Viv's ACL Surgery

by Vivian
(Miami, FL)

My knee, 2 weeks post op

My knee, 2 weeks post op

Hello everyone, my name is Vivian and I had reconstructive ACL surgery on March 16th, 2011. My ACL tore completely off the femur in a softball game when I was coming into home, landed fine and dandy, but the catcher took a cheap shot and kneed my thigh as I planted. The combination of planting and getting my thigh kneed caused a dislocation. My knee went back into place on its own, but I heard a rather loud pop, which was my ACL tearing clean off the femur. At least I was safe, and yes, we did win the game.

My orthopedic surgeon confirmed a complete tear of the ACL and I was in for surgery exactly two weeks after it happened. I had an allograft, which was a posterior tibialis tendon. Now I am 3 1/2 weeks post op now and feeling incredible. My recovery is going extremely well; I walk in an unlocked brace without any pain and only a very slight limp, which is hardly noticeable. By the end of week four (this week!) my therapist tells me we will remove the brace completely. Though I may not be running around yet, I feel like a million bucks and both my doctor and therapist tell me I am recovering faster than most patients, though a great deal of that is my dedication to home exercising, icing, and elevating. My recovery has been pretty much pain free, except for the first few days after surgery, the first two being the worst, but tolerable. I took Percocet for the first five days following surgery; since then I have only needed Tylenol on a couple of occasions when I had an extra long therapy session.
A number of people terrified me about this surgery; I was told it would be intense long lasting pain and a slow recovery, but IT IS NOT BAD AT ALL! I even enjoy therapy, I walk out of there feeling like I could run a marathon. For anyone out there that is nervous, don’t be! This surgery and recovery is a breeze in my opinion. I went back to work (though I did allot of sitting) a week after surgery. I was off crutches at about 2 1/2 weeks post op.
My advice:
1. Go to sports medicine doctors and therapists, they will get you back on your feet fast and they know knees extremely well.
2. Exercise, but do not over do it; go to therapy, ask them what you can do at home and really do it, no wimping out on home exercising. Dedicate yourself to each and every therapy session!
3. Ice and elevate that sucker as much as possible; the less fluid, the more you will be able to bend.
4. Stay down for a week after surgery, let your knee heal and rest. Having crutches does not mean you use them to be up all the time, that just floods your knee with fluid, give it a week of good rest. Get people to wait on you hand and foot if possible!
5. Finally, have a positive attitude; you will be fine in no time!

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