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Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       07-20-2013, 3:53 PM Reply   
Hey everybody!

So, unfortunately, I've joined the ranks of Team Blown ACL... got my results on Thursday. The fateful OHH to... dislocated back knee. Just wanted to reach out to the WakeWorld community and see what experiences you've all had recovering from ACL reconstruction. How long was your recovery? How long until you got back to riding? How is your knee holding up (months, years) after the fact? Did they accidentally operate on the wrong knee ?

Just looking forward to getting my knee back to 100% and getting back out there! I appreciate you sharing your experiences!
Old     (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       07-20-2013, 5:25 PM Reply   
ben, can i join your party brother?? just served my acl for breakfast on Monday too!!! might be mcl too as i already had a partial torn mcl from 07. but i dont get my mri until this Tuesday so i'll no more then. i'll keep checking this thread and maybe we can keep each other motivated through the process. i have quite a few friends/riders that ride at a high levels that have had the surgery and its going to fine!!!! its a whole new chapter now though. its going to take hard work, pain and extreme dedication to our PT!!!!! we got this bro!!!!!!

oh yah, at least you got a cool story behind yours i.e. ohh to smash!!! shoot all i got is, "dude idk what happen i did a back 3 over the fun box came off the box and click!!! then pop!!!!" so lame the fun box is like 1-1/2' off the water. my doc said it was just time and my knee let go. im glad it did it when it did though and not while i was riding moto 20 miles deep in the woods or something.
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       07-20-2013, 10:10 PM Reply   
Hi Bryan,

Sorry to hear about the knee! Sounds like we'll be neck and neck or knee and knee I suppose on timing, so let the updates flow, buddy!

Good luck to you!
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       07-21-2013, 3:46 PM Reply   
The DR will come in and sign your leg before surgery. Just make sure he signs the correct one. I tore mine in June. Surgery was 5 years ago from today. Start doing leg extensions and other excersises as soon as you (before surgery) to slow down muscle atrophy. It will help with recovery time. Do your PT and excersises religiously after surgery. I had exercises to do 5 times a day, so a couple of times a day at work, I'd scoot my chair back, lay down on the floor and do them. I had the patellar tendon which was supposed to be the strongest (and most painful since they slice the middle section of your patellar tendon out). There's now a double bundle procedure that I think is supposed to better replicate the original ligament. I think the recovery time might be longer, but I'm not positive. Luckily, I haven't had to research it. I have no complications with mine. I didn't tear any cartilidge, which is what causes lingering issues for most people. I skied black diamonds before new years the same year and started wakeboarding again the next spring with no problems.

A couple of pointers I learned:
1. If you wake up and there's a drain tube in your knee, there's a lot more tube in there than you think. I does NOT feel good when they pull it out. Hit the morphine button before they start.
2. Make sure you pop a couple of hydrocodone (assuming that's what you'll get for pain) before you go to your PT sessions. Speaking of that, have a conversation with the Dr about how soon to start PT. I started 2 or 3 days after surgery, and my therapist actually wanted me to come sooner.

Good luck, and it sucks, but you can get through it.
Old     (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       07-21-2013, 6:20 PM Reply   
i still cant walk yet, feeling better been almost a week. swelling is down quite a bit and i can finally see my knee cap!!! i guess im still a little jelloy because the dr. thinks i dislocated my knee and it reset itself.

ben are you walking? im crutching it still but using the leg like i am walking. i can actually bare weight on it. im icing it like crazy throughout the day. no pain at all and no more ibp the past 2 days.

no matter what though im feeling better then day 1 did!!! lol!!!
Attached Images
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       07-22-2013, 3:38 AM Reply   

Thanks for the insight into the surgery to come! While I know here's tons of folks who are "on the other side" of it, it's just good to hear that you're back rocking it! Also, the tips for just post surgery are very well taken. I'll definitely be taking note of those going into the operation... as soon as I get that scheduled on Friday. BCD, how long until you were able to walk/crutch around and drive? I travel a lot regionally for work, and the "downtime" is something I've been wondering about.

Hey Bryan,

That's a pretty epic picture right there... wowza! I hurt mine on July 7th, and was able to "walk" , with aid of my brace by the end of the week.... occasionally I was using a crutch when my leg would get tired. It was and to a degree, still is, slower going, but by a week after I could get around with decent motion, and no pain right now. I dislocated my knee medially, that's what caused the tear... it swelled up, but not to a degree where I needed a drain. I've can actually bear weight on 1 leg right now which was a great feeling, and gives me optimism about the rest of the knee. The big part that's missing is my ability to extend and flex the leg. If 180 is a straight leg, I can only get to about 150-160 extension and no more than a 90 flex... that's where I really notice it.
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       07-22-2013, 7:27 AM Reply   
I had surgery on Monday. I drove myself to PT 3 days later. I have a truck and it was my left knee, so driving wasn't an issue. Just realize that your brace will be locked straight, so if you have a small vehicle and/or it's your right knee, it could be tricky. I went back to work the following Monday, but I have an office job. I just propped my leg up and put my keyboard in my lap. I quit using my crutches the second day back to work. I was supposed to use them for 10 days, but it was a pain at work. They also had me bearing weight as much as I could right out of the hospital, so I wasn't worried about quitting the crutches a couple days early.

Keeping the swelling down might be tough if you're travelling a lot. What worked best for me was to get one of those big sealable hot water bags and fill it with ice water. I'd then wrap it with an Ace bandage to hold it in place. Another tip: I've heard that the ice water pumping machines are pretty awesome. You might be able to get insurance to pay for it. I heard about them after my surgery, so I didn't have one. It pumps ice water to a ring around your knee.

