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Life After ACL Reconstruction - Page 14

post #391 of 439
Originally Posted by JaneB View Post

I had about 15% of the lateral meniscus trimmed.  Yes,  I have developed mild OA in that knee.  Sometimes I get a lot of pain in that area.  MD says it may be plica syndrome rather than OA.  At least on Xray/MRI it is mild.



Hi Jane,


Thanks for your reply. 15% trimmed should not be that bad. How long ago did they reconstruct your ACL and how old were you at the time ? Did you get operated quickly ? I was operated 4 months after a basketball injury. My problem is that I have 3 meniscus tears (2 small one on the lateral side) and 1 in the medial side . All left in situ as apparently they are degenerative tears but I believe the 2 lateral tears were caused by keeping on playing basketball as I went to see a physio who mis diagnosed me because my knee was still stable.

post #392 of 439
It was ten years ago; had surgery five weeks after the injury. I wish I had waited longer. My knee was still hot and not back to full range of motion. The surgeon also trimmed the fat pad. Now that's not advised( it also may lead to osteoarthritis. If I knewvthen what I know now...
post #393 of 439
Hi Jane,

Thanks for your reply. What do you mean by the surgeon trimmed the fat pad ? I have my surgery 4 months after the injury and I have meniscus tear (2 lateral apparently small and 1 x 1.2 cm on the medial meniscus).
OA is certain for me too I believe but I am happy that my surgeon took the option not to trim anything at this stage. I am 3 months into the recovery at the moment and I have very little symptom.
Did you keep active skiing during these 10 years ? Did you try PRP for your knee pain ?
What do you know now that would have changed your approach ?

post #394 of 439
Thread Starter 

Happy New Year, and as words of encouragement to any folks that are currently in the various stages of knee injury rehab I wanted to share that today was my 400th ski day after my ACL reconstruction surgery in 2008 - so there is indeed life after!


I had started this thread a few years ago on the anniversary of my 200th ski day after my ACL reconstruction surgery. Time ticks on by, but we keep skiing!

post #395 of 439
Hi Chris,

I am goigng through this recovery and I have tear on both menisci as well. That is what I am most scared of as it leads to OA. I am 43 and I don't want end up with knee replacement in early 50s. How long ago did you get your knee reconstruction , how old are you and do you have meniscus damage ?

post #396 of 439
Thread Starter 

Fabienzen: Please read the past 14 pages of this thread, as your questions have been previously answered. Cheers.

post #397 of 439

It amazes me at the number of ACL's torn from skiing, but then again, i'm not surprised considering the levels of stress placed on the knees at such high speeds with the amount of impact that can happen. There's so many chances for the knee to buckle and to be over-torqued if the bearings do not detach correctly.


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post #398 of 439
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Sportskneethera View Post

It amazes me at the number of ACL's torn from skiing, but then again, i'm not surprised considering the levels of stress placed on the knees at such high speeds with the amount of impact that can happen. There's so many chances for the knee to buckle and to be over-torqued if the bearings do not detach correctly.


Check out Lindsey Vonn's Documentary coming out soon!



Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twithttps://twitter.com/sportskneetherater

Great Article - Thanks!

post #399 of 439
Originally Posted by skidding View Post



Great post, Beyond.  Wish you would have posted it a few years ago!  You could have saved me a lot or experimentation.  Through trial and error, and what feels best to me, I am now skiing Dynastar's and Kastle, and use the Dalbello 3 piece boot.  I also agree with your sentiments on ski weight.  Two of my Dynastars have the Look Pivots.  I set the DIN on them as low as I can - I have to be able to comfortably twist out or pop the heel, but I have not had issues with pre-release.   I am still trying to improve and refine my knee friendly approach to skiing, so any more equipment or technique tips are welcome.


If you have any video of the bump style you described, that is where I need some work.  I have no interest in a zipper line through bumps, but more of a meandering, chillin', flowing style.  This, I need to work on.


For the purpose of this thread, I have had two ACL's replaced (1988 and 1991).  As far as I know, both ACLs are still intact.  Left knee has had 4 sugeries, including the ACL, cartilage, and other soft tissue trauma.   I can't really can't give a perspective on skiing before and after the injuries, because I have not been skiing that long.  I haven't hit 200 days in all my skiing (I am below 100 days), and 99 percent of that has been well after my surgeries.  I do all activities with a heightened "knee awareness".  They function, they just need a bit more TLC and sometimes I need to adapt or favor them in some way. 


Current ACL repair techniques are good.  Anyone getting their knee rebuilt now (mine were rebuilt 20 plus years ago), can reasonably expect to return to 100 percent of their pre-injury functionality and maybe better, due to physical therapy and rehab.


Best of luck to all those going through it.  There is light at the end of the tunnel.


