Hey guys. Well it has been 8 months since my ACl Reconstruction. It has not been an easy rehabilitation but it has been an incredible journey. Having a limitation for so long truly made me appreciate everything I was able to do before my surgery. I still feel pain in my right knee, hamstring mostly. I have powered up my fitness regime and although I have finally reached great conditioning, my leg muscles have given me some resistance getting back to full strength. My Doc released me for sports activity in October 2013 with "ease into sports" suggestion. Although I have continued to Train and Teach since August, I really did not begin sparring until this January 2014. I have been working out 6 days a week, Krav Maga, Kickboxing, strength and interval training. I am seeing muscle growth but it still needs some more work on my right leg. Over all I am glad I had surgery and fixed what had been injured, it was both physically painful and emotionally draining, but in the end I am stronger than before. Injuries might slow you down for a bit, but given the proper care and rehabilitation you can get back to sports again. It is important to let the injury heal, it might be frustrating to slow down but in the end you will be happy you let yourself heal.
Exciting news! Doctor finally discharged me and Physical Therapy is complete. As of last week I started jogging a little, increasing strength exercises and got back to ground work. I did try to do some round house kicks to a pad but that area I still have to build up. My hamstring will feel bruised and sore for a while longer , but for the most part my knee is regaining it's strength and stability. This past week I also received my custom sports brace, I will wear this brace any time I exercise or train for at least a year. The purpose of this brace is to prevent ACL injury by limiting knee twisting, which at 5 months post op I am clear to go back to sports. I am now entering the crunch time of my rehabilitation. From here on I will be posting list of exercises I will perform to get back to full on sparring condition.
Hey Guys today officially marks 4 months post ACL Reconstruction. The past four weeks have been hard but finally seeing progress. I wanted to wait a month since my last post so you could all see how things have gone.
Sept. 6 had knee manipulation. Spent half hour in the surgery room getting my knee snapped, Doc had to manually break all the scar tissue that had built up and was making it impossible to progress on the flexion. Procedure was from 7:30am-8:00am. Woke up around 11am for a brief moment to hear the doc say we got your knee to 137 degrees, then I was out again. I kept getting really sick from the anesthesia so I spent 5 hours in recuperation. Went home took a nap, woke up around 4pm and went to Physical Therapy to get my leg stretched. My therapist measured my flexion at 112 degrees. Had severe swelling, my knee pretty much looked like a giant baseball. Had CPM machine delivered for constant motion, which made my quad feel like it was tearing.
Flexion decreased on Monday following the knee manipulation and continued to decrease on Wednesday therapy session. Doctor seemed a little worried and ordered me a flexion brace which my therapist recommended. My Knee was very sore and swollen, and a huge bruce shaped like the palm of the docs hand appeared on my leg, I can only imagine how much force was used to brake that scar tissue. By the end of this week my flexion had dropped to 96 degrees.
Flexion Brace was delivered to my house. This brace is the opposite of my post op brace. The flexion brace has a resistance setting that pretty mush forces your knee to bend. I was told to begin using 2 times per day for 20 minutes. I obviously doubled the usage to 4 times per day 20 minutes each. This brace really did cause a lot of pain, but in a few days I increased the flexion by 10 degrees. This was seriously the first time since I began therapy that I felt like I saw major progress. Therapy continues to be a butt kicker but it sure does help tons. By the end of the week my flexion was at 110 degrees.
