Friday, December 21, 2007

ACL Recovery, Part II

I wish I could remember more details about the timing of my recovery from ACL surgery--I may have written it down in a paper journal, which I'll try to dig up.

I earlier wrote about some of my recovery. But with some fellow martial artists in recovery from ACL surgery or headed that way, I'm trying to remember more.

I wasn't supposed to put weight on my leg for a week because I also had a meniscus repair. But by the end of the week I was more mobile. In another week or two, if I recall, I was walking without crutches, but because I had to wear a rigid knee brace, I was moving my hip up and down like a peg-leg pirate.

One big step was when the physical therapists allowed a little hinging movement in my knee brace, first when I slept (which, believe it or not, is really nice), and then walking. The weirdest thing is, once they allowed me to walk with a little bit of hinging in the brace, they HAD TO TEACH ME HOW TO WALK AGAIN. I think it was three weeks after surgery, because I remember being amazed that I could forget how to walk in only three weeks.


michele said...

Bob, I know what you mean about remembering the details of recovery. I was locked out in my ACL brace for 5 1/5 weeks. They never unlocked the hinges. My PT started to wean me off the brace around 4 1/2 weeks. I spend brief periods of time without the brace and only inside. I was down to one crutch in about 10 days and off completely by two weeks. I also had the peg-leg pirate walk. I went back to work 5 days after surgery but only part-time. Sleeping with the locked-out brace was miserable. I was not allowed to drive for 6 weeks.

I remember being asked to do a straight leg raise on my first visit to PT. I could not do it. I was shocked - how is it possible that my leg would not move? I spend two days practicing only to find out on my next visit that I was doing it wrong. My PT taught me how to do the straight leg raise correctly.

For all those in recovery or headed that way, focus on the end result - a strong stable knee. With hard work, determination and a positive outlook you will prevail. Good luck!

Hack Shaft said...

On a pre-op basis, I did a few of the same exercises I'll be doing post-op.

Some muscles used in the straight leg raises to the front and to the side look like they might also benefit from slow 4-count kicks; however, I bet having my leg fully extended will probably tax the new ACL until things settle in.

We'll see...

BobSpar said...

Michele, it sounds like you had a very cautious physical therapist. And I'm guessing (I don't remember if you've said) you had ACL surgery on your right leg; because mine was on the left leg, I was able to drive earlier.

Definitely, I was also shocked at what I couldn't do after the operation. I totally support your encouragement of our fellow martial artists--with hard work and the right attitude, they will get a strong knee again!

Hack Shaft, I'll bet slow kicks would be good preparation; I did work on slow kicks after a certain point in recovery. You just have to see whether your knee will let you or not. It was easier for me to slow kick with the injured leg than to stand on it to support the other leg kicking.

Blackbeltmama said...

Ok, that makes me feel good. I was able to do a leg lift the first day of PT, two days post op. I'm up to 3 sets of 30 per day now. I think that may be because of the pre-hab and allograft. I can't even imagine how much harder this would be with a graft from my own body.

BobSpar said...

Three sets of 30 daily within a week? BBM, great work!