Day 0: Surgery Today!

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February 4, 2005 at 11:59 pm

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This entry serves as a repository for the events that occurred on the day of my surgery, February 4, 2005, as well my recovery time in the hospital on the following morning. This entry was written on 2/6/2005 but is timestamped as 2/4/2005 to display in chronological order.

My surgery had originally been scheduled for 7 AM, with an admission time of 5:30 AM.

The afternoon prior to surgery, the times were moved up to 6 AM and 4:45 AM, respectively.

Justin drove me to

where we met up with my mom, who would also be spending the day with me. Our cars were the only vehicles visible in the hospital parking lot. I signed in, got my personalized, barcoded wrist bracelet, and sat in the waiting area for mere moments before I was called back to the pre-op area.

The pre-op nurse was a sweetheart with a lilting Irish accent who spoke in such a calming manner she instantly put me at ease. She went over my medical history (collected earlier) and then showed me to the patient restroom where I changed into a surgical gown, a pressure stocking for the leg they would not be operating on today (my right leg), and a pair of socks with “gripper soles” on them — which I’d learn to appreciate later. I also provided the required urine sample.

After that, the pre-op nurse showed me to my gurney and I laid back, noting it was far more comfortable than I’d imagined. She left momentarily and returned with a pre-warmed blanket that was absolute heaven, and I got snuggled in. We again reviewed some of my medical history, as well as which knee would be operated on this morning. “The left knee,” I replied.

At that point, the nurse wrote “Yes!!” on my left knee; she almost wrote “No” on the right one, but apparently the nursing staff used to do that and had stopped.

While we chatted about computers and photography, she worked on getting an I.V. line in my left arm. The left arm proved uncooperative (which is why I’m sporting a colorful bruise on my left arm 2 days post-op), so she moved on to my right arm which worked like a charm.

Immediately, she started me on fluids, followed by anti-nausea drugs for the upcoming general anesthesia. She also drew a small vial of my blood for analysis.

With all that done, Justin and my mom were allowed back to visit me prior to surgery. The only other patient in the pre-op area with us was a young teenage boy with a large cast on his right arm. He nearly broke my heart when the anesthesiologist greeted him and explained the basics of anesthesia. He was worried, as evidenced by his questions: “Is this where the surgery is going to be performed?” (I suspect he was concerned because here he was in a bed, and across the way here I lay in my bed, and around us both are a half dozen other beds on each side.)

“Is there any chance I’ll feel pain during surgery?” “…any chance I’ll not wake up from surgery?”

The anesthesiologist smiled at the kid’s parents, but was honest, “It’s only a very, very remote possibility.” No little white lie as if it were a total impossibility.

By the time I was almost ready to be wheeled to surgery myself, the nursing staff had foregone their “Only 2 family members with a patient at any time” rule and allowed the kid’s entire family back to help calm his nerves; in addition, he had his surgeon, anesthesiologist, OR attending nurse and pre-op nurse gathered around helping, as well.

By the time he was wheeled back, a nurse was chatting with him enthusiastically and I suspect he was sedated before he rounded the next corner.

With Justin and my mom present, I met my anesthesiologist — a stocky guy in his mid-30’s with a big smile and a confident air.

His questions were short and delivered in a rapid fire succession, and I played off that. “Yes. No. No. Nope, nothing else!” I joked that I’d read so much online about anesthesia I already knew more than I wanted or needed to know, so I was good to go.

He disappeared, and a little while later my OR nurse appeared.

He was a tall, big (but not fat) guy with a balding head and friendly face. He may have asked me which knee we were operating on — it seemed like everyone I saw from the moment I walked into the hospital asked that, and I certainly had no qualms about repeating it as many times as necessary!

Lastly, my surgeon came in, confident and ready to get started.

“So, do you know what we’re going to do today?” he asked.

“You’re going to reconstruct my ACL and repair my torn meniscus.” “And which leg will we be working on?” “The LEFT one,” I answered, figuring of all the people who should hear it clearly enunciated, the surgeon was numero uno!

