I can’t believe it has already been one month since surgery! I meant to do a week by week update but that didn’t end up happening. I did a week 1 recap that you can see here.
Week 2 (5/28-6/4):
I had my very first physical therapy appointment exactly one week after surgery. I didn’t know this but when your knee is operated on you end up losing control of your quad muscle. The main exercise that I was started on was simply having my leg straight and trying to drive my knee down by flexing my quad. The first few times I did this was really frustrating because nothing happened. I had been using crutches and not putting much weight on my leg at all so my quad was dead. My second PT session was two days after my first and at this appointment my therapist fitted my brace to my leg. After I knew how to wear it and use it I started forgoing the use of my crutches in my house and just using the brace. This made me feel like I had SO much more freedom. Having two free hands is a luxury you really don’t think about.
This was a big week in recovery for me because I was using my leg and feeling a lot more independent in my home. Preparing meals, moving from room to room, filling my ice machine, and just any movement was much more manageable than before. My leg also benefited tremendously from using the brace. So much so that I was able to drive my car for the first time on 6/2. That alone was a monster of a milestone for me, not being able to take myself to PT and doctors appointments was beyond frustrating.
On 6/4 (two week post op) I used the stationary bike for the first time. The bike was on level 1 and I went for 30 minutes, I covered a whopping 3.18 miles. I didn’t feel exhausted or anything but my foot did go numb towards the end of the session. I was actually a little nervous to start up again in fear of feeling so fatigued that I would hate exercising and not jump back in like I had been dying too, I guess you could say a fear of failing? I am glad I did though because in the end it made me happy even though the numbers were not impressive.
*I stopped taking pain medication on 5/30.
Week 3 (6/4-6/11):
This was my first full week of being able to exercise. I used the stationary bike again 6/6 and shocked myself with covering over 8 miles in 45 minutes. A definite improvement from two days prior. The gains at this point were so encouraging. I also did 8 minute abs for the first time to engage my core for the first time in ages. The big proof of gains was when I did a 30 minute bike ride 6/8 and covered 6.5 miles, twice as far as my initial attempt!
This was another big week for me because I went to work on 6/10 for the first time since surgery. Prior to that I had been working from home. Coming in was a big deal because I wasn’t sure how comfortable I would be sitting at a desk all day or wearing work clothes. I stuck to a skirt because my knee was still a bit sensitive to touch and dress slacks didn’t feel comfortable when I bent my knee. I was no longer wearing my brace at all times at this point either. I had a considerable limp though because my knee felt like it would “fall backwards” if I took too large of steps.
6/10 not only was my first day back to work but it was my first day back to a full gym, I had been using my apartment gym up until this point. I hopped on the Octane XR6000, a sit down elliptical machine, and was able to work up an awesome sweat and still keep my knee in a stable position and have no impact.
Week 4 (6/11-6/18):
Week four my PT exercises and sessions started to get much more exciting and incorporated a lot of new movements. Initially I was not able to complete a leg raise in my first week of PT but I am not up to 2lbs of ankle weights and can do them forever. My leg was initially missing 10 degree from straight and was at 80 degrees bent, at this point I am missing only a degree or two of straight and am at about 125 degrees bent, we are working towards 135 I think. I can also do a leg curl laying on my stomach, which was impossible two weeks ago. While standing I can curl my leg almost to 90 degree but not quite. My hamstring is still very tight from surgery (they used it to make the new ACL) and very weak.
Week four I did 3 stationary bike work outs (1hr, 40min, 15min), 2 Octane work outs (20min and 30min), a few core work outs, my very first lower body weights work out, and snuck in a few miles of walking. For the weights work out I was doing the leg press machine @110lbs and the inner and outer thigh machine at 70lbs. Everything feels great. The only thing in my recovery that hasn’t been ahead of the curve is wall squats. My therapist had me stand with a ball between my back and the wall and squat a bit (not 90 by any means) and my knee was making a lot of cracking noises and felt like it was shifting. We decided to hold off on those for a bit because she is not sure what is going on. I have a follow up Dr appointment next week so hopefully he will be able to shed some light on the situation.
