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Torn Acl

MILOIOWA

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I really have learned a lot from the many very knowledgable members here so thought I'd try to get some insight into what I may be facing. I "blew out" my knee yesterday playing volleyball. Came down with all my weight on left fot and felt the knee "pop" out to the outside. Needless to say it was extremely painful. DW took me to the emergency room and the DR is pretty sure I have torn ligaments "of some kind", most likely at least the ACL. I have to call today to schedule an MRI. I am 35 and have played various sports all my life at a pretty high level so I have some idea of the severity of the injury. Just looking for any advice on what to expect from someone who has been there before. Thanks.
 

vacationhopeful

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Just 2nd hand knowledge.

My brother's wife is a top flight racquectball player for over 30 years now. She was honored with the National Lifetime Acheivement Award just a couple of months ago. But my brother who travels with her and has played serious sports (softball plus RB) did in his ACL while playing in one of her RB touraments - heard the POP and knew as he laid on the floor of the court. Had the surgery (after flying around to get medical opinions) and was progressing - 6 months to where the doctor had just told him he could TRY a little jogging.

They went to FL and on the beach at the surf line, he tried 4 or 5 steps on his toes in the surf. Down he went with BLOOD in the 2 inches of water. Someone yelled SHARK! ER visit as it was right at the incission line. Got the bleeding stopped, but a PIECE of coral in the water had cut the ACL just 1.5 inches above the surgery line. Cut 65+% of the ACL. Flew home to his doctor in NE; no more surgery as it was TOO CLOSE and that portion of ACL was too thin.

6 more months of the wheel chair, crutches, PT, etc.

That was 3 or 4 years ago. He plays some sports but watches his lunges and warms up a whole lot.... admits that at 62+ he is not as young or agile as he was at 30. He is fearful he will do his other leg in. Or as he has said, there is so little tissue on the bad leg left.

But he has lots of friends in that competitve world who have had this happen as well as his 55yo wife. She is sponsored by the biggest raquetball equipment company in the world. Most do play again --- but the older you are, the less likely you will be playing at the top, top of your game.

PM me if you need his Doctor's name; he is out your way; brother flew in for medical evaluation to several BIG NAME places (John Hopkins, UCLA, Jefferson in PHL, etc). Had the surgery on Omaha.
 
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hypnotiq

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Go see a specialist that deals in sports medicine for ACL surgery. Do not just have any orthopedic surgeon work on you.

Those that specialize in the aspect of Orthopedics understand the mindset of active/sports types and will give you the best advice for surgery/repair/recovery. Same goes with the PT you see. See someone that specializes in sports.

I remember after one of my ACL blowouts, I had asked for a Sports guy, they gave me some normal quack, and he was trying to tell me my days of sports were gone. Ended the appt there, and went and did research and found a dr that worked on NFL/NBA players. Best decision I made.
 

PigsDad

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Go see a specialist that deals in sports medicine for ACL surgery. Do not just have any orthopedic surgeon work on you.

Those that specialize in the aspect of Orthopedics understand the mindset of active/sports types and will give you the best advice for surgery/repair/recovery. Same goes with the PT you see. See someone that specializes in sports.
I couldn't agree more. Check out where your local college sports teams or the closest professional football or basketball team sends their athletes -- that will be a great place to go. And good luck!

Kurt
 

Pens_Fan

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I tore my ACL while I was in college and have managed to live the rest of my life without it.

Granted, I am not a world class athlete, but I do manage to play golf and play some soccer, baseball, basketball, etc. with my son.

I do have days where my knee tightens up with some swelling in the joint, but nothing that a little anti-inflammatory pill doesn't seem to fix.
 

MILOIOWA

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Thanks for all the replies so far! My Chiropractor is also well versed in the sports training field (he is being considered for being on staff for the olmpics) and works closely with several local colleges and minor league hockey team and he referred me to a sport=specialist ortho who also does the team work for those schools(and knees are his specialty). He has a great reputation so I think i will be n good hands. I play baseball competatively in a 35+ wood bat league and that is really the main thing I wish to be able to continue. Although I may have to give up catching, I can live with that as long as I can pitch, run, slide etc. I can give up my rec basketball league and volleyball league if need be.
 

hypnotiq

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A good sports orthopedic surgeon will get you back to playing as if nothing happened. Be diligent about your PT though. This is where so many people screw up.
 

