Wednesday, September 16, 2009

One Year Five Months Post Op

What a journey this has been. I'm running and lifting weights again. Every day gets better and I feel stronger. There were some days I just didn't think I could go on but I had no choice. I wanted to get better.

I have found everyone's injury is different. Every doctors protocol varies. Even the rehab team has their own ideas on how to treat the PCL.

I welcome your comments. I will try to answer you personally.
Your journey could be much different than mine so when you read my blog, please remember this is my experience and we're all different. Good luck to all of you.

If there is anything I can do to help make this blog better, please let me know!


Rebecca said...

I have a PCL tear. I have been playing roller derby for the past 3 years and this is how my injury occurred. It happened on 7-11-09. I saw the doctor 2 days later. He acted like it was no big deal and wanted me to wait two weeks and come back and see him. During that time I went to get a second opinion. The 2nd doctor did an MRI to confirm the tear and told me to rest until September. I took his advice and rested for about 4 weeks and was not getting any better. I then called the first doctor back. I saw him and he ordered physical therapy straight away. I have been doing that for 4 weeks. The doctor says I can do whatever I want because I don't need my PCL anyway. I have been very active with roller derby and running for the past 3 years and now each time I try to run my knee hurts and swells and feels unstable. The physical therapist tells me not to run. I am so confused and scared that my knee will never be the same. I have had to quit roller derby and running because of the pain and swelling. Physical therapy is not helping. I called the doctor last week and told him I am frustrated. They made me and appointment for next Thursday. We have not yet discussed surgery. It does not seem like he even wants to do a PCL surgery. I am terrified of the surgery but if it will get me active again I will do it. I need help! Does anyone have any advice? I have an isolated PCL tear. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank You!!!

Anonymous said...

You didn't say whether your first or second doctors were sports medicine specialists. I would recommend you consult with an orthopedic surgeon who is a sports medicine specialist. And preferably one with experience in ligament reconstruction. Your health insurer can direct you to one that particpates in your plan. In my case (shredded PCL and strained MCL), my surgeon recommended a similar conservative watch and wait approach immediately post-injury. But my knee became increasingly more unstable over 3 months, necessitating the surgery. I have also found that surgeons are not in agreement over whether or when PCL reconstruction is warranted. Some say it is only suitable for professional athletes suffering career-ending injuries. Others may be willing to repair your knee to allow you to get back to your preferred activities, even though you are not a professional athlete. You should ask your doctor about whether you should get a good brace, one specifically designed for PCL injuries. I have a Breg Fusion brace. Finally, I am probably still looking at a knee replacement at some point in the future. My reconstructive surgery was done to hold off that surgery until later in my life. Regardless of what path you and your doctor choose, you may want to find a less stressful (at least on your knee) activity, such as bicycling. I can't imagine your knee will be able to handle the running (especially down slopes - that hurts me just to think about it).

Skinnygurl said...

Hi Rebecca,
I have to agree with Molly.
Let us know what you decide and good luck to you.

Rebecca said...

The first doctor is a sports medicine specialist. I have been seeing him for 3 years. He actually did a scope on my left knee last year. The second doctor was not a sports specialist. I am not seeing him anymore, I went back to the first doc.

The doctor seems against PCL surgery and it's hard as I am sure you know to find information on it. I am and active person and being physically limited the way that I am has been really difficult for me in alot of ways. Thursday I am sure that I will talk about surgery with him and I want to have as much knowledge as I can.

This blog is amazing and helpful. Thank you for creating it. It's the only thing helpful that I have found so far. It has scared me quite a bit of the surgery though. It seems really tough and it is my right leg so I am sure that driving is going to be a challenge and I have to work. I really just want to start feeling better, no matter what I have to do.

Anyway, I guess we will see what happens on Thursday.

Thank you!!!!!

Skinnygurl said...

You are very welcome Rebecca,

I'm glad my blog has helped you. Molly is a big help to me as she knows first hand through her surgeries too.

Please let us know what happens at your doctor appointment and what you decide to do.

*You might have noticed on a recent blog post, Molly traveled clear across the United States to visit me and be there for my very first jog.*

Rebecca said...'s 4 more weeks of physical therapy and then if I still feel the way I do we are going to go ahead with the surgery. So I am hoping for a miracle in the next 4 weeks. :)

It's always nice to find someone who knows how you feel.


Bailey said...

Hey there Skinny Gurl,

Just hopped on to your blog to see what you've been up to lately and glad to see your going strong! Good to hear you're running again!

BTW...wanted to let you know I finally went to the gym yesterday for a workout. Ouch...(in a good way). Hope to hit the gym again today!

Thanks for the kick and motivation!!!

Your Best Buddy,

Marty A.K.A. Max

Cas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


Since you were kind enough to leave your email address, I'm sending you my PCL/MCL surgery log. It explains everything I went through. The choice of whether to have the surgery is yours to make. As my mom's cancer doc just told us, "Whatever treatment decision you make is the right one." In my case, I had too many undesirable symptoms to NOT have the surgery.


