ACL Post-op Day 103

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We started light jogging this week at PT!

Just on the treadmill; 3 short intervals of 15 seconds at 5mph with walking breaks in between. It was pretty awkward having not  run in 8 months and I felt like I was doing it wrong. Had to walk a fine line between achieving proper form and not overthinking too much while running. Also had to be careful not to favour my non-surgical side either which I instinctively tried to do to guard my left knee. I definitely felt some pressure on the knee at the end of each interval but the knee overall was fine after and the next day.

In the next PT session, we bumped up the intervals to 5 x 20s and I repeated them again at the gym two days later. We’ll keep increasing the interval times as long as my knee continues to feel stable (moving up to a minute of sustained running and then onwards).

Also went on a hike today near Halfway Log Dump in the Bruce Peninsula National Park. Overall, the knee took it really well (had to be careful around some of the rocky bits). The Nike Knee Sleeve really helped.

ACL Post-Op Day 94

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Over three months now!

Big achievement: hopping!

Basically, lifting myself a few inches off the floor and then landing. For the first time in 8 months, no parts of my body were in contact with any other surface (outside of swimming). It’s a bit tough because I’m instinctively favouring my strong (right) side but that’s a mental block I need to get over.

In other accomplishments, back to swimming again on a regular basis (trying for once a week). Physio is still going on twice a week and trying to get to the gym once outside of that as well.

For exercises, we’ve added more strength training like split squats (with weight), single leg squats, and deadlifts. Muscle difference between the legs is still pretty significant but getting better.

Likely 1-2 weeks before light jogging and then 3 weeks for picking up running again.

ACL Post-Op Day 61

Status

  • Over two months now!
  • 2nd follow-up with surgeon yesterday:
    • Graft is strong and flexibility/extension are both good.
    • Cleared for walking/swimming/yoga.
    • Two more months for running and softball.
    • I don’t really play contact sports so that was a non-issue.
  • Back to swimming at the Trinity Bellwoods pool!
  • PT:
    • Doing single-leg squats and static lunges now and other more involved exercises.
    • Biking with increased resistance and varying intensity (“hills”).
    • Walking on treadmill at 3.5mph.

ACL Post-Op Day 42

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It’s staggering to see the difference in muscle between the two legs after over a month. Some of the muscle loss was pre-surgery but the loss was even more significant post-op.

Status:
* Brace is mostly gone (the surgeon told me to “throw it away” but I haven’t yet) but still around in case I need to be in or around large crowds.
* Have comfortably walked 2km without issue.
* Going down stairs and downhill slopes are my biggest enemy right now. Up stairs and uphill are fine thanks to lots of step ups, downs, and overs.
* Added some resistance to my biking (level 4-5) although it feels easy.
* Started the leg press at the gym.
* More advanced exercises to come this week as I’m now past 6 weeks.

ACL Post-Op Day 27

Status:

  • Cleared to ditch the brace for moving around.
    • Although, my physiotherapist suggested putting it on — still locked — for any longer-than-usual walks).
    • This also means I can drive again.
    • It’s pretty uncomfortable walking around, not because of pain, but because I have to put a lot of thought into walking properly (basically, learning to walk again, which is harder than you think).
  • Started standing exercises!
    • Calf stretches!
    • Heel raises!
    • Squats!

ACL Post-Op Day 25

Status:

  • Progressing better than expected (according to PT).
    • Entire left leg feels stronger and more confident.
    • Lots of walking with the brace on Saturday around Pan Am Park.
    • Trying to walk between 0.5-1km every day.
  • (Likely) One more week with the brace.
    • Need to be cleared by PT first.
  • One more week until we can progress to standing exercises.
  • Showering frequency has increased to every other day.
  • Range-of-Motion almost back to normal (i.e. compared to right leg)
    • Extension: +5° (hyperextension) (baseline: +6°)
    • Flexion: 140° (baseline: 144°)
  • Started upright bike
    • Been on it three times now for ~10 minutes each, at no resistance.
  • Total leg lifts/heel slides/quad sets completed: ~2850 each

ACL Post-Op Day 18

(Wrote this on Tuesday but posting now.)

Status:

    • First post-op follow-up with OS (had to wait ~2 hours).
    • Butterfly bandages were removed.
      • There were no stitches, just glue.
      • I was as surprised as the resident who removed the bandages.
    • Wound and knee are healing well.
      • Pretty itchy, though.
    • Stuck in knee brace (locked at full extension) for at least two more weeks.
      • Can sleep without the brace now.
    • Can move around the house without crutches.
    • Can move around more outside and long-ish distances with knee brace.
    • Cannot drive until knee brace comes off.
    • Number of times showered in the last 2.5 weeks: 2.
      • Can now shower without a bag over my foot so the showering frequency may increase.
    • Extension: +1° (hyperextension) (baseline: +6°)
    • Flexion: 130° (baseline: 144°)
    • Started 5-10 minutes on recumbent bike at PT
      • Will start upright bike on Friday.
    • Total leg lifts/heel slides/quad sets completed: ~2000 each