Author Topic: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens  (Read 6393 times)

ReadySetMillionaire

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How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« on: August 15, 2017, 09:51:03 AM »
I tore my ACL and meniscus about a month ago, but was just officially diagnosed yesterday. The doctor recommended both non-surgical and surgical treatment, but he certainly seemed to lean towards surgery given that both my ACL and meniscus are torn. I'm currently weighing my options but am also leaning towards surgery as well.

I'm generally not one to dwell or be dramatic, but I am just crushed over this for a variety of reasons, including:

Home: I usually love taking care of the house--cutting the grass, taking care of the plants, doing DIY projects, etc. but can't really do that for quite a while. I also am recently married, and an extremely painful bum leg isn't great for, you know. It just all kind of sucks.

Work: I was having a great year at work--so much so that I just got a raise two weeks ago. I was on pace to have great billable hours, great receipts, great results, etc. An impending surgery, subsequent time off work, and God knows how much physical therapy is going to wipe a lot of that away.

Recreation: My main hobbies are hiking in our local park and taking long walks. I also love going to sporting events, but I just recently went to a baseball game and it was a long, long day. Basically, I haven't been able to comfortably do these for a month and won't be able to for quite a while.

Exercise/Wellness: Since the start of 2016, I've lost about 19 pounds and kept it off. That hasn't been easy and has involved the above recreation and being on the elliptical five times a week for at least 30 minutes. Again, I can't really do that for the foreseeable future, and I'm very concerned about maintaining a healthy lifestyle over the next 9-12 months.

Finances: This isn't my primary concern, but surgery is going to wipe out my HSA savings. It's also going to take some cash we had set aside to pay off my wife's car, so it's a pretty big setback financially and will take probably a year to recover from. But, I'd rather have this problem than not have insurance or not be able to afford it, so I'm blessed. Just venting.

This has obviously turned into a rant of sorts, but I've never had this significant of an injury. I'm 29 and have a life ahead of me, and I know it could be worse, but I can't help but think that this is going to be a real uphill struggle because it affects me from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed.

So, I guess I'm just hoping to hear some stories from those with similar injuries. How did you bounce back? What did you do while you recovered?

The only plan I have is to create a goal. And the goal I have in mind is perhaps a little silly, but I actually went on my honeymoon between my date of injury and my diagnosis yesterday. I was gimping around and we didn't walk around and explore as much as we normally would, and it was all because of my knee pain. I'm hoping to take my wife on a one-year honeymoon trip and be able to make it up to her then.

Thanks for reading my rant, and all help/advice appreciated.

haflander

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2017, 10:13:36 AM »
I had this exact same injury, ACL + meniscus, when I was a junior in high school. It's the typical story you hear: "Oh, I was great at sports until I blew out my knee and wiped out my senior year."

I was able to run about six months after the surgery; this does not include sprinting, changing directions quickly, or stopping/starting. I'm guessing you will be able to do everything you listed in the same time frame, six months or earlier. It will hurt at first, but slowly gets easier. It's now almost 10 years after my surgery and the knee doesn't limit me in any way from activities I want to do, such as soccer and running. I did a triathlon 2 years after the surgery and wasn't limited in any way. When I'm playing soccer or running, the knee never hurts. However, sometimes it hurts afterwards when the adrenaline fades.

I think most of what you're worried about is emotional and psychological. I went through my senior year when I was recovering. Watching all of my friends do their senior year of sports was hard, I can't sugarcoat that in any way. However, I worked and went through applying and going to the first year of college, no problem. You have different challenges with work and billable hours. If you put your mind do it, you can go back to work on crutches one week after surgery or work from home. It's all up to you and what you set your mind to. Worried about pain meds and how that affects your thinking? I stopped taking them days after surgery (3 if I remember correctly). Again, tell yourself that you can manage without the meds and make it happen.

Something else to consider. You only NEED surgery if you want to do athletic things. If the most strenuous things you do are long walks and hiking, I don't think you need the surgery. I had my surgery two months after the injury and could walk fine by that time. This would obviously help you with your finances and work and all that jazz. I'm guessing you were injured doing a physical sport...so if those things are important to you then you need the surgery.

Lean on your family and friends. Everyone helps each other during hard times so don't feel guilty or try to be a macho strong man.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2017, 10:21:19 AM »
Something else to consider. You only NEED surgery if you want to do athletic things. If the most strenuous things you do are long walks and hiking, I don't think you need the surgery. I had my surgery two months after the injury and could walk fine by that time. This would obviously help you with your finances and work and all that jazz. I'm guessing you were injured doing a physical sport...so if those things are important to you then you need the surgery.

