When they repair your ACL they take a section of your hamstring tendon from just below your knee and use that to replace your torn ACL. When I came round in recovery I was not in too much pain from my knee but the back of my leg hurt a lot, this pain was from where they had taken the hamstring tendon. On a pain scale of 1 – 10, I was on a 7/8 but after a few doses of morphine the pain did eased off.
I was discharge from hospital later that day, I was back on crutches, I was given a bag of prescription pain killers and instructed to Ice. My knee is a bandage and I had dressing underneath, I was not in a brace and it was weight bearing. I spent the 1st week with the leg elevated and icing it regularly.
2nd week post operation – I was able to hobble around the house without crutches but needed them for any further distances. The pain was a lot less but my hamstring still felt damaged. I was doing very gentle exercises to try and get the quads firing and trying to straight the leg as much as possible. I was now experiencing most of the pain in my calf muscle and most of the bruising was there and in my foot.
3rd week post operation – Off crutches but walking with a limp and cannot walk for any distance. I’m now doing exercises as instructed by the Physiotherapist. This involves wall squats, trying to straighten the leg and lots of stretching for the calf muscle and hamstrings. Calf muscle is still sore but not as bad as it was.
4th week post operations – I’m cycling on a static bike! I’m now adding step ups, calf raises, and bridges and standing squats to the exercises. I walk better and not in any real pain. The Hamstring and calf muscle feel much better. I am getting occasional crap in my quads when I’m doing the exercises but this is due to muscle weakness.
5th Week – The same as the above but now cycling for 30 mins at a time. I’m also working on my core. I’m also incorporation one leg balance exercises. I can now fully straighten the knee, still working on flexion.
8th Week – Still working on Single leg balance and strength but the knee is feeling great! In 3/4 weeks’ time and I might be allowed to run on the treadmill. I’m back to exercising about 5 times a week which makes me feel better…
12th Week – I’m now on the treadmill. Only slow jogging for 5 mins at a time but it’s a start. I’m also trying to stand from a sitting position using only the weak leg. It’s very hard and I need a bit of assistance but I’ll keep at it.
5 months– Running regularly but still feel the weakness in my hamstring so working hard on building up the strength in that muscle.
6 – 7 months – I’m back at hockey training but not playing matches and focusing on hill sprints, still feeling a weakness when I sprint in my hamstring the knee its self feels fine. It swells a little after training but no pain.
8 – 9 months – I’m now playing hockey again but my speed and fitness is not what it used to be.. Going skiing next week so life is back to normal!
If you need help with post ACL surgery rehab please get in touch with http://www.arbrookpt.co.uk