5 Hard Earned ACL and Meniscus Surgery Recovery Lessons

This is a recovery story about a 46 year old rancher from Alberta who tore her ACL while playing tennis in Mexico…

several injuries to both my knees, they both finally said “enough” this last year. In January of this year, I was playing tennis in Mexico when I heard a distressing pop and went down like a sack of potatoes. I had torn meniscus and shredded ACL in my right knee.
When I got back home to Alberta I was rushed in and had my meniscus removed (it was too torn to repair.) Three months later I had surgery to repair the ACL. It was extremely painful afterwards … probably made worse by the previous surgery.

tore acl playing tennis

I am 46 years old, and very active. I am a rancher and have to be physically fit. On top of that I have enjoyed many sports on a recreational level my whole life. The two surgeries slowed me down to an uncomfortable degree. It was a mental challenge to have to take the time to recover, especially when it became known that my other knee needed meniscal repair, which I had this last week.

My biggest challenge is now getting both knees into shape. Building muscle, and increasing mobility are going to be my “jobs” in this next year. I found the exercises that Jon posted very helpful in getting started in my recovery. The physical therapy after ACL surgery was brutal! Very painful to get the knee moving to the level it needed to be. It was explained to me that they needed to break the glue like bonds that were building in there. I hated every minute of physio, but knew it was necessary.

I was limited in what I was capable of doing because of the pain in my other knee. I am hoping that now that I have had this recent surgery, I will be able to have a disciplined exercise regime. I am highly motivated to build muscle and mobility.

5 things I have learned throughout this trying year:

1. Read up on what you can expect and make use of every resource … doctors are awesome but they are too busy and they don’t have time to give you details about what will be required of you or even what to expect

2. Get a good ice machine. They are worth every penny.

3. Move as quickly as you can after surgery. The longer you wait the more you seize up, but find a balance.If you over do it, you will pay the price.

4. Take pain meds regularly after surgery. If you let the pain get ahead of you, you will not be happy.

5. Be patient. It’s going to take time. Its important to stay optimistic. It isn’t cancer… its inconvenient but it’s important to remember that you will get better. This is something I am having to tell myself a lot right about now.

Knee problems are not fun, but thankfully we live in a country where we can get repair work done. In many other countries, a torn ACL means you will be lame. We can get through it if we are willing to be patient and are willing to be diligent in doing the work necessary to recover. Good luck to all who are trying to do just that.

Image by hmerinomx

The Top 5 At Home Exercises
I did that helped get me walking 4 days after surgery

Click Here to see the exercises