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Posts Tagged ‘lateral meniscus’

So I recently moved to a new city, San Francisco, where I don’t know a lot of people. That alone can be a little tough, but even worse when you are trying to find a new physical therapist and fellow ACL friends to share stories with each other. Lucky for me, my boyfriend’s cousin’s sister-in-law lives out here, and she recently tore her ACL. So we decided to meet over drinks to talk about our busted knees. I had my surgery (patellar tendon reconstruction/lateral meniscus repair) on May 20. She had her surgery (cadaver graft) at the end of June.

So here’s how two different sugeries and two different graphs are doing at two different points in their recoveries:

Cadaver Graft, 6 weeks out…Kate, my friend, walked into the bar like it was nothing. No crutches, no brace. Not even a gimp. If you didn’t know she had surgery, you couldn’t tell anything. Prior to her surgery, Kate enjoyed an active lifestyle of hiking, biking and skiing. (She tore her ACL skiing in Tahoe.) Now, she isn’t quite running just yet, but she uses the excercise bike and is building her strenght back up. She will be back on the slopes in no time for the season. She took off work for three weeks.

Me…still not running, but moving around just fine. I don’t even think about me knee anymore. I can sit cross-legged again, do light yoga and kneel on my knees. The scar hasn’t gone clear yet, but it is certainly starting to fade into oblivion. It will be gone in no time. I, too, plan to hit the slopes this season–that’s my current goal. Perhaps Kate and I will do an ACL ski trip, and this time she will conquer Tahoe, no fear at all. Details to come….

Any other ACL skiers out there? Perhaps we can all plan a ski trip together–a celebration of progress, if you will. 

Pic from tahoesbest.com

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This morning I saw my surgeon for my 3rd follow-up appointment. It’s been two months and one day since he sliced my knee and reconstructed my ACL and repaired my lateral meniscus. Here’s the stats and fun facts:

-I can start running, but just straight forward stuff; my meniscus isn’t ready for side-to-side, hard-core excercise just yet.

-I can return to sports in four more months … I missed last ski season and I’m determined for this one! Already thinking Tahoe, Park City for Sundance and Verbier, Switzerland. (Yeskneecan keep its eye on the prize!)

-The “numbness” I am still feeling on the right side of my knee is NOT from the nerve block, it’s from my patellar tendon incision. This may never go away, but unless I’m shaving my legs, I don’t notice that it’s numb–oxy moron?

-Quad muscle definition is good–everytime I am standing in line for something, I do “catwalk-model-pose stretches.” Think of the models at the end of the runway–hand on hip, with one leg bent and the other in hyper flex mode. That’s me, minus the 5’10 height and 00 dress size.

-Bending at 125 degrees

-Extending at 1 degree hyper extension

-Scar is still pink, slightly puffy

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In the spirit of, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?”,  I’ve decided to fill you in on my personal answer to “How long does it take to get back to normal  after ACL reconstruction?”

Let’s keep in mind we are all different, and it also depends on your procedure. From the P.O.V. of someone who had a patellar tendon graft reconstruction and a lateral meniscus repair, I answer the aforementioned question with this: six weeks. It took me six weeks and rehab to finally be able to walk normally (and at a normal pace), confidentily go up and down stairs, comfortably take mass transit and be able to go through the work day without thinking about the knee.

So there. I hope it helps. But I would love to hear your own take on recovery.

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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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