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Thread: New ACL

  1. #51
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    Yea for me its about the same with the early PT, first two weeks are easy movements and stretching. The original plan was to wait 2 weeks until the post-op but after several conversations with close PT friends it seemed like getting started sooner rather than later was the best bet. I'm happy I was able to get moving early on as well, it's day 8 and they've cleared me to unlock the brace and put tolerable weight on it around the house. Agree that the atrophy is the worst part, still very stiff getting out of bed in the morning's as well. Awesome to hear they've got you setting some goals to work towards, all about creating that positive mindset.

  2. #52
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    One thing I used a lot doing PT at home were those ankle weights with the 1-pound sandbags that you can keep adding up to like 5 pounds per ankle. I got them at Walmart pretty cheap. Did a zillion leg lifts with those things, lying on my back, my side, and my stomach. Those weights, along with a recumbent exercise bike I got for $100 on Craigslist, were my primary home PT exercises for the first few months, along with the usual exercises assigned by my PT (squats, lunges, wall sits, etc.).

  3. #53
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    Last week in PT my flexion was up to 115* then up to 117* on Friday. Then I got the bicycle pedal over the top and pedaled slowly for about 10 minutes, so that was kind of a milestone. Life is returning to my leg. It's weak...ready to start working it out.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djongo Unchained View Post
    Then I got the bicycle pedal over the top and pedaled slowly for about 10 minutes, so that was kind of a milestone. Life is returning to my leg. It's weak...ready to start working it out.
    Awesome. It seems to come back pretty fast - I'm 4 days into the bike, doing about 15 minutes twice a day slowly (i.e. cadence ~ 50) with very little load, and my quads have gone from being a quivering mass of jelly to pretty firm already.

  5. #55
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    ^^^^had to laugh about the atrophy thing. That has become my only real issue, getting it to turn on. Once it does, things come back pretty well so far.

    Flexion to 120* today. Another goal met. Go to doc tomorrow for my 4 1/2 week post op checkup.

    Gotta buy my pass by Friday. $1479 includes a mt. collective 1/2 price tickets deal and a base Ikon pass. That means free skiing at Alpy next year. FKNA, I am Ikon. Oh yeah, there's a full season pass to JH included in there. So I got that going for me, which is NICE.

  6. #56
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    1st PT visit, 4 weeks post op. Still -5* extension. 120* self flexation, 125* with manual help. Repaired knee is still 2 cm larger than good knee, about normal swelling he said. Getting around ok with no brace or crutches. I'm jonesing hard to swing a golf club, may go and putt just to get a fix.

  7. #57
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    ~2 months post opp, starting to strengthen, but still working toward full flexation but I'm walking down stairs with a bit of discomfort. My knee constantly feels tight, or pressurized for lack of a better explanation. Worse in am, but never great. Is that normal? Thx

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhishingME View Post
    ~2 months post opp, starting to strengthen, but still working toward full flexation but I'm walking down stairs with a bit of discomfort. My knee constantly feels tight, or pressurized for lack of a better explanation. Worse in am, but never great. Is that normal? Thx
    At 5 weeks that's about what I'm felling more of, tightness and puffiness, especially in the morning. Ice, elevate then stretching PT seems to help, plus not standing for more than 2*2.5 hours at a time


    add-my 2nd PT today, first real PT work out. My PT said the tightness and puffy feeling may not go away for 3-5 months
    Last edited by k2skier112; 06-06-2019 at 04:39 PM. Reason: add

  9. #59
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    Tomorrow is 6 weeks from surgery. Things seem to get better by a tiny increment almost each day. Tiny, I said.

    Flex is about 125/7 with a nudge. Extension is at +1 still. Hard to get the last few points and doc said because of an incision point for scope, it's a normal challenge. Using a crutch mostly but can motor around without for awhile.
    AM still is stiff and a few little pains. Not righteous enough to bust a move on, but nothing unbearable. Almost no swelling as it's smaller than my other knee today. Was noticeably swollen a few days ago though.
    Pressurized is a good way to explain my sensation. Less so when it loosens up. Stairs are still testy but I've been going up and down them since the first day as my room is on another floor; wanted to sleep in my bed not the La-Z-Boy. 3 nights sleeping with the immobilizer brace was enough.