At that point, he pulled out a purple permanent marker and wrote his initials “JCD” on my left knee, on the opposite side of my knee cap from where the pre-op nurse had written her “Yes!!”.

He then pushed the pressure stocking on my right leg down far enough to write “No!!” above it’s knee cap. Whatever works!

Within moments of the surgeon’s appearance, it was time to exchange hugs and well wishes and head to the operating room. We noted the time as 6:20 AM. I said “Goodbye!” to my pre-op nurse as I was wheeled by the patient she was tending, and received her well-wishes for a speedy recovery. I remember joking with the nurse pushing my gurney, “You guys must build some good muscles pushing folks around this place!” At some point in all this, someone calmy said “You might start feeling a little sleepy now,” but I remember the walls as they whizzed by me on the gurney (The world looks so different when you’re lying on your back on a gurney…). These weren’t the typical stark white corridors you typically associate with hospitals; instead, they were painted in relaxing and inviting hues. And there wasn’t that “too clean”, sterile smell that overwhelms you in big city hospitals.

The next thing I remember… is grinning and laughing (still with my eyes shut) at a joke the nurses were telling each other in the post-op recovery area, and smiling more when I heard one of the nurses far off to my right say, “Well, she’s certainly doing great — look at her grinning and smiling over there!”

It felt great to hear that, and know they were referring to me!

It took me a couple days after the surgery to remember, but I believe the first thing I heard after coming to was a male nurse mentioning, “Yeah, she was a little tachy…” I remember saying, “So, I’m tacky, is that it?” — I was trying to be sarcastic, since I knew what he was referring to was an irregular heartbeat, eg. tachycardia. This explains why I was intubated and spent the first two days with an extremely hoarse voice, nearly losing it altogether; my night nurse in the hospital was the first to explain the cause of my rapidly diminishing voice — the

tends to cause hoarseness for the first 36 hours after surgery.

Thankfully, my throat wasn’t sore; however, I did sound awful!

Anyway, in recovery I was awake but I avoided opening my eyes for a few minutes because they felt heavy. When I asked about my eyes, the nurse informed me it was due to the ointment they put on my eyelids for the surgery. She wiped off the gunk, and I opened my eyes and began chatting with her. I had no lingering effects of the anesthesia and no nausea. I felt as though I had simply awoken from a restful slumber. I was upbeat knowing that this awakening marked the “restoration” of my left knee, all the while knowing there’s a long road of rehabiliatation ahead before that’s truly the case.

I don’t remember how long I stayed in the post-op recovery area. It was long enough for me to ask the nurse what time it was (7:55 AM), and chat with her about the laptops in use at each bedside: “I’m a computer geek, so I’m curious what kind of laptop you’re using there…” Their laptops looked similar to the Inspiron 1150’s my mom and I have. The nurse even pivoted the laptop so I could look at the screen of data she had on me… unfortunately, without my glasses (which I’d left with Justin, along with my wedding ring), it was nothing more than fuzzy green text on a black background.

I asked about seeing the arthroscopic images from my surgery, but she mentioned they weren’t yet in my file. She did show me two x-rays of my knee. When I saw three HUGE screws seemingly jutting out of the bones in the x-rays, I was a little incredulous: “Are you sure those are my x-rays?”

Yes, indeed — I now have three metal screws in my left leg. I’m not sure how I ended up with three screws instead of two (one in the tibia and one in the femur, to secure the grafted replacement ACL), but I trust my surgeon to do whatever’s necessary. I wonder if I need a doctor’s note to hand to the TSA agents at the airport, now? I can just see them giving me the full “treatment” after they incredulously listen to this healthy, reasonably fit 31-year-old woman tell them “No, really, I have three metal screws in my left leg!”

