ACL Post-Surgery: Weeks 18 & 19

18 Weeks Post-Op Summary

  • I can run 1-2 miles every other day or so… on the treadmill, but I can run on smooth pavements (nothing where the terrain changes too much)
  • Left IT band is feeling better! No noticeable problems when running! -Seeing an ART specialist to help with IT band/tight back/structural issues
  • Still feeling soreness on the front/top of my knee/kneecap – I start to notice this after running for 10+ minutes at a time or trying to run faster
  • Saw my surgeon this morning, and he said the above issue was just my strength – I still need to work on my quad strength. Once I have all/most of my strength back, that pain and soreness will go away
  • Surgeon also mentioned that if I wanted to get back more intensely into sports where I would be doing a lot of pivoting/cutting, he recommended I get a brace. Since I am not a serious athlete, I am not sure if that is something I will do… but, he also said no one ever really knows how well the ACL has attached to the bone, so going back to more agility-type sports (not running, as its mainly straight forward running) too soon without support would not be a good idea. I have a follow-up in 2 months. If I feel the need to go more full-blown back into sports, he told me to come back in and get a brace. If not, I would be fine without a brace and most likely be able to go back 100% to sports next spring. Has anyone else had experience with a brace post-ACL surgery?
  • The numb part of my leg – feeling is starting to come back! I didn’t really notice it at first, but it has gotten better!
  • Icing at least 1x a day
  • Signed up for a 4-miler in September, so I need to step up my training a little 🙂
  • Working on improving my handstands – I love doing these, as they are building up my core & shoulder strength

Handstand                                                      Handstand2

PT Exercises/Workouts

  • Elliptical at the beginning of my workouts, 5 minutes
  • Run on treadmill for 10 minutes – starting out at 6 speed, picking up to 6.5 @ 5 minutes and 7-7.5 speed the last 2 minutes
  • Agility ladder work on the floor
  • High knees across gym/ladders – forwards and sideways – 4x
  • Jump over small object and land in a small squat – repeat down the line 4 x
  • Long jump – measuring how far i can jump – set a baseline (76″)
  • Hopping over lines forwards/side to side/diagonally
  • 4 markers set up on the ground: Run fast up to second marker –> squat down and shuffle as fast as I can to the next marker –> run backwards as fast as I can to the next marker –> shuffle back to the first marker as fast as i can. Repeat 4-8 times
  • Foot work on aerobics stepper at 20 second intervals
  • Stretching after every workout
  • Heated Yoga(1-2x a week, if I can find time)
  • Running on treadmill for 10-25 minutes 1-2x a week

Things have been slowing down a little, so I have been taking a little more time for myself. Sleeping in, naps, reading (Blink and now on Spirit Junkie), practicing my handstands with a little help from patrick beach and getting ready for my trip to Costa Rica in July. Has anyone traveled to Costa Rica? Any tips for a week-long trip out of the country? I will be mostly on the beach, learning spanish and doing yoga, but I will most likely trek out into the jungle or go on an excursion somewhere. I AM SO EXCITED! 🙂

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.

Improve your range of motion, increase your strength, and feel more confident post-surgery with a 2 month yoga progression plan.

ACL Post-Surgery 17 weeks

17 weeks!

I only had a few days in between my 2 PT appointments, and I only had time to get 1 run in/do my new exercises… and even that was pushing it. I went to an amusement park on Saturday and walked around for 5-6 hours… my knee was not very happy. I didn’t work out on Sunday, and then ran on Monday morning. Afterwards, my knee was bothering me (IT Band) as well as the top part of my kneecap. I saw my PT on Tuesday morning, and he had me take it easy. He said my patellar tendon needed a rest,  and it just needed a little time to recover from the all the new activities I have been adding to my workouts. Because of this, I didn’t run on Tuesday at my PT appointment, and I just worked on hamstring exercises (so as not to work my quad/knee).

