original! I guess I didn’t proofread very well before I hit “submit.”

    I’m feeling great at this point. I can still tell that the knee isn’t completely healed because there is pain from time to time. I’m able to start running, which I’m allergic to, and road biking. I haven’t gotten the clearance for golf or anything with lateral movement. I love playing hockey and my PT made it VERY clear that I shouldn’t even think of getting on skates at this point. Not even to just skate. I’ve been doing a lot of walking and I’ve noticed the knee pain has diminished recently.

    It’s still difficult for me to take large steps up with my post op knee. I guess I still have work to do in the muscle building area. I need to get that done before December when my Christmas present will be a new ACL in the other knee!

    Glad to hear that you had little damage after Irene swept through your area.

  205. Hello All !

    I have surgery Tuesday, 6Sep. Finally ! I’m calling it ” Valerie’s New Knee and Meniscus Makeover” ! I’ll be getting an allograft, though my nurse couldn’t tell me if it is ham / patellar / or achilles.

    I’m a little weirded out about having to wash with some weird body wash and stand all sudsed in the shower for 5 min, for the 5 days prior to surgery. Oh, well, infection is NOT our friend, so I guess I’ll get rub-a-dub with the weird soap!

    All the previous posts about divorcing the knee brace sound amazing! I’ve been in my hinged brace (the kind for running/sports) for 4 WHOLE months! (yes, injured on 21Apr).

    I’m still wondering how long I will be out from work after surgery. I’m not looking forward to driving (right knee) with a giant brace or humping it around campus on crutches for 12 hour work days. :( oh, and parking… the horror. My job also involves a lot of driving / meetings at different locations.

    I have the website for the temp handicap parking, so maybe i can get that… we’ll see.

  206. Lori (allograft 6/30 & 41yrs old)

    Hi Guys,
    I hope your guys are all doing ok after Hurricane Irene.
    Well here is my update, I am now going to physical therapy 1-day a week and I get to start back at the gym later on this week. My physical therapist told me that I can do most things except for leg extension ” No Weight on the ankle”. I have some soreness with the deep massage around the top of my calf and under the knee cap. My flex is now 147, I was a little surprise with this because it was more swollen than the other day. But the swelling is most likely due to me over doing it, I ten to do this, I feel good so I do more stuff. My 12-week dr. visit is later on in Sept.
    Love Ya
    Lori
    PS……I have actually LOST weight since my surgery. Sorry guys. =)

  207. Lori (allograft 6/30 & 41yrs old)

    Hi VWfrom,
    I had my brace on for 3-weeks and it was locked, it was my left leg, and I drive a standard. So I had to figure out how to use the clutch, I did I needed my freedom from having to count on everyone else to take me places. I am surprise how much better my knee feels. I can’t believe how much technology has improved from the first time I had it done (18-yrs ago). With that surgery I would have still been on crutches at this point. I went back to work exactly 5-weeks after surgery and I work as a nurse. I have had some very sore days and then some that has been fine. I have been wearing my compression sleeve on the days I know that will be busy and then on the days that is not so busy I haven’t worn it. You will just have to see how thing go. You are going to have some good/great days and then you might have some that are downers. Just keep thinking positive and know everyone has them. Keep us upto date and we are all cheering for you. Ice just keep icing it. I had the polar care unit and I still use it, because of swelling (overdoing it). Just follow your post op instructions and ask questions when you need to.
    Lori

  208. Lori (allograft 6/30 & 41yrs old)

    Sorry I forgot how to type, VWFrog.

  209. Hry friends, its been awhile since ive posted. Justwent back to school, so im getting used to this new schedule. Well my acl surgery was June 16th and since then ive had my pt twice a week, finally got to jog 2 weeks ago. I was so proud of myself. Also ive gotten the electromagnetic stimulation 3 times already. I will be joining my own gym soon since my health insurance only allows me a certain amount of visits a year. Only complaint I have is, my legs have a natural hyperextension so my injured knee doesnt hyperextend like it used to so its a little weird.
    I do recommend soft tissue massage which my pt was excellent in because theres an area right behind your knee called the popliteal and she massaged that every week for me so check that out….happy healing everyone :)

  210. 40 yr old male – rk acl allograft.
    Had Surgery Tuesday and view this as day 2 today (Thursday) .
    Havent moved out of bed. Tough to sleep (cant move off my back) and not walking around at all.
    Question is i can not seem to do the leg lift at all. I do not have a CPM or ice machine prescribed so self icing and keeping leg in brace 24/7.
    Did anyone else have a tough time with the leg lift?
    How did you all sleep?

  211. Lori (41yr, allo 6/30)

    Hi David,
    1)You need to get up an move, even if it is just to stand by your bed. You need attempt to walk even if you can’t put weight on it or just toe touch.
    2)On the leg lifts you if you need to cheat and use your other foot to help you then do it.
    To use your other foot for support, put your toes under your heel and then lift and you need to work the quadcept muscle you might feel like your not doing much but you will be surprised in a couple of days.. My dr had me sit with the brace off with both leg straight or as straight as I could, I had to do this for 15-minutes twice a day.
    3)Before I would go to sleep, I made sure to take pain medication. After a few sleepless night I realized that even though I didn’t feel pain, my body was saying it need pain medication
    After I finished with the cpm machine, I would use a pillow between my legs and lay on my side with the good leg on the bottom and my surgery leg on top. So it was still elevated.
    YOU CAN DO IT.

  212. Lori (41yr, allo 6/30)

    Hey guys,
    I can’t wait first trip to the gym later today after I wake-up from doing a crazy shift at work. I
    will let you know how it goes. =>)
    I can’t believe it has been 10-weeks and my knee feels great. Except of coarse as stated above when I over-do-it which is about everyday. Oh well that is how it goes.

    Lori

  213. Thanks Lori – Good luck at the Gym.
    Going to take the pain med before going to sleep tonight and will try the leg lift using my other foot. thanks for the tip.

  214. Ebony (female, 29, allograft 6/16, NYC)

    David
    Its gonna feel reeeeallly weird but u gotta move. I did the same thing Lori digested, using my other foot to help move tge injured leg and even if u cant move to do the leg lifts keep on trying and before you know it your leg will be lifting little by little. Also keep icing, squeeze those quads, and keep your leg elevated. Happy healing :)

  215. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    David – did you have anything else repaired? It’s going to suck for a few days, but it gets better. Motion, weight bearing and extention helped me get back on my feet quickly. Squeeze your quads, flex your knee gently, get it to 60, then 75, then 90 – don’t push it though. It’s going to creek and pop a bit. Ice it, take your NSAIDs. Take pain meds as needed. Sleeping in the brace locked in extension sucks, but necessary. I was off pain meds after two days, but used Ambien to help me sleep. Worked great and I didn’t have that fuzzy Vicodin feeling.

    I only had to wear my brace for two weeks, it felt very weird after that and I had to ween off it. I am ~11 weeks. I feel like I plateaued a bit with healing, so I am waiting for clearance to cycle, run, etc, I need to get more active. The closed chain stuff is getting boooooring.

    Hang in there. We’re here if you need to bounce something off of us.

    –Frank

  216. thanks for th comments – sleeping is still tough (watching star wars marathons) but feeling pretty good while not moving much. Was able to do my first Straight leg raise today (day 7) and head to doc tomorrow to get first check up.
    hope all goes well.

  217. Hello All ! (30 yr old female, TEXAS, rt knee, allograft, active/runner before injury on 21apr11)

    Lori, Thank you for the comments / info about the brace/driving/time off. I’m on Day 3 (counting surgery day as Day 1).

    I had to laugh at myself a little earlier as I watched The Early Show, sipping GingerAle through a straw, leg in CPM,in my brother’s old room at my parents house!

    I didn’t realize how wonderful the femoral block was until today, when I felt more pain.

    My knee feels pretty stiff and heavy and the incision sites sting. I have been keeping it iced, but I can’t really tell that it is doing anything. I can’t really feel the ice.

    The CPM isn’t so bad. I’m glad that I was doing lots of squats and lunges and such during the months prior to surgery. I’m also glad that my left leg is strong as this is my saving grace when going potty. haha.

    I was sick coming out of anesthesia, though not from the anesthesia, but from the nurse giving me 2 hydrocodone on an empty stomach, er, on a 2 cracker stomach. I don’t do so well with meds on an empty stomach and I was nausous the rest of the evening.

    I was out of it, and my mom can’t remember what the doctor said about what exactly they did during surgery. I called the dr’s office and left a message yesterday, and called again today. I spoke with a nurse who told me that my dr’s PA said that I had an ACL repair. I told her that I know that, that is what I went in for but I wanted to know what, if anything was done to the meniscus and/or MCL. My mom does seem to remembersomething about that, just nothing definite. The nurse on the phone said I would find out more at my post-op.

    My post-op is not until around 20Sep, and I will not have any physical therapy until after that appt.

    Does anyone have any tips on showering? I’m attempting tonight. I need to get this down before Saturday, my birthday (yay!) when more family and the boyfriend are coming over.

    ~valerie
    ps, David, it looks like we are just a week apart in surgery… buddies? :)

  218. VW…..welcome to the world of recovery! It seemed to go by fairly quickly for me. You should be ahead of the game since you were working your quads prior to surgery.

    I showered the day after surgery. However, my surgical bandages were removed at PT which was also the day after surgery. My stitches were all internal, so I didn’t have to worry about anything getting wet. Your situation may be different. I was able to stand without my brace. My husband helped me climb over the tub until I was situated under the water.

    Yes, using the bathroom presents another challenge. It will be MUCH easier once your brace is unlocked though.

    Good luck, and happy birthday! Nothing like a new ACL for a birthday present!

    Christina

  219. Yay, new ACL !! New-to-me, ACL, thank you donors!

  220. Christina,
    My stitches are on the outside.

  221. Yay to you guys for your successful recent surgeries!

    One thing to keep in mind, and this is important: Each week your knee will feel better than it did the week before and you will be able to do more, so don’t get depressed. If you can’t do something today (like lift the leg), just remember you WILL be able to do it in a few days time.

    Okay, showering. I made a mess of the bathroom because I showered with one leg in the tub and one leg out. Put lots of towels or rugs on the floor so you don’t slip. Tell someone in the house they will have to pick up said towels when you’re done. LOL!

    To anyone who feels like you must shave your legs post-op… be very careful. Since the area is so numb, it’s easy to nick yourself with a razor. (Yeah, I did it twice)

    I am at 5 weeks post-op, hamstring autograft. The hammy doesn’t hurt at all. Yes, the hamstring muscles are weak, but that’s what PT is for.

    The brace and I were close friends for 4 weeks. I had to sleep in it locked. DAVID / I still have trouble sleeping. The knee does wake you up quite a bit. Not necessarily from pain, but from, hmm, how do I put this… it just seems to have a lot to say over the course of the night.

    My PT just started me on the bike this week. 10 minutes with very little resistance. Oh, it feels sooo good. I had a lot of pain directly under my kneecap for the first three weeks during PT, but that is getting better and better every couple of days. Flexion is at 135 and extension is full (0). Doing 40# leg presses at PT, lots of balance stuff and exercises that simulate climbing stairs. I’m not even close to being cleared for horses yet. I can muck my own stalls and groom my horses, but I cannot lead them around or do any horse handling. I almost swung a golf club the other day, not realizing that would be off limits, too. I’m not a golfer so I never even thought about the damage I could do. Plus, my doc and PT didn’t speak of it because really, I’m all about horses… not golf balls. LOL! It was my 8-year-old daughter who stopped me at the 11th hour.

    One last tip of the day: Make sure you massage around your incisions. Some people get really hearty scar tissue which is all tight and nasty. Massaging helps loosen it up. It’s creepy feeling, but necessary.

    Cheers to y’all. It’s football season at least…!

  222. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    3 month post-op appt today, strength 5/5, definition 5/5, flex and extension are full.

    Cleared to run (straight), golf, cycle (street, no mountain). No cutting for 6 more months.

    Now I am nervous! :)

  223. Day 16 and i am improving daily. got my flexion to 122 at PT. Still swollen and tough to sleep though.

  224. Mo (42yrs male allograft 9/9)

    It is a very helpful and encouraging website especially Lori and FB’s comments. Had a knee injury in june playing racket ball. Today I am 6th day post op allograft. I am off of the pain meds except for otc pain meds and recovery is going well. Have gone to 2 pts appointments. Been able to do 30 quads, 30 side leg raises, 10 straight leg raises, flexion 92 and able to walk without crutches at the end of the pt session, but still using crutches otherwise.

  225. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Hey Mo – Welcome!

    Your recovery sounds great so far. Did you have any other damage? Are you in a full brace?

    My doc stressed immediate weight bearing, flex and extension – worked great for me, but all of my other damage (besides the ACL) was healed in the time from injury to surgery, so recovery was much easier than some others.

    –Frank

  226. Mo (42yrs male allograft 9/9)

    FB,

    Thanks. Acl and the Frayed Cartilage was the only damage in my case. He just smoothed the cartilage during surgery.
    Yes, I am in full bace. I only wear it before I go to bed , visit my PT or a restaurant etc. At home I just keep it covered with an ACE compression sleeve.

    I have been weight bearing since 3rd day but being very careful and not to over exert.
    Trying to bring swelling down so I can improve my flexion. Today being the 7th day post op I guess it is normal. It will be lot nicer

  227. Hi,

    Blog newbie here. I am 32 yrs old and consider myself fairly active. I tore my ACL on Monday playing vball. MRI results have shown that the ACL was completely torn and i have a grade I MCL sprain. Meniscus is intact as far as they can tell. I live in NJ but am looking to get the surgery done at the HSS in NYC. Thanks so much for all the information that everyone has shared thus far. My big question is whether or not use an autograft (my hamstring) or an allograft. The whole using cadaver parts freaks me out a bit, but in reading a lot of these entries it sounds like allograft is more common, leads to faster recovery, and can be just as succesful. My surgeon, however, said that since I’m considered young and active, that the hamstring would be preferred which initially I was very happy with, but in reading more information online and asking friends, I have heard some horror stories about your hamstring being weaker and worrying about other injuries later on. Dr told me that the hamstring tendon grows back in like 8-10 months and few problems have been found, but feel like maybe its more common than they made it seem. Another concern is that if the Dr wants to use my hamstring, is it a bad idea to go against that – he should know best, right? Any suggestions/thoughts/opinions? Thanks

  228. Mo (Male 42, Allograft)

    Monica,

    Here is what my doc told me. 1% infection chances with autograft and 2% with allograft.

