Hello! I’m 8 weeks post op, ACL-R with a patellar graft

Hello! I’m 8 weeks post op, ACL-R with a patellar graft. I was doing ok until about 4 weeks post op when my knee became more painful and stiff as the days went on despite PT. I could barely get 80 degrees at my 6 week post op appointment and my surgeon was not happy. She did a manual manipulation under anesthesia this past Monday. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I was able to reach 120 degrees on my CPM machine and 123 degrees in PT and was feeling great. Today I’m feeling defeated and scared. Pain is setting in and I’m lucky if I can get 90 degrees on my heel slides. I have my machine going and set to 120 and it’s HORRIBLE pain. Especially in my thigh and I’m so scared I’ll regress. I’m assuming my block has worn off from the manipulation but has anyone else experienced something similar?

Healing is not a linear process, it progresses and may seem to let up. Your physio & surgeon can better explain this. You’re only 8 weeks which is real early for a reconstruction, keep working with them

No two recoveries are the same, so I don’t want to project my situation onto you. But I will say that you should remain in constant communication with your PT and surgeon about how your inflammation and ROM are progressing. Do not suffer in silence b/c what you are describing isn’t the average experience. I’ve had two ACLRs–one with out of control inflammation and pain and the other was totally normal amount of swelling and zero pain.
It sounds like your scar tissue is fast growing. Do you have a lot of inflammation too? A lot of heat radiating from your knee? I had out of control inflammation after my ACL-R with patella graft. Had a lot of trouble getting full extension or progressing with flexion. My surgeon never offered scar tissue removal or manipulation but at 12 weeks, he gave me a cortisone injection to calm the inflammation and soften the scar tissue. The injection helped tremendously–I finally made progress with extension, flexion, etc, but I still had a lot of residual scar tissue, which he ultimately removed at 11 months PO. I wish you the best as you work through this.

BTW, I see you are from Bucks County, PA! I grew up in Langhorne, taught at Council Rock, before moving to New England!

So continue to do your exercises. Make sure you are icing and elevating. And be in touch with your surgeon and PT, especially if you are regressing despite doing your home exercises and icing.