Thanks for clarifying that up for me, I knew it had something to do with blood flow. You explained it well enough for even me to understand! (And that is quite a feat)
If you're able to play basketball I'm impressed and excited about my own recovery. I just want to run again, playing basketball would be a great bonus.
My PTA keeps after me to use my crutches with my brace "locked out" whenever I walk. I can hobble around without either so I asked her why it was so important and she said it had to do with proper gate and that it was important to develop it correctly. I still fudge on using the crutches and brace at home, but I don't take any chances when I'm out and about.
Every time I log on and read the post for this thread I get more and more inspired. You turn on the t.v. and see war and destruction and it can really bum you out, you log onto these forums and see that there are people striving to help one another and sharing a positive message and it lifts you up.
Anyhoo, I'll get off my soapbox for now. Tomorrow is my first follow up appointment with my doctor. I'm hoping to get my 15 staples removed, how bad is that gonna hurt?
Hi OSNitro and Deluxe - glad to hear you are both in good spirits. It is a long haul - but as deluxe points out - we are lucky to have this as one of our biggest challenges when there is so much needless suffering and lunacy in the news. OSNitro- I remember that my scar really hurt for a LONG time. I got a therpeatic massage a few months after surgery - the scar area was very pronounced - and the masseuse told me to rub the scar area whenever I could in order to break up the scar tissue. I did that a lot and now it is barely detectable and it never hurts (although not all the feeling in that particular part of my leg ever came back completely).
Deluxe - it is really weird when you start walking around with no leg support at all (I went through combination of immobilzer; 2 different braces; crutches, cane)- with no support I was falling over myself like a drunk (of course, fashionable heeled sandals didn't help!) My surgeon said it was because the new ACL (formerly my hamstring) was not wired to send messages to my brain - so my knee did not know where it was in space. He also said that it might take 2 years for the wiring/messaging to connect - or that it may never happen. He also said that is why building up monster quads is so important - they literally hold up your knee. (plus they look awesome !)
Rojewski - I am running Cape Cod on 10/29 - same day you run. I don't have a running group or a coach - it's just me - but I do have 2 new pairs of sneakers and my foot pain is gone !
I had an ACL reconstruction December 1999 with local anesthesia and some sedation. I had cadaver donor allograft method. I started biking fairly soon ( indoors) as soon as I had sufficient range of motion, and I swam and eventually biked outdoors. It took about 4 months before I could run though, and I think it is usually longer recovery for the autograft ( used your own tissue) method.
Good luck. take the time you need; you don't want to do this twice.
Originally posted by Deluxehorsehitter:
A few questions:
How strong will my knee be when it's fully healed?
What should I expect as far as stability?
Once I'm able to start running again do I need to wear a protective brace?
I used to run trails and gravel roads a lot, will this be a no-no?
Will there be a time when my knee will feel like it used to?
I'm really afraid that every pain and twinge will play mind games with me, what sensations are normal on the way to recovery?
Anyhoo, thanks for all of the informative posts! You guys are truly inspiring!!!
I can't speak for everyone but this has been my experience:
1) My knee's pretty strong now that it has been years since it healed. Initially the knee won't be 100% shortly after recovery, rehab and healing. It takes time to regain strength but take it slow and gradually. Don't rush it. It will happen in due time most of the time. Even though the knee won't bounce back lickity split at full strength, you can make it stronger with diligence and patience. Patience is the key.
2) My knee's very stable. However, in order to maintain that stability, I'm very careful. I try very hard not to be clumsy, clutzy, accident prone, trip, fall, twist, stop-on-a-dime, step off a step or curb wrong, you get the idea. Also, I don't over do it with exercise. I exercise every other day to give the knee a rest or I'll cross-train moderatin; nothing hardcore otherwise the knee will protest, rebel and all that exercise will backfire which defeats the purpose of staying fit in the first place. !http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/rolleyes.gif|src=http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/rolleyes.gif|border=0!
