Pain – 8/10
Mobility – 1/10
Hospital life starts early at 7am, and the nurse on medical round came to give me my pain killers. At 9am, the physio came to tell me that I was to go up to learn how to use the crutches and some other exercises to help my rehabilitation for my new ACL on my right knee.
Showering post ACL surgery
In between, the nurse helper came to take me for a shower. It was really a bitch showering. Firstly, because I was effectively immobile, I had to shower sitting down with my right leg perched on a chair. The nurse helper taped plastic over my entire leg. I couldn’t move my body much as any movement would also move my right leg sending jolts of pain through my knee. In the end, the nurse helper helped me shower and also cleaned me up.
Shortly after, I went for physiotherapy. The rehabilitation room was like something out of a Hollywood movie for me, where injured US servicemen who lost limbs would rehabilitate to get their limbs functional. Nonetheless, there were actually many people who came into the rehab room during my 1 hr there, mostly older folks who did surgeries like knee replacement etc.
Firstly, I was taught how to use the crutches. The standard way to use it (I didn’t know before this) is to have the crutches 3 fingers below your armpit, and it should rest at your rib cage using your hands to support the weight of your body. Injured leg always move forward first when on the crutches. I also learnt how to use crutches moving up and down the stairs.
There are 4 main exercises for week 1 of ACL reconstruction rehabilitation.
I was also told that I should put as much weight as allowed on the operated knee, in order to get it functional again.
The worse part about ACL reconstruction is not just about the pain, its about being unable to do normal things. Things like bathing, eating, walking, and even shitting. It’s very hard to take a dump when you are not able to bend your legs. Imagine those with squatting toilet bowls.
I was to be discharged, and my dressing was changed just before I leave. Thankfully they used waterproof dressings so it facilitated my showering later without the fear of getting my right leg wet.
This was the scene when they changed the dressing
ACL wound nicely “dressed up”