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Author Topic: Tore my ACL and meniscus - advice needed  (Read 1223 times)

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Offline vegasshades

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Tore my ACL and meniscus - advice needed
« on: May 10, 2007, 05:46:30 PM »
I am writing to obtain advice from others that have Torn their ACL.
My story is lengthy but I am going to write the short-short version.

I am 34 year old Male from So Cali.

Nov 2006 driving to the basket, hopped to the middle and my right knee popped
December 2006 confirmed from MRi that my ACL was torn along with Meniscus tear

Due to major insurance/referral/authorization problems I was finally able to see a Orthopedic last month.

He basically told me that I have two options:

1.  6 weeks therapy and knee brace and see how things are and never play sports again, he commented "you can live without an ACL, peaple do"

2.  6 weeks therapy to strengthen the knee, then Surgery and post op therapy and have your knee recover but never be the same

He was one of those fast talking doctors, he even said "check google for more info on torn ACL surgery".  lol

So since December I have been walking around without pain, without a knee brace. 
Yes, a few times I tweaked my knee and it hurt pretty bad but subsided few days later.

My insurance sucks and pre therapy is $60 CO PAY!!  My doctor ordered that I attend therapy 3 times a week for 6 weeks.  How can anyone afford that?  Even though my employer agreed to pay half of the co-pay, that is still alot of money.  And if I decide to have surgery then that is what, 8 months of therapy?   Insane.

This is where I need advice.   I have gained about 15-20 lbs because I am not active anymore.

For the past month or so I have gone jogging/running couple times a week with a heavy Knee Brace on.

Today I made the decision to jog/run in the morning and at night, EVERY DAY.
That amounts to about a 15 minute jog/run twice a day.

So my questions are:

1.  am i crazy for running on this knee with Torn ACL?
2.  am I doing more damage?
3.  will it eventually start hurting?
4.  what should I do since my insurance sucks so bad?
5.  can I live without surgery and still be active?

Thanks in advance for the support and feedback.

Regards,
Daniel

Offline laforce18

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Re: Tore my ACL and meniscus - advice needed
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2007, 06:52:23 PM »
1.  am i crazy for running on this knee with Torn ACL?
2.  am I doing more damage?
3.  will it eventually start hurting?
4.  what should I do since my insurance sucks so bad?
5.  can I live without surgery and still be active


You may want to post this in the cruciate section, but I will try to help as best I can:
1. It may be possible to run with a torn ACL, and it may hurt, but you may end up doing more damage to other ligaments around your ACl.  It may give out periodically because the ACL holds the two sides of your leg together (basically).  I would talk to the PT people and see what they can do.  I don't think that there is really a way for your doc to find out if you went to every single therapy.  I would highly recommend the surgery, and it is possible to be back to 100%.  Just look at all the professional athletes that do it.  I would suggest seeing another OS, but that doesn't seem possible.  He really seems like he has a terrible  bedside manner.  It is the post op therapy that means the most.  The surgeon could do an amazing surgery, and if you don't do the therapy, it could go to waste.  That is what happened to me.  I wasn't aware of what I needed to do and ended up having another surgery to get my flexion and extension.  Pre surgery is important too, you need to be strong and have the flexion and extension, but 6 weeks seems extreme.  Let me know what you do!I hope all of this helps. ???
Shannon
Shannon
ACL allograft 3-22-06
lat rel and manip 6-29-06
patella femoral arthrofibrosis
lat rel and chrondplasty  9-26-06
arthroscopic surgery scope 6-12-07
lateral meniscus tear, cartilage and scar tissue removal

Offline jathib

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Re: Tore my ACL and meniscus - advice needed
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2007, 07:10:43 PM »

1.  am i crazy for running on this knee with Torn ACL?
2.  am I doing more damage?
3.  will it eventually start hurting?
4.  what should I do since my insurance sucks so bad?
5.  can I live without surgery and still be active?

Thanks in advance for the support and feedback.

Regards,
Daniel


First off, you can live without an ACL. I did it for 17 years only because they didn't know how to rebuild ACLs when I tore mine. The bad news is that my knee was unstable which caused me to tear my meniscus resulting in me having a PKR 5 months ago.

1. Don't run without an ACL. One wrong move and it will cave which will cause further damage to your knee. (See above). Better to take up biking or swimming. Both are great for knees.