I have been using the flexion brace and also pushing my knee to bend on my own without the brace. At work I would roll forward on my office chair and drive my knee to bend as far as I could. My physical therapist has really been kicking my butt, but seeing the progress just makes me want to go harder every time. This week I began going downstairs, it was hard at first but I have kept at it and really pushing it. Have been doing more squats and trying to sit on my knees, still not able to go all the way down but it is working. I went to the gym this week for the very first time since my injury in April, I was able to do the stair stepper in slow mode, about 40 steps per minute. I was also able to begin doing the leg press. By the end of this week I was able to bend my knee on my own at 117 degrees, and therapist forcing and holding at 124 degrees. I am feeling very happy and motivated. My walking is getting better, and last night I was even able to do a little bit of ground work. Things are really going goo
Alright so last Wednesday at Physical Therapy we really worked hard to try to bend my knee past 90, and the best we could get was 86 and that was really forcing it. So my Doc decided we could not wait anymore and risk losing my range of motion, so he schedule me for a knee manipulation Friday the 6th. I really do not know what to expect, but I have been told by some people to keep the pain killers circulating. I have been keeping active, walking and doing strength exercises as much as I can. I really do hope this procedure is going to be the last thing and that my knee will finally be able to work and work and work once again. Wish me luck!
After hurting my knee in therapy I was finally able to get in to see my Doc on the 19th. He said there was no damage done to my knee and that the pop I heard was scar tissue breaking. When he checked it my knee was at 70 degrees of flexion, he said this is not good and it was not where I should be. He told me that if in two weeks I did not get to 90 degrees then I would have to go under for a knee manipulation. This pretty much means that while I am completely out, they will manually break all the scar tissue my forcing the knee to bend. No really looking forward to this. My doc called my therapist while at was still there and told her that he wants to hear a lot more popping in my knee otherwise I will have to have a knee manipulation. On Tuesday the 20th when I showed up for therapy, I was told that the doc had given the green light for torture, and torture it was! After all the stretching my knee bending my therapist as able to get me to 80 degrees. It hurt A WHOLE LOT, but I am glad she pushed it as much as she could because I would not have done it myself. This past two weeks I continued my basic exercises, plus squats and side shuffles with a resistance band around my ankles. I feel great, I just hope we can get this knee to 90 by the end of this upcoming week. By the 3rd I will know what recommendations are in order. Fitness wise I have continued upper body strength training with dumbbell's, core training through ground leg raises and planks, and lower body training through vertical/side/back leg raises, squats and shuffles. Wedn
This Friday marked 2 months since my surgery, and it has truly been a roller coaster. This past Monday I called the nurse after hurting my knee during therapy last week and she said she did not think I had hurt my ACL but said to keep an eye on it and if it got worse she would have me go in to get checked. The entire week I refrained from my exercises and just let me knee rest. Since hurting my knee it feels like I have a heavy brick on my knee when I walk, straightening my leg seems harder to do and my quad is aching a bit. Therapist performed a test to check ligament position and all seemed well, except they believe I might have torn some scar tissue and that is were the pop came from. I only had one therapy session this week, approx . 20 minutes, of which 15 were spent connected to an compression/ice machine. I did have to rely on my brace more this week than I had since last doctor visit. Tomorrow morning I have a therapy session scheduled, hopefully everything goes well.
The beginning of this week was very exciting, why......because on Tuesday I was finally able to drive. Yes, my leg finally bent enough for me to be able to shift between petals. Wednesday I had therapy, did my regular heel slides to begin and then I did my first squats (baby squats) since I got hurt in April, felt good. I also did some step ups in about a 4 inch platform, and side to side shuffles with resistance. I felt great! My Leg was really beginning to feel like great improvement was happening, that was until today. When I first arrived to therapy my leg was stiff so the therapist had me on the bike to loosen it up. I will remind you that I am still not able to bend my leg past 70 degrees so I am not able to cycle a full rotation, so all I was able to do on the bike was shift forward and then back until my knee would allow. On the last forward shift my left leg pushed way too hard and forced my right knee to bend past my limit, I immediately felt a pop and a tearing motion. This really worried me and all I could think of was, oh God please don't let it be my ACL. My therapist sent me home early and recommended I ice heavily and lay off the exercises. The entire weekend my leg was very sore and I could barely walk without pain. I was so nervous about it, knee had been swollen like a baseball, Sunday I had to ice for about three hours straight.
