10 – My ACL Journey – Return to Work and An Unexpected Suture Abscess!


I returned to work this week and feeling great!  

On Monday and Tuesday I was using my knee brace to stand and treat some patients but it made my leg very itchy after. The brace also fit me abnormally since I was so short so the brace started at my groin and went all the way down to my ankle. I have large quads and skinny ankles so the brace will slip as I walk, then when I sat down, the straps that was tightly cinched to avoid slipping, would press into my incisions and force bend my knee in a uncomfortable position. My doctor gave up with my persistent complaints about my knee brace and told me to get rid of it completely.  

I am now walking around without the brace and today, not using any crutches as well. I take slow steps, making sure I bend my knee during the swing and activate my quads during midstance. I feel a stiff band wrapping from my outer thigh across my quad to the inside of my knee and it begins to hurt more when I bend my knee. One of my coworkers stretched and released my TFL, quads, and hamstring today, eliminating those symptoms and I was able to bend my knee to 108 deg! My goal is to hit 115 deg by the end of the week and continue with my BFR and standing exercises.  

I also will occasionally feel my knee buckle if I forget to activate my quad during the first few steps of walking. I ordered this light knee brace on Amazon to help with creating neuromuscular tactile cueing while I walk and prevent knee bucking. Soft Knee Brace 


Woke up yesterday with my harvest site incision hot and swollen. The night before, I was doing some scar mobs and pus came out of a healed incision. Yesterday morning it is angry and I was able to drain some more pus from the area. I went to see my ortho surgeon and we realized that my body was not dissolving sutures as fast as a normal person. He picked at scab at another incision site, found the end of a suture, and pulled out a long undissolved suture. He dug around the abscess area but could not find the irritating suture.  I was prescribed antibiotics for 1 week and instructed to keep draining the area as tolerated.  

Today I was at work and had drained the area twice already. However, after being stretched out, my knee felt really swollen and hot, so I wanted to try to drain it one more time. When I was pushing on the region, I saw a suture poking out. I gathered the courage to pull on the ending and the suture kept coming out. It was over 2 cm long and my tissue/pus had grown around it. It looked like I was pulling out a parasite and I was gagging so hard in the corner of my clinic.  

However, after I pulled the suture out, the pain in the front of the patella was gone. I was walking a lot faster with no limp and catching in the front of my knee. Amazing how a small suture snag can cause so much discomfort in my knee. And doc said luckily we caught it early and it was only a suture abscess and not a true infection, that would be more widespread and a HUGE issue.  I just need to finish out this antibiotic and hopefully the swelling and eczema flare up will FINALLY subside.  

Area of suture abscess before it got angry… 

The day after and pus had built up underneath. I went to go see my doc this day. 

So it wasn’t an infection, just a suture abscess. In this video, I had just came back from the doctor and he asked me to continue to drain the area if I can. (Not for the squeamish) 

In this video, the suture had peaked out and I thought the suture was going to end there. However, after I put the camera down and started pulling more, it kept coming! (Not for the squeamish) 

This is 2/3 of the suture… 

Oh and Doc said, No BFR, therabands, brace or anything that will go around my knee to reduce the variables that can contribute to my skin irritation until I finish my antibiotics. Traditional PT only. 

Request an Appointment Online, or Contact Us