My recollection of my last ACL recovery is that it that it goes through spikes and plateaus. Great progress one week might be followed by two weeks of little gain. Before now I hadn’t a plateau of any length, but Week 3 proved to be an uneven one.
Here’s the good:
1) My left knee flexibility is 135 degrees unassisted, 140 degrees assisted. My right knee is also 140 degrees, so I am close to achieving full flexibility less than a month in. Everyone thinks that is pretty remarkable.
2) On flatness, I am only one to two degrees from zero, which is the goal (a flattened leg). For me, this is a big improvement, but no rest ’til zero.
3) My quad is gaining strength, though it’s still got a long way to go.
4) On flat ground, I don’t really need a brace at all, and only have one outdoors in case I hit an uneven patch or crowded area.
Here’s the mixed:
The main focus of Weeks 3 & 4 will be stairs – developing the quad strength and jnee stability to go up and down them unassisted. A week ago, I found stairs impossible, and had to scuttle up half a step at a time, leaning on subway stair rails. Today I can gingerly go up and down stairs with a light tough on a rail or crutch. A week ago I couldn’t even try the exercises designed to build up this strength. Today I actually fell during PT for the first time attempting side step-up exercise, but at least it was at the conclusion of a full set. Progress. Slow progress.
Here’s the bad:
Last night I felt a cracking in my left knee, and pain followed. Ever since then (24 hours ago), my knee has been tender, and two crutches have felt preferable to one. My knee is locking up frequently, as opposed to just once in a while. My PT believes that this is related to the scar tissue that the new exercises are designed to break up. Loose cartilage and scar tissue floating through my knee is causing this discomfort and knee locking. They don’t seem worried at all at the PT office. It will pass.