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Torn ACL and MCL

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Been lurking for awhile I thought I would go ahead and make my first post.

 

Was out at Bridger Bowl this weeked with my son. He was coming out of the terain park located off of the Powder Park lift and I was playing catch up. As I was skiing up on his right he turned right and stopped right in front of me. I was too close to stop and figured it would be better to get low as opposed to going over the top of him and killing him. Thankfully he wasn't hurt in the collision but I tore my ACL and MCL.

 

This is my first injury from skiing and am really bummed out about it. I was wondering what has been harder for others, the rehab or overcoming the fear of re-injuring it.

post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by bj16060 View Post

 

This is my first injury from skiing and am really bummed out about it. I was wondering what has been harder for others, the rehab or overcoming the fear of re-injuring it.

For me it's been the rehab.  No, the fear of re-injury.  No, no.  Definitely the re-hab.  I guess the hardest thing to do is the thing I had to do at the time.  Getting over the fear was the shortest lived.  Took a day, maybe two of skiing.  I do look at things every now and again and say "Better not". That might just be because I'm a year from 50. Rehab has been going on since April 08 and I don't see it ending; ever.  The good news is I lost 18 pounds

 

Btw.  I have the exact same injury; torn (grade 3) ACL &  grade 2 MCL..  I'm skiing with the brace and for a few reasons, haven't had it replaced and I don't think I'm going to.

 

If you search this forum, you find all types of info on this.

 

 

post #3 of 24

Bummer, sorry to hear that you hurt your knee! You will get though it though!

 

I completely ruptured my ACL last season, and gave up the rest of the season to get it reconstructed (allo-graft). There was nothing else wrong with my knee other than not having an ACL - and the associated instability. Pre-surgery I went to PT and re-gained full range of motion and a normal walking gait without crutches/cane. The first few weeks of rehab post-surgery were really tough, and then being on crutches was a huge hassle (especially during business travel). The rest of the rehab was better from the standpoint that I saw measureable improvements week by week, but it was pretty long and grueling. I am skiing with a CTI brace this season per the Surgeon's instructions (maybe next season too depending on his prognosis). I started skiing again about 8 months after the surgery, and now it's just over 11 months from the surgery.

 

I have skied 33 days so far this season, the past 19 on Kneebindings which should afford me extra ACL protection. I also skied the first 14 days in soft boots (Lange 80 RRS) - before I saddled up on the Kneebindings and returned to medium stiffness boots (Nordica Speedmachine 110). Last season I was in stiff boots when I got hurt (Lange WCFit 130). My first ski day out was early in the season during a snowfall in generally poor conditions, and I was skiing so scared that day it made me nuts. Because of the poor visibility I skied with the "brakes-on" for a few runs trying to always see a good place to turn next, before I finally called it quits - and said phew, first day done. It was horrible, exhausting, and like nothing I remembered being a longtime skier. The next and second ski day the visibility was much better, and I had a breakthrough where I learned that if could relax enough to let the skis run and connect (carve) my mind went on "auto-pilot" and skiing again became fun. After that skiing became more normal when visibility was good, and I could see well enough to ski faster and still pick and plan the next place to turn. Now I'm fine with either good or poor visibility, and mixing it up rather than shopping for turns! In retrospect the soft "re-hab" boots were a good starting point not only due to inherent protection they provided but in that they forced me to move around A LOT over my skis, and re-train my muscles. The other thing that was good about the soft boots was that they took my mind off of what could go wrong and put it onto: "wow, look at how far I can bend these boots now". An inner skiing drill of sorts...

 

Good Luck and don't give up!

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

I appreciate the feedback. Getting it fixed this Thursday but found out today that my MCL is worse than originally thought and will most likely need to be surgically repaired as well. Apparently it has damage running the length of it, but the doc won't know for sure until he has me under.

