ACL Autograft Surgery

Monday, September 22, 2014 0 No tags Permalink


It’s been nearly a week since my surgery to reconstruct my right ACL. Thought I should give an update.

We got to the hospital just after 10am and they took me back for prep pretty fast. Got all hooked up to the IV.  I’m not only afraid of needles, they often have difficulty finding an appropriate vein. Not much fun. In addition to the regular anesthesia, I received a nerve block. The anesthesiologist described it as inserting an electrode into my femoral artery and watching for which parts of my leg jumped. To be honest I was pretty doped up and don’t remember it. The nerve block works for like 17 hours. Before I knew it I was back in the surgery suite. They did tie me down and I remember the mask going on, but that’s it. The surgery was more involved than expected. When Dr. Russell got in there, he discovered that I had not only blown out the ACL but also tore the meniscus. That complication made for a longer surgery, more pain, and a longer projected recovery – a month of no weight and no driving compared to two weeks. Waking up in recovery was excruciating.  When the nurse went to remove the drains I cried and she hit me up twice with morphine.

I don’t much remember getting dressed or the ride home, but I do remember getting into the house. Bob drove up on the lawn and I managed the five feet or so on the crutches before scooting on my backside up the stairs. The combination of Percocet, a super strong anti inflammatory and the remnants of the nerve block got me through the night.

Now here’s something they don’t tell you but I read after the fact. The second night after surgery is your worst pain. The nerve block has worn off. You feel the full effects of what was done. It’s horrible. In fact, all nights are worse than the days. You’ve been up and trying to get around all day. The crutches cause other pain, in your arms, your neck, your back. Five days after surgery, the pain medication they put you on runs out. You’re supposed to be moving around more and the movement causes pain.

Bob has been my hero through all of this. It takes all I have to get from the bed to the bathroom and down five stairs to the living room (repeat as many times as you need the bathroom, all scooting up and down on your backside). Every single other thing, Bob takes care of. Hungry? Thirsty? Help getting in and out of the chair, the toilet, dressed? I need the cell phone charged or socks put on or another pillow? He does the laundry, prepares all the food, and then does every single other household task on top of it. Taking care of me and the cats and the house is a full time job where he doesn’t get a minute to sit down. Oh, and he works his regular job on top of it. He purchased and installed a shower bench and a new shower head. He is constantly thinking about how to make everything easier and better. He is encouraging and sweet and makes me feel better.

Mom has come over nearly every day. She made and brought dinner one night and she keeps me company. I’m tired and frustrated and in pain and it’s hard to keep my spirits up. She texts me all day. She’s the best mom.

There’s not much on tv and I’m tired of reading and crocheting. Sitting at home on the couch all day sounds like fun while you’re at work but reality is not as entertaining. I’m missing the best part of autumn. But right now, no pain medication and my leg pain is maybe a two. My headache is worse than my leg pain. It’s getting better. I’m anxious to have the follow up appointment Friday. Three more weeks until I can at least drive, but I will try to make it to work a week from today.

The fast details? It hurts way way more than I could have dreamed. But thanks to some amazing support each day is a little easier.


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