Ya, I'm obviously thinking a lot about whether I need the surgery. My thoughts are generally two fold:

(1) I've read that an ACL tear, combined with a torn meniscus, usually means that going the non-surgery route may lead to complications far down the road. I really don't want to deal with those if I can avoid it by having surgery.

(2) My injury occurred in an adult softball league. I'm fine giving that up, but I'm hoping to have kids and be able to coach and play with them. It would kill me to not be able to play soccer or catch or basketball or whatever with them because I didn't go the hard route before they were around.

That's where I'm at mentally, but I'm still sorting all this out. Thanks for your post.

Sailor Sam

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2017, 10:58:05 AM »
I ruptured my ACL skiing at Brian Head, over in Utah. First run, of the first day. About 500 feet from the bottom of the trail. Cataclysmic wipeout, and my ski didn't come off in time.

I did 6 months of PT, waiting to see if the non-surgical route would work for me. I got significantly better from a pain and swelling standpoint. Short walks were fine, and long walks were increasingly getting better. I was making progress with strengthening my quad, and learning how to squat. However, the joint was unstable and I got tired of having it suddenly slide out sideways. It's an eerie feeling, and I didn't want to endure it. I ended up getting surgery, with an autograft using the patellar tendon.   

Here's my experience - it took me 2 years to fully recover. Like many things, progress at the beginning is pretty fast. I could walk 1 week after surgery. I could do a slow jog 3 months after surgery. I could change direction cautiously at 4 months. I was 93% recovered after 6 months, and graduated from physical therapy. But the remaining 4% took another 18 months of incredibly slow, incremental progress. 

I'm currently 2.5 years post surgery. I can pivot on my toe, cut, and change direction sharply. My gait is fine. My knee will go to 0 extension, but will no longer hyperextend the way it would before the ACL ruptured. My lower body on the surgical side is still weaker than the other side, probably due to unconscious protection that's no longer need, but remains habit. On weight bearing exercises with lots of flexion, like squats and lunges, the surgical knee aches sharply and feels tight, probably because of scarring in the patellar tendon. I may continue improving on these lingering issues, and finally regain that last 3%, but I just turned 37 and it's possible this 97% of previous is my new normal.

Overall I'm satisfied that I had the surgery. My joint wasn't stable, and the instability was very psychologically wearing. Both from the surprise factor of falling down, and because the instability threatened my ability to remain in my profession. But I'm also very glad I waited a full 6 months to see if I could get away without surgery.

Either way you choose, be assured that you don't need to rush into a decision. You're knee won't fall off and die. And you no matter which route you choose, you will get better. You won't feel like this forever.

Samuel

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2017, 11:02:53 AM »
My 2 cents: I tore meniscus (but not the ACL, so a less severe injury) in my left knee and trudged along for several months before finally getting surgery. In retrospect I wish I'd had the surgery sooner. I basically lost an extra 3 months of full, flourishing life on top of the surgery and recovery time by being a curmudgeonly tightwad. It also made it a longer road to rebuild to pre-injury levels of flexibility and endurance.

I could have gotten by without the surgery but it was a noticeably inferior life. You're too young to be physically limited. This is what we save money for.



 

BDWW

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2017, 11:20:26 AM »
Meh, I think you're overthinking it. I've had both ACLs done, tore the left one when I was 22, tore the right when I was 30, both playing competitive league soccer. If you want to be active, do the patellar graft, don't accept a donor graft. I've heard there's new treatment options involving stem cell regrowth, but it seems to limited to professional athletes as it doesn't seem widespread.
Patellar > Hamstring > donor.   

You'll be laid up for about a week, I recommend renting the autoflexion thing that moves your leg for you the first few days after surgery. I didn't have it for the first, had it for the second, and it seemed to greatly speed my recovery.

After a week or two, you can be back to light duty work (desk/office job).  Physical therapy wasn't a big deal for me, a few hours a week that I scheduled at 7:30am, and was in the office by nine. After 6 months, you're largely back to normal (95%). The remaining 5% takes another year or so.

I'm 33 now and honestly rarely even think about it. Although I have only been playing recreational league for the past 2 years. But that's more that I don't have the time/energy/ambition to play competitively anymore.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 11:21:58 AM by BDWW »

koshtra

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 11:20:54 AM »
Oh, man, I'm sorry! We all hit this sooner or later -- the fact that our bodies will give out from time to time, generally when we can least afford them to.