Near the end of my stay in post-op recovery, a male patient I guessed to be in his forties or older, was wheeled in off my right shoulder. There was a curtain drawn between us, but I could hear him sobbing uncontrollably, either out of pain, fear or confusion. It was a reality check that not everyone comes out of surgery beaming and feeling terrific, as I did.

To the nurses’ credit, he promptly had at least three nurses (from what I could gather) at his bedside speaking to him in soothing tones: “You are alright. Just breathe deeply and go back to sleep. It’s okay. Your surgery is over. We’re right here and you are alright. Go to sleep now.” His sobs calmed and all was quiet again as he slipped back to sleep, presumably thanks to a little “hit” of sedatives. I don’t know if he had an ACL reconstruction or something more invasive.

Justin recalls that my surgery lasted 1.5 hours, which concurs with the 7:55 AM time the nurse reported when I inquired in post-op recovery.

After my surgeon quickly let Justin and Mom know the surgery went well, about forty minutes passed before they were called in to visit me in my room. Oddly enough, despite my alert and upbeat status in recovery, I do not remember being wheeled to my hospital room. I may have dozed off, or simply shut my eyes during the gurney ride since I’d found that a little disorienting prior to surgery (it’s like riding a roller coaster while strapped on your back!) Either I dozed off or have a “blank spot” in my memory because I don’t remember being transferred to the adjustable hospital bed in the room, versus the gurney I began the day on.

Weird.

Once situated in my room, I was more than pleasantly surprised. My accommodations met or exceeded some of the hotels Justin and I have stayed at on our travels: three panes of floor-to-ceiling windows, cheerful wallpaper and paint choices, and homey furniture and light fixtures all helped make the room feel comfortable. I had read horror stories of “cattle car” hospital facilities where two or more patients shared the same room, separated by nothing more than a paper or fabric curtain. The absolute last thing I expected was my own room. I believe I uttered the phrase, “LOOK! I’ve even got my own door!” on more occasions than I’m proud to admit.

And I’ve had worse views from hotel rooms we’ve stayed in — a beautiful oak tree was a few feet away from my hospital windows, and thanks to heavily mirrored glass, I got to enjoy the view from my ground floor room well into the afternoon in complete privacy. If it weren’t for my mom, we wouldn’t have any photos of my hospital stay; leave it to two professional photographers to forget their camera for a life event like major surgery!

After the nurses had taken my temperature, hooked me up to the I.V. drip for fluids and antibiotic (cephalexin, eg. Keflex), and attached the auto-inflating blood pressure cuff (taking my BP every 15 minutes), the next knock on my door brought not just a nurse but my loved ones, Justin and Mom. The nurse let them know I’d been a happy camper in the recovery area, and as she left we settled in to chatting about the surgery, their wait in a special “day area” for family members, and other post-op minutiae. They spent most of the day with me, and got to see how often one nurse or another was coming in to check on some aspect of my vitals. I ate my first post-op meal while they were visiting with me. Despite no nausea, they served me a liquid diet of jello, broth, cranberry juice and an orange popsicle, all of which I ate (lest I be denied my first, much anticipated “real food” meal!)

Within two hours of recovery, I was attached to a

and a cryo cuff (Polar Care unit) to regain flexion in my knee.

The nurses started me out at 30 degrees, which was initially agony (I think I was late on a dose of pain meds). Every three hours or so, they increased my passive range of motion (PROM) by 10 degrees. Before dinnertime, I was already up to 90 degrees — the maximum setting they desired for me while in the hospital.

After I sent Justin and Mom home around 11:30 AM to get some rest themselves, the hospital’s physical therapist visited me. She was a welcome sight, since her first order of business was to show me how to use the crutches so I could get up and use the bathroom!

It was an experience, since I’d never used crutches before and suddenly had a 90 pound zucchinni where my left leg used to be.

I quickly learned to hate the immobilizer, since it made sitting on the toilet seat extremely painful — not so much to the knee as to my pelvic bones. Porcelain is not comfortable to sit on at odd angles! To ensure my bodily functions were returning to normal, a nurse had placed a measuring device/catch basin in the toilet to measure my urine output; I don’t know what capacity that thing was, but I filled it up to overflowing. With that taken care of, I did my first physical therapy — ankle exercises and quad sets.

