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Old    Greg Wasson (lhlocal)      Join Date: Jun 2003       10-18-2008, 5:55 PM Reply   
I know about 33% of the members here have blown out their knees, so I thought I would get an opinion from professionals.

Beginning of August I dislocated my knee on a straight w2w. There was some good pain, but I was off the crutches in a week. The Ortho I saw did tests at two appointments. He did physical tests on my knee, and said I had 2/3 signs of a miniscus tear, and had probably strained my mcl. Acl seemed fine.

After the second appointment he assigned physical therapy. At both appointments, I asked about an MRI. At the first appointment he said my knee was too swollen. At the second appointment he said he wanted 3 weeks of pt. I did pt for three weeks and could not gain full range of motion. In this time I started riding my mtn. bike and riding my 50.

On my third visit, I explained my frustration over lack of progress at pt. After a quick exam the Doc said we're going to scope your knee to take care of the miniscus. I asked about an MRI and he said there was no need.

I had to postpone the first surgery appointment due to a cold. Last Thurday I awoke from surgery to be greeted with the news I had ruptured my ACL as well. What went from 4-6 weeks recovery is now another surgery and 4-6 months recovery. I thought I was finally on the road to recovery only to have to start all over again. It pretty much blows my winter riding in FL and any snowboarding I had planned.

I have a followup to get stitches out on Wednesday. We'll also discuss the next surgery. Im pretty pissed he didnt do the MRI. I feel it gave me false hope and created the need for another surgery. A friend did the same thing on the same weekend, and he's already up and walking w/o a limp.

Im just wondering what those with ruptured ACLs have done. Hes talking of using a piece of another ligament to create a new acl. I know my friend used a cadaver. I know they are doing it via scope also I beleive.

Sorry for the long post, but I respect the opinions of this board. Im also looking for a little good news. As I said, I thought I had 4-6 weeks to 100%. Im also thinking of holding off to January and then bracing it and riding in Fl and doing some snowboarding.
Old    Josh (dillls)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-18-2008, 6:39 PM Reply   
Get the surgery as soon as the swelling goes down. If you continue with a blown acl you are only going to worsen it for the long run. I had my acl reconstruction surgery with the hamstring ligament on july 28th and it was one of the most painful things I have ever went through. I was really depressed when I found out that it was torn, knowing that I would be out of riding (wakeboarding and snowboarding) for 9 months. However, a week later I put it perspective and thought it is better to miss out on some riding now rather than screw myself up for the rest of my life of riding. With much hard work at rehab I am know running and getting my leg muscle built back up. I am hoping to be back snowboarding this season, but we will see where my leg is at in January and that will only be 5-6 months. Check out Philip Rivers story, he blew his acl at the end of last season and played 6 months later at the 08 season opener. He rehabbed harder than most people do working out 5 hours a day. Plus he had professional help, but it shows there is hope to back early than 9 months if you put the work in. Keep in mind coming back early than 9 months will be well against your doctors opinion and also many on this board. You will have to just feel it for your self at that time and when you do come back take it easy for the first couple of months.
Old    cosmocat (treycleaton)      Join Date: Mar 2005       10-18-2008, 6:42 PM Reply   
The acl acts to prevent the lower leg bone (tibia) from slipping forward from the femur (thighbone) you risk doing more damage without the stability. I had to wait two months for surgery after tearing mine. I couldn't freakin stand the instabiliity and the "trick Knee" feeling. My ortho said two thirds of people without an acl can walk fine and only have minor instability,the other third simply can't function without it, will limp and have instability even after the knee has "healed" I was one of thiose in the latter...I would say go ahead and get it fixed so you don't risk further damage, or at least get a good knee brace..
Old    CAR (super_air)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-18-2008, 9:16 PM Reply   
Greg, I have had the cadaver ligament surgery for my acl and it lasted for about two years before I tore it again. I have not had the second surgery yet and although I have soreness from time to time I can function just fine and never experience the "trick knee" feeling. I have come to the conclusion that my wakeboarding days are pretty much over since it is not worth risking taking food off the table for my family from missed work. If you are young enough to go through with the surgery now and not have to worry about down time I would do it for sure. As far as how long it takes to come back from surgery it all depends on the person, I would not go by what this person or that person says, everybody is different, mine was close to a year and another year of easy riding after.

Josh, John Elway played his entire career for the Broncos without an ACL in his knee and we all know how that turned out, like I said each person is different.
Old    Sean (priapism)      Join Date: Mar 2003       10-19-2008, 12:01 AM Reply   
Great information and advice so far.

