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Posts Tagged ‘ACL stitches’

Today is my five-month anniversary with my newly constructed ligament.

Overall things have been going well. I think my biggest obstacle now is life getting in my way. It’s hard to stick to a 2/day PT schedule when you work long hours, socialize and overall are feeling a little bit more back to normal. Not that normal, though. I still try to make it to PT twice a week, but find myself cancelling a lot of those appointments due to the aforementioned commitments of “life.” Some of it I can control, while others I can’t.

Right now I feel like I’m in a weird holding period of “feeling fine to go about the normal day” but “not up to par with normal physical activities.” I can walk to work just fine, substitute the stairs for the elevator with no problem, but I’m just not back to my old physical regime–soccer two nights a week, the gym every other night, run 3 miles, then play various other sports throughout the week. I’ll get there. I just have to reevaluate the importance of pushing myself to go beyond getting through the normal day and getting back into normal activities. Besides, if I want to be skiing by the end of January, I think I have my work cut of for me.

If it helps any, at least it did for me, go back and look through the pictures of your progress. Maybe you have pictures after surgery, your scar progression or any pictures of you post-op. Now, think about where you are today–how you feel, how your strength is and your mobility. Finally, take your hand and give yourself a big ol’ pat on the back. Congrats, champ! You’re that much closer to your normal life.

I think about the bandages, the CPM machine, the pain killers that made me sick, the crutches, that damn brace in the middle of summer and my humility–none of those things are present in my life anymore. I hope you continue to shed layers of bad ACL experiences every day. 

After Surgery–ACL Scar                                                           DSCN1822

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Three weeks post-op.

I was told by this point, things would be getting back to normal–crutches would disappear, swelling would fade and mobility would miraculously come back, full swing. I feel as though I’m on a slight delay because not only was my ACL repaired, but so was the lateral meniscus. Anyway, my recovery is just taking a little longer than I thought. I’ve planned a successful-recovery trip to New Zealand in September, so I just hope that I’ll be better by then.

At 3 Weeks, here’s the knee stats:

-Bending at 106 degrees

-Still swollen, but starting to see a bit of my old kneecap

-Still scarred, but using Mederma 4x/day for the next 5 weeks (Use for 8 weeks for new scars)

-Still in the locked brace ( I take it off at work and while watching TV so I can “breathe” and stretch the leg out

-PT 2x/week. might start going to the gym to supplement for less than stellar insurance, which only technically covers 10 PT visits…seriously? seriously lame.

-Still on crutches, but I use one crutch around the office and apt.  

-Currently swimming in a sea of hosiptal bills, dr. bills and PT bills (Most people have a file, I have a box!)

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Happy Friday, everyone!

I slipped out during my lunch hour to get tortured at PT. During wall slides, I could bend at 99 degrees and on the bike I could finally do full revolutions. This is all increasing my pain a little bit. My therapist told me I should start using the vicodin with PT. I’m currently taking Motrin.

Other than that, life is good and I am down to walking around on one crutch around the office, my apt. and while at PT.

It’s been a long-time coming, but check out some of Dr. Nuber’s handy work on stitching up my lateral meniscus. My orginally surgery was ACL reconstruction, but while they were in, they found a this tear and repaired it. Northwestern Orthopaedics Instititute is the best!

Picture 2

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Time again for more grusome, yet wonderfully intriging photos of my still-swollen and semi-scarred knee. (Stay tuned for the pictures of the inside of my knee that I just got from the doctor.)

I often get asked the simple question, “Does your knee hurt?” Of course it does. Pain meds can mask most of it, but when I bend it sometimes, I feel like my stitches will pop right out, even though most of them are gone. The remaining stitches in my leg will dissolve. As of now, I still have two small scars with steri-strips over them waiting to heal. One scar (the major one) is over my patella tendon. I’m predicting it will end up being about 2 inches long. The other is on the right side of my knee. This one is about one inch long. This week I hope to rip all of the steri-strips off, but I know there’s still a bit more healing that needs to take place. But for now, I managed to take two out of the five steri-strips off of my patella tendon scar site. Please ignore the cheesy floor tiles. I take all my own pics.

IMG_1856

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Five Days Post-Op.

I realize not everyone wants to see my stitches (actually the steri-strips cover the stitches, but there’s plenty to see), so you can click here to see the damage from a patella tendon ACL reconstruction. You don’t have to look. My goal is to provide a realistic portrayal of recovery, so the pic is there if you need it.

In other ACL news, my last few days have been a strict schedule of rest, exercise and quality time spent in my CPM machine. I see my surgeon next Thursday and I want him to remove my stitches and allow me to start physical therapy then. That said, my main focus is to get the swelling, which is pretty prominent, to go down. Here’s what I’m doing each day to get me closer to those goals.

(more…)

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