Skidding how much of your menscus were removed and when ? My main worry is OA and I am trying to find out from people like you who had their surgery a long time ago how they are doing. How old were you in 1988 ? I think I have no doubt about knee reco technique being good nowdays but if it is to then get OA pain in 5 - 10 years main study state and then a knee replacement I am not sure this is worthwhile 

post #400 of 439
Originally Posted by fabienzan View Post

Skidding how much of your menscus were removed and when ? My main worry is OA and I am trying to find out from people like you who had their surgery a long time ago how they are doing. How old were you in 1988 ? I think I have no doubt about knee reco technique being good nowdays but if it is to then get OA pain in 5 - 10 years main study state and then a knee replacement I am not sure this is worthwhile 


OK, I will feed your obsession with OA.  I was about 21 in 1988.  I am just shy of 48 now.  I probably had 40 percent of my medial meniscus removed, and 30 percent of my lateral.  I probably have OA in both knees, my right hip, and a few vertebras in my spine (I recall some X-rays that showed "hot" white spots and the doctor saying it was the beginning of OA -- many years ago, since I try to avoid doctors).  


Perspective:  Functionally, everything works.  Nothing hurts too bad most of the time, and I enjoy my quality of life.  It's all I now know.  I skied (finally) for 4 hard days last week.  By the end, I had some swelling and tenderness in both knees.  In a few days, that will be fine.  Note, I might have had the same issues if I never had injured my ACLs.   I am approaching 50 and I am not genetically gifted.   That's life.  You compensate, adapt, do what you can, and enjoy it. 


Suggestions:  I have not revisited this thread, so I forget your particular situation.  I assume and injury that you had fixed and you are concerned about future OA.  I suggest you don't try to micromanage OA from 2015.  It will happen, or it won't.  Or, you might be hit by a bus in 2016, then OA probably will not matter much.  The point is, you had an injury that impacted your quality of life.  You made the best decision you could at the time to correct that injury and restore your quality of life.  That is all you could and can do.  Moving forward, you can listen to your body, say active, and keep your weight under control.  Beyond that, what happens, happens.  Deal with it when and if it happens.


Best of luck.

post #401 of 439

Hi Skidding,


You are very true in all you said. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

It is my first major injury and I think it shows in all my questions



post #402 of 439

Hi fellow ACLers,


I just wanted to share my ACL less knee recovery with you all.  Having snapped my reconstructed ACL a year ago skiing bumps slowly, I have just passed my last BASI technical ski exam having rehabbed the hell out of it (again) over the summer.  I haven't had surgery again so am still down an acl, however I have had a fair amount of swelling and am investigating an arthroscopy for the meniscus/cartliage.  but really adamant that I don't want a recon again.  I can't face all the rehab for no real improvement in what I'll be able to ski.


As a positive I am a much better skier now than I was when I did the initial injury and I have been able to do that with and without the recon acl.  that includes racing and generally hammering around the  mountain. 


So recon or not, skiing post ACL will feel awesome again, it just takes time so stay patient and do the rehab, and more.

post #403 of 439

Be careful with no doing more damage to your meniscus if you are going to have an ACL deficient knee.

post #404 of 439

bit late for that too, think the damage has been done over the years, and with repeated knee giving way episodes.  However hoping to just be able to deal with the meniscus rather than the whole lot.  And now I only need to ski bumps when they are nice and I can see them!!!

post #405 of 439

That is not my understanding as without an ACL your medial meniscus will act as a secondary stabilizer to the knee and will get dammaged. Talk to a surgeon about it. I would not take that risks. Your meniscus are very important part of your knee.

post #406 of 439

yes I know.  I'm waiting to see my surgeon again, got my MRI next week.  However I also think that going into the knee again and taking patellar tendon  and drilling into it again won't be doing it many favours either.  Its really hard to know who to listen to as so many opposing opinions, with everyone adamant that they are right!

post #407 of 439

Are there many others on here who have had an ACL revision on the same knee?

post #408 of 439

True. The way I used this forum is to inform myself but the person you need to listen to is your surgeon as they have often 18 years of medical studies behind them and do that in and out. Just tell him your worries and questions and take their advise based on your priorities in life. You can write everything.

I know it is a big deal, I have been struggling since I have had my knee reco even so I am doing fine now . My main worry has been OA but this is the same for everyone having this operation we will be at higher risk of OA in the future.

post #409 of 439

most of us don't worry.......  we just keep going......Thumbs Up

post #410 of 439
Originally Posted by alig View Post

Are there many others on here who have had an ACL revision on the same knee?


