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Author Topic: Do I have an ACL injury? New to board.  (Read 1148 times)

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Offline bbooks

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Do I have an ACL injury? New to board.
« on: December 21, 2013, 01:29:20 AM »
I slipped on the ice this morning. When I fell, my left knee buckled inward. It felt like the lower legged popped out of the joint. The lower leg was pointing laterally for a moment until I extended the leg and then it was straight again. When I tried to stand, the knee was very unstable. A friend got me to the ER. X-rays were fine and the ER doc said he detected no instability - however it was a very quick and rudimentary exam. I was sent home with a knee brace and crutches. The knee is still very unstable. Just the weight of the leg causes the knee to buckle inward, and when standing it is very unstable and easily buckles. Surprisingly, though, there is very little pain and very little swelling. What little pain I have is just lateral to the patella, and it is sore behind the knew when I flex it. I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon in two days, but I am so curious to know what the problem might be. I want to be as educated as I can before seeing the surgeon, and I would like to take care of the knee as best I can until the appointment. Can anyone give me any suggestions? From reading and research, it sounds like perhaps an ACL tear, but if so, confused why I wouldn't have more pain and swelling. Thanks is advance for any suggestions.

Offline shaush1977

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Re: Do I have an ACL injury? New to board.
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 05:30:19 AM »
I think if it were an ACL tear, you'd have swelling (it's one of the main signs). It's hard to tell how stable the knee is right after an injury. It took my dr. 2 weeks before he was able to detect instability in my knee after I tore my acl.
Good luck on your upcoming appointment, hopefully it's something that can heal without surgery.

Offline bbooks

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Re: Do I have an ACL injury? New to board.
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 02:02:47 PM »
Thanks so much for your message. I noticed more swelling this morning, but still not severe. I'm so confused. How could the doctor not detect any instability when I have such  buckling?

Offline Vickster

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Re: Do I have an ACL injury? New to board.
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 03:16:30 PM »
I had buckling with a meniscus tear too and no ligament issues.  Best to wait to see what the specialist says on Monday, RICE in the meantime :)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 03:27:24 PM by Vickster »
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
LK scope 10.1.19 medial menisectomy, trochlea microfracture, general tidy up

Offline bbooks

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Re: Do I have an ACL injury? New to board.
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 04:01:08 PM »
Thanks so much for your reply. I'm just feeling so impatient about not know what is wrong. I appreciate the words of encouragement. Doing lots of rest and ice and family is taking good care of me, but I much rather it the other way around. I'm sure you all can relate.

Offline Vickster

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Re: Do I have an ACL injury? New to board.
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 04:05:14 PM »
You may need imaging to confirm any diagnosis, which depending on where you live and your healthcare provision can take a while, so just look forward to Christmas and getting sorted in the New Year if needed :)
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
LK scope 10.1.19 medial menisectomy, trochlea microfracture, general tidy up

Offline bbooks

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Re: Do I have an ACL injury? New to board.
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2014, 02:57:35 PM »
Thought I would follow up for anyone who might gain information from my case.

When I first met with the orthopedic surgeon, by exam he suspected a grade 3 MCL tear and an ACL tear. I met with him again yesterday to discuss the results of my MRI. I indeed have a complete ACL tear and an MCL tear and probably a small lateral meniscus tear. The good news is that the MRI shows  that I still have "a few intact fibers" of the MCL, so he thinks we can get that to heal on it's own. Our plan is to give the MCL some time to heal and then re-evaluate the stability of the knee to to decide whether or not to reconstruct the ACL.

So, I am to continue with rest in a hinged leg immobilizer with the leg straight for two more weeks. Then I will begin physical therapy and meet with the surgeon again for follow-up in a month.

I have still had very little pain and bruising, although the swelling did blossom over the course of about 5 days. I'm still confused (but thankful!) why I would have such little pain with such a severe injury. I'm sure I am in for some pain when physical therapy starts!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 02:59:50 PM by bbooks »

Offline IHMK

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Re: Do I have an ACL injury? New to board.
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2014, 05:33:52 PM »
You have the "terrible triad" - my condolences!

If you decide to have surgery to repair the ACL, keep in mind that the stronger your knee is before the surgery the better the outcome can be. Full extension, full flexion and good muscle strength are ideal. Sometimes torn cartilage will get in the way of full range of motion; your surgeon and physical therapist can help you make the decision about when is the best time in the healing process for surgery.

Best of luck with it!
My knee story: http://www.ihurtmyknee.org

28 March 2013: tore right ACL (also meniscus tear, MCL tear ["Unhappy Triad"!!], tibial plateau fracture & condylar bruise)
28 June 2013: surgery to reconstruct ACL (allograft)

Offline bbooks

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Re: Do I have an ACL injury? New to board.
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2014, 05:39:06 PM »
Thanks so much. I appreciate the information and encouragement!















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