Friday, November 7, 2008

Day 205 Of My PCL Surgery And Recovery

Ditch the brace. Well unless I'm doing pivoting sports. Rehab is reduced to twice a week at this point and I no longer need the CPM device. They're picking up the tens unit and ice machine as well next week.
My knee isn't much more than 130 degrees and not exactly straight when extended. Perhaps without the brace that will change.
Upon my surgeons examination yesterday, the PCL surgery appears to be a success!! No laxity although I am still experiencing that crunching sound but have been denied any further surgery to clean that up. I am still waiting for Orthovisc to be authorized.
So at this point things are getting back to normal after more than six months of recovery.
At times I still have pain in the knee cap area and will continue to work on more range of motion. I am looking forward to gaining strength again.
Pretty close to 30 weeks which is a really long time! I am glad it's behind me.
I'll post more updates as my progress continues.
Stay tuned and drop me a line!


Ellen said...

Hi everybody. I just wanted to say that I found this blog and have enjoyed reading it.

I had a fight with a sidewalk (and lost) on August 28, 2008. I dislocated my left knee and completely tore my PCL (beyond repair), tore my MCL, LCL, and needed a partial menisectomy. I also fractured 2 bones.

I had recontructive surgery on September 19, 2008 where they tightened the MCL and LCL, grafted a donor achilles tendon to be my new PCL, and put some screws in my fractures. I have been sitting here at home since.

I have started physical therapy, twice a week, and they are passively bending my knee. I'm up to 60 degrees but wish I could bend more. I also wear a leg brace that applies pressure to prevent my knee from dislocating again.

This has certainly been a life changing experience and it's been great hearing from others in similar situations!


Anonymous said...


You are in for an interesting and lengthy rehab. So, my unsolicited advice is to sit back and enjoy the down time. Don't push anything too hard, but do everything your OS and PT(s) tell you to do. Don't be afraid of the pain meds - they make your early recovery days fly by and you will have plenty of time to wean off of them later. Let people help you! And if they don't offer, make sure to ask for help. You really can't (and shouldn't) do this on your own. Good luck, enjoy the fall and winter, and set some small, achievable goals for each month. By very careful not to fall. Keep us informed about your progress.

Anonymous said...


I hope you have a similar experience to mine, in that removing the brace helped me regain balance and strength at a greatly enhanced rate. My pain also reduced considerably once I was able to move my leg normally, sans brace.

I found trekking poles to be really helpful. I walked a local barkdust path using the poles, up and down slight slopes, to regain balance and reintroduce my brain to my knee and foot.

I had the last stitches removed today, so I'm done now. Unfortunately, part of the stitch (nylon) remained in the incision, so I'll have to keep an eye on it. If it acts up I'll go back in and ask the OS to dig it out.


How's Dan?

Linda said...

Good luck to you Ellen. That sounds like quite a fall!

Dan is working hard. His goal is to play Lacrosse this spring (and be in condition to it play well). He has full range of motion, and is working on strength. It's been 16 weeks since surgery and he's hoping they will release him to run tomorrow . . . we'll see.

Molly, how much of your stitch was left? Does your OS think it will work its way out or dissolve?


sockers4 said...


I wrote on here before asking for your advice, and I finally got the surgery done about 3 weeks ago. You sorta inspired me to start my very first blog and copy you, however mine isn't nearly as good and i'm a lazy college student that doesn't update that often but here is my link

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda:

Dan's progress is inspiring! I hope he's running and swinging a stick soon.

My 'residual' stitch is made of nylon, so it's not going to dissolve. It's like having a piece of black fishing line just under the skin. I can see it in places. I'm going to massage the area to keep the stitch loose. Hopefully one end will work its way up to the surface. Then I can pull it out. If it begins to bug me I'll ask my OS dig at it.

Katie said...

Curious to hear what they think the crunching sound is??? I have noticed that at times in both knees. Its not painful, but very strange sensation to be able to hear that from the inside.


Dixit Jain said...

Hi skinnygurl and everyone,

i probably tore my PCL back in 2004, while playing basketball, but got it diagnosed last year when i fell down again and it was a complete PCL tear.
i decided to undergo PCL reconstruction after careful consideration and it will be 7 months, since surgery, on 9th june..

since 1st week of surgery my physiotherapist made me do strengthening exercises of quadriceps and calves, and weight bearing of upto 50% of my body weight and by the end of 1st month we were onto knee bending exercises.

by the end of 2nd month - there was no brace, no crutches, i could stand and walk a bit. started strengthening of hamstrings.

by the end of 3rd month i had achieved 50-55 degrees ROM (i guess) i was able to walk, balance myself w/o any problem, and stand for a reasonable amount of time..

by the end of 4th month - i could climb up and down the stairs, jumped to 90-100 degrees of ROM.. fairly strong muscles as opposed to the case of skinnygurl.. (cos of all the strengthening exercises that started early)
can walk briskly, ride and drive my bike and car..

but since i had breached 100 degrees mark.. progress has been rather slow..

by the end of 5th month - not much improvement, to be exact 105 degrees of ROM at max and it would pain alot.

by the end of 6th month - yet again, not much improvement, i reached 115 degrees when warmed up.. doc advised me a muscle relaxant named "indocap"..

but the thing is i would take PT sessions at home so i have not been placed on a "CPM" (he vl do it with his hands ;)) nor did i take any pain killers, no ice packs..
my physiotherapist will tell me to endure it all, feel the pain so that we dont go over the board (hez aggressive)..

now i am halfway into completion of 7th month and i have achieved 130 degreees (minimum) of ROM.. darn !! i was so happy to see this improvement but the thing that i did differently this time in addition to taking that muscle relaxant capsule was that i took interferential therapy (i think similar to TENS) which greatly reduced pain and helped stimulate or may be activate muscles..

my physio assures me that it will not take more than 1 month now to achieve flexion equivalent to the healthy leg.. and i have a holiday planned at the end of next month :) (i am an optimist)

i so-so-soooooooo wish for it to happen.. have spent already alot of time at home doing nothing except burning my eyes watching movies and all, on lappy ;)

p.s: there was pain on day 1 and there is pain till this day whenever i try to bend it beyond the range of motion.. a terrible-terrible, untolerable pain..

P.p.s : my operating surgeon was against physiotherapy.. lol
people around me will tell me that you are insane for going against your OS, follow whatever he says but i am glad i didnt listen to them or doc ;) he he he

Skinnygurl said...

Dixit Jain,

Sounds like you've worked very hard to get where you are. I wish you the very best of luck.
Stop in and let us know how you are doing.