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Author Topic: ACL Injury. Operation in France or the UK????  (Read 4210 times)

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Offline Jay_Surf_Snow

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ACL Injury. Operation in France or the UK????
« on: March 24, 2009, 01:51:01 PM »
Hi All

New to the site and thought I would just ask for some general advice

Im working in France doing a winter season and my contract doesn't finish till mid May.

Even though Iím here primarily to ski and snowboard I really enjoy my work and love being in the mountains. I work in an office and oversee a warehouse for a tour operator

On the 12th of March I injured my knee whilst snowboarding.

Landed funny on a jump and landed on the tail of my board with my weight going over the back. This resulted in the board pulling my left leg straight.

I heard a cracking/popping noise and got quite a severe adrenalin rush, even though the pain wasnít too bad. I knew I had done something though and headed back onto the piste. Couldnít make it all the way back down though as my knee felt quite unstable and ended up getting a chair lift down.

I preyed for the best, but the next day(13/03/09), due to swelling and pain went to the local French hospital.

Here they took an x-ray and said that it didnít look to bad. I was given a large full leg brace which I kept on for about a week and had a follow up appointment booked on the 23/03/09 with a knee specialist.

I went and saw the Doc today and he said that I have ripped my ACL Ligament and have got an MRI scan booked on the 31/03/09 and surgery on the 8th of April.

I will be in the hospital for 3 days for my surgery and he said that I cant do any extreme sports for 8 months after.

Im curious to what to expect with and after the surgery, if anyone thinks it would be better to have it at home in the UK. The doctor implied that it is better to have it here in France but I wasnít sure if this was a biased opinion. But being in a ski resort( Bourg Sainte Maurice) I assume they are pretty used to knee injuries though after reading info on this site it seems quite common in other sports too.

My job does deem a lot of driving but is also behind a desk as well.

My love for board sports is the biggest thing in my life, I spend a lot of time surfing and snowboarding but thinking I maybe should dust of the dust on my kayak for the summer.

Any thoughts, info, advice, encouragement is much appreciated

Many thanks and and big smile to all

Jay
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 02:05:07 PM by Jay_Surf_Snow »
12/03/09 injured my knee whilst snowboarding in Sainte Foy.

13/03/09 Local French Hospital, Said not to bad after Xray. Given painkillers & referral

29/03/09 Saw knee specialist who said its ACL tear

04/04/09 MRI Confirmed complete Tear.

08/04/09 ACL Recon Surgery

13/04/09 Out of hospital

Offline kateplate

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Re: ACL Injury. Operation in France or the UK????
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009, 02:06:07 PM »
Jay,

I'm guessing, given your job, that you speak French and got on OK in Bourg with the docs. I would imagine that surgery and follow up in France or UK would the the same, so maybe the influencing factor should be finances and insurance?? I guess you have an E111 in place. Don't forget that once you have surgery you will find it difficult to travel straight away, so if you need to get out of accomodation at the end of the ski season you may want to ask the French doctors to give you heparin to thin your blood prior to travelling / flying. You also need to think about physio. If you start a programme in France and then transfer back to the UK you will be stuffed for a referral to your NHS dep't!

I've never had an ACL issue, but I think it's fair to say that ANY surgery is going to slow you down for a few months, and you are right to opt for kayaking as opposed to heavy duty sports. Do yourself a favour and write off 2009 as a summer sports yr!

As for France - have you skied in Ste Foy? What a beautiful place! K
Dec '05 RK plm; Dec '06 RK plm&pmm; Sept '07 LK pmm. Jan '09 LK pmm and synovial joint repair / removal of fat pad.
March '09 insertion of spinal cord stimulator for permanent nerve damage in L leg.

vinnic

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Re: ACL Injury. Operation in France or the UK????
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 02:17:09 PM »
Think it's a personal decision as to what you feel most comfortable with given your situation, so good luck to you and hope it goes well.  Be sure to read in the cruciate ligament boards and post-op diaries too.  There may be more information that you could find as to other posters' experiences in both places.  Best of luck.

Offline Jay_Surf_Snow

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Re: ACL Injury. Operation in France or the UK????
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2009, 01:02:34 PM »
Hi All, Thanks so much for your replies.