  229. Mo (Male 42, Allograft)

    So, lets say that if the chances of infection were 10-15% I would have selected Autograft

  230. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Alright peeps – here is my update from the weekend!

    Saturday, took a bike ride with the family, they were with me for the first 2.5 miles (my daughter is 6, so her little bike and legs weren’t up for much more than that), I rode another 2.5 to see how I’d manage – no issues, no pain!

    Sunday – Played in a golf tourney (scramble) with the boys. I was targeting only playing the short game but I did take a couple bigger hacks. I did not take any 100% full, mostly in the 75% range. Wow did it feel good to get back!

    Highlight of the day – we were 235 yds out on a par 5 to a elevated green, used my Callaway 3+ wood and stuck it about 10′ pin high, then we sank the eagle putt :)

    Going to try to do spin class tonight. Time to get back in shape….

    How is everyone feeling? Hope you are all well….

    –Frank

  231. Lori (41yr, Allograft repair 6/30)

    Hi all,

    Well the last time I posted on the blog I was going to attempt to go to the gym. Well that did pan out due to some problems with my key to the gym.

    So I went today (9/19) for my 12-week visist I am a few days shy. I have a little more freedome as my dr stated. No cutting sports until the 6-month mark. But other than that everything else looks good. I am still having some intermitten pain under my knee cap, and at the top tibia, he said with everything they did in there it will take some time to heal and that is normal.
    So I got my gym keys sort of working and went and did a work out at the gym, I took it kind of slow. 10-min bike, 10-min eliptical and some light weights, but NO LEG EXTENSIONS. My leg is tired but it feels wonderful. I can’t remember when my knee felt this good. I betting my ACL was gone way before the soccer inccident, because it feels more stable than a year ago.
    Lori

    PS: FB how about a work out buddy? To compare what is working and what is not? Or anybody eles out there that has graduated from PT.

  232. Lori (41yr, Allograft repair 6/30)

    I sure wish I could type tonight. I am exhausted, due to sick family members, and pulling extra shifts at work.
    Sorry for the tupos in my post.
    Lori

  233. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    @Monica, I can only speak from experience with my allograft, I’ve had no issues, I was back on my feet quickly. I’ve had friends at work that have had all grafts fail (from cutting sports), so I don’t think there is any bionic solution out there.

    If I were 32, it would have made my decision harder, since I was playing lots of softball, hockey and flag football at that time. Now it’s biking, running and up until the injury, vball.

    The only real questions I see are – weakinging of the hammy and fastening of the graft (no bone plugs?)

    Hope you are feeling better!

    @Lori – whatcha thinkin? The things I know I cant do yet physcially are sprint and so into a full catchers position.

  234. Thanks so much for this blog and all of the responses!

    I was recently diagnosed with an ACL tear with a complex tear of the meniscus. It seemed to happen in early August of this year, but it could have been as far back as June. I’m not really sure.

    At any rate, after much deliberation, I am having the autograft done next Friday. I turn 35 next month and until recently played baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and tennis on a regular basis. I work as an attorney and I have been assured by my surgeon that I will be able to return to work, with crutches and a brace, by Tuesday – with a return to work-related travel by early November. I’m hopeful that his assessment is accurate, but from reading the comments here, I’m skeptical. Either way, I have made up my mind to have the surgery. Wish me luck!

  235. 50% chance of osteoarthritis is very high. What determine who gets osteoarthritis, and who doesn’t? Correct placement of graft? Post-surgery rehab?
    I have heard chances of arthritis are minimized by double bundle ACL reconstruction*. Has anyone considered it or gone through it? What made you decide for or against it?
    I tore my right knee ACL (confirmed by MRI) & potentially even left knee ACL (similar mechanism of injury & symptoms) playing ultimate frisbee. I am 35 yrs old male and don’t want to slow down yet. I am also an avid hiker & climber and I punish my knee a lot carrying loads in excess of 60 lbs up and down the mountains. So Osteoarthritis after 10 yrs is a super big concern for me. I don’t plan to pack up by bags at 45.
    Also, does anyone know of a good surgeon in Seattle area that does double bundle ACL? I would atleast like to get his opinion before I decide on single vs double bundle. If I go for single bundle, I would probably go for allograft so as not to weaken my hamstring which plays a major role in stabilizing the joint.
    *http://www.orthosupersite.com/view.aspx?rid=27491
    *http://www.orthonet.pitt.edu/content/DoubleBundle.htm

    Thanks & happy recovery to all who went through this tough period.
    _vinay_
    PS: Excellent blog Eric. Thanks for posting it.

  236. Hi – I have been reading many of the posts which have been very helpful…they are also making me more anxious. I am scheduled for ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair this Friday, Oct.7 . I am very indecisive about allograft vs. autograft and if autograft – patella or hamstring. I am 42 with 2 boys, 6 and 2. This is a 10 year old injury that I have put off for one reason or another.

    My only concern about allograft is the potential for disease transmission. I know they say the likelihood is low, but I would be more reassured if stats were zero chance. Does anyone have any input on this?

    Also, Valerie (vwfrog), can you tell me what this wierd soap you mentioned is? I assume it is to decrease chance of infection?

    Also, I live on the Seacoast in NH if anyone has any advice good/bad on docs, PTs etc.
    Thanks in advacne for any info you can provide!!
    ~Laura

  237. lorib (age 48, L injured 6/11, allograft 9/26/11, Kaiser)

    @Laura,

    If you check the entry that appears just before yours, @Vinay references a credible document which addresses your concern about the safety of donor tendons: “Allograft tissue is comprehensively screened by tissue banks for diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV. However, nothing is 100% safe. The risk of HIV transmission is 1 in 1.6 million, and hepatitis C, which 1 in 421,000.18 These are very minimal risks and allografts are frequently utilized during ligament reconstruction surgery. For comparison, your risk of being struck by lightening is higher (73 people are struck and die each year from lightening!) than your risk of contracting disease from allograft tissue.”

    Good luck to you.

    +1 Thanks to Eric for this helpful discussion :)

  238. I tore my acl and recently had surgery using my hamstring. Im hoping to.be able to.play soccer in March which is about 6 moths(the estimated amount for me to be back) this is the last year for.me to play high school soccer since im a senior so i would appreciate if you could tell me the percentage of re tearing my acl again after 6 months. Is it a bad idea to play?

  239. Lori (allograft 6/30 & 41yrs old)

    Hi Cristhian,

    I had my first acl done 18-yrs ago I did it playing softball it was the patella graft. I played softball the year after having it done, without a brace. I had my last acl on the same leg done in June. I am now getting fit for a brace. My dr. told me that the reason my acl failed was the position it was done it was too high. If you like to play explain this to your physical therapist (PT) and your physician about a brace. I can not wait until my 6-month mark so I can start to play sports. Just do what you are told to do by your PT, you are going to have some hard days but just work through it like you do when you are having a bad day at practice or a game. I can tell you that my knee has not felt this stable for a while. I am doing things now such as lunges and squats. You can not let fear of tearing your acl get in the way of something you enjoy doing. Yes, there is that chance that you can tear it again, but that can happen doing other things than playing sports. I was talking to a friend that had her knee done in August and I had told her when I had mine done. She was surprised that I was walking without a limp.
    Have a good recovery and keep your head up.
    Lori D.

  240. Lori (allograft 6/30 & 41yrs old, Ut.)

    Hey Peeps and Peepetts,

    Well I had to take it easy this weekend. On Wed. I was sitting on the couch and all of sudden I got this painful burning sensation that went length ways down my knee and on my top of my calf. Later on that night it went away and then came back on Friday, but it was too late to call my dr. so I called my PT and he told me that to ice it and to take it easy this weekend. Most likely I have some fasheitis going on and if it continues to come in and he would take a look at it. Today if feels fine and heading to the gym in the morning.
    I am ready for fall, but I am not ready for the storms, I can feel it, my knee is sorer and a little stiff. We went from 80′s down to the 40′s in two days, rain and hail in the valley and snow in the mountains long pant weather. This week we are back up to the 70′s shorts back out.

    Lori
    Played catch with the football with my youngest son felt great.

  241. I was pushed over (by a pile of boxes on a runaway pallet truck) and twisted and fell badly on May 28th this year After initially seeing a pretty useless doctor, I was sent for an MRI scan by a different doctor three weeks later which revealed a meniscus tear (two in fact) and also that my ACL was “gone”. I had surgery to repair the cartilage on June 29th and then spent the next 7 weeks or so doing PT, but while wearing a brace. Just when I felt almost able to walk properly again, on August 20th I had the ACL reconstructed (using the hamstring as opposed to the patella tendon).

    No almost two months on, I am walking fairly well without using my crutches at all (was using one crutch for almost 6 weeks). I didn’t get offered a CPM machine or a cryo cuff (perhaps it’s only you guys in the states that get it, I don’t know), so was just exercising (gently) at home, as much as I could. I was seeing my PT once a week and sometimes our sessions were in a hydrotherapy pool. I started going back to the gym this week, after 4 months away, and have been able to cycle, use the cross trainer and row.

    What I really want to do is get back to running and spin classes, but it seems I’m some way off that at the moment. The more I read about this injury, the more depressed I get. I really just want to feel normal again, but I’m not sure I ever really will.

    It’s silly, but one of the worst things is not being able to wear high heels anymore. I’m so desperate to get back into them – over the last few months I’ve bought several more, but despite all my PT and hydrotherapy, it’s just not possible. It hurts too much.

    Sorry about coming on here and just moaning. I’m at work and should be working, but sometimes thoughts of my knee just seem to take over.

    I am on the road to recovery and in my heart I believe I will get there – I just wish the road wasn’t so long….

    Eve

  242. Lori (41yr. 6/30 allograft, Ut)

    Hi Eve,
    Keep your head up we have all had thoses days and don’t keep thinking about your knee. Dwelling on what is going on with it just makes you more depressed. When I would get to that point I just think in say 3-months I get to play basketball with my boys, but right now I am doing my best to keep myself active and my knee moving. Also when I get to that point, I would have my little BlOw-Up and then start working harder at what I was doing. I am now just over 16-weeks post-op and I feel great, I don’t walk with a limp except when I get tired which is at the end of my 3-12 hour shifts.
    My dr. at my 12-week post op released me to do more activity except for cutting type sports. I don’t wear high heels very much but the the other day I wore some it felt weird but I did ok. I made sure I had other shoes to change into when I felt it was time to take them off.

    Lori

    An on another note, I was walking at work yesteday and rolled my right ankle almost fell and would have landed on the left knee but didn’t. So I tweeked it and now today my ankle is sore along with my knee. I can’t limp on either leg. : )

  243. Mo (42yrs male allograft 9/9)

    Hello All,
    5 week post op. Still got some overall healing going on. Having some issues with swelling and flexion.
    Flex is not moving past 130 for last 10 days. I wonder if it is normal? How did flex improved for you all. Any, input would be helpful. Thanks.

  244. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Hey Mo – are you icing? Swelling will impede flexion. By week 5 I was almost at full flex, but when I swelled, I lost some flex.

  245. @Mo,
    You seem to be doing great… I’m not sure what flexion on your good leg is, but 130 is pretty much near full range (which is 135 according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons). If you are getting this far moving it on your own at 5 weeks, that is great. Full active range is not usually gained until around week 12 in most rehab protocols.

    For the swelling, try applying pressure with your hands and pushing it into the space in the back of your knee. There are lymph nodes there and they can remove the fluid.

    Hope this helped,
    Justin

  246. I just like the helpful info you supply in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at again here frequently. I’m quite sure I will be informed many new stuff proper here! Good luck for the next!

  247. Mo (Male 42, Allograft)

    Thanks guys for the info. I am doing good otherwise. I can walk almost without a limp. Full extension. At work most of the day so ice is only once or twice per day. I guess I will have to increade it.
    As for the flexion on my good leg is, I think they measured it right at 140. So I am 10 degees behind. I will try pressure technique also. Thanks again.

  248. Mo (42yrs male allograft 9/9)

    oh, also sharp pains around knee cap area when I squat is another issue for past 2 weeks now. I hope I am not having a scar tissue problem. Thanks.

  249. Lori (allograft 6/30 & 41yrs old, Ut.)

    Hey Mo.
    I have been having that also. My dr. and pt told me this will go away in time. My Pt just told me to ice it. How much swelling do you have? I know when my knee is swollen I notice it more.

    Lori

  250. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Mo/Lori – I have had some sharp pains around the knee cap on occasion. The elliptical/spin bike actually helps the pain.

    Are you squatting far like down into like a catchers position?

  251. Mo (42 yrs, Allo 9/9)

    Thanx, Lori/FB. Most of the swelling is above and below the knee cap. I am only doing mini squats at this point.
    It is good to know that sharp pains around knee cap are a common issue. So, I will just ice more and try elliptical in a week or so. Thanks.

  252. Hi guys I am 43 year old male that tore my ACL playing soccer, went with allograft, was completely terrified about the surgery and all of the stats of failure. Does not help that my wife is a physician and a researcher and was able to rattle off all of the cons. 4 weeks out and I feel fine, no pain even after surgery and I am now doing stairs, lost very little muscle mass. I can do the single leg balance for 3 minutes on the bad leg bounding a ball or kicking a soccer ball wiht the good foot so that impressed my PT. Doing leg presses both legs with 200lbs and can do wall squats for 2 minutes, can also do leg raises with 5 lbs on the bad leg for 1 minute holds. All in all the leg is fine, no pain full flexibility.

    I am more concerned about being able to play soccer again since I have heard not so good things about allografts – more for sedentary, prone to reinjury, laxity, etc. Not sure how much was due to people going back too soon or how much is due to choice of graft.

