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Author Topic: ACL removal  (Read 15869 times)

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Offline injuredguy

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ACL removal
« on: August 20, 2010, 03:43:12 AM »
I am a 17 year old male. I play competitive soccer. I recently ( 6 months ago ) completely tore my ACL. I went to a surgeon and he decided to REMOVE my ACL completely ( had the arthroscopic surgery about a month and a half ago ). My MRI showed that i had absolutely no damage other than the torn ACL (before surgery ). During the surgery, the surgeon shaved off 5% of my meniscus. The surgeon assured me that there are patient who are able to return to competitive sports without having a reconstruction. I have been doing physio therapy for around 1 month, I went back to visit the surgeon and he told me that it would still take time before we are able to tell if i am one of those people who can return without the surgery. I am having a very difficult time finding any information on ACL removal ( i found nothing ) and I dont know if i should just go to another surgeon and ask for reconstruction. PLEASEEE if anyone can help me find any information, or has any experience with this type of surgery please reply

Offline Snowy

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Re: ACL removal
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2010, 06:03:52 AM »
Having the ACL removed is no different to having a torn ACL; it just eliminates the risk of the stump getting stuck in your knee joint and causing it to lock. With or without the remains of it in your knee, once the ACL is completely torn it's useless - it no longer provides any support to the knee during lateral movements. Primary repair (stitching it back together) doesn't work; your only options are reconstruction, or living without it. Some people have the ACL stump removed prior to reconstruction, as you did; others have it removed at the same time that the reconstruction is done. Any information you find about managing a complete ACL tear will tell you what you need to know about managing without an ACL.

As for whether or not you should push for a reconstruction, I'm afraid that your surgeon is right - it takes more than just a month of physio to know whether your knee is stable enough to return to sports without a reconstruction. You need to work aggressively on strengthening the muscles around the knee, and then have it tested for laxity. Particularly having had an arthroscopy recently, you'll need more than a month of physio to get your muscles back to normal and get an accurate sense of the knee's stability. Around a third of people are able to go back to sports without a reconstruction, but an ACL deficient knee does leave you at risk of further damage.

There's a ton of information on this board about managing without an ACL following a tear (or removal), and the decision to have a reconstruction. Check out these links and you should find plenty of helpful info:

http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEnotes/primers/cruciate-ligaments
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 10:34:12 AM by The KNEEguru »
Mar 11: R Biceps femoris tear (skiing)
Jul 10: ACLr (hamstring autograft)
Mar 10: L ACL rupture (skiing)
Feb 06: L partial ACL tear (kickboxing)
Dec 03: R bone edema (motorbike)
Jan 01: R patellar chip (motorbike)
May 93: R ACL sprain (hockey)
Ongoing: bilateral PFS and OA

Offline njjones1

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Re: ACL removal
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2010, 09:03:01 PM »
My understanding is that you can manage fine without an ACL for straight line running.  People have run marathons without an ACL, provided you build up your muscles to compensate.  However if you are doing something which involves lots of stop, start and turning, like in my case hockey and skiing.  Then you need your ACL.  When I saw my consultant he basically said if I wanted to play hockey and go skiing again then I need reconstructive surgery.  I have no regrets at all.  I have been back skiing and playing hockey for a good number of years now..... until my problems with my other knee recently.
35 years old and now suffering with my other knee :-(
ACL Rupture of my left knee on 15 Dec 2004.
ACL reconstruction (hamstring) on the 31 May 2005.
Horizontal tear in the posterior horn of my medial meniscus in my right knee 18th Jul 2010.
Surgery booked for 7th Oct 2010.

Offline injuredguy

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Re: ACL removal
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2011, 04:09:34 AM »
Thanks alot for your replys. I decided to go ahead and do the reconstruction

Offline sherwooa

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Re: ACL removal
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 10:06:42 PM »
Good call.  I'm actually surprised any surgeon would do an ACL removal without discussing a reconstruction first, especially on a 17YO athlete.  Given you had an MRI that confirmed the complete rupture, I'm not sure, unless there was some other medical or practical reason in terms of timing, why one would want to subject the patient to 2 surgeries when one would have gotten it all done!
Oct 7, 2010 - ACL tear, Medial Meniscus tear, MCL and LCL sprains
Oct 28, 2010 - ACLr (B-P-B allograft)  + meniscus trim

Offline stellanora

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Re: ACL removal
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2011, 10:45:22 PM »
While I agree that a reconstruction is the best way to go (why wait all this time wtihout an ACL only to discover you needed a reconstruction after all and then having to wait another 6 months to get back to playing), there are cases where high level athletes have succeeded without an ACL. Two that I have recently heard of: Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers = no ACL and wears no brace. DeJuan Blair of the San Antonio Spurs = no ACL in either knee!!  I heard the commentator mention this last week and Googled him. He tore both ACL's as a sophomore in high school, had reconstructions and has never had a problem with his knees since. It was discovered that has no ACL's when he had his physical after being drafted. They have concluded that the grafts never took. My husband tore his ACL in college. He is now 53 and, while not a competitive athlete, has continued to play softball, "backyard" soccer and basketball, runs, skis.  He has had one or two incidents of shift, though.

Offline rebullio

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Re: ACL removal
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 11:10:39 AM »
Definately a good call to go through with the reconstruction!
 I ruptured my acl 4 years ago playing soccer but was mis-diagnosed as a medial ligament tear (good old NHS)
I missed the whole season then returned to the gym and strengthened the knee for 3-4 months, then I went for pre-season training which went well, then during my very first competitive game the first strong tackle I went in for the knee just buckled.Another medial tear (again!)
 I decided to hang up my boots then 6 months ago I was talked into making a comeback in the over 35 league.
 I played 5 or 6 games no problem then just simply turning during a sprint my knee went again.
 This time I didnt trust the nhs so went to see two sports injury physio's who both decided I ruptured the acl during the first injury
leaving the knee too weak for soccer causing the further injurys.
 I had an mri in december which said significant cartilidge damage but acl appeared intact!
Anyway I had the anthroscopy yesterday and surprise surprise the acl is completely torn.They also removed the whole of the medial meniscus which were damaged multiple times.
So my advice is to go ahead with the recon unless you want a very high risk of further damage to meniscus/medial ligament.
At 17 youve got years of soccer ahead of you just 1 season out is better than multiple long term further injurys.
Good luck with the re-con if you go ahead I'll be getting mine in a couple of months time although it looks like the end of my soccer career! lol :'(

Offline injuredguy

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Re: ACL removal
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2011, 07:36:35 PM »
I heard about Blair on the spurs, that was one of the reasons i stuck around the removal idea. Very stupid looking back now. The reason I decided to go ahead and do the reconstruction though is due to an incident where I was walking to my car ( slightly down hill) and the knee completely gave out from under me. This was after 2 months of physio after the removal. I had the reconstruction late December and it has been excellent so far. I just completely regret waiting since it's gonna make my return so much more difficult. I was off sports for almost a year before I had the reconstruction and all my muscles, in both legs, are very weak, especially my calf.

Anyways thanks alot for all your support guys, hopefully I made the right choice =)
















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