Soooo, the main reason I fell out of writing my blog was tech issues – mainly that I can write this stuff but need a friendly tech bod to put it on this website. I did try but I was at risk of breaking the internet and no-one wants that. Back at it now with a little help to put it all neatly in the right place.
The ACL op was done 2 years ago almost to the day. It was a journey and even as a physio in sports injury, I was unprepared for how difficult it was at times. I had refused any help from friends and family immediately post op ‘cos, ya know I’m super woman. Big mistake, HUGE. I was pretty high on painkiller which was good but everything was such an effort and carrying a cup of tea upstairs, in a rucksack, whilst wearing your jimjams is not possible.
I felt it wise to reduce the strong meds after a couple of days and that night I did not know where to put my leg – It wasn’t pain but a deep heavy ache. In my sleepy druggy state I decided the best plan was to apply biofreeze liberally to my whole lower limb. Biofreeze is a mix of menthol and eucalyptus. It did help lighten the whole leg but my slapdash application had drifted higher up the thigh than was probably advised by the manufacturer. Holy Moly that was a little more sensation than I’d bargained for.
I removed the dressings after a few days and started to push my range of movement exercises. It is imperative to get the leg fully straight as soon as possible. One of the biggest problems we encounter post op ACL reconstruction is a lack of full extension and this is then very hard to put right.
I was so happy I’d invested in a kneehab muscle stimulator as my thigh was just asleep. It is full time post op with the rehab exercises. One of the reasons we like people to be off work for a few weeks is so they can prioritise their exercises – every 2 hours really but it is little and often so I found I was doing something practically all my waking hours. I did indulge in afternoon naps mind – blimey it is the future for me, afternoon naps are heavenly. Afternoon naps for all I say, why should babies have all the fun.
I got on the bike in its turbo trainer stand after a couple of days very gently and with my consultants blessing – different consultants have their own post op procedures but this worked for me.
At 9 weeks I went to Mallorca with my new cycle club TeamGlow http://www.teamglow.net/. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for, all I knew was that at week 9 I expected post op ACL patients to be working hard on building supportive muscle around the knee to assist the donor / new ACL while it really starts to bed in and perfuse with blood. Id managed to do a 30mile ride around the hills by Bolton and although I did have a little sob on my way home due to how hard it all felt, I felt nothing could be harder than that. I am so naive; Mallorca is one of the training places for team GB cycling for a start and we would be staying in the top of the island by all the MOUNTAINS.
I took 2 ice packs with me and let me tell you I needed them in more special places than my knee and that was only after day 1.