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Patellar Pain after ACL Reconstruction

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I had ACL Reconstruction 1 October 2014 with a patellar tendon graft. While they were in there they did a meniscus repair.

 

I still have a 3-6 out of 10 on the pain scale when climbing stairs, doing my first 10-15 air squats during a warmup, and every time I get up from a chair or couch. Working out is the only thing that takes the pain away. Otherwise I feel it all day as I move around.

 

As more background, my physical therapist said I recovered faster than anybody he has ever seen. So my performance isn't the issue. Just the constant pain.

 

The more I workout, the less pain there is. So I have almost been working out 6-7 days per week since I was cleared to begin PT.

 

Started with road bike, then gradual squats and the PEP program. Then to running and now I run and do Crossfit 6-7 days a week, with mountain biking sprinkled in. I am also a active duty Marine and do all the physical things they entail too.

 

My question is, generally... is the patellar pain going to stay forever?? I am sick of it. By patellar pain, I mean that the very front of my knee where the large scar is.

 

My original surgeon gave some general advice that 18 months is the 100% recovery mark, but I just wanted some insight. I am at 14 months right now. Thanks for any advice you can give.

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Patella pain after ACL reconstruction is related to lack of full extension exactly equal to the opposite knee. When someone gets that the problem goes away

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Something to look at is the development of scar tissue which is inelastic (and can be a partial source of your pain).  You can do some cross friction massage across the scar to help break down the scar tissue and reduce the tension within the muscles (and the attachments).  Please let me know if this helps reduce your pain.

-Coach Robb

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Coach Robb, just saw your post and will start massaging the area. After some testing of my quad flexibility, I found some definite differences in my two legs. I found the couch stretch really gets in there and have become much more disciplined with foam rolling my quads. This has yielded small results. I understand this will take time and consistency from me.

 

Thanks for all the advice Dr Mark and Coach Robb.

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Something to look at is the development of scar tissue which is inelastic (and can be a partial source of your pain).  You can do some cross friction massage across the scar to help break down the scar tissue and reduce the tension within the muscles (and the attachments).  Please let me know if this helps reduce your pain.

-Coach Robb

is there a particular tool for this? or just use my thumbs and fingers to massage it?

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Thanks Dr. Mark.

 

I also notice my quad on my surgery knee is tighter when I stretch. I'll keep at it. Thanks again.

 

incorporate a foam roller into your stretching routine.  It's help me a ton.

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