3 Weeks Post-Op! I feel like time has absolutely flown by! I guess when you move slower, time really does go by faster. Recap of week 3 is below, along with a few PT exercises & what I have been doing vitamin/essential oil/nutrient wise. Below are a few pictures of 2.5-3 week post op. Bruising it pretty much gone, my scars are healing awesome… the first 2 pictures are 2.5 weeks, and the last 2 are from today, 3 weeks post-op that shows most of the swelling gone. Obviously, my left leg is skinnier than my right. It looks so sad.
Between the 2.5 and 3 week point, magic happened:
- I suddenly remembered to walk, with almost no limp
- I can cross my legs comfortably (I could actually do this sooner, maybe around the 1-2 week mark; I just happened to notice when I went back to work and was sitting in a chair for half the day)
- My swelling went down considerably
- Pretty much all bruising gone!!
- Only icing 1-2 times a day
- I could do more exercises at physical therapy
- I discontinued stim at PT since my quad had gotten strong enough
- I got the go-ahead to walk around the house without my brace
- I can stop using my brace in the next week or so
- I started going into work (half day only)
- I began to workout at the gym
- I started to get energy again
- 2 weeks: 95 degrees flexion
- 2.5 weeks: 110 degrees flexion
- 3 weeks: 118 degrees flexion
- Started walking backwards on an incline on the treadmill
My leg has been straight since my first PT appointment, so I never had to worry about hitting 0 degrees. I am not sure what happened between that 2.5-3 week mark, but even my PT was impressed with how well I could walk. I literally just got rid of crutches at 2.5 weeks, and I came strolling in a few days later. I walked to the gym the night before my 3-week PT appointment and did upper body weight lifts, PT exercises and core work. I felt really great afterwards – and if I had any regrets about anything I have done for my recovery, not staying active would be the only thing I regret. And I really don’t have any regrets about the whole surgery/process. So, anyone after ACL reconstructive surgery, pay attention – GO TO THE GYM!!! I know you cannot do much, but getting that circulation and blood moving in your body is huge. Just doing upper body weights is good enough! All-in-all, I am so happy with my recovery so far. I try not to compare myself with anyone else, so I don’t care whether I am behind or ahead in recovery. I know my body, and I have been so impressed with the healing so far.
I started taking multi vitamins again, which I am wondering if they had anything to do with my speedy walking recovery… my cousin, who is an oil consultant, also gave me a new protocol to try on my leg. I think I have been over doing it with the oils in my body, so this is a little bit more simpler, and I am not applying the oils as often (mostly because of going back to work/being more active).
- Began taking multi vitamins again (I had run out)
- Continue to take 1 calcium + 1 magnesium pill, 2x a day
- Continue to take cod liver oil vitamins, 2x a day on an empty stomach
- Not taking any pain medicine, not even aleve
- 1-2 drops of wintergreen on quad (for muscle development) – 2-4 times a day
- 1-2 drops of fennel on bruised area – 2-4 times a day
- Sports oil blend roll-on whenever my knee was aching, or right after PT/doing my PT exercises at home
- Food wise – lots of chocolate, gluten-free pizza & tortilla chips. My body hates me, especially the rolls on my stomach & back that appeared over night. I am going to start incorporating more protein to help aid in the strengthening of my muscles + more veggies to help aid in healing/balance my PH levels. A girl can’t live on chocolate forever! (In my dreams maybe)
If you are just starting out in your recovery, check out my yoga for ACL recovery course! This 2-month course includes 1-2 videos a week you can do over the course of your recovery, quickly improving ROM, strength, balance, and flexibility. Based on my own recovery, I created this course specifically for anyone recovering from ACL surgery, and includes 15+ videos full of safe & effective postures & flows that progress with you.
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On another note, My first 1/2 day back to work was great! My co-workers decorated my desk & put lots of creepy pictures of sloths all over it – it seriously made me so happy! I love sloths!
