Andrea's ACL Surgery & Recorvery Story

I'm 38 years old and tore my ACL skiing. I also sustained damage to my meniscus. After the initial injury my range of motion was limited (I could not straighten my leg all the way and could not bend it past 85 degrees). My orthopaedic surgeon made me wait 6 weeks for surgery during which time I went to physical therapy twice a week but was not able to improve my range of motion. He finally determined that the meniscus damage was preventing me from fully straightening and flexing my knee and went ahead with the surgery on Feb. 25, 2011. Donor tissue was used to construct a new ACL and he was able to repair my meniscus without having to remove any. The first week after surgery was pretty rough. Worst pain I have ever experienced in my life, despite being on pretty strong pain killers. I used a continuous motion device right after surgery and through the first week. I also started physical therapy two days after surgery and have been going there 3 times a week (1.5 to 2 hour sessions each time). It’s been over a month now since my surgery and I am still having a very difficult time getting my range of motion back. I can finally straighten my leg all the way but can only flex to 90 degrees (and even that brings me to tears). I have not been slacking and have been doing all my exercises as directed. I am wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience. The pain during physical therapy is excruciating. My doctor drained fluid from my knee a couple of days ago, gave me a cortisone shot and prescribed steroids to kill the inflammation in my knee. Since that shot my knee feels even stiffer than before. My knee is still swollen and things just don’t feel right in there. I'm getting very frustrated and discouraged. I am tired of the constant pain and I am so worried that I'll never get my full range of motion back. Walking normal is even a challenge, I keep compensating with my hip, trying to navigate stairs is even worse. My goal is to be back on the slopes next season (by December 2011). I was in excellent shape before all of this happened, I can’t believe that I’m having such a difficult time recovering from this injury & surgery.

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