The more adaptable you can be, the better. With knees, especially, it's easy to feel like you just can't do *anything*. It's not actually true, you can move and exercise in a zillion ways -- it's just that none of them will be ways that you did before. It's time to get creative. And that's especially true with the activities appropriate to recent marriage. Make it happen anyway. Or make something happen anyway. This is a life skill. Trust me on this one: between you and your partner you'll be spending a good portion of your lives with at least one of you physically messed up, and you want to be obstinate about keeping that part of your life going. Get scrappy and improvise.

Kapiira

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2017, 11:24:36 AM »
I don't have any advice about your specific injury, but I wanted to share my experience dealing with a serious foot injury that kept me from being active for well over a year.  I had a very difficult time at first because all of my normal hobbies included running, hiking, backpacking, ect.  Although it took some effort, I found that my injury forced me to get comfortable with new types of exercise.  Since I couldn't use my foot, I started using the reclining exercise bike, lifting weights, doing chin ups, ect.  I know the types of exercise you do will be more limited at first, but I found it valuable to be forced to try new things.  Now that I am recovered, my exercise routine is more diverse than it was before the injury and I've started some additional activities that I wouldn't have tried if I hadn't gone down that road.

I'm sorry you're going through this, but if you think you'll be better off in the long run I would recommend just getting the surgery over with.  You like to be active, you don't want to limit yourself for the rest of your life, and you'll get through it even if it sucks. 


Case

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2017, 11:38:39 AM »
I tore my ACL and meniscus about a month ago, but was just officially diagnosed yesterday. The doctor recommended both non-surgical and surgical treatment, but he certainly seemed to lean towards surgery given that both my ACL and meniscus are torn. I'm currently weighing my options but am also leaning towards surgery as well.

I'm generally not one to dwell or be dramatic, but I am just crushed over this for a variety of reasons, including:

Home: I usually love taking care of the house--cutting the grass, taking care of the plants, doing DIY projects, etc. but can't really do that for quite a while. I also am recently married, and an extremely painful bum leg isn't great for, you know. It just all kind of sucks.

Work: I was having a great year at work--so much so that I just got a raise two weeks ago. I was on pace to have great billable hours, great receipts, great results, etc. An impending surgery, subsequent time off work, and God knows how much physical therapy is going to wipe a lot of that away.

Recreation: My main hobbies are hiking in our local park and taking long walks. I also love going to sporting events, but I just recently went to a baseball game and it was a long, long day. Basically, I haven't been able to comfortably do these for a month and won't be able to for quite a while.

Exercise/Wellness: Since the start of 2016, I've lost about 19 pounds and kept it off. That hasn't been easy and has involved the above recreation and being on the elliptical five times a week for at least 30 minutes. Again, I can't really do that for the foreseeable future, and I'm very concerned about maintaining a healthy lifestyle over the next 9-12 months.

Finances: This isn't my primary concern, but surgery is going to wipe out my HSA savings. It's also going to take some cash we had set aside to pay off my wife's car, so it's a pretty big setback financially and will take probably a year to recover from. But, I'd rather have this problem than not have insurance or not be able to afford it, so I'm blessed. Just venting.

This has obviously turned into a rant of sorts, but I've never had this significant of an injury. I'm 29 and have a life ahead of me, and I know it could be worse, but I can't help but think that this is going to be a real uphill struggle because it affects me from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed.

So, I guess I'm just hoping to hear some stories from those with similar injuries. How did you bounce back? What did you do while you recovered?

The only plan I have is to create a goal. And the goal I have in mind is perhaps a little silly, but I actually went on my honeymoon between my date of injury and my diagnosis yesterday. I was gimping around and we didn't walk around and explore as much as we normally would, and it was all because of my knee pain. I'm hoping to take my wife on a one-year honeymoon trip and be able to make it up to her then.

Thanks for reading my rant, and all help/advice appreciated.

Had this happen to me at 16.  Probably easier when I'm just in school with less responsibilities, plus younger people heal more easily, but you are still fairly young.

You'll take this a day at a time, and will slowly get through it.  It will be a pain in the butt at times, but it's not the end of the world; most people typically make a full recovery.  The physical therapy really isn't too bad (not THAT time consuming).  These operations are totally optimized nowadays; all orthoscopic, minimally invasive.  It might be a faster recover than you think.  And once you can walk you can start weightlifting or something pretty easily.


GuitarStv

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2017, 11:41:35 AM »
I've known many people who had to have knee surgery (ACL, MCL, PCL) from Judo and BJJ.  Without surgery you'll have nagging problems for years, and recovery from surgery is very good these days.  Get the surgery as soon as you can and follow the rehab that they tell you to do.  Knee and leg injuries are annoying as hell, and they will interrupt your regular training schedule.

