ACL injury: If you've had one, post here
Search function says 'acl' is too short so shut up.
My diagnosis is incomplete: I'm waiting for an MRI scan. But the general consensus is that I have a ruptured ACL.
Apparently this will never fix itself, and I'll either need a ligament graft, or I'll have to build up a load of muscle around the knee to compensate.
If you've had an ACL rupture or tear, post your experiences, many thanks.
I tore ACL, PCL and MCL all at once. 4 hour surgery, 6 weeks in a cast, 5 months on crutches. These days, I think they use a post op brace instead of a cast, so you don't spend as much time on crutches. After tearing everything in the knee, I don't think you can be up to 100%. If it is just torn ACL, I think you can get back close to 100%.
My advice is to get the surgery if you need it. Devote at least 6 months to pure recovery. Find a good sports medicine clinic and get them to give you all the exercises they know. Always keep your strength up. Swimming is great--get some instruction from a swimming coach. Cycling is great too. Both are low impact and really work the legs.
Also, be careful with your good knee. You will probably compensate for the weakness on the injured side with your good knee and it may be more prone to injury.
runningdog, i've tagged a few threads for you. (found'em using the search, too...)
Not ACL but did blow the knee really badly.
Originally Posted by RunningDog
A KF brother did though, they reattached it, it's taken time for him to get back to normal, but you can just need to do the PT they give you and take it somewhat easy untill it's back to normal.
I've blown both my ACLs, with the most recent being about 5 years ago. One was a freak accident when running and the other was because some jackass decided to horseplay when we were doing throws in a silat class.
Generally if you heard a pop in your knee when the injury occured is a good indication if something is torn in there.
Anyways, as far as advice goes--definate get surgury if your doctor recommends it. Generally the best type of surgury is to get a graft from your patella tendon, but other methods work.
The surgury itself will last about 3-4 hours (of which you'll be out for obviously), but then you'll be laid up for a few weeks to recover at home with the first few days basically confined to a couch or bed with the exception of the occasional bathroom break. Getting around will be limited to a set of crutches. After a few weeks you'll be put in rehab which will last approximately 11-15 weeks, depending on how much your insurance covers.
If I remember correctly, the staples or stitches will come out about week six of recovery and if you're doing well enough at this point they'll drop you down to one crutch. About week 9 or 10, if you're getting around well enough they'll probably take you off crutches all together. During the first few weeks of your rehab (shortly before they transfer you from two crutches to one) they'll size you up for a metallic knee brace similiar to what you'd see pro athletes wear. I've had one that went from mid thigh to mid calf and one that went from hip to ankle so it will all depend on how things are going with rehab in the initial stages.
Make sure you do therapy as much as your physical therapist recommends, if not more (in terms of reps & sets not weight or intensity). Just make sure you don't over do it in the first half of your rehab.
Also, your orthopedic surgeon will probably advise that you reduce, if not completely stop, your martial arts training. Obviously if you take care of yourself you don't have to give it up, but slowing down or reducing the intensity just a little bit would probably be wise.
And just a few other notes I would recommend.
--After you'll muscles build up the knee brace you get will probably not fit at the end of your rehab. Go to a sporting goods store and buy one of there. From my experiences the best are the donut knee braces as they provide support around the whole knee cap and not just under it. Prices will generally range from $20-$45.
--Don't cut rehab short. I did on my second recovery (because the first one went so well I foolishly thought I would be fine). I had to spend another month outside of recovery hitting the weight room to get my knee where it should have been had I actually done rehab correctly.
--Don't over work your knee. Odds are that even after your recovery and you return to everyday life (even on days when you won't be working out) your knee will fire up, get sore, or just feel like crap. Generally you can work through it. However, if you push through it too hard or for too long you'll spend the next few days limping around with your knee feeling like jello.
--And if you have someone taking care of you while you're laid up on the couch, make sure you milk the hell out of it. :5bullwhip
Thanks, that's a job I shoulda done myself really.
Originally Posted by pauli
Cheers for the write-up bearich, sounds pretty fucking bleak.
Granted it's not not going to be the time of your life, but I wouldn't call it bleak. As meataxe stated, if it is just an ACL tear, you should be able to get your knee close to normal (I'd say around the 90-95% mark for me), but you'll definately know its not the same as before. My knees don't act up all the time--perhaps a few days out the month between the two. If you knee does start to ache, ice it down as soon as possible.
Here's to hoping your MRI results are better than expected and you don't have to go through that ****
That's pretty much what I'm hoping for. The extra-muscle-and-expensive-brace-route looks a lot more attractive at this time.
If you want a point of reference, pro football MVP (Super Bowl XL) Hines Ward doesn't have an ACL in one of his knees due to a bike injury as a child.
http://www.footballoutsiders.com/printcomments/3586/ (note 3 mentions his lack of ACL)
To fix mine, they needed to get graft material from both my patellar tendon and my LCL. I have "Frankenknee" now. Like bearich said, your orthopedic surgeon will tell you lots of stuff. You best bet is to find a knowledgeable physiotherapist with a sports medicine practice--they are a lot more hands-on and have worked with various types athletes trying to return to their sport.
As for how soon you get back to martial arts training, you will need to balance your need to train now against long-term ability and how mobile you'll be when you hit 40 or 50. (I have just over 20 years and counting on my Frankenknee.)