The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: loz8 on September 06, 2005, 12:19:42 PM

Title: ACL op
Post by: loz8 on September 06, 2005, 12:19:42 PM
I am new to this forum. I suffered a partial tear to my acl 4 years ago and after 9 months rehab returned to full contact
6 weeks ago i suffered a recurrance. Following an mri scan my consultant suggests that this time if i want to continue to play soccer i should have reconstructive surgery and he really gave me no other option. Does anyone have experience of continuing playing tennis/soccer without an operation or is it simply the best/only option to get it repaired. I am 31 but the thought of surgery/recovery/time off work etc etc is worrying. Any advice would be helpful...
Title: Re: ACL op
Post by: bussrott on September 06, 2005, 01:39:10 PM
Hi Loz

Sorry to hear your bad news  :( , sounds familiar to my situation.

Tearing my ACL, really took the wind out of my sails as I lived and breathed football (soccer in US). I am 31 now and thankfully 9 months out I am back playing and actually feel stronger and fitter than before due to all the physio and conditioning.

I'll be totally blunt though, there is NO other option than a recon. if you wanna continue playing contact sport. Surgeon even said golf is a no no with no ACL due to having to play some shots on uneven ground whilst swinging a club.

Title: Re: ACL op
Post by: loz8 on September 06, 2005, 04:06:14 PM
Thanks Russ

Actually just booked in for 5th Oct for the op. Fingers crossed.

How long before you were doing some exercise after the reconstruction? also in the 4 weeks leading up to having the operation are there any exercised that i should be doing or should i just be leaving the knee alone to avoid any further probs?


Title: Re: ACL op
Post by: raquetball1 on September 07, 2005, 05:12:46 PM
Hi loz,
I'm with bussrott.  I have one long-standing unrepaired acl and one acl repaired nine months ago.  There is no question in my mind that the unrepaired knee is deteriorating, so I think you made the wise choice.

Re pre-op rehab:  You should be strengthening all the muscles in your legs, particularly quads and hamstrings.  Leg presses, both one legged (on injured leg) and two legged; hamstring curls, again one-legged and two legged; for lower leg muscles, push the leg press machine all the way out and place just the ball of your feet on the bottom of the board with rest of your foot off the board and do reps of "toe-ups"; one-legged standing for one minute without putting other foot down X three; standing on one leg either on floor or rockerboard and throwing a weighted ball against a slanted rebound tramp and catching it (if this isn't available to you, grab a friend to toss the ball with you while you stand on one leg (do this from three perspectives: 1. facing forward, 2. facing from the left, 3. facing from the right); if you have a sports cord, walk it out in four perspecitves: forward, backward and both sides; wall slide squats; find a stable "step" about six inches high and step up on bad leg and over on bad leg, then step backwards up again and over...always landing on bad leg....also do this sidestepping; hip abduction and adduction.  None of these exercises should stress your knee if performed properly and it is crucial to build up all the muscles you can in leg prior to surgery because your muscles will waste big time post-op. 

Re how long after recon do you start exercise:  you start four position leg lifts, quad sets, and flexion of knee two to five days post-op.  Depending on type of recon, you should be on a stationary bike by about week two or three and adding leg presses and hamstring curls.  Then you slowly add in all exercises listed in pre-op plus a whole lot of new ones.  Rehab is actually a challenging "sport" in and of itself. 