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

Surgery is tomorrow. I reading to much on the internet and starting to get nervous!

post #6 of 24

Don't get too nervous...think of it as the starting point to your recovery.  From tomorrow onward, you will begin to progress and improve.  I'm sure there are a lot of skiing-related injuries in your area; the orthopedic surgeons must be very skilled.  Good luck and get some sleep tonight!

post #7 of 24

Sorry to read about this.  First time I skied with my 3 daughters about 10 years ago it ended badly with me falling, tearing the MCL and much worse, the ACL in my left knee.  Most decidedly the most daunting part of the whole affair is the rehab and therapy.  You have to be patient and not push the affected knee too much.  I had the stupid notion that the harder I worked, the faster the knee would heal.  I say stupid in that my knee was sore all the time ... sore because it was inflamed and because I'd worked it too hard causing it stayed inflamed ... not a good combination for healing.  After some serious in my face "counceling" from the 110lb whippet of a trainer, I got the point and backed off a bit.

 

The good news is I had the surgery on May 1st, and in March of the following year I was back on the slopes and have been there for the 10 years since.  I never had a second thought about getting back on the slopes, because I knew I would always ski.  I did wear a brace for a couple of years after the surgery ... one of the rubber braces which had lateral hinge protection.  This probably offered only minimal protection, but it made me "feel" a bit more secure.  After a couple of years I tossed the brace and have done fine since. The one thing I made sure of before I got back on the slopes was to have brand new gear.  A huge contributor to my injury was the poor quality, rented equipment.  So during the off season rehab, I went to the ski store and put new boots, skiis and bindings on lay-away.  Come March of the next year I knew my gear, what it could and could not do and did not have to deal with the variable quality of rented gear.  Also, I did take it very easy that first season back and took few chances.  If I was tired - I rested, and if it was late in the day and I was tired - I quit for the day ... live to ski another day.

 

And yes, after you get back on the slopes you'll get a fair amount of incredulous, have you lost your mind, gapes from friends and relatives ... "I can't believe you're going to ski again after you've hurt yourself and gone thru all this".  In these instances you just have to remember what your parents taught you about being kind to dumb animals

post #8 of 24

I'm curious...did you get any flack from your surgeon about returning to skiing? I am recently injured, out for this season but definately plan on getting back out there next year. My surgeon just kind of shook his head at the idea...maybe it's too soon to even think about it?

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

My surgeon doesn't have any problem with my goal of sking again by next season.

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

The surgery went well. The surgeon decided to leave my MCL alone and just replaced the ACL with an allograft.

 

I had my 2nd day of PT today and had 0 degrees of extension and 95 degrees of flexion up from 75 degrees yesterday.

 

The biggest problem I have been having is comfort at night, the brace is driving me crazy and I am only getting about 4 hours of sleep each night. Hopefully the nights get better soon.

post #11 of 24

Hang in there it gets better. I slept in a reclyner for the first 3 nights and was taking vicadin and oxycodone to sleep. I am at 5.5weeks post op right now and up to 125 degrees flexion

post #12 of 24

Awesome. It could have just been that my surgeon is not a skier- now, if I told him I wanted to return to football, it might have been a different reaction. :o) Glad your surgery went well, sounds like you are well on your way to recovery. Your ROM is fantastic (this is coming from a PT!). Best of luck to you with your rehab! 

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 

This is not our year, my wife took our son skiing today and took our her left knee. Good grief!

post #14 of 24

Hi, I'm new here and actually just found this website while doing searches on ACL and MCL injuries. I was skiing in Wisconsin this weekend and got too worried about a 5 year old skiing behind me. I kept looking over my shoulder to figure out where he was in relation to me since he was basically barreling down the mountain and lost control and twisted around hearing the ever scary "pop" in my knee. The emergency room showed no broken bones, but had no MRI machine for me to check for tears.

 

I went to the Ortho and after an exam he thinks i tore O'Donaghue's triad (ACL, MCL, and meniscus). The MRI is tomorrow morning and we will find out what happened for sure. My boyfriend and i are going skiing in 2 weeks in Winter Park and Vail. I know I shouldn't attempt to ski, but I feel like i want to regardless of the outcome.

 

Here is my question. I am walking around on my knee i just have a slight limp. My knee is sore, but only hurts mostly when i turn it towards the inside.

 

Does this sound like ACL/MCL tears? I thought I would be in more pain.