Overall recovery was very frustrating for the first week but as soon as I started using the leg brace to move around I felt like time started flying by. I am very happy with how everything is going so far and while I get sad / jealous when I see runners out I know that I’ll be back at it eventually. That was a ton of text with no pictures so I will end this post with a bunch of photos from the last week. If anyone has any questions about the recovery process that I have not covered / want to know more about anything in the ACL recovery process please reach out to me! You can leave a comment or send me an email.
Categories: ACL Injury
OHH ending with that froyo YUMMM! I love that picture of the family meal with wine and the middle finger bahahaha. Your meals look great, which means you are able to be up and moving and cooking which is AWESOME! Everything gets better in time, and I can’t believe it’s already been a month! You are still kicking assss and you’ll be out there running in no time! AND THEN WE WILL BE ROAD TRIPPIN.
FROYO IS THE BEST.
you are so good at re-capping the recovery. you have made HUGE strides. I would have stuck to a skirt too for work…. now that it is warmer, i actually just wear skirts and dresses b/c pants make my soul die a little.
the family meal looks super yummy. YOU ARE SO PRETTTTTY. whatever shall i do with you and brittany in town- two of the most gorgeous girls i know! my parents are going to be like ‘why are your friends so pretty? learn from them.’
what kind of beer are you dirnking? and do you prefer beer or wine? these are things i must know so i can accomondate you to the finest thing sever. Your bf is cute. Your dog is….. sorta cute as long as it does not come near me.
oops this was a comment to brittany… i dont know how that happened. im drunk? kidding. i just cant navigate at the moment.
Hahah thank you, no you are pretty : ) Gosh I could play this game all day. My dad made one of the family meals but since it was fathers day and he is the cook I took over. He didn’t love having me screw around in the kitchen but he didn’t complain for the first time ever. For all the mad skills the man has he can’t cook pork chops to save his life and I made some kick ass ones. It was a proud day for me.
As for booze… I will drink anything. I like white wine, red wine, and pretty much any and all beers. Britt already agreed to drink with me at the wedding so I am beyond excited. There best be an open bar. With all this running we have planned I need to carbo load… hahah
They are such gems aren’t they? My mother was the only one who felt like looking cheery! I am super jazzed to be road tripping. I am super jazzed to be moving. I miss the great outdoors but it will all come in time!
You are making awesome improvements! That food looks amazing, sasha is always too cute, and drinking beer on the golf cart while everyone golfs sounds like my style. I really hope that I can meet up with you girls 🙂
Thank you! I know me too, we will definitely make it happen. Still many moons away!
You are doing so great! I’d be soo freaked out exercising after a surgery. I remember I waited MONTHS to go back to kickboxing and spinning after my appendectomy and I swore I felt my incision trying to open out of fear and being grossed out by it. Needless to say, you are awesome…keep it up!
Thanks lady. I am doing things that keep my knee very stable, I definitely do not want to re injure myself. I am going a lil nutso with out running because the mornings have been perfect lately.
One month down! Time flies. The food looks ah-mazing, ok time for me to make something good!
It really does! I can’t wait until I’m writing the 6 months recap and being all “IM RUNNING NOW” ha, soon!
I can’t believe that it’s been a month! Glad to see your SLR (straight leg raise) is coming along and that you are up to 2#. If you think this is exciting, wait until the agility drills : ) In all honesty, it’s been neat to read the ‘patient’ version of an ACL surgery. Oh and now i am craving fro yo!
I know me either! I think the worst part right now is that I feel good. My knee is sore sometimes but I feel great. I want to try and run so bad but I was told that 8 – 12 weeks is the danger zone because you feel awesome but the graft still needs to heal. I am going to try my very best to not push it but god do I miss running and getting exercise outside.
Oh that is sooo tough…be patient for sure but as you get closer you can ask about running in water or the Alter G treadmill. I’m glad that you feel good. At the end of this, you will be even stronger physically and mentally! Good things ahead!
Most indoor cycling machines are a special form of stationary bike designed just for group classes. These bikes offer a fast-paced cardio workout that burns calories and tones the legs, glutes, abs and back.
I can’t believe it’s been a month. And your progress is amazing. I’m always dumbfounded to see how quickly bodies heal. Injuries just seem so permanent sometimes, and then our bodies bounce right back. Life is awesome.
I was crazy surprised that you were on the bike so fast… but next I’m gonna hear that you’re doing suicides or something. Keep it up!