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post-op knee surgery, how much longer to "normal"

bmccasland2012-01-13 05:20:39 +0000 #1
I had ACL repair on my left knee in early June, and my knee still doesn't feel "normal."

It doesn't hurt or feel weak, but I know it's there. I'm still doing my PT exercises 2x / week. The other thing I noticed while plodding away on the treadmill this morning is that my left foot kind of plods down instead of going heal-toe. I know my first PT worked with me to not drag my foot, having me step over 6" hurdles. Not sure how to replicate that exercise.

Any thoughts?
Reesha2012-01-13 05:29:54 +0000 #2
Hi Beth! I think it depends what type of ACL surgery you had. I had a cadaver replacement and felt fantastic within weeks of surgery, though I understand replacements using your own tissues take much longer to heal. Did you have any other tissues damaged?

I remember working often with a giant rubber band on my own time. I also started to certain yoga to really break in the new ligament after about six months. I will say that it took a long time to get my knee to full flexibility. Like 2+ years. That said, I didn't need the full flexibility, as I rarely sat down Japanese tea style on my knees, or even cross-legged on the floor.
7rider2012-01-13 05:51:27 +0000 #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by bmccasland

I know my first PT worked with me to not drag my foot, having me step over 6" hurdles. Not sure how to replicate that exercise.

Any thoughts?

Slightly related as the goal was a bit different - I took a circuit class where the instructor had us going over these hurdles: www.amazon.com/SKLZ-...id=1323463604&sr=8-1 (or something like them). He also recommended we just replicate them by using cracks in the sidewalk or even lay out a bunch of sticks or something.

As for "normal" knees - I had a LCL repair (more invasive) and it took a looong time to feel normal. Not sure how long, as the surgery was 10+ years ago, but it took a while. But it gets there.
Muirenn2012-01-13 06:19:09 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by bmccasland

I had ACL repair on my left knee in early June, and my knee still doesn't feel "normal."

It doesn't hurt or feel weak, but I know it's there. I'm still doing my PT exercises 2x / week. The other thing I noticed while plodding away on the treadmill this morning is that my left foot kind of plods down instead of going heal-toe. I know my first PT worked with me to not drag my foot, having me step over 6" hurdles. Not sure how to replicate that exercise.

Any thoughts?

Depends depends depends.

My ACL was torn, uh, 17 years before I had reconstructive surgery. I re-tore in April 2007, and had surgery August 2007. Had a torn meniscus and degenerated cartilage too. This all means I had a lot of degeneration compared to many people.

They used a tendon from my hamstring to replace the torn ACL, but went in through my shin, so three areas in my leg had to recover. This is an aggressive surgery, but gives the most use in the long-run. It is supposed to take the longest to heal too, so they only do it for people who are normally quite active. They also repaired the meniscus and punched holes in the torn cartilage, which promoted healing.

I was given the option of the cadaver, where they go in through the knee and repair everything directly, so one healing-site versus 3. Faster healing, not as much function in the long-run.

Normal (for me) is probably never. But I starting cycling in 2008, and that is what rebuilt my muscle. Not PT.

Maybe 2 years before I felt it was 'good?' Actually, may have been 3, so last year.

But my definition of 'good' may be different from yours.

June wasn't that long ago. I'd give it 1-2 years for 'good,' whatever that means.
Reesha2012-01-13 05:35:00 +0000 #5
Man, I didn't ask the right questions when I had the knee surgery!!! I was just 20 when I had it (it was my second) and they didn't even give me the option for hamstring tendon. Nonetheless, after ten years and much activity, my cadaver ligament is perfect. No knee trouble since then

I also like that I have a part of someone else inside of me!
ny biker2012-01-13 05:42:06 +0000 #6
Well, it wasn't knee surgery, but back in '93 I had surgery to repair a torn tendon in my ankle. They took part of another tendon in my foot and used it to replace the torn section of tendon. They also moved my heel bone about 1/4 inch to take pressure off the tendon so the problem would not recur.

The healing process was very gradual. I didn't notice progress day-to-day, but over time I was able to look back and see how much better it had gotten.

About a year after the surgery, I realized that I couldn't remember the last time I felt any pain or stiffness in my ankle as a result of regular activities. For example, it wasn't stiff when I woke up in the morning and it didn't hurt when I ran to catch a bus. For a few years after that, I had to make sure I had shoes with very good arch support if I was going to do any amount of walking, or else it would hurt.

Now I am mostly but not 100% pain free -- if I turn my foot a certain way, I feel a twinge, and I no longer need to be as worried about arch support as I used to be, but if I walk a lot in shoes no arch support at all it will hurt a bit.
Artista2012-01-13 05:58:36 +0000 #7
My foot on the side that I broke my ankle on doesn't like to roll heel-to-toe either. Here's an exercise that my PT gave me that might help you too. It's called "retro walking". I walk slowly backwards, toe-to-heel, while I tighten the glute on the side that is currently stepping. He has me take relatively small, even steps with each foot. I do my retro walking back and forth down a long hall in my house for about 3 minutes each session and do 2-3 sessions a day. The retro walking is helping my foot to roll heel-to-toe again but I still have a ways to go with it.
Muirenn2012-01-13 05:52:30 +0000 #8
Quote:

Originally Posted by Reesha

Man, I didn't ask the right questions when I had the knee surgery!!! I was just 20 when I had it (it was my second) and they didn't even give me the option for hamstring tendon. Nonetheless, after ten years and much activity, my cadaver ligament is perfect. No knee trouble since then

I also like that I have a part of someone else inside of me!

Not all doctors perform all surgeries. I was lucky to get the top sports medicine guy at MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina), who performed an aggressive procedure.

If your knee is perfect with the cadaver, then the hamstring tendon may have been overkill (no pun intended), my knee was quite bad.

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