I had the operation in France after hearing good stories about the hospital. All went okay except there was a blood clot in my knee and the surgeons had to use a drain to get rid of this.

After seeing a physio in the hospital i have an 80į range of movement(on as machine and slightly painful) in my knee but after coming out took me a few days to book in with a new physio but starting up tomorrow(17/04/09).

Due the blood clot im on blood thinning medication (lovenox 40) already but have managed to extend my contract till June so not looking at flying anywhere soon.

My insurance company is pretty good and have paid for all things so far other then medication which i can claim off the e111 card. they will only pay for £500 worth of physio though and am unsure still how much each session is going to cost. but will find out tomorrow with my first session.

My knee's still pretty swollen but am using lots of ice and frozen veg on it. have set my desk up with a high leg rest to keep it raised and my kind colleagues have been very helpful with driving me around and other general help when needed.

Finding out that crutches are so tough on the wrist

Ive been to many ski areas and I love Sainte Foy more then any, for the off piste side of things and lack of people on the slopes. Even though this is where I did my knee in originally it was still one of the best days boarding Ive ever had.

Still reading through all the other message boards, but are very helpful.

How are you getting on with your ACL recon Vinnic? I found my knee is still very swollen from the OP. Are you on lovenox medication at all?

Again thanks for your replies

Optimistic Smiles

Jay
12/03/09 injured my knee whilst snowboarding in Sainte Foy.

13/03/09 Local French Hospital, Said not to bad after Xray. Given painkillers & referral

29/03/09 Saw knee specialist who said its ACL tear

04/04/09 MRI Confirmed complete Tear.

08/04/09 ACL Recon Surgery

13/04/09 Out of hospital

vinnic

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Re: ACL Injury. Operation in France or the UK????
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2009, 07:23:23 PM »
Glad to hear surgery went well!  What type of graft did you end up having?  I had a drain too but luckily did not have any clotting.  So, I'm not taking any type of blood thinners or anti-inflammatories at all.  I did have a morphine pump in the hospital though and then vicodin pain killers at home.  I've been weening myself off of them and only take them before physical therapy or if I absolutely cannot sleep at night (which has been almost every night).  I don't think it's uncommon to have a blod thinner following aclr though and might even be very common in certain countries to prevent against clotting.  Today I'm three weeks post-op and I still do get a bit of swelling and discoloration in the knee and ankle though, which seems to go away at night if I put on my immobiliser or elevate and ice.  I've started a post-op diary called Nikki's ACLr in the post-op section and I've tried to post everyday about how it's going so feel free to read over there if you like.  As far as crutches, yes they can be hard on the entire body!  I was non weight-bearing for the first ten days in my immobiliser with no exercises, so it's good to hear you've got the motion machine.  That should help with flexion and extension for you.  I was able to work my way down to one crutch this week, but I'm still pretty shakey and unsure of myself.  I think it's mostly a confidence thing though so I'm trying to really work on walking correctly and take my time, heel toe heel toe.  My surgeon and therapist would like to see me off of them by next week so I've got my work cut out for me.  Do you start therapy right away or have any exercises? 

How is the language for you?  Are you fluent or can you get by in French?  Or do they speak any English with you?  I've been learning it for the past few years since my husband is from there, but no where near fluent.  I could probably get by for the most part though, but having surgery there would probably be another issue.  Hope you are being treated well and have a speedy recovery.  Be sure to posts updates when you can, and again the Cruciate Ligaments board and the Post-Op Diaries boards are excellent in those times of pain and worry!  Take care and best of luck to you.

Offline firsttimer78

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Re: ACL Injury. Operation in France or the UK????
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2010, 12:58:41 PM »
Hello Jay!

Seems we had the operation at about the same time and have similar interests.

So I was just wondering how you were getting along now? I am thinking about going for a trip to Ireland to surf in the beginning of November and had an ACL recon in my right knee in mid may. What do you reckon? Have you surfed since the op?

Peace!
My name is Lars and I am a ACLoholic in rehab ;)

Offline antswallow

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Re: ACL Injury. Operation in France or the UK????
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 06:51:58 PM »
Hi,

Just done my ACL and was wondering if your e111 / EHIC covered you for your knee op in Bourg hospital?

Thanks
Ant