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ACL tear - looking for thoughts on recovery time - Page 8

post #211 of 358


My commentary is embedded within the excerpts of your post below - I hope this works!



Originally Posted by kcxd View Post

..."My OS has been very careful to counsel me about the bone growth being the weak link in the 
hamstring graft chain, and he was only willing for me to start skiing again if I agreed to certain 
restrictions - carving on groomers only, no off-piste, no moguls"...  



You may be in the terrain 'penalty box' for now, but it's not a such a bad deal - at least you're 
skiing again.(Considering that where I live, I'd kill for the chance to be able to ski places like 
Seymour, Cypress & Grouse - really!) I'd have to drive about 3 hours just to get to the nearest 
700(ft) vertical, otherwise I'm stuck at places with less than 400 verts.  

..."I have had to accept that this season will probably be a more limited kind of skiing than I'm used 
to, but to be honest I'm so glad to be back out there that I can handle the restrictions. I'm 
looking at it as a good opportunity to work on my carving form and eradicate errors from my 
technique before I start hitting up the tough terrain again next season."...



If I get the chance to get back out at all this year, I'll be taking it real easy. This should 
provide me with similar opportunity to really figure out how to ski my AC50s on the crappy snow 
found here in my neck of the woods. The model demoed real well in Utah last Feb, but skiing a new 
pair here was quite a different experience, and I went down before really getting the chance to get 
used to them.

..."With regard to the question of how to handle ACL deficiency, I can only really speak to my 
experience between injury and surgery. I was very lucky and had a really good recovery, probably 
because my leg muscles were in excellent shape when the injury happened. I was skiing tentatively 
six weeks after injury,and skiing comfortably (high speeds, variable conditions) at eight weeks out. 
I did wear a brace on my PT's advice, but really didn't notice any weakness or discomfort in the 
injured side. However, my OS (and other medical professionals I spoke to online) all advised me that 
surgery was the best course of action, in spite of the fact that I seemed to be managing fine 
without an ACL"...

I wonder if the recommendation to have surgery will apply for me as well, at age 52. So far, my 
first OS recommended it, "If you want to ski hard gain". That makes sense to me. I don't know if 
having an autograft is wise for me though. His inclination was to do a patellar allograft on me. I 
don't know what technique my new OS prefers yet, but, at my age, tissue regeneration at the harvest 
site might not be so good... For that reason, I'm shying away from having an autograft. 

..."Their rationale was a) the risk of increased damage in a fall without an ACL to provide lateral 
protection for the knee joint and b) the gradual wearing away of articular cartilage, which happens 
at different rates but is inevitably exacerbated by the lack of the ACL. (A bit like MNator's 
comment about "sanding down" the meniscus, except that articular cartilage repair is a much more 
hit-and-miss field.)"...

Although I'd love to skip through this ordeal without a surgery, these 2 points always bring me back 
to earth. I have a few extra chips on the 'don't do it' side of the argument to consider,(age, only 
ski 10-15 days/yr, etc) but ultimately, sage medical advice trumps my own rationalizations. We'll 
see what doctor #2 has to say soon enough.

..."Given that I had some existing knee problems and early stage osteoarthritis on both sides, this 
wasn't a risk I was willing to take. I'd be lying through my teeth if I said that the surgical route 
was an easy one or that I hadn't been through some bleak moments in the past seven months. However, 
I'm still sure that the choice I made was the right one given my circumstances. It was really, 
really tempting to avoid surgery given how well I recovered from the initial injury, but all the 
tests showed that there was just a shade more laxity in the knee without the ACL. The thought of 
what that laxity might do over time was enough to get me into the operating theatre."...

At a ripe young age still, you had much at stake in that regard. That my knee capsule is in decent 
shape yet also gives me reason to do what I can to protect against future degeneration.(Bass playing 
already provides me with ample opportunity for a different kind of degeneration, and I'd like to 
keep it that way!)

..."BTW, if anyone here is looking for more advice on surgery, recovery, graft choice or anything else 
to do with an ACL tear, I'd really recommend the Knee Geeks forum - 
http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php. I've gotten amazing advice and support from the folk 
there over the past year"...

Agreed - Those Brits are thorough!

..."Hard to believe that I'm coming up on the first anniversary of the day I crash-landed that air on 
Whistler Mountain..."...

