Knee rehabilitation has been steady and managed to meet last week’s goals and then some. Physically and mentally am making progress and doing my best, within safe parameters, to stay fit(-ish), get stronger and rehabilitate the operated leg. Consulted with the Physio and levelled up my exercises, observed Friday class and had a few visits from BJJ friends all of which helped keep recovery moving in the right direction.
This week’s recovery got an extra boost from the people around me, not least my BJJ people, and I’m feeling very loved which definitely helps to keep the mind strong. Had lunch with Coach whose positive reinforcement and nurturing vibe is always a buoy; he brought flowers and a card signed by the Team. Was very touched by the obscene sketches of male genetalia as I’ve come to understand this is how some men emote and is a flattering assurance of my place in their ranks – HA! Indeed, all the well wishes and the simple ‘It sucks not to have you here’ meant a lot! I miss the Team terribly and look forward to seeing my people at next week’s Marc Walder Seminar, which I’ll be observing. Also met up with my training partner, Keelin, out of Roger Gracie Academy. She’s a pal, a training partner and has had her own serious knee issues to work through and while she’s had a lot on her plate this year she’s been a rock and a generous sounding board for me as far as jits and knees are concerned. The friendship and support heaped on me this week reinforced the fellowship aspect of BJJ and its central part in my love of the art.
I got back to class for the first time since the op on 30 Sept and observed our Ilford class where I had a very warm welcome. Took my grappling diary along and noted the techniques, offered a few pointers on the drills for some of the guys and watched the sparring. Was useful in a number of ways, not least just being around the jits and some of the Team. For me, the most important benefit was the help to my visualisation which several readers here and on Facebook have recommended. Woke up Saturday morning dreaming of the previous night’s techniques in my normal fashion and took a little time before I started the day to run them in my mind’s eye and ‘feel’ the movement.* Won’t suggest that seeing the jits in front of me wasn’t mouth-watering torture, but I’ll withstand the itch while I rehab as the benefit of being around it outweighs any feelings of frustration.
The Physio was pleased with my progress and prescribed additions to my list of ‘at home’ exercises, including some balance work and two-legged squats without weight. She also did some ‘release work’ massage, which really helps the hamstrings and inner thighs which get very tight. She rubbed out the keyhole scars too which felt majorly funky, but massages here is important for getting the nerves to regenerate properly and for reducing scar tissue. My extension is about 95% and flexion about 110%. The Physio reckons there is more bend there but swelling makes it awkward, so we’re not pushing more bend until the swelling recedes. I am to continue my gym work and I hit my 3 sessions goal this week and am rolling over that goal for Week 4. My upper body work is paying dividends and I’m up to 3 sets of 15 quality one-legged press-ups and escalated to 10 kilo dumbbells for my bicep curls (reps of 10, 6 and 5 – will take sometime to feel comfortable 3 sets of 10 at which point will boost it again). While the bike is still pretty uncomfortable due to the swelling in the leg, it is getting a little easier every time and the leg continues to gain mobility and have less pain, little by little.
- Wall sits – 3-5 reps, hold for 10-15 seconds, 3 times per day
- Bridge – 3-5 reps, hold for 10-15 seconds, 3 times per day
- Prone hamstring curl with flexed foot- 3-5 reps, 3 times per day
- Squats – two-legged, shoulder-width stance, 10 reps 3 times per day
- Balance – stand one-leg ‘little and often’, e.g. brushing teeth, waiting for a Tube, standing in queue
- Stationary bike – 15 minutes, 80-90 RPMs, 7:10 perceived exertion level
- Down stairs walking taking weight on operated leg on shallow steps without need for support
- 1st BJJ class observation
- Double digit dumbbells for bicep curls
- Sets of 15 press-ups (up from 10)
- Agreed date in 6 months for beginning drills with Coach (assuming cleared by Physio)
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 person’s experience with ACL operation and recovery.
*Don’t laugh at my definition of ‘normal’, you know you’re just as demented and obsessed – HAHA!