Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Update: Six Months Post ACL Reconstruction (Very Much Back at Work...)

It’s been a long time since I wrote something here. There are many reasons for this. One is that I'm working hard, have just moved houses, and I'm quite busy. Another is that I don’t think about my knee as much as I used to, which is a positive sign. Probably the biggest reason though, is that I'm lazy.

Really, really, lazy.

In my defence writing a blog post requires at least twenty minutes of solid concentration. When you factor in time for proof reading, time distracted by other things (right now 10003 Google tabs are open on my computer, none of them on the same topic), a food break, a toilet break, a quick lie down, a mental refreshment break, making iced coffee and waiting for it to chill, and then time spent re-reading what’s already written (but processing none of it), then the time to write one blog is at least 5.5 days. I haven’t had 5.5 spare days. I'm sorry. Medium sorry. Now I'm on Christmas break for 3 weeks so there are no excuses.

It’s been about six months since my ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair. I can't begin to describe how much that simple fact freaks me out. Unlike at other points in my life, my life right now is completely different to six months ago. I'm in a new house (with less numerous roaches, but freakishly larger ones), am no longer with my old partner and have started a new job which has led to me meeting a whole new group of people.

Back to the knee...

My leg six months after my ACL
reconstruction and meniscus repair. 
I can now hop on my reconstructed knee (an act I often show people to gain some sort of sick, perverted, joy from watching them grimace because they assume it hurts me). I can run. I can cross my legs (so I can behave like a lady at the dinner table). I even feel comfortable going down speedy watersides and climbing steep sand dunes. I do still have a bit of swelling, not in the knee itself but just above, but it’s not something I notice very much. Overall I feel better about my knee now than I did before the surgery.

Unfortunately my knee no longer provides a valid excuse to stop be from having to work away. I was getting quite acclimatised to a life of luxury; working in the office, dressing nicely for work, spending time with my soul mate (aka Mr Coffee Machine), slowly working my way towards a caffeine induced heart attack. Now I'm working a FIFO job on a mine site on a 2 week on, 1 week off roster and get to model high visibility clothing AND have lost my lovely coffee machine. The coffee in the yard where I work is what I describe as “drinkable”. I know that coffee has to be ground, but that’s no excuse for it tasting LIKE ground. I did find it hard to adjust to being away from home so much, but despite work days being longer, they fly by much faster. It’s also nice to get away from working with spread sheets in the office (although it was much easier to excel at my job then).

The first few weeks I spent at work my knee protested. Thankfully not verbally, or I’d be questioning what kind of procedure was really performed on my knee (also my knee is part of me I’d probably end up chopping it off due to its never ending whining). No, it protested in an achy fashion, never quite enough to stop me working, but enough to make sure you knew it wasn't a happy chap. Days started at 6.30 and were mostly spent standing. The tricky part for me was the large amount of side to side stepping, something I hadn't advanced to in physiotherapy yet. Every day was a bit easier though, and now I reach the end of most days without thinking about my knee at all, something very refreshing after the last few years.

Anyway that’s basically it since my last post. Work. Holidays start now! Holidays are a risky time for knees, especially with all the fun holiday activities like mini golf (the not-so-heroic story of how I hurt my knee). I’ll be being very careful. Hopefully I won’t have another ACL tear to report after Christmas. 


  1. I’m impressed that you are able to do complex actions in just six months after the surgery, Eliza. It’s a painstaking road to recovery. But judging from what I’ve read, you aced it! Being confident enough to do these exercises that physically tax your limbs is nothing short of amazing. Keep up the good work and always remember to take precautionary measures. P.S. Cut down on caffeine intake, dear! ;)
    Sienna Christie

  2. Thanks for your comment, I always appreciate a good compliment! I still have small aches in the knee every now and then, but for the most part I'm feeling good. I even skydived and hiked a glacier recently!
    I don't think I can give up caffeine. In fact I'm considering just hooking myself up to an IV filled with coffee.

  3. Any direct wear and tear to the knee joint caused by degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis is protected and stabilized to recover properly.

  4. This is great. Sounds like your recovery is really coming along. I had ACL reconstructive surgery two months ago at a medical clinic in Vancouver. They did a great job and it went much better than the first one I had. Keep strengthening your knee and you will be good as new in no time!

    1. Wow, a second one... that sucks. Was it on the same knee? Good luck with your recovery!

  5. Loved reading this - thanks! I'm due to have ACL reconstruction surgery at some point....apparently the waiting list up here in Joondalup, "isn't too long." The surgeon neatly sidestepped that question! Your recovery has given me hope, and made me laugh. (And I secretly want a scar too.)

    1. I'd been on a waiting list in Fremantle for quite some time (just to see the surgeon for the first time, not even for the surgery itself), so I gave up and went down to Bunbury. The surgeon I saw there said he could do the surgery that weekend! He just opened his diary and there was a spot (honestly, can you imagine having a diary of when you're cutting certain people up?)

      I hope you get yours done soon. Don't dread your recovery. You too will have a cool scar. I've met a few random people since my surgery who I've connected with on a deep level purely by noticing similar scars. We could almost be a secret society of reconstructed ACL's!

      Good luck!

  6. thanks for sharing! just did my ACL surgery 10 days ago, long way to go to recovery!