Monday, April 16, 2018

Mitch And His Bad Luck With That Truck! PCL Question - please help

Hi, my name is Mitch and I had PCL Reconstruction 8 days ago and  unable to move my leg at all.   I am looking for information to help me understand my doctors line of thinking. 

Is this normal? My surgeon told me he wants me in a locked brace and to just lay low,  no weight or bending for 6 weeks... I feel like he’s not telling me something. My surgery lasted 6 hours and my leg was numb for 5 days.. it’s so hard to find anybody who has gone through this surgery so all I have is myself and my research.   To me it seems  like something has gone wrong..

Mitch's Story

Last July I fell off the back of a truck. I knew the moment my knee hit the ground something major had happened.. Unfortunately before my MRI date came up,  the knee started feeling better so I told myself it’s healing, it can’t be major.   Couple months later the pain started to show up more and more so I finally did the MRI.  The MRI showed a full rupture but no other knee damage.. surgeon said if it wasn’t for all the scar tissue I could have tried a non surgical  route. From what I was told, my surgeon was trained in Germany from the inventor of the Ossur Rebound PCL Brace. Anyways, here is my embarrassing story of how I got hurt and why it took to long to fix lol.


Molly said...

Hi Mitch! My PCL reconstruction was followed by 6 weeks of no bending (locked brace) and toe touch weight bearing only. I used a wheel chair for the entire 6 weeks whenever I had to leave the house, and bounced on one foot with a walker while at home. Once I was fit for a Breg Fusion brace, I was allowed (gradually) to bend at locked angles. I wore that brace 24/7 for a year post-op, except in the shower. I guess what I am trying to say is that your protocol sounds very familiar to me!

Best of luck in your recovery. Take things at the pace your surgeon and PT set - don't rush it. It's a big surgery and an even bigger recovery.

Mitch said...

Thank you for your comment Molly my biggest concern at the moment is I have a lot of numbness and nerve pain I am also physically unable to move my leg. My surgeon said it’s possible he hit a nerve and also due to 6 hours under in a tourniquet to expect the nerves to be off for a bit but it seems nobody wants to tell me why I can’t move my leg. I feel like at this point I should be able to do slr’s to keep my quads going

Skinnygurl said...

Hi Mitch! Welcome to the PCL Club. :)

I was in the original straight knee brace from surgery and finally fitted for a lighter Breg Brace at day 44. Much like Molly I was allowed to Slowly bend at locked angles.

It wasn't until I was at SIX weeks that I was finally allowed to stand up during rehab sessions and even then, things were very conservative and slow.
Around day 108 my range of motion stalled so I was prescribed a continuous passive motion device. Around that time I was finally allowed to engage my hamstring muscles very gently and slowly.
Up until day 202 I was required to wear my brace for all the rehab exercises.
Finally after ten months I reached maximum medical improvement. I had reached 140 degrees in flexion, my PCL was strong and the surgery a success. Believe it or not, I still had to wear the brace for any pivoting sports for two more months. In addition to that, I still struggled with going down the stairs.

You're younger than I was at the time and carry more muscle which is great because you'll likely heal quicker. In saying that I completely agree with Molly. Take things at the pace your surgeon and PT Set - Don't rush it. It's a big surgery and even bigger recovery.

We're here for you every step of the way so please don't hesitate to ask questions. I would love to do a story on your finished recovery so hit me up when you're ready.

Skinnygurl said...


I've been thinking about your question. I think it's entirely possible that a nerve was hit and I also believe it could be numb due to the severe trauma it's undergone and could wake up later on. Don't worry about keeping your quads going. That wasn't something that was important in the first part of recovery. for me anyway.
About this leg not moving. Can you explain that a bit better? I'm not sure I understand.


Mitch said...

Yea basically I can move my foot all leg I can’t lift it up to slide off the bed even I have to have somebody come lift it for me if I sit in a chair where my leg lands it stays lol I cannot move it at all

Skinnygurl said...

