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Author Topic: ACL or meniscal tear? Clueless in Paris, France  (Read 1211 times)

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Offline CarlaC

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ACL or meniscal tear? Clueless in Paris, France
« on: March 23, 2004, 08:43:23 PM »
Hi,
Am 31 yrs old woman writing you from Paris, FR. Exactly a week ago, I was at french boxing class ( a lot like kickboxing). Following a kick with my right leg, I landed on that same leg, felt my knee give and heard a pop. I experienced intense pain for about a minute then the pain dulled. I put an ice compress on it right away to ease the slight swelling. I limped out of class, continued to ice my knee and took over-the-counter painkillers.

Next day, went to get x-rays and was referred to the sports clinic. Sports doctor was VERY vague ( didn't even give an opinion of whether he thought it was a tear in meniscus or ACL, etc), just sent me off to buy a knee brace, anti-inflam medicine.  The next available MRI appt, which he told me I should do, is in TWO WEEKS.

I'm writing for help because NO ONE in Paris seems to realize the potential danger of this situation. Unlike my friends in the US who all have references or have known people who have sports-related knee injuries, no one in Paris can give any advice OR recommend a better doctor. (I love the French, but they really aren't very big on working out :)

I've been walking with the use of a cane. I can now flatten my foot against the ground ( as compared to the hopping about I did for the first 3 days) but still cannot put full weight on my affected right knee. I have to go to Cannes in 4days to attend a week-long seminar in which I'll be on my feet all day and all night. I don't know if doing this will worsen my knee condition which I still cannot straighten, fully bend or twist.

ANY ADVICE MUCH APPRECIATED and would make me feel much less alooooone! :) Thank you!

Offline ATsoccergirl

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Re: ACL or meniscal tear? Clueless in Paris, Franc
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2004, 09:02:42 PM »
CarlaC

Based on your MOI I would be very concerned about an ACL tear.  You descibe a very classic scenario with this type of injury.  Mensicus injuries are quite common along site ACL injuries, but usually have a higher incidence when it was a contract type injury.  How was your swelling immediately and then maybe a couple hours later?

I'm not that famillar with European health practice since I'm an ATC here in the States.  But waiting two weeks for an MRI doesn't sound that bad from other people's experiances, I have heard anywhere from 6 months to almost a year to sometimes wait for an MRI.  At least this is one step in the right direction. ::)

In terms of walking, what type of brace are you in?  I would almost suggest the use of an immobilizing brace, just so everything has a chance to settle down.  It seems like the cane is not really helping enough, do you have access to crutches at all?  I know they can be a pain in the butt, but if they make you feel better they are worth it.  

You might try looking for another OS on this site, up at the top there are two links one for clinics and one for doctors.  Try looking there and seeing if anyone is local for you!

I know this can be scary, but you'll make it through it.  If you need someone to talk to about this, feel free to IM me, all of my IM names are listed on my profile.  

Best of Luck to you!

Sarah  
1999 LR, 2002 ACL/PLC recon, reversal of LR, 2004 ACL revision, 2006 Car accident torn PCL and small fractures resulting in bone chips in my knee.  Torn MCL 3 times.  Wicked screws under IT band and Pes Anserine.  June 2008-Hip Arthroscopy.

Offline CarlaC

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Re: ACL or meniscal tear? Clueless in Paris, Franc
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2004, 09:15:32 PM »
Sarah,
Thanks so much for getting back to me..I feel better already...although it is scary to hear someone 'confirm' the ACL injury.
In response to your questions:
-swelling came immediately but not as much as expected ( ie. my friends who described theirs as 'as big as a basketball); I also had a really bizarre feeling above my knee, like a constant buzzing
-the brace prescribed to me has straps that I can tighten on the sides (not much help, I know, but really don't know much on the topic)
-manage to walk short distances without the cane and I feel ok - just a dull sensation that my knee is NOT RIGHT; really only need it to go down stairs

French medical system is great but very difficult to get an appt with doctors. As I mentioned I have to fly to Cannes for a week-long seminar this Sunday wherein I'll be up and about from morning to night. This will be before I get my MRI...am I putting myself in further danger?

I've also contacted a clinic recommended on this site but they can't give me an appt anytime soon!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

Offline CarlaC

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Re: ACL or meniscal tear? Clueless in Paris, Franc
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2004, 09:17:29 PM »
Sarah,
Just one other thing: on the prescription for the MRI, the doctor noted only that they should look for a meniscal "lÚsion" or tear, and nothing about the ligaments. Does that indicate anything or is that standard procedure?

