My ACL surgery- and beyond!

by Helen
(Macksville, NSW AUSTRALIA)

I'm off to have my ACL reco tomorrow!(July 18) Bit nervous, but trying to stay positive. It's an old netball injury from almost 20 years ago, but having and raising children has taken up a lot of time. Now that they are a bit older I find time to be able to finally do this for myself. It is a 3+ grade and at 37 years of age I am aware that surgery was necessary to live any kind of healthy lifestyle in the future. Just stepping off the curb I take the risk of my knee 'shifting' out. I found this website and Bart's words of wisdom are of great reassurance to me. The stories of others' were so helpful so I've decided to give u an insight into my coming experience- for what it's worth! See you on the other side!

xx Helen

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May 09, 2015
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by: Anonymous

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Apr 09, 2015
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Dec 09, 2014
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by: Contry

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Dec 08, 2014
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Jun 30, 2012
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12months on...happy days NEW
by: Helen

Star date: July 2012.
It's almost 12 months to the date on my ACL surgery and I wanted to mark the occasion with this final post.
I have full extension and 99% full bend in my knee. I'm thrilled with how things are traveling. Whilst I'm not back playing competitive sport, due to long work hours and having children to run around, I feel confident on it and happy with how it's going. I continue to push it and build up my quads and hamstring strength/ bulk in support of my knee.
I wish I'd been armed with better knowledge as a young teenager playing sport. My 14yr old tall, lanky netball ing daughter is lucky to have me as a mum after all this experience! Her body is doing what mine did at that age- growing too fast for my muscles to keep up! Visits to the Physio are supporting her body as she grows and changes and this enables her to be fully supported to continue to play sport- a vital part of a teenagers life, I believe.
NOT TO ALL PARENTS- if ur teenager is playing sport, get support and guidance from a sports Physio. Exercises have helped strengthen my daughters knees. She will continue with these exercises for life, I hope!
REASON FOR MY SUCCESS: following through with twice- weekly Physio for 3 months and doing my Physio 'homework'.

Thanks must go to Bart for his advice and excellent site, thanks Bart.

If you can get your hands on a copy of Bear Grylls' book it is a must read- made me feel I could accomplish anything!

Nov 22, 2011
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YEAH!!!
by: Bart - Sports Injury Info

Yeah, Helen, that is fantastic. Your flexion is almost there, and I'm sure it feels great to finally be steaming ahead in your recovery. Find time to do your "homework"! Just like in school, it makes all the difference in succeeding...and please come back for at least one more post when you are 100% better! Those are my favorites to read.

Bart

Oct 17, 2011
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3.5 months post op
by: Helen

Blood clot is gone!!!! Off the Warfarin and can now motor on with new Physio exercises. Can now bend to 114 degrees and am steaming ahead. My biggest worry is trying to find time in each day to do my 'homework' (exercises). Now that I'm back to work and life returns to normal I have to work hard to find the time because it is worth it!
This will be my last post as i feel I have nothing new to add to those of u considering surgery. I'm not sure if anyone has read it, but it has been lethargic for me! If you take anything from this I hope it's the importance of doing your Physio thoroughly after your operation. The operation is just the first 2 percent of the journey... And that bit is out of your hands! But, the aftercare is up to you. Stay strong, stay positive... The mind is a powerful thing.
Goodluck!

Sep 09, 2011
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Almost 8 weeks...
by: Helen

I'm driving!!! Yay! In 4 days it will have been two months since my ACL reconstruction. The knee is as solid as a rock I can fully straighten it and bend it to 96 degrees!!! I have an outstanding Physio who respects the fact that I know a bit and am willing to work hard... I love going to Physio! Can't believe how motivated I am at 38 yrs of age!
NOTE: if you need motivation read Bear Grylls' autobiography- it inspired me to be positive!
For all of you having a hard time in recovery, just remember this is just where you're at now... Things will improve!

Aug 13, 2011
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Day 25
by: Helen

Big day....big day!!!! Walking without crutches!!! Slow, but after a test step I knew that the knee felt solid and I walked (hobbled, but let's not split hairs at this point) around the house! I felt I did better if I just eased my weight fully into my 'new' knee rather than hold back. It is solid now so I have to trust it. It's stiff as a board, but continuing with my exercises 4 times a day will help it improve.
Big day.....
Great day....
NOTE: you'll have good and bad days in recovery. Take the good ones and celebrate!

Aug 04, 2011
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Feeling stronger
by: Helen

Day 16: well the daily injections have stopped and my blood is now thin enough to continue on taking 7mg of warfarin each day. This drug (rat poison my friend refers to it as) allows my body to essentially dissolve the clot. I will be on it for at least 3 months.
The knee feels great! My brace is only used when I'm outside and when at home I'm without it. I'm partial weight-bearing with crutches and dr says in another 5 days I shouldn't need them at all. Still doing Physio stretches 4 times a day.
Initially I asked for two weeks off work, but realistically that is going to be 4weeks. I know by then I will feel more sturdy and confident on my feet.
The greatest hurdle now is getting through the boredom now that my husband has gone back to work!
NOTE: when your feeling low just remember, this is just the hard part...it WILL get better:-)

Jul 29, 2011
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Two weeks post op
by: Anonymous

Almost two weeks gone and things are going well with my knee. The surgery was a success and they were able to harvest hamstrings from the same leg. My surgeon made me aware beforehand that he might have to go into the other leg if my hammys weren't plyable enough, but all went well. They gave me some morphine in the recovery room which made it impossible for me to keep any food down( no fun there), but an injection fixed that up! I was in over night and left next day after a visit from the Physio. She gave me 5 stretching& flexing exercises to do gently, 4 times a day.
All was going well until I felt a warm spot and ache in my calf. I was alerted by the warmth as I know this can be a sign of infection and contacted my surgeon straight away. He sent me straight to my GP who ordered an ultrasound, which confirmed a blood clot from my knee to my ankle.
NOTE: Question anything you think is not right, better to be safe than sorry!
I'm on warfarin injections AND tablets to thin my blood. This could take up to 3 months, but I'm told I can still stretch.
My surgeon didn't use a circulation stocking on me post op as it's not in his belief. I did not know that.
NOTE: Ask if your surgeon uses circulation stockings post op so you are fully informed and can make the decision that feels best for you. I didn't have that luxury.
I had a drain inserted post op and took anti inflammatory pills so the knee is hardly swollen and I'm already bending to 70 degrees.
The blood clot is a setback but the knee itself is great and I'm really pleased. I see the surgeon in 4 days which will be 2 weeks since the op. And we'll take it from there!

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