ACL reconstuction: 1 month later…

16Apr13

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I can’t believe it, but it’s been one month since I went under the knife, drill, etc. and had my left ACL reconstructed. For a very invasive, somewhat traumatic surgery, things have gone very well. My pain hasn’t ben bad and the hardest part was that first week when I was learning to walk again. While I’m not sure I’ll break Adrian Petersons rehab record, I am ahead of schedule with everything. My Physical Therapist seems to always be impressed, so that’s encouraging.

I’m also still wrapping my brain around what a shit storm a seemingly little bobble back in November caused to my knee, but moving forward. This injury has given me eternal respect and sadness for athletes that go through similar injuries. It’s heartbreaking when you damage something beyond repair, but I’m looking forward to getting back to normal and thankful that modern medicine made that an option.

I’m working out daily, riding the trainer, doing my rehab religiously, icing, using a muscle stimulator, Kinesio tape, etc. Anything to help my mind and body recover! So far I’ve had some muscle atrophy, which is expected, but I’ve been able to keep the muscles alive and so far, it doesn’t look too bad.

I have quite the collection of scars already on my left leg from going down so many times on that side, so I’ll have another nice little one right down the front of my knee to add to the years of racing scars. Just another battle wound I guess.

Here are some highlights of my recovery so far:

• I made it out of surgery with success! I had great help from my family and friends and I was off pain meds within a few days.

• I slept through most nights with little pain and no agony, which was great! I’ve had some extremely painful injuries and was fearful this would top the list. Not even close to the peak of pain I’ve experienced with other injuries.

• Taking a showing for the first time after surgery was amazing! It was a huge baby step in the process.

• By 5 days in, I was starting to ditch the crutches and get on my bike and spin slow circles.

• By 7 days in, I was down to just a brace and no crutches, which was awesome!

• Roughly 10-11 days later I was spinning on the stationary bike with little pain.

• Within 3 weeks, I was spinning on the bike with a little resistence, walking without a limp and doing all kinds of excercises usually reserved for people a month in.

• I now have nearly 100% flexion and extension of my original baseline, which is a huge hurdle I’ve overcome! It seemed like 2 weeks in I would never break though to having full flexion of my knee, but with persistent stretching, I was able to get there!

All I’m really dealing with now is some minor swelling above the knee cap. Might be from overdoing it a little, but who knows. My doctors and PT don’t seem worried, so I am doing my best not to be.

Hopefully, it only gets better from here. I can’t wait for some warm weather and long easy rides to build back up to the rider I was before. For now, I’m just thankful everything has gone well so far.

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