K's ACL story...

by KMB

I am a 46yo female who had ACL reconstruction surgery 1 week ago using my own hamstring. I also had meniscus damage repaired.

I tore my knee Paragliding. Fast downwind landing that I couldn't out run. Didn't hear the knee pop initially...no, I had to get up and try walking (not a good idea!)...that's when I heard the pop and my knee went a direction that still makes me nauseated to think about it! After x rays and an MRI it was determined that I had torn the ACL, partial in the MCL and meniscus damage. Oh yeah...incident happened in early October.

Saw the surgeon and scheduled surgery for Halloween day! (I was hoping for treats!!!) Started pre op PT 2 weeks before surgery.

Surgery went really well (I slept!)...woke up in recovery and really had to pee (not good when you have no feeling or control!)

Anyways, everything was fine until the blocks started waring off and then all @%## broke looose. Pain like I have never experienced before (and hopefully, never again). Should have taken the Percoset earlier. Ended up throwing up pain meds 2x and had terrible time until morning.

Finally, pain meds caught up as I was taking every 3 hrs (with nausea meds). Was able to sleep for next 36-48 hrs. Really needed it! Woke up Monday and off to the surgeon who said everything looked great!

Started PT next day and was very discouraged at how little I could do. PT the next day was a little better. PT 3 day was great! That night at home was a different story.

I am learning to take each day and each PT session as best I can. If I feel up to it, I do more. Am gaining strength each day and trying to lighten up on pain meds (saving them for PT sessions). My only strange thing is I have this welt on the back of my thigh that itches like crazy and is red and blistery. I think it is a reaction to the injection site where they did a leg block...but I am not sure. Anyone have anything like that?
I'll keep you updated on progress of recovery!

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Apr 16, 2009
by: K in SC

Thanks for your comment. Hang in there!!

I can't say enough about the 2 PT's I worked with. They kept me motivated and in the recovery game. I started flying again a couple of weeks ago (4 1/2 months post op)which is amazing.

In hindsight, I was really amazed at how quickly things improved between weeks 9-12 and then again, in weeks 12-16(released from PT at 15 wks). Life is back to normal! I still take Aleve every day to keep swelling to a minimum and find that if I go a few days without exercise, my knee will get a little stiff but as long as I keep up with my cycling and lunges...I am in good shape!

Keep a positive outlook and visualize your positive outcome...it will be here before you know it!

Apr 15, 2009
Thanks for sharing
by: Laura

I, too, am 46 and am only 2 weeks out. It seems like I had less pain last week even off the meds. I keep thinking that it's going to get easier, but it hasn't yet--thanks for your post--you give me hope.


Dec 26, 2008
Progress Report
by: K from SC

Just a quick update...today is 8 wks post op and things are really going well. Flexion is at about 115 and things are pretty much back to normal. PT is quite lengthy now with so many exercises I have to split between morning and evening to get them all in. The biggest issue I have at this point is remembering that things are still healing inside and I still have to be careful (sometimes I start to do things and then remember...I can't do that yet!) The biggest help at home (besides my husband) is the recumbent bike I got earlier this month. Being able to cycle every day has helped tremendously! Biggest lessons so far...PT has been great, but you do go through periods where it seems like your leaping ahead and then you (or at least in my case) seem to loose ground. Realizing that this is normal can save you a lot of frustration!

Hope someone finds this helpful! K

Nov 24, 2008
K's update...
by: K from SC

Well, I'm 24 day's post op so I thought I would give ya'll an update. Week 2 saw progress in strength and abilities which led to "overdoing it" which put me back on pain meds for a few days. I was able to ditch the crutches! My flexion was at 85 and extension at 2. Week 3 was pretty good. I started weight bearing exercises in PT and started on the bike (just rocking). I had a lot of swelling and pain in my calf so they sent me for an ultrasound to rule out blood clots. There were no clots so that was good! It did slow me up a little with my daily PT exercises for a few days and I could really tell a difference if I miss a session or two! I went to see my OS today after PT. My flexion was at 96 and extension at 0 (Yeah!!) I was totally shocked when he told me I can ditch the leg brace! I have been walking all day without it and loving it! I think I will still wear it out in crowds and such just in case I get bumped or something.
I am really amazed how much progress is being made on a weekly bases.

For anyone that is early in the recovery process or facing surgery, don't get discouraged. Things will happen faster than you think. My mood today: HAPPY!!! K

Nov 08, 2008
Thanks for sharing!
by: Bart - SII

Thanks for sharing your story. Hang in there, the first week or two are usually the worst. You will find that everyday in PT you will be able to a little more than the last time. Lots of improvement in the first weeks.

Keep an eye on the blister/rash. It could be from the injection site, but also could be a local reaction to the anesthesia, or a site of infection. If it gets worse or doesn't start getting better, call your doc. Better to be safe than sorry.

Good luck and keep us posted!


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