Here is an article on revision:






Reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
is widely accepted as the treatment of choice for
individuals with functional instability due to an ACLdeficient
knee.1 It is estimated that anywhere between
60,000 and 75,000 ACL reconstructions are performed
annually in the United States, although this number
may be as high as 350,000.2 Despite the fact that nearly
90% of index ACL reconstructions are performed by
surgeons who do fewer than 10 reconstructions per
year, the overall success rate of the operation is high,
ranging from 75% to 95%.3,4 Nevertheless, between
3,000 and 10,000 revision ACL surgeries are performed
each year, underlying the significant potential for failed
ACL reconstruction (ACLR).5


There is a very large ongoing study on ACL Revisions.


Multicenter ACL Revision Study (MARS)

post #411 of 439

Enough!  Shut up with this!

post #412 of 439
Thread Starter 

I've now skied over 400 ski days on KneeBindings, and they're still fine...

post #413 of 439

This may have been covered somewhere in the previous 14 pages of this thread but I don't have the time to read through all of them, although it's good to know I have so much company in the post ACL recon & ski world.  I was on hiatus from skiing (other than the occasional one week trips with family and even then just skiing groomers) when I tore my ACL playing basketball and had surgery in 2010.


My issue isn't so much my knee itself as my surgeon did a great job rebuilding it but swelling of the ligaments behind it.  I mentioned to my surgeon when I had follow up visit about six months after the surgery that I would get some light swelling there sometimes after exercising and he took x-rays of my knee and pointed out that the knee itself was stable and recommended the usual RICE therapy for the swelling.  This has mostly served me well but after an awesome week in Aspen last week in which I spent a lot more time off-piste and in bumps than usual and skied or snowboarded hard every day from open to close the swelling increased a lot and only recently has subsided.  I didn't even really think about my knee until about halfway through the week when I noticed the swelling.  I stayed out of the hot tub from that point on (probably shouldn't have gotten in the first place the first few days) and started icing every day after getting off the mountain.  It wasn't even really the skiing itself that got it bothering me, it was the inactivity afterwards from spending 4 hours driving back to Denver and then sitting on a plan for another 3.5 hours flying home.  When I stood up to get off the plane I felt like I needed crutches just to get home.


I'm not looking for medical advice but just wanted to get some idea of the rituals those of you with experience with this have followed with success.  I'll stay out of the hot tub next time I go hard for a week and ice and advil before and afterwards.  I was thinking of getting some kind of wrap (not a brace) to get some compression while skiing and wondered if that's helped anyone who's tried it.  I just turned 52, I'm about 177 lbs and stay in decent shape and last week spent about 70% of my week on off-piste and bumps and 30% on groomers.  I also split the week about 70% on skis and 30% on a snowboard.  Again, I don't experience any pain or swelling on the front side of my repaired knee, it's all on the backside.  Thanks in advance. 

post #414 of 439

I wouldn't give it much thought. if this was an ACL issue I doubt it would show up 5 years later. Sounds like it could be something completely unrelated. In fact behind the knee might indicate more Calf/hamstring. I would say if it heals up in a couple of weeks, all should be good.  RICE   Worst thing a person can do to a body is fly!  I swear I have more pain after flying all day than skiing 4 hard days.  :D

post #415 of 439

And since 3 years anything happened? If everything is ok. I want to know what did u do?

Some stats I read:
Contralateral knee ACL tear :
I read in the past that is close to 10% and is higher then the graft tear.

Female and recreational skiers more chances to tear- 0.63%???
Male and expert skier- less chances to tear-0.03% -

Cadaveric Allograft - retear 30%
patellar to bone autograft 8%
Hamstring autograft- 16%

Also just read that after hamstring allograft MRI shows osteoarthritis within 1 year after reconstruction in the medial patellar - femoral joint. This is what I had, and still had knee cap crackles, and some pains.

I just had another knee reconstructed this season.
I took some bad falls on bumps forward and was ok., I was also having a broken wrist in the cast from trying to learn snowboard, but those dynamic falls were just fine. I only used 1 pole, had been cautious, too.
Those tame slower, less aggressive rides claimed my support. And bindings did not pop.
So I am sure need the lowest din setting for next season.
The pm rides after 2-3 pm, after a sip or 2 of beer
Over lower mountain easy ride on, fatigue.
once I went over an ice brick that just stopped me in place, another time, upper ski pulled me

Most of my friends have chosen diving instead of skiing.
I don't know yet where to go yet.
post #416 of 439

You may have OA that shows up as a Baker's cyst behind the knee.  I do, ten years post ACL.  It shows up with....skiing.

post #417 of 439
It has been 10 Years. Wow.
But incredibly You still back skiing. So that seems good!
I think I will get instruction to improve technique if I go back, and take it gradually.
Hope to be back.
post #418 of 439
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

I'm just over 3 months after surgery.  My rehab is going really smooth.  I've had very little pain - the worst was a massive cramp in the back of my thigh.  I had a few isolated instances of my kneecap mistracking, but it seems to have resolved itself.  Got full range of motion fairly quickly -- getting full extension was uncomfortable, but not too bad.  For some odd reason, my ankle hurts sometimes recently (was never injured, so far as I know). 


