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Author Topic: 3rd ACL tear on R knee. Surgery not recommended. Treatment Log  (Read 2122 times)

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Offline AKlein1111

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3rd ACL tear on R knee. Surgery not recommended. Treatment Log
« on: December 21, 2016, 03:35:30 AM »
Hello Everyone,

I'm not sure why I'm doing this, but maybe it has to do with me being a stranger in a strange place who is dealing with an all too familiar problem. Details on who I am and why I'm here may be limited because I have to sort of keep my treatment a secret from my insurance who technically don't cover it.

Anyways, I have just been told I have torn my ACL for the third time.

The first time I did it was in 2009 playing rugby (I got hit weird, my butt hit my heel, I heard a pop and that was that), and I tore my ACL, MCL, and both meniscus. The doctor used an allograft to put it back together, and the meniscus held form for a few years, but they did eventually have to take a portion of both the medial and lateral out a few years later (2012).

My ACL tore again in 2015 (also playing rugby - I turned my lower leg did not). I had surgery a few months later, and rehab went well. We saw I had underlying issues of hip and hamstring flexibility and strength which I worked on constantly.

Despite my efforts though I was injured again (yes playing rugby) a few weeks ago (or I think it was I'm really not sure. It didn't hurt anywhere near as bad).

I am a good distance away from home (home is the US, and I am....not in the US), and will be for some time so I did not see the surgeon who did my second surgery. However, he did see the MRI. The doctor where I am now states the ACL is completely torn; while my doctor at home states a few fibers may be in tact. Both recommend against surgery at this time.

I am doing physical therapy, but want to explore a PT who can also do Chinese medicine such as acupuncture and similar remedies (I've heard of instances where it was healed completely). If surgery is out I'd like to explore all avenues of treatment. I'm also doing yoga, and probably tai chi. Please don't laugh at these, because I am the kind of person who has to try all options to fix something (hence I am an engineer).

At the moment my knee doesn't hurt too bad. It's still sore, but I've been doing pretty strenuous workouts and yoga without too much difficulty. PT starts tomorrow, and I've already contacted another location about switching to them for treatment.

Nervous, scared, unsure, and trying remain positive while at the same time not overly hopeful can best describe me at the moment.

I'll do what I can to document my progress, and if anyone has any insight or helpful tips please let me know.

Until then let's keep positive, and hope for the best, right?

Best Regards,
AKlein1111

Offline AKlein1111

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Re: 3rd ACL tear on R knee. Surgery not recommended. Treatment Log
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 09:32:02 PM »
Happy New Year and Happy Holidays everyone.

An update from....wherever it is I am. Things are going well with my knee.

I've sort of taken the belief that I will have to have surgery when I return home, and until then my goal is to get my knee to open up as much as possible, strengthen my hips as much as I can, and increase my mobility. Lots of my workouts involve me shuffling with a resistance band, and doing weight workouts while standing on a BOSU ball. These workouts are done both on my own and during PT. It's funny that my PT thinks my right knee looks good, and my left knee looks unstable.

I have found a physical therapist who will do dry needle therapy on my but my insurance company may not cover her. It's been a fight, but it's still ongoing. I've also checked out a stem cell treatment, but I'm not sure if I'm a candidate for that.

In addition to PT and exercises focused on my knee I've also bee doing normal HIIT workouts in an attempt to strengthen my core and drop weight in general. Intent behind all of this centers around the hope that weighing less will put less stress on my knee. All workouts are ended on 10-15 minutes of yoga to increase flexibility. Right now my hamstring, quad, hips and IT band are extremely tight, and loosening them is going to be key whether surgery is on the horizon or not.

After some research I've reached out to a "knee pain expert" who seems to be as optimistic as to being able to help me reduce my knee pain and get me to a higher level of activity. Unfortunately his services and coaching come at a pretty steep price US$1,200. I'm trying to decide if I want to make that investment. All the facts say this website is legitimate, and there have been some very positive results. I'm just trying to determine if the price is worth his help. I'm leaning towards yes, but still mulling it over a bit.

What's frustrating is realizing I may be doing all of this "pre-hab" in preparation for a surgery that will only force me to start over from the beginning. Though I know any bit of work I do now will help me in the long run. If I can get stability and mobility without an ACL then when/if I get one it only has to improve right?

recently I had to do some work in a country a lot would consider "third world" and seeing the daily struggles and tribulations people there go through every day has given me a valuable perspective on what I'm going through. My work is not being hindered, incredible resources are available to me, and I am still active in many ways. All things considered I'm not in a horrible predicament. Who knows maybe all of this is happening to force me to take care of my knees now, so I'm not a hobbling old man later on. I've also tried to use the time I don't spend playing rugby to research new items to do, and work on the "mental" aspect of all of this.

