View Full Version : How were your first few weeks post-ACL reco?
14-04-2006, 09:45 AM
Just found this site a few weeks ago. Great source of info. I have a question...I'm scheduled for an ACL reconstruction with medial meniscus tear in early May with Hayden Morris. My problem is that I'm at Uni (studying medicine) and my surgery is only a few weeks before exams start. I'm trying to decide if I should keep my scheduled surgery date or wait until the semester is over and have it done in June/July. I've heard various stories about the first few weeks (tonnes of pain, had to be waited on hand and foot, no showering...) and so I'm just wondering how you all found it. How much pain, how much mobility, could you have focused on studies/intense work etc.? My gut says get it done in May. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
14-04-2006, 05:19 PM
I am 6 weeks post op. My experience:
-no pain at all, swelling yes (a lot), started with fizio the following day after the reco, spent most of my first week after op in bed (when I was not doing fizio) and excersizing, had to keep the knee dry (showerd with the operated leg outside the shower and behind the shower curtain :-)))), started work a week after (I used 2 crutches during 1-st week post op), and although I did not need, used one crutch during the second week (on my pt advice to stop me developing limping pattern and to keep alert other people to keep the distance to my leg).
Trust me-the operation is the easier part!!!!
Good luck with the reco...
14-04-2006, 05:53 PM
I had acl reco (hamstring tendon) recently as well
Ditto for me as for 'Darko' earlier. No lingering pain in knee, hamstring was sore (when twitched) for about 2 weeks. Physio exercises as directed and crutches as told (tho never needed them for weight bearing, just precaution.
I would have no hesitation with surgery weeks before exam - if anything you';ll be happy to stay sitting and studying!
good lucks, post gorey photos
15-04-2006, 07:57 AM
Might depend on whether your med school has a generous special con policy.
Remember that not all knee recos are the same, if you tempt fate you could end up being the one who gets a complication.
16-04-2006, 09:32 PM
Gday mate, i have had 2 recos on the same knee. First one a middle third patella tendon graft and it was the most painful experience of my life. There is no way in hell i could have studied for a couple of weeks after that. I blew it out and had a second reco, this time a hamstring graft. It was relatively painless and i could have easily studied within a couple of days after it. What sort of graft are you having?
17-04-2006, 08:50 PM
Thanks for the input all!
I'm having a hamstring graft. I've heard the patellar tendon is painful. A friend of mine had a patellar graft back in October and is still having pain although he's able to play sports.
Thought of another question...Any thoughts on flying 1 to 1.5 months after surgery?
19-04-2006, 09:54 AM
Hey there, everyone does have different recovery from ops so its hard to say what your's will be. I had a very painful recovery and was on Panadeine Forte for 4-5 days. The day the anaesthetic wore off from within the knee I almost cried and threw up due to the pain. I was quite vigilant in taking my pain killers every 4 hours so to get on top of the pain after that, even setting the alarm during the night. Every slight knock, jar or pressure was excruciating. Also, each surgeon has different methods too. A girlfriend of mine had no pain whatsoever and was up walking without crutches very quickly. She had an epidural and no need to take Panadeine Forte. So yeah, mine was quite painful compared to the other posts but that's just one experience and I hope yours is smoother. Ask your surgeon before you go in what you can expect, i.e. will he give you an epidural or just anaesthetic, script for pain killers on discharge etc. BTW, Hayden Morris is a wonderful surgeon and I've only heard positive comments about him - you're in good hands!
As for flying, I suppose you have to be mindful of DVT. Even on longer domestic flights (Perth- Sydney etc) without surgery its still a factor for some people. Maybe take aspirin (thins the blood), constantly flex your calves, anakle pumps, walk around in the cabin etc if you're concerned, but a month or two should be okay. Get doc's advice if you are unsure.
19-04-2006, 03:45 PM
I too didn't have a good experience after reco. had a patella graft - spent the first week after op vomiting continuously. my first two weeks were hell and i was wondering why in gods name anyone would want to have it done. 5 months later - very easy to forget how much pain i was in. would i sit for exams? absolutely not.
20-04-2006, 12:27 PM
Hi guys - recon hamstring plus stiched up buckethandle tear of meniscus. 14 months post op now but in my first couple of weeks it was quiet painful - I remember that I spent most of my time in bed as to drop my knee below chest height was a bad idea. Took the panadine forte as instructed but didn't use them all as a little bit of pain is good in some respects - makes you remember and stop you from doing silly things. Gee - hmm don't think I would have been wanting to cram for exams at the time - pain or panadine doesn't really help me study. Everyone seems to have different experiences though ;)
Good luck with it - it will be great when you are recovered! I waited 5yrs to get mine done and now wish I did it earlier to save my meniscus from further damage. :o
24-04-2006, 09:24 AM
I had the same operation as you - repairing both the ACL and medial ligaments. The pain was annoying, however I was able to return to work reasonably quickly. The bigger problem I had was that I had to wear a brace for 6 weeks after the op, and this prevented my sleeping properly. Consequently I was like a zombie. Made my work *interesting*. Apart from that I flew 5 weeks after the op, and providing you tell the airline staff in advance there is plenty that they do for you. Just make sure that you move it during the flight (i didnt on the return and paid for it for a week!).
BR and good luck
I had very little pain, but mobility was a problem for a while. I couldnt ditch both crutches till 6 weeks. Returned to work at 3 weeks, should have had another week off. Also, if you have to navigate stairs it will be harder too, I fell down a flight of stairs 10 days after my op..... not a good thing to do.
Hey there.. this is my 3rd day after acl reconstruction. I had the patella graft. I feel sick to my stomach from the vicodine, but prefer it to letting the pain get ahead of me. I am very fortunate that I am semi-retired and do not have to do anything but recover. I am spending most of my time in the recliner with a cryo-cuff. boy.. is tv ever boring... I snooze off and on.. but I am looking forward to recovery. I injured my leg doing a flying side kick. I want to get back to my sport and if I need to go through this to do.. so be it.
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