The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: CathR on April 19, 2006, 02:06:43 PM

Title: ACLr or not??
Post by: CathR on April 19, 2006, 02:06:43 PM
I injured my knee playing netball in March 04 and had an arthroscopic repair to a large bucket handle meniscal tear a month later.  I struggled on in pain and with knee giving way quite often for the next 14 months becasue I thought I had better give it some time to heal and don't like to complain.  Eventually had to accept that it was never going to improve and it was clicking a lot when I was walking and giving way even when I was just standing still.  Anyway visited my GP last summer and was referred to a new OS who I saw at the end of Oct.  I went in for another arthoscopy in Dec 05 and more repairs to meniscus and was then diagnosed with ACL tear.  At this time I was told that although there was a problem with the ACL it was borderline as to whether we operate or not, it was left to me.  I said that I would rather leave it for 3 months and see how I get on.
I went back to see him on March 23rd and it was decided that we would go for the op.  The main reason being is that I donot trust the knee very much although it isn't giving way as much as it used to.  So now I am thinking that maybe I should just live with it.
I still have pain in the knee but my OS explained that this won't be solved by the ACLr as it is to do with the mensicus and it is something that I will probably always have.  I have stopped playing sports, I only ever played for fun anyway and I can live with that but the times when it causes me the most problems is if I have been standing still for a long period of time (eg when doing the ironing...but I could also live without doing that..ha..ha!!) Seriously it just seems to go stiff when I stand in one position and then when I try to move it gives way with and makes a horrible noise.  Another example is when going down stairs, I don't feel particularly safe but this is probably more phschological as it did give way when I was on the escalator in the tube one day and I fell luckily I was quite near the bottom at the time!!  But it may go weeks without giving way at all although the pain is fairly constant, probably made worse by the amount of driving that I do with my job - 35,000 miles per year so a fair few hours!!!
Anyway I am sorry to go on but I don't want to waste the surgeons time if it is not necessary and I don't want to end up worse off after surgery..Any opinions will be welcomed!!!  Is there anybody who had an ACLr even if there instability wasn't too bad??
Title: Re: ACLr or not??
Post by: shade on April 19, 2006, 02:21:19 PM
Hi Cath,

Welcome to the boards.....

Have you checked out the section called 'Specialists Office' - 'Cruciate ligaments'.  There are lots of posts regarding ACL injuries and surgeries in that section.

Good luck.  ~Shade
Title: Re: ACLr or not??
Post by: jb-knee-geek on April 19, 2006, 03:10:45 PM
Hi CathR, I've tried conservative treatment for a long time. Unfortunately, due to occassioanal instability (1-2 per year), I can no longer trust my knee. And, I've now got meniscus problems. I am too active to not trust my knee.

I have found an excellent surgeon, and have read up on surgery. Check the book section on the knee guru home page (lower left). I can recommend Grelsamers book, a quick, excellent read.

I have confidence that I will not be worse after surgery. And, perhaps I can trust my knee again.

ACL and meniscus surgery usually have successful outcomes. A dedication to rehab is an important variable as is an expereinced surgeon. 

Some advice I've been told is "you'll know when you need surgery".

Good luck.
Title: Re: ACLr or not??
Post by: skigal on April 19, 2006, 03:31:41 PM
Hello CathR,

I guess I was just the opposite - when told I had a choice of living with the instability and uncertain reliability of my knee or repair surgery followed by exstensive rehab, I didn't have to think twice.  I am in my early fifties and no way am I gonna give up an active lifestyle and become an old lady.  I am approaching my third week anniversary for the ACLr and still glad I did it.  I am getting stronger every day and really looking forward to resuming my hiking, kayaking and skiing acivities, things I just couldnt bear to give up.  The surgery is not that bad really - I have a post op diary in that section titled todays the day.   Best of luck, ski gal
Title: Re: ACLr or not??
Post by: CathR on April 19, 2006, 03:43:21 PM
Thanks for your replies...
SkiGal - how unstable was it beforehand, did it give out often??  I don't want to have to change my lifestyle because of my knee but also I don't want to waste anybodies time if there are people worse off than me.  I suppose I am just a bit scared!!!
Title: Re: ACLr or not??
Post by: harry78 on April 19, 2006, 06:21:57 PM
If you are motivated enough to resume your sports then you will elect to have a reconstruction. The more important point here though, is if it is affecting you in everyday life or even causing nausea and discomfort- then have surgery.
Title: Re: ACLr or not??
Post by: Anya on April 19, 2006, 06:41:19 PM
Hi CathR,

I am having my 2weeks anniversary for my ACR today!   ;)  I think everybody is scared and nervous before the surgery, which is normal.   I know I was.  Especially about the anaestesia part.  I described my experience in the "ACL reconstruction and menisectomy" in the post-op section if you want to check it out.

I did not have a question about having a surgery.  My knee would limit me so much, even though I am no serious sportsfan.  Also, I was afraid that if I leave it then I could have more damage in the long run.  But everyone is different.

I was browsing through all sorts of info on the internet and here is what I found (and I believe it's true!): "Patients should understand, before surgery, that a significant determinant of outcome is their ability to rehabilitate the knee properly. They should be cautioned that a knee with a functionally deficient ACL is far superior to an arthrofibrotic knee. "

Good lucki!
Title: Re: ACLr or not??
Post by: Huw on April 20, 2006, 12:25:14 AM
Hi everybody!  First post, on this site  8) had my ACLr 1 month ago today.  Even on the day of the op I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing.  I had learnt to live without ACL for 8 years but was fed up of knee giving way doing lame things like dancing or kicking a ball!  Father of 3 young girls so family life was a struggle post op and wife close to losing patience at times :o  Knee is getting better now but my back is killing me because of the rehab and imbalance.  Time will tell if it was the right decision.  I started driving 13 days post op, can anybody beat that? probs shouldnt have!!  I just want to be be normal again ;D Huw
Title: Re: ACLr or not??
Post by: skigal on April 20, 2006, 06:27:47 PM
Dear HUW,

you asked about the degree of instability - in the nearly two weeks before surgery, I was on crutches for about five of those days and then my knee felt great, I thought.  At that point I was still awaiting my radiologists read of my MRI.  Once informed of the severed ACL, I started to notice when I was not in my light brace my knee would buckle -like when standing and doing dishes.  I did a lot of research, talked to everyone and knew I was not going to settle for less than a confident knee.  Seems like 5 of 6 folks I talked to had had ACL repair or a family member who did.  I encountered no one with a bad story.  I am on day 20, been driving for a week, working full time - from my home office for two weeeks - cooking ( otherwise I would starve - hub is lousy in the kitchen) and working furiously to regain all of my rom.  As I write this, I am using the CPM machine and am at 110 degrees.  It was definitely worthwhile in my case and I would do it all over given the same circumstances.  Ski gal
Title: Re: ACLr or not??
Post by: patpalloon on April 20, 2006, 07:58:51 PM
Hi Cath,

I know what you are going through as I am only a week away from my ACLR. I'm not really that bad - the knee has never really given way. But I have been working out regularly and keeping the muscles strong and been avoiding any pivot sports. It's natural to feel apprehensive about a surgery that may not seem 100% necessary. But I want to get back to doing the sports that I love like skiing and karate. More imprtantly I want to have a stable knee that I don't have to keep thinking about. There are some risks with an anaesthetic and surgery but I think the benefits outweigh the risks. Have a look at the posts on the cruciate ligament section.

My advice would be: find a good OS who you trust or has been recommended and work hard on your rehab.