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Author Topic: ACL removed, Do i really need surgery?  (Read 1215 times)

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Offline terry36887

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ACL removed, Do i really need surgery?
« on: October 14, 2007, 12:13:00 PM »
Hello all,
Heres my little speel,

I had a trail bike prang and i felt my knee 'pop', yes my ACL snapped. Went to docs, surgeon and ended up i went in and my ACL was removed.
Now, question......
My knee hasnt buckled (yet), it feels great. I am doing some rehab, knee extensions and bicycle riding often as surgeon said to build up my quads. I am happy to build them up but question is, I am a police officer and was wondering if i build up these quads (and hams) do i really need surgery? My suregon didnt really give me an answer. Also, will losing some weight do me better? (Less weight on my knees?)
Any info, please help! :o
I really cannot afford for a knee reconstruction but if i have to stay behind a desk at work then I will get a loan and get it done.

I was told that some people get along fine without an ACL, but do them people run, jump fences and wrestle?

Any info greatly appreciated!


Offline aleli

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Re: ACL removed, Do i really need surgery?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2007, 01:04:40 PM »
Short answer:

The famous Dr Noyes divided the population in three groups, fairly equal in size. (The ACL rule of thirds)

1st group: they absolutely need surgery because of instability issues etc

2nd group, they either have to modify their living (ie quit high impact sports) or have surgery

3rd group doesn't seem to need surgery. When I did my "prehab" and now post-op rehab efter ACLr, I have met with people that have chosen not to have surgery (and I still live in a country where the surgery is tax paid) and some of these guys are doing just fine. One gentleman plays icehockey at the very highest level and one guy works as a fire fighter. I tried for a couple of months without surgery (only had partial tears of the MCL and the ACL) and planned for high impact sports, but I never regained any stability and decided to have surgery.

So at least it is possible for some people to get back to high impact sport without surgery. But only you and your OS can decide if it is possible for you.

Fun fact: some people are even born without ACL's and never has any problem (not too common..)
Oh noo - not the knee...again...

Offline Audice

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Re: ACL removed, Do i really need surgery?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2007, 02:14:36 PM »
Beyond what Aleli has said, let me add that your ACL doesn't have to be repaired immediately. If you can resume a normal lifestyle w/o the loss of the ACL affecting you, then you're good to go. But remember that if the missing ligament affects how you function then you can certainly do further damage to your knee. Lots to consider. 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 jathib

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  • ACL recon, lateral menisectomy, lateral PKR
Re: ACL removed, Do i really need surgery?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2007, 02:42:14 PM »
You can live without an ACL. I did it for 17 years after mine was removed. However, within six months I tore my meniscus due to the instability. That has turned out to be a far worse injury. Biking is great as long as you don't crash. But being a police officer is going to be hard on your knees I would think. I wouldn't recommend doing that job without an ACL. Losing weight will always help as well as keeping your quads strong.

Are you in the USA? Because I don't know a police department in this country that doesn't have great medical coverage so I'm a little confused as to why you say you can't afford the surgery. I used to work for a PD in a small city and the coverage there was excellent even though I wasn't an officer.

Offline SWYZ721

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Re: ACL removed, Do i really need surgery?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2007, 05:58:08 AM »
You're ligaments keep your joints/bones aligned during events when your muscles (no matter how strong) can't/won't.

If you have you're missing one of the ligaments, you are that much more likely to tear another.

Think of them as pillars holding a building up. YOU now have one less pillar, thus all other ligaments must bear the extra strain. Problem is, pillars all have the same job (to hold something erect) each of you're ligaments supports you're knee at a different angle.

However, every individual is different. Some people's knees naturally slip out more than others. It has to do with the lengths and tolerances of your bones and ligaments, radically different for everyone, just like our unique faces.

Either way you need to be as strong as possible: before surgery, or if you never have surgery.

So rehab, get better, then work, move around, see if your knee feels stable and if it swells.

Talk to the doc specifically about what the ACL does and when it is activated and see if those are things you will need to do.

I'm not gonna lie to you, no matter what anyone says, when they open up your knee they expose it to trauma it otherwise never would have had to go through, that isn't even considering autografts.

On the flip side, when your ACL tears, it absorbs a lot of force minimizing the meniscal tear. If you're legs slips out of aligment without an ACL to take the brunt of the damage, your meniscus will be in pretty bad shape. The ACL can be considered the backbone of the knee.

Good Luck!
« Last Edit: August 08, 2009, 05:10:31 PM by SWYZ721 »
Aug. 29, 2005 - ACL/MCL/Meniscusl Rupture
Oct. 27, 2005 - ACL Recon. (Patellar)

Don't play indoor soccer!

Offline terry36887

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Re: ACL removed, Do i really need surgery?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2007, 07:11:12 AM »
Thanks all for your input...
I think from this i know deep down that i will need surgery. I live in Australia NSW so there is nothing as far as cover is concerned.
 :-[ I guess i just keep kidding myself about, "It will be right if i build up the quads and hams".
But i think when getting in wrestles it will 'pop out' so to speak.

Thanks again all for input.