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ACL tear question

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
For those who've had the torn ACL before (mine is apparantly Grade 3) is it common for knee instability to not show up until 1 week later?? Mine was stable at first, but is now becoming unstable....

Plus - as of today - it's "popping" a little....

Brace fitting & PT begins on Monday....
post #2 of 37
mine was unstable at first, then, after the pain went away...a week or so later, it felt pretty stable. I could walk around and everything. Dr. put me on crutches for all the other problems, but I was going out to a show in Boston and didn't want to slow the group down with me hobbling about on crutches, so I left the crutches at home.

crossing a street, where the sidewalk slopes down to the street, my "stable" feeling knee suddenly gave out on me and I fell, probably doing more damage, not to mention exposing the group to some of my more 'colorful' streams of descriptive language....about how it felt.

Lying in the slush in the middle of the street in boston made me realize that it may feel stable, but I really, really needed to get that fixed.

it gave out a couple times besides in the shower, etc. It wasn't any specific movement, usually when my foot was planted and I turned or something. but for the most part it felt ok doing everyday activities.
post #3 of 37
Absolutely.

Because right after the injury (and the same thing happens after surgery) - you're at the most swollen. Extra swelling means stiffness and therefore the instability is minimized. Then when the swelling goes down, all of the sudden you notice the instability more. If you wait a while before having surgery - you'll get used to it, start compensating and probably go through another phase where you start thinking - hey, I don't need surgery, I feel fine. Except when you pivot around a corner funny or some such thing and land straight on your butt.

Anyway - sounds normal to me!
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Based on what a friend told me - instability was expected right away....but in my case it wasn't - so wanted to ask!!

PT starts tomorrow.... :

And the 9" of snow we got here overnight is depressing...
post #5 of 37

Mri?

Did you get an MRI? I would think that's the only way to really find out what's up with your ACL.
post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cruddog
Did you get an MRI? I would think that's the only way to really find out what's up with your ACL.
That's not true. think about all the acl repair that was done before the advent of mri.
actually, surgical inspection is best, and you won't suffe rthe severe memory-loss issues and nervous system damage that the outrageous, van-allen belitan EMF of the MRI induce.
the MRI will erase your credit card swipe strips, imagine what it doe sto your synapses.
anyway, i haven't even had my original AXCLs sinc ethe 80s, both of my repairs failed over a decade ago, and i skied and boarded a LOT since then.
no bigs.
post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cruddog
Did you get an MRI? I would think that's the only way to really find out what's up with your ACL.
Got the MRI Friday -- PT starts tomorrow & I see the Dr. again tomorrow....

Can't wait to see how active I can be as I can't stand being inactive...

Just wish I could ski.....
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenscats5
Got the MRI Friday -- PT starts tomorrow & I see the Dr. again tomorrow....

Can't wait to see how active I can be as I can't stand being inactive...

Just wish I could ski.....
if you'd like the name/number of the US ski and snowboard team's orthopaedic surgeon, (trained under dick steadman, who did a few knee jobs on me), ping me- i met him while working at the olympic qualifiers, and hung out with him for two days. outstanding guy.
he lead me to bellieve i might actually have hope to ride well, again. cadaverous meniscae for old vladmir!!!!!
post #9 of 37
So, how is pt going? when is surgery? what did the dr. say?
post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaA
So, how is pt going? when is surgery? what did the dr. say?
1st PT appt was yesterday - they made me cry!! LOL Go again Wed & Fri.

Saw the Dr. again yesterday - MRI showed a bone bruise + tear of the ACL. So apparantly I came down on my leg hard in a straight-legged fashion before it twisted. Cringed yesterday when I watched the Olympic women's downhill crashes....ugh!!

This sucks and I'm pretty darn depressed....
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenscats5
1st PT appt was yesterday - they made me cry!! LOL

This sucks and I'm pretty darn depressed....
????
you've still GOT your ACLs, unlike some of us......
post #12 of 37
heh, my knee actually HURT when I was watching the womens downhill...sympathy pain, I expect.

when will you have surgery?

Keep the chin up. You will, when you come back from this, be STRONGER than when you went out, if you keep up the pt, and then power through all the mental stuff. And the fear. Its all in my head, but It took a couple of years but I am starting to feel invincible again. (starting too.)

its also a very educational experience, you get to learn all kinds of things about knees and muscles, etc....

try to enjoy the down time, think of everything you ever said you would do "If I weren't skiing this weekend." and do those things.

