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Author Topic: ACL Reconstruction  (Read 2456 times)

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Offline cm

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ACL Reconstruction
« on: July 01, 2003, 06:21:04 PM »
I had my ACL reconstructed (along with a meniscus repair) a couple of years ago.   (Hamstring autograft)   While the graft has stretched a little bit since, it's not serious (I have no instability, but wear a brace - Donjoy Defiance - during my most high risk activities like dirt biking and DH racing) and I'm able to do all the aggressive sports and activities I want to do, so overall I'm happy with the results.    

I tore my ACL skiing and due to a long chain of events (I was in the military) didn't have it reconstructed until a year later.    Went into the hospital, had the surgery under general anesthesia.    Woke up nauseous and in pain (percocet did the trick though).    I stayed overnight in the hospital and went home the next day.   (I was living alone at the time and think they just wanted to keep an eye on me.)    Because of the meniscus repair done at the same time I was non-weight bearing for 5 weeks, but started physical therapy the next day.    I experienced a lot of swelling (most of it, I believe, was because while I elevated my leg regularly, I wasn't getting it above the heart.   I still don't understand why they've never properly elevated my leg for either surgery while I was in the hospital - it gives you the impression that just sitting up with one pillow under your leg counts as elevating it...)  

Anyway, I did PT three days a week for something like the first 4 months.   I stayed on track with ROM and strength and was back to running at around 16 weeks.     I then got back into mountain biking and eventually skiing (over a year later due to the surgery date in October).     My re-entry back into each sport generally took a few days of really taking it easy and being super cautious.   Oddly enough, it was usually the first wreck that gave me my confidence back - the feeling that "Hey, my knee didn't fall off!"  and realizing it still felt fine afterwards let me jump back into sports again.   I've been skiing and biking significantly better after the reconstruction than I ever did before.    

I did end up tearing my meniscus again - after 185 days of skiing in 2 seasons.    So I'm not sure I'd call the meniscus repair part a success (though it's impossible to tell if it was just a completely new tear or had anything to do with the original repair), but my new OS did say that the ACL graft is intact and strong - it's just a tiny bit stretched.    (Which my first OS warned might happen because I'm pretty flexible.   I accepted that risk, with his recommendation, vs. the risk of patellar tendonitis/arthritis that goes with a patellar graft.)

I do know several people who have even better success stories with ACL reconstructions - 5+ years skiing with no problems at all, (but they're not internet types).    I know my success story with the ACL isn't perfect, but I'm happy.    I have no problems with instability, swelling or pain, and I'm participating/competing in some pretty aggressive sports, so I don't think there's much more I can ask for!    
Left knee ACL reconstruction w/hamstring graft and meniscus repair 10/00
Left knee bucket handle meniscus tear - partial meniscetomy 4/8/03

Offline cm

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ACL Reconstruction
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2003, 06:21:04 PM »
I had my ACL reconstructed (along with a meniscus repair) a couple of years ago.   (Hamstring autograft)   While the graft has stretched a little bit since, it's not serious (I have no instability, but wear a brace - Donjoy Defiance - during my most high risk activities like dirt biking and DH racing) and I'm able to do all the aggressive sports and activities I want to do, so overall I'm happy with the results.    

I tore my ACL skiing and due to a long chain of events (I was in the military) didn't have it reconstructed until a year later.    Went into the hospital, had the surgery under general anesthesia.    Woke up nauseous and in pain (percocet did the trick though).    I stayed overnight in the hospital and went home the next day.   (I was living alone at the time and think they just wanted to keep an eye on me.)    Because of the meniscus repair done at the same time I was non-weight bearing for 5 weeks, but started physical therapy the next day.    I experienced a lot of swelling (most of it, I believe, was because while I elevated my leg regularly, I wasn't getting it above the heart.   I still don't understand why they've never properly elevated my leg for either surgery while I was in the hospital - it gives you the impression that just sitting up with one pillow under your leg counts as elevating it...)  

Anyway, I did PT three days a week for something like the first 4 months.   I stayed on track with ROM and strength and was back to running at around 16 weeks.     I then got back into mountain biking and eventually skiing (over a year later due to the surgery date in October).     My re-entry back into each sport generally took a few days of really taking it easy and being super cautious.   Oddly enough, it was usually the first wreck that gave me my confidence back - the feeling that "Hey, my knee didn't fall off!"  and realizing it still felt fine afterwards let me jump back into sports again.   I've been skiing and biking significantly better after the reconstruction than I ever did before.    

I did end up tearing my meniscus again - after 185 days of skiing in 2 seasons.    So I'm not sure I'd call the meniscus repair part a success (though it's impossible to tell if it was just a completely new tear or had anything to do with the original repair), but my new OS did say that the ACL graft is intact and strong - it's just a tiny bit stretched.    (Which my first OS warned might happen because I'm pretty flexible.   I accepted that risk, with his recommendation, vs. the risk of patellar tendonitis/arthritis that goes with a patellar graft.)

I do know several people who have even better success stories with ACL reconstructions - 5+ years skiing with no problems at all, (but they're not internet types).    I know my success story with the ACL isn't perfect, but I'm happy.    I have no problems with instability, swelling or pain, and I'm participating/competing in some pretty aggressive sports, so I don't think there's much more I can ask for!    
Left knee ACL reconstruction w/hamstring graft and meniscus repair 10/00
Left knee bucket handle meniscus tear - partial meniscetomy 4/8/03