And to top off last week, my cousin was in town – AKA time to be super weird together. So we went to Kroger down the street to embarrass her younger brother that works there. I drove around the cart with my sunglasses on, complete with my cousin putting a bird house on the back of my cart. I kept hitting things and people with my crutch – I had to put it in the front basket because there was no where else to put it. So if a grocery cart maker is reading this – you should really consider a place to put crutches. It will leave the store in less shambles after I leave.
Until next time!
The information I have provided is not intended to be used in place of professional medical advice. This is information that I have gathered on my own through a variety of sources, and if you decide to use/apply any of the ideas from my site, you are taking full responsibility for your actions. This information is not meant to diagnose or to treat any medical condition. Please consult with your primary care physician/holistic doctor to diagnose/advise of any medical condition if you have any questions. I am not liable for any damages or negative consequences resulting from any action by any persons reading or following the information on this site.
This e-book was created as a guide to help everyone – Adults, Kids, Athletes, and Non-Athletes – recovering from ACL surgery. After reading this guide, you will have a better understanding of what to expect, surgery options, costs & insurance, and a detailed timeline for recovery.
Your knee is looking fantastic!
I’m totally with you regarding knee comparisons etc. It’s all individual. 🙂
Thanks!! How are you doing with your knee??
Much better, thanks! Started hydrotherapy today – so so happy! 🙂
By the way those pictures in your office were so sweet. I would be very touched as it was such a nice gesture from your colleagues. 🙂
Awesome! So glad to hear! Lucky that you get to start hydrotherapy 🙂
Just found your blog…love it! I tore my ACL about a month ago and have been deciding on surgery. Just curious how you picked which type of graft to go with…my dr is pushing for cadaver (said its fastest recovery) but my PT seems to think hamstring is best. And your knee look fantastic! making me much calmer about surgery!
Hey Liz! Sorry to hear about your knee. My surgeon recommended hamstring. Since I am a little smaller, he had to use a little bit cadaver as well. However – I would have gotten the same thing done even if my surgeon hadn’t recommended. Cadaver is a faster recovery, but: it is not as strong as a hamstring graft, it has a higher chance of your body rejecting the cadaver graft and most people end up retearing the cadaver acl since it is weaker. Patellar tendon graft is the strongest, but most people end up having frontal knee pain the rest of their life. It is really all up to you! I am glad I helped calm your nerves – honestly, the first few days were the worst pain wise, but it just gets easier after that. I definitely recommend strengthening your hamstring/quad muscles as much as possible before the surgery – and LOTS of stretching. Flexibility will help you get your leg straight quicker as well as less pain when rehabilitating. If you have any other questions, I am happy to help! Best of luck!
What core work did you do at the gym? I am 3 weeks post op. My pt suggested I go to the gym but he didn’t really tell me what to do besides treadmill and bike.
Hi Marilyn! My PT had me doing a lot of different exercises… if you check out my week 5 post, there is a list of all the exercises I was doing + a few extra I did at the gym. It really depends on how your knee is feeling, and I would check with your PT, but these are a few that I did:
-Plank holds – can do on one knee as a modification
-Side planks – check with PT, as there can be a lot of weight on your knee
-Bosu ball balancing – step-ups onto bosu ball on one leg – your core automatically activates to help you balance (check with PT on this one)
-Push ups/modified push ups
-One-legged squats (use a cane/pole/chair to hold onto) and go down as far as you can – your core will be working a lot to keep you balanced! and make sure your knee cap is aligned with your first 2 toes
– Crunches on a ball
– Lay down on your back and bend knees so shins are parallel to the ground. Pull bellybutton into spine so that your back is flat against the floor – you should feel this in your core! Slowly lower 1 foot to the ground without letting your back start to arch or come off the ground. Repeat on other side. If this gets too easy, try straightening your leg out as much as you can. This is the best deep core exercise you can do!
I hope this helps… if you have any other questions or anything else, let me know! Best of luck in your recovery 🙂