I would have done some knee flexion exercises, but my surgeon is apparently notorious for his excessively large bandages on knee surgeries and there was just no way my knee was going to flex. With the bandages, my leg looked like a giant boa constrictor’s body, with the knee being a large mammal the snake had just ingested!

Around 3 PM, Justin returned and before 6 PM my parents joined him.

Within the next thirty minutes, suddenly everyone was visiting me: Justin’s parents, his cousin Joey, and the rep responsible for leasing the CPM machine and cryo cuff to patients at our hospital. It was wonderful to see everyone and receive their well wishes, cards and flowers. Unfortunately, my bladder was nearing full capacity again. I kept my mind off it by chatting with everyone while Justin completed the paperwork for our equipment leasing agreement, but after a half hour or so I finally had to call a time out so I could get some assistance to use the bathroom again. This became my most reliable and loathesome ritual during my hospital stay — I hated getting out of the hospital bed, especially since it often required the nurse to extract my leg from the CPM and put on the bulky immobilizer only to repeat the process in reverse when I was finished. It seemed to take twenty minutes, and I seemed to need to do it every hour.

I began to glare at my I.V. and wish all the fluids would mysteriously evaporate so I wouldn’t have to deal with any more excessive hydration!

I didn’t note the time, but as the day wore on the numbing agents in my leg finally wore off and I requested pain medication. Rather than administering the pain killers via my I.V., which the nurse explained has the advantage of immediate onset of pain relief but only lasts for 20-30 minutes, she gave me a Demerol shot in my glutes (buttocks) which was good for about 4 hours of pain relief. As a means to keep track of my pain medication schedule, so I knew if I was over-reacting to pain or was actually due more meds, I sent myself text messages on my cellphone to note when I received them; it didn’t take long to realize I was on a 4-hour schedule for the Vicodin, so I only bothered the nurses once with a “I’m just wondering if it’s time for more pain meds, yet?”

At 6:55 PM, 12 hours after my surgery, I began feeling a searing pain throughout my left leg and buzzed the nurse. The Demerol shot had worn off.

I received 2 Vicodin immediately, since I had just eaten dinner: a heaping chef’s salad with ham and cheese, a warm dinner roll with margarine, a large cup of especially tasty cream of mushroom soup, and iced tea; all of my meals during my stay were awesome, and I got to pick what I wanted to eat off a menu for each meal!

The Vicodin takes about 20-30 minutes for pain relief, so it was a good exposure to the kind of raw pain I’d read about in others’ ACL surgery journals.

I didn’t experience any nausea as a result of the Vicodin, but the nurse’s were vigilent in ensuring I had either already eaten, or ate something (4 crackers, on one occasion; a vanilla pudding cup, on another), prior to taking the meds.

I didn’t really fall asleep until 2 AM, at which point I drifted off and only woke up when the nurse entered my room to check my vitals or, around midnight, to disconnect me from the I.V. drip since I’d finished my final course of I.V. antibiotics. Disconnecting me from the I.V. was a welcome event, since I no longer had tubes trailing from my right wrist across my body to the I.V. stand near my left shoulder. I kept getting the tubes tangled up in my bed sheets, and occasionally that would tug on the I.V. needle in my wrist. Once disconnected, however, I kept forgetting I still had an I.V. needle in my right hand. The nurse had simply placed a heplock on my I.V. The heplock lets them maintain an I.V. line in the patient’s arm, but disconnect them from the I.V. system unless further I.V.-administered medications/fluids are required. I was glad to be free of the I.V. for several reasons, not the least of which was it kept waking me up with incessant beeping: once, due to my fluid bag nearing empty; second, due to the monitor developing a glitch, requiring me to buzz the nurse not once, but twice, to resolve it! Around 4 AM I was awoken from my first deep slumber so the nurse could remove my leg from the CPM and cryo cuff in preparation for a very early morning checkup by my orthopedic surgeon. At 5:20 on Saturday morning, I was awoken again, this time to have my bandages/dressings cut off so the OS could take a look at my knee in all its glory.