Sorry to hear about the run around that you got, I hope that wasn't due to the HMO shuffle. Anyways...

I tore my ACL completely, with partial tears to the MCL, PCL, and both meniscus. I had surgery using part of my patellar tendon. According to my ortho, that was the strongest of 3 options (patellar, cadaver, or hamstring). That was followed by almost a full year of physical therapy, 8 of those month being off work! It was an additional year before it felt strong or normal again. Everybody's situation is going to be different.

My advice (for what it is worth); make an informed decision on what is best for you, work very hard, and be patient.
Old    Greg Wasson (lhlocal)      Join Date: Jun 2003       10-19-2008, 12:14 AM Reply   
Thanks for the advice so far. I think what is most frustrating is the fact he didnt do a 1200 MRI. It could have avoided the need for two surgeries. I think insurance played a part because my pt said the insurance company always wants pt before they pay for an MRI. My knee has felt real stable. I cant beleive now I wakeboarded, race fiddies, and rode my mtn bike. I feel lucky to not have had a serious mishap.

Im lucky to be self-employed and in my line of work I can take days off and then return to light duty and not have to stand on it. My friend who's a carpenter isnt so lucky. I was never a great boarder, but I cant see myself stopping. I guess theres another surgery in my future and a lot of therapy. My doctor already said he would recommend I beleive either the patellar or hamstring. We'll see on Wednesday.
Old    Matthew Spencer (canadian_waterboy)      Join Date: Apr 2008       10-19-2008, 11:49 AM Reply   
That really sucks, injuries are never fun. I guess you need to just look at it as part of your training. Just like you'd go out and ride sets to improve your skills and fitness, your going to have to stay positive and active in order to heal properly and prevent other injuries in the future. Strong quads, calves, and hamstrings will take much of the strain off the ligaments and tendons in your knees, and prevent unnecessary injury.
Old    Phantom (phantom5815)      Join Date: Jul 2002       10-19-2008, 3:35 PM Reply   
Allografts can be either a patella tendon, achilles tendon or hamstring. Problem is the age of the person from which the harvest was done.
I was fortunate enough that the tissue bank representative recognized my name when my Orthopod order an allograft ( patella tendon ) and he made sure I didn't get a graft from a geriatric donor.
My reasoning for the allograft is simple - I didn't want the additional pain from the harvesting of your own graft.
Recovery is much better and quicker.
If you're not happy with your MD, by all means get a second option. It is your right, especially since it sounds like you already having hard feeling about the way you've been treated.
Good luck.
Old    Brett Treiber (pc_sledge)      Join Date: Jan 2006       10-19-2008, 5:10 PM Reply   
Hey Greg, what's up? Tore my ACL this September and still on crutches F_____ing bummer man. Anyway, I have an appointment tomorrow with my ortho to hopefully schedule surgery. Been in physical therapy for a couple of weeks now to try and increase my range of motion and reduce swelling. In pain all the time, it blows. Anyway, everybody I talk to tells me to go the cadaver route but we'll see what the Doc says. Good luck, and a speedy recovery. Don't let anyone tell you it's over. I would rather die than not feel that handle tighten in my hands anymore.
Old    Taylor H (maliburider456)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-19-2008, 8:14 PM Reply   
i tore my acl in the end of july and had surgery august 1st. im just counting town the days til february 1st! its not as bad as you would think but excpt for not being able to wakeboard! just make sure u do what ur therapist says! and Brett i would say the best way to go is hamstring. patella weakens your knee cap and cadaver isnt always the strongest is what i hear( also more chance of infection) goodluck with surgery!
Old    JR (jrichard)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-20-2008, 9:37 AM Reply   
I've been through two ACLs and the first thing I'd do is get a new doctor.

Diagnosing a ruptured ACL without an MRI is a no brainer for a surgeon experienced with ACLs.
Old    Rob Flaherty (mc_x15)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-20-2008, 11:23 AM Reply   
also had the acl patellar reconstruction. was off my feet for about 2 months, then about 6 months of PT which was suppose to be 9 months but i cut it short. Havent had a single issue with mine, never drained, no pain from sports or running or walking. Overall good experience for me in recovery. just do the PT hard and dont let it hold you back bro. I agree with new dr. go to the best, there the best for a reason. Dr, Russel Warren, Hospital for Special Surgeries in NYC did mine, guy is amazing. Never been back once.
Old    David (detonate69)      Join Date: Apr 2001       10-20-2008, 11:50 AM Reply   
I blew my ACL about 2 years ago. Blew it in march Snowboarding, didn't wanna miss the summer so I got a brace and wakeboarded all summer. Had surgery in September of that same year. I used my own patella tendon for the replacement, didn't want no dead people in me! lol. I was back walking and off crutches in 2 weeks, and back 100% wakeboarding in 6 months. No issues and still feels good. Just make sure you do all your PT and push yourself. Get a good doctor that specializes in sports orthopedics and also a good physical therapist who also specializes in sports medicine. If they don't specialize in sports they don't always know the best way to work with you to get you back to doing what you were doing before.
Old    Brian Miller (brianmiller)      Join Date: Aug 2003       10-20-2008, 12:14 PM Reply   
Make sure your doctor understands what you want to be able to do when you are done with surgery. To many of them think if it does not affect your career you don't need to be back to 100%.