Can I ask you where you were - I've been to Whistler a number of times and it's great up there.(when not fogged-in) I sure wish that I lived closer to it!



post #212 of 358

Mr Hazmat,


Did your tib plateau injury hurt upon knee extension? - And, did your PT mention at what point(time-wise) after such an injury that it is generally safe to 'wank' on it again to regain ROM?  (I'm still in the dark about when I'll be safe to 'push it' on mine)  I've been avoiding the 'no pain, no gain' philosophy for the time being, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm being a little too conservative yet.  Glad to hear of your progress!  You've got me beat by a good two weeks!  Let us know if the decision-making websites are worthwhile - I bet some of us would like to see them.





post #213 of 358

Just my 2 cents again...ACL reconstruction is really a personal choice. There is nothing life threatening about it. Many people do not have one, including athletes, and still function quite well. It is usually advised that a younger person (up to about 30) reconstruct the ACL because it MAY delay the onset of arthritis. Key word is "MAY" There really is not a whole lot of concrete evidence to prove that an ACL deficient knee is any more likely to be an arthritic knee in the future. Anyone who skies regularly is likely to have arthritic knees at some point, with or without an ACL. 52 is not old but it is also not young. I would seriously consider strengthening the knee and see how skiing goes before undergoing surgery. You can ski hard without an ACL. It all comes down to the strength of your quadriceps and hamstrings. You can train your knee to be stable with no ACL. It just takes time. Honestly, an allograft in a 52 year old might not heal very well because it's foreign tissue. If I was 52 and undergoing my first reconstruction I would strongly consider my own tissue. Any doctor who tries to talk you out of using your own tissue shouldn't be doing the surgery. Regardless of age, the muscles and tendons used for the graft generally don't grow back anyway. However, if you are set on an allograft make sure it is a patellar tendon with bone blocks.    

post #214 of 358


Originally Posted by Mr Hazmat View Post



Good news, just got back from the OS who said I don't have anymore significant restrictions. A good PT is invaluable!  I asked about sking easy green type stuff and he was very hesitant but agreed that it could be done especially if wearing a brace to stabize the knee BUT!!! he did not recommend it.


So now I have a decision to make. The OS is leaving that up to me and provided some websites that have Decision Aids to help decide ===Surgery  or  Not.


At this point I am leaning toward having an allograft ACL procedure done but still appreciate hearing from our fellow bears about their expierences either way.


Elistan:  Same problem here, flexion was a bitch, but I found as the swelling goes down you will be better able to flex. Good Luck!




It's good to hear about your progress.  smile.gif  And thanks for the encouragement - I do find that if I've been able to control the swelling, the flexion goes much better.

Personally I'm leaning towards an allograft myself.  Post up those websites!  It's always good to have more info, IMO.

post #215 of 358
Originally Posted by Elistan View Post

...Post up those websites!  It's always good to have more info, IMO.

There's been talk of starting an ACL wiki...  Good links would be helpful to have.

post #216 of 358
Originally Posted by BadGalSkier View Post

...However, if you are set on an allograft make sure it is a patellar tendon with bone blocks.    

I'm looking to start a PT schedule soon, and  I'll have a second opinion hopefully as early as Mon.  I want to pursue PT for short time while I mull over a decision.  I agree that if I do have an allograft, it needs to have bone blocks on each end.  That way, if the ligament tissue doesn't revascularize well, the bone reintegration should help keep the whole graft from failing.

post #217 of 358
Thread Starter 

MNator - I'd agree with your reasoning on the allograft if you do opt for reconstruction. It's a slightly longer healing process because the tissue is essentially dead when it goes into your knee and the revascularization takes longer, but healing up a graft site isn't much fun at any age. I'm gradually regaining strength on that side with a lot of targeted gym work (it's about 10lbs behind the good leg on the hamstring curl machine) but I'm very aware of the missing tendons when I kick my leg up toward my butt; it won't go much past 90 degrees on that side because the extensor mechanism that used to pull it up is gone. 


You're absolutely right that at this point, I'm grateful just to be able to ski and to have so many options close to home. I'm from the UK originally, so for a long time I could only ski once every few years when the finances permitted a proper ski vacation. I still have to pinch myself when I realise that I now have three small hills within the city limits, and Whistler just a two hour drive up the Sea to Sky highway. It hasn't been easy watching all of my friends enjoying the first half of the season without me, but I'm incredibly grateful that all of this is right there waiting for me. (BTW, if anyone is in the Vancouver area and wants to catch a few runs sometime - let me know!)


