The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: tannerweisz on October 16, 2008, 08:24:59 PM

Title: This sucks
Post by: tannerweisz on October 16, 2008, 08:24:59 PM
I ended up completely tearing my ACL playing football.. its been weak and giving out every now and then but the last few days if I sit in the same position for too long my knee locks. It started out just being for a few seconds and I could work it out pretty easily. Now it's gotten to the point where it will be stuck for a good 5-10 minutes.. The only way i'm really able to get it unstuck is to push down on it untill it pops, (which hurts like all hell) then it's very sore for the next few hours. I'm not sure why it's started doing this, I was hoping someone could tell me what's going on with it and if there is an easier way to get it unstuck then just pushing on it real hard. :-\
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: Nettan on October 16, 2008, 09:12:04 PM
Could be a meniscus tear or a piece of cartilage floating around in there. Always possible together with an ACL injury.
When did you have your injury ? What are you told to do ? Are you awaiting surgery ?
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: tannerweisz on October 17, 2008, 03:20:07 AM
I injured my knee Sept. 10 of this year, (about a month ago) I was told to try and strengthen my knee before the surgery. I should be going in around the end of Dec or early Jan. The doc told me I had a choice between cadaver parts, pattela grafts with some kind of plugs that would be taken out of my femur and a graft from one of the other major muscles in my leg.. Obviously you can see I don't know a whole lot about this whole situation so I'm trying to get as much info as I can before I go back in and actually make the decision. Any sugestions on which one I should opt to have done? From what I've read all 3 have alot of good sucess stories and a lot of horror stories.. I am a Marine so I depend on my legs for my work.. I really don't want to have a bum knee for the rest of my life.  ???
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: dm on October 17, 2008, 04:39:49 AM
I've not blown my acl, but my knee's shot. Having had 5 knee surgeries, I can tell you you need to do your homework. Put it in a perspective you can handle. Think of it as prep for a mission. There are 2 basic acl replacement options autograft, which is using a replacement part from your body, either a patella tendon or hamstring tendon graft, or an allograft, which is using one of the same items donated from a cadaver. Which is used is a decision made between you and your doctor. The way the graft works is that the graft is a piece of tendon with a bone block at either end. They make a place to anchor the bone blocks in the upper and lower leg bones, essentially replacing the acl you blew out with that tendon-bone block graft. It's all in the information you'll see when you do your "homework." I'm giving you the bullet points, you need to do the coursework on it so you know the full details, so you know the risks, expected recovery times, etc.

Pre-surgery exercise is to minimize muscle and strength loss due to the injury. There's a ton of information on the correct exercises to be doing, and how to do them. Your doctor should have given you all that info or sent you to therapy for supervision.

Since you say your knee is locking up, you should have contacted him about that, that's something they need to know, since it's an indicator more may be going on besides the acl injury and they may want to push up your surgery, since there's a chance you forcing it along with it locking has done more damage aside from just the acl. You don't want to damage your meniscus more, if you've injured one and a piece is making your knee lock up. As you say, you don't want to put yourself out of the Marines on a medical.

If you haven't had an MRI done, I'd be on them to be doing one ASAP!
I trust I've helped clarify things a bit. Now go get the full details.
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: Nettan on October 17, 2008, 06:49:50 AM
You should post in the ACL section. There you can read a lot of posts and find the people that has the same injury like you have.
I agree that you should call your OS if your knee locks up and haven't done that before.
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: tannerweisz on October 17, 2008, 07:24:27 PM
I appriciate all of the info everyone. I'm doing more and more research on the different types of surgeries every day.. I just can't tell which one is the better option.. Like I said it seems like there great stories and horror stories for each of the different options.. The biggest thing that I see is the difference of opinion on the cadaver grafts. I hear alot of people say that there is a good chance that your body will reject the donor and there will be major infection and so on and so forth. But i've also heard that there is a very very minimal chance that your body will reject it.. I just don't see why there would be so much of a difference in opinions. If anyone has experiance with the cadaver graft, please let me know how it went for you. Well hey... anyone that wants to weigh in lemme know what type of surgery you had (ACL replacement obviously) and how well it went for you.. any draw backs that you noticed bennefites ect.
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: miss_sporty on October 17, 2008, 09:31:17 PM
hi i had a hamstring graft reconstruction 13 weeks ago and all is going well so far, started jogging last week and hoping to return to sports after 9 months or so (fingers crossed!!!)
obviously my hamstring was sore for about 2 weeks but it wasnt really that bad for me personally and it hasnt troubled me since, although i know that the hamstring is more vulnerable to strains after the reconstruction, but then the patellar tendon is more vulnerable to tendonitis if you have that graft so there are risks for both i guess.