Alright so this week I really got my butt kicked in Physical Therapy, the exercises were less and the stretching was MORE! OUCH!. My therapist tried to bend my knee as much as he could on Monday morning and when he measured my flexion I had only gone up about 1 degree. He told me to start working on walk squats, emphasizing more weight on my right leg. Yesterday I had therapy and by far it has been the most painful yet, therapist even told me "Didn't anybody tell you this was going to be painful". I began doing some resistance exercises while he would push on my leg. Towards the end of the session I was grunting and I think at one time punching the table, my leg just felt like it would snap in half right at my knee cap. Although it was incredibly painful I was very happy my therapist pushed me as hard as he did, definitely saw great progress, I made it to 60 degrees, which means I increased 15 degrees in 3 days. After my therapy I went to see my Doc for a 6 week follow up. Doc said everything looks great in the X-ray, my leg is at full extension and my flexion is progressing, although it is not were he wants it to be. My doc told me that I should be at 115 degrees flexion when I come see him again in one month. So my goals for the next 4 weeks are to strengthen my quads, get my walking back to normal, and increase my flexion. He did tell me I must let my leg dangle from a table for at least 20 minutes at a time, after a while my quads have no option but give up and let my knee bend. Yep this hurt A LOT!!! But it will get me to 90 degrees fast. In Addition my Doc said this next week I can use my brace in as needed basis, and next week completely off unless I am around large groups of people with heavy foot traffic. So Thursday night was the first night after 6 weeks I got to sleep without my brace, on my side YAY! and finally was able to shower without the chairs double YAY! Have maintained all exercises at about 30 reps each per day, and instead just been focusing on flexion and stretching and quad building through the muscle stimulator, Iam finally up at 70 compared to 25.
Although it seems like healing is going super slow, I am beginning to see and appreciate my progress. I have continued my exercises daily, they are starting to feel easier to perform. I think soon I will be ready to add some weight and increase my reps. On my last visit my therapist took a measurement of my knee flexion and said I had increased it by 20 degrees in 5 days, which means I am now at 45 degrees and have 85 more to go. I am surely feeling motivated seeing the progress. In addition I have started to feel a slight cramp in my quad when flexed, which means it is beginning to wake up and is ready for some more hard work. Knee is still swollen, and calf muscle is still sore, it actually feels bruised and aches if I touch it. Walking has gotten a little bit easier and the brace flexion is actually now set at 40 degrees. I have kicked up my upper body workouts
So Thursday was my first day of Physical Therapy. For a month I worked on making sure my leg was fully extended, and on Therapy day my Flexion (Bend in Knee) was completely the opposite. As of Thursday my Flexion was 25 degrees, still a long way to full flexion. My first exercise was specifically to build up my flexion, Heel Slides. It was incredible how difficult it was to try to bend my knee, it seems like if I tried too hard something would snap. The therapist said it was completely normal since my leg had been locked to full extension during a month. I had hope that during my first therapy session I would be told I can say goodbye to my brace, but I was told I had to wear it for about two more weeks. The advantage is since I have atleast 25 degrees of flexion the therapist gave me 30 degrees of flexion on my brace which means I can attempt to walk a little bit more normal without overbending it. I was given a list of 10 exercises, each to be performed 10 times for a total of three sets (30 reps each exercise). By day 2 I attempted 30 times for a total of two sets twice a day (60 reps each exercise), I pushed it as hard as I could without feeling like I was hurting my knee. This is the part that is very important, you must listen to your body. If you can only perform 1 set a day, then thats what you must stick to and gradually progress. Since performing the exercises did not give me pain or soreness I decided to increase, but I will probably stick to this sequence for atleast a week and then progress to 30 times for three sets daily (90 reps each exercise) depending on how my leg feels. I have also been using the muscle stimulator to help wake up my quad, it has seriously atrophied. Below is a list of exercises I was given.