Allison's post ACL surgury complications

by Allison
(Plantation, FL)

I'm a 44 year old female firefighter and athlete. I tore my right ACL completely om March 28, 09. I had reconstructive surgery using my patellar tendon on April 14th. The doctor also did minor repairs on my meniscus. Presently, I'm 9 weeks post-surgery. I do physical therapy for 3 hours three times per week (plus more on my own). I am having numerous problems with my knee and I'm very frustrated.


I have a large lump at the point where my patellar tendon attaches to my tibia. My patella has very limited movement. I don't know if this is because of the lump or if I'm having possible scar tissue issues. My knee gets really irritated and swells after my aggressive therapy sessions. Various muscles in my thigh are extremely tight- I stretch them using a foam roller several times a day for relief. I have not slept through the night since my injury day. Most nights I need Vicadin but that really doesn't help. I sleep for a couple of hours then knee pain wakes me up and I toss and turn the rest of the night.

Because of all these problems, my therapist and I have decided to take a break from squat and extension type exercises to see if we can get the swelling and "lump" to come down. We've just done massage, ultrasound, stretching, and cycling for the past week. The swelling has gone down but everything else is the same. The painful nights are killing me plus I want to get back to work and resume biking and running. I'm exhausted and frustrated, please help.

Have you ever seen a lump like I've described? I see my doctor again in 4 days. Do you have any suggestions? By the way, I'm a few degrees short of full extension and I get about 140 degrees flexion with help from the therapists (much less if I have a lot of swelling). Thank you.

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Nov 11, 2015
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Jul 23, 2010
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Advise
by: Anonymous

Hi Alison,


Im a 16 year old who had surgery 2 years ago on my left ACL after tearing it completely at netball. I had the same lump as you are explaining i think, mine was just above the scar. I went in exact one year after the ACL reconstruction and removed the screw, however i still have the lump which causes me problems regularly, i cannot bend at all on that knee, and with any pressure applied it feels extremely tender and painful.

I was wondering if you had a solution to your problems with the lump?

Thanks

Aug 27, 2009
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Lump
by: Anonymous

Hi Allison,

I hope you are doing much better. I just wanted to let you know that I had the exact same problem as you.

I also had the lump you are describing from day one after my surgery and it stayed there for 6 months before they had to remove the staple. A cortisone shot was the only thing that made the lump vanish and this was 11/2 years later.

This lump caused me alot of grief. It would cause limited range of motion and would go red and very hot with any type of exercise.

I wish you luck and hope you have a speedier recovery than I did.


Jul 05, 2009
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44 yr. old ALC repair, too
by: Jen_N

Hey Allison,
I had my surgery on June 10th and I'm still challenged by the same things you are. I use Ambien to help me sleep. The Vicodin made me sick to my stomach. I was on Lovenox, a blood thinner, for 8 days post surgery, and my doctor and PT say this is slowing me down. I can bend to 90 degrees, but can not get more than that, despite the exercises and my will to do so. I cannot straighten the leg yet either. With my Pt's massage and pushing, we've gotten it to 7 degrees, but I am never able to do that on my own. I am still walking with one crutch. when I walk without it, I have the most awful gait and then my back and hip hurt. It's very frustrating. I am a runner and figure skater and to watch my leg shrink in size, and for my muscles to lay their limply while I am trying to squeeze and get them to fire has been heart breaking. You are not alone. I hope we both see improvement soon@

Jun 23, 2009
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Pain/Swelling
by: rebecca

Allison - I'm very sorry to hear you are having problems. We had our surgery on the same date. I thought I was the only one having nite time issues. I had the allograft & for the past couple of weeks I have alot of pain in the area he repaired the meniscus and notice alot more swelling. I was told to drop down to 1 x per 2 weeks on PT, I was going to the gym for 2-3 hours per day 2-3 days per week, but last week & this week I've not been able to. Last week cuz of the pain & this week just too busy, but still getting plenty of excersize.

I was just wondering today if I could have done something wrong for the swelling & pain to have flared up. Straightening all the way has also become uncomfortable & some times down right painful.

I also have a bump where he put the screw in my leg, near the patellar tendon. I hope it goes away, I think its just scar tissue.

I wanted to share with you so you know you are not alone w/ the pain & swelling.

Feel free to contact me on yahoo - Rebakemp72.

Best of luck & get well soon.

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