I understand your reticence in not wanting to be away from your sport for long.  I tried my hardest to avoid surgery for that reason, but I had no choice.  Just let getting back to the soccer field be your driving motiviation during the painful times and all the hard work of rehab.  It really paid off for me and I've got 20 years on you in age so I suspect you might have an easier time of it.   
Best of luck with your surgery, recovery, rehab and return to the soccer field.   
Title: Re: ACL op
Post by: loz8 on September 07, 2005, 08:42:46 PM
Thank you so much for taking the trouble to write such comprehensive advice. Our football season has just started and i was injured in a pre-season friendly so am finding it hard watching. As a sports freak the thought of not doing any competitive sport is almost scarier than the op itself! I may well have some further questions but thank you again for your reply
Best wishes
p.s can you jog in a straight line pre op...?
Title: Re: ACL op
Post by: pleasenofatgut on September 08, 2005, 10:48:00 AM
G'day Loz :),
 You may find my story reassures you that you've made the right decision. Im 32yrs and  tore both my ACLs about 10 years ago in different incidences playing sport and didn't get them fixed. I didn't even so a Doctor. I can tell you I regret this immensely. At the beginning of last year whilst playing Basketball competitively I began to get some discomfort under the patella. I kept playing as would get better shortly afterwards. As the season went on I started to develop an audible click at the same area of the discomfort and the discomfort also worsened. I finished the season and went and saw my orthopod who comfirmed I had no ACLs in either knee and berated me for not getting them fixed when I was younger. I therefore booked in and had my sore knee reconsrtucted however the damage was already done. Though my knee now 5 months post op feels good the patella still has some discomfort. Though I did no damage to the articular surfaces of the femur or tibia I had some wear on the articular surface of the patella which was shaved during the case. The unfortunate part of this is that the articular cartilage does not repair itself. Though it can be replaced with fibrous cartilage this is no where near ideal as its not as durable or protective as its predesessor. Hence, this means Arthritis is possibly just around the corner. Along with this I had torn lateral and medial meniscus which were debrided which means I have a compromised 'shock absorber' between my tibia and femur.  :'(
I played alot of sport as you do and now 5 months after having my knee reconsrtucted i'm unable to run properly due to the problems with my patella. My surgeon said yesterday that as far as the surgery is concerned the knee wont structurely improve however over time if  I improve the strength in my Quads and Hamstrings that It may take a lot of pressure off my patella and allow me to run unrestricted.
Loz, I am sports mad and very competitive and I find it hard to accept the fact that I may not run again due to this. That means no more than hit and giggle tennis, merely shooting hoops, and lots of chess. Sound great doesn't it.  ::)
As far as jogging in a straight line is concerned, if you have the hamstring graft done partially arthroscopic, rather than an open patella tendon graft technique then you should be running in a straight line after three months. I was off my crutches after two weeks and, apart from some dull ache in my knee after standing for a while in these two weeks, I had no pain in my knee during the whole post op period.
No surprises I'm getting my other knee reconstructed soon before I start having problems with it.

So Loz, though these months away from sport will be difficult just think of the alternative. After 6 months you should be able to start getting back into some specific sport activity. 6 months isn't long away from sport compared to life away from it. I't will be one of the best choices you've ever made.

Good luck, Chris. 8)
Title: Re: ACL op
Post by: loz8 on September 08, 2005, 03:46:44 PM
Hi Chris, firstly I am sorry you have had a bad time with it and i hope things improve for you.
I wish i had had mine repaired 4 years ago instead of spending 9 months recovering without an op! Obviously the fact it is now re injured means i made a poor decision back then. Your note that 6 months out of action is better than a lifetime of no sport (My OS made the same point) is spot on, but for some reason you don't always think like that and you also forget easily that other people have it much much know that selfish mode that seems to come over you when you can't play the things you enjoy most...
Anyway thanks for the reassurance, i am just keen to get it done now and start the road back...1 month to wait.
Best wishes
Title: Re: ACL op
Post by: raquetball1 on September 08, 2005, 04:06:46 PM
Hi loz,

I don't know if your query re jogging in a straight line pre-op means was I able to or should one do it even if capable.  If it's was I able to...yes I was able to, although I jogged on a legitimate competitive track surface, the cushioned kind and was only doing it to try to avoid surgery. Obviously, I was deluding myself. :) If your question is should you jog pre-op, NO.  You'll notice that the list of exercises I posted earlier contain no "impact" exercises.  I understand your "straight-line" caveat since you certainly don't want to pivot, but you also don't want to "pound" your knee either.  Just do the knee-friendly, muscle strengthening stuff. 

I completely understand how hard now the one month pre-op wait is tacked onto the approx. six month recovery.  As you remarked, though, we are the lucky ones who can be repaired and returned to our sports.  The folks on this site will be here for you before and especially after your surgery to help keep your hopes and spirits up. 
Title: Re: ACL op
Post by: loz8 on September 08, 2005, 04:39:41 PM
I was also deluding myself and ran 9 miles (not in 1 go ;)) the week before i had the mri results! Kind of ran thru the stiffness and odd bit of pain and only really suffered in the morning when i tried to get up. Obviously wasnt the cleverest thing to do...
,you are right at the moment this month wait is bad! But, i am starting to get used to the idea and your comment that "rehab is a challenging" sport in itself" has given me something to think about.


Title: Re: ACL op
Post by: ski bum on September 08, 2005, 11:59:39 PM

Here's link to an excellent set of exercises to do pre-ACL operation.  Not coincidently, they are also many of the same exercises you'll do just after the operation as well (e.g. the terrific quad set).  Hopefully, these will help you regain/retain quad strength and muscular balance:

Good luck--keep us posted.

Title: Re: ACL op
Post by: loz8 on September 09, 2005, 12:07:20 PM
Cheers Andy,

Printed the info out and i am sure they will be v helpful