It took 8 months from the accident before I could get my knee to bend enough to touch my heel to my butt. It's fine now, just takes a while to get range of motion back.
Old     (maryfishburn)      Join Date: May 2013       07-24-2013, 11:59 AM Reply   
If you can afford it, go to physical therapy as often as you can. I was going but had to stop (my co pay was $50 a session!). I was doing a few things on my own but got lazy with it because I didn't have to report to anyone. I thought I was fine, but 9 months later I tore it again which was completely my fault. There is a 90% success rate for the first tear and surgery, but a 45% success rate for the second surgery, plus they will use a cadaver if you already used your own ligament from your thigh/ knee/calve. It is not as strong. So physical therapy is important! I won't even consider a second surgery anymore because of success rate let alone the cost. Now I have to wear a brace whenever I do something straining (like playing sports) because it dislocates when I don't. Go to therapy as much as you can!
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       07-24-2013, 10:11 PM Reply   

That's really reassuring that you were able to get back on the horse so quickly. Car's a Ford Edge... so small enough, and unfortunately it's the right knee which will prove to be a bit of trouble with an immobilizer.... Were you able to walk fairly well before you had your surgery? I've been extremely fortunate that until this point, I've only lost a bit of my flex/extension range of motion... I can bear weight, and get around quite well. Hoping that has a positive impact on recovery if the rest of the knee seems to be in decent order... wishful thinking, maybe. I've heard of those ice pumpers!! I can't remember why I ever looked for them... but I do remember seeing one somewhere for something... I'm going to be requesting two CTi's from my insurance company.... so I'm going to try to keep my neediness to a minimum... 8 months for ROM... hmm.... didn't think it would take that long given the accelerated timeline of the other aspects of the surgery, but I suppose, that's something you really can't rush, and just have to be patient.


Wowza... that would really be a struggle to deal with... having that torn again... I plan to use a brace on this ACL knee going forward for athletics just as a preventative, and during wake and snowboarding going forward, I play to wear braes on both knees. I'm really going to take a step towards not having this happen again.... outside of PT Doc's orders! But definitely I'm going to really have to stay on myself to stay with the exercises... I get distracted easily! ha

Assessment is Friday... then THE KNIFE!
Old     (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       07-25-2013, 12:17 AM Reply   
good luck friday ben!!!!

got to see the famous dr. ting today!!! went really well. had my mri in hand and that guy is so reassuring and makes you feel very at ease. so lesson learned here... go to a good dr. my first dr. that i saw here local was so off. telling me i had a torn acl??? i knew that couldn't be right just by the pain location and the type/direction of rotation injury it was. anyhow after some begging and smooth talking i was able to get into dr. ting today and i get the knife monday!!!! he had my injury and what happened pin pointed all the way down to the fact im a goofy footer just with a simple exam, lol!! then backed it up to the T with the MRI. so yep its a torn mcl, but i still wanna be hommies ben!!!! haha. i also dislocated the patella and tore the tendon on the inside part of the patella.

i'll tell you this though, i felt so at ease when i walked in his office and all you see is 100's of signed posters and jersey's from high profile athletes saying thank you dr. ting. and the first pic i saw was a huge poster sequence of Parks B. on a rail and a big thank you on it. i like that this guy gets it. hes fixed up parks, danny harf, ricky g, JT and a bunch of other high level riders. not to mention all the other big names he has fixed. he's got a resume for sure. we were talking CTI braces already and im not even fixed yet. it was pretty cool too that we were watching videos of wake island cable in the office. he said im the second knee this week claimed by the cable so he wanted to some video of it, haha.

so im on an mcl trip now so i guess i'll start a new thread........
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       07-25-2013, 6:27 AM Reply   
I could walk with a little bit of a limp. After a week or two after the injury, I didn't have much of a limp, but it hurt/felt loose if I straightened it all the way, so I avoided that. Extension comes back pretty quick after surgery. Flexion takes a while (due to swelling). You most back pretty quick (~135). The rest takes a bit.

I got a CTI brace for mine. I wore it for all sports for a year (through the next December). Now I just wear it for wakeboarding and snow skiing. The velcro is just starting to wear out after 5 years of abuse. Don't order your brace until just before you return to sports. You want to make sure you regain your muscle size before they measure you for the brace.

If your knee's feeling pretty good, get into the weight room and start lifting with it (safe controlled excersices, such as seated leg extensions). It was pretty crazy how much muscle mass I lost the 3 weeks before surgery, even though I was still walking on it. I didn't think about working it before surgery, but after I saw how much it was shrinking, I asked the Dr. and said it would help with recovery and wouldn't hurt it. I wish he told me that right away. I only worked mine for a week or two before surgery.
Old     (kitewake)      Join Date: Jul 2007       07-26-2013, 5:37 PM Reply   
Dr. Ting is certainly highly regarded.

In the off road / motocross community, Mark Sanders in Houston is also highly regarded. Sanders focuses on ACLs, Collarbones, Shoulders...and also does a lot of wrist work. MX and Off road riders regularly fly across of the country to have Sanders patch them up...and to fix botched work by other surgeons.

Marks ACL PT regime is by far the most aggressive I have heard of. PT starts ONE HOUR after surgery..and it works.

If you are interested, go to Check out the health and fitness forum.... Dr. Mark is a regular contributor...and you can look up many threads with patients recounting their experiences with Dr. Mark. At the very will learn a lot about ACL rehab regimes direct from people who have been there...done that.
Old     (kitewake)      Join Date: Jul 2007       07-26-2013, 5:45 PM Reply   
As for braces...there is not a lot of evidence that they help...especially for a sport like wakeboarding. In is known in pro rider circles that knee braces are more effective when they are secured to the riding boot tightly. The combination of a rigid boot...and a brace more effectively transfers twisting loads to the hip joint...where rotation can be accommodated. Without this load path...the tib fib are twisted more easily...and that can impact the way the knee handles loads. The Asterisk Cell has straps specifically for this purpose. Not sure about the CTIs.... Nothing you could really do in wakeboarding to get this load path transfer around the knee without tib fit twisting.
Old     (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       07-26-2013, 7:55 PM Reply   
brant your totaly correct. i race moto and wear astriks. i remember my very first set of cells and i had no clue what that little strap was for but finally figured it after so further research. im a firm believer in braes for moto. for me, i would assume go home if i showed up at the track i didnt have my astriks, my leatt, my tech 10's just as if i didnt have my helmet.
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       07-28-2013, 8:17 AM Reply   
Hey all-

Checking in. Oh, and Bryan, all fellow knee gimps are welcome! haha

Met with my MD on Friday, he was very knowledgable and a huge sports guy, which certainly helps. Being 3 weeks post injury, he said that no assessment should be made before 6 weeks until the knee overall is healed enough to know what exactly is going on. His opinion was that too many snap judgements are based over MRI alone, and that he wanted to take at least until 6 weeks to assess properly. Got good reviews on knee strength, he did want me to get to complete extension by week 6. I'll be doing PT until then.

