This surgery is like nothing before
I had a ACL reconstruction surgery for a complete torn ACL. I wanted a year to have the surgery. This surgery has kicked my butt. I can handle pain and I had 3 hip and 2 back surgeries but this maybe the worse of them. The constant pain, foot numbness and pain, and the difficulty with walking. Pain medications don't even take the edge off. I am 9 out 10 for pain. With previous surgeries the day after or two is the worse then it gets better.
I have tried RICE, Tylenol, and the prescribed pain medication. I know ACL surgery recovery is a lengthy process but I am at a lost. No way can I do PT. I am wondering when will I even get the pain under controled and be able to walk.
It is hard not to jump to wild ideas of a failed surgery with such pain and difficulties.
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Hello @theswedking and welcome to Mayo Connect. I am so sorry to hear of your pain post-surgery. I read and then re-read your post to see if you mentioned how long ago you had the ACL surgery. Has it been more than a month since your surgery? Have you contacted the surgeon to see if this level of pain in typical?
Hi @theswedking, I had surgery for a severed ACL in the late 70s when I was in my mid 20s. I had surgery in Canada the day after I injured my knee. The surgery then was called a pivot shift. The surgeon rerouted muscle through the bone to replace the torn ligament. I also lost all my cartilage. I was in a huge cast for 6 weeks and able to start phyysical therapy, every day for four months, after the cast was removed. After a month or so of physical therapy with no progress I was assigned to the chief therapist who determined that I needed heat, not ice, which was gumming everything inside my knee up. I walked with crutches for that length of time as I could not be weight bearing until I could straighten my knee. It was very painful, difficult to get around, and a long slow process to healing. I can't emphasize enough the importance of physical therapy – I was able to get all function back and have a stable knee. You are right, though, about the "ease" of other surgeries. I had open heart surgery a couple of years ago and I could not believe that it was not as painful or disabling as my knee surgery was.
Is there anyone you can talk to about the pain? Your doctor or a physical therapist? Maybe an infrared heating pad would help, if heat would be appropriate for you. I hope you get some relief soon.
It has been 8 days post op. I am always pushing myself and I apparently can't do it with this surgery. I am so used to pushing myself after surgery. 2 weeks after spinal fusion I was mowing the lawn or the day after hip surgery I was walking around with no issue.
I fell the day of my surgery when I got home, thanks to the snow and the knee buckling. They did prescribe a different medication. I see the orthopedic team in a week, I am hoping I am just over doing it and that I just need to rest more. This pain is making dry socket a run for its money.
Thanks for the kind words. I did see my physical therapist today and was able to get ahold of my doctor for some new pain medications. Patience isn't my strongest suit or taking it easy. I don't think most people don't like being laid up and hurting. I am hoping soon I will get enough strength and confidence to go down the stairs. I am sleeping in the guest bedroom on the main floor, The thought of going down the stair in all honesty scares me.
You don't realize how much the knee affects your body until after the surgery. From your lower back to your foot is affected.
I'm glad you got some pain meds. My recovery took about a year. I injured myself before being tested for my shodan (first degree black belt) in Judo. I did have a bad fall, using crutches, a few months post surgery, and it did set me back – so be careful. If you think something is too risky, pay attention to your inner voice. You will eventually get stronger and feel less pain. Take care.
If it has only been 8 days since surgery, your expectations on pain and recovery might be too high. Age, as well as the amount of repair done during the surgery are all factors in the recovery process. Also, your fall the day of your surgery might be having an effect on your recovery.
As difficult as it is to learn patience, I'm guessing that is what you need the most right now. Find some activities that you can do that don't involve physical exertion. If this has not been your lifestyle in the past, it may be difficult to practice, but find something to occupy yourself during this recovery period.
Are any of these ideas helpful to you?
Having had two ACL repairs, there was nothing like the pain you are describing either time. I have never heard of such extreme pain /
Get an MRI to see what it looks like inside!