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Author Topic: ACL rupture but no operation.  (Read 1625 times)

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Offline rundeanrun

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ACL rupture but no operation.
« on: December 29, 2006, 05:58:42 PM »
Hi everyone
First time on the site but have been reading it for a while as a guest.
I have a complete tear of my anterior cruciate ligament due to a accident whilst practicing Jujitsu.
The consultant ortho surgeon said they would not opperate on me because at the ripe old age of 48 I was to old and would just have to make some lifestyle changes.
I was shocked at this as I am a runner both on the fells and road and still regard myself as being competative and I work as a Paramedic which puts demands on your body. I explained all this but to no avail. You will be saying I should have got a second opinion but I decided to try the conservative route first so started a programme of rehab.
Everything seems to be going well its three months on and feeling good leg is getting strong again balance is good no pain feel like I could run again.
Everyone seems to be post op on the site is there anyone with experiance of my route.
Cheers Dean.

Offline Audice

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Re: ACL rupture but no operation.
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2006, 08:08:06 PM »
Hi Dean ~ I'm with repairs, but I'm 68 & don't partake of any sport other than horses. I own a horse, ride & work at the farm. So I'm an active old lady. I also have 4 big dogs who vastly outweigh me but I walk them all together w/o being upended. <g>

Because of my activity level most people don't believe I'm as old as I am but at your 48, if it becomes necessary I'm sure you'd be able to find an OS who would do the reconstruction for you. There are folks on this list older than you who have undergone the operation & done well.

I'm about a year and a half from the time of the accident & I'd wager that in the last 10 months or so my knee hasn't buckled. I do have a custom brace which I'll wear if I'm working my horse from the ground because one lunge on his part could cause my knee some problems. But even when I ride, my knee feels pretty durned solid so I'm satisfied with the way things are going.

I certainly have twinges of pain & aches but nothing that stops me in any way. Hopefully you'll be as lucky as I've been. Wishing you well...Ellie
April, 2005 - ACL rupture, medial meniscus tear within posterior horn to articular surface, abnormal signal within lateral meniscus, partial tear MCL, bone contusions tibia/fibula, Baker's cyst.
No repairs.

Offline ODEN

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Re: ACL rupture but no operation.
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2006, 10:55:24 PM »
I ruptured by ACL when I was 37 and also went the non-surgical route.  I got along without an ACL for almost 12 years with no problems (after months of rehab to strengthen my knee).  I finally had ACL reconstruction at 48 because my knee became so unstable.  Sadly, the new ligament only lasted 3 months.  A year later I ended up with a total knee replacement due to severe joint degeneration.

Good luck with your rehab!

June 2004 ACL Reconstruction/Meniscus Repair
Nov 2004 Meniscus Repair
Aug 2005 Right TRK & Lateral Release
Dec 2005 MUA & Scar Tissue Removal

Offline Homer

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Re: ACL rupture but no operation.
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2006, 12:24:40 AM »
Hi Dean

I too am 48. I ruptured my ACL on 1st August. Initially diagnosis was side ligaments which I was advised heal nuturally. I spent 3 months working on rehab - end result was no pain or swelling, I was back mountain biking, walking & running with no problems but always felt like I walked with a slight limp & knee never felt just right. An MRI scan gave correct diagnosis. My doctor & first consultant mentioned that age may be an obstacle if I was considering a repair but referred me to a surgeon. The surgeon gave me 3 choices:

1 - consider stopping sports (not likely!)
2 - Adapt to the injury - ie do anything that avoids twisting the knee - walking, running, cycling
3 - Have the operation

I mentioned age & he said his oldest patient was 74. He also mentioned 10% of patients can develope sufficient surrounding muscle to do without the operation & still play all sports - but i was unclear how you knew if you were this 10%. I play most raquet sports - tennis, badminton, squash & wanted to carry on playing so for me the decision to have the op was easy - he did it a week later.

If you can participate in the activities you enjoy without the operation I personally would see what level you can achieve without the operation. But if there are things that you want to do (raquet sports etc) that you cannot do without then see another consultant & go for the op. 

Hope this helps & you find your answer.

« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 12:27:05 AM by Homer »
1.8.06 - RK - Ruptured ACL, Torn Meniscus
17.11.06 - RK - ACLR (Hamstring)

Offline clay

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Re: ACL rupture but no operation.
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2006, 07:53:37 PM »

I too find myself in a similar situation.  I am a 40 y.o. Paramedic who stays fairly active with running, cycling and offroad motorcycling.  I ruptured my ACL beginning of November and have been actively rehabing my knee to the point now where I have very little pain and almost complete range of motion back.  There have been some instances where my knee felt unstable but it has never dislocated.  With my current and anticipated future activity level, accompanied with the physical demands of my career, I have opted for ACLR surgery (16 days and counting).   My thought is that if I am involved in any type of patient lifting at work (litter, stairchair etc.) than I want the most stable "platform" on which to operate.  I have a friend at work who ruptured her ACL some 12 years prior - decided not to get the surgery done at the time however her knee became progressively unstable throughout the years causing more damage ... end result was ACLR surgery and she has been doing wonderfully.   I guess everyone has to weigh their options .... just thought it was neat to see a "48" year old Paramedic posting ... gives us "young un's" the hope that we can still function out in the field in our "later years"  ;)   Good luck with your decision !


Less than graceful dismount from offroad motorcycle - 11/06
Complete ACL tear / torn medial meniscus - seconds thereafter
ACLR (Patellar autograft) / meniscus "cleanup"   01/07

Offline rundeanrun

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Re: ACL rupture but no operation.
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2006, 08:02:48 PM »
Thanks for the replies its great to know you have support out there.
As I said before my rehab is going well, one of the best things I did was keep a diary of my progress from day one, this has enabled me to look back when feeling down and see how far I have come, it now extends to twenty pages of a word document on my laptop maybe one day I could publish it and make my fortune.
I am now so determined to rehab using the so called conservative route, which should really be called the blood sweat and tears route, that I have entered a triathlon in July which I am determined to not only take part in but compete in, and return to Jujitsu and take my Blackbelt examination towards the end of next year.
At this stage I have not ruled out that in the future I may have to go along the route of a repair but at this moment in time I am goint to try and fix myself first, so back to the weights room the pool the turbo trainer and those boring one legged squats on my stairs.
So happy new year to you all and keep up with your rehab its got to be worth it in the end.
Cheers Dean.  ;D
P.S to the fellow Paramedic thanks for your reply.

Offline Linds

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Re: ACL rupture but no operation.
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2006, 09:28:02 PM »
I am 8 months out from an ACL injury.. and still strugglin with no surgery... But they think I have other things going on.. beyond just the ACL.
I wish you luck with your route of rehab, but I do worry... you being a paramedic and all that your knee may not take the strain.  There are alot of people who get by without though.

All the luck

1997 Scope RK
2002 LR RK
2002 Scope and hematoma evac RK
2004 LR LK
May 06 Fall from Horse, partial ACL tear and meniscus injury, Tibial plateau injury
2007 Scope, Plica Excision and Debride LK
2009/2010- Possibly Ankylosing Spondylitis?