This post was written several weeks back, but I’ve just been so busy back at work to finish it enough to publish!:
Rehab post ACL & meniscus surgery has been going surprisingly well! However, around week 4 or 5 after my surgery, there was a tiny circular opening in my scar that kept scabbing over but not sealing up for good. It is at the top of the scar in the first picture below. This was right in the region where I felt a pinch with some exercises, such as Short Arc Quads (SAQ), step-downs & Long Arc Quads (LAQ). I wasn’t terribly concerned since I had no fever, there wasn’t any redness or new/excessive swelling or warmth. These would all have been concerning for an infection.
Just to keep the doctor and PA aware of my observation, I sent them a message including a picture of the region. They suspected it was a stitch abscess, where my body was not dissolving, but rejecting the stitch, and so not allowing complete healing in the area. When it became clear that it was not going to heal on its own, they had me go back down to CU Sports Medicine in Boulder to remove it under local anesthesia at around week 7 post-op. It sure was in there good, as my body had formed a granuloma around it. It was the body’s way of protecting itself, by forming around foreign substances “that it is otherwise unable to eliminate.” They administered antibiotics as well, to ward off any chance of infection.
There were now 4 external stitches for 8 days, but the pain/pinch was markedly decreased almost immediately with my SAQ & LAQ exercises! This also made it easier for me to descend stairs and get full knee extension more easily! I was a very happy camper. It was also so gratifying to see that stitch removed.
The PA informed me there was no real change in protocol, since the stitch was just intended to close the deeper layers of skin, not provide any structural support to the new ACL. I only had to ensure that the new addition to the scar had adequate time to completely close back up.
Dr. Jodi Roman, PT, DPT