taylornickyKind of weird timing... it's been 4 years to the day that I tore my acl!
I completely tore my acl and meniscus, fractured my femoral condyle, and completely shredded all cartilage in my knee. So depending on the comparison of my injury to yours, my experience could differ. My ortho used the patella tendon as a new ACL and did not repair my meniscus at all.
The first few days after surgery was the worst part of the recovery in my opinion.. I had a bad reaction to my pain meds though so that definitely influenced the pain. It's very important to begin the range of motion outlines that your surgeon gives you... even though it'll hurt and you'll be exhausted, follow it as he/she says.
The rest of the recovery process was not nearly as bad as the first few days. Going to PT was a rough time for me. Definitely takes a lot of patience. Keep doing the exercises if they give you the OK to do so at home. Stretch stretch stretch!
A big part of the recovery is also the mental aspect of it...which effected me and I wasn't expecting it. I became very sad and discouraged being that I was in bed constantly and couldn't go do things that I would normally do. I spent a lot of time thinking, and it drove me crazy! So try to keep yourself occupied, but also remember that it's normal to be sad during the recovery.. I had a long talk with my PT about it, and he said it's one of the hardest things during most people's recoveries.
I ended up getting tendonitis from where my patella tendon was taken. This caused for a longer recovery... I was on crutches for about 1 month and did a single crutch for about 1 week following that. I was also not given any sort of brace during my recovery... which i would assume effect a lot...
As for how long it took to go back to doing activities... I went to italy 2 months post surgery on foreign exchange and was able to walk around. I would be very sore after a few hours, but it was manageable. It took me until December to ski again (surgery was in May). If i'm being honest, I am still not fully back to the ability i used to be at for skiing. A huge factor is that i'm just afraid. i'm sure that I could go back to my previous level, but i'm just a big sissy. As for other activities, I trail run very often as well as swimming and biking.. All I am fine doing. I will be sore by the end of the day, but it's nothing too crazy.
You'll be fine. No lie, it'll be a long road and it'll feel like life sucks, but you just have to remember that you determine how you recover. A strong attitude, a driven mind, and how you treat your body is very important. Do what the doctors and PT says. Don't fall behind on exercises and stretches.
As for activities, I watched all seasons of Grey's Anatomy. hahaha try to get out of the house though. Even if it's sitting outside reading or something.
You'll do great! Embrace how amazing your body is and can be! You have the ability to heal! So rad!
Thanks Taylor! I've been pretty discouraged already since yesterday. My leg feels heavy and not like it's mine anymore. I'm almost scared of it...But tomorrow I plan to take advantage of the weather and sit outside for a bit, i think it may help.
Back when I first crashed, I thought it was a meniscus tear. (Lol that was the night I got way too smashed at Kody's bonfire thing). But I found out that i completely tore my ACL and my dad has done the same thing 3 times now. Skiers, huh? I have to say that the worst part of all this is having my parents worry about me so much. It's killing me to have them wait on me. When will I be able to do everything on my own? And omg, it's KILLING me not to shower. I look awful hahaha.
Thanks for your advice. I think swimming and running are two things i'm really looking forward to, i mean, apart from skiing. I feel like when I get back out on the slopes, I'm gonna have such a mental block and be super afraid to ski at the level I left off on. Which makes me sad, but as long as I get back out there...I think I'll be okay. I feel like I already went through the depressing part of my injury in the month after it happened. Now i'm just focused on bouncing back and not letting my muscles atrophy. Also, painkillers are rad!
On another note, did it take longer to heal because it was the patella tendon? I got my hamstring tendon taken out and man, that's like the only part of my leg that is in constant pain. And thanks again for the advice, I'm really glad I started posting on ns. There are hella people that have gone through/are going through injuries similar to mine and it really helps!