Need advice on ACL surgery..

Hi everyone,

Ok, this is gonna be one confusing situation, do bear with me..

A year ago, I had a partial tear to my ACL due to a blow to the side of my knee. I didn't have treatment nor PT for it at that time, thinking it was perfectly fine.

Since that incident, I've already flown to Aussie to start tertiary education (I'm a 1st year veterinary student) had I my knee "give out" about 7 times in the past year. I resorted to starting PT here, and my physiotherapist reckoned that my ACL is now pretty much torn, and there may be some lateral meniscus damage as well. She encouraged surgery.

Now the problem is, as vet student, I have practicals that involve running around in fields and catching and restraining horses, cattle, sheep, etc. With some rescheduling, I'm able to get about 3 weeks post-op to avoid these pracs, but after that, I have to be back out there with the animals. Is this possible? I've read so many cases about people having horrible pain in their knee for months (I'm a self-confessed chicken when it comes to pain..), and I'm worried if I'll be fit enough in 3 weeks to say..catch & restraint a sheep?

Also, I'm curious about my mobility after surgery - can I walk about, cook, bathe, go to uni for classes, after the surgery? I'm an international student, and hence I don't really have anyone here who can help me with all these matters...

I did consider holding off the surgery, as I have for the past 1 year, but now I'm back on one crutch again thanks to the most recent slip, and my knee's starting to throb along with weather changes...I'm used to a very active lifestyle, and so I really don't know what should I do...

Any ideas? Should I, or should I not go for surgery? How bad does the surgery hurt? I have an amazingly packed university schedule (8-pm every day), I probably won't have access to ice, etc. Can I take care of myself during the 1st couple of weeks..can I go to classes, and can I return to animal practicals within 3 weeks?

Really sorry for this tirade of questions..>< Any advice would be really really appreciated..

Brisbane, Australia

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