ACL LCL Knee Recovery (Don’s Story)
An Interview with Don Chester
Click on the play button above to listen to the interview.
Dump Truck Meets Overpass – The Start of the Problem
Don was in a huge accident. He rolled a dump truck and broke many parts of his body in the process. He was thrown from the cab of the vehicle. He was in a wheelchair for months. The X10 Knee Recovery System™ was able to help Don’s knee and, surprisingly, his hip as well. In addition to all of his injuries Don was facing a very challenging ACL LCL Knee Recovery.
In addition to broken vertebrae and ribs, Don suffered from a number of lower extremity injuries as detailed below.
Left Knee ACL Replacement
ACL reconstruction surgery uses a graft to replace the ligament. The most common grafts are autografts using part of your own body, such as the tendon of the kneecap (patellar tendon) or one of the hamstring tendons.
Left Knee LCL Repair
The LCL is torn when the knee bends inwards excessively, and the LCL is stretched too far. LCL tears are graded similarly to other ligament tears on a scale of I to III: Grade I LCL tear: This is an incomplete tear of the LCL
Leg Muscle Atrophy
Muscle atrophy is when muscles waste away. It’s usually caused by a lack of physical activity. When a disease or injury makes it difficult or impossible for you to move an arm or leg, the lack of mobility can result in muscle wasting.
Broken Hip & Impingement
Normally, the ball glides smoothly within the socket, but a problem with the ball or socket rim can interfere with smooth motion. Trauma from repetitive hip flexion damages the cartilage of the socket, leading to hip impingement.
Hip/Leg External Rotation
Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint attached to the uppermost part of your leg. The hip joint allows the leg to rotate inward or outward. Hip external rotation is when the leg rotates outward, away from the rest of your body.
In Don’s Own Words – Solving his Knee Flexion, Extension and Strength
When David first came out and set the unit up and gave us the original tutorial, I was looking at between 71º and 76º upon initial setup. When David left, he was probably at my home somewhere around an hour and a half, I was at 80º. That was with about 10 pounds of pressure. Amazing to say my pain level was recorded as about a four when I started. And then when he left, my pain level was at zero. This is what I knew that this device was going to be so helpful for me because it basically unlocked the knee. After about an hour, I had already begun to see of my knee kind of transform and have some representation of, you know, where I was before my accident.
After getting on the X10 unit every day, the flexion got better and better. On my second day, I went to 91º with a little more pressure until I got to 104º in four or five usages. It was just amazing. And my family, you know, couldn’t believe it. My wife would come over and over say, “Hey, that’s impossible. How are you able to do that?”
The technology is really very unique. The process that’s used to get flexion out of your knee is such a smooth and slow process. You can actually set the dwell time on a unit and say, “Hey, look, once you get my knee, as far as I can go at this point, hold it there for a custom amount of seconds.” There are so many variables that you control.
My ACL LCL Knee Recovery
It just really kept me so deeply entrenched in it. Currently I’m at 118º. I’ve changed my dwell times several times. I’m now up to about 10 seconds. It’s been such a blessing for me to come across the unit. It’s done so much to change my life, not only with my knee of course. The knee is what we got it for, but it helped with so many other recovery challenges that I was facing.
Left Knee ACL Replacement/LCL Repair
Don moved from 71º flexion to 120º in just over four weeks. His knee stiffness was worked gently and firmly with sessions multiples times each day on the X10. The X10 avoids over stressing the ligaments yet allows the patients to use it productively 1.5 to 2 hours each day. X10 sessions are typically broken down into three sessions each day. The data is wirelessly shared with a coach. Don’s coach was Tricia Lahman from The Villages, Florida.
Leg Muscle Atrophy
As you will hear in the interview (click play above), Don’s son remarked on how there was definition in his quadriceps muscles after many months of inactivity. Don used concentric, eccentric, the pump test, and calf test on the X10 to rebuild his leg muscles. While he has gym equipment in his home he was not able to use it as his legs were so weak. On the X10 he was able to use small increments of weight – as little as one lb. to gradually build up his strength again.
Don’s hip surgeon, Dr. Lindsay Hickerson, was especially surprised to see that his hip was moving so smoothly after it had exhibited such friction and trouble moving freely. The motion on the X10 apparently had a positive effect on the recovery of his hip. This is an unexpected result and will be worthy of further exploration.
Hip / Leg External Rotation
An additional and unexpected benefit of Don’s consistent time on the X10 is that his legs that had been pointing outward, externally, began to line up normally again. In the interview, he speaks of the months of time in bed that caused his thigh and knee to rotate outward, away from his body. The external rotator muscles can become weak due to injury, surgery, or prolonged periods of inactivity. Weakness in these muscles increases the risk of injury. Don and his medical team were pleasantly surprised to see that this problem had significantly improved.
Don Suffered Many Injuries
The damage done by this violent accident was profound. Don was told to give up on his hopes to recover normal movement, to accept his extremely limited mobility. At 46 years old he was not willing to go along with these recommendations. And he was certain there was a better way to recover than bite down on a towel in PT to suppress his screams.
He was prompted to find a better solution, and that solution turned out to be not the CPM, not the Flexionator. Rather it was the X10 Knee Recovery System™.
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The X10 Meta-Blog
We call it a “Meta-Blog” because we step back and give you a broad perspective on all aspects of knee health, surgery, and recovery like this article: ACL LCL Knee Recovery with X10 Therapy.
In this one-of-a-kind blog, we gather together great thinkers, doers, writers related to Knee Surgery, Recovery, Preparation, Care, Success, and Failure. Meet physical therapists, coaches, surgeons, patients, and as many smart people as we can gather to create useful articles for you. Whether you have a surgery upcoming, in the rear-view mirror, or just want to take care of your knees to avoid surgery, you should find some value here. Executive Editor: PJ Ewing (firstname.lastname@example.org)