Prehab Week 3 and Graft Research

Prehab Week 3

During this week I kept improving my efforts, working toward the goals.  My physical therapist added Step-Downs to the mix.  They were my new least-favorite; painful!  I started out with a pretty small step, about 2 high”.  My leg felt so uncomfortable that I tried stepping down with my uninjured knee and then modeling the movements as close as possible with the injured one.  I found it really helped to put my hands on my hips to help feel that I was doing it symmetrically.

Researching and Choosing a graft type

Also, during this week, I started to do more research about my three choices for graft.  In the day after my first meeting with the surgeon I’d decided that the allograft (dead guy tissue) was the better choice for me.  But, as I talked everyone’s ear off about my upcoming surgery I started to rethink my decision.  It turned out that (unknowingly) I knew quite a few ACL reconstruction recipients.  Their stories were all interesting to me.  From there I turned to the internet.  I read a lot of people’s stories of their accidents and reconstructions, read surgeon reports about this vs. that.  I learned that there are a lot of opinions in the orthopedic world about the 3 choices.  What started to emerge, though, was that allograft was not considered to be nearly as strong as autograft.  Between the patellar autograft and hamstring autograft the prognosis was very similar as far as I could tell except for this statistic: one study showed a high incidence of significant knee pain when kneeling 5 years after their surgery with patellar autograft.  (I can’t seem to find the study that gave percentages…)

As a result of conversations with friends who’d had the surgery, reading stories of ACL reconstruction on people’s blogs, and other internet research I changed my decision; I’d go with a hamstring autograft instead of an allograft as long as the surgeon agreed with my decision.

Here are some blogs and articles that I used to come to my decisions:

The procedure:


Nicely illustrated Hamstring Tendon Autograft ACL Reconstruction:

Posted by Greg on June 14th, 2011 :: Filed under ACL Files
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