3) My OS (orthopedic surgeon) didn't give me the go-ahead for running until 6 mos-post op and even then he said, don't over do it and incorporate some walking into that routine for weeks, months if need be. Also, no killer miles and super long distances. You can still stay in shape without running/exercising yourself into the ground. I wore my custom knee brace for several weeks and eventually ditched the brace altogether. It's in storage now. I might use it for easy, flat snow skiing someday --maybe. Anyway, after running/walking/exercising, I always do the RICE thing. I ice with lots of bags of frozen peas or corn while elevating the knee, leg, foot. I do this for 30 mins while watching TV, reading, resting. Helps keep the swelling down and no swelling means more ROM (range of motion) and less pain.
4) Trails and dirt's better than asphalt/cement. My OS advised this but again, no hardcore over doing it mileage. Moderation! I don't run everyday, only every OTHER day to give the knee a rest. Unfortunately as a woman, I avoid deserted, isolated trails, parks, track and the like since I run so early in the morning. I run on asphalt in my neighborhood for a couple of easy miles and my knee's fine. Again, I don't over do it. I'm toned, fit, trim 'n slim, dropped a lot of weight, dieted wisely, drinking water all without killing my knee in the process.
5) My knee feels like the one I was born with but it didn't feel that way until a few years after post-op. Everyone's different; maybe yours will feel like your good knee sooner than mine did. Months to a year post-op was touch 'n go for me. My knee didn't feel 100% then but it does now. I think because I never over did it. I exercise but know when to stop before overuse injuries rears its ugly head.
6) No mind games here. Sometimes I had minor discomfort if I twisted or tweaked my knee suddenly but 99.9% of them I think before I attempt to move "wrong." As long as I don't rush into anything when I'm walking or running, I'm OK. I think more before I move suddenly or unwisely. Again, as long as you're careful and exercise smart w/o over doing it, you should be able to keep the pain at bay. The only time I ever had pain was when I became over ambitious and pushed the envelope. I'd run too much, run 2 days in a row, didn't rest, didn't ice when the knee hurt or swelled, stood on my feet too long, walked too much on an outing all day/part of night, or didn't take it easy when I should've. When I take care of the knee with the respect it deserves, the knee's kind to me and rewards me with no pain. When I get sloppy with my moves or over do it then the knee gets mad and it hurts but nothing excruciating. Just pain reminders to back off and cut back on any strenuous activity.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. You really helped put my mind at ease. Everything seems to be going well with my recovery and I'm looking forward to getting back into training again.
Everyone that has posted on this thread has been so great! I hope you all have a lifetime of smooth running and no more injuries.
Hi everyone, I have ACL repair using cadaver donor tissue in August of 2000. I have not done any regular exercise until now. It feels weak but I am being careful with it. I'm hoping running strengthens it.
Six years. How has your knee held up so far? It's good to hear that your getting into running. I hope it goes well.
It's seems like forever since I've ran and I'll have to start from scratch. Are you following any certain program i.e., walk/run, etc? You've come to the right place for advice and motivation!
How is it going with you? I'm working on my "monster quads"! Lot's of contractions for now, supposed to move up to the next level at physical therapy today.
Stay safe and healthy everyone!
Wow! What a great website! I was just doing a search on Google for recovery time for an ACL surgery - specifically how soon I can start running again. I happen to come across this discussion page and am very happy! I am a marathon runner and was x-training 2 weeks ago and tore my ACL in a kickboxing class. I am upset. I have surgery scheduled two weeks from today. My OS told me no running for 6 months. I am 28 years old and in good shape. I lift weights, take spining classes, kickboxing, am learning how to swim (go ahead and laugh), and run 30 miles a week. I am very freaked out because I've never had any kind of injury before. I was checking out other websites over the weekend and it seems that a lot of people are able to run 3-4 months post surgery. Does this seem to be the case? I am amazed at how fast others have recovered!
