Week 6 (June 1-7)

Day 36 (Wednesday, June 1st)

At my PT appointment today, Adam told me that I’m doing very, very well…for someone ‘my age’, perhaps the best he’s seen.  He quickly qualified it by saying that ACL reconstruction is way more common among the 14-30 year olds.   Then he said that the few over-30 he’s worked with have had a lot harder recovery than I’m having.  I’ll take that as a compliment!

He added “the Bridge” and “Retro-step-ups” to my PT list, and removed passive extension and stair step-ups.  The Bridge is an exercise for the gluts and hamstrings.  On your back with knees bent at 90 degrees, you lift your butt and lower back off the floor.  I’m doing 15, eventually I’ll work to doing it with just the affected leg.  Retro-step-ups are stepping backwards up a step.  I’ll eventually do a full stair height but this one is pretty tough, so he started me out at 2” step up.

Day 37 (Thu, Jun 2nd)

Stay the course!  The retro-step-ups seem a bit easy so I increased the height to 3”.

Day 38 (Fri, Jun 3rd)

I skipped my evening PT today, mostly because Kammy and I had the evening free and went out to a play then dinner and drinks.  Truthfully, it felt good to skip one; the increasingly physical exercises are leaving my muscles sore at times.  There was one painful part of the evening: The play.  We were in the front row of the balcony and there was really no room to move my leg around.  I’m still not ready to sit with my knee at 90 degrees for over an hour…that play could not be over soon enough.

Day 39 (Sat, Jun 4th)

Today is a beautiful day in Minneapolis!  Kammy and I overslept, and then had to go to a couple appointments.  Once we got home I took care of my ‘morning’ PT even though it was early afternoon.  Then I went out in the yard and did 3 hours of yard work.  I took down some significant branches from some trees in the side yard and cut/bundled/bagged the whole lot.  My knee was pretty tired by the end of it, but my back was probably even worse…So, normal pains were worse than knee pain, is that a win?  In spite of the 3 hour outdoor workout I still did my evening PT while we were catching up on a bit of Doctor Who.

Day 40 (Sun, Jun 5th)

It is another beautiful day here in Minneapolis so we got up early.  My leg feels tired today, but still I do the morning PT.  We all do a bit of cleaning up, normal Sunday chores, and a bit of lounging around.  Then I get the brilliant idea that we should go directly to Ikea and walk around there (and Target) for hours without finding anything we were looking for.  In case you were wondering…yeah, my leg is tired this evening.  I iced it right after dinner and will keep it up for as much of the evening as I can.  Still, I’m planning to do the evening PT.  With family coming to town in a couple days I expect it’ll be much harder to keep up with the PT schedule…

Day 41 (Mon, Jun 6th)

Today was my 6 week follow-up with the surgeon.  Unlike the 1 week follow-up this one was very quick.  He checked on my range of motion, did a quick joint exam, looked at the healing scars.  He noticed the swelling that I have left and said I could expect it to be mostly gone in another 6 weeks.

Then he told me about grafts in this stage of recovery.  It turns out that right after surgery you have a quite-strong tendon held in place by hardware.  Over the course of the first several weeks it vascularizes and in the process weakens considerably.  He hand-drew a graph and showed that in terms of strength, the graft will be at its weakest in a few weeks…which I noticed will be right around the time that I’m really feeling better.  Then over the following three plus months it will get stronger and stronger as my body converts it from a tendon to a ligament.  Basically, this is no time to think you can jump ahead in your activity.  On the other hand, I expect the physical therapist to have me start jogging pretty soon.  I have to say I’m a bit nervous about that part.  I was also surprised to hear my surgeon say he’d prefer I ran outside instead of on a treadmill…that it’s safer.  Kammy pointed out that the physical therapist was very impressed with my recovery to date “for a guy my age”.  I will take it as a compliment again.

Day 42 (Tue, Jun 7th)

My brother is in town…I’ll have to be careful to keep up with PT!

Posted by Greg on July 27th, 2011 :: Filed under ACL Files
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