Light at the End of the Tunnel... For Me... [3.5 Months Post-op]

A few weeks ago I had yet another follow-up with my surgeon and since I didn't have a slew of questions for him this time, it was the typical visit. He asked how things were going, I said they seemed to be fine.  He felt the knee, said it was stable and that my quad muscles were looking like they were getting close in size to one another. All good things.

I mentioned to him that I seemed to get a discomfort / catching feeling when I go from a straight to just bent knee.  I remember this happening last time around, and it felt like something that kept me from progressing on a normal schedule.  Just now I was removing files from my phone and I came across this little video (which was before 1 month post-op) but it shows the "pop" of something - perhaps a sac of fluid? - moving from one spot to another all at once. [My apologies for the poor video quality]

Now, around 3 months later, it is not as severe, but it still catches me off guard (no pun intended).  Doing some of my exercises (specifically my leg extensions where I flex/straighten my leg against a resistance band) makes it more evident than others, but never is it truly "painful", just uncomfortable.

I'm still trying to get to PT 2-3 times per week and I feel like I'm probably at 70% strength, if that. In a normal day-to-day however, I am feeling good. And, according to a woman who was waiting in our PT room (perhaps for her son to do his own PT), I look "very athletic" and she "wishes she had my legs"...!  I was flattered, but informed her it was my love of sports that not only got me these legs, but also got me under the knife twice!

So as my recovery starts to wind down and I dream of getting back to all the sports I love, my husband has now had the pleasure of having his knee checked by my surgeon, and he had an MRI two days ago..  If we had to guess, it looks as if his ACL may be torn!! We're waiting for the official report, but if what we think is true, my hubby will likely be referencing this blog about the joy of the surgery and rehab that he may have to undergo!


  1. Your blog has been a great source of info. for me. I am 43 and an avid, competitive volleyball player. I tore my ACL (completely) and my meniscus about 3 weeks ago during a volleyball game. Getting my quad to fire has been a challenge, it has gotten a bit better lately but is still weak. I know this will be a struggle after surgery as well (surgery in about 2 weeks). Any suggestions? I'm doing lots of quad sets plenty of PT :-)

  2. Hi Lori, Glad my ramblings are a help to others in the same boat! Sounds like you're already doing the right things - Any exercises that fire that quad to help strengthen pre-surgery will help. Don't get discouraged after surgery if it's difficult to flex, as there WILL be atrophy. Just take the time to focus on it (ie, don't try and play games on your phone at the same time, etc... Focus!) and do the required PT religiously! Good luck!!

  3. I couldn't tell from the video, but it sounds like I have a similar issue. My patella doesn't track well when I bend my knee and pops. It doesn't matter for you now, probably, but I thought I'd mention for others coming to your blog that McConnell taping has really helped.

  4. Hi there. I am wondering if you can help me! I am a competitive football player out post ACL surgery (now 12 weeks post op)...I have been struggling with similar catching .. your video is very similar to how my knee is behaving! I have not been dealing with it very well as the catching has been ultra bad causing synovitis. Yet to start rehab! If I walk a few steps the catching feeling gets worse.. like a build up of fluid or something. I was wondering how long this took to resolve for you? And if you have any tips on anything you did to help improve it.... Im desperate to get back to top level sports!

    1. Hi M,J&J... I am not familiar with synovitis, and unfortunately this was some time ago, so aside from anything I mentioned in the blog, I can't recall exactly how long this went on. [I see here I said it went on beyond this 3.5 month mark...]

      I would recommend elevating and even icing still when you're resting, and massaging the area to help break up any scar tissue and help the knee cap track properly. Also, you could talk to your doc or physical therapist about having the fluid drained from your knee if it's a significant amount [I had a friend who had that done after the same surgery].

      Good Luck!

  5. Hi there I was wondering if you found out why the locking happened? .. What helped fix it?... I am in the same boat 3 months post op and haven't been able to start rehab because of it