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I tore my ACL about 4 years ago snow skiing. I did not have the surgery and had physical therapy instead. I was VERY diligent about my physical therapy and now run and can still snow ski! I also rode my bike in Ragbrai! I have no pain and really can not tell I have ever had an injury. I hear this is very odd. I think it is because I was very serious about PT and I exercise a lot. By the way...I did this when I was 43 and am 47 now!
I have friends who have had knee surgery and I agree with others.....if you do not take your physical therapy seriously it can definitely bite you in the butt later!

Good Luck!
Sue
 

MILOIOWA

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That is what everone is telling me-the PT is the most important thing. I see the ortho tomorrow afternoon. Hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Thanks again!
 

MILOIOWA

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Well wont have mri results til Thurs afternoon but DR could tell immediately that my ACL is torn and possibly PCL and Miniscus damage as well. Knee is pretty swollen and he wants me to try to bend to 30 degrees to help alleviate some fluid and make recovery from surgery easier, and I am almost at 90 degrees with minor pain so should be ahead of the game hopefully. He says if I give 100% effort in my rehab I should be good as new in 6 months, unless of course the mri shows significantly more damage. Thanks for the advice and wish me luck.
 

dwojo

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Before surgery get a second opinion. When I tore my right acl I did not and was laid up for several months. With my left I got a second opinion and physical therapy was recommended and after a few months I was good
 

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I tore my ACL while I was in college and have managed to live the rest of my life without it.

Same with me. I tore mine back in 1954 before we had the medical expertise we have today. It took me almost two years (of which 3 months were Army boot camp) but somehow or other it worked its way back to normal.

George
 

MILOIOWA

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The MRI shows ACL, MCl, LCL, and Lateral Meniscus all torn. It is literally dstroyed inside, no question. I knew by the way it felt when it happened it was not good. Having surgery the 15th. Thanks everyone for the comments and wish me luck for a speedy recovery!
 

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The MRI shows ACL, MCl, LCL, and Lateral Meniscus all torn.

Wow that's some damage. The only thing posted that I thought was a little too optimistic was the 6 months recovery. I thought that it was a good year before pro athletes completely recovered from ACL repair- plus you have more damage than just that.

good luck

don
 

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Sound similar to one of mine from a basketball game about 8 years ago. ACL/MCL/PCL's. Hurt like hell and knew it when it happened that it was not gonna be good. Today, as if it never happened. Good luck with the surgery and keep up with the PT!!!
 

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Update

Had my surgery this morning. DR said it could not have gone any better. Did have a little more damage than he thought tho as BOTH menici were torn not just the lateral. Question......He prescribed me Hydrocodone 5-325 and I am in EXTREME pain. About hour and a half after I take the pills, it just BARELY takes the edge off-still very painful. At the 3 hr-3 hr 15 min mark the pain returns fulkl-force. Called him and he will not "upgrade" meds he said tomorrow it will not be quite so bad. Now I have been through a lot of painful things-the previous worst was a torn achilles tendon. This is far far more painfull than that was.

ADVICE......suck it up and see what tomorrow brings? Maybe take the next dose at the 3 hr mark instead of waiting the 4-6 like bottle says? Send a letter bomb to surgeon? (kidding LOL) I am sure he is right and tomorrow will be better but just feel like I should not feel quite this level of pain. I was at about a 5-6 when they sent me home and after that wore off it was about a 20 lol and bouncing around between a 9-10 ever since. I cant even fall asleep its so bad. Ok, Im done whining now. :D
 

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Tomorrow should be better. If you're not feeling better tomorrow, I'd call back and make it well known where your pain level is.

Make sure youre taking ibprof. too. That will help with the swelling/some of the pain.
 

MILOIOWA

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My surgeon actually called me at about 9 last night and re-assured me that it was normal. I thought that was very nice of him and totally unexpected. He was right- I am much better today. Feeling about half the level of pain as yesterday already. Phew!!
 

hypnotiq

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Yeah, that first day sucked. Luckily, I had some left over pain medication from oral surgery, so I just increased my dosage the 1st day. After the 2nd day, I didnt take pain killers at all. You'll get there. Now make sure you do your PT. :D
 

dwojo

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The first day is the worst. You should be feeling less pain now.
 

Passepartout

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All the best, Milo. The worst is behind you now. You'll be up and training for your next marathon any day now. Oh I know- it only hurts when you laugh.

Jim
 

Phydeaux

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Milo, torn Achilles and blown up knee? Take up swimming :)
 

MILOIOWA

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Well had my 1st appt with my PT today and she said I was in GREAT shape. I can completely extend my leg to 0 degrees straight which is the main focus innthe 1st 2 weeks after surgery. I have excellent flexion in my quad muscle. So sounds like I am well on my way to a good recovery. Thanks everyone for the advice and well wishes!
 
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