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Author Topic: 4th Op for well travelled Brit!  (Read 771 times)

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Offline Dave_Delbecq

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4th Op for well travelled Brit!
« on: June 24, 2005, 04:00:49 PM »
Hi Everyone,
Whilst playing football for the US Navy in Oct. 1996, I got tackled 2-footed from the side by another player and snapped my ACL.
I was then rushed to the Navy hospital where the local surgeon performed Arthroscopy, no more.

I carried on playing tennis after a while at a very high level, and inevitably, my right knee 'snapped' several times, until in Sept. 2001 it 'snapped' for good and I couldn't go on.

I had Reconstruction done in December 2001, and it was assessed that I had no ACL left, arthritis, and damaged meniscus.
The Op was perfermed in a private clinic in Belgium. It turned out to be a failure, as the surgeon in question inserted a dead man's ligament to replace my old one and tightened it up with a screw. I developed a 'bump' where the screw was being rejected.

I had a 3rd Op in Essex, UK, where they removed the screw and performed another Arthroscopy. I have not had anything done since, and am waiting for another Reconstruction.

- I cannot run as I'm scared it will 'snap' again
- I wanted to ask for any advice you may have, and whether you think my chances are good.
- Do you think I will ever get back to playing high-level tennis??

Plelase help - I'm worried and would love to hear your opinion.


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Re: 4th Op for well travelled Brit!
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2005, 05:25:45 PM »

Well you have really been through it haven't yuu.  Have you checked out the section 'Specialist's Office' - then look for 'Cruciate Ligaments'.  You could also check out the 'Rehab Dept' and look for  'Post-op Diary' section - people put their personal stories about their rehabs in there. 

Good luck to you and hope you can find the answers you are seeking.


Offline Heather M.

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Re: 4th Op for well travelled Brit!
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2005, 10:02:51 PM »
I'm not sure I really understand your surgical history.  You had an arthroscopy in 1996--was this an ACL reconstruction?

And the surgery in 2001 was another ACL reconstruction?  And this 2001 procedure in Belgium was done with donor tissue (called an allograft)?  I'm not sure how you can say it failed just because the screw irritated the surrounding bone--did the graft not take, meaning you didn't have a functioning ACL?

What was done during the surgery in Essex besides removing the screw?  Did they remove the ACL, or was there anything there to remove?

Sorry, but it's very hard to advise without more detailed information.  It would be great if you could get your medical records--that way, you could use the doctor's terms, which would make it clearer to everyone what procedures you had and what your prognosis is.  If you have had your ACL torn and reconstructed two or three times, then you may have a bigger ongoing issue--it shouldn't keep tearing, obviously, and you may have damage to another part of the knee that weakens the ACL.  There is something called the PLC or Postero-Lateral Corner (not to be mistaken with the PCL or posterior cruciate ligament), and if this is damaged it weakens the ACL despite reconstruction.  Having a PLC problem is quite serious, as it is not a standard operation to fix it--you need to see a multi-ligament specialist. 

Now, I have no idea if you even have this problem!  From my understanding of your post, you've had several ACL tears and reconstructions, but still have problems.  But maybe I'm misunderstanding?  Like when you say the knee 'snaps,' do you mean you hear clicking and popping noises?  Or does it buckle/fail to support you?  Do you fall?  Can you fully bend and straighten?

Be sure to look at the main page, and click on general info.  Read through the cruciates section for an overview of problems, symptoms, and procedures.  Another great resource is  (be sure to click through all the tabs).

Once you provide more details, I'm sure the ligament repair folks will be able to guide you in the right direction.  There is a cruciate ligament section on this bulletin board, a little lower down than this general knee questions area.  Another collection of ACL folks can be found at

Hope this information helps.

Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja

Offline Dave_Delbecq

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Re: 4th Op for well travelled Brit!
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2005, 03:55:10 PM »

Thank you very much for taking the time respond to my little paragraph.
I realise I didn't make it very clear- I was in a bit of a hurry at the time.
In simple terms, it went kinda like this:

Oct. 1996: Football Ingury, Arthroscopy conducted by US Navy Surgeon, Bahrain.
December 2001: ACL reconstruction with allograft, Gent, Belgium.
               2004: A 'bump' develops where the screw was fitted to hold the graft.
               2004: Arthroscopy, screw removed, Essex, UK.

The Essex surgeon mentioned that the graft had not taken and that the ACL reconstruction had been a failure. He added that I had developped arthritis, that my meniscus was damaged, that parts of the cartilage were seriously eroded, and that I had no ACL at all at the moment. As a result, my knee is very unstable and therefore it makes me feel very...well, frightened in case it collapses again - which as you will know is terribly painful.

I hope this has helped - I'm afraid that I am rubbish at medical jargon.  :-\
I'm basically worried and I feel this is never going to be fixed properly....
I've got another reconstruction scheduled for October by a Mr. J. Targett....