On Sunday, May 20th, 2017, I tore my ACL and MCL completely when I fell and my left ski didn't pop off as it should have. I didn't hear 'the pop', but I did feel the bottom of my leg go outward twice. It hurt so bad when that happened. It didn't hurt after. I was told that since the ACL and MCL were completely torn, there was nothing to hurt.
I had ACL replacement surgery on July 20th. My MCL, a glorious thing, healed itself! At the time of writing this, I'm four months post-ACL surgery. I'm still working on getting this knee back to normal every day.
If you're reading this because you also tore your ACL, I hope this helps. Post in the comments and I'll be glad to pray for your recovery.
This is a list of products (and links to each) that I appreciated so much through my ACL recovery:
I didn't get up and walk or get up and ski down. Ski patrol took me down the mountain. They recommended that we get to a hospital. We realized that the hospital was just going to refer me to an orthopedic surgeon, so we made an appointment for Tuesday. The doc we saw agreed that that's what would have happened.
We stopped on the way home and got some crutches. I couldn't stand on my left leg at all. After a few weeks, I got back to walking again. I used the crutches again after surgery.
We met with the doc. I was still scared to stand on my leg for fear that it would just go sideways. Why wouldn't it? Two vital pieces to keep it from doing so were decimated (ACL and MCL). I asked about a knee brace. This was the one they, ahem, gave me. Later I got a bill for $800. The exact brace on Amazon for only $99. Grr.
(This link is to a short brace.)
This crutch bag is so handy! I kept my phone, my pain pills, lip balm, my wallet, and some handy wipes in it.
Ok, I already had a Fitbit. I was going to take it off, knowing I wouldn't be walking well or much for quite some time. Then, I realized, I can see texts and calls on it. This was great when I wasn't near my phone.
(This link is for a Fitbit with a small band.)
A Water Bottle with a Lid
Carrying things when on crutches is... challenging. We have a water bottle that has a loop on the lid for carrying. It's just less frustrating than trying to carry a glass of water.
DonJoy Iceman Clear3 Cold Therapy Unit
A friend had torn his ACL a few months prior to me. He loaned us his ice circulation machine. It's quite a wonderful invention! There is a piece that wraps around your injured or recovering body part and the machine circulates ice water over it. I could rave about this for a long time.
My husband figured out that if we put ice and water in the Iceman, then put the IceMan in a cooler, surrounded by ice packs, we could go about two days without having to refill the ice. Brilliant! Obviously, along with this came several trips to get bags of ice.
Shower Chair and Shower Mat
Post-surgery, my parents brought me a shower chair. The feeling of safety was such a relief. Of course, I couldn't get my knee wet for a while after. The chair helped with that also. I used it for a few weeks. Also, my husband swapped the showerheads in the house, so we'd have the one with the hose. This chair has a couple of notches to hold the showerhead!
Post-injury and post-surgery, having a shower mat also provided safety and peace of mind. The thought of slipping at that point still makes me cringe. I got the biggest shower mat I could find, LOL.
I was thankful to be healing during the summer. I didn't have to worry about slipping on ice or snow or getting pants over a swollen knee. Pants are a bit challenging when you can't bend a knee anyway. I got two of these skirts (black and pink). They are simple to put on and comfortable. There were only two windy moments of fear.
I had this cart prior to all of this. We repurposed it so I could keep a drink nearby, meds, rehab things, etc.
My physical therapist had me using this (well after surgery). We borrowed one from a friend. It's been helpful for me to use (PT-approved, of course).
After tearing my ACL and getting a new one (I chose a cadaver ACL, if you're wondering), these were the things we had, purchased, or borrowed that really helped. That's not all, though.
- I'm thankful for my husband, who has been patient and so helpful.
- My parents loaned me an automatic vehicle. Transportation is a great freedom. There's no way I was hitting the clutch in my stick-shift.
- The doc signed off on a temporary (90-day) handicap tag.
- Our brother-in-law loaned us (and delivered!) a recumbent bike.
- Cute toenails! I've kept my toenails painted pretty through all of this. I've painted them myself most times, yet did get two pedicures.
- Ibuprofen and Tylenol. I just had them all in one bottle to keep it easy. Just after surgery, I'd keep the alarm set on my phone. I didn't want to miss a dose and suffer.
if you went through something similar, what was helpful to you?