I don't know about you, but I tend to get ahead of myself. Questions as to whether or not I'll be able to do "this" or "that" down the road plague me, and just "wanting to know" can be frustrating. When thoughts like that come into my mind I force myself to step back to my "one day at a time" approach. This knee recovery may end up being a very slow play. All totaled it could be years before I'm 100%. Part of me keeps hoping I'll get an MRI in a few months and all of my work will have "magically" regrown my ACL (or mended it if it's only partially torn).

Healing a knee isn't linear; some days are good, and others are bad. It's going to be a long haul, and odds are I'll be posting more of these. If you have any input, recommendations, or questions please let me know.

Until next time I hope you have a good start to the new year.

Best Regards
AKlein1111


Offline Llamarebel

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Re: 3rd ACL tear on R knee. Surgery not recommended. Treatment Log
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 02:53:15 AM »
I am 9 weeks out from my third ACL surgery plus a cartilage graft which kept me on crutches for 6 weeks.  I had a variety of opinions from don't bother up to cautiously optimistic, none of which inspired a whole lot of confidence. I am pretty young with a young daughter so after a year of deliberation...I decided to get it done. If you asked me three weeks ago if it was worth it I don't know what I would have said but the way my rehab has been and the increased stability it was absolutely the right choice. I will literally never play any more contact or high impact sports anymore but the stability for everyday things has already been noticeable. So...If this helps...It can be done and be successful

Offline AKlein1111

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Re: 3rd ACL tear on R knee. Surgery not recommended. Treatment Log
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 07:30:03 AM »
I am 9 weeks out from my third ACL surgery plus a cartilage graft which kept me on crutches for 6 weeks.  I had a variety of opinions from don't bother up to cautiously optimistic, none of which inspired a whole lot of confidence. I am pretty young with a young daughter so after a year of deliberation...I decided to get it done. If you asked me three weeks ago if it was worth it I don't know what I would have said but the way my rehab has been and the increased stability it was absolutely the right choice. I will literally never play any more contact or high impact sports anymore but the stability for everyday things has already been noticeable. So...If this helps...It can be done and be successful

Thank you very much this is extremely helpful. I'm noticing now the inconvenience of how my knee feels is moving a bit beyond tedious, and now I just wish it were better, so I didn't have to think about it.

The thought of walking around without an ACL is somewhat bothersome. For whatever reason I feel as though I'll be thinking about it for the rest of my life, and always conscience of it. That is not a situation I want to find myself living day in and day out. I would much prefer the stability you talk about. I don't mind playing the slow game with it and having a long and healthy recovery.

Your story is helpful thank you. Right now I'm sort of in the dark with what the doctors want to do, and not knowing - combined with how drawn out it seems to be - is starting to wear on me. I hope your recovery is going well, and that you are having a fun time with your daughter and are able to run after her with no issue.

Just a quick update.

I signed up for that internet knee pain expert online thing. After not being allowed to see the chinese medicine doctor or get acupuncture I wanted to feel like I was at least trying something new. The exercises are different from what I've done before and I like how that is; it makes me feel as though I'm trying something new, and that may be a good thing since I only ever try the same things with my knee.

As you can read above, the knee itself is a bit iffy. The popping is annoying in the same ways it was the last time I hurt it. Part of me just wants the damn surgery so the popping will go away. Some days the pain is bad, other days it's alright. Like I said, knee pain isn't linear so I sort of just have to roll with the punches. Right?

I have "resigned" myself to needing surgery. The main reason for this is I "surgery" is the worst possible outcome, or at least the most difficult. If I prepare for this then I should be able to handle anything else that comes my way. Or at least that's the hope.

PT is going well. It shows me I need to work on hip strength quite a bit, but the PT i get where I am at the moment isn't as good as the one and one sessions I received when I was in the States. All that said, I think any sort of work is good work.

If anyone has any recommendations feel free to tell me. Some people say avoid surgery at all costs, others say I'm young and it would be beneficial to have it since I can heal and it lessens the amount of time I can damage my knee due to instability, and others say surgery is a must after the third tear. I really don't know what to believe. I'm just trying to stay in the moment and every day do something that can benefit it. Though I wish it was something I didn't have to think about. I wish I could just live my plan of playing rugby, work, and explore where I am. Perhaps I am being given a sign to focus my attention and efforts elsewhere. I guess only time will tell.

Here's to hoping for good things in the future, and making the best of my efforts today.

Best Regards,
AKlein1111

Offline Piri00

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Re: 3rd ACL tear on R knee. Surgery not recommended. Treatment Log
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2018, 07:52:42 PM »
Hi AKlein1111

How did you decide at the end? did you go for third ACL surgery?

Similar story with me, not sure what to do... At the moment I am doing lot of exercises to strength my knee.

Thanks

Piri00















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