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ACL Reconstruction WITH Meniscus Repair

 

Question: ACL Reconstruction WITH Meniscus Repair

Hello,

Two months ago, I completely tore my ACL and badly tore the medial meniscus (tore the MCL and lateral meniscus as well, but they're healing on their own).

I'm having surgery July 22nd to reconstruct the torn ACL and suture the medial meniscus. From speaking with teammates who've had ACL surgery, I understand that getting it moving ASAP is crucial to proper rehab. My surgeon said that I will need to immobilize the knee, and will not be able to bear any weight for four weeks after the surgery to allow the meniscus to heal.

My questions are:

1. Has anyone had this sort of dual-procedure done, and how was the recovery?

2. Isn't being immobilized for four weeks going to make the ACL rehab extremely difficult?

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Answer:

Hi,

I had ACL reconstruction with a meniscus repair in February. To my amazement I walked out of the hospital the following day unaided. It sounds like your injury is more severe than mine and your surgeons advice may relate to the other aspects of your injury.

Your rehab is going to take a LONG time. You need to keep icing and rest as I found that it was the residual swelling in the knee that initially caused the most problems. This dramatically reduces your range of movement but there are various exercises that you can do whilst lying down. You need to persevere with this as it's going to be boring and frustrating. My swelling has almost completely gone now but that's 20 weeks!

If your having a hamstring graft then you'll find that it's the strength and stability in the hamstring that soon becomes your biggest problem. You will also have had a long lay off from any sport and your muscles will have weakened.

Get yourself a good osteopath or physio - don't underestimate the rehab it's just as important as the OP. Not only will your leg muscles be weak, your whole leg mechanism will be working to protect your knee. This needs to be unlearnt!

I'm getting there slowly. Lot's of cycling and gym work. running is still pretty uncomfortable but I'm working on that.

I hope that helps - good luck!

Answer:

Well I just got this surgery about 3 months ago and believe me it's gonna suck for the first month or so. Don't try to rush your recovery be patient and use the crutches until told otherwise. The main reason for the immobilizer is to keep you knee in full extension to allow your menicus to heal, since the blood to the tissue is limited. In about a month you should be able to walk on it without crutches, after about six weeks you'll be allowed to bend your knee about 90 deg. The most important thing is to not miss any of your follow up visits with you doctor and make he updates ur prescription for physical therapy after each visit. The last thing is to request an X-ray after a few months to have them see how ur knee is healing. I tell you this because they had to go back in a few days ago and tap the screw holding my new acl back in.

Anyway best of luck with your surgery and recovery. Post any other question you have and I ans them to the best I can.

Answer:

I had surgery June 22. For the record, it felt like I had fallen off my bike and skinned up my knee. Where the "scab" are (in this case the surgery incisions) were tight and tugging on the skin. That wasn't unduly painful, just a bother. And yes it got better literally each day.

I can't imagine walking out the recovery room, and I stayed pretty contained for about 3 weeks, but I used a Constant Passive Motion machine 8 hours a day, ice 4 times a day, elevation most of the time, and romped around the bed as much as possible. I started PT at the end of Week #3, 3 times a week.

Right now I'm at 5+ weeks. I feel fine. Was able to decrease to one crutch on Week #5 (last Wednesday.) Anticipate decreasing to none next week. Followed a conservative protocol advised by my doctor (who said "Resist doing more than what I am prescribing in order to achieve long term results.")

The amount of pain is seriously small--I'd say "none," but I have the other leg to compare it to, and the stiffness is a bother. Yesterday I bent to 0-150 degrees. Full weight bearing in small safe trips (bed to dresser, couch to chair.) Feel like I could do more, but my doctor is wanting to make sure I don't introduce back mechanical habits to decrease the risk of new injuries later from bad-use patterns.

Calm down, be patient, S L O W and S T E A D Y, one day at a time, chances are you'll recover completely.

Answer:

Kat082, glad to have found your post. I had nearly the same situation (Unhappy Triad). I had surgery three days ago (Thursday). I had an Achilles tendon Allograft procedure. The surgeon also stitched part of my Meniscus, and cleaned up the other damaged side. I trust my surgeons advice (same as yours) to put no weight on my knee for four weeks.
I increased my pain meds this morning due to the stiffness and burning pain.
What surgery did you opt for?
Please post an update to your progress.

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