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View Poll Results: Hard knee brace after ACL surgery?
Yes, it will help 19 90.48%
No, you are a giant pussy 2 9.52%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old     (ridetillurdead26)      Join Date: Nov 2006       04-03-2010, 1:16 AM Reply   
Hey guys,
Unfortunately I tore my ACL this year, and had surgery in November. I am set to be back in the game by mid May... the 18th exactly.

I know a ton of you guys have torn ACL's and I'm wondering how I should expect to feel in mid may on my wakeboard. Will I have to just cruise for a couple of weeks or did you guys feel comfortable doing all your tricks again?

Also, my doctor said that I don't NEED a hard knee brace to ride after surgery, but he could give me a prescription for one no problem so it is up to me. So what do you guys say? Rock the brace or go nude-knee? What have you guys done after surgery?

Thanks so much!
Old     (ClutchIndustries)      Join Date: Feb 2010       04-03-2010, 6:00 AM Reply   
I've never had surgery or torn my ACL but I do wear two CTI2 hard braces. I have had deteriorating cartilage in my knees since I was about 16 and I was prescribed the braces for racing motocross. Now I do everything with them, Wakeboard, mountain bike, moto, even surfing. Braces lock your knee in place taking all of the side flex out of them, they obv. prevent hyperextension, and they help absorb impact from landing. I make it a point to have them strapped in every time i hit the water or dirt. If you can get insurance to cover them I would go for it as you are saving yourself a TON of money. IMO I feel more secure and solid when i'm strapped into a set of braces, and i don't hurt as much the following day.
Old     (Sean)      Join Date: Feb 2010       04-03-2010, 6:34 AM Reply   
rock the brace, At least for a little bit. No reason to chance it.
Old     (jondextan)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-03-2010, 6:53 AM Reply   
i tore a ligament on my left knee back in the day while downhill biking, it doesn't hurt anymore but i still wear a breg knee brace just to make sure it won't help again (x-fingers). i would say you should too.

IMO it looks cool and hard core!
Old     (kcrider)      Join Date: Jul 2008       04-03-2010, 8:34 AM Reply   
I tore my ACL and I will be cleared to ride in June. I guarantee I will be using my CTI brace. Eventually I'll want to stop but right off the bat I think it will help with my piece of mind if anything. I say go for it. Just make sure you still strengthen those legs. A brace can't do everything and you will need those muscles to help with the stabilization
Old     (ridetillurdead26)      Join Date: Nov 2006       04-03-2010, 9:27 AM Reply   
Thanks for the info guys, this is very helpful. I had shoulder surgery 2 years ago so my young body and mind know how to come back from surgery. I have been at the gym 6 days a week since I got off crutches and hopefully it all pays off! I would still like to hear more opinions, but I'll probably end up running the brace for a bit.
Old     (Moseley618)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-03-2010, 10:07 AM Reply   
I would wear a brace! When they reconstruct your ACL it takes 6 months for the graft to get blood supply back to it. It takes a little over a year for the graft to completely remodel. There are plenty of good braces out there and I would get a custom if your insurance will pay for a custom. The custom fits better has a better warrenty and you can get them in colors. Some of the braces are Breg, DJ, CTI and Bledso. They all work you can call each company and ask for a local rep to contact you tell him or her what you are going to do with the brace and see with one you like the best.
Old     (captain_vilfo)      Join Date: Apr 2007       04-04-2010, 7:55 PM Reply   
I had surgery last august and am gonna go order a brace tomorrow. (hoping for a cti) I rode the other day and my knee felt good but I know having the brace would help overcome the mental part of the rehab.
Old     (lionel)      Join Date: Nov 2005       04-04-2010, 9:29 PM Reply   
Tore my right ACL 17 years ago, left ACL + cartilage 13 years ago. Never a brace. Both are still good. Knock on wood. I felt one of them try to tear one time snowboarding, but it held.

Thread jack: Anybody see that NBA player that doesn't have either ACL? He tore both, had surgery, but they were absorbed by his body. Fell to the second round in the draft, but dude is doing great. Amazing!
Old     (sodaksooner)      Join Date: Nov 2009       04-05-2010, 5:33 AM Reply   
Tore my acl and pcl in a mountain bike accident several years ago. No surgery, just rehabbed. Don't really wear a brace most of the time, but most things I do don't require lateral movement. However with wakeboarding I always have worn a cheap over the counter brace that finally bit the dust. I picked up a DonJoy Playmaker that I am going to try out this year. Super comfortable and has numerous adjustments...and is rated for immersion. Couldn't afford the "higher end" braces so will see how this one works.
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       04-05-2010, 9:26 AM Reply   
Cody what type of graft did they perform? Allograph (Cadaver), Patella or Hamstring? The thing you need to be REALLY careful about right about that time you are riding (May) is that the knee will likely feel really good. Unfortunately like Kevin said its takes much longer for that graft to actually start healing than your body tells you. A lot of peeps have actually re-torn their acl in that 7-12 month window because of the "trick" your body plays on you telling you that your knee is 100%.

IMHO riding with a brace only adds an extra element of security in protecting your knee during that dangerous time (and a reminder that your knee is not 100% healthy). However I would NOT start charging until closer to 1yr out (IMHO) at least. The last time I met with my doctor he was saying that the most recently developed studies concluded that an allograph ACL takes closer to 18-24 mos for full "grafting" to take place.