It really sucked for me because VK was still skiing and I was following him around for the weekend races. I'd sit in the lodge with the hot cocoa, thinking that that would be cool but it got old really fast. so then I would take the car and go antique shopping...that was fun. and sometimes I would bring the laptop and get work done.

the first thing the doctor let me do after surgery (besides PT, that is) as far as activities was inline skate. I was so excited. then I went around the block once and decided that was enough for that day.

but you will be skiing before you know it. just do the excercises consistenly, you will be back on snow very soon....
post #13 of 37
get a very clear understanding of what the doctor is going to do. each of my 9 knee surgeries was dramatically different from the others, and each indicated far different recovery intervals, etc.
you might still ski this season, you might have to skip all of next season..... it all depends on what, exactly, the orthopede wants to do with that partial acl tear.
post #14 of 37
Nine, Vlad? isn't there a point where you just give up?

I am having nightmares after just one. I dont expect that I would have another one. Ok, so I would. I guess after a few it would be silly not to do it, why go through all that...and then not ....

*shudder* nine... my god.

*shudder again.***
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaA
Nine, Vlad? isn't there a point where you just give up?

I am having nightmares after just one. I dont expect that I would have another one. Ok, so I would. I guess after a few it would be silly not to do it, why go through all that...and then not ....

*shudder* nine... my god.

*shudder again.***
actually, i did give up. it's been 15 years, give or take, since my last knee surgery. i hope to get each one redone soon, though.
also, i made my living on skis, so i had little choice, really.
post #16 of 37
Well, I know of a guy (VKs friend) who has had 12 and is due for another one.

It just blows my mind. One was tough.
post #17 of 37
It's a wonder there is anything left in there to "fix"
post #18 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
????
you've still GOT your ACLs, unlike some of us......
I have one.....the left...........right one is gone - but will get a new one....

Was told no more skiing this season....
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenscats5
I have one.....the left...........right one is gone - but will get a new one....

Was told no more skiing this season....
It's a 6 month rehab for reconstruction no matter what protocol is used.
If you really want to ski this year, have you thought about skiing with a brace, then get your knee done in April. Several years ago, we found out in December that my wife's ACL was gone, so she skied with a Donjoy "Defiant" knee brace for the rest of the winter. She got her knee repaired in April, and was cleared for skiing "brace free" in November....
post #20 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2-turn
It's a 6 month rehab for reconstruction no matter what protocol is used.
If you really want to ski this year, have you thought about skiing with a brace, then get your knee done in April. Several years ago, we found out in December that my wife's ACL was gone, so she skied with a Donjoy "Defiant" knee brace for the rest of the winter. She got her knee repaired in April, and was cleared for skiing "brace free" in November....
That's the brace I'm getting - eventually - once the swelling goes down....can't get fitted till it's gone...
post #21 of 37
I wouldn't keep skiing on it unless you really have some real reason you think it's worth the risk. Braced or not. Because you then have the potential to do damage (or more damage) to your meniscus (which is often unrepairable) or additional ligaments. Plus you're likely to favor your leg if you're skiing while injured and you develop some bizarre compensating habits that will take a lot longer to break than they do to form. I can tell you that from experience - my first torn ACL didn't get fixed right away and I kept skiing - learning to pick up my inside ski so my knee wouldn't collapse on me in tricky snow. I got the days in, but then 2 years later I was still working on getting rid of the funky habits. With my other ACL, I had it fixed the next week, got back to skiing in 5 1/2 months, and got back to form right away.

I'd tell you to just get it fixed ASAP, dedicate yourself to rehab, and get back on skis next year.
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by altagirl
I wouldn't keep skiing on it unless you really have some real reason you think it's worth the risk. Braced or not. Because you then have the potential to do damage (or more damage) to your meniscus (which is often unrepairable) or additional ligaments. Plus you're likely to favor your leg if you're skiing while injured and you develop some bizarre compensating habits that will take a lot longer to break than they do to form. I can tell you that from experience - my first torn ACL didn't get fixed right away and I kept skiing - learning to pick up my inside ski so my knee wouldn't collapse on me in tricky snow. I got the days in, but then 2 years later I was still working on getting rid of the funky habits. With my other ACL, I had it fixed the next week, got back to skiing in 5 1/2 months, and got back to form right away.

I'd tell you to just get it fixed ASAP, dedicate yourself to rehab, and get back on skis next year.
I'd second this wholeheartedly.

If you are going to get it reconstructed, just "git r dun". And yes, the rehab is long. And if you are an active person, depressing. BUT--worth it in the long run. Don't run the risk of further damaging that knee. The snow will be back next year, and believe me, it will be that much sweeter for all your hard work.

FYI--make sure you pick a GREAT doc, not just the first one who will get you in. One that does on average 100 ACL reconstructs/yr, sports med doc. Vlad mentioned Dr Steadman, wow, if you can get him to do it, go for it if he's in your neighborhood! I kinda think your doc should be in the same vicintity as your PT, just my .02.

Good luck!
post #23 of 37
THIRDING.

