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Old 02-17-2010, 01:52 PM   #1
Christine Parry
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ACL Repair/Loss of flexibility

Does anyone have any experience with ACL reconstructive surgery and a loss of flexibility afterward?

I had ACL repair performed on my left knee in 2001. I think the procedure has made huge advances since then -- I've seen friends have it done within the last few years and be on their feet in less than a month. I was on complete bedrest for 2 weeks with my leg in a constant motion machine 20 hours of the day. I was on crutches for 4 months.

When I had the reconstructive surgery I opted to get a cadaver ligament (instead of using a piece of my hamstring). Since then, I'm severely less flexible on that side of my body, namely my inner thigh, than the other side. I have really lax ligaments (hence the original tear) so I used to be able to do oversplits on both sides. Now, even after continuous stretching, my split on the left side (where I had the surgery) is still ~6" above the ground, whereas my right side can go well past a straight line.*

Why is this? Has anyone else dealt with it, and if so, did you do any particular stretches or exercises that helped? I've done some research online but haven't found anything particularly helpful. I can't even tell what, per se, is tighter in my leg, which makes recon difficult.

*To be clear, I understand that even a 6" split is nothing to sneeze at, but it's frustrating when most of my yoga postures and progress is hindered by this imbalance. Also, even though CFWOD's don't have many pure flexibility exercises, I'm less confident on my Olympic lifts due to this extreme imbalance.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:08 PM   #2
Robert Stone
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Re: ACL Repair/Loss of flexibility

I'm sorry to hear that you didn't get good results from your surgery. Yes, things have changed since you had it done. I had mine replaced in 2007 and I was on my feet and walking around (with crutches and a brace) 2 hours after my procedure. My doc told me the key to this working is physical therapy. I had an alograph (cadaver) replacement, too. I went to physical therapy for 10 months almost everyday. My knee is at 99% of what it used to be. there is alittle pain if I twist it a certain way. You didn't mention if you did PT or not. I was cleared to return to full activity after 10 months(I jump out of planes and stuff like that for work). I'm not too sure if there is anything you can do to help now that it was so long ago. My only suggestion would be to see a physical therapist and ask them. Wish I could be of more help. Good luck!
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