Oh yes! I remember that! Gosh, I am currently recovering from knee replacement and even with that, in the beginning my husband had to lift my left for me as I had ZERO strength. It took a very long time for me to be able to do that by myself.

Off topic just a tad, currently I'm @ 8 weeks post op and my quad muscle is asleep which isn't so great. It happens! So with extra rehab and electricity plus a lot of work on my part, we're awakening those muscles again.

The PCL surgery was a bit different but again, my husband had to lift my leg for me as I simply couldn't.

Hang in there Mitch. Things seem to be going fine. Not as fine as you would like but fine!

This is a long, long recovery. I encourage you to go back to the first part of my blog in 2008 and skim the beginning to see what you might parallel. It could ease a few worries or answer questions.

As always, please - ask any and all questions. The only dumb one is the one not asked.

Take Care,

Speedy No. 9 said...

Hi Mitch.

Welcome to the PCL Survivor club. You have just heard from Pam and Molly on their own journey. I'll just jot a bit of mine to hopefully boost your spirit further. I had my surgery in 2008 at the age of 35. In Malaysia where I live, no measurement done on range of movement (ROM) post surgery so most times I was frustrated with the little or no progress of ROM. Facilities of course not so good either. But I preservered and after 5 months of doing physio religiously, I was able to start doing light exercises outdoors, and by 9 months I regained 100% ROM of my knee.

The struggle for me if I could just sum up:

a. To keep pushing under the guidance of a physio to improve ROM. Snail pace improvement but one small mm if you have to, just don't give up. Keep going to physio, in my case twice a week for 2 hours under physio supervision, and the rest doing the exercises at home as prescribed by the physio.

b. Watch the muscle degeneration due to lack of movement. In my case, had to undergo electrical simulation to induce strength to the muscles.

d. You tend to overcompensate on your good knee to support your weight due to the pain in your PCL knee, and if you are not careful, your good knee may develop early osteoarthritis which happened to me. So for me both knees are experiencing early osteoarthritis now but it's something I can cope so far.

c. Be prepared mentally as the journey is a long one, with very little visible progress at times. Get all the support you need for this one. I am glad I found Skinnygurl's blog. Yes, I'm her fan! Her writing really helped to keep me motivated, together with friends and family support, and of course by grace of God.

At this stage now of being 47, I avoid jogging already as it is too painful. I do swimming and brisk walking. Quite a challenging adjustment for a hardcore rugby player like me but I managed. I get injection on both knees every 18 months to reduce the pain.

But hey, I have recently scaled the peak of Mt Kinabalu, the highest peak in South East Asia (why I did it Pam knows, but will save it for other time).

All in all I just want to let you know, yes the journey to recovery is long and tough. You need physical and emotional support as you go through the journey. Be realistic with your expectation of progress, it's a slow progress for sure. Preservere with your effort. It's a recovery journey which will make you a stronger person in and out. So all the best and keep up posted on your progress.

Take care

Molly said...

I'm sorry to hear about your numbness and inability to move your leg. Nerves are funny things and can act out just from the trauma. It will simply take time to get your muscles and brain back in connection. You can still rehab the flexion/extension once you are cleared to bend; rehab is all passive for many weeks. This recovery is often two-steps forward and one step back.

Also, if your questions aren't being answered to your satisfaction - keep asking.

Mitch said...

Thank you guys for your comments it’s really nice to hear from people who know exactly what I’m going through. I’m working hard to stay positive and I’m starting pt in the am. As for my questions yea I feel like my surgeon dances around it and I just can’t get a actual answer. I will let you guys know how pt goes!

michelle said...

Hey Mitch... this is Michelle. Although I did not end up having the surgery, I went through about eight months of the Stress and Anxiety related issues that come along with that injury. I was very fortunate in my recovery when I completely tore my MCL ACL and PCL. Through extensive physical rehab I was able to gain the strength and flexibility in my knee. I did extensive research and you are definitely on the path to recovery and it's very very frustrating but you will get it back. Hang in there I just wanted to give you a little bit of moral support.

Molly said...

Hi Mitch! You are about two months post-op now. So, how's it going?