Is there anything else you do that requires cutting/pivoting or places significant lateral demands on the knee? That's also something to think about when you're weighing up the pros and cons of reconstructions.


Badgalskier - The reading I've done (which has been pretty extensive, and mainly focused on medical databases) indicates that there's approximately a rule of thirds with ACL deficient knees. A third of folk are able to strengthen the knee sufficiently that they can continue on as they were, including all sports, without problems. A third are able to live without an ACL, but have to modify sporting activities to avoid anything that places lateral pressure on the knee. And a third have such bad instability that their knee buckles even during every day activity. The challenge is that there's no way to tell which group you fall into until you've worked your way through a strengthening program, which can take a while if you also have to deal with the recovery from injury. Something I've found from comparing notes with many folk on the knee forums is that in the UK they tend to put people through conservative treatment first with the goal of avoiding surgery if possible, and in North America they tend to encourage surgery if you're at all committed to sports.


Again, the impression I've gained from reading around on the topic is that future damage really depends on laxity. If you go through a strengthening program and there's no laxity in the joint, then you won't be wearing away the cartilage. If a joint feels 100% stable but has noticeable laxity on testing (my situation) then it will be causing damage, and even minor amounts of additional wear and tear take their toll over time.


ACL reconstruction is really a personal choice.


Couldn't agree more with this. The best each one of us can hope to do is inform ourselves as well as possible, talk to the relevant medical experts, and then make the choice that seems the best for our particular circumstances. Unfortunately the sheer volume of information out there often contributes to making this a challenging process.

post #218 of 358
Thread Starter 



MNator Quote:
Can I ask you where you were - I've been to Whistler a number of times and it's great up there.


Sorry - missed this in my original response. I was on a jump in the terrain park on Whistler Mountain, just below the Peak 2 Peak gondola tower. I probably got what I deserved for being in the terrain park at 33 years old, but I'd been working on my landings and thought a final run through the park before breaking for coffee was a good idea. Not my smartest move ever, especially as it was super icy that day.


If you're interested, I did post a full account of the accident and its immediate aftermath on my blog: http://sidecut.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/and-so-it-ends/

post #219 of 358

Last time I was at WB the peak2peak gondo wasn't there yet, but I remember there being some park-like features along the left side of Emerald's top shelf, so I'm guessing that the P2P tower is somewhere in that vicinity.  I loved doing laps on peak chair to big red and back to peak again.


One time I was there in mid-april (1999, I think) and the weather was beautiful for days; blue skies and all.  Every night, Whistler ridge 'reloaded itself' from the southerly spring breezes and I was skiing thigh-deep dry stuff every morning under the west cirque entrance even though no snowstorms were in sight!  And it was really nice and warm down in the village, too.  Ten days of bliss - I got a super deal on a loft at the Crystal Lodge because it was after Easter, and, out of all of my ski-trekks over the years, this was definitely one of the best...  A truly five-star visit!


cheers, Loren

post #220 of 358

I had an allograph and I think my pain is from muscle imbalance and a rough meniscus.  I had a check on the knee and everything is still strong.  I had fairly extensive damage.  A total ACL a partial MCL and several tears in the meniscus.  I needed surgery as the meniscus was folded in the knee and I could not straighten my knee past about 20 degrees by the time of surgey.  Prior to this injury I was injury free on my knees over the last 50 years of skiing.    I continued to ski for a couple of weeks after the injury but quickly went down hill.


Other people have said I am an idiot and ski like my ars is on fire but I do not feel that way.  I don't think I have been taking more than a couple of G's so the load on the outside knee is not more than about 350 lb or so for a second or so.


I have now not skied for two weeks and will try again tomorrow. I kinda blew my points a couple weeks ago skiing on one foot through the bumps. I have a lot of pain across the patellar.


Hope this helps.  

