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Athletic Training

ACL reconstruction knee swollen after 3 years

05/07/2009

Question:

My ACL was torn when I fell during a basket ball game. It was a recreational game. I had an ACL reconstruction in 2006 on my left knee. Hamstring was used as the material. I went through all the exercise and a year after the surgery my knee was still swollen and could not get the full range so I had a follow up surgery to clean the scar tissue in 2007. I started all the exercise all over again. I could bend my knee fully. I still did exercise on cross trainer at least once a week. And 2 days ago (about 3 years after first surgery) I played basket ball for about 20mins. the knee felt strong and no problem at all. But an hour after the game my knee started swelling and it was painful to walk on. It is still swollen after 4 days. I can`t bend my knee anymore. I compressed it with ice and I take voltaren (25mg). Is the knee swollen because it was the first time I tried to play basket ball again after years of stopping and is this normal? what should I do? should i go and see physiotherapist? thank you very much for your advice

Answer:

It is not abnormal for a knee to swell after exercise given the length of time that you have had limited exercise in the past 3 years. Typically, you would not expect the knee to stay swollen for 4 days after an activity. I would suggest a visit to your physical therapist or physician to re-evaluate your knee as to your current symptoms. Hopefully, your symptoms improve and you are back in the game sooner rather than later. Good luck!

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Response by:

Janine   Oman, MS, PT/ATC Janine Oman, MS, PT/ATC
Assistant Athletic Director
Instructor at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University