ACL Operation Recovery: Week 9 of 36

Week 9 continued the theme of the steady improvement in evidence last week and throughout this process. Signs of progress included new physio exercises, escalated intensity of gym sessions and clearance to begin partnered BJJ drills. This progress was balanced by a revisitation of high levels of ache and pain in the knee when walking, to such a degree that I couldn’t make my intended visit to the Q4 London BJJ Women’s Open Mat session.

Oh, me achin' bones!

Oh, me achin' bones!

Physio prescribed some new Swiss ball exercises and claimed that while at this stage of recovery she wouldn’t usually have folk on the Swiss ball, my level of leg fitness was above average for Week 9 and we could get started on this kind of rehab work; to me this is further evidence of the importance of pre-hab work prior to an op or a regime of knee strengthen/prevention exercises to complement one’s training – the better shape one’s structures are in as and when one needs work done, the better one’s eventual recovery. We’re also starting to build the intensity of my cardio workout and I’m now adding high intensity intervals to sessions on the stationary bike and elliptical runner. The Physio is also happy for me to start partnered BJJ drills with the caveat of no sparring, no takedowns, no sweeps and limited transitions, but isolated work, e.g. from guard, and starting to ease back on the mats is fine with her. Although I can start to do some partnered BJJ work, I can’t have much done to me; my Coach has kindly offered to do some work with me individually on a weekly basis until I’m fit enough to join a class (which won’t be long!).

Overall Week 9 was pretty positive from a recovery point of view, as I’ve been able to bump up exercise intensity and I’ve also made progress in trimming back those 2 kilos that arrived around Week 6 and 7. There was a bit of a set back at the end of the week, with the re-appearance of significant pain when walking. I did take Friday off from gym rehab as I’d worked quite harder on Monday and Wednesday than in previous weeks and the knee had some fatigue. It is surprising to me that it would still be aggravated on Sunday, but, in the big picture 9 weeks from the op isn’t that long and the joint is still unsettled. Likewise, the introduction of new moves always produces side effects, so some inflammation is a reminder that there’s still work to be done!

Week 9

Physio

  • Hopping forward into a lunge, keeping rear leg raised (rehab with a view to running in due course)
  • Bridges with Swiss ball
  • Hamstring curls with Swiss ball
  • Intervals of high intensity on elliptical/cross-trainer and stationary bike

Milestones

  • 20 minutes of Interval work on elliptical/cross-trainer (highest intensity cardio work since recovery began)
  • Cleared for partnered BJJ drills

Disclaimer

Every ACL op and recovery will be particular to the person. The thoughts and experiences recalled in this series of posts is in no way intended as medical advice or as a replacement for seeking medical attention for any injury. This information is presented merely as a record of one person’s experience with ACL operation and recovery.

6 Responses to “ACL Operation Recovery: Week 9 of 36”

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  1. Hugo says:

    So awesome! Great job, Meg!

  2. luke says:

    sounds like your doing well, i had mine done on 4th oct but they used pattella tendon and have a nice 6-7inch scar down my knee cap. Its good to get some idea how other people are doing with same injury keep up the good work

    • Meg Smitley says:

      Oh jeez, luke, I watched videos of that approach to the procedure and it looks quite a bit more invasive than the hamstring ligament/keyhole op that I had; seems a very robust graft by using the patella. Hope you’re not in much pain at this stage. As I’ve gotten closer to the end of the first three months of recovery, I am definitely recovering faster after rehab sessions and able to introduce a lot more kinds of activity and higher intensity levels, with fewer and fewer side effects when new movements are added. It *does* get better through the rehab. Best wishes for your recovery; you’ll be blooming with the flowers in the Spring! :D

Trackbacks

  1. [...] closer to the 3 month mark, I am definitely starting to feel the spirit of the Phoenix. In light of Week 9′sunexpected and quite intense pain when walking, the robustness of the operated leg during Week 10 [...]



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