(Let me know if you rae in the northeast and need a good surgeon. I have one that understands athletes, understands the differences in women athletes and physiology..and is the "up and coming star" of sports medicine in NH (at least tht is what all the pt nurses told me, as they swooned because he was incredibly hot besides that.) (Of course one 'test' of the knee and he becomes much less hot.)
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by altagirl
I wouldn't keep skiing on it unless you really have some real reason you think it's worth the risk. Braced or not. Because you then have the potential to do damage (or more damage) to your meniscus (which is often unrepairable) or additional ligaments. Plus you're likely to favor your leg if you're skiing while injured and you develop some bizarre compensating habits that will take a lot longer to break than they do to form. I can tell you that from experience - my first torn ACL didn't get fixed right away and I kept skiing - learning to pick up my inside ski so my knee wouldn't collapse on me in tricky snow. I got the days in, but then 2 years later I was still working on getting rid of the funky habits. With my other ACL, I had it fixed the next week, got back to skiing in 5 1/2 months, and got back to form right away.

I'd tell you to just get it fixed ASAP, dedicate yourself to rehab, and get back on skis next year.
upon readin the first sentence of this post, i was "braced" to respond in full-dress argument mode...then I read more of it, and I gotta tell ya, this is SAGE advice she's doling out.
were I to have followed just this advice 19 years ago, I likely would have had fewer traumas and surgeries.
rock on, altagirl
post #25 of 37
jenscats my advice is to be patient. Depending on the type of shape you were in prior to the injury it's going to take some time before you feel "normal" again. I'm 9 months post-op and am not skiing yet (hoping for April 1st - 1 year anniversary of my injury). It's taking me longer than normal because of my bone bruise which according to my doc was rather large (along with some other collateral damage). Apparently bone bruise is doc-speak for a fractured tibia crown and it slows down the healing process.

Good luck and let me know if you have any rehab questions along the way.
post #26 of 37
Great advice given, from my experience.

I'm now 9 years post ACL, and stonger than before (though my left one is now noodly).

Get a GREAT doc, wait for the swelling to go down, get it fixed, and throw yourself WHOLEHEARTEDLY into your pt: . Swallow the pain, tears, and disappointment, and be preared to ROCK next year.

Good Luck!!!!
post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobski
jenscats my advice is to be patient. Depending on the type of shape you were in prior to the injury it's going to take some time before you feel "normal" again. I'm 9 months post-op and am not skiing yet (hoping for April 1st - 1 year anniversary of my injury). It's taking me longer than normal because of my bone bruise which according to my doc was rather large (along with some other collateral damage). Apparently bone bruise is doc-speak for a fractured tibia crown and it slows down the healing process.

Good luck and let me know if you have any rehab questions along the way.

Yep apparantly have a bone bruise....ugh!!

And yes, I'm very active - this injury has ruined my competitive season in my other sport....so not only did I lose my ski season but I also lost my other sport also.... *sigh*

I was just hoping/wishing I could ski - know I can't & won't try nor risk further damage.

My Orthopedist is a guy I've heard from others when asked "Who to go to?" Doing my PT at the Univ of DE.
post #28 of 37
Jen, my 18 year old daughter blew her ACL playing basketball in November, had surgery Dec. 29, and called yesterday to say her P-T will be releasing her in two weeks. She'll see the orthopedist next Friday, get fitted with an athletic brace ($1500??? she said), and expects to be scrimmaging with the team in a red shirt soon.

At the beginning they told her rehab would take six months post surgery. It has been about 6 weeks, but she was extremely aggressive with the P-T.
post #29 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Jen, my 18 year old daughter blew her ACL playing basketball in November, had surgery Dec. 29, and called yesterday to say her P-T will be releasing her in two weeks. She'll see the orthopedist next Friday, get fitted with an athletic brace ($1500??? she said), and expects to be scrimmaging with the team in a red shirt soon.

At the beginning they told her rehab would take six months post surgery. It has been about 6 weeks, but she was extremely aggressive with the P-T.
That's good news!! I'm planning on being aggressive myself....
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenscats5
Yep apparantly have a bone bruise....ugh!!

And yes, I'm very active - this injury has ruined my competitive season in my other sport....so not only did I lose my ski season but I also lost my other sport also.... *sigh*

I was just hoping/wishing I could ski - know I can't & won't try nor risk further damage.

My Orthopedist is a guy I've heard from others when asked "Who to go to?" Doing my PT at the Univ of DE.
I probably should have mentioned my age. At 48 I'm probably a number of standard deviations away from the mean age for this injury which adds time to my recovery. Your mileage may vary .

Get as much ROM as possible and keep the quad as strong as possible prior to surgery. After surgery it's initially all about recovering ROM (again) and reducing swelling; both are very important with the later being critical before you can really start to build muscle again. You'll develop a special relationship with ice. The bike will also be your friend (stationary, spinning, road). My silver lining was developing a new hobbie with a road bike. Lots of fun.

You'll find lots of good info from fellow skiers here and at the TGR gimp page.

Best wishes - it will get better.
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