    I am not the best on my own recognizance with my PT homework. Staying active doing stuff but not great with sets of stretches, heel slides, etc. Only wear my sport brace when I have an extended outing or sketchy walking. Almost zero pain medicating, not even Ibuprofen. Haven't used the ice machine for over a week, maybe 2.

    Some other things - Man, the crutches have kinda wreaked a little havoc on me. Get the right size...My first set was a hair too tall which fucked up my back. Had to go to a massage therapist twice and the Chiropractor a few times too to get it back to functional. Lucky to have an MT/friend who cranks me for 1.5-2 hrs for $80 at the drop of a hat. I have one of those percussion massage tools, it helps a bit too.


    Trying to be careful not to want perfection too early. I want this to be a non issue by ski season. Feeling real good about the pace, wish it were a little faster but PT gals and Doc say I'm doing great and right in the sweet spot for healing.

    Knock on wood, my insurance has so far kicked ass on this. Finally got the bill for the hospital portion of this gig. $31k and change. Bill for Surgical assistant - $2300; Still gonna be about $7k for the surgeon(his pre-surgery quote). My outlay - $1100, my max out of pocket. I upgraded my coverage last fall to a 20% copay with an 1100 max. Glad I did that now.

    Hey Mofro, How you doin?

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhishingME View Post
    ~2 months post opp, starting to strengthen, but still working toward full flexation but I'm walking down stairs with a bit of discomfort. My knee constantly feels tight, or pressurized for lack of a better explanation. Worse in am, but never great. Is that normal? Thx
    Exactly what I am feeling - like someone put a piece of tape over my kneecap or my skinny jeans are too tight, though all I wear is shorts. Worse in the morning and after long periods on my feet, good after massaging it or riding the bike or flexing the joint in a hot bath. Seems like it will take some time.

    Walking up stairs is OK, but going down only works if the knee is "warmed up."

    PT showed me how to massage the incision area and scarred tissue around where the drain tube was without putting lateral stress on the sub-dermal sutures, trying to get the skin to move more freely over the patella and getting the patella to "float" over the joint, seems to help quite a bit.
    Last edited by gregL; 06-07-2019 at 03:53 PM.

  11. #61
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    11 week update:

    Still not "as good as new," but pretty damn good. Doc says one more week and we can start on more serious strength training and some jumping - weeks 6-12 is a "danger zone" when you start feeling pretty good but the new ACL has actually lost strength from necrosis and needs to re-establish a blood supply to bulk up again.

    Back on the road bike, started commuting to work again last week, ~90 miles total. Walking 2-3 miles on rolling terrain around the house. ROM is 0-130 degrees. Still some "tingling" around the kneecap as sensation returns and scar tissue is absorbed, not really pain but feels strange.

    Walking is pretty much normal, including up and down stairs. Starting to dream about skiing.

  12. #62
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    4 month check up was good. Full extension, and 140* flexation. No pain, been golfing for 7 weeks now. PT was pushing me hard, getting stronger feels good. I'm going on my own at a gym for a few weeks then maybe 2 a month with a PT to keep on schedule to make turns this winter

  13. #63
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    Sounds like y'all have good, strong repairs. If I have any complaint about mine it's that it was never tight like you describe even from the start. At 1 week I had full extension and flexion. It was a lot more stable than it was before but never was as stable as the other knee. Probably gone again as it feels even looser after hitting a tree three years ago but it still works for skiing. My Lachmann test makes people cringe when they see me do it myself.

    I boiled my thermometer, and sure enough, this spot, which purported to be two thousand feet higher than the locality of the hotel, turned out to be nine thousand feet LOWER. Thus the fact was clearly demonstrated that, ABOVE A CERTAIN POINT, THE HIGHER A POINT SEEMS TO BE, THE LOWER IT ACTUALLY IS. Our ascent itself was a great achievement, but this contribution to science was an inconceivably greater matter.

    --MT--

  14. #64
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    had my 5 month check-in with the Ortho on Monday, he's pretty happy with the progress overall. I've had full extension since the beginning of the rehab, nearing full flexion by doing lots of stretching and some yoga. Have been keeping up with my exercises 2x per week but still need to regain more strength in the effected leg. Have been road biking a ton, and even got out on a few hikes lately, jump squats and other plyos started a few weeks back so it's been nice to mix in some new workouts.