 

I trust this Ortho a lot, but would everyone get a second opinion if it's an ACL tear due to the surgery factor?

 

Thanks for any help or advice you can give.

post #15 of 24

Bummer...sounds like you should encourage your son to swim...hope your insurance is good. 

 

Sleeping gets better, but it takes some time.  I am 14 weeks post- op and sleeping has been mostly normal for a while, but I still find it more comfortable to have a pillow between my legs if I am sleeping on my side...first few weeks it was mainly on the back and waking every few hours.

 

I wasn't in a ton of pain pre-op and felt things improving, but was worried about long term stability/further damage to meniscus and didn't give much consideration to skiing without an ACL, but a few have. 

 

I thought about getting a second opinion after the MRI tech told me he saw unofficially a bit of ACL remaining, but the doc showed me the dangling threads with no continuity, so I was convinced that he had it right. 

 

My PT thinks it is good to wait a year before skiing, but the doctors around here are not as conservative.  Mine is considered more conservative and he says 4.5 months minimum, but some of the others have cleared patients in as little as 3 months post-ob.  I have been giving this much thought and was thinking i was at least going to try taking my daughter out on some green groomers soon, but maybe I should wait.

 

 

post #16 of 24

I understand the feeling that you can ski.  I suffered a complete ACL tear in January-nothing left to see on the MRI.  Minimal discomfort after it was aspitated.  Two docs told me I could ski without the ACL.  I just had to wait until the nondisplaced fracture of the tibial plateau was sufficiently healed.  I was also told not to try to ski without the Donjoy brace which is supposed to give stability and prevent hyper-extension.  I am having surgery in a few weeks.  You will need an rx from the doc for this.  I have been back skiing since 5 weeks post injury.  If I hadn't also had the fracture I would have skied earlier. I was tenative the first day out.  By the fourth day I was able to push the knee pretty hard.

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiersjp View Post

 

I understand the feeling that you can ski.  I suffered a complete ACL tear in January-nothing left to see on the MRI.  Minimal discomfort after it was aspitated.  Two docs told me I could ski without the ACL.  I just had to wait until the nondisplaced fracture of the tibial plateau was sufficiently healed.  I was also told not to try to ski without the Donjoy brace which is supposed to give stability and prevent hyper-extension.  I am having surgery in a few weeks.  You will need an rx from the doc for this.  I have been back skiing since 5 weeks post injury.  If I hadn't also had the fracture I would have skied earlier. I was tenative the first day out.  By the fourth day I was able to push the knee pretty hard.

Were you happy with the Donjoy brace?  Do you plan to use it next season?  What made you decide to have surgery?  Was your injury limited to ACL & tibial plateau fracture, or did you also have partial MCL & Meniscus tears (like myself)?
 

post #18 of 24

Well I had the MRI on Wednesday and pretty much insisted that the doctor tell me what he saw without first asking the Radiologist. He told me he will still consult the radiologist, but showed me on the MRI that there is no ACL connected at all and it's completely torn. I am still pretty sore and swollen. My surgery is March 26 to get it repaired. I am pretty scared and nervous about the surgery. I've heard some pretty awful horror stories.

 

I know this is completely crazy, but I'm supposed to be going skiing in Winter Park and Vail coming up March 5-9. The doc is giving me a special ACL brace that's fitted for me. Clearly if i'm still in pain I won't ski, but he told me that he doesn't recommend it, but if I'm going to do it I need to wear the brace, be extra careful, and just do light greens and blues. He also said to make sure the runs are groomed and no powder with possible bumps.

 

Am i completely nuts? I just hate that i've paid all the money for the trip and i have to sit on the sidelines.

 

I welcome any advice or encouraging words! :)

post #19 of 24


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sm7979 View Post

 

Well I had the MRI on Wednesday and pretty much insisted that the doctor tell me what he saw without first asking the Radiologist. He told me he will still consult the radiologist, but showed me on the MRI that there is no ACL connected at all and it's completely torn. I am still pretty sore and swollen. My surgery is March 26 to get it repaired. I am pretty scared and nervous about the surgery. I've heard some pretty awful horror stories.

