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Torn ACL

Old 05-10-2006, 11:19 AM
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Default Torn ACL

So, about 2 weeks ago we had our annual Rugby Alumni Game and "Festivities" and wouldn't you know it, 10 minutes into the first half I f'd up my knee. Turns out I have a torn ACL and lateral meniscus. I had the same injury to the same knee 6 years ago (yes, Rugby game that time too), so I can't have it fixed with my platella graft this time. They'll have to use a cadaver. So, its PT for now and surgery maybe down the road. My wife is due with our first kid in less than 4 weeks, so surgery now isn't an option.

So, the question is, anyone out there tear an ACL and just live with it w/o surgery? How limited in daily activities were you? Were you an active person to begin with? etc...... I have a 2nd consulation setup with my Orth Surgeon next week and will be going over all of this with him obviously, but I wanted to hear some personal experiences if possible.
Old 05-10-2006, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Torn ACL

Buck, sorry to hear it. I have torn my left ACL twice and my right three times! Snow skiing and wakeboarding in my younger/dumber days. The pain is intense and takes a long time to "heal", if it ever really heals. The older you get the docs and insurance don't want to/like to operate. My doctor says to do anything I want, until it hurts too much and be careful. I now know my limits and only abuse my knees until it starts to hurt too much.

As an alternative to surgery, my insurance paid for a Inovation Sports CTI2 knee brace. This thing is incredible. I think it is about $1000-$1500. You feel like a kid with a new knee while wearing it. It is carbon fiber, I think, and someone could kick you in the knee, and not loose support. It is awesome. You can even have them custom painted!
The doctor will have to prescribe it and get it approved by the insurance. Here is there website.

http://www.ctibrace.com/byou.htm

Good luck, bro!
Old 05-10-2006, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Torn ACL

Done both as well, including the mcl. Quite a feeling, not so much the pain at the nausea during the event.

I have had reconstruction, and have left one alone (but did have a menisectomy). If you are in good shape, and keep the legs strong, and don't have any cartiledge floating around (=PAIN), then opt for pt and see how stable you can get it. Chances are, you will need surgery, and by working out, rehab will be much easier.

Steadman Clinic in Vail, CO is one of the best.

Best of luck. Holler with any other q's.
Old 05-10-2006, 02:20 PM
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Default RE: Torn ACL

I’m 43 and tore my right ACL about 14 years ago and never had it repaired. My Ortho Dr. didn’t want to cut “UNTIL” my active lifestyle changed.

Since the tear, I’ve been teaching skiing in Vail for 10 seasons, 4 full time, 6 part time.

Prior to my Vail employment, I had to pass a “Knee screening” administrated by the previously posted, Steadman Hawkins Clinic (one of the best in the world!)

They noticed my “loose” knee and recommended surgery, which I declined. We’ve all heard the horror stories about one’s condition after the surgery. Some better …some much worse!

A few weeks ago, I tore the meniscus (confirmed via.MRI) in the same knee while playing ice hockey. No surgery or scoping was performed. I did some rehab and PT.

That’s 14 years without major problems!!

Take your time with Rehab and PT. Too many Dr’s want to cut and take your $$.

Your knee will tell you when you need the surgery.

Good Luck!!!!
Old 05-10-2006, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Torn ACL

Now I’ve never tore up any ligaments in my knees but I sure have done some serious damage to the cartilages. If think the first time the doctors wanted to operate on both my knees I was in grade 7, I eventually had the cartilage remove when I was about 40ish.....the damaged cartilage was getting in the joint and causing my knees to lock up for hours at a time......I had zero options.

If I told you about one story of someone I knew or ran across I could tell you about a hundred, each story would be the same. Oh it’s only a simple operation........yah right........4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11 surgeries later and things still aren’t right. I on the other hand was lucky enough to have the orthopedic surgeon for the Maple Leafs do my knees, one surgery on each knee has me pain free for about 10 yrs now.

Me personally, I would never be quick to jump under a knife, life offers no guarantees.

Best of luck to yah though.
Old 05-11-2006, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Torn ACL

Thanks for the replies everyone. I currently am doing PT working on getting my full range of motion back. I have a custom fit donjoy brace which helps for stability, and will help with sports down the road. I am holding off on surgery for now and will hope that PT can get me back close to normal. I have a feeling I might have to have it scoped though at some point this summer in order to take care of the meniscus tear. I'm leaving the ACL alone unless I absolutely have to do something about it. Thanks again for all the input.

PS. My range of motion is getting better pretty rapidly with PT, so maybe there is hope !

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