2. You will likely do more damage if your knee is unstable.

3. It might start hurting or it might not. Mine hurt because I walked on a torn meniscus for 17 years.

4. You won't need to be in physical therapy for 8 months. All they do is watch you exercise for the most part. You can do that at home and check in with PT once in a while. You will need to keep your muscles strong forever so therapy never really ends.

5. You can live without surgery but stay away from high impact sports or anything that causes you to turn and twist a lot. If you go that route you absolutely must keep your quads as strong as possible to help stabilize your knee.

As far as your knee never being the same, well, the truth is no matter what you do it will never be the same.  I eventually got my ACL rebuilt because the instability was tearing up the rest of my knee. My meniscus was removed a piece at a time. I had Grade 4 arthritis by the time I had a PKR. The good news is I kept my knee strong by biking and swimming and it was 34 years from the initial injury until I had the PKR.

Offline vegasshades

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Re: Tore my ACL and meniscus - advice needed
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2007, 07:18:33 PM »
Thanks so much for the responses..   it SOUNDS LIKE I need to get the surgery and then do the PT on my own after a few sessions with the facility.

IF I DECIDE NOT TO: 

Regarding biking, (which I am not opposed to) in order to do the cardio I want and lose the weight (mostly gut), should I get a bike with gears so I can increase the difficulty?  Or will this effect my knee and give same result as running on it?

Regarding Quads, since I have a torn ACL will I be able to do heavy leg/quad exercises you think?
« Last Edit: May 10, 2007, 07:35:27 PM by vegasshades »

Offline jathib

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Re: Tore my ACL and meniscus - advice needed
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2007, 08:23:26 PM »
Yeah, get a bike with gears. I biked as hard as I could. Just ease up if it hurts. The stronger your quads are the better. Biking also helps keep your knee joint lubricated and mobile.

I have a BowFlex at home that has a thing for leg extensions and curls for my hamstrings. I did this both after my ACL was removed and after I had it rebuilt. Again, if it hurts ease up. My doctor told me never to do deep knee bends.

Knowing what I know now, if I were to tear my other ACL I would have it rebuilt immediately, even at age 49. Unfortunately, I didn't have that option when I was 15. By the way, when my doc did the PKR he said my rebuilt ACL was in great condition even 16 years after it was rebuilt.

Offline Audice

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Re: Tore my ACL and meniscus - advice needed
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2007, 11:25:38 PM »
You asked:

1.  am i crazy for running on this knee with Torn ACL?
2.  am I doing more damage?
3.  will it eventually start hurting?
4.  what should I do since my insurance sucks so bad?
5.  can I live without surgery and still be active?

Hi Daniel ~ By all means turn to the cruciate section of this forum for lots of advice & information. I'm 2 years past knee damage & doing well w/o an ACL. Because of my age there'll be no ACL reconstruction but I won't be participating in a sport that'll put more pressure on my knee than my active lifestyle does. I own a horse. I ride. I work at a horse farm on a daily basis. I own large sighthounds & walk the 3 of them together each day on leashes. That being said...My knee is quite stabile & I rarely use my custom brace. Yes, there are times it hurts, but nothing I can't deal with & all quite temporary at this point.

You probably can run w/o difficulty, just avoid pivoting. A straight run is do-able. Only if you put your knee to such a test that it becomes more unstabile might you be doing more damage. You can further tear your meniscus but if the ACL is gone, it's gone for good. I've gone thru times when I obviously did more damage to the meniscus but eventually my knee settles down again & you really wouldn't know I have any issues with it unless you see me getting out of a car after sitting for a while.

Obviously you  realize the injury is not something that needs immediate "fixing" so is there a possibility you can save enough money to pursue the surgery w/o having good medical coverage or is there any way you can secure coverage even for a short time?

I'm living proof that a person w/o an ACL can lead an (age appropriate) active life style. I can honestly say I'm doing no less now than I did prior to the knee injury.

So far as the weight gain is concerned, I suspect you can control the pounds you're putting on. I never gained an ounce & found when the injury was recent just walking (forced marches I called them) helped me a great deal. I went from moving slowly & carefully on a level surface to hill climbing over rough terrain - all of which led my OS to say that whatever I was doing to keep up my leg strength was working. If you can't afford PT, do some reading & devise your own PT program based on what's acceptable for your injury. 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.