  253. Kate (49, female)

    Hello All,

    Looking to tap into the collective wisdom here, particularly from other mature, active women.

    I was injured in June. The initial x-ray & subsequent MRI confirmed a complete ACL rupture, partial tear of the medial meniscus, and a small fracture at the head of the fibula. My orthopedist recommended an ACL reconstruction; the meniscus will be repaired with a few stitches at the same time. Here are my questions:

    1) Allograft or autograft. I’m fairly set on allograft, but I have lingering concerns, particularly tissue rejection and/or immune/inflammatory responses. I’ve also heard that women have poorer results with allografts than men. Does anyone have any recent scientific references on this? I’m finding that much of what’s out there online is only available to subscription-holders. Wisdom from personal experience would be welcome, too.

    2) Rehab. I’ve heard that despite less pain & quicker recovery of range of motion, the allograft actually takes longer to heal, so patients should follow a more conservative rehab protocol than the more aggressive, accelerated protocols that are common today with autograft procedures. What were your experiences? Again, any scientific references or personal wisdom would be appreciated.

    3) Continuous Passive Movement device. Has anyone with an allograft used one during rehab?

    3) Anesthesia. I’m inclined toward general anesthesia. I’ve never had problems with it in the past, but for an arthroscopic procedure? it seems kind of drastic… My only experience with an epidural was during the birth of my first child – and I did not like it – so I’m inclined toward something else. Any recommendations?

    Thanks, Henry, for posting this blog; and thanks, in advance, to you all for any advice you can share.

  254. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Kate;

    Sorry to welcome you to the club. I am a male, and not really that mature :P but I will try and help.

    1 and 2) Search this forum for my posts, I kinda chronicle a day to day, week to week status for a while. I am 17 weeks today, and did the standard rehab (protocol was the same for allo/auto from my doc). The last four weeks, I have logged 12 hours of spinnng, 40 miles of biking, and I can run about 2 miles without any discomfort. I even stepped back onto the vball court with my team (just to run around and move a bit, testing my agility a bit, but I didn’t play). I was on my feet the same day (crutches) and by Sunday (op was Friday), I was off pain meds (narcotic) and I attended a Phillies game with the fam. If I had to do it again, I’d do it this way. I feel normal. No bakers cyst anymore (YAY!!!!) 4 folks at work had ACL recon in the past few months. The two allograft guys (I am one) are OK. The other two were patella and ham. The ham guy complains that his ham pops and may need a touch up surgery. The patella guy is doing ok too. Note, the other allo guy tore his previous graft which was patella. Ain’t no perfect solution out there.

    3) Can’t comment. My CPV was my will to get back on my feet. I had 90* by the next day. Once swelling was down I was at 135 quickly.

    the other 3) :) I was out. Wouldn’t want it any other way. They gave me something to prevent nausea. Woke up like $10^6, no pain, they hit the knee with marcaine (sp) and I had no issues walking out with crutches and putting weight on my leg IMMEDIATELY after surgery. I was very careful tho. The marcaine wore off about 14 hours or so later, pain set in, but I was ahead of the pain with vicodin (which I hate). While it’s arthroscopic, it’s still very involved. there are a bunch of youtubes out there with actual surgery. I am numb to it now, but I almost needed anesthesia to watch the videos.

    Thats my .02. Hope this helps. I can give you my email addy if you want to chat offline.

    Hows my other peeps out there. And a shout out to Henry. This forum was a huge help pre and post. Thank you!!

    Holla…

    –FB

  255. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Forgot to mention, I hit the elliptical 3-4x week for45min, sometimes elliptical in AM, spin after work. I put on about 20# after the injury. I have gotten off about 15 so far, but well on my way to my normal weight. I am much, much more active now.

    –FB

  256. Lori (41yr, allograft 6/30, ut)

    Good for you FB,
    I have been so badddd about going to the gym to workout, I have been so tired after work my 3 12-hour shifts and some extra’s here and there, I haven’t been motivated to go. My flex and extension is fine, but towards the end of the week without taking Ibuprofen still swollen. I also found I am noticing the cold more, since our weather is changing faster than I would like it to. Here’s to hitting the gym after work tonight since I promised my son we would go. : )

    Lori

  257. Thanks for your reply FB.

    I’m on Day 6, post-surgery. Had the ACL reconstructed with an allograft under general anesthesia. Partial medial meniscectomy along with general cleanup of scar tissue, arthritis & bone fragment too.
    So far so good. Daily exercises are great, going to my second PT appt today.

    My only issues are dealing with the gut-wrenching from the oxycodone & motrin, and the discomfort of the brace. Since I’m trying to do a few sets every hour, I’m finding it easier to keep the brace off, except for when I’m needing to walk around or going to sleep. Am I making a mistake with not wearing the brace more? I’m being careful not to put weight on it when I do stand & take a few steps. I guess since I’m not taking the full dose of pain meds, I feel the brace more now, so I’m inclined to leave it off unless its absolutely necessary. Just want to know what the ramifications are of not wearing it most of the time.

    Did anyone else have trouble with the pain meds? They’re giving me terrible heartburn & acid reflux symptoms… Any suggestions out there for alternatives to the oxycodone that might be easier on the stomach? It doesn’t really seem to make a difference whether I eat when I take them. Tums helps a little…
    Overall, though, I can’t complain. Really glad I got it done, and hoping to be getting around without crutches by thanksgiving.

  258. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    My .02 is to lose the brace when sitting if you can. Quad squeezes whenever you think to do them (I am nearly 5 months post op and I still do them unconsciously), I also put my heel on the coffee table when I am sitting on the couch and not flexing and letting my leg extend. Ice, etc, rinse and repeat. I was told to safely bear weight ASAP.

    I hated the pain meds. Used Aleve from day 3 on. Once I was off the pain meds, beer helped the pain too. :P

    Hope this helps…

    –Frank

  259. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Oh, and as much as it stinks, I wore the brace religiously when sleeping until the > 2 week mark…

  260. Hi, I am 4 weeks post-op from ACL reconstruction and meniscal repair – I posted previously. My main concern is flexion. I am only 115 degrees and that is only when the PT bends my knee back and I am holding my breath in pain. I have also been getting strange grinding pains on the inside of my knee (just to the right of the kneecap) over the past few days. Wondering if this is normal as just part of the healing process?? Also, I see most of you had a brace right after surgery. My doctor did not offer me a brace. What exactly is the purpose of the brace the first couple weeks out from surgery? I am wondering if I should have insisted.
    Thank you!!!

  261. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Hey Laura -

    The brace has a few purposes – to lock you in full extension immediately after surgery and to protect you from hyperextension and overflex. You would be surprised how much you may move around at night, or jump up out of bed to go potty, etc. I also used it when I felt I needed protection from people bumping into me (concerts, baseball games, etc).

    WRT to your flex, are the pains from a grinding? Or is the swelling causing funky creaking sounds – thats what I had. Do you have lots of swelling? Are you cleared to increase your flex? If you are, I like to do the stretch where I take my foot, pull it up behind me, and rest it on a chair, or stationary bike and force my quad to stretch. I do that often, and I can now sit in a catchers position – full crouch comfortably.

    BTW, it wasnt clear on which knee (assuming left from your descriptions) and what graft did you go with?

    Hope this helps…

    –Frank

  262. Lori (allograft 6/30 & 41yrs old, Ut.)

    Hi Kate

    You are lucky, I could not take motrin for two weeks from my surgery date. Are you taking it with food or milk this may help. Also if you are experiencing some nausea you can ask your dr about having a prescription for phenergan (anti nausea medication).
    I was locked for almost 3-weeks, I took it off while sitting, the brace is a pain but worth it.
    If any questions ask your dr or physical therapist.

    Lori

  263. Hello there, I found your web site by the use of Google whilst searching for a similar matter, your web site came up, it appears good. I’ve bookmarked to favourites|added to bookmarks.

  264. Thx, Frank for your input. To answer your question, I had an allograft on my left knee. I wish I had a brace for all the reasons you mentioned, but too late for that now. I don’t think I did any damage by not having a brace. I hope anyway. I don’t have any creaking sounds. What I have been hearing is some cracking (like cracking your knuckles – not painful) and the grinding is almost like the feeling I had with my torn meniscus only I am not locking up like I did before I had it repaired. It is painful, but has improved over the weekend with increased exercise. Hopefully, it will just go away. I did go from 115 degrees flexion to 125 degrees today…so that’s good. Anyway,thx for your insight.

  265. Lori (allograft 6/30 & 41yrs old, Ut.)

    Hi Laura
    I had a allograft also on my left knee. My was simular but instead of grinding I had like a burning sensation. But as the swelling goes away so does the burning sensation. Good job with your flextion,
    up with the good work.

    Hey all,
    I finally made it to the gym, I did 20-minutes on the bike, leg sled, thigh abductors and lunges (I have not done these for a very long time) everything felt very good. I am alittle stiff but this is good, might go back later tonight if my son get’s his homework done in time.

    Lori

  266. Amen amen for this blog. Lori / Mo / FB, I’m glad to hear you guys also had kneecap pain. I mean not glad you had it, but glad I’m not the only one. I’m at 13 weeks post op after autograft. Hammy is still weak but quad is coming back. Doc cleared me to bike, walk, jog, just no cutting sports. I got on a horse for the first time in seven months. The tendons at the incision / harvest site were pretty ouchy and my abductors – I think that’s what they’re called – were very weak.

    New pain and swelling. Not worse, just different. It’s like the pain type and location moves around every couple of weeks. So I am back to icing it at the end of the day. It’s not real ouchy, just sore.

    Still numb over the shin, too. Geez this takes a long time. I’m so happy to read your continued posts Lori and FB. You two are about a week or so ahead of me, so it’s really helpful to read what you experience first.

    Nice job dropping the weight, FB. I, for one, am glad I got the green light to start moving again. Feels good! As for riding… all I can do is sit there for the time being. Thank goodness I’m able to hop on quiet gent of a horse. Very specific set of muscles though…muscles that have been neglected in my PT.

  267. Hi all from sunny Malaysia!
    Played a 5-a-side soccer game (futsal for short) on the 28th. Was barely on the pitch for 2 minutes when a friend stepped on the ball and fell over my right knee. All I knew was this electric shock rushing to my brain. Knee immediately swollen – placed an ice pack and someone “donated” his knee brace to me. After about 20mins, drove off, with my 3 y.o. kid in tow, to the h’tal, where an x-ray was taken. No fractures, but the GP booked me an appointment with the resident specialist the day after.

    Next morning, took an MRI Scan, and after looking at the pics, the specialist confirmed my ACL was completely torn and my MCL was damaged. So, he popped the qstn – “When can we do the op?” I was still taking everything in, and I’ll be the 1st to admit, surgery wasn’t what I had envisaged :(

    Then, one of my office mates suggested popping over (pun intended!) to another knee specialist who’s a pioneer in stem cell regeneration. Met him, but due to the condition of my ACL, there’s nothing to “re-generate”! However, he’s advocating allograft ACL surgery, which according to him would mean quicker healing time and won’t involve taking anything else from my body.

    Personally, I am a bit scared of the traditional way of surgery, i.e. take away my h’string to replace my missing ACL. Plus, it’s time consuming – 6 weeks in the long brace + 6 weeks using the knee brace. Also, am scared it’ll weaken my h’tring (I already have an issue with my h’strings).

    My main priority is to get back to work ASAP (just joined my new company for 2 1/2 weeks!) and having 2 kids (both boys) means I need to be mobile quick too. As for my sporting activities, I’m pretty sure a good long rest now (9-12 months lay off) would only mean i can enjoy playing my sports better in the long run.

    Hope you guyy (and gals) can share your thots on ACL surgery, in general, and allograft ACL, i n particular.

    Nizam

  268. Just got ACL surgery today! Had an allograft because my brother had ACL surgery twice and used each type of graft, he was in much less pain with the all graft and he feels his strength is fully back.

    I torn mine playing basketball and got surgery a month and a few days after, felt great before surgery but I knew sports would never be the same again if I didn’t get surgery. Anyways, It’s 2: 12 AM and the surgery has my sleeping schedule all out of wack haha. Perhaps the worst part of the surgery is the amount of times you need to urinate after ( from the IV) . I think I’ve gone at least once every 1.5 hours.

    I am able to walk around on my crutches with ease ( yes it’s the first day) , had very little nausea and I felt bright and alert soon after surgery. I had my surgery at Duke hospital, which is a very high end facility with doctors who really know their stuff.

    In my surgery I got a nerve block where basically they take an ultra sound machine and find the nerves going to my knee,then they inject them to numb my whole leg up. I still underwent general anesthesia but the nerve block supposedly reduces 80% of the pain, and I think they are right cause I’m in 0 pain right now. If you are considering getting this surgery, ask for a nerve block !

  269. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    @Brent, your day one experience sounds alot like mine. Interested to hear on how you progress.

    @Nizam, it will take quite a while, but if you read from the top, you will learn lots of experiences from lots of people. I learned alot here, and I post quite often to try and help others. I am only speaking from my experience, but I am thrilled I went with an allograft, and I am nearly back after 4.5 months.

    Good look to all of you!

    –Frank

  270. Hi Frank!

    Yes, it has taken me a while to go thru’ the all the posts, but it’s been worth the time spent doing so! I’ve done my own research too, and if I may add, the op is not the only factor to consider. A doctor friend of mine advised to look at the “after sales” service, i.e. the follow ups & physios post-op. The better the service, the speedier my recovery would be.

    Am due to have a follow up with the specialist this Wednesday, and will definitely have a long chat to find out more on allograft surgery.

    Nizam.

