Pain – 9/10
Mobility – 3/10
Had an appointment with the physiotherapist for my 1st physiotherapy after ACL surgery as well as to change my dressing for the wounds on my leg. Getting into the car was difficult because the door is so small, and I’m not able to bend my leg.
Here’s how the wound looks like now after 7 days (while changing dressing):
Looks like it’s healing well, but not completely healed. I could still see parts of the bigger wound is still very raw at some parts.
Physiotherapy (considered 1st physio session post ACL reconstruction surgery)
Many new exercises were taught to me. You can find out more here for week 2 of physiotherapy post ACL reconstruction surgery. I’m now able to bend my leg to 105 degrees, which the physiotherapist say is good, but vertically I’m only able to do 7 degree instead of the supposed 0 degree, so I have to work on the vertical leg exercises to get my leg to 0 degrees when at rest. Currently, I feel bad pain when I have to do exercises to straighten my leg. It’s the last 7 degrees which is very hard to achieve for me. Bending wise, with time I’m quite confident I’ll be able to get to the goal.
I learnt many new exercises at what is considered the first real physiotherapy session after ACL reconstruction surgery. Because the physiotherapy was there, I was forced to push my knee like never before. There was intense pain even while doing the exercises. When I felt pain at home doing the early rehab exercises, I stopped because I didn’t want to push it too hard and damage the graft. With the physiotherapist there, I could push my boundaries, and was even encouraged to do so.
I couldn’t tell where exactly the pain was coming from, as the feeling was like the entire left side of my right knee was on fire. But right now I think the pain is coming from the wounds that are not healed, and also the upper graft of the ACL reconstruction.
Cyro/Cuff used to ice knee after physio
After physiotherapy, they used a very cool device to ice my knee. It’s called a Cryo/Cuff. The official write up is that the Cryo/Cuff combines the therapeutic benefits of controlled compression to minimise bleeding and swelling in the knee, and cold to minimise pain. The cuff is anatomically designed to completely fit the knee providing maximum benefit.
So basically the cooler is filled with ice water. To begin, they wrapped the aircast over my leg, and lifted the cooler. Ice water then flowed into the aircast. Becuase I had to ice my knee for 20 minutes, midway through the water was not cold anymore. All one has to do is to drop the cooler lower than the aircast, and the water flowed back from the aircast into the cooler which is filled with ice. After that, just lift the cooler and ice water flows back into the aircast. Pretty cool device if you ask me.
Cryo Cuff with Cooler
Horrid Evening with intense pain
The end result was a very horrid evening. When I reached home, my leg had intense pain the whole evening. I like to think that if I pushed it very hard, and that my knee will be better tomorrow. Like the Navy SEALS like to say, “The only easy day was yesterday”. Nonetheless, it was the most pain I ever felt in my leg, coming to 9/10 on the pain scale. Even while my leg was at rest, it was emitting shocks of intense pain, such that I had to take painkillers. I have not taken pain killers since my 2nd day home as I didn’t want to be reliant. Apparently it’s better to push your leg and take the pain killers so that the knee will recover faster and have a better overall result. So I’ll push my leg and take pain killers moving forward, since I now know the threshold for pain and how much my knee will be able to take.
Progress after physiotherapy
- My brace is now unlocked to 30 degrees, meaning I’m able to swing my leg when I walk to 30 degrees.
- I’m now told to use one crutch instead of two crutches.
Things to note:
1. Always ice knee after doing physiotherapy.
2. Push the knee through pain for maximum results
On a side note, noticed that I have a bad bruise on my ankle, as well as very dry skin on my right leg. I’ll clarify with the doctor on my next visit as to why this is happening.
Dry skin on leg and foot after ACL surgery
Bruise on ankle after ACL surgery