I have had a pateller on one knee and hamstring on the other. My experience has been the hamstring is way better. It is less sore and it seemed like I recovered faster. I was riding again in 6 months. Right now I have partially torn the patella repair which I had cleaned up last winter, but it is hanging in there. I would recommend some knee braces.

I will try the cadever on the third one when that happens so I will be a leading expert on all three.
Old    Robert A. Rodriguez (robertr720)      Join Date: Aug 2007       10-20-2008, 12:45 PM Reply   
I tore my acl and meniscus on april 15th. I had the hamstring graft done, and everything has turned out great. I guess everyone is different because I am back riding and have pretty much my whole bag back. I had surgery 15 days after my injury. I was able to walk about 6 weeks after that without any type of aid(brace or crutches). As soon as I could walk comfortably I began to wakesurf. I did pt from 2 days out of surgery till a couple of weeks ago when my doc. released me to get back after it. I still don't feel as though it is 100% though and when I stretch it is still very hard to go past 0 degrees for full extension and to get past 135 degrees which would be more than full flexion. I was told by my pt that this would be difficult for a long time and that it won't feel 100 percent for at least a year. That being said, I am probably dumb for returning to wakeboarding when I did but I feel very comfortable on my wakeboard. More so than running or playing any type of high movement sport which I still won't do cause I am worried about not setting my feet right. I did a LOT of pt though. I would and still do try to stretch about an hour a day and I ride a bike or do some kind or leg muscle workout everyday aswell. (indo board, bike, gym, rock climbing). Good luck, You will have a whole new appreciation for wakeboarding after you make it back to the water.
Old    Greg Wasson (lhlocal)      Join Date: Jun 2003       10-22-2008, 4:41 PM Reply   
Thanks for all the advice. I met with my doc today. With all the info and research I was able to bring to the table, I think he was impressed. I made clear the fact I was very disappointed in the lack of an MRI, and the loss of recovery time had we operated sooner. He apologized and explained the reason he didn't do an MRI. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Moving forward I set up surgery for 12/11. Im going the patellar tendon route. For me I think its the best way. Im very happy with the recovery rate for the meniscus fix. I told him I have high expectaions for the ACL surgery. If it doesnt go well, Ill track him down and smack him with my crutch. Thanks again WW!!
Old    Justin (jrw160)      Join Date: Oct 2006       10-23-2008, 5:11 PM Reply   
I tore mine playing soccer on 9/24. I had the hamstring autograft done 10/15. The doctor I went to recommended the hamstring over patella tendon, but a lot of other doctors like using the patella tendon. From the research I did, the allograft has the highest likelihood of failure. Hamstring/patella tendon both have the advantages and disadvantages, but it's really a wash either way. I was only crutches for a day and a half. I don't wear my brace at home, but I wear it any time I leave the house as a precaution. The hamstring soreness is the worst part right now. The knee isn't giving me any trouble.

(Message edited by JRW160 on October 23, 2008)
Old    Brad (cool232)      Join Date: Jan 2006       10-23-2008, 8:12 PM Reply   
I tell all my friends to ask about PRP. Platelet rich plasma, or Platelet Gel. Im a perfusionist, which means I run the heart lung machine during open heart surgery. We use it everyday at work, on all the chest closures and leg closure when they remove the vein to do the bypass. Our Ortho guys use it on ther cases as well as the obgyn docs and the plastics docs.

That being said PRP is used in pockets all over the country, some docs swear by it, others wont try it.

PRP is your own blood spun down in a machine to seperate the platelets from the other componenets
Its mixed with thrombin and calcium and sprayed directly on the wound.
The studies show it reduces swelling, helps with range of motion and decreases healing time. JUst to name a few of its properties.
There isnt a DRG code so insurance wont pay for it so Docs dont wont to eat the cost. This is why some docs use it some dont. You all can thank your government, dont get me started.

anyway I hope this helps.
I believe in it and see its benefits everyday.

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