I took a quick look at my knee and was surprised at how little it had bled post-surgery and how good it looked. “No bruising!” I thought. Of course, bruising comes later.

A couple minutes later, in walks my OS and very quickly checks out my knee, mentioning almost off-handedly, “We found and repaired another torn meniscus while we were in there, so that’s going to change your physical therapy a bit.”

I was still foggy from sleep, but it registered — TWO torn meniscuses and a severed ACL. Thank God I had surgery performed when I did!

After my OS left, the nurse returned to put a new dressing on my leg. This time, it was a simple ACE wrap with my support stockings pulled on over that.

Finally my leg didn’t look like a boa constrictor any more… at least, not an adult one!

I was put back on the CPM machine and I tried to grab some more shut eye.

By 5:50 AM, I needed to use the restroom again.

I’d tried to ignore it, but there was no denying.

I buzzed the nurse and we went through the hassle of getting me out of bed, on to the crutches, into the restroom and safely planted on the toilet seat. I think the poor night nurse ended up assisting me to and from the restroom at least 5 times.

Each nurse worked 8 hour shifts, so I had several nurses during my stay.

My night nurse, Al, was the most informative although he had a bad habit of criticizing things my earlier nurses had done. “This strap (on the CPM machine) shouldn’t be that tight around your leg,”; “Nitwits. They’re not supposed to do it this way!” (while looking at the taping job on my I.V. — the previous night nurse had redone the taping when my I.V. started beeping for no reason); he also critiqued my style of crutch-walking which was well-meaning but still peeved me, particularly since the only time I was on crutches, I needed to pee really badly — not necessarily a “teachable moment,” if you know what I mean!

In the end, though, Al proved to be one of the most selfless and educational of the nurses I relied on during my stay, and I appreciated him (and all the rest of the nursing staff at

in Northwest San Antonio) for all of their hard work.

They made my stay as comfortable, pain-free and uneventful as it could possibly be, and for that I am eternally grateful.

After my morning restroom visit, I decided I would probably not get any more sleep and ended up watching television.

Of course, there was nothing watchable on at 6-7 AM on a Saturday morning, so I ended up turning the volume down to 0 and tuning in to the Weather Channel.

Why tune to the Weather Channel with no volume? I couldn’t turn the damn television off! Despite all the wonderfully ergonomic contraptions I was exposed to during my stay in the hospital, the remote to control the in-room TV was flawed. The remote had two buttons and a scroll wheel. The scroll wheel controlled the volume of the speaker built in to the remote, which was the only speaker the TV was connected to (an ingenious idea, allowing each patient to enjoy their TV shows, but not blare the sound such that others would hear it!). The largest button had a nurse icon on it, and was used to buzz the nurse on duty; underneath that was a much smaller button to turn the television ON.

Pressing the television button again, once the set was on, changed the channel; there was no way to turn the television OFF via the remote! Hello, Weather Channel (CNN proved too annoying, even with the volume set to 0!)

Around 6:30 AM, I heard the nurses (2 were on duty) lamenting that “They all wake up at the same time!”

Suddently, the 2 nurses were faced with three patients who all needed to use the restroom.

I was glad I’d put in my call at 5:50 AM.

I wouldn’t have made it being the fourth “in line”! Just before Al ended his shift, he’d told me breakfast would be served at 7:30 AM.

My last dose of pain medications had been at 2 AM. By 6:30 AM, I was hurting, but I tried to wait.

By 7, I buzzed a request for pain medications and was asked if I could wait until breakfast was served.

“Okay. No problem!” Except there was a problem when breakfast didn’t arrive until after 8 AM, at which point I was getting downright surly from the pain.