    Unfortunately the doc wants me to wait a full 9 mo's before getting back on the slopes - so call it mid-February before any turns will be made. I was kind of expecting that time frame but I was really hoping I might get the okay a bit sooner (end of Dec./early Jan.). Somewhat bummed about missing the beginning of the season but I guess I ought to be thankful I'll be able to ski at all and just try my best to be patient.

    Positive healing vibes to all, keep up the hustle gettin' strong for the season.

  15. #65
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    8 month check up was good. Gonna hit the mountain Sunday, most likely Monday for the first time since Feb 13 2019.

    Feeling strong and ready, about 80% of new.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2skier112 View Post
    8 month check up was good. Gonna hit the mountain Sunday, most likely Monday for the first time since Feb 13 2019.

    Feeling strong and ready, about 80% of new.
    How'd it go?

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    How'd it go?
    X2?


    As for myself I've been skiing at about 75% for about 30 days at the village.
    Knee feels tight and stable. Leg strength is not back to normal. Yet. It has increased noticeably since getting out daily.
    Having some serious bootfit /cramping issues though. I suspect both feet changed slightly since spring so I need to remold my liners methinks.

    My plan is to ski safe, not push the knee to it's limit and charge next year. Which makes for some kinda boring skiing right now. Like skiing with an intermediate all day every day, but it's me.
    Actually my skills feel more solid than my head wants to believe. I could mach the groomers more, but worry about a high speed digger; which rarely happens IRL anyways.
    Overall, pretty psyched about my outcome so far.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djongo Unchained View Post
    X2?


    As for myself I've been skiing at about 75% for about 30 days at the village.
    Knee feels tight and stable. Leg strength is not back to normal. Yet. It has increased noticeably since getting out daily.
    Having some serious bootfit /cramping issues though. I suspect both feet changed slightly since spring so I need to remold my liners methinks.

    My plan is to ski safe, not push the knee to it's limit and charge next year. Which makes for some kinda boring skiing right now. Like skiing with an intermediate all day every day, but it's me.
    Actually my skills feel more solid than my head wants to believe. I could mach the groomers more, but worry about a high speed digger; which rarely happens IRL anyways.
    Overall, pretty psyched about my outcome so far.
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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djongo Unchained View Post
    X2?


    As for myself I've been skiing at about 75% for about 30 days at the village.
    Knee feels tight and stable. Leg strength is not back to normal. Yet. It has increased noticeably since getting out daily.
    Having some serious bootfit /cramping issues though. I suspect both feet changed slightly since spring so I need to remold my liners methinks.

    My plan is to ski safe, not push the knee to it's limit and charge next year. Which makes for some kinda boring skiing right now. Like skiing with an intermediate all day every day, but it's me.
    Actually my skills feel more solid than my head wants to believe. I could mach the groomers more, but worry about a high speed digger; which rarely happens IRL anyways.
    Overall, pretty psyched about my outcome so far.
    Pretty much mirrors my experience, but not many days on snow so far due to the late season in the PNW. I think my surgery was about 2 weeks after yours. Knee feels stable, no real pain, but it's still a little tight and the strength/confidence is only at about 80%. Rolling the groomers trying to be conscious of basics while trying to watch out for obstacles isn't all that fun, but it feels good to be back. My doc came in last week to get boots for his kids and approved of the conservative strategy for this season, saying I won't even think about it next year.

  20. #70
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    ^^^^^Thanks, that's encouraging.

    I got motivated this morning and caught my first early tram for a 1st tracks OB run. Boottop for about 4k vert over 4-5 miles, pretty awesome.

    I've been keeping the off piste to a minimum. Solid storms are starting to flatten the underfoot terrain. Mini-dumps in the 6-16" range are getting the hard pack to finally go away and fresh lines are soft and light. temptation is rising.
    On my second run, I took a middlin' digger and tweaked the knee; only a 1 on the scale but my first real kerplunk this year. Skied about 10 moar runs w/a friend and called it. fatigue is my foe right now. Maybe a tiny bit of stiffness setting in, to be expected.
    Training for Alpental.

