Knee Recovery Goes Well So Far

Sports Girl's Knee 5 Days Post-Op

Sports Girl's left knee was still fairly swollen just 5 days post-op. It's still a little swollen even now, but not as much as this. Notice, too, how she wrote on her good knee with permanent market to ensure the doctor didn't make any mistakes.

Now at nearly 3 weeks post-op, Sports Girl is recovering quite nicely from her knee surgery. She has almost no pain, even when she’s worked hard twice a week by her physical therapist.

Her doctor told us that females tend to recover from these types of surgeries quicker than males and that young people tend to recover quicker than older people. So with two positive attributes on her side, Sports Girl seems to be bouncing back especially fast.

She still struggles a bit with mobility. She can just bend her left knee to almost a 70-degree angle; she says she feels a pulling sensation when she tries to go more than that. And she still wears the long brace to keep her leg straight almost all of the time. On the plus side, she actually can completely straighten her leg, which folks who’ve had this type of surgery often struggle to do.

Sports Girl is also able to support her weight on her left knee. She actually ditches her crutches quite regularly around the house and sometimes even forgets where she left them!

We had a fairly casual follow-up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon’s physicians assistant 10 days after the surgery. I think “casual” and “uneventful” are good qualities when it comes to describing doctor’s appointments. We go back to see the actual surgeon in 2 more weeks.

The original estimate for complete recovery was 3 to 6 months, so at only 3 weeks, it’s really too soon to tell much. I won’t prematurely declare that Sports Girl will be running hurdles in track this spring or that she’ll be playing striker for spring soccer, but we are feeling cautiously optimistic.

And even though this surgery has left Sports Girl sidelined from sports for most of her eighth grade year, we are at peace with our decision to have it done. Our hope is that she will recover better than she was before, that she will have a fun and successful scholastic athletic career and that she will lead a long and active life.

6 thoughts on “Knee Recovery Goes Well So Far

  1. My 15 yr old son was recommended on tuesday to have the same surgery. He dislocated his right knee 12/1 in basketball practice. After some PT, ice and rest he got the o.k. to return to practice 6wks later. In his first game back 1/23 he gets a pass under the basketball and out goes the knee. After getting 2nd opinion surgery is recommended. After reading about your daughter i feel more comfortable going foward with surgery. How is sports Girl doing now? When did she return to school? thanks cocnernedmom

    • I am glad my posts and our experiences can serve as a resource for you! Sports Girl is recovering very well. She is now 6 weeks post op, and she no longer wears the full leg brace. A stranger couldn’t even tell she had had surgery!

      She has entered the stage of aggressive physical therapy and is working hard to regain her strength and control in her quads. It’s amazing how quickly the muscle atrophies when it’s not being used. She can bend her knee to 95 degrees of so, but she does feel a bit of a stretch.

      We go back to the doctor on March 1, and I should know more then. But we are hopeful that perhaps she can run track this spring just to help get her past the mental reaction she has to protect her left knee.

      Sports Girl had her surgery on Thursday, Dec. 17. She did not return to school until Jan. 4 as her school was on holiday break after Dec. 18. But she probably could have returned sometime the next week — perhaps as early as Monday. She just needed to keep her leg elevated and apply ice somewhat regularly to help keep the swelling down. She also had some issues with nausea from the pain meds.

      You might try to schedule the surgery earlier in the week, and perhaps your son would be ready to go back by the next Monday. I will post an update on my blog regarding Sports Girl’s progress sometime soon. Feel free to check back!

  2. Thank you for posting this journey. I am having this surgery in 5 weeks I have looked all over the net for what to expect and there is nothing. I feel like I am going into the surgery better informed about the recovery.

  3. I was so greatful to come across Sports Girls journey of her mpfl surgery. Our daughter had a dislocation during a soccer camp two years ago at the age of 13. At that time she had a lateral release and has been great for the last two years. 6 weeks ago she was at third base during a softball game and out of the blue her knee dislocated. She did pt and we had her back on the field three weeks late. At that time there was no pain so we thought she was good to go. Three weeks later out it went again. It seems to be happening while throwing the ball. We saw the surgeon that did her LR and he did not want to do any type of stablizing surgery. Frustrated because she was very fearful of it going out again, we went to another surgeon. He was more optomistic but said that it is very controversial to do this surgery. We have been very conflicted as to what to do. I have had a difficult time finding much positive info about this and when I came across your story, I did feel alot better about that choice. Right now she is doing pt and wearing a brace with tape but is really scared of it happening again. She was playing varsity soccer last fall and varsity softball this spring until this occured. When she was 11 she tore her acl on her other knee on a trampoline so she is too aware of the recovery of these types of surgeries but is upset of her limitations now. It has all been very frustrating. It was great to hear about Sports Girl. We would love to hear her progress. Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks again:)

  4. My daughter is 18 and was sidelined the remainer of her senior year in softball due to a repeat knee dislocatement. She has a scholarship to play softball in college and she is getting ready to have this surgery in 2 weeks. I am so thankful for your post, it really makes me, as a mother, feel better. I hope your daughter was able to run track this Spring and was very successful.

  5. Thank you so much for the detailed information about your daughter’s surgery. I am scheduled to have MPFL surgery next week, after dealing with dislocations my whole life. I’m hoping that my recovery is as smooth as Sports Girl’s, but I’m nearly 37 and they’re using my own tissue, so both of those things might make it a little rougher. But, I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Thanks for sharing. It made me feel less anxious!

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