Originally Posted by MNator View Post
Pierre, I'm sorry to hear that things aren't pain-free for you yet - Do you think that your pain is coming mainly from the meniscus repair or is it more from the ACL tunnels?  I remember you posting here last summer - maybe you can help jog my memory...  What kind of graft did you have?  And, was it an autograft or an allograft?  Did you delay your surgery or ski before having it?  Was your ACL damaged earlier in life(or the meniscus) before the injury that led to your surgery?  Sorry for all the questions...  I am almost at 7 weeks post-injury and I am still debating surgery vs.a natural recovery.
post #221 of 358

Update:  It's now been 7 1/2 months since the ACL reconstruction (June 22) on my left knee and things continue to go well.  My first race was December 8th.  I'm actually having my best competitive year ever and am now ranked #24 nationally in my NASTAR age group in skiing and #1 in snowboarding.


Ironically, it's the other knee that is starting to give me grief.  I tore that ACL at a sky diving competition in 1969 and had it reconstructed in 1997.  It has had two subsequent tuneups to clean up the meniscus.  There is essentially no cartilage left and the knee inclines inward 5.5 degrees (boot sole has been extensively planed to offset that to revent A-Framing).  Arthritis is pretty pronounced.  I guess I'm a candidate for a Total Knee Replacement but my doctor suggests waiting until I'm 70 (not all that far off!).  I've been able to get by with the help of injections of Hyaluronic Acid (similar to SynVisc) and daily doses of Drinkables brand Joint Care (liquid Glucosamine).  I'm due for a new series of shots and I ran out of the Joint Care last week.  Starting Wednesday morning, the knee was so painful I had to walk with a limp.  I did a slalom race that night with the help of some Advil.  I forgot to wear the brace on the left knee but it was fine.


Today the right knee is a little less painful but I still can't comfortably bend it more than 90 degrees.  The Nationals are six weeks off.  Hopefully the new series of injections will have kicked in by then.

post #222 of 358

Hmm, I hope that right knee doesn't give you too much trouble, patmoore.


Pierre, how was the skiing after the rest?


For me, things are moving quickly.  To recap:

Jan 28 - knee goes "pop"

Jan 31 - Dr says "hmm, get MRI."  Awaiting scheduling with the diagnostic imaging center.

Feb 3 - MRI done

Feb 8 - got word that its a complete ACL tear.  Some bruising and muscle strain.  Minimal meniscus damage.

Feb 14 - (happy Valentine's Day!)  Saw the orthopedic surgeon who confirmed the radiologist's read of my MRI.  We had a good talk, and are in agreement with how to go forward.

Feb 22 - scheduled for an allograft.  In the meantime, stop the ibuprofen, continue the RICE, and work on flexibility and strength.


I'm amazed at the timeframe, given what I read of kcxd's experience trying to get thing's started.  smile.gif

post #223 of 358
Thread Starter 

Ah, but I'm in British Columbia - home of Canada's worst wait times for orthopedic surgery. Our healthcare system may be free (or freeish - we pay a small monthly premium for our MSP coverage), but it sure ain't quick. wink.gif


How's your range of motion doing? This should be your priority while you're prepping for surgery, as if you go in without full ROM it's very hard to regain it afterwards. Another advantage of things moving so quickly is that you won't lose too much muscle strength while you're waiting. Of course any strengthening work that you can do will benefit the knee, too.


I was up at Cypress again this weekend and conditions were vile - blowing slush, snow like wet cement. I put in a decent morning's skiing, but the bad knee tired a lot more quickly in the heavy conditions and I headed home after lunch as I didn't want to push it and risk catching an edge. That's two days on wet cement, and two on boilerplate - I'm still curious as to how the knee will perform if I ever get it out on a nice smooth groomer! Tentatively planning to go up to Whistler on Friday, which is a very exciting prospect.

post #224 of 358

My doctor visit was postponed today - rescheduled for Wed.  Things continue to improve for me with each passing day.  My ROM has improved a few more clicks, as my healing TPF is 'complaining' less when I try to extend and when I (very gently) test my lateral strength.  I'm at a slight disadvantage strengthwise, since I didn't have my 'ski legs' going yet, being injured so early in the season.  It's good that I was rollerblading regularly throughout much of October.


@patmoore, I hope things are looking up for your right knee in time for Nationals.  


@Elistan, wow, less than 1 month from injury to surgery!  Good luck - I hope it goes well for you.  Let us know of your progress.