 

I know this is completely crazy, but I'm supposed to be going skiing in Winter Park and Vail coming up March 5-9. The doc is giving me a special ACL brace that's fitted for me. Clearly if i'm still in pain I won't ski, but he told me that he doesn't recommend it, but if I'm going to do it I need to wear the brace, be extra careful, and just do light greens and blues. He also said to make sure the runs are groomed and no powder with possible bumps.

 

Am i completely nuts? I just hate that i've paid all the money for the trip and i have to sit on the sidelines.

 

I welcome any advice or encouraging words! :)

I am not sure about WP, but Vail has a pretty good Mexican restaurant at the bottom of the Vista Bahn lift which is where I met my buddy for lunch when he skied and I didn't.  My recommendation is to stay on the sidelines to avoid further damage...I feel my knee is much stronger and stable than pre-op, but am still debating whether I should ski with some friends who are going to be in Aspen at the same time as your trip.
 

This was my first surgery and I was a bit nervous, but felt comfortable with my doctor...Had an extra long wait pre-op, but when I woke up, everything seemed as good as could be expected even if I was a bit out of it from all the meds...I am sure that you will be fine also but understand your trepidation...Good luck!

post #20 of 24

I'm happy with the Donjoy brace.  I've skied progressively harder each time.  I do have to ice the knee at the end of the day.  I can ski bumps and run toboggans with the brace.  It just takes a little time to get your confidence.  My surgery is in a few weeks.

post #21 of 24

Nearing the end of this season, and now 13.5 months out of ACL surgery (allograft reconstruction), so I'm sharing my status report on my recovery for others going through this.

 

I have skied 60 days so far this season, all wearing a CTI brace as prescribed by my surgeon (Lyle Micheli out of Boston). I skied the first 14 days with very soft boots as gentle rehab - Lange RRS 80 (80 stiffness). My Kneebindings eventually came and got mounted, and I skied the next 46 days on them using a regular stiffness boot: Nordica Speedmachine 10 (110 stiffness). The regular stiffness boot was much nicer to ski with! However, the Physical Therapist's recommendation of the softer boot to start off with seemed worthwhile, and was certainly interesting as I hadn't skied in a boot that soft for a long time, and if anything it was a good re-training drill. Everything with my knee is now working fine and it's feeling better every day out on the slopes. My head is fine now too, and remains clear as I ski (no doubts/hesitations). There is a video clip of me skiing this season on my profile.

 

Good Luck and I hope plenty of success to everyone else out there going through this rehab!

post #22 of 24

Yes. I torn my ACL and damage my MCL 2 weeks ago. I went to Hunter mountain on one Sunday morning with my boots but no liner. No one would sell me or rent a liner there, so I had to rent the whole thing at the base. A couple of runs and I hit a unmarked double black, the rest is history. I should have exercise more caution and use more brake, but I was feeling ok a couple runs so threw caution to the wind and let it pick up a lot of speed before long one ski was in the air. Now I am walking with a single crutch but I have been told the horror story of the surgery. I am going to see a surgeon tommorow and hopefully it will be alright.

post #23 of 24

having gone through 2 ACL surgeries, I wouldn`t call it a horror story- not something I would like to do again, but not the end of the world either.  If you are going to have surgery, make sure you go with a DR who does a LOT of ACL reconstructions.  Best of luck!

post #24 of 24

agree 100%, just 3 weeks post op for me. Its not the worst surgery I've had, it does require patience and dedication for a full and proper recovery. Yes, it can be painful at times and rehab is no picnic especially in the beginning as you are getting the knee to flex and straighten but its better than dealing with an unstable knee and wearing a brace for nearly all your sports. Its a few months to gain full use and stability. I will take that anytime.    As stated below, not only find a competent, experienced surgeon who does a lot of ACL's but make sure you find an equally experienced and trained Physical therapist who is up on the latest protocols.  Proper rehab can make or break your recovery.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

having gone through 2 ACL surgeries, I wouldn`t call it a horror story- not something I would like to do again, but not the end of the world either.  If you are going to have surgery, make sure you go with a DR who does a LOT of ACL reconstructions.  Best of luck!



 

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