He said there's a possibility that my knee may be able to heal on it's own without surgery and, while that'll take just as long or a bit longer, it may be just as well that we avoid the need to open it up and can rely on my own tissues. He made the point that the knee will decide whether it needs surgical intervention. So, PT, continued stretching, and once the knee muscles are strengthened again, if there's still a large amount of instability, it may be necessary to pursue surgery.

So.... we're in a brace and working out for here on out!!!! Next step, 1st PT session!
Old     (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       07-29-2013, 5:36 PM Reply   
just had my surgery this morning to fix my mpfl and mcl. man those drugs make me sick as heck!!!! been sleeping all day and feel much better now. not much pain yet just kickin it on the couch watching DIY and got the ice machine on. i dont think its doing anything though becaue i have a huge bandage fron thigh to calf. super awesome people took great care of me today. have a post opp on Wednesday.
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       07-29-2013, 6:41 PM Reply   
Hi Bryan,

Cheers to a speedy recovery, buddy! Hope that knee ligament and your MCL come back quick!

You don't hear of MPFL that often... I'm not super familiar with that surgery at all. You got one of those circular ice flow machines?! Sweet!

Hows the pain level? Have you needed to use those drugs pretty consistently? So, did you have a complete MCL rupture in addition to the patella?
Old     (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       07-30-2013, 2:10 AM Reply   

yah they gave me a brand new ice circulate machine, it works great but to be honest my leg is so wrapped up tight i cant feel it at all. it is just keeping it a tad bit cool in the area i guess.

so yes the mpfl was fully torn and thats why i had such a bad dislocation. i had some instability issues over the past few years but never a dislocation like this.

yes the mcl was fully torn also.

so i was very uneasy with this but after one last sunday phone call to dr. ting it was finally explained to me in terms i could understand. im not one for having my body cut open just to get back on the board faster you know? i was told i could heal fine with surgery and be back to myself in the same amount of time as it would take to recover from surgery. i was then told my knee would be extremely unstable, more then before. doing what i do for a living having my knee unstable could get me or my buddy killed. surgery was the best option to be as close to 100% as possible. so to fix the mpfl the dr. opens up the knee with the mcl right in front of him. i was told that is why he is repairing it. he is doing nothing more invasive its right there so thats why it gets fixed.

i also had a lot of built up scare tissue and arthritis so he cleaned all that up to.

pain level is a 11/10 right now. thats why im up on WW right now , lol!!!
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       07-30-2013, 4:36 AM Reply   
Yeah, when it's a workplace thing... get that knee fixed up ASAP!!!

Feel better man... keep us posted with the updates! Keep pushing!
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       07-30-2013, 6:28 PM Reply   
May or may not have just done mine 40 minutes ago... Fingers crossed for a sprain. Really don't wanna join you guys no offense
Old     (wakebordr11)      Join Date: May 2001       07-30-2013, 9:25 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by hawkeye7708 View Post
Hey all-

Checking in. Oh, and Bryan, all fellow knee gimps are welcome! haha

Met with my MD on Friday, he was very knowledgable and a huge sports guy, which certainly helps. Being 3 weeks post injury, he said that no assessment should be made before 6 weeks until the knee overall is healed enough to know what exactly is going on. His opinion was that too many snap judgements are based over MRI alone, and that he wanted to take at least until 6 weeks to assess properly. Got good reviews on knee strength, he did want me to get to complete extension by week 6. I'll be doing PT until then.

He said there's a possibility that my knee may be able to heal on it's own without surgery and, while that'll take just as long or a bit longer, it may be just as well that we avoid the need to open it up and can rely on my own tissues. He made the point that the knee will decide whether it needs surgical intervention. So, PT, continued stretching, and once the knee muscles are strengthened again, if there's still a large amount of instability, it may be necessary to pursue surgery.

So.... we're in a brace and working out for here on out!!!! Next step, 1st PT session!
I don't understand this. I'd get a second opinion. It's not that I'd want surgery but with no acl run, cut, jump stop, wakeboarding... They just arent going to go well and would likely expose the knee to further damage if it can move beyond regular parameters, no? If I had mri confirmation my acl was toast, I'd demand surgery ASAP so I could continue life as I knew it as soon as possible and not wait 6 wks paying for PT...
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       08-01-2013, 6:10 AM Reply   
Simpej- I'll keep my fingers crossed it's just a sprain! That was my hope too... till some silly high tech thing told me otherwise! Hang in there, ICE ICE ICE!

Delta- I come from a medical background, but that's more anatomy and physiology, not the repair/therapy of things... so I agree, I'm a bit uncertain about what I think about the opinion. It's not interfering with work, and I can get around day to day on it... wakeboarding is toast for the year either way, there's no question about that... I think the real decision is going to come in a few weeks. I anticipate surgery being needed. If that isn't the approach... and he advises that we don't perform surgery, I'm going to be asking for a second opinion on it to verify that direction. I'll probably one 1 PT session in there before... I've just been doing stuff at home.... good to have PT friends haha
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       08-01-2013, 6:58 AM Reply   
ALSO... and maybe this is a silly thing to say but....

If you're getting any kind of off the shelf equipment pre/post treatment from your Dr.... etc... LOOK AT THE PRICE BEFORE YOU LEAVE WITH IT.