@Pierre, thanks for answering my queries.  From what I've been gathering in reading around, it would appear that dealing with meniscal issues are a significant complication(and source of pain) when trying to recover from an ACL recon.  I hope that your weekend outing went well this time.

post #225 of 358



How far is Houston for you? There is doc named Mark Sanders who is the bomb when it comes to ACL's. He uses your patellar tendon from your healthy knee. The guy knows what he is doing. How old are you if you don't mind me asking? If you are under 50 you should absolutely NOT use an allograft but hey you don't have to listen to me. If you are confident with your doc then go ahead with your plans but I would seriously consider talking to Dr. Sanders.  


Ooops...just read an earlier thread and you are only in your late 30's. You should be using your own tissue. 

post #226 of 358
Thread Starter 

I would echo the endorsement for Doc Sanders - I've heard phenomenal things about his work over on the Knee Geeks forum. As well as having a reputation for a very fast, successful ACL rehab program, he's rescued a lot of folk when other doctors have given up on their knees. If I were in the States with a choice of doctors, he would be my pick.

post #227 of 358

Yep, late 30s.  Honestly, I'd rather not damage another part of my body to fix the ACL, and based on my reading the drawbacks of the allograft aren't ones that concern me.  This particular doctor I'm seeing at least has the recommendation of some friends of mine who have seen him.  smile.gif


My range of motion is pretty good - I can get full extension with a little effort, and full flexion with some patience and pain.  The pain is mostly from a torn/strained plantaris tendon - it's pretty sensitive behind the knee there, so I have to really ease into a full bend.  Or do it right after an icing session.  (I think the swelling is a factor too.)  I guess I'm lucky in that the rest of the knee is in pretty good shape - all the other tendons are intact, the meniscus is only minimally damaged (literally called a "questionable subtle small tear" by the radiologist,) and the only bone issue is some bruising (which can be a bit tender, but doesn't impact ROM.)

post #228 of 358

8 weeks post-injury


OK, so I went to ortho #2 today, and, after telling him straight out of the gate that I used to race back in HS & College and that I want to be able to get back to skiing at a high level again, he studied my original MRI series(from 2 days post-injury) and then examined my knee quite thoroughly.  He asked me alot of questions, checked out my ROM & did a joint laxity test,(some variation of the Lachman, not sure which one) and said that I was doing quite well at this stage for the injuries that I'd sustained. He reported no significant joint laxity and did not indicate surgery.  He said 4 more weeks of 'no skiing', and to keep on doing whatever I'd been doing for PT.(which hasn't been much - just ankle pumps, and some other light ROM-increasing isometrics) Say wha-a-a-t?  I'm very happy and a bit relieved, but left there feeling a little confused, as well.


He did not mention needing to use a brace, and I practically had to beg for a PT referral.("Do what you were doing and add the bike and other straight-line type execises" "Limit torsional stresses until you feel stronger on it")  I pay 100% of my private healthcare premiums(self-employed) with a large 2.6k annual deductible on an HSA-elegible plan, so he really has no incentive to 'cost-cut', AFAIK.  Doctor #1 said surgery at the 5 week checkup ..and now, a glowing progress report from #2.


I'm a little skeptical, but he apparently thinks that I'll become strong enough on it to be one of the lucky ones that end up in that top-third group who will be able to go on, skiing ACL-less. yahoo.gif

I sure hope that he's right about that.


Time will tell.  For the last week, progress has begun to blossom at a higher rate than had been the case during the first 7 weeks.  It's still weak, but ROM is now on par with my good leg, and I have the go-ahead to start increasing my workout levels, with some restrictions.  For now, I will count my blessings, look into PT,(out-of-pocket) possibly get a brace,(also out-of-pocket) and see how things progress.  I will stay in touch as the saga continues on.

post #229 of 358



I think your second doc is right on the money here. If you have no laxity then surgery is not indicated. Give skiing a go and see what happens. Regardless of what some people might tell you, your knee, even with a reconstructed ACL, will never be the same. Many people continue to have problems after ACL reconstruction (mostly pain and lack of extension) and choose to give up sports anyway. If you ski and the knee decides to pop out or buckle then consider surgical intervention. 

post #230 of 358

MNator, very encouraging.