  271. Hey all, thought I’d check in & give an update.

    Tomorrow will mark my 3rd week post-op and recovery is going pretty well. Started working with weights today (yay!); flexing to 120, -5 extension. Saw the doc last week for my 1st post-op visit & got the ok to ditch the crutches as long as I wear the brace (locked). Doc gave me a script for Mobic (NSAID) to reduce inflammation & swelling; taking tylenol for pain, which takes the sharp throbbing from 6-7 to a tolerable 4-5 dull ache. Ive been rationing the hydrocodone that I brought home from the hospital; I only take one bout an hour before PT. Scar tissue has formed in a couple of places, so I’ve been massaging with a few different ointments in the hopes that it’ll breakup & re-absorb. The worst pain is fairly localized at the ACL incision where the screws attach the graft to the bone – I guess that’s why they call it “bone pain.” Still icing every chance I can. Overall, I’m pretty happy with my progress, just annoyed with the pain. Not sure what I’ll do when I run out of the hydrocodone… Don’t really want to ask for a refill – guess I’ll just have to wait & see.

    I’m really glad you’re all here, so I can touch base & learn from you all. Thanks!

  272. Lori (41-yr. allograft 6/30/11)

    Hi all.

    So I have had to slow down on thing this week due to pain and swelling. So I help with flu shot clinics, and I did one last wed. no big deal . EXCEPT since I am a pediatric nurse I got to do the kids flu shots at this particular clinic. Most of them did really well except for 2 older kids they were between 8 and 10 yrs old. They fought hit and kicked, you guest it I took two hard kicks to my left knee. I couldn’t cry I just had to finish the mission of giving the shots. It hurt so bad. When the one kick it, then he slid his foot down from the knee to the middle of my shin. So it has been a week and knee is stiff, a little pain and swelling. I am going to try and get a hold of my dr. or pt tomorrow, the only problem with that is I am also working and have worked the last two days. Oh yeah and we have a major winter storm heading our way on Friday night to sat. afternoon. So long story short my knee has been a little uncomfortable, but I am not allowing my self to limp.
    Sorry for unloading or doing a pity party type thing on here, just frustrated that I had to take it easy and having soreness again.
    If I don’t post before next week I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

    Lori ;o)

  273. P.S. forgot to mention I walked out of PT yesterday with brace unlocked, which means I’m ok to drive. Freedom is awesome! Took a carload of teenagers to see midnite premiere of the new Twilight movie last nite. Had to shift around in my seat a lot to keep from getting too stiff, and I brought an extra ice pack with me in one of those stay-cold shopping bags (having a few reusable hot/cold gel packs with the elastic velcro strap tucked in the freezer are a must). Felt almost normal – finally!

  274. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    @Kate – “The worst pain is fairly localized at the ACL incision where the screws attach the graft to the bone – I guess that’s why they call it “bone pain.”

    I had that too for a while, was the leading cause of pain for me. Didn’t think it would go away, but it did. Don’t worry :) I felt so liberated when I could drive again. 8 days felt like 8 years. Good to hear things are getting better!

    @Lori, sorry to hear about your week. Hopefully you get some time to heal this week!

    For me, Turkey Bowl #50 on Thursday (well, #15 for me), and I definitely plan to run some patters. I will keep the change of direction to a minimum, but I am going to try and bait a couple of the young guys who will think I am hurt and cant outrun them. 5 months post-op on Thursday!

    Happy Thanksgiving all :)

    –Frank

  275. Hi all,

    It’s been a while since I posted on here and the last time I was pretty loamy (thanks Lodi for hour MSG). I am now at 3 months post op, having had a hamstring reconstruction on my right knee. Things were going reasonably well, but while driving last weekend I felt my knee click/crack in a painful way (while moving from brake to accelerator). Anyhoo, since then it keeps clicking when I walk/do various actions. It’s not as painful as it was, but it’s pretty uncomfortable. I wasn’t due to see my Physio tip mid-dec, but I saw her on thurs just so she could check it out. After doing a few tests she now thinks I’ve torn the cartilage (I had two cartilage tears repaired a couple of months before having my acl surgery). I’m going to go back go the doctor and will probably have another MRI scan, really just hoping right now that any damage caused I’d minor enough to repair itself. Really hoped to be more positive on my second post, maybe the third time will be the charm… I thought I’d be in my new louboutins by my birthday, but that’s now only a couple of weeks away and even very low heels are painful, let alone 5 inch ones!

  276. *pretty moany

  277. Sorry, my typing in my previous message is awful (first time using a touchscreen phone). I meant to say thanks to Lori!

  278. Greetings all! Thank you for this blog it has been very helpful!

    I am a 29 yr old female who somehow ended up on the bottom of a tackle pile in a game of FLAG football in October. My right ACL was completely torn and I partially tore the MCL. Meniscus is in tack!

    It has taken about 4 weeks for the swelling to go down. My ROM is currently 73, which is a vast improvement from my 41, measured two weeks after the injury. The doc needs the ROM to be at 100 before surgery, which is tentatively scheduled for Dec 23 (Merry Christmas to me!). I am opting to do the allograph. I have been working hard with the PT to get the ROM back, but the MCL pain is making it extremely difficult to bend the knee (aside from a bone grinding pain that is movement situational).

    What has everyone’s experience been with ROM before surgery?

    I have been on crutches since the Oct 23 accident and just want to be able to start the “real” healing process after surgery!

  279. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Hey JS – my ROM was near full 135 before the surgery (2+ months after my injury). I like you have had an easy recovery since I didn’t have any meniscus damage and only my acl (allograft) was recon’d. Unlike you I was not on crutches ever before my surgery, the MCL should be healing, but maybe a bad bone bruise? Thats what gave me the most pain…..

    We’re here to help, but I am only able to share my experience….

    –Frank

  280. Hi,
    Just wanted to say how great this forum is! I was doing a Google search about Allograft reconstruction and found you all-thank goodness! I have spent the past 2 hours reading from the middle of 2010 to date just to see how those of you who have had the operation are doing.
    My 16 year old son was playing rugby In New Zealand in the Summer of 2010 when he was tackled.His cruciate in his left knee was snapped and once he was medi-vacced home to Scotland he had an ACL hamstring reconstruction done by a top surgeon here.We were not prepared for the pain he was in post op, we were given just basic over the counter drugs which didn’t touch the sides.Our son was keen to get back to his competitive rugby and worked extremely hard on his physiotherapy.Unfortunately, during the period of recovery he hit puberty with a vengeance and grew 3 inches in height in 8 weeks.No one can tell us if it was a contributory factor but 1 week shy of the 12 month post op mark, he was jogging when his knee collapsed! Upshot is, the graft has torn (the first for his surgeon) and he is to have surgery which is being scheduled as a matter of urgency to be done before Christmas.The surgeon wants to go with the Allograft this time as he has used this method on high performance athletes before here in the UK.The main reason it is not done as often is the expense (this operation is being done on the NHS, not privately) but our surgeon feels our son will have a better outcome.
    Now, I think the people here are the best people to answer any questions so forgive me for being repetitive but this is extremely important to our family.
    1.Our son never wore a brace post surgery last time.He had a lot of bandaging and once that was removed, nothing but crutches for a couple of weeks.We do have a brace that he’s been wearing on and off since he re-damaged the knee but the physio prefers him not to wear one-thoughts anyone?
    2.Over here in the UK, the allograft option is seen to be more favourable for young people but from what I’ve read here, in the States it seems to be the opposite-that it’s older people having this op,this is very confusing and we are keen for our son to have the best chance of recovery…what do you all think?
    3.What else should be asking the surgical team on Monday?
    Any help would be much appreciated from you all-afterall unless you’ve experienced this, it is very difficult to empathise or have an opinion.Our son has struggled emotionally with this more than the physical.This was a young man who was tipped to have a great future in his chosen sport and attends one of the top schools in the country where they train every day.Watching his friends taking to the field when he has to go to the gym and pedal a static bike must be sole destroying…..
    Thanks Folks

  281. Hi Bev,

    Sorry, I don’t have the answers for your questions. Rather, I just want to say that I can empathise with your son in many ways. Tore my right ACL on 28 Oct and currently undergoing physio to strengthen my right leg before undergoing op. After reading up on tons of articles and asking plenty of questions around, allograft would be my preferred option.

    I consider myself to be an active person and enjoy my football. Not being able to do what I enjoy most (now and post-op) for a long while and at the same time seeing others having a good time on the pitch is really a gut wrenching feeling. All I can say is just hang in there and I suppose follow diligently the post-op regime!

    Just ask your son to focus on getting back playing on the pitch!

    Nizam.

  282. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    5 months post op yesterday….

    Played very hard in Turkey Bowl #50 (50 years of friends getting together for TGiving day football). Ran a few young boys down, caught a few passes, made a few defensive stops too! A bit cautious with change of direction from right to left, left to right I was fast again….

    Local news covered the event too: I made like 5 cameo appearances (eagles green shirt, black shorts, sunglasses). http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video/#!/news/top-stories/Turkey-Bowl–Decades-of-Tradition—Football/134471318

    Looking for a January 2012 full return… Happy Holidays all!

    –Frank

  283. Lori (6/30 allograft, U

    To FB,
    I was wondering how your turkey bowl went.

  284. Lori (6/30 allograft, Ut)

    Hi Bev,
    I had my tore my acl twice on the same leg, When I went in for my post-op visit , my dr told me the reason my acl didn’t hold the first time was that the position was too high, I also the patella tendon repair, 18-yrs later had the allograft. Where your son grew so much in such little time that could have cause second injury. I was surprise to see the difference in positioning between the 2 repairs I had, just a thought.

    Lori

  285. Thanks Folks,

    Lori, that’s a very interesting point, will ask the surgeon about that on Monday.I feel unless we have some answers regarding the first graft tearing, it’s difficult to go into the second op optimistically.At least he’ll have the op before Christmas and we can get stuck into rehab.

    Have read much on here about cryo cuffs and CPM machines,do these work do you know or will icing and seeing the physiotherapist have the same effect?

    Nizam – I hope your recuperation continues,it’s most inspiring to read about people who have gone through this recently themselves, especially those who have had the operation twice as it does give us some hope!

    We’re with the surgeon on Monday…fingers crossed…..

  286. Howdy fellow ACL rehabbers! I’m a soon to be 49 y/o female who tore my ACL on 7/31/11 while getting on a jetski. I was in 3 ft. Of water and had all my weight on my left leg getting ready to pull myself up like I’ve done many, many times when a rogue wave came in and quickly turned the jetski at the exact moment I had all of my weight on my leg. I instantly went down in excruciating pain. I knew I really screwed something up, but tearing the ACL never crossed my mind…thought it was a bad meniscus tear. Leg collapsed again as I was trying to get out of the water…it was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced and I shudder when I relive that moment. Immediately iced & elevated the leg. 2 days later an MRI confirmed my worst fear. I’m an extremely active person who’s passion is mountainbike riding & racing, as well as hiking, rollerblading, racquetball….. I was devastated to say the least. Dr. Immediately put me in PT 3x/wk for a month to help build up my quads, but as I’m an avid biker, my quads, hammies, calves were already in top notch condition and I was afraid that the longer I waited for surgery, the more muscle mass I would lose. They still made me go thru PT for the month of Aug. and in Sept. when I got ove the “poor me” stage, I hit the gym & bike hard in preparation for surgery. Since the initial injury, my leg would collapse on me 1x/wk doing the simplest of things, i.e. walking down stairs, dismounting my bike, etc. so I knew I had to have the surgery.

    After much research, I opted for the allograph. I had surgery on 10/5/11 and the Dr. Used an Achilles tendon allograph. The first 3 days post-op were the worst pain-wise and the meds screwed with my mind so I was able to wean myself completely off of them by day 4. Dr. Started me on PT the day after surgery. I had a brace, but wasn’t instructed to wear it so I didn’t. A couple of days into PT my therapist asked why I wasn’t wearing a brace and I told her why. She made me wear it when walking on crutches. My 2wk. Post-op Dr. visit my surgeon told me I don’t need the brace due to my quad strength. I ditched the brace and never looked back.

    I’m now at 7.5 wks. Post-op and feeling pretty good. I do PT 3x/wk and find it very easy. After reading what some people are doing at PT 7 weeks out I feel like I’m behind in the game as I’m not yet allowed to do the elliptical machine and am limited to 15 min. On the bike at easy to mid resistance. My extension is very good now, but it took some painful stretching from my PT to finally get there. Flexion is good, but it still feels weird going up & down stairs. Dr. Said that full flexion won’t come back till 6 months. Im walking pretty good now, but will limp a little on longer (1-2 mile) easy walks.

    I’m at the “danger” stage now as the allograph is at its weakest point from now till wk. 12 and I w told that PT will be very boring for me for a while (like it was ever exciting). The hardest part for me now is that I have so much built up energy that I am having difficulty expelling it. I knew this would be difficult for me, but I didn’t expect that to happen until 4-6 months post-op not 7 wks. I’ have to reel myself in and chill out and take it slowly. I won’t do anything that will cause damage to my new ACL and I won’t rush it, as I don’t want to go through this again and that is what currently motivates me.

    Since surgery I have experienced some sharp stabbing pains on the medial aspect of my knee which really slows me down when it happens as it prohibits me from any weight bearing activities, but this seems to be getting better with time. PT thinks its Plica syndrome, Dr. Thinks scar tissue. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this as Im hoping whatever it is it goes completely away with time. The next hardest part will be mentally as my knee has been so unstable I’ll be afraid to trust it again. This scares me the most!

    Good luck to all who are going through this surgery. It’s tough, but I’m sure the end result will be for the best.

  287. Thank you for every other great article. Where else may just anyone get that type of info in such an ideal means of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for such info.