My insurance just got billed $700 for a Dicks' Sporting Good's <$100 Bledsoe knee brace.... not cool. Not cool. Had I known that, I would have gimped down there and bought one myself and saved us all some money.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       08-01-2013, 6:58 AM Reply   
Ben I think I lucked out. Still can't walk but the doc said I have perfect stability so he doesn't think I ruptured anything. If I continue having issues after the weekend it could be a different story and need an MRI. His thought was an LCL sprain. Did a big big roll to flats, it was a little too choppy but i think I haven't landed that trick maybe 4 times this year so I was like whatever, ill throw it. Anyways, got kicked further out the back than I wanted and my board caught the water at an odd angle. Heard a nice loud pop and watched my femur continue moving while my tib/fib did not. Not fun. If I can get patched up by next Friday ill be able to give a full comparison on g23 and x star though haha!

Anyways hate to bomb your thread but I really feel for you guys. I'm pulling for ya! Strength and flexibilty are very important I hope that everyone reading this thread can take that away.
Ben what's your medical background?? I also have PT friends that may be able to help me out a bit haha
Old     (wakebordr11)      Join Date: May 2001       08-01-2013, 2:23 PM Reply   
Fracture? I just fractured my tib plateau/head of my femur during a hyperextension 3 weeks ago... FECK. I'm still hobbled, starting PT soon, hope to salvage a set by the end of September
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       08-01-2013, 9:06 PM Reply   
Simplej, not to dampen your spirits, but I crashed pretty much the same way you did and felt my tib/fib stop while my femur kept going sideways, then pop back. Went to the dr and told him it felt loose. He pulled on it checking stability and thought it was intact, but ordered the MRI, which showed complete tear, which surgery confirmed. The dr said that it must have been swelling that made the joint feel stable.

Not trying to crap on your potentially good news, it just sucked to have my dr get my hopes up only to crush them with the MRI results.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       08-01-2013, 9:15 PM Reply   
Bcd, not crushing my spirits I know this is still a possibility and that I'm not completely out of the woods. Just to be clear this was your LCL or ACL? At any rate I had no external (visible) swelling and could walk on it fairly well today so I'm taking it day to day before I call my orthopedic (vs ER doctor)
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       08-02-2013, 6:08 AM Reply   
I tore my ACL and bruised the bone. I had really bad pain right after it happened, but then after about 5 minutes, the pain went away. I actually wake surfed a little while later. I didn't have bad external swelling and could walk with only a little limp. Good luck and I hope nothing is torn.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       08-02-2013, 6:15 AM Reply   
Yup that sounds like me...
Old     (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       08-02-2013, 6:39 AM Reply   
What up guys. This sucks. Doing better but I'm fully floored right now. Ill do a little right up later after PT today just woke up from oxy withdrawals. Hahaha. I have never felt this much pain in my life. I am have a real hard time but everything looks great so I'm told. Lol!!! I beg to differ!!
Old     (wakebordr11)      Join Date: May 2001       08-02-2013, 8:03 AM Reply   
^Damn dude. I'd hate to have a headache or feel sick from drugs. Gut it out, you'll be stronger by not taking PKs in the end... I fractured my pelvis and the level of drugs they gave me is less than some people get for stubbing their toe.
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       08-02-2013, 3:29 PM Reply   
Hang in there Bryan!

Had my first PT today, basically just some basic stretches and assessment, but WOW... I'm more sore after that then the day after dislocating my knee! Sheesh.

Two weeks away with my follow up for next steps with the surgeon. I've got my exercise list if anybody is looking for reading material.

And, to everybody whose checked in on here, I really appreciate everybody taking time to share their experiences. I really look forward to seeing how everybody is progressing and the support that's coming from here is great!
Old     (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       08-02-2013, 8:34 PM Reply   
and thank for letting hi-jack on your thread ben!!!!! we gotta keep pushin brotha

had a wtf moment about an hour ago. my neighbor had acl surgery 2 days before i had mpfl/mcl, shes a little lady in her late 60's, any way as the wife and my freind are trying to man handle me out the van tonight after getting back from the dr. i look out in the street and shes just walking along in her brace with her husband. they looked at me like i was half dead. they obviously are concerned and i told them its the type of surgery i had and that i swell bad. i always have. its going down past 2 days now bandages are off and its RICE all day. dude, i was straight bed-ridden for the past 4 days. did some more pt tonight. did some more stimuli and the some quad stim and actually got it to fire a few times!!!!! tried a few straight leg lifts, haha yah right but my pt is so cool and motivating he was lifting my leg from undernieth so it looked like i was moving it. i got a long road ahead of me for sure.......

simple, good luck bro!! let us know what the ortho says.
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       08-03-2013, 8:39 AM Reply   
Hey Brian, in the words of Sterling Archer... "Small Miracles". But really, on the way back from that kind of stuff, have to take every step in the right direction as a step closer than the day before. Just gotta keep pushing!

I'll scan up my workouts when I get a chance to. Just some extra reading material.
Old     (LFMCrider6)      Join Date: Jun 2011       08-09-2013, 7:16 AM Reply   

Can't wait to get you back to 100% healthy. Having you out on the boat this season was a blast. Looking coward to many more seasons! Let me know if you need anything to help.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       08-09-2013, 12:50 PM Reply   
Looking like a meniscus tear and LCL sprain. MRI Monday to confirm and determine if surgery is necessary. Ortho felt confident my acl is intact though.
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       08-10-2013, 7:52 AM Reply   
SimpleJ- I'm not real familiar with what's needed for a torn meniscus... hopefully that's just a scope fix! Good luck, man!

THANKS CHAD!!!!!!!!!!! BOOM!
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       08-15-2013, 4:01 PM Reply   
Well FML. Two doctors got it wrong on physical examination. 80% rupture of ye olde ACL.

