ACL Recovery Day 46

Since my last post, exercises have gotten harder and I come away from my trainings a lot more fatigued than before. Now that I’m on month 2 of the recovery, a lot of what I do is more functional and sports-specific. I’m hoping to go shoot around tomorrow at an outdoor basketball court in the city!

The big improvement since last time is the ability to jog at about a 5.5 mph pace for close to 10 minutes without feeling too much pain on the patella. Additionally, the jogging is helping build up my endurance and gives me a chance to do some cardio as well.

Flexion

Month 1 was all about doing passive flexion exercises, but now I’m past 130 degrees and am actively pulling on my leg to bend it more. This is where things get a little tricky because I don’t want to pull too hard to the point of pain but still need to pull to the point of discomfort. Related to my flexion is the pain I start to feel after I extend my leg from a flexed state. Most of the pain is on the anterior side of the knee which is expected. Since I got a patella autograft, this anterior knee pain is probably going to be with me for the rest of my life.

I also have to knead the scar tissue where the patella tendon was taken out to ensure that I don’t limit the flexion. The amount I need to massage is also hard to gauge since I don’t know exactly how much scar tissue I am break up and how much it is impacting the flexion. Nonetheless, I continue to massage the scar as much as possible in my down time.

Exercises

  • Treadmill – I’m up to 10 minutes of fast-walking at 4.5 mpg at a 1.5 incline followed by 8 minutes of 5.5 jogging at 1.5 incline
  • Squats – 3X12 with roughly 80 pounds. The gym doesn’t have a squat rack and just has a bar with a few weights so I end up velcroing on ankle weights to the bar to increase the weight.
  • Single Leg Press – 3X12 with right leg at level 10 and right leg at level 14 with seat at level 9. This exercise probably gets the strongest strength stimulus for me and I can easily see how strong I am getting with my injured leg compared to the good leg.
  • Side Lunge – 3X10 with 20lb goblet hold. This is an exercise I was doing before the surgery just at any other training session at the gym. Very tiring but the biggest part is focusing on exploding off the leg after you’ve bent it. Still not an “explosion” yet on the injured leg.
  • Ball Hamstring Curl – 3X12, this exercise is actually kind of painful on the back of the knee when I’m extending the leg on the ball. Overall though, definitely a good exercise to re-build hamstrings.
  • Karaoke – A cardio and functional exercise that’s actually fun to do. I used to do this warming up for playing basketball and it feels good to be able to move laterally with some speed now.
  • Single Leg Jump – 3X20. Still a tough exercise since I’m putting my entire weight on the injured leg. The most difficult part is not being able to flex the knee as much as I should on the landing.
  • Single leg calf press – 4X8 just a typical calf strengthening exercise. Much easier to do since I’m sitting and lets me take a little break from the other more demanding exercises.
  • RDLs – 4X8 been adding a lot more weight to the bar to make this more difficult. I feel like I can do 100lbs+ without issues.
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