I am not upset – honestly, just really tired. I haven’t been getting much sleep, and I won’t until next weekend 🙁 Regardless, I am still extremely happy with my progress so far. The pain I am experiencing is just muscle/tendon pain, which is expected, especially if I am going back into things too fast (or when my body needs to rest more!). Below is a summary of week 17!

17 Weeks Post-Op Summary

  • I am allowed to run 1-2 miles every other day or so… only on the treadmill. Took a breather for a few days to give my knee some rest
  • Left IT band is a little sore, but stretching & using a foam roller helps! Going to see an ART specialist next week for a little more help with my IT band/tight back/structural issues
  • Still some clicking and cracking here and there in my knee – def still some inflammation, but mostly from over-doing it
  • Icing at least 1x a day
  • Knee a little swollen from my weekend of walking at the park – icing and using oils every day, especially after workouts. My mom sent me a new oil blend that I have been using, and it has been working wonderfully!
  • My flexibility is great! Heated yoga has made me even more flexible than i was pre-surgery. I can also go in a very deep squat and sit back on my heels! Not 100% comfortably, but I am getting there.
  • My boyfriend took me to Orange Theory Fitness on Thursday for my birthday – I ran for 15-20 minutes on the treadmill and did some circuit work afterwards. This type of workout uses your heart heart to track your workouts, and it shows your stats on a big screen so you can see how much you are pushing yourself the entire time. I really liked it, but I didn’t feel like I could 100% push myself during the workout. I will for sure be back in a few months when my knee is feeling better!
  • **Edit – I went for 20 minute run on the treadmill at the gym, about 2.25 miles… My IT band was bothering me at first, but after a few minutes, the pain went away. My leg strength feels fine, it is just my breathing/cardio I have issues with… but that will get better in time 🙂 Hopefully at my next PT appointment I will be given the go-ahead to start running outside again!

How I feel when I run now.

How I feel when I run now.

 

PT Exercises/Workouts

  • Elliptical at the beginning of my workouts, 5 minutes
  • Calf raises on a step – both legs – 2 sets of 20
  • Hamstring curls on machine – both legs – 2 sets of 15-20
  • Balance work on steps & on piece of foam
  • Hamstring curls – lay on ground – put both feet up on an exercise ball. Bridge hips up & pull feet towards body – 3 sets of 15
  • Monster walks
  • Stretching after every workout
  • Running for 5-20 minutes on treadmill @ a 6-7 pace
  • Bikram Yoga/Heated Yoga (1x a week, if I can find time)

I went to heated Baptiste yoga the other night, and I was so incredibly humbled and grateful by my body’s ability to heal so quickly. I was surprised by my flexibility and the ease I was able to get into poses…. I even tried flying pigeon pose, something I have never really tried to do or understood how to get into the pose (especially with the pressure on my knee). It takes a ton of upper body and core strength!

I am going to continue with my yoga when I can get to it, and ease back into running. I am signed up for a half marathon, but not until January… so I have time to prepare 🙂

My birthday was also this past week… So lots of surprises, time spent with family and friends and not much sleep. Between early/extra hours at work, a wedding this past weekend and my birthday, I am pooped! I rested all day this Sunday and felt a little bit better… Now off to go for a run at the gym 🙂

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.

Improve your range of motion, increase your strength, and feel more confident post-surgery with a 2 month yoga progression plan.

ACL Post-Surgery 4 months

Hi!

So excited for 4 months! Running, lateral movement, jumping.. I feel a lot stronger, and adding on more movements in my workouts is definitely more freeing. I couldn’t wait until my PT appointment this week and RAN last Friday… and Monday. I ran for 5 minutes on Friday, and 10 on Monday on the treadmill. It felt great! I was grinning the whole time I ran I was so happy 🙂 There was a little swelling maybe on Friday, but none on Monday when I ran. My knee honestly feels great! I am wondering if waiting longer for my knee to heal has caused less problems with returning to running.