Anonymous said...

My log must have scared old Cas Camara away.

Skinnygurl said...

There is no doubt about it, this is a big operation and recovery. Worth the results though.

Anonymous said...

Weird news on this front. Two years post-op. Laxity 2+! Rats. Hard end point. Doc says I need a new brace and some more visc injections to mitigate the osteoarthritis I'm developing. Possible bursitis. It never ends. Damn.

George said...

Hi Guys:

I had PCL surgery on my left knee in May 2004 due to a rubgy injury. I went through the rehab for a year and then started playing sports occasionally (tennis, hockey, and basketball) but nowhere near my past competitive level and not very seriously.

Unfortunately I had my surgery right before law school. My schedule in school and now my law career have left little time for hitting the gym hard to get my quad strength back to where it was pre-injury. That being said...I now see that this has been an excuse and I NEED to make time for the gym.

Even though 5 years have gone by I am now committed to getting back to playing sports competitively.

My ligament has healed a while ago and even though there is some give with the knee it mostly feels ok when I play sports (although I rely on my non-injured leg quite a bit...).

I was wondering if anyone can provide me with an effective exercise regime for getting my leg muscles up to par in light of PCL surgery.

I would greatly appreciate any assistance.

Thank you.

George Eleftheriou

Skinnygurl said...

Hello George and thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope my journey has helped you in some way.

It looks like you're wanting to get back "on fire for fitness" again. I think that's awesome!!

I'm not sure I understand though. Did you have pcl reconstructive surgery or just rehab. You're right on the money about building your quads up. I can't really advise you on what exercises to do because I don't know where you are with your injury.

With that being said I made it a point to show through pictures what rehab was doing with me to rebuild my quads. It was funny because every single day for over a year I had someone take a picture of my knee. When I went to rehab they pretty much expected that. I had lots of pictures to chose from for my blog!

I learned awhile back that nutrition is about 80% of any program. Muscles are built at rest after they're ripped and abs are built in the kitchen.

What does your doctor say or have you seen one lately? Do you have a local gym where you want to train? What sport do you want to play?

Hopefully Molly will chime in. She has great advice and helps me a lot with my blog.


Anonymous said...

I find that consulting a professional is always a great place to start. Get thee to a physical therapist!

Faramir said...

Just started the process, 24 days since surgery....complete rebuild of the PCL. Also tore Meniscus, MCL, LCL.

Very interesting read....I hope my recovery is not as long and painful as yours, but if the swelling is any indication I might be in for an even longer journey.

Anonymous said...

Your ice machine will become your best friend! Seriously, good luck with your recovery and rehab. What a horrific injury you suffered!

hamlet said...

hi everyone. It's been a while since i last visited this page.

Hye Skinnygurl! How r u doing? have u started running again? is there any pain in ur knee?

molly!!! like always, great response from u. How's ur knee? hav u started working out again?

Ask for me, I can't run nor even jog. I dunno how will it takes for me to get back in shape. Every diagnosis seems to be different to one another. Latest, they detected a LCL tear. The pain is stil the same after the surgery. The surgery left a big misery in my life. They said I hav to go for the 2nd surgery or get arthritis earlier.

Much to think off eh. I hope everyone is doing fine with their progress. DOn't skip and u better make sure what u'r paying is worth single penny.

Anonymous said...

Hamlet! It's so good to hear from you, even though it isn't with fabulous news. My knee has loosened up at 2 years post-op. The PCL measures grade 2+ laxity, but my MCL is tight, so my knee doesn't move around quite as much as it did pre-op. I was fitted last week for a new Donjoy Defiance III brace (*giggle* I originally typed "deviance"). I'll start wearing that pretty much all the time I'm walking, bicycling, etc. from now on out. My calf is too big for my original Breg Fusion brace. I'm hoping to start a series of 3 non-avian visco shots next week. Those should help with the OA that's started in the medial side of my knee. I'm still walking and bicycling - but not as much as last summer and fall. I simply can't work my knee as hard as I want to - it moves around too much and becomes sore and swollen.

Skinnygurl said...


Nice to meet you and welcome to my blog. Not sure how your recovery will go since they're all different. I had just turned 49 years old when I had my surgery and extremely active. I was a regular gym rat. Running almost daily and lifting pretty heavy weights. My age might have had something to do with my longer recovery but it's really not my place to say since I don't know.
Anyway, Good Luck To You! Keep us posted on your progress. Sometimes it's two steps back and one forward. Feels like the other way around but don't worry. You'll get there!!! Sooner or later you'll get there. Be sure to do what your doctor says and your rehab team. I mean that!!!!

Good to see you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've been wondering about you and how you're doing!! So glad you stopped in. I'm sorry you're still struggling and have to have another surgery. Hang in there! We're with ya!

