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Torn ACL survivors...How's it going???

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Jontom, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    My first gig back after surgery...and Yes, you can rock from an office chair!!! What are some of your experiences with this injury? :)
  2. Aussie Mark

    Aussie Mark I come from a land down under

    Oct 26, 2002
    Sydney, Oz
    Endorsing Artist: Fender; O'Neill Amps; Cave Passive Pedals
    I tore my right ACL playing rugby in 1987, and struggled on for a couple more years. Had the remains of the ACL debrided and all the floating bits and pieces removed via an arthroscopy in 1991 (aged 30). No reconstruction (ie. I have no ACL in my right knee).

    Intensive rehab program based around cycling and weight training allowed me to resume top level baseball (well, top level by Australian standards anyway), cycle racing, squash, and field hockey. I've never snow skiied again, but can snowboard.

    In my mid-30's I was able to parallel squat 275lbs (125kg) despite not having an ACL in my right knee. In simple terms, developing superior leg strength substantially reduced the "need" for an ACL. Strong hamstrings, quads and calves took the "load" off my knees and did most of the hard work. Muscles are much more efficient devices than joints such as a knee.

    I'm 42 now, and no longer play any competitive sport (music and career keep me pretty busy), but I still cycle, play the occasional game of squash, and bounce around on stage, without an ACL and without ever having a knee reconstruction.
  3. 72beetle


    Jun 10, 2001
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I tore my left ACL in 85 in a horribly misguided attempt to surf through the pilings of Bob Hall Pier on South Padre. The surgery to reconstruct wasn't bad, but the PT was difficult and LONG, almost 10 months worth.

    In 89, I slipped in a greasy puddle and tore it again - that time I was only scoped, and the PT was only about 2 months.

    In 90, I stepped wrong on something, caught my leg in a weird angle, and the ACL almost gave out again - my knee buckled in and I grayed out, but fortunately, no additional damage, and no PT. At the time I was deliriously happy to have dodged therapy, but upon retrospect, it might have prevented the next one.

    In 92, I landed badly after taking a brief ride on the hood of a friend's car, and had to be rebuilt again. 7 months of PT.

    Since then, no more incidents, thankfully.

    After all is said and done, I came out of the ordeals with a total loss of about 4 degrees of flex and 2 degrees of extension, and a seething hatred of crutches and torsion braces.

    The second worst part of having ligament damage in your knees is the seemingly endless physical therapy involved afterward. The worst part is the near misses afterward, which give you not only a healthy dose of excruciating pain, but also the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach of "oh no, not again."

    Hopefully theraputic and surgical techniques have advanced enough over the past decade that you can recover 100% from it - to this day, I still get an occasional wobble in the knee, especially when carrying heavy stuff, to remind me just how decrepit I have become. Good luck with the rehab.

  4. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    My buddy's former frisbee dog (a big, sweet Rottweiler mix) tore his ACL playing frisbee. My friend had the surgery done where they stretch it over the knee or something (yes...on a dog) and the frisbee days were over. The dog can still run and play normally now with no visible problems but the vet said "no more frisbee."

    brad cook
  5. I had a complete tear of my ACL in my left knee back in 1995. At the time the doctor said that my knee was still quite stable and suggested that I wait to have any surgery done as I might be fine without it. I then went on a fairly strenuous exercise routine and, although the knee help up pretty good, occasionally it would pop out of place which could be quite painful.

    I finally had the reconstructive surgery done about a year later. I then went into physical therapy for about eight months after. I found, for about the first year or so, that my repaired knee was still less stable than my good one. Gradually, though, it started to feel more stable and strong. I haven’t had an issue with the knee since, although at times, when I exercise for long periods, it can get a little sore.

    The funny thing is that before I tore my ACL, it was my better knee. My other knee makes all kinds of funny noises and I’m still surprised that it hasn’t gone yet
  6. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    Thanks for all the different angles! I tore during a pickup baseball game. I was jumping a fence to get the ball back after someone hit a dinger. Came down hard on my right leg and "ostrich legged" it. Snapped the ACL clean off the bone. POW! It happened in early September. Three weeks ago, I had ACL replacement surgery(it involved a donor ligament...which I was told was stronger than my original). I used a CPM machine during this time and I'll probably be starting rehab this coming week. The prognosis looks good, after time and work, of course!!:)
  7. :eek:

    Man, I'm sure I'm not the only one reading all these while cringing and sporadically grabbing my knees...