  288. Lori (allograft 6/30 & 41yrs old, Ut.)

    Hi Bev,
    My dr. had a CPM machine sent to my home on my surgery day and I started it that night.
    I used it at night while I slept, by two weeks I had maxed out the setting and had a flex. So I averaged having it on for about 6-8 hours a night, my instructions were to go up 5-10 degrees each day, I started at 45-degrees. I had a polar ice unit and I believe that this is simular to the cyro cuff. I loved it I used it pretty much all the time while sitting or laying in bed. I wished I would have had that with my first acl surgery.
    My recovery time with this the 2nd surgery was alot faster than my first. But with my first (18-yrs ago) it was an open incision, in patient hospital stay for3 days and it was no weight bearing for 4-weeks, I was on crutches and bulky brace for a total of 8-10 weeks then went down to 1-crutch/bulky brace for 4-6 weeks, then to brace. It was a long process. I played softball the next summer without a brace. With this my second one it was same day surgery, cpm machine, pt started it would have been the next day (but it was the holiday) , crutches/brace 3-weeks, back to work fulltime at 5-weeks. I work as nurse so I am on my feet alot. I feel I have done well with accouple of small set backs when I did a flu shot clinic. I am getting fit for a brace to wear when I am able to start doing cutting type sports, which should be in about month and half.
    Try to get your son to look for a positive in the situation this might help with the mental part of it. Who knows he might meet up with someone that he can help through the injury process.
    Good Luck
    Lori

  289. Hi Everyone,

    So I felt so alone until I stumbled upon this blog!!! In 2006 finally had an MRI and it showed no ACL at all, totally gone! From many years of basketball, snowboarding and being a klutz lol. So at that time I didn’t do any research, I took my surgeon’s word for it and got the allograft for my ACL and had my meniscus shaved and sown.

    So now it’s 2011 and I have torn my ACL again and my meniscus too! I twisted it really good and felt it tear at end of October. I’m scheduled to go for surgery on December 27th. But this time around I’m a single mom of a 13 month old. As of right now I can’t play with her like we used to before this. So I’m wondering to go with another allograft or go with an autograft. I’ve heard different testimonies between the two and am undecided which one will be better circumstances at this time.

    Allograft is less recovery time, less pain, but more likely to tear again. I wasn’t expecting to get this done again!

    Autograft less likely to tear again.

    Between the two how is PT different?

    Thanks ,
    Tavis

  290. Hey can someone suggest me a Good book of ACL rehabilitation, that have a complete acl rehabilitation exercise from the first day of post opperative to the day you come back to the sport!!!

    thanks !!! this will really help me!!!

  291. Hi all,

    I’ve tried to be consistent in going for my PT…which is just a stone’s throw away from my office. But work has been a tumbling block and have been forced to skip a few sessions – which could’ve been helpful in speeding up my flexion, which is now @ 135. Will have a meet-up with the Doc on Monday to discuss the next steps, i.e. when to do the Op. Overall, am able to walk more “normally” and people @ the office thought that I had undergone the Op (I wish!).

    Nizam.

  292. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    NIzam – you are pre-op? I had great flex before that made folks think I was fine, but I wasn’t.

    Erik – no book per se, but plenty of rehab protocols out on the net. I took a little piece from alot of them. Worked so far. Actually getting ready to start volleyball again….. Nervous, but excited…..

    Happy Healing!

    –Frank

  293. Hi Frank,

    Yes, am undergoing pre-op rehab since mid-Nov. with PT 3x/week (or whenever I can!). Monday’s date with the Doc is to put a finger as to when we do the Op.

    Progress wise, am on the static bike now, doing 5 -6kms (3 miles for you I suppose) and doing weigths to strengthen my quads and hamstring. Only complain I have is a minor discomfort at the knee area, which goes away after some stretching activities. Physio told me it could be due to the walking I am doing all day.

    Btw, am walking w/out my knee braces – advisable for me to do so?

    Nizam.

  294. Christina (Right Allo 5/26, Left 12/14 Female 46)

    Hello,

    This is my second round of ACL surgery. Thankfully it’s not because the first surgery failed, but instead, I had torn both of my ACLs. I’m not quite 24 hours out of surgery at this point and am dreadfully awaiting the nerve block to wear off. Last time it wore off at about 3 a.m. and it wasn’t fun!

    Tomorrow I will go for my first round of PT and will have the surgical bandages removed at that point. Then I’ll be able to shower! Thankfully my doctor uses internal stitches, so I don’t have to worry about them getting wet.

    My last surgery was during the warm summer months which unfortunately kept me out of a lot of activities. Of course I still won’t be able to participate in many of the winter activities that I typically enjoy here in Minnesota, but my biggest concern is the ice! Has anyone heard of anything that can be put on crutches to keep them from slipping on snow and ice? I don’t think I’ll need them long, but it’s a concern nonetheless.

    Nizam….I always felt that wearing my brace added so much stability and it helped my gait and therefore reduced the pain. If you’re not sure, put a call into a PT office and ask them what they would suggest. They may be able to help.

    Christina

  295. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    @Nizam – yep, what Christina said WRT the brace. The doc told me after the injury, that i was more at risk from falling and hitting my head on the sidewalk rather than causing any more knee damage. I did feel pretty good with the brace (neoprene). If I didn’t have a stupid big bakers cyst at the time, I may not have gotten the surgery and just used a brace. I am extremely happy I did get the surgery. I feel great now.

    @Christina – good luck, you a real pro now. :P See if this makes sense: http://www.mobility-aids.com/5-cleat-ice-pick-for-canes-and-crutches.html

    Hope this helps!

    –Frank

  296. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)
  297. Christina (Right Allo 5/26, Left 12/14 Female/46

    Thanks, Frank for the info on the grippers for winter. We don’t have snow here yet, so maybe I’ll be off my crutches before it flies.

    I just returned from PT. I have a different therapist this time around because my regular PT was off today. The surgeon wanted to get me in for therapy to get the leg moving right away. It was nice to get the surgical bandages off. Interestingly my knee bled much more this time than it did the last time. One positive to the extra bleeding is that the swelling is WAY less than it was with my other knee. I was put on the CPM machine today. I never used one with my previous PT. It felt great to get the leg moving again. What is a typical setting for the first post-op visit? I had set at 70. Since I’ve never used the CPM before, I don’t know if that’s a typical setting, or not. After the CPM machine I did some heel slides, which didn’t feel too great and also did some leg lifts, which were pretty painful. I will go back tomorrow for more!

    Hopefully I’ll get more sleep tonight. It’s such a production turning in bed with that blasted brace on! I ended up ditching the sheet during the night because it kept getting tangled. I found that a small blanket seems to work better. During the summer months I didn’t worry so much about blankets! Any suggestions?

  298. Hi all,

    Christina – rather liked the way you said “I will go back tomorrow for more!” Hope to be as positive as you are post-op!

    Frank – Will contact my PT and ask him about the knee brace.

    On another note, does anyone know how long it’ll be before we can resume work post-op? Was made to understand that it’ll probably take 1 month before we can start working – reason is that we have to undergo PT on a daily basis.

    Fyi, am doing work mostly from my desk @ the office. Reason for me asking is that the bosses are just giving me approx. 2 weeks for me to recuperate! Am not sure whether they’re just pulling my leg (pun intended) or being serious.

    Nizam.

  299. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Nizam – I have a desk job, surgery on Friday and I was back in the office on Wednesday (with assistance getting to work). I really could have gone in Monday… I am probably not the typical case.

  300. There is a good forum called PhysicalTherapists.com. Check it out. You can ask question re:post-op recap exercises, etc.

  301. Hi Frank,

    Gee, that’s rather quick getting back to the office! How did you cope?

    Btw, is your PT nearby your office?

    Nizam.

  302. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    I work about 8 miles from where I live and PT was in my township which made it easier on my wife to get me there after work. I usually went 5-7PM 3-4x/week and did my own stuff on the side. I was fine in the office, lots of ice available and easy to keep my leg up on chair. I drove 8 days later so that helped immensely.

    I am really considering volleyball in January, only using my sports brace. Anyone have an opinion on how to avoid/prevent re injury? I know I will be starting at half/speed…

    –Frank

  303. Christina (Right Allo 5/26, Left 12/14 Female 46)

    Frank,

    You’re now at the point I was prior to my second surgery. I was at about 6 months out and was contemplating getting back on the ice for a couple of hockey games before my second surgery. I opted not to since I didn’t want to re-injure my leg (to be repaired) right before surgery. If any of that makes sense…

    Now I have a lot of time to think about what exactly I will get back to doing once I’m ready in the spring. Golf is for sure, but I’m not sure about playing hockey at this point. Although I’m 46 years old, I’m not ready to give it up. My surgeon’s plan was to get me back onto the ice. However, I can’t help but think he may be in the market for a new car or something! :-D

    My PT made it quite clear that there isn’t a brace out there that will absolutely prevent another injury to the repaired knee. Donjoy makes a knee brace that supposedly has some kind of a guarantee. I need to look into it further.

    I’m off to PT for the third time post-op today. It’s starting to get a little easier each time I go. I’ve already forgotten since my last knee, what a lengthy process it all is!

    Good luck!

    Christina

  304. Hello fellow ACLr people!!!

    Thanks to Henry for starting this blog!! And a big thanks for all your previous posts, they’re therapeutic to read.

    I tore (although I prefer “rupture” since it sounds more dramatic) my left ACL on October 11 of this year. For awhile I replayed that evening over and over in my head, “What if I had done this”, “Should have done that”…..
    I was on the tennis court and I went up for an overhead and did the classic plant the foot and pivot, that lead to the rupture. Immediately I knew that something was not right but I tried to play a few more points, not too smart!

    My knee mildly swelled but other than a little discomfort and a few unstable moments it didn’t feel so bad. I made an appointment to see the OS but it wasn’t for a few weeks. He was pretty confident that the ACL was gone but ordered the MRI. The following week it was confirmed, ACL gone, MCL sprain but no clear sign of any damage to either meniscus. I have to admit there was probably a week or two where I was in disbelief. By that time I was walking, wearing my heels to work without a limp and the swelling was gone.

    Disbelief turned into a bit of denial, as I tried to go for a run one day. The running itself wasn’t a problem but when I slowed down to jump over a puddle there was that weird bobble feeling.

    Denial turned to indecision. I blame the internet for a little of this. I spent countless hours reading journal articles and other blogs. The more I read the more difficult the decision of patella vs hamstring and autograft vs allograft.
    Once the denial passed I decided that I needed to get this reconstructed. The uncertainty of when will my knee give out next was not going to work for me. And I missed playing tennis too much to give it up. I’m 42 y/o and like many of us here, healthy and active.

    After seeing the first OS, I went and got a second opinion. Not so much because I didn’t believe the first guy but it just didn’t feel “right”. I’m happier with the decision to go with the second OS, he performs a significantly greater number of ACLr with many of them on teens and younger adults. At least for now I’ve decided on the allograft. Since I’m not in high school, I’ve already finished college and my chances at any Olympics or professional sports are zippo, the allograft it is!!

    So I’ve scheduled surgery for January, Friday the 13th!!!
    I’m not really superstitious but part of me wishes it was another day.
    Is there any others out there with surgery around the same time??? Would love a post-op buddy!!!

    Thanks

  305. Hi Jill!

    Honestly, I thought it was me writing the stuff you posted! Went thru’ all what you shared, the “denial”, “disbelief”, the “I should have/shouldn’t have” mode, all the way up to getting a second opinion from another specialist.

    I “ruptured” my right ACL and whilst playing football (soccer in the States) on 28/10/2011, after which my right knee swelled up badly. MCL was sprained too in the process! I’ve been undergoing PT since 9/11/11 and progressed to weights now.

    Had a meet up with the specialist on Monday and pretty much put our finger on Thursday, 12 January as the surgery date ;) And, I’m opting for the allograft method too!

    Nizam.

  306. Morning (UK time) Folks

    My son, CJ, had his allograft reconstruction operation yesterday (on a previous comment I gave the background, this is second surgery on this knee as the first graft ruptured) What a difference this time! CJ was given a spinal as well as a general and woke this time completely pain free.3 Hours later, on crutches, no brace, he walked out of the hospital! The cryocuff is on, he’s up every hour for a little walk and can manage his exercises already! It’s truly amazing.The swelling has come up today, his knee is twice the size of the other one but the pain is manageable this time around too.He has an appointment in 7 days with the physio and has to have the staples out in 12.

    Will keep everyone up to date but so far- WOW!!!!!

  307. Hi Bev,

    Wonderful news indeed!

    Nizam.

  308. @Bev
    Great to hear your son is doing well!!!!
    Is his cryocuff just around his knee or is it mid-calf to shin?? We already have the knee one at home but I wonder if I should get the bigger one?

    @Nizam
    Sorry to hear about your knee but I’m happy to hear that we’ll be having our surgeries so close together!
    I haven’t had any pre-op PT but I’ve been on the stationary bike and working to build up my quad strength, not looking forward to losing it after surgery. I played a little football/soccer in high school and managed to break an ankle.
    Did you go through a time where you wondered if you shouldn’t have surgery? Even knowing the risks of further injury and arthritis, there were times I would say, maybe I shouldn’t do this?

    -Jill

  309. Hi Jill,

    It’s a knee one but does cover about 12 inches altogether.It’s been a life saver today.The pain has kicked in along with the swelling but by almost constantly icing,the swelling has visibly calmed.When changing the cuff,we applied a bag of peas and the knee melted them within minutes – it’s so hot and swollen! The cuff makes all the difference as it’s also adding a bit of supportive pressure.CJ’s been up to the loo several times today but is taking Tramadol pain relief which is pretty hard going…along with anti nausea tablets too.Still, this day has been 10 times better than day 1 after the first op when he just cried with the pain all the time and we felt so helpless.

    My advice, plan for the worst…have everything in that you’ll need…then be pleasantly surprised when you don’t need it!

    Nizam – thanks for the kind thoughts – I relayed them onto our boy…

    Bev xxx

  310. Jill,

    Yes, i had that moment in time when i contemplated in not going thru’ the surgery. Fyi, I’m 31 y.o. and I realised i needed a good pair of knees in the long run. I would consider myself as an active person and i just can’t bear the thought of not being able to jog or play soccer anymore. Additionally, I’ve two young boys who enjoy their kickabout and I just feel that having a dodgy knee would prevent me from actively playing with them. So, all these factors led me to firming up on my decision to go ahead with the op.

    Bev,

    Am bracing for the worst…..but at the very least, going thru’ PT prior to the op has given me an indication of what to expect post-op. Wish I could undergo the op earlier rather than later, but work commitment is making it a bit difficult for me to do so.

    Nizam.

