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Author Topic: Anyone living with a torn ACL?  (Read 3082 times)

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Offline sinatras

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Anyone living with a torn ACL?
« on: February 21, 2013, 01:46:07 AM »
I am female, 42, overweight & sedentary (work as an editor) but I do occasionally hike, bike, jog, do long walks, etc.

I tore my ACL 4 weeks ago (going down some stairs and landed wrong with my knee/leg). It's a complete tear, as shown on MRI. No MCL or meniscus or other tears or injuries per MRI/xrays. No arthritis. I have been to 4 orthopedic doctors. 3 of them have told me that unless I am young (under 30) or an athlete or a skier or tennis player, I have no business having ACL surgery. However, I have never in my life broken a bone or injured a ligament, so you can imagine that I am not used to having pain in my knee. Yes I am sedentary most of the time, but before this injury, if I wanted to go ice skating or hiking, I went and did that without problems.

I am doing physical therapy for the injury/pain, but I am wondering whether it truly is possible to live with a torn ACL? 

Is this going to severely limit my activity for the rest of my life?

And is there a book/website/video I should consult for rehabbing a knee that has a torn ACL? I see lots of info. for post-op rehabbing, nothing for non-op rehabbing!

THANK YOU
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 01:49:46 AM by sinatras »

Offline Kaputt_Knee

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Re: Anyone living with a torn ACL?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 08:27:48 AM »
Get yourself to a specialist who sees you and not your age and lifestyle.  >:(  That attitude is so damned old-fashioned and wrong it is tantamount to malpractice. Over here in Germany they will reconstruct the ACLs of 70 and 80 year olds if means they are able to continue with an independent life.

I do not know where you are in the world, but I'm sorry, denying you surgery that will help to preserve the integrity of your knee on age, weight and job is archaic to say the least. If you have no other damage now, you sure as eggs is eggs will have if you try to continue without some kind of reconstruction.

In the mean time it may help if you search for threads covering pre-hab or preparation for an ACL operation. Definitely get a physiotherapist or sports injury therapist to help you build up a programme to strengthen the muscles around the knee. It will also help to get your weight down if you can, but I realise that that is a bit of a chicken and egg situation when you are injured.

BTW my last reconstruction took place when I was 58 and I am also a desk jockey. There was never any question about age, lifestyle or weight (I'm also a wee bit overweight  :-[ ) Get out there and fight for your knee!

Good luck
Sue  ;)
1989 big trauma R. knee - sorted
1990-2004 3ACL recons and 20+ arthroscopies -RK
3/06 LK ACL torn!
4/06 ACL recon, kneecap broken
09 &10/06- 2x meniscus trims
3/07 - Notch Plastic & Lateral Release
14/8/08 complete revision ACL plus LCL/PLC recon
6/2/09 returned to skiing! Whoopee

Offline Audice

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Re: Anyone living with a torn ACL?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 11:49:29 AM »
I damaged my knee almost 8 years ago & yes, living with a ruptured ACL & other knee damage is possible. I came off my horse, landed awkwardly & that was it. For the most part my knee is not an annoyance. There are some things I can no longer do - like squat or sit cross-legged & every once in a while the damaged menisci will make me uncomfortable for a few days but I can still ride horses. I work at the farm on an almost daily basis. I walk two big rambunctious dogs. My life has not changed dramatically since the injury; I'm just more aware of what I'm doing & my knee has become the focal point of everything I do. At almost 75 years old I'm not inclined to partake of serious sports beyond horses. But I feel comfortable saying that you can certainly live w/o an ACL. Keeping active, keeping your weight down & keeping your leg muscles strong will go a long way toward making life easier for you.

And as Sue said, at 42, if living with a torn ACL isn't working for you, certainly you should be able to find an orthopedic surgeon who can help you out. Age, especially 42, shouldn't be a detriment. Wishing you well...Ellie
April, 2005 - ACL rupture, medial meniscus tear within posterior horn to articular surface, abnormal signal within lateral meniscus, partial tear MCL, bone contusions tibia/fibula, Baker's cyst.
No repairs.

Offline rnm37

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Re: Anyone living with a torn ACL?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 11:51:24 AM »
While I would naturally defer to the much greater knowledge of the previous posters above, I'd maybe just like to add that it is still possible to live a very normal life without an acl. i have heard people who have suffered this injury tend to fall into 3 equal categories - copers who experience no great change in knee function; adapters who can function fine but need to stop sports like football, skiing etc and non-copers who can't walk to the shops without their knee wobbling all over the place :)
Unless you fall into the last category, a decent physio program to strengthen your leg and core muscles may be all you need to get on with your life (however as stated above you may be at a slightly greater risk of subsequent meniscal damage etc).
I say this only because acl surgery and the rehab afterward is rather unpleasant and only to be entered into if you are 100% committed to it.

Good luck :D

Ross
June 2012 - ACL rupture and lateral meniscus tear

December 2012 - ACL recon (hamstring autograft) and meniscus trim

October 2013 - Retore ACL and tore medial meniscus :(!

January 2014 - Revision ACL recon (hamstring)

Offline sinatras

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Re: Anyone living with a torn ACL?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 05:26:03 PM »
Hi, thanks so much for the advice. I will look at pre-op rehab programs. If it doesn't work out very well, I will do the surgery. THANKS!















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