I am now in recovery mode.Here’s a summary of what I had been doing prior to surgery: I would do some upper body and core work as well as balance exercises on the right (injured) knee. Mainly this consisted of standing on one leg on an airex pad and moving the other leg in all four directions; I would then repeat with the other leg. Upper body work consisted of pushups, pull-ups and other weight-bearing exercises.
Recovery is tedious. It’s been 8 days since my surgery. The healing process is long – the most pain seems to coming from the patellar area – where the doctor took the graft (as I mentioned before, he took 1/3 of my patellar to use as my new ACL). I am now able to put weight on the leg, but the pain when I initially start walking is intense. After a few minutes it subsides as I think that I become used to it. Essentially, the first few days were like this: every four hours take 2 Percocet pills, every 20 minutes ice for 20 minutes. The ice contraption is awesome. It’s a pack that is wrapped around my knee with a plug on one end that sticks out of my knee immobilizer. It then plugs into a long tube that pumps cold water from a thermos into the pad. Coolest thing ever (pardon the pun).
I read an article in the LA Times yesterday about allograft procedures failing at a rate of 23.4% (http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-acl14-2008jul14,0,5705050.story)
In conclusion, researchers at Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center studied 64 patients younger than 40 and 23.4% of them needed a second reconstruction because of injury or graft failure. When I read that I was so happy with my decision to use my own tissue. Sure I am going through some pain, but long-term I feel that I will so much better off. I remember asking my doctor which of the two options, allograft or autograft, would get be back to 100% and he said for sure autograft, but it would take longer.