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Author Topic: Compare ACL tear experience  (Read 1043 times)

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Offline sashazur

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Compare ACL tear experience
« on: October 24, 2004, 10:28:15 AM »
I'm just posting my experience to see if it's typical or not...

I'm a 42 yr old male. I tore my ACL 3 weeks ago (jumped the wrong way when hiking off the trail).

At first the orthopedist said it was definitely an ACL tear even though the knee was too swollen for him to manipulate to really be able to tell.

A week later, there was still a lot of swelling, so the orthopedist orders an MRI. The MRI shows torn ACL but no other problems.

However, the knee does not feel unstable at all, and the PT can't feel any difference when he manipulates either leg.

I have been to PT twice now, but even before that, ROM was slowly improving, though the knee is still stiff and PT hurts! The improvement in strength and motion is faster than the improvement in pain though... that seems to get better much more slowly.

To deal with pain & swelling I am doing ice packs 3x/day, 1800mg ibuprofen daily. Doesn't seem to help much with the pain though the swelling is going down slowly.

So... does all of this seem within the realm of what's to be expected? It seems odd to me that there would be a large amount of swelling to the point where the Dr. remarked on it, yet if my ACL is torn why isn't my knee wobbly? And is pain & swelling even 3 weeks after injury normal too?

Tore ACL October 2004, no surgery so far, just PT.

Offline sashazur

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Re: Compare ACL tear experience
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2004, 10:31:07 AM »
I forgot to mention... after the first week, there is as much pain in the calf and in the shin as there is in the knee. There is some bruising in the shin though I didn't hit it. What's with that?
Tore ACL October 2004, no surgery so far, just PT.

Offline ATsoccergirl

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Re: Compare ACL tear experience
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2004, 06:16:43 PM »
ACL tears are well known for their large amount of swelling.  There is an artery that runs along with the ACL which is normally torn along with the ligament.  This is why there is a large amount of swelling and also accounts for the bruising in your shin/calf since fluid will travel down with gravity.  

In terms of stability, until the swelling is fully resolved it may be hard to really get a good feel for it.  The swelling distends the joint capsule and can sometimes give a false sense of security.  It may also be affecting your lachman's test, especially if the person performing it is not that skilled at it.
1999 LR, 2002 ACL/PLC recon, reversal of LR, 2004 ACL revision, 2006 Car accident torn PCL and small fractures resulting in bone chips in my knee.  Torn MCL 3 times.  Wicked screws under IT band and Pes Anserine.  June 2008-Hip Arthroscopy.

Offline XxSkittlezxX

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Re: Compare ACL tear experience
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2004, 11:45:32 PM »
I had a LOT of swelling right after I tore my ACL and it lasted for a good while.  My knee also stiffened up because I didn't go to PT right away and that made it more painful than probably necessary.  I went to PT for about 3 months, managed a lacrosse season on it, all summer, and then the start of marching band season before it gave out on me for the first time.  I felt very stable before and the PT said that I could probably go with out surgery because my quads and hamstrings are so strong... but once it gave out on me again, I decided to get surgery, so that's happening on Nov. 17th.  

Good luck with all that's going on.
1/15/04 = ACL Rupture (fully torn)
11/17/04 = ACL Recon. Surgery

Offline sashazur

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Re: Compare ACL tear experience
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2004, 02:31:08 AM »
How long did you have swelling and pain? It's 3 weeks since my injury and swelling is less though not all gone, and pain is a bit less, though still enough to make it hard to sleep well (advil and even darvocet don't help much).
Tore ACL October 2004, no surgery so far, just PT.















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