overall i am very happy with how it is going so far and have now joined a gym to do a bit more to get my fitness levels back up.

what graft are you considering at the moment?
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: tannerweisz on October 17, 2008, 10:02:04 PM
The Doc told me that he was most comfortable doing the patellar graft.. so I'm leaning that way more than the others as of right now.. I'm just not sure yet. I've heard that it weakens the support on your patella and can cause problems in the future depending on the groove depths and what not..
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: miss_sporty on October 17, 2008, 10:26:57 PM
whatever your doctor does i would go with that, hamstring is what mine did and because i was happy with that too it was fine, but i think that it is very important that they are familiar with the graft they will be using.
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: tannerweisz on October 17, 2008, 10:36:44 PM
Did they caution you that you may need surgeries again later if the graft loosens up or looses its tension? That was the big thing my Doc was telling me about the type of surgery you got which mady me pretty unsure about getting it.
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: miss_sporty on October 18, 2008, 07:50:49 AM
no that was never mentioned to me, it was more a case of them saying this is how we do the operation and me having the way that they know how to do well. i had researched it anyway and was hoping to have a hamstring graft as i didnt want the pain kneeling that can come with a patellar graft, so was happy when they said that was what they did. i know that some doctors do consider the patellar graft a better choice as the tissue used is more like the ligament or something i think but i looked at loads of studies and they all seemed to show no hugely significant different in success rates either way. im not sure now though having read what you said!

i think i read on that you are a marine? so obviously you will need a really good graft, and i would still say that its best to go with what your doctor knows best. i wouldn't have pushed for a patellar graft as i know that my surgeon doesnt do any of them and i would rather he was familiar with what he was doing.
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: tannerweisz on October 20, 2008, 06:52:22 PM
The doc that I saw said that he had done alot of the hamstring grafts and the people that he'd done them on had to come back in more often to have the surgery re-done or tightened than the patellar grafts. Maybe that reflects the quality in which he does his hamstring grafts or maybe its just because of how hard we push ourselves to recover.. I can't be promoted if I'm not full duty, so obviously I'm going to want to recover as soon as possible. I've heard good things about the patellar grafts other than the fact that they hurt like hell post-op. I've also read from other posts on here about people having constant patellar pain even though their knee was as strong as, if not stronger than it was pre-op. I'm hoping for the smoothest recovery as possible with the smallest amount of side effects in the long run. I'm thinking that's where the most conflict comes into play with me. It has to be strong (leaning towards patellar) but I don't want it to be something that I'm constantly bothered by in the future (hamstring). Any way about it.. I'm on the internet more now than I ever have been in my life trying to figure out what would be best for me.  I truly appricate the help and advice!
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: celinenj03 on October 21, 2008, 06:39:12 PM
You're title of post is absolutely appropriate. ACL recon totally sucks. But the best news is, it is usually successful and most people usually return to normal. Hang in there! P.S. I don't recommend hamstring only because I have heard of and read of so many people having problems with it afterwards. Either patellar or cadaver should do you justice as a Marine. And by the way, thank you for your service!
Title: Re: This sucks
Post by: tannerweisz on October 21, 2008, 08:48:35 PM
My biggest concern with the surgery is the recovery time.  If I'm not full duty for more than 18 months then they start looking at medically sepperating me (which is not the rout I would like to take).  From what the doc's told me the average ACL recon would end up pushing me right to that 18 month mark before I'd be able to be back to FULL duty. Which of course in my line of work includes carrying a 200 lb man on my back.. running long distances.. marching for longer distances.. so on and so forth. I know people are able to run at their own pace much sooner than 18 months, I'm just concerned with the additional things that a normal athlete wouldn't have to deal with. 

I'm looking at the patellar graft as of right now, I just keep hearing alot of people talking about a constant pain years after the surgery. Even if the knee is stronger where that graft was taken from is always sore.. I'm still up in the air as to what I want to do...