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mcl problems a year and a half after tear?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
hey everyone. in the beginning of march of 2007 i tore my mcl snowboarding (i know this is a ski forum but dont think how i tore it would matter?). at the time i didnt have health care and i was not able to enter physio therapy or any kind of rehab for my knee. according to my doctor my tear wasnt that bad (i think he said it was second degree if i remember correctly) and that if i stayed off of it and iced it it should go back to 100%. for the past year and a half i have been taking it pretty easy. i went from 60+ day seasons down to 20 and have given up on park and any high impact sports.

in september of 2007 my friend tackled me and my knee buckled, it swelled up quite a bit and i wasnt able to walk comfortably for a week or two. around december of 2007 the swelling had completely stopped and i was able to flex my knee all the way without any pain so i figured it was completely healed.

still taking it pretty easy i havnt had any problems with it until 3 weeks ago. i was jogging down the beach and i hit a pothole on my bad leg and i felt a wierd popping/buckling sensation. it swelled up again but the pain wasnt too bad and within a week the swelling had completely gone away. 2 weeks later i went for the final weekend at perisher blue and thought i would give park a try because of the really soft slushy conditions. about half way threw the day i hit a kicker too slow and landed hard on the knuckle and once again my knee popped. but this time it swelled up alot more and i was in much more pain. it got to the point where my foot was going knumb. i continued to ice it and give it rest and now the swelling is completely gone. i can bend my foot all the way up to my butt but i can still feel a little bit of pain.

basically i want to know if there is anything i can do to strengthen my legiment. according to the doctors when i tore it it should be completely fine by now. i want to be able to run without worry of my knee buckling when i hit uneven ground and not being able to walk for a week. i want to be able to continue high impact sports like wakeboarding and snowboarding without the fear of messing myself up everytime i try. am i ****ed for life or what? im a tourist in australia and i once again do not have health care to pay for physio. if i do come up with some money would they even be able to do anything for an injury that is over a year old? im 23 years old and im far too young give up sports and settle into old age...

is this normal to have problems from a mcl tear a year and a half later? i thought this legiment healed itself so i wouldnt need surgery?
post #2 of 13
Get insurance, or move to a country that provides health insurance for all.

Go to a doctor who has lots of experience in knee injuries and surgery.

Its probably going to be expensive, but, yes, you can return to a more or less normal athletic life...after anything that needs to be fixed is fixed.

Insurance companies often do not cover pre-existing injuries...it may take some time and some wisdom navigating through all that.

I had my ACL reconstructed 6 months ago, without insurance. It cost over 20 grand. Now I have insurance and my "new" knee is covered. Moral of the story...I'm the sort of guy who needs insurance, even if I have to pay out of pocket. Sounds like you are the same.

As far as medical advice goes...its best not to seek it over the internet. Much smarter to just go see a Doc with vast experience in what you are dealing with.

Take care, it'll all work out.
post #3 of 13
I've had ups and downs with my MCL for almost two years now, and I have to admit I know nothing anymore.

Good luck.
post #4 of 13
From Weems Westfeldts book..."Brilliant Skiing Every Day"... http://www.edgechange.com/pdf/BrilliantSkiing.pdf

"...As for Tom, he sums it up it with a wonderful awareness that
the amount of knowledge we have as individuals, compared to all the knowledge in the universe, is so tiny, so subatomic, that it is truly a wonder that we all struggle so hard to be so right about so little. Not knowing is really a good place..."
post #5 of 13
It sounds like you´ve actually torn your ACL somewhere along the way. Perhaps when your friend tackled you and your knee "buckled"? Reading your story, that´s my bet - go get it checked out.
post #6 of 13
I agree with jdistefa...get it checked, don't worry, it can be "fixed".
post #7 of 13
The original diagnosis may not even have been entirely correct. At this point its certainly beyond self-help.

You need to see an orthopaedic specialist. He can manipulate your knee joint to check for instability and may want you to have an MRI for a full diagnosis and prior to any surgery.
post #8 of 13
"Buckling" sounds like meniscal tear. See a doc, figure it out and get it fixed!
post #9 of 13
Internet diagnosis is problematic, and I have stayed away from this area of the forum after some ridiculous jousting several months ago, however I thought I could be helpful with some advice for this young man.

We see a fair number of younger people with very similar stories to this poster. Invariably, they almost all have missed ACL tears. The mechanism of the original injury is not described here, but getting tackled is highly suspect. Further, the sense of the knee 'buckling' and 'popping' recurrently (after both stepping in a hole, and landing hard with a presumed pivoting component) are both suggestive. Lastly, transient numbness of the foot can be caused by stretching of the common peroneal nerve in the setting of knee subluxation, i.e. excess movement due to a lack of an ACL.

So to the OP, like everyone has suggested here - get your knee examined. An MRI is not always necessary pre-op if your physical exam is obvious (especially when you're on a tight budget ).
post #10 of 13
Quote:
We see a fair number of younger people with very similar stories to this poster. Invariably, they almost all have missed ACL tears. The mechanism of the original injury is not described here, but getting tackled is highly suspect. Further, the sense of the knee 'buckling' and 'popping' recurrently (after both stepping in a hole, and landing hard with a presumed pivoting component) are both suggestive. Lastly, transient numbness of the foot can be caused by stretching of the common peroneal nerve in the setting of knee subluxation, i.e. excess movement due to a lack of an ACL.
This is fascinating! Thanks so much!
post #11 of 13
The posts above are helpful and mostly correct based on my experience. But please take only this advice: stop self diagnosing and see an orthopod.

Been there...done that. I hurt my knee (torn ACL), told myself I was probably fine, got online and tried educate myself (or further convince my self I would be fine), took it easy and did some specific low impact excercises to strengthen and thought that would do it. Wrong. The injury would sneak up on me again and remind me what I already knew - my knee was screwed. The last straw came 6 months later when it collapsed and I went to the ground simply throwing the ball for the dog. Anyway, along the way I managed to tear my meniscus as well...cool.

Good news is they can diagnose it easily without an MRI or other expensive preop. diagnoses Through simple manipulation my Doc diagnosed both. Surgery went well, the pain and the meds were great. I have had a great result, 12 years now.

Good luck.
post #12 of 13
The step in the pothole... sounds like you tore your ACL.

Find a professional, pay out of pocket, tell them your history.

The longer you delay the more likely you will have problems with things like - walking.
post #13 of 13
I agree with the other posters...

I had a partial tear of my MCL about 16 years ago- no surgery but lots of PT left my legs in the best shape of my life with the idea of having the surrounding muscles, etc. providing support for my knee. It took me a year or two to completely trust the knee, but I haven't had any problems with that knee since.

Unfortunately, I took a real simple fall yesterday and my other knee went pop...the orthopedic and others who examined it weren't sure if it was an ACL or only an MCL...an MRI on Tuesday should give the answer.
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