The ortho's mind is blown he said he's never seen such stability and activity, said he felt okay about me going for a jog too? Anywas because of my stability no rush on surgery, just no hard athletics/golf probably going to take care of it in the fall. Guess ill be driving and coaching the rest of the season.
Old     (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       08-15-2013, 6:30 PM Reply   
simple, thats crazy that 2 doc's could not get it right, crazy. well glad to hear your doing ok and wont have to be in a rush for surgery. bump this thread when you decide to go under the knife and keep us posted.

so im 2 weeks post op now and doing much better. let me tell you and i wont lie the first week was HELL!!!! i have not had tears in my eyes in 30 years until that nerve block wore off the evening after the surgery. so i had a lot of swelling after the surgery and it lead to pain!!! swelling is down a lot im swollen just arounf the knee cap area now but my thigh and lower tib fib area are normal again. i have been to pt all week and doing ok. i have about 35' ROM flexion right now and getting better about 1-2 degrees each day but not much more than that. im out of the brace and have really great stability in the knee. my OS said the swelling helped keep it stable and thats why he took me out the brace quick. both the PT and the OS say im right where i should be but i'll say this im frustrated and its only 2 weeks post op. i guess i just need to be patient... i asked the doc what would happen if i was not progressing to his expectation and he looked at me with a smerk and kinda laughed at me and said, " well dont worry about that for a long time your doing fine" the he said "if it came to that then i just put you under and i move your leg for you" i looked at him and said uhh really? lol!!!!

anyhow, this sucks big time but im on my way. MPFL surgery is the worst knee surgery ever but you gotta pay to play. im off pain meds completely and hitting the pt hard
i just wish it was 6 months alreay.....
Old     (mtbartlett)      Join Date: Aug 2013       08-15-2013, 7:54 PM Reply   
Tore my Meniscus 3 weeks ago. Waited and didn't go to the doctor until last week. Looking like surgery sometime real soon. Anyone been through this?
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       08-15-2013, 8:51 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by simplej View Post
Well FML. Two doctors got it wrong on physical examination. 80% rupture of ye olde ACL.

The ortho's mind is blown he said he's never seen such stability and activity, said he felt okay about me going for a jog too? Anywas because of my stability no rush on surgery, just no hard athletics/golf probably going to take care of it in the fall. Guess ill be driving and coaching the rest of the season.
Sorry to hear that. Go under the knife, do the rehab, and come back strong next year.
Old     (Slaytwebeling)      Join Date: Nov 2011       08-16-2013, 1:27 PM Reply   
Mtbartlett- did they say what kind of tear on the meniscus? They can pretty much either remove part of your meniscus or trying put stitches in it or lastly give you a cadavers. It all depends on type of the tear and location. To sum it up from what I know if its in the "red" zone or vascular zone which is more on the outside they have better results than if its in the white or avasculature zone. I had a bucket handle tear 80% that he put stitches in and is confident in but also had a smaller radial tear that he put two stitches in but is less confident in.

Bryan- I'm ten days out from an acl tear and large bucket handle meniscus tear surgery so feel your pain. Especially with coming off of the oxy. I took it constantly for two days then slowly backed down to 1 a day now and I had the worst headaches for 2-3 days but they are gone now.

Day 10 I'm 90 rom but standing for longer than 5 minutes on crutches can be painful because it feels like I have a "blood rush" down my whole leg.
Old     (mtbartlett)      Join Date: Aug 2013       08-16-2013, 2:23 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by Slaytwebeling View Post
Mtbartlett- did they say what kind of tear on the meniscus? They can pretty much either remove part of your meniscus or trying put stitches in it or lastly give you a cadavers. It all depends on type of the tear and location. To sum it up from what I know if its in the "red" zone or vascular zone which is more on the outside they have better results than if its in the white or avasculature zone. I had a bucket handle tear 80% that he put stitches in and is confident in but also had a smaller radial tear that he put two stitches in but is less confident in.
Doc was talking fast on the phone. I have an appt next week to find out more. He sounded like therapy might be the way we go. It feels stable still can't straighten it completely though and I done it on July 20th.
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       08-16-2013, 5:44 PM Reply   
Hi Everybody-

SimpleJ- Glad to hear you missed the knife, man! Get that baby strengthened up, and keep driving (the recovery and your car haha)

Bryan- Man... reading your post made MY knee hurt... glad to hear you're on teh other side, sir. Now all it is is time! Hang in there! We're all here to support! I've got exercises and things I'm happy to share!

Michael- Hang in there! If your stability is still there, that's the foundation of it all! So, that's definiteyl good news, man! I'm 6 weeks post my injury and range of motion has improved drastically (I can walk with a normal gait now) but there's still a long way to go!

Met with my Orthopetic Surgeon today for a 6 week post injury followup... really had some high hopes for it- my stability and strength has been really bouncing back well, I've been ahead of schedule for all PT expectations and haven't felt any pain since the injury... had really been hoping for a positive review, but expected a note for surgery in the near future based on MRI.

Dr. came in, reviewed my MRI chart, said "Well, MRI says torn MCL, torn ACL, torn MM, and torn LM. You really *****-housed this thing didn't you?"

We walked through a few exercises, he examined my knee, lochmann's test, and delivered the verdict that: Your MCL has basically healed, neither of your Minisci are torn. Your ACL, likely has some damange, but it's there. To get back where you want to be, keep doing what you're doing, keep strengthening your knee, and we'll be good to go. Just keep working on your PT, and by next season, you should be ready!"

So, great news... likely avoided the knife. Still looking forward to sharing updates in progress and anything I learn along the way.

I really appreciate the support of everybody in the group! It's been exciting to see how everybody has been so supportive to one another and to see the progression!
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       08-16-2013, 8:07 PM Reply   
Ben, when I said "get it taken care of" I meant surgery, I'm not so fortunate haha... Doctor wants to remove it mostly out of concern for arthritis and long term problems. Going to get a second opinion with a knee/shoulder surgeon rather than general orthopedic, I'm also going to look into stem cells a bit and make some calls.