    Anyway, tore my left knee up almost 7 years ago playing high school basketball. Ball was on the floor right at the buzzer and me and an opponent were both going full speed right through it in opposite directions... knee on knee collision and I got twisted backwards and sideways. Limped off the court and that was the last time I walked for a while.

    I went from having my elbow over the rim to being just happy to barely touch it ever again. I had some pro soccer aspirations too but I never got enough power back in that left leg to be able to strike the ball very well.

    Crutches for about 6 weeks and a brace for a year or so if I remember correctly, can't remember how long I did physio for. I dropped thirty pounds of muscle in 2 months that I was out of commission which really sucked. I think the weak knee was reeking havoc on the rest of my body as by the end of my basketball season my senior year I was wearing braces on both knees and both ankles. I still played five sports that year, but it seemed like a good time to start taking this music thing a bit more seriously and put the sports aspirations to rest.

    As far as everyday use, I don't really have any problems with it aside from the odd pain here and there. I think I notice it the most playing hockey outdoors in the winter, cold ice on the old knee cap sucks. I still snow ski, am usually in pain for a day or two afterwards but it's more or less fine while I'm out there.
  8. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    a total of five surgeries between my two knees....and an ACL rebuild on each one.....almost can call me the six million dollar man with all the nuts and bolts in my knees......

    i get pain when the weather gets damp....they still click, and pop, but my ortho doc said there just isn't anything left to do in there.....i would say 90% of the time i am pain free....i deal with it.

  9. Vicodine and CPM machines...now that brings back some memories.
  10. Guys, I feel your pain. I partially teared the ACL in my left knee back in 1999, but I foolishly thought it was nothing and didn't get it checked out. Then in early 2002 I went skiing and in an accident I tore it totally. Had surgery afterwards and after 10 months of tough rehab, I got the knee semi-functional. The knee is now doing quite well. Still, it bothers me a bit when the weather gets overly humid.

    Recently I went on an international flight and my knee set off the alarm at the security gate. Funny thing is that my doctor had told me that this would probably never happen; I guess he was wrong. I figure that the airports have upped the sensitivity levels on the scanners in light of all the terrorist threats. That's fine with me, but I hope all that radiation isn't going to affect my ability to have kids later... :meh:
  11. inazone


    Apr 20, 2003
    I tore mine in a motocross race in 96. I read in ski, motorcycle mags that biking was the best PT to rebuild my knees. I asked the doctor about this and he agreed. I started mt biking and its better than new except a few pains here and there, and I found a new sport! Im 36 now. I have found that if I dont bike as often the knees hurt a little more.
  12. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Man, reading these things is making me cringe. I'm lookin' into having surgery on both knees. In the last few years, both of my kneecaps have developed a habit of literally popping out every time I put the least bit of torque on my leg (by least bit, I mean that I've rolled over in bed at night and had a kneecap pop out). As one would imagine, it's extremely painful (though I may not contend that it rivals tearing an ACL), and I can no longer play competitive basketball or ski. Let's hope medical science has something to offer...
  13. Actually, I wouldn't say the ACL was overly painful at the time it happened, just the months after it happened... IME dislocation is a lot worse for pain, although it's been my ankles and not my knees thankfully.
  14. 72beetle


    Jun 10, 2001
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Indeed - tearing the ligament's a bit painful, but what really hurts is what your knee does afterward without that tension on the side - it caves in the other way, doing a dance on all the cartilage and nerves that hang around there. Apart from drinking, the buckling knee is the only thing that's ever made me pass out.

  15. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    Dude. Dude. Dude. I know exactly what you're talking about! Let me expand on my misery. After I initially tore the ACL jumping the fence, I continued on in the baseball tradition of "walking it off". Bad idea! I played on. I planted and made a throw to second base- and it felt like the top of my leg came off the bottom half! I laid on the ground a couple minutes, got up walked around and said as long as I run straight I can do this, I probably bruised something. Got through another inning, including hitting a dinger and running around the bases. Then came the play at third! I was pitching this inning and I went to cover third on a throw from the outfield. It was high... I jumped... came down...HARD! I said thats it! Emergency room! :bawl: