Weeks 4-6 didn’t come with big changes as the earlier weeks did, which is why I’m starting to space updates out by two weeks. Over the last couple weeks, stiffness/swelling has come down a bit and walking is starting to feel more natural.
In my case I’ve noticed that the extension part of my gait feels more loose now than it has before, but the flexion aspect as I walk remains tight. In part this is certainly due to a weak hamstring, but I note that because it’s a feeling that is now very apparent.
PT has turned a corner in terms of what I’m expected to be doing and what I expect of myself. By the end of week six I’m into air squatting, lunging, hip bridges, wall sits, and very recently lateral lunges.
I’m biking on average every other day and using a smart trainer and watts to track progression each to week. I’ll be writing an entire article on a cycling program for ACL rehab soon.
Finally, a shout out to the r/ACL, the subreddit I came across after surgery. It’s a really helpful place with others actively going through the exact same things. I’ve been surprised with the information available and interest in others also trying to find answers and help. Definitely jump in there for more support. I’m also going to retroactively update my first post to include this helpful link.
The photo this week is drastically different from the first couple weeks. My tibia is still showing signs of swelling despite my efforts to remove it in that location. Notice the difference in definition on my left calf as compared to my right. The swelling still fills that space at this point.
My PT has started taping me with Kinesio Tape, which allows my patella to track correctly as I boost workouts and push my knee through lunges and squatting. It adds nice (subtle) support so I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how it feels.
I’m also getting into blood flow restriction (BFR) training as a part of my rehab, which I’ll discuss more in the podcast.
Helpful products roundup:
- Full knee ice wraps (this remains my goto; wish I had two of them),
- Kinesio Tape (patella tracking; pain and muscle management),
- Muscle Floss Band (for blood flow restriction training)
- CryoCups (still great, still intense, and breaks up ice wrap usage)
- Supplements (link to my guide)
What I’ve phased out:
- I no longer need the ice machine. It’s ice wraps all the way now!
- Because my bruising is gone, I no longer apply Arnica gel every day.
- Compression has become “when I need it” but not every day any longer.
Week 6 Notes:
- Week 6 review
- Walking improvements
- PT + tape + blood flow restriction training
- Back to the gym
- Extension: 0 (sight hyperextension with assistance; close to non-surgical leg)
- Flexion: 120
- Sitting Pain: 0/10
- Standing Pain: 0/10 (finally!!)
– Guide to Supplements for ACL Recovery
– ACL Rehab Cycling Program