PREPARING FOR SURGERY WITH MAGNAWAVE
HOW I USED MAGNAWAVE PRIOR TO SURGERY
Just 2 days after tearing my ACL and MCL I’m back on my feet mowing the lawn, doing yard work, and walking a couple of miles with my dog. It’s not exactly easy, but I remember a lot more pain and swelling after tearing my other ACL 4 years ago. The first time this happened to my right knee, it was only my ACL that was torn. This time, despite tearing multiple crucial ligaments and perhaps more, I feel a lot stronger and stable.
The only difference between last time and this time is that I started MagnaWaving myself within the first 14 hours after injury. Since then, I’ve spent 20-40 minutes MagnaWaving different areas around my knee every day.
I keep telling everyone how strange it feels because I almost feel as good as new already. In fact, it was feeling so good I was even starting to hope that maybe I was wrong and my injury was only a severe sprain.
Unfortunately, when my doctor reached out after my MRI Monday there was clearly no false hope in his tone. According to him, my ACL and MCL were definitely torn and there might be more damage to meniscus or other ligaments but we won’t know that until meeting with the surgeon next Tuesday.
Here’s the good, also slightly unusual but encouraging, news. Typically after tearing an ACL there is a lot of swelling and inflammation in the joint. It can take weeks of ice and ibuprofen to combat this in order for doctors to accurately assess the underlying injury. The MRI helps with this assessment certainly, but in addition to the inflammation, patients also struggle to keep the muscles in their injured leg active so they do not atrophy prior to surgery. If you look down at your knee and flex your quadriceps muscle, you’ll likely notice the top inner muscle bulges. This muscle can atrophy when an ACL tears, making it difficult for doctors to attach or reattach the ACL.
Following my first ACL tear I remember waiting nearly 2 weeks before beginning any type of physical rehab. This might sound ok to most people, but I’ve been an athlete all my life and consider myself to be slightly more intense than your average weekend warrior. As a former college athlete, who continued playing semi-professional indoor soccer and running 10+ marathons during the last few years I absolutely hate the thought of going more than 36 hours without running or playing sports. This time has been very different however. I tore my knee at about 9:30 pm Thursday, began my first MagnaWaving session at 11 am Friday, and was back in the gym doing quad-strengthening exercises by 7pm Friday evening. Best of all, there was very little pain while doing these exercises. It wasn’t like I was forcing myself through my routine. I use the MagnaWave machine before and after the workout and it seemed to help control, minimize, even eliminate any swelling in the joint.
While this type of recovery is important for athletes, I think the point of being able to recover faster goes beyond fitness. Now that I’m in my mid-30s I don’t want to miss workouts, but more importantly I don’t have time for injuries and pain to affect my work, or even quality of life. After last Thursday, I was very fearful this would be another long drawn out process like before. Four years ago, it took about 4 weeks for me to recover from the initial injury, reduce the swelling, and strengthen my knee enough that I was a good candidate for surgery. By Magnawaving everyday this time I was hoping to speed this process up and thankfully, it seems to be working.
Just 1 week after tearing my ACL, the doctor said I was already able to schedule a surgery date. I have one more meeting with the surgeon Tuesday, but after looking at my MRI (which was done 4 days after injury) he believes my knee is ready for a potential surgery on Wednesday. This will be within LESS THAN 2 weeks after the injury occurred.
When it happened last week, the injury felt exactly like it did before. This is why I was so confident that very night that at least my ACL was torn. If you have not torn an ACL before, let me tell you it can be very painful initially. Since suffering my first ACL tear I took an active interest in speaking with a lot of others who reported different levels of pain at different times. Not everyone experiences a lot of pain and some people even go on about their life without getting their ACLs repaired. For me, this is not an option because I want to continue playing sports, running with my dog, and enjoying a very active lifestyle with my friends and family in general. But I know for a fact that despite tearing my knee worst this time than last time, I feel better overall at this point in comparison to 4 years ago. There is less swelling and inflammation in my knee. I feel much more stable and confident than I did 4 years ago and have been able to start rehab and strength-training sooner. Most importantly, I’m walking around without pain or a noticeable limp. This makes it easier to enjoy my normal life activities than what I remember from before.
The only thing that I have done differently is MagnaWaving. In fact, I really have not used ice or ibuprofen very much either this time around. I am not looking forward to surgery, even though I am excited it sounds like this will occur sooner than I could have hoped for initially. Last time, the first 24 hours after surgery were some of the most painful of my life, and the next 3 days were not much better. But I am encouraged by my progress and believe it is due in large part to the assistance my body is receiving from MagnaWave.