Yasmin’s Recovery Diary 5 – The ACL operation

Yasmin Highlands ACL

Yasmin’s ACL tore in March this year, and she’s staying strong. She’s had her first operation (read more here) and is facing an ACL reconstruction…

Although I said I was going to be positive I did find it difficult at times during the first week. After my operation as I really couldn’t do much but raise my leg and ice it. I had a few exercises to do every day that the hospital gave me but it just didn’t feel enough. I know I need to be more patient, I’m learning!

At the beginning of the second week I decided I would use the gym bike. We have had it for a while but I’d much rather be cycling outdoors or running and hiking. This is the perfect time to use it! As there is no impact on my knee I can’t hurt myself…I hope.

I have used the bike and completed a series of strengthening exercises every morning. It’s a great way to start my day in an active way and put myself in a good mood – it works! There is always a way of doing that thing that makes you tick it just may be in different, less intense forms sometimes. My knee feels really strong at the moment. I can walk and dance about, I just have to be careful.

Yesterday I was amazed. I had gradually been taking my dogs for longer more inclining walks over the two weeks. So I decided to follow a sheep track all the way to the tops of the hills. There I could once again see my favourite view, which I hadn’t seen in a long time. The decent was the difficult bit but I just walked very gingerly down the same track. It was such good news to know that I can enjoy some more hill walks before the next operation.

Yasmin Highlands ACL Dog


A couple of days ago I got my stitches out at the surgery – all is well. I am hoping if I continue to keep my muscles and knee strong then the recovery from my next ACL operation will be much easier.

I got a letter through the post the other day to tell me I need to go into the hospital for my ACL reconstruction to take place. My patience is really going to be put to the test as I will be hobbling around on crutches.

Woohoo it’s over! What a build up to the operation. My ACL is finally reconstructed so now it’s onwards and upwards at a slow pace but I’ll get there!

Waking up was so weird this time I was totally out of it for a long time. My worried mother came dashing over and I had my usual delicacy of tea and toast. I didn’t refuse to stay the night in the end as I was seeing double! The next morning a physio showed me how to use my crutches on stairs and some exercises to do every day and my mum arrived to take me home. The first couple of days I was so tired and weepy  – the aftermath of all that morphine – I just sat with my leg up and iced and was stocked up on painkillers.  Each day though it has progressively gotten better and I have more movement and less swelling.

It has been a week today since the op. Finally I can straighten my leg almost fully and bend it more too.  It has been really important to be disciplined this week and do my exercises 3 times a day and also to ice my knee constantly to get the swelling down.

I have my first physio appointment in a week so I will post then to list some great exercises for the early stages of recovery, and let you know how I get on and what changes have happened after 2 weeks. Fingers crossed!

Follow Yasmin’s blogs at Tortoise Tactics for more on Yasmin’s recovery.