• For more information on how to avoid pop-up ads and still support SkiTalk click HERE.

ACL Replacement Finally On Track

PisteOff

Jeff
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Posts
1,331
Location
Las Vegas
For those who don’t know I was supposed to have this done at the end of the 21/22 season but when I returned to work from skiing in March all hell broke loose at work and I ended up having to go back out into the field. Being in the field did not afford me the downtime required for this procedure. I retired when I was in Utah for the Gathering this year so time and work are no longer an issue.

I returned to my surgeons office today. He was wondering what had happened to me. We did some x-rays, manipulated the knee a bit, and talked for awhile. It will be an allograft aka donor or cadaver ACL that will be used to replace mine. He’ll clean up everything else while he’s in there. I need to get labs and a chest x-ray yet this week for the anesthesiologist and then we’ll schedule. Should happen within the next 3 weeks if all is good.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to finally be resolving this issue. I can’t tell exactly how or when it happened but it’s been a few years ago now. I’ve had multiple meniscus issues with this knee over the years and a prior ortho surgery in the early 90’s. so I’d grown accustomed to knee pain and issues. I’d no idea I’d completely severed my ACL until the fall of 21 when I had the imaging done.

I first realized I had an issue more serious than the intermittent pain or aggravation led me to believe when @ChunderBlunder and I went to Beaver Creek in December 19 for Birds of Prey. I powered through December and January of that season and then COVID hit. We only skied a few days the 20/21 season due to COVID so I just powered through that. @ChunderBlunder and I were in the gym 4-5 days a week and in the pool as much if not more than we were in the gym going into the 21/22 season so my conditioning allowed me to get away with a lot but the swelling was pretty extreme. Going into this season my conditioning was poor. @ChunderBlunder had left for the Air Force and my dedication to training suffered greatly. When I went out this year I lacked any real stability in the joint. It was really bad. I was surprised at how debilitating it had become.

Anyway, given it’s a common procedure for skiers I figured I would chronicle my journey here for what it might be worth to others. The procedure is the easy part. The rehab is where all the work resides. Doc expects me to be 100% in 8 months if I get back to my former fitness level.

On a side note, I also quit smoking when I returned from the Gathering this year. I plan to be in good shape for my first full ski season retired. I am excited to get back to improving my skiing as opposed to what I’ve been doing the past few years.
 
Thread Starter
TS
PisteOff

PisteOff

Jeff
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Posts
1,331
Location
Las Vegas
They called and scheduled the surgery for April 5th. Go back on the 6th for a follow up and to discuss rehab. Blue Cross is only going to pick up 80% of the tab so I’ll be out of pocket a few grand on this by the time it’s all said and done.
 
Thread Starter
TS
PisteOff

PisteOff

Jeff
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Posts
1,331
Location
Las Vegas
Ok, just got home from surgery. All went well. He told my wife he did some work on my meniscus while he was in there. I’ll know more tomorrow when I see him for follow up and to discuss a rehab plan. I’ve got an ice/water circulating contraption I’ve not yet used but I’m supposed to use this 6 times a day. They gave my leg a nerve block so it’s pretty useless at present. Wife is at Walgreens picking up prescriptions.
03CAB44D-FE96-47E0-AAA5-C15217DB6B8A.jpeg
3CCDD5C3-BED7-427C-9020-41A93B350097.jpeg
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Mar 29, 2023
Posts
224
Location
Tahoe
Ok, just got home from surgery. All went well. He told my wife he did some work on my meniscus while he was in there. I’ll know more tomorrow when I see him for follow up and to discuss a rehab plan. I’ve got an ice/water circulating contraption I’ve not yet used but I’m supposed to use this 6 times a day. They gave my leg a nerve block so it’s pretty useless at present. Wife is at Walgreens picking up prescriptions. View attachment 199561 View attachment 199562

If you are 100% committed to rehab and physical therapy work, you will be back in no time.
 
Thread Starter
TS
PisteOff

PisteOff

Jeff
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Posts
1,331
Location
Las Vegas
Congrats and good luck.
Ice and compression really is magic... better than painkiller pills.
Thanks Mike.
My wife is really happy we have one of these icing units now. It’s running as I write this. I’ve never been one to take pain meds. In order for me to take a pain med the pain has to be literally beyond debilitating. I’m committed to doing this the right way.
B268D553-C6CF-4E38-A566-0FD7D50E3E75.jpeg
The way the doc was talking he wants me to get to using and weight bearing on this right away. The quitting smoking has gone well.
 