I mentioned I started the season without a brace and no pain but there was a natural instinct to hold back. I gradually upped my aggression level on the groomers and occasionally went off piste. We got some new snow two weeks ago and I was standing at the top of one of our best mogul runs and I finally let the dogs off the leash! I skiied as hard as I could without a thought of my knee! I don't know what I looked like but I felt like I was 20. If I can do that for a few more years, I will be happy.  Next day my knee felt a bit tight but no pain at all.


Patience, keep excercising. It was 5 or 6 months before I really started to feel confident about my recovery.  BTW, I had always exited my bindings by twisting out of the toe. I have lowered the din 1 turn and continue to exit my bindings  this way.


You have made it 8 weeks without a brace? You probably don't need one now. I wore mine, a hospital rental, for 3 months, 3rd month at my own discretion.

post #231 of 358

I'm just going to take things slowly and see what happens - the doc said no skiing for 4 more weeks and if I don't cheat, the season will effectively be over(here) by then. (Hmm, maybe that's why he said that...)  There goes the season pass!  I don't know, but I'm still not quite there yet - I'd be real leery at this point of accidently extending to 0 degrees(unlikely) with weight on the outside of the leg.  I feel like a brace that I could lock out at about 2-10 degrees on the extension wouldn't be a bad thing, for now,(at least it would help mentally)  but I don't want to run out and grab a nice brace just to get a skiing day now, when I might not need it in the future.  Joal, I did wear one of those cheapo clinic-issued braces for the first 2 weeks.  I still have it, but it won't work for skiing.  Ideally, if the pace of recovery keeps on an upward spiral,(and if the weather holds) I might still be able to get out to the hill once or twice, without a brace.  Maybe I'll be more careful then.

post #232 of 358
Thread Starter 

That's really encouraging news! I really didn't have any problems skiing last season without an ACL - I was nervous and a bit wonky my first day out, but after a couple weeks more strength training I was back at it and feeling very comfortable. I did find the brace reassuring, as I knew that if I fell I would provide a measure of extra protection against further damage (though obviously it can't protect against every eventuality or a harsh fall.)


Good news to report on my end, too. I went back to Whistler for the first time last Friday, and had an awesome day. I skied hard and fast and so much better than I expected. The conditions were just about perfect and it meant I could really concentrate on my skiing instead of worrying about catching an edge or sliding on ice, which had been my main preoccupations over on the north shore. I was really surprised that I was able to ski that strongly at this point. My knee was a bit sore afterwards, but it was an achy overuse feeling rather than anything sharp or worrying. I was happier at the end of the day than I've been in a long time. 


There's still a long ways to go before I'll be skiing the way I was before the injury, but I'm very encouraged by how well things went and feeling optimistic about getting back to that standard in the future. Just have to remember to take it at least somewhat easy and not take any stupid chances!

post #233 of 358

Glad you're back in the big-time again! Are you still using the brace? After some thought, I'm leaning toward maybe getting one to prevent an inadvertant over-extension. This is the only motion that is scaring me now, after lightly going to 'minus-a-few-degrees' extension, slipping backward, weight on my toes while pushing my snowblower slightly uphill on my driveway last week. No pain, but the motion felt like it almost set me back!(no sharp pain from this, but a little swelling behind my knee, and an indicator that laxity lurks at the extreme edge of extension) I don't think that it would be so easy to do that with ski boots/skis on(with that angle of forward-lean built in) but it is sticking in the back of my mind now. I'm looking at DonJoys - either the Defiance or Armor Lo-pro. What kind do/did you use? (Anyone, feel free to chip in here) Not sure I want to spend the big dough for the custom Defiance; the Armor Lo-pro (which is the same as the older SkiArmor, with a newer spring technology) is half the price! I'm worried about boot clearance using the stock sizes, though. I don't have much room below the knee to my boot-tops,(short legs) so I might have to go to a custom size, which will in turn jack up the price to where I might just say the-heck-with-it.  

