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Old 08-16-2010, 01:05 AM   #881
Rob Darden
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

[QUOTE= And Steve, thanks for the article as well. The more research I do the more it seems that the patellar tendon is the way to go for faster (and possibly stronger) recovery; especially for athletes who play field sports.[/QUOTE]

Amen! All the research I have done has led me to go with the Patellar tendon graft. I am looking to get bilateral ACL reconstructive surgery ASAP.
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:16 AM   #882
Rodolfo Fuentes
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

Just into week 4 of my recovery from a torn quadriceps tendon, they also had to conduct a patella release and cleanup my ACL and PCL. I am truly going through the slower process than the rest of you, but according to the Doctor have been ahead of schedule.
Thanks for all the information and motivation. Keep up the good work everyone.
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:54 AM   #883
Dane Thomas
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

When it comes to ACL reconstruction go with your surgeon's recommendation rather than trying to convince them of something. You really want them to do their best with you, so give them every chance to get everything spot-on.

As far as rehab is concerned see if you can meet with the physical therapist that you will be using and learn as much of the initial post-op program as you can before the surgery. If you already know how to do the range-of-motion work, crutch walking and muscle re-education stuff without having to try to learn it with pain, swelling and other post-op stuff going on you will be one big step ahead of the game.

Keep in mind that even miniscule amounts of swelling in the joint capsule alter both proprioception (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception) and muscle innervation. This makes it very necessary to not start functional strength work until the swelling is gone and range of motion re-established, and to always back off and go into anti-swelling mode (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) if you have inadvertently overdone things.

The point is not to see how tough you are, the point is to see how much progress you can make towards your functional goals WITHOUT overstressing the knee during rehab. The person who stays the closest to that line without crossing it recovers as fast as they possibly can given their anatomy, physiology, genetics and circumstances of their injury and surgery. Those who don't ice and elevate frequently during the initial post-op period take longer. Those who can't learn to relax while stretching take longer. Those who don't re-establish quad control as quickly as possible take longer. Those who work the knee too much too early and cause swelling and pain take longer.

Rehab is all about mastering each step and proving that it can be done without any ill effects before moving on to the next. Structure and discipline and patience are rewarded.

I taught post-op ACL rehab programs to hundreds of patients during the 90's, including world and olympic champions and hall-of-fame members in a variety of sports. Without exception those who took the time to understand not only what they were doing but WHY it was important and how it fit into the overall plan made better, faster and less risky progress than those who just did what we told them. We also found that the time off from their normal patterns of training and competition was a perfect time to examine and correct weaknesses in their GPP (flexibility, assymmetry, etc.) I'm convinced that the time spent correcting weaknesses was perhaps the single most important factor in their overall return to performance.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:14 PM   #884
Jon Gregory
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

I tore my ACL in 2008. Had reconstruction in Sep 2008 using my hamstring. My recovery was reasonably fast as I have very good joint stability. My main issue was regaining full ROM because my joints lack flexibility. My surgeon basically said there's 2 kinds of patient - one regains strength fast but the ROM takes a while and the other gets ROM fast but lacks strength for longer.
Anyhoo, I don't remember the exact time line but I was back to full sports after about 7 months. I tore my hammie about 7 weeks post op and that was the only real set-back (apart from trying to surf way too early!)
The pain (at least for me) was nowhere near as bad as I expected. It really only hurt for the first 2 weeks and only when I suddenly moved position (ie getting up from the sofa or whatever).
The funny thing is that if I hadn't torn my ACL I would probably never have discovered crossfit! I was always fit and into outdoor sports but never liked being in a gym until I tore my ACL and was forced into the gym! Every cloud and all that.
Anyway, I am now the fittest and strongest I have ever been and the compo helped me buy a very nice 4x4!
If you are just starting your journey to recovery remember to stay patient! Don't rush it. Push as hard as you can but within the limits of your knee.
I reckon the biggest plug I can give to crossfit is that only since training under coach have I actually regained 100% ROM in my knee. In fact, I now have better ROM thanks to crossfit!
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:12 PM   #885
Jeffrey Liu
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

Well, might as well post and update, I guess.

I'm 10 weeks post-op right now, doing full squats to and slightly past 90 degrees. Full ROM lunges forward and to the sides. Last measurement was last week and I was at 140 degrees flexion which is pretty good, considering my right knee doesn't even get there after 2 years post-op.

Feeling really good, and feeling really anxious to start doing some running but my PT is rather conservative, so I don't expect her to let me begin running until I hit 14 weeks post-op which is what it says on my MD's protocol (although there is leniency there, but she's been pretty by the book with everything which is kind of annoying.)
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:13 PM   #886
Jared Walkowitz
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

I am almost 5 months post-op and my rehab has not gone well at all. I still do not have full extension and I am about 135 degrees flexion. I just got an MRI today to see if there is scar tissue built up around the knee. If this is the case, I may get my knee cleaned out. I also experience extreme stiffness after sitting at my desk for about 20 minutes.

FYI: I have been going to crossfit, going to PT and doing the exercises at home. I don't know what caused this, but my extension was a problem from my first day post-op. Kinda sucks, but I also hope it is scar tissue so I can get this taken care of ASAP.

The whole process has been very frustrating. I will let you all know how it goes.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:30 AM   #887
Dane Thomas
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

Jared,

In my experience with leading rehab for hundreds of ACL reconstructions of all types it is normal to expect full passive extension immediately post-op and from that time forward. Regaining full active extension with quad sets and leg lifts typically comes back as the swelling goes down, but passive extension problems are not a part of most normal, successful post-op rehab courses. That combined with the stiffness that you are experiencing makes me suspect that you might be right about needing a re-scope.

Just curious - Did you have your reconstruction immediately post-injury? What was the condition of your knee when you had it done?
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:02 AM   #888
Jared Walkowitz
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane Thomas View Post
Jared,

In my experience with leading rehab for hundreds of ACL reconstructions of all types it is normal to expect full passive extension immediately post-op and from that time forward. Regaining full active extension with quad sets and leg lifts typically comes back as the swelling goes down, but passive extension problems are not a part of most normal, successful post-op rehab courses. That combined with the stiffness that you are experiencing makes me suspect that you might be right about needing a re-scope.

Just curious - Did you have your reconstruction immediately post-injury? What was the condition of your knee when you had it done?
I had the surgery about 5 weeks after my injury. I had gone to PT and pretty much gotten full ROM back. The PT and doctor both said I was ready for surgery at that point.

Dane - are you a physical therapist? Just wondering, because I can use all the advice I can get.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:09 PM   #889
Steven Low
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

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Originally Posted by Jared Walkowitz View Post
I had the surgery about 5 weeks after my injury. I had gone to PT and pretty much gotten full ROM back. The PT and doctor both said I was ready for surgery at that point.

Dane - are you a physical therapist? Just wondering, because I can use all the advice I can get.
Why not just ask your PT?

There are people who can answer your questions... generally if you want to post them though.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:17 PM   #890
Jared Walkowitz
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Why not just ask your PT?

There are people who can answer your questions... generally if you want to post them though.
I do ask my PT. I just like to hear other people's experiences.
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