A pain in the...
Another 3 week cycle of physio complete! Normally, would have a consultation with my Physio this week to check progress and tweak exercise regime, but had to reschedule for two weeks hence. However, thought 5 weeks between updates would be too long and not sufficient for keeping my fellow knew warriors in the loop.

The physio cycle begun in Week 15 has been extremely demanding and has resulted in consistent irritation and swelling. On the one hand the modified bridges with heels only on the Swiss ball encourages full extension with some weight pushing back the knee when alternating supporting foot. Hurties! On the other hand, the running has been very challenging, indeed, ‘running’ is over-stating the activity which is a fast paced walk on the treadmill with intervals of jogging. I started with 3, 2 minute intervals with 1 minute rests and have built up to 3, 3 minute intervals. It was originally hoped that I’d be up to 3, 5 minute intervals at this stage, but the side effects have meant that I haven’t pushed to that length of time, yet.

On the upside, there has been gain from the pain. After three weeks the bridging is much better and able to keep hips much more stable when switching legs (though they still dip a bit when supporting with the operated leg). All reps of the (horrible!) hamstring curls started with heels on the Swiss ball can be completed consecutively without any rest. Treadmill work does not cause immediate pain from the impact of running; side effects of swelling and stiffness are there, but the initial pain is down to 30% of what it was on first attempt. The key to the treadmill is a really good warm up and I start with 10 minutes walking, the last five of which on a very fast walk with incline, then hit my intervals (no incline), do 5 more minutes of fast walking (with incline) and then 5 minute cool down. If I skimp on the warm up or cool down the experience is much worse, during and after. I wasn’t able to balance BJJ and rehab as effectively over the past three weeks as the knee has been pretty pee’d off, but hope to get back to a weekly session as it settles.

Week Physio Milestones
  • By the end of the week could hold the side plank with oblique twists for for 60 seconds and do 1/2 the hamstring curl reps without dropping for a short rest.
  • Side plank with leg lift still problematic; knee stable with weight going through side ways but core weakness and lack of confidence in leg.
  • Treadmill quite painful but getting easier. Working on a forward posture to limit impact on knees and building up form a very humble 3, 2 min intervals of running.
Hitting my 3 times at the gym. motivation for the same-old-same-old minus being able to properly train is tough to maintain so powering through to get it done was the best I could do this week. Settling in for a long slog over the next 30 weeks.
  • Hamstring reps and bridge with raised leg much less problematic by end of week.
  • Planks much easier and keeping up with free weights, machines for isolating groups and conditioning classes at the gym.
  • Even with recommended rest days the intro of even a small amount of impact work on the treadmill means a lot more swelling, stiffness and ache (especially in the morning). Keeping the ‘running’ intervals to a pretty modest level of exertion and more of a fast jog. Working on posture to reduce forward impact and will ask Physio to check my gait at next appointment
Started first of three treadmill session with 3 minute jogging/running intervals
18 Pain after running and an aftermath of swelling and stiffness on rest days is intractable and taking next week off of rehab work; sometimes it is importnat to lay off the active healing and do a little rest and I think I’m at that point. Last bit of keloiding on the scars seems to have been resolved by more conscientious pressing out of scar tissue since Week 15.


Every ACL op and recovery will be particular to the person. The thoughts and experiences recalled in this series of posts is in no way intended as medical advice or as a replacement for seeking medical attention for any injury. This information is presented merely as a record of one personโ€™s experience with ACL operation and recovery.

Photo by John Kasawa |