Last edited:

Living Proof

We All Have The Truth
Skier
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Posts
996
Location
Avalon - On The Way to Cape May
It has been 3 years now since my TKR, your pictures bring back memories! The first 2 days were the worst, pain was manageable after that and I was off opioids in 4 days. I like the chair? that enables you to keep your leg elevated, I used a rental reclining chair and slept in it for 2 weeks. Definitely start to walk on it as soon as you can, assuming Doc ok's that, I presume you have a walker. As walking progresses, focus on not limping, and walking toe to heal...it takes a while to remember how to walk correctly. Walk on soft surfaces like lawns as you progress, less jarring and works more muscles. Hip muscle pain is common as you overuse your good leg. Make sure you have a urinal type device to avoid extended trips to bathroom, especially at night.
For me, my doc gave me a strong NASAID to limit swelling, and it helped the recovery process to relieve stiffness pain. No matter how good you progress, the knee will become sore from use. I know many do not like those drugs, not advising them just relating my experience.
Rehab is mostly about regaining the ability to flex the new knee. At first it is hard to believe it will bend, about 4 weeks after, my knee made a breakthrough.
Your good leg will be the best friend to the other, use it to lift it's brother.
I played golf 8 weeks post surgery. I skied with no problems, repaired knee is better than the other.
Good Luck!
 
Last edited:
Thread Starter
TS
PisteOff

PisteOff

Jeff
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Posts
1,331
Location
Las Vegas
It has been 3 years now since my TKR, your pictures bring back memories! The first 2 days were the worst, pain was manageable after that and I was off opioids in 4 days. I like the chair? that enables you to keep your leg elevated, I used a rental reclining chair and slept in it for 2 weeks. Definitely start to walk on it as soon as you can, assuming Doc ok's that, I presume you have a walker. As walking progresses, focus on not limping, and walking toe to heal...it takes a while to remember how to walk correctly. Walk on soft surfaces like lawns as you progress, less jarring and works more muscles. Hip muscle pain is common as you overuse your good leg. Make sure you have a urinal type device to avoid extended trips to bathroom, especially at night.
Rehab is mostly about regaining the ability to flex the new knee. At first it is hard to believe it will bend, about 4 weeks after, my knee made a breakthrough.
Your good leg will be the best friend to the other, use it to lift it's brother.
I played golf 8 weeks post surgery. I skied with no problems, repaired knee is better than the other.
Good Luck!
Reclining sofa and we have the wedge we bought for my wife when she had her foot surgery. I’ll find out exactly how they want me to progress tomorrow but based on everything he’s said so far he sounds like he wants me at least on it right away. I’ll post after I see them tomorrow.
 

KingGrump

Most Interesting Man In The World
Team Gathermeister
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
12,513
Location
NYC
Good luck with the recovery. Heal well. Let's do a few laps together next season. :beercheer:
 
Thread Starter
TS
PisteOff

PisteOff

Jeff
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Posts
1,331
Location
Las Vegas
Would be cool to document progress from surgery to back in the slopes. Great reference for others.
That’s my intent. The rehab is going to segue into conditioning. I’ll be looking at regaining as much of my cardio fitness as possible too. After 35 years of smoking I’ve lost a lot. My COPD is considered mild so I’m both hopeful and anxious to see how much of that I can recover. Strength training has never been a problem for me, cardio has. I’ve purchased some good equipment for the endeavor. My heart health is fantastic so I just need to get the lungs working as good as possible.
E403F041-5850-40D1-8BED-891A399AA9A2.jpeg
F73686E6-FF38-4724-8144-6C5FC1C2DCA5.jpeg
F1A65C6E-377C-4F77-A6A0-9D2B97461A6B.jpeg
 

Living Proof

We All Have The Truth
Skier
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Posts
996
Location
Avalon - On The Way to Cape May
One gadget that helped me greatly was an exercise band with handles. In the early recovery, I would place one end over the TKR leg's foot and gently pull the leg in the right direction in situations like where you get back in a chair and need to raise the leg. In later recovery, I would lay in bed and pull the leg back using the band to get more flexion bend, the band supports returning the leg to straight. I pulled this picture from Amazon as an example.
Doctors are different in thoughts about recovery. My doc had me walking just a few hours after surgery, but, he kept me overnight due to being over 65. Also, his thoughts were not to do hard PT for at least a week and just let the knee heal. I know of others who started PT the next day. My PT said his. experience was that at 6 weeks, most people are pretty equal in recovery regardless of when they started.
 

Attachments

  • 41CuLSy9lOL._AC_.jpg
    41CuLSy9lOL._AC_.jpg
    24.4 KB · Views: 3

Sponsor

Staff online

Top