As far as running and lifting weights I have good and bad days. I still take anti inflammatory medicine which seems to be a huge help in addition to some pain management.

On my good days which are awesome, I run my 4.5 miles then jet around doing pretty much what I want. Doing lunges, squats and all the things I love at the gym. I'm just real careful not to go as heavy as I used to. 300 pound max with my legs prior to surgery. So far I'm only got about 200 with a forward press. (Once, I Had To Try it!!! Ha Ha Ha) I'll Never Risk any pivoting sports. Ever. It's just not worth it to me. Plus I'm super careful on the ice. I don't hurry like I used to!!!!!!!

I am forever grateful to you for all the help you give to this blog. Keep us posted on your progress too! Enjoy that new brace of yours! I'm almost envious! Knee envy strikes again!!!!


Rebecca said...

Hello! I ended up having the surgery. I just had it on Wednesday November 4th. I stayed at the hospital overnight and came home Thursday afternoon. This has been the most painful experience of my life. I could have never imagined the intensity of the pain I have been enduring. The good news is that the pain is lessening each day. I am hoping to get out of the house sometime soon but right now just getting up to go to the bathroom is exhausting. I got a really cool ice machine that has been really soothing for me.

Skinnygurl said...

I remember the pain well. Stay on top of your pain medicine and stay close to your ice machine. Please don't rush this recovery. Take it very easy. I'm here if you need me.
Hugs to you.

backoffu said...


Hey Skinnygurl, sounds like your doing awesome. You used to squat 300lbs!?!
I finally got under the squat rack myself last week, only got to 180, but not because of knee pain(it felt it could do more), but still have some pain in my RT leg from my fractured femur.(from same accident that messed up the LFT knee)
I'm now 10 months post op (I've had ACL/PCL/LCL replaced). I've been back working hard at the gym since month 6. Leg press and lunges etc. Knee is stable, so far no other problems.

Rebecca, in the end, you'll be glad you went thru with the surgery. Just take your time, don't skimp/skip on the PT exercises.

Hamlet, that sux you need a second surgery, good luck with it.

Molly, bummer your PCL loosened up. Hopefully it wont get worse.

Take care everyone. Heal up quickly, stay well.


Skinnygurl said...

Backoffyou *Chris*
Send me your email address,
I'll forward my body building shots from before my accident. I'm trying hard to get where I was but it's tough. Age and fear are keeping me at reasonable lifting weights which make it hard to get big gains.
You're only ten months. Don't forget, you have a ways to go. I know you're excited but wait, it gets better with time!
Okay, my squats were lighter than 300. I would have to look at my journal. We're playing it 'safe' right now with the leg sled. Got my final set done with a burn out of nine reps at 235 on Friday. Partner got 295 at the top of her pyramid. I stopped at 235 and added reps,knowing my limit. Two days later it feels pretty ripped up so I know I tore the fibers and I'll see growth at this pace. That's good!!!!
Gimme your address and I'll shoot those pictures to you.
Be nice to see your progress too!

Skinnygurl said...

Let me say again.
I got over 300 pounds on the leg slide not the squat rack. Big difference. (235 forward press this Friday!!!) You know. The Smith Machine where the weight is racked on your back. That's lots harder. Dang, I'm trying to remember what we used to squat on the Smith Machine.) It was three sets of eight with a max of 85????)
Wish I had a picture right now. Dang, your legs are awesome at a buck eighty! Good job outta you! I'm a chick runner though and my legs are much smaller. I can only dream!!!!!!!!!!
Hey, good Idea. I might have to take a couple so you can see what I'm saying.
Anyway. Gains are gains! We really ripped em up on Friday. I love it when I'm really sore.
Told ya I'm a gym rat!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca: Oh, you are experiencing the worst right now! I echo skinnygurl - keep up with your pain meds and become best friends with that ice machine. Be very careful moving around - do everything you can to not fall down. You will feel much better by day 10 or so. Take this time to rest and let your body recover from the stress of surgery. Molly

Rebecca said...

Just a quick update....I am 12 weeks post op and doing great. I did 13 miles on the stationary bike today and I am itching to run but doc says none of that until May. I can't wait! Recovery is happening fast for me so I feel lucky. I am having a bit of trouble with the bending though. I am at 125 and it just does not want to go any further. Hopefully this will improve soon. Thanks for your support before my surgery, I was really freaked out about the whole thing and while I hope I never have to go through any thing like that again I am glad I did it. I feel like I am finally healing.

Skinnygurl said...

Congratulations Rebecca. If you would like to share your story and even picture, I would gladly post it to my blog.
Keep up the good work and do what your doctors tells you!!! I was stuck at about where you are or a little less *it's in my blog somewhere* for about a month! Do your home exercises and hang in there!

Max Moreno said...

After studying a patient's medical history, physical therapists observe the patient's posture, strength, motor function, breathing ability, coordination, and balance. You gotta see this for more info.