ACL reconstruction Surgery recovery
My surgery was on July 16, 2019 for my left knee. My sister Bettie Tullis was in town for a week to help me with day to day functions for a week, and it is truly necessary to have someone in your home to help you for the first week. I had good range of motion and strength prior to surgery. Luckily no pain. My main symptom was instability and it would show up occasionally and be a bit scary.
I left the surgery center with crutches, the constant motion machine, and a prescription for a pain killer. At home I have the ice machine waiting for me. The ice machine is a closed pump system that recirculates cold water to a pad. The pad is what you can apply to the body part that has pain. I think I got home around 11 am, and my surgery was at 630 am, lasting about 75 minutes. The doctor used a section of my hamstring to make a new ACL tendon. I did not have any cadaver tissue. I do still have some bruising on my left leg above and below the knee.
I had the constant motion machine for 5 days after surgery. My goal from the doctor was to use the machine 6-8 hours a day, and get 5-10 degrees more motion each day, up to 90 degrees. After 90 degrees, I was to return the machine. I did accomplish this goal. My knee actually felt good while it was moving back and forth in the machine. I always used this machine while using the additional ice machine. The ice machine is not covered by insurance, and if you can borrow one from a friend like I did, you will like the cool temperatures to help with the pain and swelling.
I have had physical therapy 5 times now since the surgery. I am going to D1 Sports in Matthews NC which is part of OrthoCarolina. My head therapist is Chris Gabriel. Additionally, I have had the pleasure to work with one of his assistants, Lex. She is about 29 yrs old and had an ACL tear her last year at college. Nice to know that she had gone though this process herself.