  311. OCT 22-football (US) injury, ACL/MCL Tears. 29 yr old Female.

    My Allograph is scheduled for Friday at 1:00. 2 months after injury, my knee looks pretty normal and I have a ROM of 101. A lot of progress since October thanks to my physical therapy team, but I feel that the MCL tear is the biggest reason I couldn’t get that range sooner. I am hoping the surgery on Friday doesn’t irritate the MCL again, but we shall see. Not nervous yet, but I am sure that will come Friday morning. The doc said that the pain of my actual injury and the PT is worse that what I will feel from the surgery, so that has me hoping it won’t be too bad. I will try to post thoughts in my drug induced state.

  312. Good Luck JS!
    Keep us posted!

  313. 17 hours post op. In quite a bit of pain around my shin/calf areas- bone ache and burning sensation. Using the ice machine and bumped pain meds from percocet to diludad (sp). It would be better if the meds made me sleepy. I would suggest that you upcoming surgery people talk to your doctor about a sleep aide, just in case the meds don’t.

  314. JS
    Sorry to hear about the pain :(
    Many people have suggested setting an alarm clock for your next dose. To keep you on schedule and ahead of the pain.
    Have they been able to call in some Lunesta or Ambien for the sleep?
    Hopefully things start to settle down soon!
    You’re one day closer to getting back to your regular activities!
    -Jill

  315. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    JS, I used Ambien to help me sleep, I hated the pain meds, but they seemed to be a necessary evil for the first couple days. I used my iphone calendar to remind me to stay ahead of my pain meds.

    Jill – welcome, but sorry :(

    Happy Holidays to all. Let me know if I can help…

    –Frank

  316. I’ve been setting the alarm to keep up, but pain is stronger than the meds. I called the on-call doc, who advised to take ibprofren and the narcotic painkiller. This is helping a bit. She wouldn’t call in a sleep aide, so if I’m still not sleeping by Monday, I’m going to call my doc. I am not using the CPM, but have been resting my leg in it, which is providing great support and elevation. I also started a seperate ice bag for my calf, in addition to the ice machine and this is helping. Thanks everyone. I hope you all have a great Christmas!

  317. Hi Jill,

    Just to inform that we’ve firmed up on the date for the surgery, i.e. 12 Jan 2012, via allograft surgery. So, from now on I’ve just got to keep positive and hope that it’ll be over soon!

    Nizam.

  318. Christina (Right Allo 5/26, Left 12/14 Female 46)

    Hi Nizam,

    I’ll bet it feels good to have your surgery date firmed up. The 12th will be here before you know it. Keep working on your pre-op exercises to get that quad strength built up and it will make a world of difference. Best of luck to you! You’ll do great! :-)

    UPDATE…..
    Wednesday will mark the 2 week anniversary of my second surgery. I must say that I’m a little freaked out about how much more I’m able to do at this stage this time around. I didn’t keep a journal, so I can really only look back at this blog as a reminder. My first surgery was only 6 months ago and I don’t have much recollection of how my progress went.

    I worked pretty hard at getting my quad strength built up prior to surgery this time around. I’m thinking that has made a difference in the recovery. I’m at a point where I can walk steps one foot after then other, I rarely use my brace around the house, and when I’m out and about I have the brace unlocked. My PT says it’s because my quad is “firing” the way it should. Now I just worry that I’ll be doing too much too soon! I’m doing prescribed exercises at the gym rather than visiting the PT. It’s much cheaper that way!

    The big test will be when I head back to work on January 3rd. I’m a teacher, so I’ll be on my feet quite a bit. I’m a bit nervous about how that will go. I get tired really easily and like the idea that I can just head to my bedroom for a nap whenever I feel sleepy! Think the kids would notice if I disappear for about a half hour for a nap? lol…… :-D

    Christina

  319. Nizam
    Good to hear that everything is confirmed!
    I have an appointment this Thursday to do the same.
    Then there is the waiting…..
    Just like you I had to schedule my surgery in January in order to clear my work calendar.

    Christine
    Great to hear that you are doing well! Good luck on your first day back.
    How many PT sessions are you planning when you get back to work?

    -Jill

  320. Christina (Right Allo 5/26, Left 12/14 Female/46

    Hi Jill,

    Thanks for the well-wishes! My situation is a little different than most because this is my second ACL reconstruction surgery within the past 6 months. Since I’m quite familiar with the exercises, my PT decided that I could work out on my own and then just check in with him.

    Right now I’m doing PT 2-3 times a week at the gym and then exercises daily at home. I plan to continue with that plan once I go back to work. We’ll see how sore and exhausted I am after a day at work. That may be a determining factor in my PT plan after the new year. My last surgery was right before school let out for the summer and I went back for 1/2 days until summer break. This time I’ll be back full time without much of a break in sight!

    You’ll be able to start counting down the days soon! I was actually kind of excited about the surgery once it started to get close! Weird, I know…

    Best of luck to you! Keep us posted on your progress after your surgery.

    Christina

  321. Hi Christina,

    Thanks for the encouragement and kind words!

    Jill,

    Somehow, I don’t think it’ll be that long a wait before the surgery ;) In fact, I wish I can just undergo the surgery now – just to escape from the stress related to my job!

    Nizam.

  322. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!! With strong healthy knees!
    -Jill

  323. Well folks, just a few days away from the op….will try to keep everybody posted once it’s done.

    Nizam.

  324. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 40)

    Nizam – Please do. Good luck to you and Jill! I am starting volleyball this week, on 1/24 I will be 7 months post.

    Catch you on the other side!

    –FB

  325. Lori (41, 6/30 Left allograft, ut)

    Hi All,
    Well I went to Physical Therapy today and did my “hop test”, I didn’t do very well. My average was 57% to 60% . My Physical Therapist said that usually to be released to do full sport it should be 80%. Like I told him I had not worked out for a month and half, closer to 2-months due to asthma episode which lead to a really bad cough and laryngitis. He had noticed the cough today during the test. So he told me to let my dr know what had happen and to start working out and come back in a month and try again.
    You know what the funny thing is my right leg was about 60% left leg was about 55%. My left leg was always my dominate leg while growing up in dance and track. So with both time I have injured it I have to really work on my right leg’s strength also a weak ankle.
    I was supposed to get this done last week, but with what went on in the area my hospital was kind of busy.
    Nizam: Good luck and listen to your leg you will do fine.
    FB: Sooooooo Jealous. But I have been shooting hoops with the boys.

    Happy Healing
    Lori

  326. Hi Frank & Lori,

    Thanks for the words of encouragement! Am tying up a lot of loose ends @ work prior the op, though suspect that work will still follow me ;)

    Nizam.

  327. 3 month post-op Dr. appt yesterday. (Achilles allograph). Flexion & extension were very good as is quad strength. Dr. Said the ACL felt very strong. I was thrilled with this as sometimes I wondered how it was as I still experience weird feelings in my knee when walking.m sometimes it feels almost normal, other times it feels odd-unstable, swollen and just “not right” although it hasn’t been swollen for weeks- it just feels deranged. Still have odd feelings going up stairs, but I’m told this will go away.

    In the past week I developed pain over my femur incision area when riding the stationary bike. The pain is quite intense and when I press on the area it became severe. Dr. Thinks tight IT band rubbing on the hardware. Quite possible as I told my PT last week that I need some IT band & hip flexor stretches as they felt really tight, especially at night while laying in bed. No wonder as everything they have me doing involves the same muscle group. Started the stretches and I hope they alleviate the problem as mountainbiking is my obsession. If it doesn’t resolve with stretching then I’ll have to get the hardware removed later on after I completely heal. I’m hoping it will eventually go away as I don’t want to have any set backs.

  328. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 41)

    Hey Lori :) Good to hear from you!

    Can you elaborate on the hop test and how they measured your %? I’ve never had the hop test performed.

    As of Saturday, I officially had to change my age too :( (Well, I did party like a rock star!)

  329. Hi Nizam,

    Good luck fro tomorrow Bud-CJ sends his regards….and…….

    3 weeks post op- gone from 80 to 125 degrees movement in the knee in less than 2 weeks; pain free; crutches free; no brace; light resistance cycling began yesterday;physio delighted with the progress! Back to school in two weeks (boo from CJ!)

    Remember…ice ice ice!!!!!

    Look forward to catching up post op

    Bev

    Bev

  330. Nizam,

    Good luck tomorrow, give us an update when you can!!!!
    Just like you, my last day before surgery promises to be out of control crazy!!!
    I feel like there are so many little things to do before the surgery.
    Has there been a CPM or cryocuff prescribed?
    -Jill

  331. Hi all,

    Words can’t begin to describe my anguish, disappointment and anger yesterday…went to the clinic for pre-op briefing and was about to sign off my Consent Form when the nurse informed me that my insurance Co. rejected my request for coverage!

    Reason given was that I must serve my company for a min. of 4 months! – I had only been with the Co. for approx. 3 months This is after I had informed both my HR Dept and the insurance Co. of the surgery in advance! Frantic phone calls to both my HR and insurance Co. was to no avail, which made me even more upset!

    Finally, someone from HR called me and explained that they too were not aware of such a policy! Having waited for so long at the clinic, I decided to just postpone it until everything is cleared. I was just emotionally and physically drained with the whole episode…

    Jill,

    Yes, CPM will be prescribed post-op. Cryo-cuff is an optional thing, which I won’t be taking up due to cost constraint.

    Am afraid that you have to go ahead whilst I am being sorted out :(

  332. Ohhh Nizam,

    I am so sorry to hear about your day :( (insert big hug)
    I can only imagine your disappointment and frustration. I would have been in tears.
    Is there anything that can be done, anyone to call? Insurance companies are awful to have to deal with. I have to admit, I’m not very happy with your insurance company either but for more selfish reasons!!! We were suppose to do this together!

    Do you have a tentative reschedule date? Perhaps on your four month anniversary!
    Keep us up to date. I’m hoping it’s soon.

    -Jill

  333. Hi Jill,

    Thanks for the hug!

    Yes, was on the verge of tears, but came to my senses that it’s not going to help matters. HR is still sorting out with the insurance co.. In any event, I’ve pencilled in 31/1/12 as next date for the op. In a way, I envy you as I’m sure by the time you read this post, and respond to me, you would’ve done your op :(

    Anyways, prayed for you to have a safe and uneventful op and looking forward to your update post-op!

    Nizam.

  334. Hello everyone!

    Day of surgery report
    Left ACLr allograft

    We reported to the surgical center at 6:15 — back in the car on our way home at 11:45.
    They were very efficient.
    I have a huge brace on with a ton of bandaging.
    The femoral block is working very well and anesthesia was uneventful.
    I have some nice pictures of my medial, lateral meniscus and the allograft.

    Everyone at the surgical center was so wonderful. I know we have some RN’s on this blog, what you do is invaluable! I don’t think RNs and the other staff members get enough credit for what they do! I’m so thankful for all their work! So a big hooorraaayyy to all RNs, assistants and support staff!!!!!!

    Question, when should I start the oral pain meds? What does it feel like as the block starts to fade?

    Nizam
    The 31st will be here in no time. I’ll be here for you when the time comes:) It’s good to hear that they were able to schedule you right away. Does that day meet their requirements? It sounds like you’re in the UK, is this different than the NHS?

    Thanks for all the kind words
    NOW THE WORK STARTS!!!!
    -Jill

  335. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 41)

    @Jill, awesome news. Start the pain meds NOW!. Seriously. In my experience the block will last 12-14 hours, and you will know it. From your previous post, your injury sounded like mine, so hopefully you are only on the pain meds for a couple days. I was home at noon on 6/24 and started the pain meds at 4:15PM that day. Stopped them by Sunday AM.

    Get a couple extra pillows for your leg while you are sleeping to keep it elevated.

    Please keep us posted. I check this site often, and try to offer help based on my experience. I’m wondering if I can give my email without the free world getting hold of it.

    –Frank.

  336. Frank
    Thanks for the info, about to take the first pill!
    I was just doing some heel hangs and my leg looked like a wet noodle.

    Not sure about the email address question.

    Trying not to nap, hoping to sleep tonight.
    Can’t wait for coffee tomorrow morning! I’m just a little bit of a caffeine junkie.

    Thanks again
    -Jill

  337. Lori (41, 6/30 Left allograft, ut)

    Hi Jill
    When you start to feel the tingling you should start your pain meds. Sleep is good it will get the anesthesia out of your system. Nap when you can.

    Hey Mr. FB
    The hop test is two pieces a tape 12-inches apart. So what I had to do is hop on my good leg and then my “bad” leg. I had to hop and clear the tape if I landed on the outer edge it was fine but if I land all the way on it then the count started over. I had to do this for 30-sec. you have to got forward and backward then you hop side to side. Sounds easy “NOT”.

    Well I am extremely tired and with a sore stiff knee. I oriented and worked on a different unit at work , on my feet and busy for the last three days supposed to be 12-hour shifts but they turned into 14-hour shifts. Did I mention busy busy days.I worked on the “Joint Unit” this is where the total knees, and hip replacements go. Along with that I had another patient that was combative. Lets just say I got my workout the last couple of days. When left work I stopped by my unit and RSV has officially hit. I am looking forward to my 5-days off.

    Good Night all.
    Lori

  338. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Post op day 1

    Well the block wore off, middle off the night :(
    I doubled up on the Lortab which made me a little dizzy but the pain eased off.
    I’ve been on Ibuprofen during the day and will switch back to the hard stuff overnight.

    The good news is I can feel the cold compression of the cryocuff, which is nice. With the crutches I’ve got partial weight on that leg while walking around.

    I’m looking forward to a shower in the morning. Tape, gauze, Saran wrap and shower stool are ready, any other tips?

    @Lori Rest up on your days off, You deserve them!

    Settling in for the football game tonight, Go Patriots!!!!

    -Jill

  339. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Post op day 2

    Pretty good night, went with just Advil pm and it did help me sleep a little longer.
    Taking a shower was a bit of a production and comical, but I definitely feel better now.

    I got a look at the knee this morning. It’s a little strang to look at it, almost like it doesn’t belong to me! Not much bruising.

    There are 4 stitches but one of them has popped open and the skin is dry but gapping a little bit. Should I worry about this???

    Thanks
    - Jill

  340. Hi Jill,

    Nope, I’m not from the UK. Am from Malaysia, smack between Thailand & Singapore. As at today, they haven’t resolved my status yet. However, am sticking to 31st and in the meantime, reading your updates is just strenghtening my resolve to get the op over and done with!