Pre-Surgery - I can run again!!! Working towards running in races again (and being that tan!)

Pre-Surgery – I can run again!!! Working towards running in races again (and being that tan!)

4 months Post-Op Summary

  • Had my quad & hamstring strength measured in the Cybex machine – and good news! My left leg isn’t that much weaker than my right! First, my right leg was tested. The first round, I had to kick up and kick back as hard as I could 10 times while sitting down to test strength. I got a 20 second break, then I had to do the kicks again, with a lighter resistance, to test endurance. This was then repeated on my left side. The report showed that my right quad was stronger/I could kick forward with more force than my left (left leg was about 85% compared to right knee @ 100%). However, my left hamstring was stronger than my right! (right leg was about 90% compared to left @ 100%). Based on the results, I was cleared to run (even though I had already ran the week before :))
  • I can run 1-2 miles every other day or so… only on the treadmill (outside the level of terrain changes, so it is more stress on my knee, especially since I haven’t run for 4 months)
  • My gait is normal, no favoring of my left leg
  • Left IT band is a little sore, but stretching & using a foam roller helps!
  • Knee feels great! still not as stable as my right – some clicking and cracking here and there, but the swelling has decreased considerably. My flexion gets better and better everyday.
  • Lots of handstands and Yoga going down at my house… Everything gets easier week by week!
  • I start cardio workouts at work next week, and I feel more confident to jump around and run now 🙂
  • Still using Solomon’s seal salve on my knee – I usually top with peppermint oil to help drive in the salve, sometimes adding in some wintergreen and lemongrass.
  • Icing at least 1x a day

PT Exercises/Workouts

  • Elliptical at the beginning of my workouts, 5 minutes
  • Cybex Test
  • Run on treadmill for 5 minutes
  • Agility ladder work on the floor
  • High knees across gym
  • Butt kicks across gym
  • Hopping over lines forwards/side to side
  • Exercises in previous posts
  • Stretching after every workout
  • Bikram Yoga/Yoga (1x a week, if I can find time)
  • Workout classes

Next week I start my Spanish tutoring again, as well as workout classes at work. It will be hard to fit my yoga classes and running in, but I am excited for so much newness happening! It’s almost June, my birthday month, plus warm weather, my cousin is moving back to Ohio soon and a trip to Costa Rica is planned for July. It’s easy to stay motivated when there are so many things in my life to be grateful for. I can look at my knee surgery/recovery time as something terrible, but so much good has come from it! I have been able to help others and meet new friends all across the world going through the same surgery, learned to slow down and listen to my body, am really focusing on yoga now… There are things I missed out on, but I look back and realize that I was directed towards even better things/situations/people because of my surgery! Truly a blessing 🙂

gratitude

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer – Amazing opportunities arise from the storms!

Hope everyone is having a great week! Until next time,

Nina

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.

Improve your range of motion, increase your strength, and feel more confident post-surgery with a 2 month yoga progression plan.

ACL Post-Surgery 15 weeks

15 weeks Post-Op Summary

  • Can run in less than 1week! May 29th, to be exact 🙂
  • Still going to PT every other week until I run! I have been doing PT/Yoga/workouts 3-5 times a week, so no need to go in.
  • Knee feels about 90%… Seriously. When I say “back to normal,” I mean I am walking without pain, my workouts feel easy and I am able to straighten/lock out my left knee (my right knee is hyper-extended, so this is “normal” for ME).
  • When bending up/down my knee still “catches” every once in a while – I assume this is just from the last swelling
  • knee usually feels stiff in the morning – its hard to get my heel to my butt, but after some stretching/yoga, I can sit on my heels.
  • Lots of handstands and Yoga going down at my house… Everything gets easier week by week!
  • I did a hip-hop class at work yesterday.. it was great cardio and a lot of fun! My knee did lock out which was really uncomfortable, but I was fine the next day

