Samantha's ACL, Meniscus surgery

by Samantha
(Los Angeles, CA)

Had ACL surgery (cadaver allograft) on Wednesday the 24th(Feb). Medial Meniscus was repaired as was some shaggy looking cartilage. The first day was ok as the locals were still working. It's been downhill from there.


I cannot take any pain medication due to elevated liver enzymes and a narcotic allergy. So, I've just finished 2 days of toradol and am now beginning relafen 2x a day. My pain is pretty bad. I use the ice compressor and that helps a bit. I find the exercises almost impossible without having pain meds. I'm starting to regret that I ever did this to myself...

My bones ache intensely and just moving positions in bed is excrutiating. Please, someone, tell me this is going to get better... I feel like I'm in hell right now.

Thanks.

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Nov 07, 2015
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Education NEW
by: Anonymous

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Jul 12, 2010
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Dont give up
by: Jay

I know what your going through the first few weeks are painful but dont give up. this injury will either make you or break you just believe that everything will be ok in the long run. the pain will go away and you will be laughing about this at the end of recovery.

Apr 15, 2010
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Keep at it
by: JC

Looks like you're at about six weeks- the worst of the worst is over, but you've still got to commit to your rehab. I had the same thing you did- allograft plus about 60% of the lateral meniscus removed. Right now, it's probably just a grind for you- PT, daily home rehab, still kind of a pain to get around (just wait until the first time you try to go DOWN some stairs). Just keep at it. Don't skip a single day of rehab for any reason. Don't cut any corners. Do the work. I know it sounds harsh, but that's kind of the mindset you have to adopt right now. I PROMISE you it will get better and there will be a day that you actually say to yourself that you're glad you had it done. I'm at 13 months post-op and and back to hiking in broken mountain country with a full pack and, most important, full mobility and strength. Stronger than before, actually, because of all the rehab I did. If you don't have one, get a bike. BEST thing in the world for your knee and it gets you back out doing something active. You've got two or three months of work ahead, but KEEP AT IT.

Mar 08, 2010
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My experiences
by: Philip F

I had the surgery last December, & had to wear my brace an extra couple of months. I know how painful and difficult it is. You made a brave decision to have surgery and once you regain your full range of motion, you'll be glad you went through with it. I know the exercises are painful, but they're really important, so do your best.
Unfortunately you have to work through the pain with the exercises in order to prevent the muscles from atrophy. I started PT the day after surgery & cried and cried.
You are a strong person since you decided to go through the surgery & I have the confidence in you that you will be strong.


Mar 08, 2010
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the pain will ease
by: Anonymous

I had the same surgery on my right knee, on the 17th of march will be 4 months ago. i rarely have pain just aches here and there. i wondered myself after my surgery if it was worth putting myself through all the pain ....3 and a half months later i can say im glad i got it fixed.i hope you will get better and feel better with every week that passes.it wont be easy but the pain will start to fade, just hang in there.

Mar 02, 2010
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Update
by: Samantha

Went to Dr. yesterday as things had not improved and I was miserable. He had to "jumpstart" my leg cuz without pain meds he said things were a little harder (duh!). So he moved my leg in ways it couldn't or didn't want to move. It was strange, almost like my brain and leg weren't talking to each other and after some specific movements, they started communicating again. It hurt, but was also a relief.

I feel much better today, still have pain, but can finally get around! The Dr. ordered a CPM machine for me to keep things moving and to help out; it arrives tomorrow. Not sure if it'll help that much, as I can raise my leg from flat on my back and side and am almost at 90 degrees in one day! Wish I had been "jump started" days ago

Thank you to everyone for their comments. It helped!

Samantha

Mar 01, 2010
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It's rough
by: Anonymous

Oh man I know how you feel. I had the allograft and medial meniscus damage. And also a fractured fibula. But yeah definitly the first week is the worst but it does get better. And Rebecca you are so right, the first couple weeks of physical therapy are horrible. It's doing the simplest of things, like a straight leg raise, that are impossible. But stay strong. You'll get better!

Mar 01, 2010
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It Will Get Better
by: Denise

I had the surgery last June, and I know how painful and difficult it is. You made a brave decision to have surgery and once you regain your full range of motion, you'll be glad you went through with it. I know the exercises are painful, but they're really important, so do your best. It will DEFINITELY get better and in a few months you'll be back to relative normalcy!
Denise

Feb 27, 2010
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Hang in there
by: Anonymous

Hi Samantha,

The first few days are the worst and the pain medication is vile. It WILL get better. I agree with you, if I had known what the first couple of days were going to be like, I'm not sure I would have gone through with the ACL open knee surgery.

The first thing I managed to do--day 2 or 3-- was gain control of my knee. Whenever other people handled it they inevitably moved it the wrong way and hurt me. My left knee was operated on and I learned to bend forward and pick up my left ankle with my left hand and so was able to help myself on and off the bed, onto the toilet, etc. Somehow it was better if I hurt myself.

I'm now two weeks into recovery and using crutches. There is only a little bit of pain--really just tightness as I exercise now. You'll get there.

Good luck.

C.


Feb 27, 2010
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Keep your spirits up
by: Rebecca K

Samantha - I had my surgery last April & had to wear my brace an extra couple of months. I understand what you mean about the pain & agree with Bart on the havoc the surgery plays with your system.

Unfortunately you have to work through the pain with the excersizes in order to prevent the muscles from atrophy. I started PT the day after surgery & cried and cried.

You are a strong person since you decided to go through the surgery & I have the confidence in you that you will be strong


Feb 27, 2010
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Pain after surgery
by: Bart - SII

The first 2-4 days are almost always the absolute worst. The fact that you can't take much in the way of pain meds intensifies that, but it will get better. Surgery in general plays havok with your body's systems, and the work done with the ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair generally produce moderate pain. Once your body starts to recover from the anesthesia and the inflammatory process starts to slow down, things will get much better. After the first week, pain is usually mild to moderate depending on activities.

Bart

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