Betsy's ACL Surgery

by Betsy
(Sandy Hook, CT USA)

I am a healthy 47 year old female. I have always been a good athlete and still am, thank goodness. I injured my knee on 01/26/08. Not skiing but weather stripping a door. The weather stripping was a little thick and the door wouldn't close, in my mind I thought "if I just give it a little kick it will close." Maybe too many Bruce Lee movies. The leg that I was standing on went pop pop and then I went down. My fiance heard me say "bad word" and said, "are you alright" laughing I said, "I don't think so."


We off to the hospital needless to say and then to the Orthopedic doctor and then the MRI which confimed I had torn my ACL and had a meniscal tear and that surgery would be necessary.

When I met with the Ortho doc he said 3 weeks of physical therapy and then surgery on 02/19/08. This I could deal with. The only part that was a shock was allograph or hamstring. Not knowing what that meant I was shocked to hear the word cadaver tissue. That is when I really starting thinking...this is serious.

I began to read and finally decided on using my hamstring. I was surprised to talk with so many people who have had this surgery. The consistent things I heard where with the Patella graph the knee cap was still very sensative years after the surgery. Be a gardner I thought that's not for me.

I had the surgery and came home that night from the hospital. My opinion, they should keep you overnight and sedated. The next 3 days were the worst pain I have ever felt. I being 115 pounds gave birth to a Son who was 9 lbs 2 oz, with no medication was a cake walk compared to the surgery. After the 3 days I stayed on pain medication for another couple of days.

I had the immobilizer brace on for 7 weeks with PT 3 times a week. Once the brace was off I have continued with PT 2 times a week. I am still waiting to get clearance for jumping and pivoting but I have to say I feel really good. It has been an interesting process so far with some way to go.

The only plea to the Doctor's and Insurance companies is to have a overnight stay so they can give the stronger pain medication. Good Luck to anyone who has to have this surgery and my only advise is listen to your Surgeon and go to ALL of your PT!

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Nov 11, 2008
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how are things now
by: K from SC

Betsy,
Your post was the one that grabbed me! I am 46 and tore my acl in early Oct paragliding. I was stunned to learn that this is so much more common in women but knowing that I lead an active lifestyle, I opted for the hamstring graft reconstruction as well. I was astounded by the pain on the first night at home and remember quite well thinking that my daughters delivery (naturally) was a piece of cake compared to what I felt that night! Nothing I had read prepared me for that and the only thing that got my pain under control (finally) was taking the pain meds every 3 hrs instead of the 4-6 recommended on the label (at least for that initial weekend). Anyways, I really appreciated your post and now that I am 11 days post op and doing my daily PT...how are you at the point where you are now?
Are you back to normal (as normal as one can be after this type of replacement). Have you had any trouble with your hamstring? Are there any pitfalls you would recommend avoiding? Thanks for any advice and update you can offer! K

Nov 07, 2008
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How's it going now?
by: Cathlyn

I'm 49 and considering the ACL surgery with a donor alograft. How are you feeling now?

Jun 22, 2008
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Just keep going...
by: Bart - SII

Betsy - thanks for sharing your story. You sound like you are doing great with everything - just keep going and it sounds like you will do well. Thanks again for sharing your unique perspective about this surgery - it will help everyone who is getting ready to experience an ACL surgery.

Bart

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