ACL Reconstruction Surgery: 5 Months [or 22 Weeks] Post-Op (!!)

It’s October 20th- which means that it’s been exactly five months since I had ACL Reconstruction Surgery (and tomorrow will mark exactly 22 weeks). Honestly, that’s pretty hard for me to wrap my head around! I know that I say this in every post, but time has FLOWN! When I look back on that horrible day (of surgery) five months ago, I get chills. Man, it sucked… and I hope that none of you ever have to go through it! But- if you do- just have faith that time will pass quickly and you will get better.

While I still stand by the fact that I want a re-do of summer and am not at all ready for winter to come, the weather has (thankfully) been awesome here and perfect for playing outside (including lots of hiking with this guy!).

sanitas_selfie

One of the ski resorts out here has already opened and others will start following soon. I have still have very mixed feelings about skiing. On one hand, the thought of skiing again makes me terrified and furious. The other part of me wants to take what I learned from recovery and face my fears and be a badass on the slopes… within reason. I think that I will just wait until I’m ready, take it slow and play it safe all season. My surgeon advised me to wait until the end of December, always wear my knee brace, to stay away from crappy snow (ice) and to take it easy. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Now for the formal progress update:

Pain Level:

Just like the last update, I don’t really have pain, except for the slight soreness around the large incision. My knee will often get stiff after a lot of activity and I have to remind myself to slow down a bit and rest. I’ve been having some pain on and off in my left ankle (on my operative leg) and I’m not sure if that’s related or not. I still also have that weird numbness from time to time around my knee cap, which I think will always be there.

Here’s a photo from yesterday (which looks kind of oddly swollen and there’s a bruise on my opposite knee…):

5monthknees

Compared to four weeks:

postop3wkknees

If you really want to see the other knee photos, feel free to visit this post. :)

Physical Therapy & Activity: I graduated from PT last month and I miss it so much! I loved going to my session each week to be challenged and have my butt kicked. I try to keep up with some of the crazy exercises that she had me doing and mix them in with my workouts. As I said last month, I really want to hire a personal trainer to work with once a week to keep me on my toes.

I’ve been subbing Bodypump a lot in addition to teaching my regular two Bodypump and Spinning classes, so the majority of my workouts have been from teaching. When I’m not teaching, I go to the gym down the street from my house, which pretty much always looks like this:

empty_gym

Having the gym to yourself is awesome.

I’m still focusing on a lot of one-legged exercises to strengthen my left quad back up, and it’s come a LONG way! I took this photo at the gym last Friday, because I was so excited to see my quads looking almost identical in size!

quads

My left leg still has a little ways to go to catch up to my right completely- but it’s getting so close! Other than that, I’ve been running some (no more than about two miles at a time) lifting, and riding my bike on the trails near our house. But, my favorite “activity” is probably taking the dogs for a walk. I wasn’t able to do that for the first month or two after surgery (in case they pulled me down or made me trip). On days when I work from my home office I make sure that I take a few different dog-walking breaks during the day, which breaks up the sitting-at-my-desk-for-hours monotony.

Jackson_leash

Jackson prefers to walk himself. :)

Mood: I have good days and bad days- and they are very rarely dictated by my knee injury any more. There are definitely more good days than bad, and life is pretty good!

There are still milestones and “firsts” since surgery, which are awesome. I went “real” mountain biking for the first time since the accident and it was so great and made me feel like a rock star.

Marshall

Any kind of outdoor therapy is an instant mood lifter!

Fun (and other) Stuff: 

September was a pretty chaotic and crazy month. I spent a third of it in Maryland to work at an big natural foods expo. I was a little nervous about how I would feel after three days in a row of standing for 10 hours (plus two other days of setting up and doing other things), but it was okay. My whole body was sore- but it would’ve been anyway, regardless of surgery.

ExpoEastBooth

I flew out a few days early to visit family, which was great. But, after ten days I was so ready to come back home! Greg and I spent a weekend away in Steamboat Springs at the end of the month, which was beautiful and a lot of fun. We took the dogs with us, which made it all the better! It was actually the first time we had taken them away with us and we hope to do that more often.

I traveled to Vegas for work earlier this month for another expo. It was a really short trip and made me realize how much I need to go back for a few more days in the near future! I hadn’t been since I was 24 (and was single and partying for the entire trip!), so it would be interesting to go back now- interesting in a good way. :)

I took this photo from the plane- the landscape looks so cool!

Flying

One last thing- I went to see my surgeon two weeks ago for my 20 week check up and he said that everything looked great! And- he gave me the “all clear,” which basically means that I don’t have to go back and see him anymore. I told him the same thing that I said to my physical therapist at our last appointment: I hope to never see you again! (Fingers crossed.)

That’s all for now- have a fantastic day!

Comments

  1. I also tore my ACL during a run in August, and my doctor advised to get surgery done. So its good to read ur posts as to what to expect and how long the recovery takes.

  2. you miss PT…I think you are a sadist!! i can’t believe it’s been 5 months, that makes me realize how fast time is going

  3. harshit tyagi says:

    Its been 5 months post my acl operation, and yesterday i had a strange affection for going back to my favourite hobby of playing football. This awness arrived after seeing a poster for inter college competion and i couldn’t control my urge. Even though i had been advised to wait for one more month for football but at that time docter’s advice seem to be futile. But today morning i am feeling some stiffness in my knee. I hope this is just a minor pain and won’t be turned to a major problem.