PT Exercises/Workouts

  • Elliptical at the beginning of my workouts, 15-25 minutes
  • Balancing on BOSU ball, ball side up on injured leg – bring other leg as far out in front, to the side, and diagonally behind you. 2-3 x 10
  • Lunges w/twist to side – lunging forward on a bosu ball w/ 6 lb ball – 2 sets of 30
  • Monster walks to the back/side (stand looking forward with a slight squat, side step left leg & to the back – so stepping not to the side or to the back, but in between) – 10 each side, 2x
  • Holding onto bands on wall, squat on one leg then back up – 3×10
  • Side-lunges while holding onto TRX band – 3 sets of 10
  • On injured (left) knee – holding 10 lb weight in right hand – lean forward, balancing on injured knee w/weight hanging down (think warrior 3 position) – 2 sets of 10 on each side
  • Lay on ground – put both feet up on an exercise ball. Bridge hips up & pull feet towards body – 3 sets of 15
  • Step up onto a platform (with bad leg) while holding a weighted ball (6 lbs). Bring up, then slowly come down. 1 set of 15
  • BOSU ball, ball side down – squats w/ 6lb ball – bring down to one side & swing slowly up across body over shoulder. 1 set of 20
  • Crunches on Ball – 3×100
  • With 6lb ball, lay on back, with arms over head. Crunch all the way up, keeping ball over head. do 20 times, then immediately after do 100 russian twists. Rest 30 seconds, repeat, but 15 crunch-ups & 75 russian twists. Rest 30 seconds, repeat, but 10 crunch-ups & 50 russian twists.
  • Workout at gym 1-2 times a week, doing PT exercises above
  • Stretching after every workout
  • Bikram Yoga/Yoga (1x a week, if I can find time)
  • Workout classes! Did a hip-hop class at work the other day – so much fun! Great to mix up my workouts 🙂

I have been practicing my handstands and doing yoga at home almost every night, sometimes in the morning. I love it! I feel like I am stronger and more flexible than I was before my surgery. With my knee feeling almost 100% back to normal now, I am still being careful. However, my flexion is getting better every time at yoga. I am even doing back bends again!

I am itching to start running again… less than one week! I do a little jogging/running for a few seconds from time to time, and I have no issues. I cant wait! Below is a t-shirt I should probably get to celebrate running next week – my 2 favorite things – sloths and napping.

tr401atg-w232h232z1-15656-sloth-running-team-v-neck

ACL Post-Surgery 13-14 weeks

Hi!

Lost of traveling this past weekend, and my schedule has been crazy! I missed last week, so I am just combining the past 2 weeks below 🙂

13-14 weeks Post-Op Summary

  • PT tested my knee with a Stryker Knee Laxity Testing Instrument – this measures the tightness/laxity of your new ACL compared to your other knee, in millimeters. My PT was actually surprised, as my new ACL was tighter than my right knee (a good thing). He said I was a little above the curve as far as recovery, and I push myself a little more than the average person. Because of this, he thought it would be the same or a little looser, as my joints are already a little looser (due to gymnastics), the natural hyper extension in my knees and intensity of my workouts.
  • I got to practice the Cybex Machine, as I will be starting testing in it at my next appointment. This machine measures the strength and endurance of my knee/hamstring/quad in my right knee versus the one I had surgery on.
  • Can run in 2 weeks! May 28th, to be exact 🙂
  • Still bruising in area of knee where screw was drilled into bone, but feeling better every day
  • Can go into childs pose at yoga now! I am getting way more flexion in my knee to the point where I don’t have to force my heel back to my butt
  • Still going to PT every other week until I run! I have been doing PT/Yoga/workouts 3-5 times a week, so no need to go in.
  • My knee cracks when I do squats – just a mini crack, it doesn’t really hurt
  • Swelling in front of knee almost gone!
  • Traveled this past weekend, flying all the way out to Montana. Thanks to the advice of mommybites (her ACL blog is here), I brought along plastic bags for icing. Honestly though, I didn’t have much of a problem with swelling after flying. However, I did ice on the way there and at least once a day, so I was happy I brought plastic bags. I just filled up ice from the ice machine at the hotel and iced 1-2 times a day.
  • Got a workout in while traveling, lots of walking and I danced at a wedding for a few hours on Saturday. I made sure I wasn’t twisting my knee or jumping on it too much, and my knee felt fine the next day.
  • Started using Cortesia acute and chronic injury salve – so far, so good! It’s kind of stinky, but I think it has been helping my knee a lot!