    Nizam.

  341. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Post op day 3

    I haven’t had a narcotic(Lortab) since the first night, I know that some have said they’ve used them before physio but I would really like to drive myself to those appointments, so I’m hoping to go with just Advil. Am I just kidding myself???

    I called to OS office to mention the broken suture and they’ve asked me to come in to take a look at it. I should have just sent them a pic but since my schedule is pretty open, I’m happy to go in!

    @Nizam
    So great to hear from you!
    We’ve not travelled to Malaysia yet, but have had a few short stays in Singapore on our way to Indonesia. My husband and I love the scuba diving in Indonesia and the Pacific.

    Keep your spirits up! You’ll break into February with a new ACL.

    -Jill

  342. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 41)

    Hey Jill – sounds like you progressing well! I didn[‘t uncover my bandages until day 3, and I saw I had staples, so they werent coming out :) How many incisions do you have? I had 4 areas, one with 7 staples, and 3 with one staple. I put band-aids on them over the staples and after the staples were removed, the PA added steri strips. I’d send a pic to be safe tho….

    Keep on going! Keep the updates coming :)

    –Frank

  343. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    @Frank
    I had 4 incision sites, all of them are closed with a single stitch. They are impressively small. I can’t figure out which port they would have used to get the graft tissue into the knee!

    I did go into the office and the physician’s assistant put a suture in the port where the original had broken.

    My hubby let me drive to the doctors office! We drove the SUV but I think that the car would have been more comfortable to drive. The brace is still locked straight which put the left leg in an awkward position.

    First PT tomorrow!!!
    -Jill

  344. Thank you, I’ve just been searching for info about this subject for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve came upon so far. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure concerning the source?|What i don’t realize is if truth be told how you’re no longer actually much more well-liked than you may be right now. You are so intelligent.

  345. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 41)

    If anyone is on Facebook – I created the group ACL Repair Allograft v. Autograft – this way we can trade other info without bots and the whole world watching.

    –FB

  346. Morning Folks,

    Just a quick update.CJ is 4 weeks post op with his patella tendon allograph.He saw his physio yesterday and he was absolutely delighted with how well CJ is doing.He can completely straighten and bend the knee, he is walking without a limp and is way in front of schedule (remember this is the 2nd time on this knee, the first graft having snapped 11 months post op) Last time it took almost 4 months for CJ to be walking properly and being able to bend the knee normally.He is now been cleared to start proper physio in the gym;static bike, treadmill (reverse) bends and squats.The physio is delighted and now believes that CJ will make a full recovery hopefully within 8-9 months which would be truly fantastic.

    Whether he returns to rugby again will be up to him, as his Mum, I’d rather he didn’t but you can’t tell teenagers!

    In summary, the Allograph already appears to be stronger than his previous hamstring op, the recovery in the short term has been much faster and the pain only lasted for about 10-14 days!

    Chins up people!

    Bev

  347. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    @Frank
    Great idea!
    -Jill

  348. Hi Frank,

    Just sent in my request to teh Fb group!

    Jill,

    Thanks for the kind words! Perhaps Malaysia’s the next destination for your hols?

    Bev,

    Good to know CJ is recuperating – but tell him not to rush things. I’m mentally prepared to lay off football for the whole of 2012….what’s a year off footie if it means I can play for a longer period ;)

    Nizam.

  349. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 41)

    283 days since my injury, 210 days since the surgery, returned to volleyball last night. I realized something – I don’t have a ‘slow down’ button. Played as hard as I did before the injury. Slight soreness today, but nothing major. Feeling great!!

    Happy Healing :)

    @Nizam – FB request accepted :)

  350. Hi all,

    HR confirmed y’day that I must wait til I’ve served 4 months :( So, 31 Jan is definitely off now….

    Am thinking of just waiting til 1 March, but at same time, am plain tired of all the waiting and might just go for the op once I’ve passed the 4 months mark, i.e. 17 Feb….

    Frank,

    Must admit that reading your update is giving me the motivation to just get it over & done with, get on the rehab trail and kick a ball in anger end of 2012!

    Nizam

  351. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Nizam

    Malaysia is definitely on “the list”. I keep telling my husband that we should live in Singapore, it is such a great launching point to so many scuba diving locations!

    Though your two tentative surgery dates are less than 2 weeks apart, even with the leap year, I would be itching to get going!!!! I’m sure it was all physiological but the week before my surgery, my knee started to ache. To the extent that the night before I was looking forward to surgery. I was experiencing anxiety about the general anesthesia but strangely calm about everything else.

    -Jill

  352. Jill,

    Spot on! For some reason, right knee is feeling a bit more achy than usual :( Will check with HR if I can get on with the op on 17 Jan….

    Btw, how’s your rehab been so far?

    Nizam.

  353. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Nizam

    Hoping the 17th will be the day!!!!

    I hope the rehab is going well. The therapists are encouraging but seem to be careful about saying about how I’m progressing. I’ve been weight bearing since day one and by my first PT I was almost at full extension. I’m doing the home exercises on a regular schedule. I’m still icing on a regular basis, there is still some swelling. Maybe I’ll be able to see a kneecap soon.

    Went out to dinner with some visiting family yesterday and a girl’s get together tonight. It’s good to get out and get my mind off the knee. But it’s hard to sit in the brace for any length of time.

    Oh and I meant psychological not physiological in that last post, I should really read them before I post :)

    -Jill

  354. Hi Jill,

    Yes, the brace does seem to compress on your leg after wearing it for a few hours – tho’ I suspect that in my case, it’s also due to the sitting down @ the office. Was told that brace is only required if a lot of walking is involved, o’wise, you can opt not to wear it.

    Nizam.

  355. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Nizam
    Do you have an immobilizing brace now?
    Will it be the same brace you wear post-op?
    I woke up from the surgery with the brace on but I had nothing before.

    -Jill

  356. Jill,

    Nope, don’t think mine was the immobilising one ;) Wore a knee brace until I was able to walk normally. Was told to bring it to the clinic as I’ll be wearing it straight from the op. I think the immobilising brace is the one that has a gauge/dial that can set a certain angle your knee can flex (correct me if i’m wrong on this ya!).

    Nizam.

  357. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Nizam

    Yes, the gauge/dial brace is the one I have now.
    If you get to wear something else in the post op, count yourself lucky. It’s a awkward and difficult to sleep in:(
    I still haven’t slept through the night. Not that there is pain, it’s just uncomfortable and if find I fidget a lot. Ask for a sleeping aid if you can.

    -Jill

  358. Hi Jill,

    Yes, suspected that you were on it. It does restrict your movement a bit. Was told that I’ll be on the normal brace post-op (which I have been using these past few months).

    How is it been so far?

    Nizam.

  359. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Nizam

    I don’t have any regrets about having surgery. And I’m encouraged everyday when I’m able to stretch a little more or see my muscles start to come alive again. But it is a little slow going.

    Have you confirmed your surgery date? Are you counting down the days?

    -Jill

  360. Hi Jill,

    Went to the clinic last week to pay the outstanding bills and pencilled in 23 Feb. I must admit, I am really tired of the postponements and delay….but am comforted with knowledge that 23rd is just a few weeks away. Just have to keep my chin up I suppose.

    Nizam.

  361. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Nizam

    Exactly right, less than a month away!!!!
    February 23rd will be here in no time!
    Are you still doing some PT in the meantime?

    -Jill

  362. Hi Jill,

    I’m afraid I’ve been not been going to my PTs ever since the postponement…have been making it up by doing my own stretching activities at home, but no way can it compare to the rigorous PT sessions. The postponement has in a way took away some of my zest for PTs :(

    Nizam.

  363. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Nizam
    My injury was October 11, I saw three OS and none of them recommended PT before surgery. That was just my case but so many people speak fondly about preop PT. I think the exercises I’m doing now are very similar to the preop exercises.
    You should go!!!!!
    Trying to get my muscles to wake up and start firing again has been slow and I wonder if preop PT would have made it easier?

    Look it is already February, you can start counting down the days!
    Chin up!! Not long now:)
    -Jill

  364. Jill,

    Received a call from the clinic asking if I’m OK with having the op 2 days earlier, i.e. on 21 Feb. For a change, it’s earlier so I said “YES!”.

    As for the pre-op PT, yes, I believe it does help to fire up your muscles post-op :)

    Nizam.

  365. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Nizam

    That is great news!!! Just two weeks away!!!
    It sounds like the good news has started to flow and last month is behind you. February looks great so far!

    My days revolve around when I’m going to get to exercise my leg. It does feel seem much better when it is getting a workout. I’m still battling some persistent swelling, it’s not much but it would be a milestone to be finished with it.

    -Jill

  366. Hi Jill,

    Yups, kinda good to know it’s getting earlier, rather than later! Won’t be too long before you’re able to do some minor leg exercises.

    Nizam.

  367. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Nizam

    Just a few more days!!
    Last few days were hectic, I was trying to finish up loose ends, tidy up and run all those nuisance errands before the surgery.
    You would think that with all the time off after surgery, you could get around to all those little projects, but the days kinda fly by. And it took twice as long to get anything done.

    Keep us posted!!
    -Jill

  368. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Nizam
    Thinking about you today, wishing you all the best!
    Post when you get a chance!

    -Jill

  369. Jill,

    Lightning does strike twice for some people….My insurance Co. pulled a fast one on me, again.

    This time, it’s even worse as they had already issued my Guarantee Letter (i.e. to guarantee payment for my surgery) and then retracted it. Cause for retraction: The realised that my injury occured within 120 days from my 1st day of employment….words cannot describe my feelings for the past couple of days.

    Anyways, I don’t feel that this forum is appropriate for me to vent my frustration….at the moment, have been told by my CEO to scout for quotes from other hospitals/sports injury clinic for comparison purposes….and the wait continues for me :(

    Nizam.

  370. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft, FL

    Nizam

    I don’t know what to say… This is terrible :(

    Apparently health insurance companies are the same all over the world. My husband informed me that we have something similar here, the number of days varies but essentially the same restrictions. From what I have seen health insurance companies are in the business of producing profits and not maintaining the overall health and well being of it’s members.

    Do you have any recourse? Can you request a review? It seems that your employer fell a little short in explaining the benefits, are they being helpful at all? Is this something that will require legal action? Was there a previous insurance plan that was still in effect?

    I am so sorry, I was really looking forward to hearing from you but you were suppose to be complaining about swelling , pain or the brace. After what happened last month, this is the last thing I expected.

    Keep us posted. I’m sending positive thoughts your way!

    -Jill

  371. Hi Jill,

    Long silence was due to me going around to gather quotes for the surgery, since my Co. will fork the bill. It’s amazing to know that, after having spoken to a few ortho specialists, most insurance Cos. don’t cover allograft surgery due to the cost. Maybe that’s the real reason why the insurance Co. did not cover me?

    But, it was a rather humbling experience having to source for quotes. But I’ve got 4 quotes and now it’s up to the CEO to decide. All this is just to add another eventful chapter in my quest to replace my ACL.

    Nizam.

  372. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam
    It’s great to hear from you and even better to hear that you continue to stay positive through this difficult time!
    You will have earned this ACL with hard work and tears even before the start of the post op PT!

    I think that it is really wonderful that your company has decided to step up and cover the surgery. It sounds like they were equally surprised to hear about the 120 days clause.

    The allograft is a tricky thing. In fact it was the allograft that caused me to change from the first surgeon I met. I had seen this surgeon for a previous injury so I was very comfortable going back to him. After the initial appointment and MRI, I was ready to go ahead with surgery. He convinced me out of the hamstring graft. Explaining that for some women when they harvest sometimes there just isn’t enough tissue for the ACL. Secondly, since I was hyperextended in my other joints there was a greater risk that my own hamstring my stretch out causing the ACL to fail. So I finally settled my mind and locked into the allograft. The surgery was booked at an outpatient surgical center and I thought we were all set.
    But then I got a call back saying my insurance company would not cover the allograft at the surgical center but would cover the procedure at the hospital. I thought this to be a bit strange and made a few phone calls. What I found out was that my insurance company did in fact cover the allograft but the reimbursement was less than the surgical center would have to pay for the tissue.
    I did not want to have the surgery at the hospital that was being used since they were not known for doing many ACL surgeries. There have been a few studies correlating higher rates of complications with surgery being linked with surgeons and facilities that perform fewer ACL surgeries.
    I was a little disturbed, I knew that the surgeon had financial interests at the surgical center. I also knew that the allograft is billed independent of the surgery. The decision to move my case to the hospital was purely a money decision. It was getting a little messy so I decided to meet with a different surgeon. In the end I think it was a blessing in disguise. I’m really happy with the surgeon I went with in the end.

    I’m curious, can you post the cost of the allograft?

    Do you have a surgeon selected?
    Keep us posted! Really hoping for smooth sailing going forward!

    -Jill

  373. Hi Jill,

    My CEO just gave the green light to proceed with the op via allograft. However, the “OK” was given after I had managed to collate quotes from 6 different doctors! I must admit that there after having a chat with one of the doctors, it seems insurance companies are “opting out” from covering allograft surgeries due to the cost – which I find absolutely ridiculous! I mean, If we’ve paid the premium, then shouldn’t we be covered without any limitation?

    Haven’t chosen a date yet, but am thinking of doing it wihtin the 1st week of April.

    By the way, how’s your progress so far Jill?

    Nizam.

  374. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam

    Great news!!! I’m thinking third time is a charm!
    First week of April is next week. Yayyyyy! I feel good about this!

    I don’t have any regrets about the choice of allograft and I think it will be worth all your extra work! My recovery has been very much uneventful and without the extra healing from the harvest site my recovery seemed to go pretty well.
    I’m 11 weeks tomorrow, I have full ROM and no swelling. I’m doing something everyday to get back muscle strength and mass while at the same time trying not to over do it/protect the graft.