Offline ATsoccergirl

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Re: ACL or meniscal tear? Clueless in Paris, Franc
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2004, 09:22:52 PM »
I doubt that you would really damage anything during you seminar being on your feet so much.  But it's not going to feel that great.  Take it easy as much as possible.  If you can't ice during the day, at least once or twice at night.  Keep up with the antiiinflammatories.  

In terms of the MRI, they will look at everything regardless of what the OS says.  My guess would be that he really wants the radiologist to look at the mensicus, so that would lead me to believe that you have a mensical tear.  
1999 LR, 2002 ACL/PLC recon, reversal of LR, 2004 ACL revision, 2006 Car accident torn PCL and small fractures resulting in bone chips in my knee.  Torn MCL 3 times.  Wicked screws under IT band and Pes Anserine.  June 2008-Hip Arthroscopy.

Offline CarlaC

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Re: ACL or meniscal tear? Clueless in Paris, Franc
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2004, 09:31:59 PM »
Thank you, Sarah.
You've made me feel LOADS better already... :D
These are times when you really wish you were home!!
Am I right in thinking that a meniscal tear is somehow less 'grave' than an ACL tear - or is that just wishful thinking?
Right now, I'm too busy scaring myself that I'll never be able to do the sports that I love again ( yoga, waterskiing, ultimate frisbee) that I can't really think straight!! I will, however, FORGET about the french boxing!!! ;)

Carla

Offline ATsoccergirl

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Re: ACL or meniscal tear? Clueless in Paris, Franc
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2004, 09:39:51 PM »
Mensical tears are not that serious, as compared to other injuries.  Typically this does require surgery, but it's relatively minor.  It is done arthroscopically, which is minimally invasive.  The tear is usually removed.  Recovery is fairly quick, most people can bear weight as soon as the nerve block (if used) wears off.  The current trend is towards home exercises rather than formal PT.  I am generally able to return athletes to competition within a few weeks.  There are very few complications associated with this procedure and it has generally good results.  
1999 LR, 2002 ACL/PLC recon, reversal of LR, 2004 ACL revision, 2006 Car accident torn PCL and small fractures resulting in bone chips in my knee.  Torn MCL 3 times.  Wicked screws under IT band and Pes Anserine.  June 2008-Hip Arthroscopy.

Offline CarlaC

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Re: ACL or meniscal tear? Clueless in Paris, Franc
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2004, 10:03:51 PM »
Thanks once again, Sarah!
How I wish you were based in Paris!:)
Will go through with the seminar, and keep ice on hand..I can't thank you enough and will keep my fingers crossed that it turns out to be 'just ' a meniscal tear.
Carla

Offline CarlaC

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Re: ACL or meniscal tear? Clueless in Paris, Franc
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2004, 08:17:31 PM »
Hi again Sarah,
Finally found a competent sports doctor who told me he thinks it is indeed an ACL tear and the meniscus. I'm seeing him after my MRI to discuss options.

I still cannot walk without limping nor can I straighten/bend my knee. There is next to no swelling - what exactly is the pain from and when can I walk normally? I understand that my ACL is damaged and will not heal..but I CAN expect to at least walk normally????

THANKS AGAIN.
Best,
Carla

Offline ATsoccergirl

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Re: ACL or meniscal tear? Clueless in Paris, Franc
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2004, 09:07:06 PM »
Hi Carla,

Good to hear the you found a competant OS!

In terms of your range of motion, the reason your's maybe restricted may be due more to the mensicus tear than the ACL.  Although there is a very characteristic gait pattern associated with ACL tears, through gait training this will often go away.  However, if your mensicus tear is displaced, it is impingeing in the join causing a restricted ROM.  In this case your ROM will not improve until surgery is done, or in some cases the tear can naturally reduce.
1999 LR, 2002 ACL/PLC recon, reversal of LR, 2004 ACL revision, 2006 Car accident torn PCL and small fractures resulting in bone chips in my knee.  Torn MCL 3 times.  Wicked screws under IT band and Pes Anserine.  June 2008-Hip Arthroscopy.

Offline lisa_elliott

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Re: ACL or meniscal tear? Clueless in Paris, France
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2005, 04:01:46 AM »
Carla,

I tore my ACL last year, and had it reconstructed.  I also had alot of pain, swelling and restriced movement before my op. My doctor told me that I had bone bruising as well and that was what was causing the pain, swelling and restriced movement.

The good news now...

I went back waterskiing 4 months after the op. And at 5 1/2 months post opp I have been back waterskiing racing.  I still need to work on my fitness and strength, but it's all getting better each day.


Good Luck

Lisa :)
August, 2004: Netball Injury, complete ACL tear (right knee).
September, 2004: ACL reconstruction, hamstring graft
February, 2005: First Water Ski Racing Event. (Placed 3rd)
March, 2005: Second Water Ski Racing Event. (tore Medial Ligament)