Googs ACL Surgery
Hi I'm 35 years old and had ACL surgery 7 weeks ago, this is my story so far
I was playing soccer Oct 20 2008 when i was tackled from my left hand side, tumbled and fell and immediately i felt my knee was numb and something bad had happened.
I was carried off the pitch by team mates and waited on sideline till game finished about 29 minutes later (0-0 draw case anyone wondering, not given a penalty for the tackle on me).
i did not sleep much that night but did get up as normal (hobbled up as normal as you can do !) and went to work (a team mate who brought me home from match collected me and brought me to work).
After a painful hour sitting at my desk, i went to casualty to get it looked at. Casualty departments in Ireland are very busy and slow so after waiting most of the day i was seen and had xray carried out, no break confirmed but heavy bruising obvious. Given prescription for anti inflammatory and pain killers and told to come back in a week.
At this stage, let me tell you nobody at hospital had mentioned the possibility of full ACL tear and it had hardly even crossed my mind to be honest. As far as i was concerned, it was heavy bruising and id be back playing Soccer, Badminton, Tennis and Golf as normal in a few weeks, an Irish Junior Badminton tournament due to be held in Sligo that weekend was gone out the window alas.
A week went by and i went back to the hospital and saw a doctor who 'concluded' that the knee was still too swollen to give a proper diagnosis......and told me to come back in another week.
I go back in a week and i meet a doctor who finally starts talking reality, she fears i have damaged ligaments and immediately refers me for an MRI scan, i was booked in for same a week later. I really should have been refered for a scan the very first day i went to Casualty !!!!!
I'm booked in to see Consultant another week later and meet Mr Shannon 5 weeks after the injury. With the results of the scans he confirms the worst case scenario that full ACL tear means surgery is required and it will be many months out of sport and not a few weeks as i had rather naively thought initially.
My knee and quads had become very weak lazy and tired during the first 5 weeks of injury so surgeon concluded i needed 6 weeks of pre op physio work to get my leg strong enough for operation.
I booked in and had 6 weeks of physio, strengthening with a personal trainer and returned to the consultant confident i was now ready for surgery. I met the surgeon and he agreed yes i was ready and gave me an appointment date of 19Th February, 3 weeks from this meeting and warned me to continue my pre op work as this would aid my post op rehab.
So finally i have a date, 4 months after the injury (better late than never)
During this 3 weeks i read peoples blogs/stories on line and this helped though it was only really dawning on me that i was looking at a full year out of sport which is my life so it was rather a depressing time.
I was due to check in 11 am on the day of Op and was shown to my ward, sharing a room with 4 elderly men.
Ive been fasting from food and water since the previous evening so hunger is certainly an issue. I met the surgeon who put a great big black mark on my left leg, just in case they operated on the wrong one !!!!!!! Around 2pm I'm called down to receive general anaesthetic and ready for operation. Last remember talking about football when 3.2.1, I'm out for the count, its around 2:30pm. I wake up in recovery room around 7pm ish i think. Am very groggy and talking gibberish, asked for water about 5 times but not allowed yet and like a good goldfish i keep forgetting i asked 1 minute earlier. Order stake and bizarrely a smoothie even though wont be able to eat a thing. I ask if i can text my female friend even though my phone is back at the ward.
Anyhow half hour later around 8pm I'm in my bed on the ward and semi consciously look at my leg and see huge plasters and a mountain of ice on it as well as tubes for my morphine and fluids. I demand coke which i cant have. I find my phone and text a few people to confirm I'm still alive. The girl I'm seeing plays a blinder and calls over to me for a couple of hours , brings a golf
and a football magazine and stays and chats and chats for ages and doesn't laugh too much at my somewhat at times gibberish conversation, thanks MP you are the best.
She leaves at visitor kicking out time at half ten and try and i try finish the slice of toast i have not yet managed to eat. Its lights out time in the ward, the TV goes off, lights go down and alas alas my Nurse Mary is replaced as part of the night shift. I'm told to self ad minster morphine at regular intervals, sometimes i forget its there. I do my best to sleep that night but couldn't have slept for more than an hour. A lot of pain despite the drugs, the night nurses try and help me with extra pain killers. However biggest problem at all is that I'm in need to go to the toilet and have a bottle to do it into but cant !! i try and try, my bladder is clearly full but cannot get it out and its getting uncomfortable now. Eventually nurses get wheelchair to toilet and a nurse at each arm holding me up i eventually manage to do it, the relief, maybe now at 5am i can get some sleep but cant. Both my sisters live in Australia so i text both as not much point in texting anyhow at home at 5am !!
Next morning i feel ok, have breakfast and read paper, watch TV and a text a few friends. Surgeon is due to see me at 1pm and Ive some physio work around 11. Physios very good and fit me up with crutches and i take my first steps learning for first time ever how to actually use a crutch correctly. The physio is tough and I'm struggling to do the exercises. I meet the surgeon too now and hes a bit frank to say the least and orders extra physio and 'tells off' the nurses for telling me to keep taking morphine when he reckoned it was no longer necessary (some internal politics i dunno). Anyhow my dad is here now and my physio is starting to work and I'm improving and allowed to home once i pass my 'gait' exercises.
I'm allowed home so that's not too bad, arrive home and go to bed almost straight away and manage to sleep. Next day is Saturday and I'm well used to crutches and quite mobile. Have dinner and i go to watch badminton for the day, a tournament i should have been playing in. Next few days go okay, i do my exercises and icing etc etc. Go to cinema with MP the Wednesday and see Slum dog, great show. Thanks MP....Have started physio now but cause of plasters its still restricted.
The following saturday with surgeon permisson i go to Ireland England rugby in Landsdowne without crutches, go with MP and she helped make a great day, couldnt have gone without her hand to hold, once again, thanks MP.
A week later i have plasters and outside stitches removed and i can visibly see the knee not as swollen as the baloon the week after the operation. Another week later (3 weeks post op) i meet the surgeon again, he is not happy with ROM (range of motion) and suggests if i dont improve quickly i may have to have another operation, not what you want to be hearing !!! He suggests i change physio asap. I leave the hospital almost n tears. I ring MP and as usual she is a rock and suggests i not take the meeting with surgeon too personally and book with new physio as soon as possible.
On the Thursday i meet the new physio and the next 3 weeks , my condition improves dramtically and when i see the surgeon again after the 3 weeks (6 weeks post op) he confirms a second op is not necessary though he says i am still behind where he would expect me to be but at least its a mostly positive meeting. MP at this stage has gone on her 6 week travelling holiday so have not been able to talk to her, i really miss her :(.
Im now 7 weeks post op and limp almost gone, still have daily dose of exercises and icing etc to do and am still using Cyrocuff and Kneehab to help my rehab. I was off work for 3 weeks only and towards the end of this 3 weeks i was able to resume driving. I still have 2 physio sessions a week and am gymming it every second day. Hopefully ill be cycling very soon. Its been a very fustrating and at times boring and depressing 7 weeks though Ireland's grand slam win and Liverpool's improved form has helped me a little, where would i be without sport.
MP is still away though :(
I miss her.
Thats all for now folks, talk soon