ACL Post-Surgery Week 7

It has been a hectic week, but luckily my knee has been able to keep up! Between relatives being in town, spending time with family, doctor appointments, physical therapy, working late, and starting my spanish classes this week – I haven’t been able to get to bed before midnight this entire week. But I have loved every minute of it! My knee is feeling GREAT – I have almost full ROM, can walk completely without a limp, am working out on the elliptical now and have no issues riding the bike (before my knee cap would pop out). Below is a recap… and a comparison of my legs 3 weeks post op vs 7 weeks post op… my muscles are coming back!!!

ACL Surgery 3 weeks post op versus 7 weeks post op

Post Op week 7       post op week 7 2

post op week 7 scars

Recap Post-Op week 7:

  • Almost full ROM
  • IT Band pain is going away, thanks to the ART therapy I have been going to. My PT also gives me an IT Band massage when I go in once a week
  • Continuing strength training on my leg – one-legged squats, leg press, lunges, etc. I have no problems going up and down the stairs, my quad is considerably stronger, and I actually feel like I am getting a workout at the gym now!
  • Added my first lateral movement at PT!!! Side-stepping onto a bosu ball, ball side up, then stepping down on the other side.
  • Locking out knee – this is still a little bit of an issue. I can lock out my knee, but doing balancing exercises on it really puts a lot of strain on my knee… Like it feels a little unstable/not strong enough. I have hyper-extension in both knees from years of gymnastics, so I feel like being 100% straight isn’t really 100% – my knee needs to go past 0 degrees. That’s ok – I’ve been doing balancing exercises to help stretch out my knee, which is also helping strengthen those ligaments/muscles around it + the ART therapy is helping a lot.
  • Started taking calcium vitamins – I am working hard to get my bone health back. This surgery was a blessing, as I found out that my tibia bone was soft.
  • Taking Solomon’s Seal – I feel like I have  lot more energy now. I haven’t noticed much other benefits, but it could take up to a month. I was taking 5-10 drops 2-3 times a day, but it made my heart race and I had trouble falling asleep. So now I am only taking 1-3 drops 1-2 times a day, which seems to be a good start. I will build up to more drops later down the road.

My physical therapist told me weeks 6-10 is when most people start to feel “normal” or really great… and its the time where you are at the biggest risk of doing something stupid and wrecking your knee, because your new ACL hasn’t completely stabilized to its full strength. Apparently when the ACL is put in, the muscle fibers are all tangled up and a mess. The more you move your knee and do PT, the fibers begin to straighten out in the direction of the movement of your knee. Pretty cool!

I am getting antsy to start moving more, but at the same time, loving every minute of my healing process. Our bodies are so resilient, and it amazes me every day how fast it can heal itself. Regardless of the pain, this surgery has been such a positive experience (what?!). It has taught me so much about my body, slowing down, being more in the present moment, and to appreciate everything that happens in life, good or bad. I know I am helping others going through similar situations, and I love that. The past month and a half has been such a whirlwind, but I would never change one thing about it.

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 Week 6

2 more weeks till I am in the clear! Right about now, my new ACL is beginning to stabilize, and by week 8, I will have the go-ahead to start moving some more. With that being said, I am already doing a lot physical therapy-wise, at least the most I can do. A few days ago I reached 145 degrees flexion!!! Today I feel like I have pretty much full ROM… I do have to move my knee a few times, but it finally gets there. I am still going to PT 1x a week, which isn’t really challenging or difficult for me. My PT doesn’t know what else to give me to work on! And I am ok with that. Through out this whole experience, I have learned to be patient. I am learning to listen to my body, and be ok with where I am at. If I take care of my body now, it will be so much stronger down the road.

ACL Post Op wk 6      ACL Post Op week 6_2

ACL Post Op week 6

My IT band (where it connects on the side of my knee) has really been causing a lot of pain for me, so bad to the point where it hurts to try and even straighten my leg. It makes my knee feel super stiff, and causes me to have to walk with a little limp since it’s uncomfortable to fully extend my knee when walking.  Also, the muscles behind my knee – that connect my hamstring & calf muscles – have been cramping up really badly, especially when I try to work on hamstring strength or even massage the area! Luckily, I found someone locally who practices A.R.T – Active Release Therapy.

A short bio from Feet Fleet says: “ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles…. Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or “her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements. These treatment protocols – over 500 specific moves – are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient.”

I scheduled an appointment, and afterwards had no pain. Unfortunately, it takes a few appointments to really work out the problem areas, so the pain was back the next day. I am going again on Sunday, so I will post how well it is working for me in future posts! Fingers crossed!

Also – I went to my first yoga class since the night before my surgery… and it was great! I went to Bikram yoga, which is yoga in a heated room (up to 110 degrees) and 26 poses are performed twice in 1.5 hours. The class is definitely more restrictive than hatha or restorative yoga, but it offers amazing medical healing benefits. I couldn’t do half the poses, and some I could only do on my stable leg. But it is definitely a start! I will continue to do Bikram about once a week, maybe another heated yoga class so I can move a little more freely in different poses. I was worried with all of the sweat I would be slipping, but I was very careful and aware of my body the entire time – I did not ever put myself in a position where I could slip or twist/pivot/sit on my knee. And I had a towel over my yoga mat, so the 5 buckets of sweat dripping off me was absorbed by it 🙂 Some of the poses I would try to go in, thinking I might be able to do it – but would immediately stop. I am so close to being out the red with my knee that I can wait a few more weeks and not do a few yoga poses… I’ve gone this long so far and survived!

A few milestones/things I am working on are below!

  • Reached 145 degrees flexion! I do heel slides every.single.morning. to get my knee moving and stretched out
  • Still feeling a little unstable when locking my knee out, so working on getting a little more flexibility & strength when balancing
  • Started (Bikram) Yoga
  • Started taking Solomon’s Seal – it’s supposed to be amazing for healing, so fingers crossed it helps! According to the site, “…Solomon’s Seal (used as a tincture, salve, liniment or tea) may give relief, healing or mending to conditions and injuries related to the below ailments:
    •     Tendons, joints, ligaments, muscles, connecting tissues
    •     Bones (stress, strain, fracture), cartilage, arthritis, bursae, synovial membranes
    , etc.
    •     Gastrointestinal inflammation and injuries, as well as bronchial issues and coughs.
    •     Feminine issues (such as menstrual cramps, PMS, bleeding, among others)
    •     Blood pressure regulation; gentle detoxification of liver, etc.
    •    Certain skin issues, blemishes and bruises
    ,     & more
  • My scars are looking great! I will do a side-by-side picture of my knee today versus a few weeks ago – the pictures above don’t really do justice as to how far I’ve come!
  • Still applying oils to the scar area – I just ordered some vitamin E and will be using it every day as soon as it comes in!
  • I tried to do a handstand the other day – NOT a good idea… my knee felt really loose and wobbly when I kicked up (I kicked up off my right leg, so my left leg was dangling and it felt loose). I won’t be trying that again for a while, lesson learned!

It’s been a very busy past week, and I am EXHAUSTED. Work has been super busy, but I actually love it because I am learning more and taking on more responsibilities. Sometimes I stay up a little bit later at night to fit in meditation/reading on top of it all. I feel it keeps me more grounded and in a better mood when I take time for myself, quiet everything around me and work on growing mentally/spiritually. I am also starting my Spanish classes next week, which will keep me busy! Lots of newness happening in my life, and I love every second of it.

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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