I was on a treadmill 5 weeks post surgery with very very light running. I was freaked out too about not running and made it VERY clear to my OS prior to surgery. He promised me that he would have me back to running ASAP since this was a priority to me. When I met my PT's for pt I stressed that I wanted very agressive pt. I have one bit of info "listen to your pt". They are monitoring you and know what you can and can't handle. They saw the signs of a deep depression after my surgery and had me on a stationary bike two weeks post surgery. This helped alot! I was able to get out and get some sort of exercise to satisfy my needs. I will say that those first two weeks after my surgery were the worst, I don't like being chained down to the couch and doing nothing.
Are you doing a donor, hamstring or patella for your ACL? I had a cadaver and healed quickly! I have also been told that it really helped that my legs were in such excellant shape prior to the surgery.It's been 7 months since my surgery and I'm back up to running 50 miles a week. And I'm 41 years old!
Just hang in there and let us know how the surgery goes.
Thank you very much for your response rojewski. That gives me such encouragement! I fear I will also go into depression with not being able to do anything for so long. I have taken two weeks off work for recovery, but will likely not be able to handle sitting on the couch that long and will go back after a week. I will definitely inform both my OS and PT that I want aggressive PT and want to get back running ASAP. I took 1.5 weeks off working out after the accident, but started back lifting weights yesterday, so I can maintain the muscles in my legs as long as I possible before surgery. My OS told me that he’s had the best results with the patella for the ACL. He also told me that he would use cadaver for anybody over 40 years old, but I can’t remember exactly why. He explained it, but I was still trying to get past the, “You’ll be off running for 6 months” so I missed a few sentences here and there.
I am quite impressed with the 50 miles per week! That’s quite a bit of running! How do you get that many miles in? Do you have one really long run every week?
Again, thanks for the input, and I will let you know how the surgery goes.
I agree, this site is wonderful. Try to keep a positive outlook. Since you're already in really good shape you'll have the edge over the injury. It was such a relief to me that an ACL injury was not a death sentence to running, keep that in mind.
Keep the faith!!!
Thank you also for the encouragement. I will keep the faith. I guess now is the time to focus on becoming a more efficient swimmer and biker and not have to worry about keeping up with my running at the same time. Thank you!
My surgeon gave me a rehab protocol that had me initiate "light jogging" on the treadmill at about 15-16 weeks. By 20 weeks I was allowed to initiate treadmill running. I am now 7 months out and am able to run 2+ miles with no knee problems (just a bit of soreness).
I blew my left knee wakeboarding in 08/04. Waited until 11/04 to have surgery. My ACL was disconnected on one end, my Medial Meniscus was torn in half, with only a hair connecting it, and there was extensive damage to the MCL, which healed, but they did do some trimming during surgery. I, too, was knocked out. No choice in the matter. The pills and whatnot they give you affter never worked. I have an extremely high pain tolerance (and I mean so high, that morphine doesnt work on me), so I just dealt with it.
I started PT 2 weeks post-op, and was riding the stationary bike the next week. The PT okayed a gentle jog at 2 months post-op. Let me say that i had a very aggressive PT and Doc. Both were very familiar with wakeboarding and running, which is what i had to get back into, ASAP. Anyway, so, it wasnt anytihng big, but I started running to and from the PT (bout 2 miles round trip-3 days a week).
My muscle density dropped dramatically in the injured leg, and here i am, nearly 3 years later, and i am still strengthening. It had a lot to do with waiting 3 months before surgery though.
OSnitro: I had the same graft as you, and I have the same scar. It aches too. The severed all the nerve endings, so I cant feel an area about 5" X 10" tot he outside of my shin, and I know exactly where they pulled the graft from because when i work it too much, I can feel it. Everyonce in awhile, especially after over doing it, it gets really tender and achey. I usually do ice and massage, and in a day or so, it feels better.
Good luck everyone!
Wow. This thread really took off. And so have I. Just wanted to report in the following: 15 months after surgery (hamstring graft - OUCH !!! ) after which I was hobbled by crutches and braces for weeks and weeks, and after months of lingering pain, and after a reinjury to my damaged MCL that set me back again after 6 montsh....after all that and after building my strength and my leg back a little at a time - I ran 14 miles yesterday and feel great today. No pain - just cut quads and lots of attitude. There is lots of light at the end of the ACL tunnel.