The End In Sight - 13th Feb. 2013
Positive News But Plenty Of Hard Work Still To Come
After going under the knife for the 3rd time, I was relieved to find out that no further complications were possible as a repercussion of any of the operations, so now it was down to me. Unlike the Lesion I had removed, nothing of this sort was possible, even though there was only a 4%-5% chance of the Lesion occurring, I always believe that if there is 1% chance, you still should consider it an option, both good or bad although before my ACL reconstruction, I wasn't at all aware of a Cyclops Lesion, I hadn't even heard of it and didn't know it was possible but obviously it became more of a possibility the longer I went on without being able to straighten my leg properly.
After being told this was a possibility, I began to read up on exactly what a Cyclops Lesion was, how it formed and how you go about removing it, I knew it would require an operation but that didn't bother me, I'd got into a kind of routine now, after never having one in my life, I was booked in for my 3rd in just over 14 months. I was still bandaged up for around a week to 10 days after the 3rd operation but this was never much of a problem, it was actually quite comfortable, considering the restrictions it placed on my movement, although when trying to sleep it was difficult as I had no choice but to sleep with my leg flat out, which may sound strange and not much of a problem but it begins to become uncomfortable after a while!
The 3rd Post-Op Bandage, Rather Large!
All I wanted to do was get myself back in the gym and start working towards my targets, I wanted to be ultimately playing football again but I knew I had a lot of work to do before I got anywhere near that. If you are a regular player of any sport that requires pivoting and running, you probably won't appreciate the amount of effort and strength it actually takes to do all this, I know I didn't, until I had that ability taken away from me. You think it comes naturally, it's such a simple movement, doesn't strain you, doesn't feel as if it is taking a toll on your body, but your ACL is the vital player in any type of movement as such. My thigh, as mentioned in previous posts, had also basically disappeared, so I needed to regain some form of strength there before I could even consider any form of mobility in terms of competitive sport.
All the fuss about wanting to play football was worth it, If I didn't have a drive and determination to do that, I'm not sure how motivated I would have been to get myself fit and active again. I've always been a keen "athlete" as such but having a target to aim for is something I try to set in any part of my life, I believe if you have something to aim for you can plan and prepare properly, rather than aimlessly working but not knowing what you will achieve at the end. Even my surgeon and various physio's commented on how they could clearly see I was driven and determined to get what I wanted at the end of it, often commenting on how they could see my frustration with the length of time the recovery was taking! I was also able to scan a copy of my new ligament and the lesion which was removed (see below).
My Newly Constructed ACL
The Lesion Scar Tissue Which Was Removed
I did however begin to run outdoors, I was stepping up the speed on the treadmill and I was cycling for a lot longer than I had been able to, progress was clearly being made and it felt amazing, finally after 15 months or so, I could see some light at the end of the tunnel, I could actually imagine myself playing football within the next 4-5 months! This may sound simple but prior to this point, playing football was seeming an unlikely feat, it felt a long way away and there was even a 20% chance that I wouldn't be able to play competitive football again, but throughout my life I've always succeeded in what I've wanted to do, so I wasn't about to let that change!