I know that, brace or not, I will need to make it out to the hill at least once yet this season, if only just to see which kinds of skiing-motions are going to present problems for me, if any. I don't want to wait til next year, then find out that I should've opted for surgery this spring - and then in turn have to sit out for another year! Watching this year go by has been tough, though - we are now at the 8th-snowiest winter on record here!(that's not saying much, though) I wish you well in your continued recovery.

post #234 of 358

I am only getting half the picture in the preview, hope this works. This is about 10 weeks after injury last March. The brace is a hospital rental. I  have it strapped over the boot and had to hitch it up quite often but it did the trick.Copy of CIMG7846.jpg

post #235 of 358

Thanks for all the time taken and comments in this thread as I go through this process. It's helpful, informative and encouraging. icon14.gif

So I guess a few Vicodyne and a good knee brace won't get me back on the slopes in the near future, eh? hissyfit.gif


The initial diagnosis is a blown left ACL. I could not imagine waiting as long as some have had to to get going on the fix and recovery. Fortunately we have a plethora of Orthopods in our active town and surgery (depending on Monday's MRI confirmation) looks like the 31st.


With reduced swelling, improving ROM, a new bomber brace and a PT meeting tomorrow to discuss pre-surgery therapy, I will definitely be lobbying to see if I can at least continue to classic nordic ski and hopefully skate ski until the snow melts. Any opinions? A nordic stride is not unlike biking in that it is inline with the leg and helps the quads, etc. I was told that the injury and swelling can weaken the quads for going into surgery. Skate skiing is definitely more lateral and if the knee is braced, why not give it a go???



Edited by Alpinord - 3/1/11 at 11:12am
post #236 of 358

Bummer, Terry.  I'm in the same boat.  I'll see the orthopod again on Friday, but the MRI apparently does not find an ACL in my right knee. 


I don't know much about this sort of stuff, but the PT at Beaver Creek (amazing they have a PT at the clinic there) told me that there is a big problem with inflamation and the firing of your quad.  I'd think that the lateral pressure from skate skiing would probably lead to inflamation, with a resulting loss of strength in the quad. 


My orthopod wants me to work on ROM for surgery, which will likely be in 2 weeks.  I've got a massive amount of swelling in my knee now, likely from the Grade 2 tear to the MCL.  But I've got a bunch of PT exercises I'm working on.


Hope your recovery goes well.



post #237 of 358

I am 42 years old.  I had a bad fall in Utah on 4/1/10.  I had a total tear of my ACL, a grade 2 MCL.  In addition to that I had a bucket handle tear in my meniscus which needed to be tacked down after they removed about 40%. Compounding that I also had a fracture of my tibial plateau.  I was operated on April 30th and they used a cadaver tendon.


I just got back from Utah on Sunday 2/27/11 after skiing 7 days in a row with a brace and some compression tights.  I had minimal pain in my knee for one afternoon only(after 2ft of epic powder) !.  I iced, took advil, hot tubbed, and got a couple massages.  I would say that I put a fair amount of time and effort into my rehab, but I don't think that I did anything above average or out of the ordinary.  My knee feels great but clearly I am not at 100% leg strength which is the last thing to come back.  


The bottom line is that based on my experience, assuming you have a good doc and the procedure goes well....do your rehab and you will be back on the mountain in 10 months.


Good Luck

post #238 of 358

Hi Mike,

i'm in the same boat as you - surgery in 10 days and doing all possible prehab for max ROM. Acouple of things my PT has me doing that have worked well to increase ROM , one of course is pool work  (which I'm sure you're doing already )- hang onto a corner and cycle. The other thing that has worked really well is rolling a skateboard back and forth (while sitting down!) - going back to where you just feel pressure. It seems to gradually release the joint. Don't know if you're doing these already but thought i would share them as every degree helps!

Oh and acupuncture helps heaps too.

Good luck with your pre hab, surgery , and re hab.


Hey Mnator glad to hear it  looks like you've escaped surgery and you're on the road to recovery. Good luck with it all!

Surgery for me next week. ..just when I was getting my independence back - read: no crutches and driving again.



post #239 of 358

Woo Hoo! My PT blessed classic nordic skiing 'smartly', so I can get out on snow on gorgeous days like today. Skate skiing is out. It also looks like I'll be getting in more road riding this year and PO the dog when he gets left behind more often. Firing the quads is exactly the reason for getting the range of motion from straight to over 90 to avoid a longer recovery of a limp as others have experienced. I sure hope there isn't a meniscus tear and ACL only.


I'm glad I did not unload my little used turbo trainer and expect to put in some miles in one spot. Outside in the sun sounds much better than indoors with added vitamin A and better views. biggrin.gif

post #240 of 358

Go for it Terry!



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