Whenever people hear “ACL surgery” they assume the worst. I know for a long time, an ACL surgery was the end of an athletes career. I have gotten so many emails from people telling me it ended their football, soccer, track and basketball careers. Tomorrow will be 8 weeks since surgery and I am amazed at how much more I am able to do. Rehab has come a long way.
I think the last time I posted an update on my knee, I was just starting to get calf raises and they had started stretching my knee more. The last time they measured the range of motion in my knee, I was around 140 degrees and I have improved a little bit since then. I still don’t get my leg completely straight to 0 degrees… but I am pretty close. I was at 5 for a while and now I am at maybe 2. They had me on a certain setting on that spring loaded brace and I wasn’t using it as much as I should have been because I was on the go a lot more. I have been focusing on getting the time in though and have bumped the setting on it to give more tension and its made a big difference.
Stability is still a little bit tough… my balance just isn’t where I would like it to be. They have me standing on my bad leg and doing different exercises while maintaining my balance. I do alright at it, but not as well as I would like. I have been working on it at home and I do fine before my leg is tired, but they have me do it while my leg is fatigued at rehab and there is definite room for improvement.
Strength though has been great. Right now I do 3 laps of lunges with a medicine ball, 4 sets of 10 front squats with a 30 pound bar, vertical leap to a box that’s 24 inches high while holding a medicine ball, jumping rope for 4 sets of 1:30, leg press machine (4 sets of 10 with 320 pounds using both legs, then 4 sets of 15 with 140 pounds on my bad leg), a slide board (that resembles roller blading by pushing off with one side and then the other) and then walking sideways with a elastic band around my feet to add resistance.
I feel like I am crushing the strength stuff, even when we add something new. The balance stuff as I said is still a little slow, but they will come.
I have been going to my school a lot and even did VERY light training on Monday night. I put on the gi and did very slow guard stuff… armlocks, sweeps, etc with people I trust to go slow and not do anything stupid. My knee felt good the entire time but I definitely felt anxious about even the smallest movement. At the end of class I was walking across the mat and Joe Pomfret was telling me to slow down and take it easy and I did one of those vertical leaps onto the desk (about 30″ high). And he just goes “oh…”. It was pretty funny. He didn’t realize I am like Superman… it just so happens MMA fighters and knee injuries are my kryptonite.