    Keep us posted when you have a date!!
    -Jill

  375. Jill (and the rest of the gang in this blog),

    3 April is confirmed! I’ve obtained my Guarantee Letter (only after my Company undertook to pay the op cost!) and am looking forward to next Tuesday. I’m the 3rd op and the ortho specialist said the op will take approx. 2 hours.

    Any words of wisdom you wish to impart?

    Nizam.

  376. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam
    Have you read Henry’s blog “5 ways to prepare your home for ACL recovery”, so much is covered there and all true.
    I would put some time into planning where you will spend most of your day, like the couch and find a way to store things. Getting up and down the first day or two really takes a lot out of you. So if you can have things near by it’s just a little easier. Plan how you are going to elevate and ice since it will help with any pain.
    Although you might not be too concerned about it now, try to have some Colace or dulcolax around. Maybe even a laxative. At about day 2 or 3 post op this will be a concern!
    A book, movie and a few magazines will help pass the time.
    I had something like a shower stool, Saran wrap and large band aids around for the first few showers.
    Remember to try to get your extensions right away. Put something under your ankle and let gravity do its thing.
    And if you can, try to get your quad muscle going. Even if all you get is a slight quiver.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    -Jill

  377. Hi Jill,

    Yups, read the blog a while back, so I need to re-visit the blog. Yes, the couch would be my best mate for the next 3 weeks. I thought about the laxative as well – I learned that the painkillers has an “unwanted” side effect!

    I’ve bought about 4-5 books, plus a couple my CEO has graciously passed to me! So I’m covered book wise. Have been forerwarned by my colleagues that work will still come in – which means working from home!

    Am afraid that I would have to jostle for the tv remote with my two kids, so that rules out watching the tv. I hear you on flexing and the quad works – will definitely do my best to start the rehad works pronto :)

    Will update from the h’tal tomorrow.

    Nizam.

  378. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam
    I’ll be thinking about you tomorrow!
    All the best, give us a post when you can!

    -Jill

  379. Am at the hospital already, waiting for my turn….as I was asked to fast, hunger pang is setting in big time :(

  380. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam

    Best of luck!!
    See you on the other side!

    -Jill

  381. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 41)

    Good Luck Nizam…. You’ll be fine!!

    –FB

  382. Op went well, resting in room now.

    Nizam

  383. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam
    Yayyyyyy:)
    Big step towards running, jumping and playing with your kids!
    Great to hear things went well!
    Rest up, the hard work is ahead!
    -Jill

  384. Yaaay indeed!

    Am tking it easy today and resting on bed. Might start physio this afternoon :)

    Nizam.

  385. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam
    Early on, even the smallest accomplishments need to be celebrated!!

    Did they mention if there was any damage to the meniscus?

    -Jill

  386. Hi Jill,

    Yes, doc took a tiny bit of my meniscus-must be d damage from last year.

    Flex, assisted, was 50 y’day.

    With ur support, anything’s possible:)

    Nizam.

  387. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam
    It sounds like most ACLr are accompanied with some meniscus trim or repair.
    How are you feeling today? Hopefully there is not much pain.
    I found the first night the most difficult, not painful but it was the brace and sleeping on my back for the whole night was uncomfortable.
    During the early post op I was told to work on extensions. As long as my extensions were good the PT kept saying the flexion will come.
    Are you weight bearing?
    -Jill

  388. Hi Jill,

    I suppose so too…the meniscus tear was discovered last year, and was advised not to play any more indoor soccer due to the impact playing on hard court. Must admit that I was surprised when the dco told me he took a bit of the meniscus.

    Pain-wise, not much, except at the area where the wounds are. Walking wise, using crutches, but with minimal weight on the right leg. Yes, sleeping on the back for the past few nites has been uncomfortable.

    Went on the CPM, and was stopped at 95 today. PT told me to do some manual flexion using a towel underneath my knee (to support it). Tehn came the shocker – PT placed a couple of electrodes that just made my quads all shaken up ;) Was told that it helps to “stimulate” the muscle @ the quads, and boy did it stimulate my quads!

    Nope, not weight bearing @ the moment.

    Fyi, doc told me I should me discharged tomorrow :)

    Nizam.

  389. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam

    I had the same reaction to the neuromuscular stimulator myself. I have a smaller portable one that I use at home. It’s been nice to have it at home, since I don’t use any time at my PT session with it. I’m asymmetrically distributing the stimulation to work on the lateral part of the quad.
    I never had any time with the CPM machine, will you have it at home also? Sounds like the flexion is coming along nicely!!!!

    I thought you were home all this time!!! How has the hospital been? Perhaps a few days just to settle in before getting back home? I know i had to be at the surgical center early probably before 7am but I was back in the car driving home before noon! As soon as I was awake, drank some water and went to the bathroom, the recovery nurses said I could head home if I felt ok! My husband was very helpful and a great nurse!! With a few kids running around, the hospital for the few days might have been a good idea:)
    Hope you get discharged today!!!
    When do you start formal PT sessions?
    -Jill

  390. Jill,

    Was in hospital for 5 days, and was discharged only yesterday. The thing about medical coverage via insurance is that some equipment/apparatus are not covered, i.e. you have to pay them on your own. In my case, since the Company paid for my surgery, all expenses were covered, inclusive of my knee immobiliser and cryocuff! Perhaps there’s some silver lining indeed in what I’ve gone thru!

    Hospital was boring, as I was left on the bed most of the time. Food-wise, haven’t heard of a hospital serving good food! I was put on GA, and when I came around, was very nauseous, so much so I spent the 1st day post op vomiting! Whatever i took just caem out back :(

    Yes, you’re right with the kids – having them running around near my legs right now at home is really stressing me out!!

    CPM-wise, will only do it during physio. In fact, I started formal PT on the 2nd day.

    Btw,is it normal to feel feverish the few days after op? Doc told me it’s due to the swelling in my right knee. Hope you can share your experience.

    Nizam.

  391. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam

    That is a silver lining and a positive way of thinking about it.
    I love my cryocuff and I still use it today, especially after a hard workout.

    I’ve only had GA twice now and on my first go around I vaguely remember not feeling well. I mentioned that to the anesthesiologist and I think they added something for nausea in the drip. So sorry to hear about the vomiting, hopefully your stomach is settling down now.
    I don’t remember a fever but I do remember my knee being warm to the touch. Have you measured your temperature? I would watch that carefully. We actually bought a thermometer for the surgery but never found a reason to use it.

    I remember being nervous leaving the house at first, especially around kids. Adults were less likely to be unpredictable with their movements. I would have my husband always walk on my left side to protect the knee. When I started to walk a little better I still carried one of the crutches with me if I went out alone.

    How are you doing with pain and the medications?

    -Jill

  392. Hi Jill,

    Not much of the fever today, hope it’s really gone for good now. Tummy was back to normal on Day 2 post op and has been fine since.

    Been working to get the flex back, and icing up my knee via the cryocuff afterwards. Btw, how often do you use the cryocuff post-op? Is it ok to just leave it on the knee when sleeping (I switch it off if I woke up from sleep.)

    I’ve got pair of boys, 4 and 2 y.o., and they’re running all over the place – despite my pleas :) Boys will be boys I suppose.

    Am curious, how long did the swelling on your knee subside?

    Nizam.

  393. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam

    Great to hear about the fever! Fever can be an indication of infection, so something to watch carefully.

    Remember to work on your extensions. It’s really important to avoid putting anything under the knee for support and instead put things under you heel to let gravity passively extend the knee. My OS checks with his ACLr patients around 2-3 weeks and if you’re not at full extension they consider manipulation under anesthesia. Without full extension you will limp when you walk.

    Some people have said because the cryocuff is not ice right next to your skin you don’t have to adhere to the 20min maximum. Early after surgery before the portals were fully healed I kept some gauze on between skin and cryocuff so it wasn’t as cold. I didn’t have the continuous flow so I had to move the cooler about every 15 minutes or so. But the cold and compression made such a difference for me and allowed me to stop the pain meds after the first night. I’ve read of people who would leave it on all night.

    I really didn’t have a lot of swelling from the start. I think that by week 6 it was not noticeable to the layman. There was some scar tissue under the portals that made my knee look swollen but to the touch it was clear it was scar tissue.

    Watch out for those little guys!!
    -Jill

  394. Hi Jill,

    To be honest, had a chat with my a friend who’s a doctor and he said that fever maybe an indication of infection or rejection. However, fever has almost gone now.

    Am working on the extensions via flexing exercises twice a day, and then icing it up thereafter.

    I’ve applied the cuffs with a thin towel in between – advisable to do so? Mine comes with the regulator (tightens up the cuff and releases it after a few seconds).

    I’ve noticed the the swelling is slowly reducing – hopefully a good sign!

    Yes, am watchoing out for the two lil’ guys ;)

    Nizam.

  395. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam
    I would just have some layer between the cuff and the sutures for a little while.

    The swelling right around the patella was the slowest to go. Do you have any bruising coming up?
    I was advised to start baby aspirin after the surgery, did they prescribe that to you?

    During the first week I probably spent more time in extension than flexion. How are you getting both at the same time? I’m hyperextended naturally so I would use my non operated leg as my goal for extension.

    Definitely good to hear that swelling is on its way out! Remember to keep that leg elevated!
    -Jill

  396. Hi Jill,

    Yes, same here – used a thin towel to pad the cuff and the knee.

    Swelling update – area above the knee is subsiding nicely. However, slight pain in the MCL area, which has me a bit worried. Earlier on, doc had said I sprained my MCL. However, MCL was not touched during recent surgery.

    Am on Paracetamol + Codeine (as and when). Was prescribed with Arcoxia, which is a combination of pain killer and anti inflammatory – but have a bad allergy to it (ulcers and dryness of mouth).

    Both are progressing OK, i think!

    Keeping leg elevated – pillow beneath sufficient?

    Nizam.

  397. FB (Allo 6/24, Male 41)

    Nizam -

    I had the most pain from the MCL area and where the bone was drilled into. It wasn’t excruciating (3 out of 10), but it was the source for the most pain. It may not be the MCL, but since they were cutting and drilling in the area it may seem like the MCL. Give it a couple days.

    Saw the pics on Facebook, your leg looks pretty good for 5 days. Mine looked like an Easter ham for a couple weeks. :P

    As for elevation, I used a couple pillows when I slept, and one if I was trying to let my leg sag and hang to extend.

    Keep the updates coming. One year from my injury is Thursday. I’ll have a nice beer to celebrate. :)

    Hope you guys are well…

    –Frank

  398. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Frank
    I’m planning to celebrate my surgery date! Almost like a birthday!
    But any occasion for a beer sounds like a good one!

    Nizam
    Sounds like things are going well. I did the same as Frank, a few pillows at night and a doubled over rolled up yoga mat during the day.

    -Jill

  399. Frank,

    I see, I must admit I was a bit worried and started thinking that I might’ve tweaked my MCL or something! Will track the pain/discomfort for the nect few days.

    Btw, it’s been a year since you had your surgery! That’s a cause for celebration indeed!

    Jill,

    Will pillow-up the bed now :)

    Nizam.

  400. Hi peeps,

    Had a follow-up appointment with the specialis y’day. He was well pleased with the swelling, which is subsiding nicely. He then showed me the video of the op, which was very informative indeed!

    Am improving flexion by doing my own exercise @ home, twice a day.

    Btw, what’s a good timeframe to stop using the crutches?

    Nizam.

  401. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam
    Great to hear things are going well!

    As long as your OS has cleared you for full weight bearing I think you can go without the crutches when you feel comfortable.
    I stopped using 2 crutches after a few days. I kept one of the crutches in the car when I went out just in case but that was more to keep others away. I went back to work after 21/2 weeks and had been walking comfortably without crutches for awhile. Of course I had my brace!

    Keep up the good work!

    -Jill

  402. Hi Jill,

    I suppose it’s always a question of being comfortable walking w/out the crutches. I’m on to using 1 only for the past 2 days, albeit with gingerly steps.

    What a coincidence, as I’ll be back in the office 3 weeks after the ops! Hope to have weaned off using the crutches by then. But, sometimes, it just gives you that comfort when using them, right?

    Nizam.

  403. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam

    Absolutely, the crutch can be psychological. In fact during this time I found that there were times where it was my mind that needed some therapy as well. I did have fear that I would do something and damage the graft so I was very careful. This, and of course the brace caused me to change my gait. I would also have a stiff upper body posture. But this was all about confidence.

    It’s all about small successes. Everyday you will feel a little stronger, more flexible with less swelling.
    Sometimes you’ll push yourself a little too much and you knee will let you know. Remember ice is your friend even if there is no swelling.

    -Jill

  404. Hi folks,

    Achieved 115 for my flexion this morning, unassisted! PT was surprised and admitted that I am doing rather well in terms of my rehab. If I’m able to hit 120, they’ll start me off the bike.

    I guess all those hardwork prior to the op has been helpful.

    Nizam.

  405. Just an update – am walking gingerly at home without crutches! Slight pain at the meniscus area, but other than that, no major complaints.

    Drove the car for the 1st time today to pick up eldest boy from play school – with mom in tow just in case! Slight discomfort when shifting right leg from the accelerator to brake pedals. (Don’t tell my doctor I did that!). But must admit am a few weeks off from being able to drive properly.

    Nizam.

  406. Hi folks,

    Doctor peeled off the bandages covering the surgery wounds today. Doctor then informed that reaching 90 for flexion is the normal target within 2 weeks of surgery. So he said to ease off the exercises when I said I already hit the 100s!

    Nizam.

  407. Jill 42, 1/13 Left Allograft

    Nizam
    How’s everything look??? How’s the swelling coming along?
    Glad to hear you’re getting around, be careful out there!

    Listen to him, it may seem frustratingly slow but worth it in the end.
    How much time are you in the brace?
    -Jill

  408. Hi Jill,

    It seems to be good – swelling’s reducing quite well.

    Brace-wise, only when I step out of the house. Other than that, am not using it, but as I said, with ginger steps ;)

    Nizam.

  409. Hi all,

    Been back in the office since las Thursday. Today, I’ve ditched the crutches and wearing my knee brace only. However, after a few hours of just sitting down, I had to take it off as it was beginning to feel uncomfortable.

    Nizam.

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