On a side note. Single or double bundle? Patellar or hamstring and why? A buddy who has replaced both said he has had both procedures and saw no difference but I was wondering what input was like for the rest of you.
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       08-16-2013, 9:45 PM Reply   
I had patellar, which at the time was supposed to be the strongest repair, downside, they cut you wide open to extract the tendon. I think that portion hurt more than the actual ACL repair. I've heard that the double bundle was the new way to go and better recreates the original ligament rotation, but I think the recovery time is longer. I don't think it's as strong (attached as well). It's a newer procedure and wasn't really known when I had mine done 5 years ago. About 6 months after I had mine, an NFL lineman I know blew his whole knee out (2nd game of the season). He had the hamstring, which surprised me, so maybe the patellar isn't that much stronger. 5 years later (and a couple pro bowls and superbowl), he's still playing and last I talked to him, his knee doesn't give him any issues.
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       08-17-2013, 8:31 AM Reply   

I'd really been after a 2nd Opinion as well... I asked a friend of mine who's a surgical sales rep to check out the guy I was going to, and the reviews all came back excellent and apparently he's the guy in my region you'd want to go see, so I'm comfortable with my diagnosis now. But, I would totally support the 2nd opinion, for sure.

I'm an Anatomy and Physiology guy, and definitely not a surgery/rehab guy, but I do know that Patellar grafting was done on RG3 and also Adrian Peterson, and I've had it described to me as the gold standard for ACL reconstruction. Again, not much backs that up, but it's what I've heard.
Old     (Slaytwebeling)      Join Date: Nov 2011       08-17-2013, 9:06 AM Reply   
Simple j- I was also told my Dr Mark Adickes(pretty famous surgeon in Houston) that patellar is the way to go for athletes. He said you don't have to worry about hamstring issues after and even though the surgery is harder on you and recovery is slower at first he thinks it actually ends up rehabing just as fast after the first month or so. I'm 12 days out from acl and meniscus repair but can't give you much feed back except for stay ahead of the pain the first 48 hours by taking the pain meds.
Old     (mtbartlett)      Join Date: Aug 2013       08-18-2013, 6:53 PM Reply   
Lots of info on here! Thanks for the support guys. When ya'll get back on the water are ya'll gonna wear a brace? Did you wear one previously? I think it would definitely give me a better piece of mind but evidently the ones that you want are like 500 bucks. Too pricey for me...
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       08-18-2013, 7:03 PM Reply   
to be truthful, a meniscus isn't going to be helped all that much by a brace from my understanding. if you don't need one, don't wear one, you will only make your muscles weaker. I will wear one until my graft fully heals (up to 3 years) and then re evaluate from there but only for wakeboarding and soccer.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       08-23-2013, 2:58 PM Reply   
Another mini update: trying the PT route per second opinion (ortho who does only knees) was astonished by my stability and even gave me the all clear to wakeboard within reason, no flips etc. and get a month of PT and check in then. If any stability is felt to just go ahead and schedule surgery. It's the same practice that did Keith Lyman and they have his board up in one room. Anyways I'll probably need surgery but were gonna give this a try. Ben how is that route going for you?
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       08-25-2013, 7:06 AM Reply   
Hi SimpleJ-

That's great news that there could be more options for you! I know it was a huge weight off my shoudlers to hear that I could potentially get by without surgery as well! It sounds like that 2nd opinion really paid off in spades for you! GREAT news. That's super cool that they have Keith's board there! Sounds like you're in great hands!

My surgeon felt that the MRI didn't accurately reflect what my knee was showing (stability, recovery, strength, lack of pain, and comparable ligament reaction via lochmann test to my good knee). So, barring another knee-blowout, we're confident that we'll be able to get back to my old antics without surgery.

I've been doing very well, thank you very much for asking! I've been getting to PT once a week on average (work is keeping a guy busy) but have been stretching, and working out my knee at home as much as possible. It's holding up pretty well and have been weaning it off the brace with more and more physical activities (like yard-work). Nothing epic yet, and wakeboarding is shot for the summer. There was some cautious optimism about snowboarding, but i'm going to be holding off on that. I need to get back to wakeboarding, and am going to spend all fall and winter prepping to do so!!! I'm still wearing my brace for sleeping and when I'm going places with lots of people, or may have some unstable footing. Just gotta keep pushing!

I'll be getting braces for both knees, one as a preventative, and the other will clearly stabilize where my "instability" (knee badly dislocated medially). It'll be expensive, but less expensvie than surgery and the PT afterwards!

Thanks again to everybody who's involved in this thread, it's been great and very motivational to hear that everybody else is pushing, recovering, and getting through this! I know it was difficult for me to wrap my head around, not ever having an injury like that before, and it's been a great outlet.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       08-25-2013, 10:23 AM Reply   
Yes It's nice to see that people are checking in and that everyone who has done it In the past is good. Everyone I've talked to has basically said that recovery is long and painful but worth it in the end. I'm basically expecting surgery but was going to hold off anyways as I start graduate school next week. I was reading this thread and dreading it before I tore mine but this has been a motivation for me to get into better shape and come back swinging next summer. Missing riding now and this fall is going to suck, as is a possible lack of snowboarding, but hey I still get to go to surf expo so that's pretty neat.

Going for surgery vs not is a tough call to make. Like I said I have few to no symptoms, almost complete range of motion and rare instabilities, so much so that an ER doc and 2 orthopedic surgeons are perplexed and I'm "testing it out". Ben we are fortunate enough to have youth on our never wanna go under if you don't need to.... But then again the sooner the better right? But hey didn't Brett Favre play without an ACL for four years? A hockey player for 8? I'm doing this under the pretenses I'll probably need it at some point. It sounds like you and I are in a similar boat Ben, youre perhaps doing a bit better in terms of an outlook.

Bryan, let us know how you're doing it sounds like you've done a lot of damage and I hope you're coming back strong.
Mtbartlett, I hope you're going good too and that its an easy fix meniscus is important to protect long term.

If anyone is considering the different surgeries....
My buddy (professional) has had both done two ways. Patellar single bundle, hamstring double bundle. He says he can't tell a difference between the two long term.

