ACL reconstruction, dealing with the pain!

by bhakti
(new zealand)

I had surgery in September. now i'm just 2 weeks post op and walking somewhat.

i still am unable to get a decent nights sleep. i don't experience knee pain, but more so pain in the ankle and calf. and the weird things is, i always wake up in pain at 3am.
my surgeon and doctor tried to make me go off tramadol after the first week, but the pain was too intense. i still have to take painkillers just to get a few hours sleep for the calf pain.

i was wondering if anyone else out there had a similar sort of problem?

Comments for ACL reconstruction, dealing with the pain!

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 07, 2009
by: Matt

The pain sucks the first few weeks, just try to distract yourself from it.(I know its hard when you feel like you have someone elses leg). But after the swelling goes down your knee will feel so much better.

Sleeping on the other hand for me was just impossible for about a month. I could just not EVER get comfortable with any brace. I fell asleep around 5am every night for the first month, then for the next month i would wake up every couple hours due to discomfort.

Worst part for me though is that i did not take pain medicine except for aspirin(really didn't even take that doesn't help me) because i denied opiates due too past abuse issues. It actually helped to learn to just deal with the pain because i became used to the pain and PT did not bother me as much as other people i know. (well i have a high pain tolerance, played a year of football on a torn ACL after i had a buck and handle tear. Doc did not catch the tear. I thought the pain was normal after surgery so i didn't say a word about it. LOL)

Sep 28, 2008
pain after surgery
by: Bart - SII

While I haven't gone through the procedure myself, I have had many patients who have had similiar experiences - the first 2 weeks are usually the worst when it comes to pain - your body is still in an acute inflammatory phase and so the pain is fairly high.

Continuing with the pain medication, if just for your pain at night, should be something to consider - many times it takes 3-4 weeks to be able to get through a full nights sleep, and if you don't get your rest, your recovery won't go as smoothly. Taking a pain pill before going to bed shouldn't be a problem. And you can slowly move off of the prescription meds and to over the counter pain relievers like Tylenol or Ibuprofen.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Sports Injury Answers - Knee Ligaments.