Stryker Knee Laxity Testing Instrument

Stryker Knee Laxity Testing Instrument

PT Exercises (new exercises bolded)

  • Elliptical at the beginning of my workouts, 15 minutes
  • Balancing on foam roll cut in half on injured leg – bring other leg as far out in front, to the side, and diagonally behind you. 3 x 10
  • Balancing on foam roll cut in half (on bad leg) – throw ball at trampoline, it rebounds back. Left hip is facing trampoline – do one set, then have right hip face trampoline. 2 sets of 15
  • Lunges w/twist to side – lunging forward on a bosu ball w/ 8-12 lb ball – 2 sets of 30
  • Monster walks to the back/side (stand looking forward with a slight squat, side step left leg & to the back – so stepping not to the side or to the back, but in between) – 10 each side, 2x
  • Holding onto bands on wall, squat on one leg then back up – when coming up, curl band up to work arms. 3×10
  • Lay on back w/sliders under feet. Bridge stomach up, then slowly slide one leg out and back, then the other leg. 30 seconds. Rest. Bridge stomach up again, then slide one leg out, then the other. Go as quickly as you can, non stop for 30 seconds. Repeat for a total of 2 rounds.
  • Lay on ground – put both feet up on an exercise ball. Bridge hips up & pull feet towards body – 3 sets of 15
  • With a weighted vest, step up onto a platform (with bad leg) while holding a weighted ball (6-12 lbs). bring up, hold, then slowly come down. 1 set of 15
  • With a weighted vest, step up sideways onto a platform (with bad leg). Bad leg is crossing in the back, so the step up should be a little awkward/tricky. Holding a weighted ball (6-12 lbs), step up and bring ball towards the sky diagonally. Slowly come down. 1 set of 15
  • One-legged lunge, with good leg resting in  a TRX band behind me. Step onto a foam mat for more balancing exercise and do a lunge on bad leg. 3 x 10
  • Workout at gym 1-2 times a week, doing PT exercises above
  • Stretching after every workout
  • Bikram Yoga/Yoga (1x a week, if I can find time)

So far, my knee has been feeling fantastic! I was surprised after so much walking, dancing and workouts in the past week that my knee actually felt better! I think I have been babying my knee maybe a bit too much – pushing myself has yielded better progress, at least for me. I still have pains and swelling, but my knee is feeling better more and more everyday.

If I had to give advice to anyone going through ACL surgery, I would recommend YOGA. I think this has been such a huge asset to my recovery – I am more flexible than I was before my surgery, it has helped my balance immensely and it has been a great way to let go of stress. I am able to push myself, but in a way that I feel safe and comfortable. Obviously, 1.5 months post surgery I was not able to do much. But I listened to my body and kept going, and I believe it has been key to my recovery. I have always gone to Bikram or a heated yoga class, which might not be for everyone… but I think this has helped loosen my muscles up more, sweat out the crap in my body and made me more focused on my poses/body (instead of focusing on how hot it is in the room!). I only go 1-2 times a week (If I am lucky and have time! Sometimes I will do a quick yoga flow at home), and I have received so many benefits from only a few classes here and there. Has yoga helped anyone else during an ACL recovery? If not, what has been the best workout/sport that has been the most beneficial for you?


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.

Improve your range of motion, increase your strength, and feel more confident post-surgery with a 2 month yoga progression plan.

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