As soon as my food was placed in front of me, I buzzed the nurse again requesting my pain meds and indicating my pain was an “8.5 on the 10 point scale.”

This was the worst pain level I reported during my entire hospital stay; several times, I reported pain levels of 1-2, 4, or 7-8 when the meds had just worn off.

But 8.5 was like an earthquake, and it was powerful enough I expected the aftershocks to send me to tears!

A very apologetic nurse arrived with my pain meds, and I appreciatively accepted them. I didn’t bother asking why breakfast was late; instead, I responded with my usual, “Thank You,” in as pleasant a voice as I could muster (hoarseness and pain, be damned.)

She was doing her best, and I just needed to back off the pain so my brain would stop operating in fight or flight mode.

After I’d finished breakfast (scrambled eggs, grilled ham, apple juice and toast), my tray was collected and almost immediately after that the AM shift nurse let me know I could “leave pretty much any time, now.”

That was music to my ears… not because the hospital stay had been unpleasant, but because I was so very tired of

the complicated bathroom visits and the unfamiliar bed (I wanted to steal their pillows — they were heavenly!) The nurse asked if I wanted any help getting dressed, and despite the fact that my pain meds had not yet kicked in, I told her, “I’d like to try getting dressed myself.

I’ll be sure to buzz you if I get in a bind, though.”

I asked her to retrieve my pre-op clothes from the wardrobe (yes, my room had a wardrobe!), and I very, very carefully proceeded to get out of the hospital gown and into my clothes. Getting my underwear and loose-fitting pants over the foot of my post-op leg proved challenging — I actually had to throw my underwear carefully at my foot, like a twisted game of horseshoes, and hope it caught on the toes so I could gingerly pull it on.

Thankfully, my initial throw was successful (otherwise, I had images of buzzing the nurse with a meek plea of, “I need help. I just threw my underwear off the bed, and I can’t get up!”)

The pants were a little easier, probably since I had my adrenaline pumping by this point and just ignored the pain.

Visiting hours at the hospital run from 9 AM to 11 PM, so Justin and I had already agreed he would come visit me at 9 AM the morning after my surgery.

When I called his cell phone to let him know I’d been given approval to be released, he was just 5 minutes away from the hospital.

He actually arrived while I was still getting dressed, though thankfully he missed the underwear tossing demonstration!

Within moments of his arrival, we let my nurse know I was ready to check out and she went over the dismissal procedures with us… lots of paperwork, not to sign so much as to review and refer to at home during recovery. She’s the one who distilled all the “Do’s & Don’ts” from my OS into an easy to remember process, the basis of what became : 1) Eat 2) Take your meds 3) 10 mins on the Knee Extender Box 4) Do all your exercises 5) CPM w/cryo. She also made sure I knew the constipating effects of the meds I was on, and for that I’m grateful — she said they’d actually had some people be admitted to the ER after this surgery due to severe constipation. We concluded that was definitely not a situation I wanted to find myself in, so Surfak stool softener was among my “cocktail” of meds for the first several days — the days I was taking both a lot of Vicodin and 4x/day antibiotics (which really mess up your system!) Before sending me on my way, the nurse looked me in the eye and wished me a safe and speedy recovery and then she paused and, on the back of an envelope I was holding, wrote down the direct number to the nurse’s station in case I had any questions. That made me feel really good, knowing that I had someone else I could call if something unexpected, odd or scary happened (since I knew directly reaching my OS would likely prove difficult).

After Justin had loaded up my flowers, travel bag (clothes, cellphone, books and necessities), and all the equipment we were bringing home with us — CPM machine, Polar Care cryo cuff and cooler, knee extender foam box — the nurse carried one last flower arrangement out and followed us to our car.

There, I gingerly lowered myself on to the back seat of my Toyota Corolla and pulled myself backwards with my upper body. The front seats in my car don’t move far enough back to accommodate my leg in an immobilizer, and even if they had I’m not sure I would have wanted to sit with the leg at even a slight downward angle right then.

