Thursday, March 14, 2013

ACL Update at 18 Months

If you are looking for a running post, I'll save you some time. This post about ACL pain over a year post-op.  I couldn't find a lot of information when I googled it, so thought I should post an update.

After Pinhoti 100 in November, I had a lot of bad runs.  My knee would start aching, I would compensate with the other leg and by the end of any run over 8 miles, I just hurt from the hips down.  I also noticed that my muscle strength was still out of balance, so I started doing some rehab again. (Once I got my weekly mileage up, I had stopped rehabbing, mistakenly thinking that the hills and trails would suffice).

Around Christmas, my long incision scar started to feel painfully tight when I ran, and then the next weekend,  I rolled my right ankle a little, which yanked on my left (bad) knee.  It hurt, but then I finished the run out no problem.  After that run, the top of my scar swelled up and whenever I tried to run for the next couple of weeks, it hurt too much.  The pain emanated from the scar, but it also felt like things were digging into the kneecap above the scar.  I got very frustrated because this was the first time since surgery that it hurt too much to run.  After a couple weeks of rest, ice and massage, the swelling and pain subsided to the point where I could run again. I did two back to back eight mile runs with what I now consider normal pain: where I can run, but the knee reminds me constantly that it still isn't 100%.

I  went to see my surgeon to make sure there wasn't something bad going on inside.  He was a little concerned that I might be having issues with the screw, but X-rays showed everything intact.  He said I probably did something to it when I rolled my ankle and in the future, whenever it started giving me trouble, to back off and get on the bike for a little while.  Ice, three advil three times a day and if it doesn't respond to ice, try heat.  He also said there's a bursa in there that might get irritated.

Since then (the end of January), I have been in the gym twice a week working my legs hard. Interestingly, my "bad" leg was stronger in some ways than my "good" leg.  After a month, I don't see a big difference in my legs anymore.  I have been stretching a lot and I have slowly worked my mileage up.  It still hurts, more on some days than others, but it is not pain that causes me to limp or compensate. Some days it feels like I have a sharp rock behind my kneecap, other times it is more patellar tendon pain, where it connects to the kneecap.

As of early March, I have run a 28 mile trail run in the snow with little problem. I yanked the knee initially on a rocky trail and it hurt for a couple hours, but subsided.  I ran a 24 mile extremely steep run and it hurt pretty bad on the downhills by the end of the day.  This weekend I run the Georgia Death Race, a 60 mile steep run and that will be the big test.


Big Daddy Diesel said...

I founf your blog via the Brooks ID FB page. I want to give trail running a try this year and maybe a fall 50k, if I cant find one, a spring 50k

I had 4 knee surgeries, including 2 ACL surgeries. For me, the pain comes and goes in weird unexplained times. It seems alot worse in the winter and early spring and is more mild in the summer and fall. Hang in there

Big Daddy Diesel said...

And good luck in Georgia!!!

Denise Davis said...

Thank-you! 4 surgeries? I'll quit complaining now!

mkirk said...

How was the Death Race? Seemed like you all had nice weather for it (maybe a bit warm)?