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Offline kungfuXxX

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need questions answered.
« on: February 01, 2011, 10:44:11 PM »
Hi I injured my knee in april, 10 months ago. After an MRI (10months) after the injury, I learn that I have a high grade partial or complete ACL tear. as well as some uncovering of the lateral horn of the meniscus. I have been performing kungfu 5 nights a week after my extremely phisical job as a commercial carpenter thinking I just had to work through the injury. Now I find out that this is something that won't just heal. I use to feel some instability in my knee but that seems to have gone. If I spar... (friendly fight) My knee swells up and bothers me for a few weeks. Is surgery needed for such an injury? will I eventually wear away all the cartalige in my knee kicking and pivoting? My question of most concern is, can stretching cause damage to my meniscus? and will stretching aggravate my torn ACL? or tear it further? I have been dealing with a doctor at a walk in clinic as I don't have a family doctor and he contacted a surgeon who will probably not see me for another month or so. Will performing kung fu cause more damage to my already detrimental situation? or should I continue as usual and work through the pain?

Offline markfrs

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Re: need questions answered.
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2011, 11:46:56 PM »
hi u say u did this 10 months ago has it got better at all? i really would not do anything to forceful with a bad knee injury like that could well be doing more harm than good

Offline Snowy

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Re: need questions answered.
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 11:36:26 PM »
I hate to say this, but it doesn't sound like continuing on with the kung fu is a good idea. Generally after an ACL tear it's not recommended that you continue with activities that require cutting and pivoting, and the fact that your knee is reacting to sparring with swelling and discomfort is a strong indication that you're doing more damage. Only a medical professional can tell you exactly what's going on in your knee, but the clearest message it can send you is swelling and pain. Without an ACL, both your meniscus and your articular cartilage are at risk of further damage during cutting, pivoting, and lateral movement of the knee...and you're going to be doing all of those during kung fu.

To give you some more background (learned following my own ACL tear), there's generally a rule of thirds with ACL ruptures. A lucky third of folk are "copers" who can carry on with all activities without an ACL. A third are able to live without an ACL, but have to give up most sporting activities. And a third can't manage normal activities like walking around without instability. It sounds from your description as though you're in the middle category, given that you don't have much day-to-day instability (if you have strong leg muscles, it considerably reduces instability) but certain activities are causing pain and swelling in the knee. It doesn't matter that much whether you have a high grade partial or a full tear; if the ACL is compromised to the point where it's not providing proper lateral support for your knee, it's basically useless.

ACL reconstruction is strongly recommended for anyone who tears their ACL and has a very active lifestyle, or wants to go back to high level sports. Even for those who don't notice day-to-day problems, living without an ACL increases the risk of further damage and arthritis in the longer term. You can find out more about the pros and cons of opting to reconstruct over on the Information Hub, as well as recommendations for activities and exercises. I had a pretty stable knee after my tear, but still opted for reconstruction because I wanted to go back to high level skiing. It's not a fun op and the recovery is lengthy and requires a fair bit of personal commitment, but the success rate is very good.

Hope this helps, even though it's not exactly encouraging. I would definitely encourage you to read up on ACL tears and reconstruction while you wait to see the surgeon. Something else you could do in the meantime is see a good physiotherapist; they can provide an evaluation of your knee and give you a lot more information on what you should and shouldn't be doing at this point. We can offer advice and suggestions here, but only a medical professional who's seen your knee can really advise on the best course of action.
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