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Old 08-03-2013, 08:41 PM   #1311
Janet Lawton
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

Hi everyone,
I have never tried cross fit, but I found this board surfing the net re: ACL recovery. I have had both ACL's replaced. Original injury to right ACL was skiing when I was 23 about 30 years ago. Used various braces for skiing and was mis-diagnosed (no MRI's back then). Gave up cutting sports and had occasional giving out episodes but managed quite well until 2002 when I tore the meniscus as my knee hyperextended on a pogo stick. Finally got MRI when PT didn't help and discovered no ACL. ACL hammy and meniscus repair in Aug. 2002. Relatively easy recovery and back to skiing in less than 6 mths (groomed runs). Fast forward to April 2013. Playing netball (similar to basketball for those unfamiliar) I cut toward basket and left leg buckled. My "bad" leg immediately became my "good" leg. MRI confirmed torn ACL and meniscus. Hammy recon by same doctor as 2002 with meniscus trim. I should add I was 42 when I had original surgery and there was no hesitation to have surgery this time at 53. I am too active (skiing, hiking, softball, netball, etc.) to not get it fixed. Just over two weeks post-op. Off crutches before 1 week appt., now using open brace when out and about but I don't use it at home. At 10 days I was 3-110. My biggest issue has been nerve issues. Leg is basically numb from knee to foot with lots of pins and needles at first and now sensitive to touch (sand paper on sunburn feeling) on medial side. Hoping it isn't permanent. Also tight calf. Other than that doing well. Age is just a number.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:28 AM   #1312
Chris Martinez
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

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Originally Posted by Janet Lawton View Post
Hi everyone,
I have never tried cross fit, but I found this board surfing the net re: ACL recovery. I have had both ACL's replaced. Original injury to right ACL was skiing when I was 23 about 30 years ago. Used various braces for skiing and was mis-diagnosed (no MRI's back then). Gave up cutting sports and had occasional giving out episodes but managed quite well until 2002 when I tore the meniscus as my knee hyperextended on a pogo stick. Finally got MRI when PT didn't help and discovered no ACL. ACL hammy and meniscus repair in Aug. 2002. Relatively easy recovery and back to skiing in less than 6 mths (groomed runs). Fast forward to April 2013. Playing netball (similar to basketball for those unfamiliar) I cut toward basket and left leg buckled. My "bad" leg immediately became my "good" leg. MRI confirmed torn ACL and meniscus. Hammy recon by same doctor as 2002 with meniscus trim. I should add I was 42 when I had original surgery and there was no hesitation to have surgery this time at 53. I am too active (skiing, hiking, softball, netball, etc.) to not get it fixed. Just over two weeks post-op. Off crutches before 1 week appt., now using open brace when out and about but I don't use it at home. At 10 days I was 3-110. My biggest issue has been nerve issues. Leg is basically numb from knee to foot with lots of pins and needles at first and now sensitive to touch (sand paper on sunburn feeling) on medial side. Hoping it isn't permanent. Also tight calf. Other than that doing well. Age is just a number.

You are a very strong woman Janet, you are right about age being just a number. That is very impressive that just at 10 days you are at 110. I didn't have much nerve issues, mine were really bad bruising and swelling. It gets better every week but don't be foolish and do things you aren't suppose to or you will regret it. Anyways good luck with your recovery. Btw mine ROM is 133 now.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:03 AM   #1313
Janet Lawton
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

Thanks Chris. I also had quick increase in ROM. At less than 3 weeks I was at full extension and 133. My PT is very conservative, but I'm trying to be patient. Only doing very conservative exercises, biking, and short walks (up to a mile). Hopefully the nerve issues will fade. Then I'll be very happy! Hope your hamstring healed up. I had a slight pull on mine while taking off my shoe without untying it so I can't do hamstring curls right now without pain, but it isn't too bad. I don't have any little kids to watch out for this time...just a yellow lab .
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:00 AM   #1314
Mike Hensel
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

I am now 3 months post surgery. Walking normal. Can go up and down the steps ok. Still doing lots of rehab on my own and at the facility. Been trying to work on single leg stuff. Still pain in the front side during those. Balance could use some work. My flexion is around 130 without the aid of a band. Still around 1 degrees on the back side of leg.

The Doc told me my ACL is strong. They used this KT1000 device and it turns out my ACL is stronger on my operated knee than my other knee. I've been given the all clear to perform pretty much all lifts however I'll need to start over (I mean really start over) to insure I use proper form and not overcompensate with the other leg plus keep my balance right, etc. Still have some pain too so it will be a while before Clean-and-Jerk and Snatch but getting the news that I'm past the "weak graph" phase was music to my ears.