Anyways, that's all for now, I know this forum can get pretty nasty sometimes but it's nice to have people rooting for ya. And I'm rooting for you guys. Maybe we can have a gimp meet up next August haha...

Last edited by simplej; 08-25-2013 at 10:27 AM.
Old     (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       08-25-2013, 12:53 PM Reply   
Simple J-

I've taken to the approach, and expressed to my surgeon, that I would do whatever I needed to do to get back to normal, even if it was getting opened up. I would have had a patellar graft if I'd have to have surgery.... I just about did a backflip (with my brace on, of course) when he said it was a possibility without surgery. So... just going to keep an open mind keep pushing ahead and get excited for next year!!! Updates'll keep coming as I get them!

SimpleJ- have they laid out your PT exercises and program?

I know Jason Maxeel (sp?) in the NBA doesn't have either of his ACL's, his repairs just got consumed into scar tissue and now he doesn't have really any ACLs... also Heinz Ward, prevoisly of the Steelers, hasn't had an ACL in one of his knees since he was a younger teenager.

There's hope! haha Could do a seafood boil: "Seafood, Shrimps, and Gimps"!!!!
Old     (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       08-26-2013, 7:34 PM Reply   
whats up guys, just checking in. been a really ruff road but starting to look up each day.

i walked at pt today without crutches!!!!! so awesome!!!! im cruising all over now with 1 crutch just in case of a blow out, lol!!!

i hit 60' today, it takes about 10-15 mins of work to get it there but its there. so i hit that bench mark and now i need to hit 90' in the next 2 weeks to stay on par. i am considered to be behind the curve do to the post op start i got.

pain is more aches then anything and the obvious severe shredding pain while trying to bend it, haha!! a nice hot bath followed by ice takes care of all of the pain though.

im still swollen but its going down a tad each day. i can actually feel my knee cap now and i can move it freely.

starting to get some leg strength back too, hamstring is getting really strong and the quad is following. i can lift my leg now, sweet!!!

1 plus is i have full exstension with no pain at all, so thats a bonus!!

im back in the gym and i start swimming 2-3 days a week this week so thats going to help a lot with the mental side of things to be out in the pool.

im still frustrated as heck but keeping my head up.
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       08-27-2013, 6:11 AM Reply   
Keep the hard work and spirits up. It could be worse. Look what Tanner went through: This injury is after coming back after breaking both ankles at Chad's gap. He competed again at X games this year.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       09-22-2013, 5:00 PM Reply   

i've been crushing it in the gym and the PT is paying off in strength although my bone bruise is still KILLING me at the slightest signs of a shift. Otherwise i havent had any dislocations or collapsing and i'm waiting on a CTi custom to test this baby out and see if surgery is necessary to be active. Just to give you guys where I'm at over the course of my injury. Day 2 post injury i was off crutches, day3 i had full ROM, day 4 i was riding the bike, there was a lull in there while my surgeons figured out what to do with me, as of now I'm cutting and doing box jumps as part of my PT regimen, I'm still lochman and pivot shift negative 7 weeks post injury and have a dull pain and irritation at the location of my bone bruising, thing just doesnt wanna heal.
Old     (HighWater)      Join Date: Apr 2012       09-23-2013, 6:38 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by bcd View Post
Keep the hard work and spirits up. It could be worse. Look what Tanner went through: This injury is after coming back after breaking both ankles at Chad's gap. He competed again at X games this year.
Actually it wasnt his ankles. He broke both Tibia Plateau's. Pretty gnarly injury, one of the toughest extremity breaks you can have. Trust me, I broke mine August 2012, and 3 surgeries within one year on my right knee. Just last week had all the hardware removed where they pieced my back together.
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       09-23-2013, 6:29 PM Reply   
This last crash was both tibia plateau's and ACL's. They had fix his tibia plateau's first, then do the ACL's one at a time. In 2005, he broke both ankles at Chad's gap:
Old     (HighWater)      Join Date: Apr 2012       09-24-2013, 6:50 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by bcd View Post
This last crash was both tibia plateau's and ACL's. They had fix his tibia plateau's first, then do the ACL's one at a time. In 2005, he broke both ankles at Chad's gap:
Old     (Indyxc)      Join Date: Jul 2011       09-24-2013, 8:04 AM Reply   
Sign me up for the list. Late diagnosis.

I was playing flag football last winter, Febuary, and tried to change direction, and felt a crunch in my left knee. I fell to the ground, it wasn't horrible, just didn't feel great. I got up and limped around, but otherwise it seemed ok. It swelled up, but I could kind of walk. It wasn't a horrible injury to me, so I didn't go the doc.

It was winter, so I nursed it back to health, and about a month later if felt fairly normal but a bit wobbly. Spring came, and it felt 95% normal, except once in a while when I stepped a strange way it hurt. Still, thinking it was just healing, I didn't visit the doc.

Summer came, I wakeboarded (with some slight pain at first), but wakeboarded at a 95% level. I also played tennis, and with the exception of some strange steps it felt ok.

After 9 months, it still feels weird about once a week, so I went to get an MRI. Yup... full tear on ACL. Most of my friends cant believe I wakeboarded and played tennis all season without my ACL.

Ill be visting a knee doctor shortly, and guess I will take the surgery route at 30. Oddly, Im about 99% normal with the knee without an ACL.
Old     (kmac1587)      Join Date: Sep 2012       09-24-2013, 8:37 AM Reply   
Hey everyone,

So here is my story. I tore my ACL last spring after taking a fall on my first set of the season and hadn't realized it for about a month. I thought I had just hyperextended it. So once I got confirmation that it was torn my Dr and I talked about options. My Dr. is a sports orthopedic and is a member of the US Ski medical team, so he is great with athletes and understands our knees, and what they go through before and after injury are different from others. The options he gave me were to repair the ACL and go through the rehab timeline that everyone else does OR since I was "functioning ACL Deficient" I could basically go on it until it was no longer stable. Many athletes (NBA players, Mogul Skiers etc) have no ACL's and due to the rest of their legs being so strong are able to do without their ACL. I chose to ride it till it blows basically and actually went through my entire summer of heavy wakeboarding and then into my winter of heavy snowboarding. The only thing I did was some PT, Strength Conditioning and got myself a CTI brace which I couldn't imagine being active without now.