With one last check to be sure my feet and crutches were clear of the car door, the nurse wished us both a safe drive and closed the car door.

At home, Justin unloaded all my recovery gear and set it up on and around the bed we’re borrowing until I am able to climb the two flights of stairs to our bedroom.

I climbed into bed and, after what seemed like forever trying to get enough ice out of our refrigerator’s ice machine (Note to pre-op folks: Buy 1-3 bags of ice before your surgery!), Justin stocked my Polar Care unit and I was literally chilling out in bed.

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6 Comments

February 13, 2007

@

Hi,

justsitting here with my cyro-packed leg elevated and skimming your story.

had acl (hamstring replacement),

pcl and mcl repair done 26 jan.

I’m looking for more reading on just after surgery cautions and excercises.

Drink lots of hot tea/ drnks and you can keep the ice on the knee longer.

Enjoy the ride, Dee

February 17, 2007

@

My doc has just diagnoised me wth an ACL tear and something else…i kinda went numb after the news of the ACL but I think the PCl is in bad shape too.

I am not looking forward to post op pain and nurses having control of the pain meds so I hoping to be in and out of the hospital.

The long road of recovery is what really scares me.

Sitting around is just not my style and the thoughts of that brace from hip to ankle is a very big turn off so I am thinking no operation and just using a brace when I am doing excercise…Why did you decide to have the operation? and how long do you have to wear the brace..I like running and being slim and think I will blow up and get fat..wearing a brace for that long.

April 30, 2007

@

I am sitting here with nowhere else to go because of the surgery.

I guess that I am lucky in that it was an outpatient procedure and I was actually up on crutches within 5 hours after surgery and actually put some weight on it by hour 10.

I too am not a big

fan of sitting around but have found it to be useful this time.. Easy to loose weight when the food is out of reach.

HAHAHA….

I am not in bad shape and have been up and around everyday as much as I can.

The car is a pain so I took my daughters quad to the first physical therapy appointment. Small town so it didnt look so much out of the ordinary.

Most people are shocked when I tell them what I had and when.

One lady I think almost fainted.

She was having the surgery next month.

Doing the ankle and quad exercises is funny as I am not on ice but an IFII

INTERFERENTIAL deep muscle stimulator for pain and swelling.

What a blessing this little unit has been.

Beats repacking the ice all of the time and it stimulates the muscle for less atrophy after the surgery.

What I am seeing this time is so much bruising it looks like my leg was beat over and over with a bag of oranges.

Has anyone seen this type of bruising.

From my previous surgeries on the same knee I dont recall this extensive of bruising.

My reco and my doctors.

Get on a bicycle stationary or otherwise as soon as your they will let you.

If you havent already.

If so it is never too late to start.

I was able to cut my meniscal tear recovery in half by getting back on the bike but I also had good base of around 2-3 thousand miles.

I dont know if this would work for everyone but my doctor said it is one of the best as there is less stress on the joint and it works the muscles needed around the knee.

I hope that I have not bored anyone and hope someone might find this useful.

Thanks and have a happy recovery.

August 5, 2007

@

hey,

im

15 and i am going to get ACL replacement surgery in a few weeks.

I dont tolerate paintoo well, so how much of it can i expect to experience?

Also, how long will i be in the hospitol, and how long do you thing i will have to recover at home before i go back to school?

March 18, 2008

@

My daughter is about to under go ACL reconstruction with the patella tendon – realistically, how long is full recovery?

She is an athlete and is doing PT in advance and is determined to be back ASAP.

Enjoyed the article!

March 18, 2008

@

You need to ask her orthopedic surgeon, her physical therapists post-op, and her coach. I can’t tell you how long an athlete (whose age you didn’t include) is going to take to recover to playing status. I was hiking with in 3 months post-op and had 3 months of post-op physical therapy sessions 3 times a week.

I then starting rowing (indoor rowing machine) and cycling and hiking more (with brace for a couple more months.)

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