One of the things that I felt really helped durng the first few months of rehab was being able to do rehab at the CrossFit Box I attend. Lots of band work, Airdyne bike, and mixing your standard body weight movements (upper body mainly) helping keep my sanity. A lot modified stuff. I also have a really great coach that could help me work on things to overcome my issues both knee related and other fundamentals on other aspects of CrossFit type movements.

Last edited by Mike Hensel : 08-09-2013 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:36 AM   #1315
Janet Lawton
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

5 weeks post-op today and doing very well. Measured full extension to 150 degrees at PT today..just 5 degrees shy of full range of motion. Get the brace off next week although I don't use it at home or during therapy. Finally adding more exercises - biking with resistance, side steps and angled steps with a resistance band, lunges, mini-squats, one-leg one-minute balances. Added step ups, lunges and standing on foam one-legged and throwing weighted ball against mini tramp today. Still have nerve issues in shin, but they seem to be improving somewhat. Hopeful it isn't permanent damage. Mike, sounds like you are coming along well!
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:26 AM   #1316
Suzi Manery
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Re: ACL Reconstruction Recovery

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Originally Posted by Mike McDaniel View Post
I tore my ACL and meniscus almost 20 years ago and opted to only repair the meniscus. The injured knee with the damaged ACL had been fine until about four weeks ago. I felt something tweak during a burpee and its been bothering me since.

I'm thinking I might need to go get the ACL repaired. I'm 35 now and I feel like the problem is just going to get worse if I continue to wait.

Thanks to everyone for posting their experiences... Giving me a lot to consider.
Mike,

Consider that my physiotherapist thinks that the fact I waited over 12 years for surgery may be one of the factors contributing to my success (in addition to the prehab & rehab work I have been doing). I have been compensating for not having an ACL all this time and now I've got one - bonus.

I am now 6-weeks, post-op and my surgeon confirmed earlier this week that I have met all of the targets and should now focus on building strength. I have been warned by both my physiotherapist & surgeon that my grafted ACL is now getting weaker and the risk re-tearing it is real.

Yesterday, I participated in my first class WOD and modified Hotshots 19 (subs:-DL for cleans and rowing for runs, also opted to do ring rows for pull-ups to safely keep my feet on the ground – time 34m:18s). All the movements have been approved by my physiotherapist and I have been doing them all for over a week. Since everyone in my gym is aware of my surgery I was safe to move at my own pace in my own space with less risk.

I understand from the professionals that have been guiding me that I’m on my way to a full and successful recovery – so here’s what I have done so far...

•5 months pre-surgery – My surgeon’s referral to physiotherapy said “Aggressively strengthen hamstrings. Especially closed kinetic chain exercises”. He explained he wanted me to squat lots. I told him how many squats I already did – he said “That’s great. Squat more”. So, my physio prescription for those months included back squats, dead lifts, weighted walking lunges, pistols, balancing on Bosu ball, hip bridges, eccentric hamstring lowering on the GHD and more. The weights got heavy and I did get stronger. I also saw my RMT regularly. (I had been seeing my physiotherapist & RMT irregularly before my surgeon's referral)

•Day 1-10 post surgery – I started what I could of exercises the same day (range of motion stuff). My routine included sleep, ice, exercise, sleep. I iced near continuous using a cryo-cuff and was on painkillers for this time. My staples and bandages came off day 10.

•Day 11-6weeks – I started seeing both my physiotherapist and RMT twice a week from day 11. I stayed off work for 3 solid weeks so that I could focus on rehab (getting through the exercises and biking/rowing takes 1.5-2.5 hours a day depending on how many people I stop to chat with and how much extra time I spend with my foam roller). I returned part-time time in week 4-5 and back full-time week 6. My surgeon’s instructions to my physiotherapist were “standard ACL protocol. Especially close kinetic chain exercises”. . My exercises now in week six include, air squats, Bosu squat, Bosu – one legged balances, front squat, dead lifts, calf raises, wall sits, assisted hamstring curls, hip bridges, rowing and stationary bike as well as lots of band & ball mobility. The squat and DL weights are still light, but it's super motivating to be able to do these movements. I still ice as much as possible and occasionally take an anti-inflammatory.

Moral of my story – do what the professionals tell you and you will be fine.

S.
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