I saw the doctor yesterday and my appointment went very well. I am 7 weeks and 3 days out of my revision ACL reconstruction and meniscus surgery and I am feeling better, but I need to be extremely careful right now because even though my new ACL graft is weak and vulnerable right now. He said that for nearly two months out, I am doing very well considering this was a revision surgery.
My doctor told me that my range of motion is great (I am only missing about 10 degrees on both my flexion and extension) and that the swelling is looking good as well. I can almost see the entire outline of my patella right now, but there is still some swelling around the entire knee. I am still walking with a limp and I can’t straighten my leg all the way when I put weight on it, but he said that will come with more time.
One thing I wanted to address at this doctor’s appointment was whether or not I will be able to run once my rehabilitation is complete. I know that if I can run, I am still many months away from it, but this is an issue that is very important to me. Lately, I’ve been hearing conflicting stories. The day of surgery, my doctor told me that I would be able to run and in physical therapy I am hearing that I need to find a new hobby (which, I might add was devastating to hear). Basically, my doctor told me that there is not enough sufficient evidence to make an educated decision as to whether running will be helpful or harmful for my body in the long run. There have not been enough studies done on the effects of running for 20 plus years, let alone studies that have included participants with knee histories like mine. Running could accelerate the formation of arthritis in my joints, but it may not. I do know that our bodies adapt to what we put them through and that our bodies adapt to years of running. I was watching a show on the Discovery Channel years back, I think it was called the Amazing Human Body, and it discussed muscle and bones. The show explained that how runners have stronger bones than non runners because our bodies adapt to the pounding.
So, in a nutshell, my doctor is encouraging me to run. Not only is he a glass half full kind of guy, he is also a live for the moment kind of guy. He explained to me that if I want to run once I am better that I should and that I should not let fear or a lack of scientific knowledge prevent me from doing something I love. He also said that in the years to come the medical world will learn a lot about the effects of running for 20 or so years because the running/jogging crazy really did not pick up until the 1970s. We can only make speculations about what my knees will be like 20 or 30 years down the road, but we do not know for sure. If running eventually hurts my knees, by that time in my life running may not be as important for me. At this point in my life however, running is very important.