With all that said NOTHING will replace good muscle and leg strength development. FOcus on your PT HARD! Continue to strengthen those legs...bringing them to a stronger state than before the injury. When I was recovering from my ACL I focused 100% on building my leg strength and stability. They feel better than ever but its because I constantly stay on top of training them and keeping them healthy.
Old     (ridetillurdead26)      Join Date: Nov 2006       04-05-2010, 9:35 AM Reply   
M-Dizzle, I had an Allograph so it looks like I'm in that don't shred hard for a year category. From all the advice on here, it looks like I will be ordering a brace this year even if it is all in my head.
I must say that as much as this whole thing sucked, I learned so much from it and it has made me a better and healthier person. I go to the gym 6 days a week for upper body/leg strength. I'm down 13 pounds to 175 so that i'm putting less stress on the knees.
It looks like my summer will consist of working at the wakeboard shop, surfing a lot and just getting my willies back on a wakeboard! I'm pretty nervous/excited for that first set when i'm back.
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       04-05-2010, 2:00 PM Reply   
Cody I am not sure where your riding level is/was at but a strong suggestion I would make would be to start "filling the holes" in your riding. For me I had a bunch of holes in my riding which included switch TS W2W, etc. Since I did not want to ride hard until after the 1 year point I was able to start really filling all these holes and get much much better on a board. You would be amazed how quickly you can pick up new tricks with a better "base" of riding fundamentals. The 2 minute drill, ollie bs 180's, switch ollie bs 180's, butterslides every possible way available, re-entries ever direction, re-entry 180's every direction etc. There are a LOT of things you can still do on a wakeboard that does not require big impacts or serious stress to the knee (if you are careful).
Old     (ridetillurdead26)      Join Date: Nov 2006       04-05-2010, 6:45 PM Reply   
M-Dizzle, I would classify myself as an intermediate rider. TS/HS wake to wake all front and backhand grabs, HS/TS front 1's and back 1's on heelside, a couple of TS FS 3's and pretty consistent HS FS 3's, and the occasional 5... but thats a bit of a stretch. Not so good on flips, tantrums and backrolls are about it on a good day.

It is great to get your input, and I really appreciate all of your suggestions. I think I'll spend the first month getting my board control as solid as possible. How did those first couple wake to wake airs feel? Are they scary? Hard on the bad knee at all?

I'm also riding a 142 slingshot and I'm 178 LBS and only 5'10" so that should make things a bit easier. Sorry for all the questions, I'm just really anxious!
Old     (kcrider)      Join Date: Jul 2008       04-05-2010, 8:41 PM Reply   
I will be 6 months post op in June but I plan on using this summer to do exactly what M-Dizzle said in his thread. Just really learn to ride and fill in those gaps. This way when I'm fully back than I can use that to really progress. I should've done this in the first place BUT now I kinda have to. I DON"T want to go through this again so I'm going to be patient. Oh and I will be wearing my CTI custom brace all the way till next summer.
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       04-06-2010, 2:37 PM Reply   
Right on Cody...its good to see someone spinning rather than flipping! Pretty rare these days, and impressive!

Some other suggestions...hmmm. Drop the weight in the it stock or empty (better). Learn ALL your w2w's, 180's inside out and outside in...okay maybe not the TS BS inside out...that one's pretty tough IMHO, haha. Point being if you get rid of all the weight you can do a lot of 1 wake and 2 wake jumps without "falling out of the sky". I recently got back from riding out in FL with the "big dogs". Something I picked up on is how polished and refined all their tricks are...and their cut into the wake. When you watch some of the really good riders approach the wake on an 80ft plus line you would think they cut all the way out and come in pretty progressive throughout the entire approach. What I actually saw from a lot of the riders was a really slow approach into the wake with a big amount of "stank" put on the very end of their cut. This gives then a TON of pop and reduces the line tension giving them lots of time to get those handle passes. Focusing on perfecting maximizing your pop on a non-weighted boat will give you buttloads of time to rotate when you get back behind a big wake.

I think you will find that this may very well be a blessing in disguise too. While all your buddies are working on adding that "ONE new trick" your riding is going to get really really well rounded and polished (and you will pick up a GRIP of new stuff to do behind the boat). Think about it like can do TS FS 3's right? Why not a switch BS 1? its the same landing. Also by having that landing position dialed (admittedly I do not, hence my struggle with 7's), when you get to stepping up your rotations you got the hard part figured out...that landing. What you will hopefully end up with is (albeit not a super fancy list), a mackin trick list where you can warm up with about 6-8 spins (hopefully all grabbed)...which is flat out BALLIN IMHO. My favorite this past season was a HS Method to FS 180.

Another idea is to play on the wake like the skaters do. Something that looks really cool watching a good rider warm up is unique stuff on the wake while warming up the legs. Things like butterslides with handle pass rotations out, big wake reentry ollies and 180's, slayshes, etc. Basically make your riding look fun, unique and personal. I like seeing big ol ollie bs 180 reentries...ala Chris Oshea style.
Old     (ridetillurdead26)      Join Date: Nov 2006       04-06-2010, 8:27 PM Reply   
Sounds like some good suggestions, I never really thought of running less weight. I'm used to full ballast + wedge + 800 lbs in my VLX. Like you said, it would really hone my skills to get used to a smaller wake again like back in the old days. My buddy Grant Roberts is an incredible wakeskater, so maybe I'll have him teach me a few re entry fun tricks! I would love to get my board control back again and just have a permanent wake-smile.

M-dizzle, where do you ride at? My family has a place at the delta, and I'm always down to ride with new guys if you just so happen to be a nor-cal guy.

On another note, I just emailed my doctor today to see if he would hook me up with a prescription!


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