So brings us to this summer, I had been riding a bit and having no issues until I popped more than expected on a tantrum, and when I came down, landed on my board and instantly felt my knee blow. I dropped the handle and immediately started to loosen my boots. This time I had swelling and pain, LOTS of pain. After and MRI my Dr said I tore the meniscus. I set for surgery to remove the torn piece since I had been doing fine without and ACL and really didnt want to take 5-6 months off of sports. When he went in to do my Meniscus he found I had torn my ACL from both ends and wrapped it around my Patella. So we decided to go in to fix the ACL 3 weeks after my Meniscus so I can have a snowboarding season this year. This was all back in August.

Skip forward to my ACL surgery. I had this done (Dr said it went perfectly) and was in PT the next day. All signs were looking great, I had awesome quad strength and was actually on an accelerated rehab program. I was walking without crutches the next day. Here is where this story gets messy, 7 days after surgery I woke up with a lot of pain. I was still out of work so I just laid on the couch and rested thinking I had overdone it from the weekend. a few hours later I was in pain I have never experienced and my knee blew up and I started to develop a fever. About 24 hours of this I was in to see my Dr. where he drained my knee to help with the pain and took cultures to test for infections. Not to drag it out describing each day after this, I have been fighting an infection for the past 3 weeks which entails lots of rest, pain meds, and changing of shirts since I sweat out my fevers to a level where I need to change shirts and pillow sheets. I have my antibiotics pumped through an IV and my Dr has gone in 3 more times to "flush" out my knee to help fight the infection and make sure I don't lose my graft. He also put drains in to help keep pressure from building inside the joint and for any "infected fluid" to stay in there and possibly damage the graft. The chances of infection in ACL repairs are less than 1% so not sure how I got the infection, but i've been focusing more on fixing the problem than figuring out how it happened.

GOOD NEWS is I have finally had a complete day without a fever of more than 99.6 and didn't have a cold sweat. Thats huge compared to my last 2 1/2 weeks. I started back at PT yesterday and everyone is telling my my quads have lost some strength, but in the grand scheme losing 2 weeks or so of PT wont hold my total recovery time (I've gone to this facility for a few other injuries so they are familiar with my rehab abilities and commitment) so i am just trying to stay positive and focused on making progress everyday. I will do my best to keep everyone updated on my progress if they would like. Like I said, infections from ACL surgeries are less than 1% so I thought I would share my experience. I have also attached a few photos of my knee from early stages of the infection. Will get a pic of my "better" knee at PT tomorrow and will upload.

One photo is of my knee when I got home from surgery day one. The other two are mid infection.
Attached Images
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       12-08-2013, 4:52 PM Reply   
This thread needs updating!

okay so now I am 4 months without an ACL and to put it plainly I'm doing quite well. I finished PT in october strong as ever and have been keeping up what i learned there as best i can. i can do ALOT of things without a brace. I can even cut left to right and stop myself with my left (injured) leg. I have a CTi custom that i wear when i do athletics in an uncontrolled environment or working around the house when i know there could be awkward lifting of heavy stuff (i.e. when i just put up the 10ft xmas tree...) or when i do heavy squats, i don't want to have it give out with 285 of weight on my shoulders. I stick to lunges and machines along with PT, particularly I focus a lot on balance work and will be testing it out snowboarding ASAP.

At times I wish i had surgery as a means of insurance more than anything, but we don't have a crystal ball, and its certainly possible to end up on the other side of the coin, saying "i wish i hadn't i was doing okay". Others i am glad i did not. Timing was awful for me on all fronts. In the time it took me to get misdiagnosed 2x, an MRI, in with a third doc, I I had started graduate school, got my first real job(I'm fresh out of college), had been to surf expo, and spent some solid time in PT. I got better quickly in PT compared to others with ACL tears i looked normal. I have had only one "collapse" in those 4 months and only one other time have had extreme pain. I get pain at times, we discussed that the likely reason is due to floaters from whats left of my ACL drifting around, but then again i get phantom pains in my right,healthy, knee as well, so perhaps i am just noticing these issues whereas before i did not. My muscle memory has been effectively retrained to land deep on jumps which is a healthier way to treat your knees.

Will i get surgery? yes. i will. but not right now, as soon as i find some day to day activities i cannot do without a brace or athletics i cannot do with a brace, then i will get the surgery. until then i will continue my rehab and make my knee as strong as possible. Why get surgery that truly isn't needed?
My neighbor has been 8 years without an ACL and still skis hard, so its certainly possible to do.

In short i'm doing well and hope everyone is doing as well as or better than I am!

ps. Heres a gopro vid of the last ride i took before grenading my knee and a shot of my MRI with arrow pointing to my acl

from John Reisdorf on Vimeo.

Attached Images

Last edited by simplej; 12-08-2013 at 4:58 PM.
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       12-10-2013, 6:35 AM Reply   
While you can get by without an ACL, it puts you more at risk for tearing your meniscus. ACL's can be reconstructed and be relatively good as new without future problems. Once you tear your meniscus, you have a lifetime of knee pain, fluid build up, and scope procedures (assuming you continue wakeboarding/snowboarding and other high impact sports). The couple of people I know that held off on surgery both wish they hadn't. Just don't get too overconfident and think your knee is just as good w/o the ACL there.
Old     (brettw)      Join Date: Jul 2007       12-11-2013, 1:17 PM Reply   
Man, it's threads like this that are one of the reasons I switched mostly to foiling. That, and seeing that I want to be able to ride something behind a boat until I'm practically dead. Sorry - don't mean to hijack, but it's sort of related.


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