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Author Topic: bucket handle and ACL issues - newbie needs help  (Read 732 times)

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Offline michyg

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bucket handle and ACL issues - newbie needs help
« on: November 22, 2009, 02:19:24 PM »
First time posting on this board.  Here's the thing.  2 years ago I tore my ACL, going doing a step ladder.  Very severe pain, but the Ortho told me I didn't have to have surgery, just couldn't do sports anymore. I gave that up since I wasn't playing that often to warrant an op.  So I endured popping here and there but it really didn't bother me that much.  A few days ago I went down a the step and the most excruciating pain in my knee. Next day MRI was bucket handle tear to medial meniscus.  On follow up the Doc. said the ACL was now completely torn and I need to fix both.   They gave me cortisone the day it happened.  3 days later oddly enough I feel fine.  They said I could have both ops at once and deal with disability because the ACL op has more rehab time, or do one at a time.  Full movement on the affected leg although it feels numb and looks swollen.  No pain.  Don't even need the crutches they gave me.  Question 1. Am I injuring the leg more because cortisone masks the pain?  2.  Cortisone is mainly for reducing inflammation but can it get rid of the piece of cartilage? Like,why am I now able to extend my leg with no pain if this injury really exists or is it getting worse by walking with it?.  Should i get a 2nd opinion about repair?   How long is the rehab with the ACL and the meniscus together? Very confusing about whether to have both ops at the same time or 1 at a time?  Hard to believe the cortisone not only made the pain go away but removed the piece so I can fully extend my leg

Offline MorganaKC

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Re: bucket handle and ACL issues - newbie needs help
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 09:03:45 AM »
Hello and welcome,

It's often easy to go overboard with weight-bearing and activities after an injury, especially when using anti-inflammatories and pain meds. You may be wearing on the cartilage a little, but remember, a lot of people use painkillers after injuries, and if you were doing serious damage you would have felt it, cortisone or not.

I haven't heard of cortisone removing torn cartilage. It's more likely that as you've had a few days to settle down, the swelling will have gone down so your ROM has increased. Often symptoms come and go, and you may find it starts clicking and locking again soon.

I think it's a very good idea to have the ACLr and meniscus repair/removal together. It means you don't have to go through 2  lots of surgery/recovery periods/pain/medication. I don't think the recovery time for an ACLr is any different if you have the meniscus done as well. Recovery from a menisectomy (if that's what you're having) is much quicker. It depends on the graft used for the ACLr, but recovery to a fair level is around 6 months, and can take up to two years for serious athletes to return to their pre-injury fitness level.
Partial medial menisectomy Nov 05
Partial lateral menisectomy Aug 06
Partial menisectomy/ACLr Apr 07
Partial medial menisectomy May 08
Synvisc Jan 09