I am done with formal PT, but going to the gym or taking a long walk 4 to 5 days a week.   My doctor's protocol doesn't start sideways agility drills till week 16, so I guess I'm going to have to figure that out on my own when the time comes.


I wish all this exercise didn't  take so much time, but I have lost 15 pounds so far, although about five of that was un-doing gains over Christmas.  I'd like to lose another 25 by the start of ski season.  We have a recording scale at work (one of those gimicky wellness programs), so I have a record...


Since this thread got referenced for a new patient recently, I thought I'd post an update.

I'm still going to the gym almost every day, and I'm as fit as I've ever been.  I still don't like exercising, but I do it anyway.


My weight kept dropping, plateaued at about 190, and crept up a little since then.  I'd be happy to stabilize at 195.


I ski a lot of days (for a city guy with a full time job, at least) and ski hard, bell to bell, including lots of moguls.  


My knee never hurts after using it.  It sometimes aches after a long plane ride or drive.

post #419 of 439
At risk of digging up a buried thread when just about everything has been written about it, I'd like to ask about others' experience with accelerated relief of post-surgical pain/complications and how you responded to it (if you're lucky enough to be in this cohort). I'll say up front I'm going about my recovery in an unconventional manner. I'm sure I'll take some grief for that. No matter, that's my choice. First some back ground....

I went down in the typical way: fell back on the tails after slide out on eastern boilerplate, headed toward trees, tried to swap edges while knees at +90 degrees, outside (left) knee popped and crackled. That was last February. Found out ACL torn in August during muniscal repair surgery. Had the ACL reconstructed on 11/5 using my own patella graft by a well know Portsmouth, NH region ortho surgeon who did two of my friends years ago (a serious MTBer and a tele-skier). I'm 49, weight 165 @ 6 feet, excellent shape, and a naturally fast healer. I was in good shape before surgery, running (with patella pain) 2-3 miles/day + 60 road/MTB miles/week.

After the surgery, I was off crutches as soon as local wore off. Limped around for first day, but was walking without a limp within 48 hours. I was putting in 10-20 miles/day on stationary bike (with low resistance) within a week. I'm now 3.5 weeks out from surgery and walking without a limp, light jogging on sand, cross-stepping exercises, light lunges, arm assisted squats, isometrics. I go down/up stairs with a bit discomfort, but pretty normal form. Road biking on my fixie (3.0 ratio) on pretty flat roads about 8-10 miles/day. I have no swelling and only minor "crackly" in the joint. I still have a little stiffness in the morning, but goes away quickly. Range of motion is 95% of my other knee.

I'm being very careful not to overdo it, but I feel like I've got something very good going on here. Now for the controversial part -- I'm doing self-prescribed PT. I figured I'd give it a shot because I've always been in tune with my body and the internet is full of resources. I bet this approach will be roundly criticized, but we make own choices and live with them. I'm not suggesting anyone else do the same.

So, my question is has anyone else here healed at such an accelerated pace and what was your ongoing experience? Did you have any setbacks? How quickly did you get back on skis? Note that I've resigned myself to staying off skis until March at earliest. That'll be four months. Am I conflating my knee feeling great with the grafted ligament healing quickly (whereas it may actually take much longer than I think)?
post #420 of 439

Hey Spudly - Are you doing all this under the supervision of your surgeon? Is he providing guidance? Here's just my 2 cents and it may all be way off the mark. My own background: In excellent condition my whole life. I had an ACL replacement a few years ago. I literally did not have an ACL in my right knee since high school, making it about 40 years without. I skied, ran, high level yoga etc pretty much all fine with an occasional whoozy dislocation/slippage. Then I torn my meniscus in yoga and that determined that I needed to have a new ACL installed. Recovery and healing was perfect. No problems. Didn't need the number of PT sessions prescribed. It is my understanding that the ACL needs to grow and vascularize (did I make up that word?), initially it's only attached by staples or whatever, which is something one can not speed up beyond just being a good and patient patient. Being in shape doesn't help the attachment process any more than it would healing a major wound. Congrats on the speedy recovery, but whoa, what you're doing is a bit unsettling. My question is could you completely waste the ACL and prevent it from doing it's own growing/healing. Once the meniscus is snipped or repaired, you may not know that the ACL is shot  and unsuccessful from over-working it until your knee slides the wrong way. and your very developed musculature could be masking new ACL problems.  Has your surgeon been doing the ACL test on your knee?  Just some thoughts - good luck man! I hope you get back on the snow before March...

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