The waiting game: 14 weeks and counting for a wound to heal

After getting surgery on ACL, Amanda Tomlinson shares her journey to recovery and all the setbacks she's had to go through in order to fully recover.

Last December I had knee surgery to reconstruct a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in my right knee. ACL is one of the major bands of tissue that runs diagonally across the middle of the knee and helps hold the knee together. ACL injuries and surgeries are prevalent among footballers and skiers, and it puts them out of action for an entire season.

My surgery went well, yet one month later, the two main incisions were showing little sign of closing. By this time, they should have been well on their way to healing. Unfortunately I’d developed an allergy to the adhesive dressings. In addition to the open wound, I had a rash and it was painful. The doctor suggested I try a dressing that was not waterproof, hoping that it would solve the problem. It was worse. The adhesives burnt my skin, and after a few days I had not only a rash, but welts, too.

We switched to gauze pads held in place by a bandage, but because the wound was oozing, the pads stuck and each morning I had to soften it with warm water and peel it off, which opened any crust that had formed.

Eventually things started looking up. The burns healed, the rash was gone and the wounds started to close.

And then my progress stalled again. A few frustrating weeks went by. I loaded up on protein and ate all the colourful vegetables I could. It was starting to get worse. It was time to go and see the doctor again.

This time I went to my GP, who took one look at it and said it was infected. He took some swabs, prescribed some antibiotics and cream and said he’d call me with the results.

A few days later, he confirmed the type of infection – Staphylococcus lugdunensis, an uncommon, penicillin-resistant strain. We needed to change the antibiotic and hit it hard and fast before it spread too far.

After two more weeks of antibiotics – and 14 weeks since my operation – my wound still has not healed and the investigations continue. For me, it highlights the importance of being aware of changes to a wound – speaking to a doctor if I suspect something is not right and seeking a second opinion if I have doubts.

atomlinson@thenational.ae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

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Third-place play-off: New Zealand v Wales, Friday, 1pm

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

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Third-place play-off: New Zealand v Wales, Friday, 1pm

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

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Third-place play-off: New Zealand v Wales, Friday, 1pm

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

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Third-place play-off: New Zealand v Wales, Friday, 1pm

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

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Third-place play-off: New Zealand v Wales, Friday, 1pm

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

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Third-place play-off: New Zealand v Wales, Friday, 1pm

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

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Third-place play-off: New Zealand v Wales, Friday, 1pm

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

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Rugby World Cup (all times UAE)

Third-place play-off: New Zealand v Wales, Friday, 1pm

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

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Rugby World Cup (all times UAE)

Third-place play-off: New Zealand v Wales, Friday, 1pm

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

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Rugby World Cup (all times UAE)

Third-place play-off: New Zealand v Wales, Friday, 1pm

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

MATCH INFO

Rugby World Cup (all times UAE)

Third-place play-off: New Zealand v Wales, Friday, 1pm

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

MATCH INFO

Rugby World Cup (all times UAE)

Third-place play-off: New Zealand v Wales, Friday, 1pm

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

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Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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