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Author Topic: PANIC following return to sport  (Read 980 times)

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Offline retrick

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PANIC following return to sport
« on: August 23, 2012, 08:34:42 PM »
Hi all,

I had an ACL allograft repair about 10 months ago, and just returned to playing football three weeks ago.

It had all been going well, until last night, when I was playing 5-a-side - planted my leg, turned and felt my (operated-on) knee slip and slide a bit, and a fairly sharp pain. Obviously I went off and it had swollen up a little bit. It was stiff in the morning although not too painful at all. By this evening I am walking freely, but the knee is still swollen.

To be honest I am a bit confused. Because it's swollen and was a pain on twisting, I'm assuming I've damaged the ligament again - but maybe it isn't that bad or is just a minor sprain? I am pretty obsessed with my knee nowadays so am thinking of just paying for an MRI as I can't stand the not-knowing and those drawer-tests (which always seem so inconclusive).

If anyone's got any opinions or advice would be most grateful.

Offline dm

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Re: PANIC following return to sport
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2012, 10:55:25 AM »
Your knee had some nasty intrusion when it was reconstructed. It was torqued in the incident, and reacted. Use the RICE treatment... give it a week for the swelling you see to subside, and for you to see how it feels. You should be able to tell as the swelling starts to come down if it feels "loose" or if it feels okay. Give the football a break a week.... tell your buddies you're just being cautious, you may have just twisted it a bit and it's sore and a little swollen and you're being careful til you know for sure how it feels.

A little swelling may just be it's reaction to you having to catch yourself from the way you went down. You may consider that a brace of some kind, even one of those like you get from the sporting goods store, for some added protection may make you feel more secure, like the knee's got some extra protection. Doesn't mean go crazy, but that you're giving it a bit more "coverage" than not wearing anything.

Have you considered if that sharp pain you felt may have been some soft tissue getting pinched versus the repaired acl? It's not uncommon to get some soft tissue pinched up in there if you get one of those "plant/turn" moves, or a possible mensicus problem develop - torquing the knee can cause meniscus tears.

I would be more inclined to take a wait and see approach - RICE, pain management,  see if the - you said it - minor  - swelling goes down in a week on its own, along with a subsidence of the pain, and then see how your feel.... and then if you still have issues, consider consulting your OS for a follow up.  Hopefully it's a transitory issue from being a bit overzealous and from the need to do some training drills involving working on not planting your feet when turning - gotta stay on the balls of your feet so you turn your foot and knee together. Hope things work out okay with time, versus anything worse.
multiple arthroscopies 2/00,3/01,6/01,1/03, 12/07,10/10. chondromalacia, severe medial joint space narrowing following 3 partial menisectomies, chronic pain problems, kneecap problems, OCD lesion, failed mfx.

Offline retrick

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Re: PANIC following return to sport
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2012, 06:43:28 PM »
Thanks very for much your advice DM - I am actually very grateful for it.

I agree that a wait-and-see approach is best. It feels a little less well-balanced or floppy, but I am thinking (hoping) that's because of the swelling or fluid in the knee.

Offline silverghost

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Re: PANIC following return to sport
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 08:21:58 PM »
Completely agree with DM, when i had mine done 16 years ago i went back to playing 5 a side and very often i would think i had damaged the ligament has to go through a lot of pulling twisting and bending but the ligament should be fairly strong to tackle all of this after 10 months.

What i found in practice was that the ligament was just getting stretched and i think everyone has these setbacks after most surgeries, i call them gliches!

As for a leg brace, i had one but couldn't wear this for 5 a side as i find them a bit too sweaty and bulky, i just tended to wear a knee strap, one of the sports ones cost about a tenner from a sports shop and these can be quite supportive.

hope the pain drops soon and you can get back to a kickabout!!

'96 ACL reconstruction
'09 Arthroscopy/cartilage repair
Diagnosed with Grade 4 OA no medial cartilage and significant varus alignment
'11 fitted with off loading knee brace
'12 HTO, meniscus transplant, acl reconstruction & microfracture all in 1 go!