ACL Diary Chapter 4

ACL Diary
At Xiros, we want to create faster healing and better outcomes for the patients of tomorrow.  One of the foundations to do that is to understand the experience that patients have today.  In our new blog series, Sally, a student at a south England University, shares her progress recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Follow her experiences from initial injury, through treatment and rehabilitation, to her return to activity.
Please note that Xiros/Neoligaments products were not used in the treatment of this patient, and names have been changed throughout to maintain patient anonymity.
Chapter 4: Post Surgery – Start of Rehabilitation
Following two knee injuries whilst competing and training, Sally’s knee collapsed again during an intense practice in late March 2018.  Following her surgery, here she describes the start of her post surgery rehabilitation.
I thought I was going to go home that day after the operation but was told I couldn’t leave until I could get up and out of bed myself. This was a lot harder and a lot more painful than I expected! The night I spent in hospital seemed to last forever; I was incredibly exhausted but under the circumstances was unable to really sleep as every 4 hours a nurse would come in with well needed pain killers. Being able unable to move my body position for 24 hours was also very frustrating.
Being in hospital wasn’t very dignified as I had to use a bed pan to go to the toilet with a nurse’s assistance to lift myself up; it was a good job the pain of my knee was a good distraction! Finally, after a morning x-ray and chat with my consultant it was safe to say that I was very eager for my mum to pick me up!
My leg from my knee to my ankle was very swollen and sore; I needed crutches to get around and had to be taught how to navigate stairs. Fortunately, we were in-between moving houses and the house we were renting had the master bedroom on the ground floor, so for the first month or so I was able to swap rooms with my parents as getting up and down stairs was a slow and tedious task! The first couple of weeks post-op were very difficult, solely because I was in a lot of pain. I was given small exercises to do every hour (which eventually became very boring) to get full movement back in my leg. Having been a gymnast and being quite flexible pre-op actually helped me a lot, and I got full extension back rather quickly – which impressed my physio!
Initially, I was seeing my physiotherapist every other week to check my progress, massage my knee and give me new exercises as I improved. I give a lot of thanks to my mum for all the support she gave to me (and that she did almost everything for me!) as recovering from this operation was not only physically challenging, but mentally challenging as well.