  21. #71
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    Little less than 20 days so far, all with fairly conservative skiing for me. Was really diligent with rehab up until mid-Sept when I started a bathroom remodel and slacked on my preseason training all fall, so also feeling closer to 80% than back at full tilt. Got a bad case of empty nest syndrome so went to Utah before Xmas to ski with the kids and sort of got the legs back at Soli and Alta, but I've been little more apprehensive starting this year out knowing I could have done more to get strong. Mostly trying to ski as conservative as I did when the ACL was missing, shin on boot tongue and balance 100% dialed.


    Pretty solid day of skiing on the Alpental opener, soft snow sure feels good.
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  22. #72
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    Sounds like we're all in the same boat - we know how to ski balanced and conservatively, work on fundamentals, etc. but it gets old after about 3 runs. I supposed I could be a bit further ahead if I hadn't spent September in Europe eating, drinking and not rehabbing, but I did. Hopefully it snows a bunch and the spring touring season is a gem.

  23. #73
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    glad to hear everyone is doing well thus far, I'm at 7 months out now with hopes to be back on skis in mid-Feb. I have a final strength test at the end of January where I'm hopeful they'll give me the green light. Plan is to ski conservatively for this season and come back strong next year. Weather here in the east has been funky so at least I haven't been feeling like I'm missing out on too much yet

    Curious to know, what's everyone's thoughts on braces? I've had friends who've gotten them and used them, and other's who haven't worn one at all. Doc said its up to me, I'm thinking about getting one now and having it on hand rather than not getting one and wishing I did.
    my head is perpetually in the clouds

  24. #74
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    I wore a Don Joy brace first year back, most of the second year too. Eventually I could just tell I didn't need it anymore, but continued to wear it on deep, heavy days for another season, when the knees really get tweaked around. Psychologically it was helpful, but also physically. I could really tell the few times I forgot it that my knee was way more sore at the end of the day. I never had the illusion it was going to prevent another ACL tear if I hyperextended. It's more for support, just takes some of the strain off the knee and allows the muscles to get stronger. Eventually, though, if you continue to wear it, it will start to prevent the muscles from gaining that last 10-15% of strength. You'll know when it's time to ditch the brace.

  25. #75
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    I was given the Donjoy Fourcepoint carbon fiber behemoth and have cumulatively put about 4 hours in it.

    Didn't risk much early on and was very careful. Very.

    At 7 months I got the go ahead to ski. And without the brace. Promised to ski wisely and feel I have.
    First 8 weeks was PT 3 days a week for an hour, pared down a bit at the end.
    Then worked a small remodel for about 5 weeks and a few projects until late Oct. Not really exercising on the finite stuff, just getting ladder exercise, etc. for the bigger muscles.
    Visiting family in Florida for a month was my chance to catch up a little.
    Put on my Dad's fitbit and started walking about 5-8 miles a day and maybe an hour at the gym doing light leg work and stair stepping.

    That really helped and my performance for the strength test was better than before I'd left.
    (My doc sets in the rolling chair and says lift the leg and push me backwards; I'm sitting on the exam table. Good leg sends him across the room, even with 2 hands. New ACL - couldn't hardly push the one hand back. Neither of us were too happy.)
    So the exercise helped as I could push much harder at 7 months.

    Skied 33 days so far, 2-4 hrs. a day. Lotsa low angle but ramping up a bit now. A few JH expert runs lately. Normal, everyday lappage for me but looking at it thru a new lens for sure. Kinda weird after being in the same lane for so long.

    Been using a cheap Ace knee sleeve, open patella and 2 plastic strips on each side for a wee bit of rigidity. Mostly for the compression benefits. Feels good but I don't rely on it to save my ass.

    Also, I turned my DINs down to 7.5 to start. Moved up to 8 the other day as I'm pushing a little now, combined with deeper snow. Had a double heel release today.
    Full over the handlebars sitting upright landing.

    The nanosecond of focus on my knee was obvious. Then I knew it was fine. Sat in the pow, Cleaned my goggles and was glad to have done it. Some positive feelings after a fall, as that has been my main headgame, Don't Fall.

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