As others have mentioned, you'll need to shift your exercise routine a bit to deal with the downtime.  Look for stuff like abdominal exercises, chin ups, pull ups, dips, one armed rows, overhead and bench presses.  Even check out some wrestling neck exercises for shits and giggles.  Equally as important as what you do in the gym though, focus on your diet and eat clean.  Be really picky about the foods that you put into your body because it's very hard to burn off fat while your legs are out of commission.  If you do that, you can keep your fitness at an OK level and you won't blimp out.  This means that it will be easier to get back into your regular routine several months down the road once you're healed up and since you won't be fat you'll be stressing that newly healed knee less with every step.

madgeylou

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2017, 11:47:29 AM »
I haven't had this injury, but I have had other health setbacks and sometimes for me, the mental health part of it was harder to deal with than the actual problem.

This is something I came across that has helped me: https://www.superbetter.com/

It's basically a way of reframing a problem as a quest in a game. The author -- a researcher into gaming -- developed it as a way to help herself recover from a traumatic brain injury. Cool stuff!

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2017, 02:46:21 PM »
Thanks for all of the posts. I especially appreciate all the advice concerning "re-tooling" while recovering. Seems like that is obvious, but I wasn't quite seeing it through the prospect of a long recovery.

JLee

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2017, 02:59:38 PM »
My sister plays competitive sports and tore her ACL, had surgery, started playing again once cleared, and tore it again.  She's now out of sports for a year or more while it re-heals.  She's exercising and doing PT in the meantime so when she's back, she'll be good to go again.

You can get through it!

Dezrah

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2017, 03:36:41 PM »
I tore my ACL at 18 playing basketball.  I got a hamstring graft a week later.

I was personally very diligent about following my PT and I think it made a difference.  There are two major aspects that PT addresses:

1) Keep your range of motion. 
This means taking a towel and forcibly flexing your knee.  It hurts a little, but it's on par with doing something like practicing the splits and the discomfort eases when you stop.  I saw one kid in the PT facility who had the same injury but was a few weeks ahead of me.  He was not practicing bending his knee and he had built up scar tissue such that he could not bend his knee to 90 degrees.  He had two therapists holding him down while they bent his knee and tore through the scar tissue.  That looked painful.  Don't be that guy.

2) Keep your strength and balance.
With an injured leg, your body will try to compensate by using the non-injured side more.  Don't let this happen on a permanent basis.  PT forces you to strengthen your weaker side and make sure you're not just swinging your leg around like a club.  I knew a girl in college who skipped PT after her ACL surgery because she was afraid it would disrupt her school schedule.  She developed the strangest gait where her healthy leg would step normally and her other leg would swing around from her hip.  I didn't follow was happened to her but I'm guessing breaking this new habit is probably way harder than just getting strong and doing it right the first time.  Don't be that girl.

Bruinguy

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2017, 05:50:02 PM »
I have to go, but wanted to echo what others have been saying:
-have the surgery asap to get on the mend and achieve full recovery sooner
-get the leg extender machine for recovery at home immediately after surgery, it helps keep the swelling from settling in your joint
-dedicate yourself to PT until you feel 100% (or 95%).  As Dezrah's story showed, if you don't fix it all the way, you will create new problems to deal with down the road.
-surgery and recovery will impact the rest of your life.  I'm sorry.  Build a plan to minimize that impact (that does not include half-assing PT).

You can do it!

1962colreb

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2017, 07:54:04 PM »
From someone who has had ACL surgeries on both knees, get the patella tendon graft.
It is more painful supposedly but it holds up better.  I had my surgeries at 30 and 40 years
of age. Both soccer injuries.  Choose a surgeon who specializes in ACL surgery. My surgeon
was the choice of the local university football team and 20 years later his work is holding up.

dess1313

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2017, 10:39:43 PM »
I was on vacation (paid in full before going) and i tore a cartilage in my knee.  came back, took a while to get diagnosed, tried several methods to let it heal, etc.  Didn't work.  Ended up having to be off work for about 5-6 months.  I was not aware of MMM at that point.  Been raised frugally, helped me a lot.  Made me much more aware of my $$, where it went, and how i never wanted to have to worry about that again should another injury happen.  I found MMM a few years later.

Biggest thing is reduce anything not essential at this point.  I had an emergency fund which saved me.  I lived in a low cost house, but had only one income.  I had some employment insurance which helped but it sucks to be on.  It plays with your head because you're often using your work, sports or hobbies as part of your identity and you can feel very alone, or cut off from those aspects of life.  Some sports i have aren't knee related, but i was unable to haul required equipment needed so i was prevented from participating in them even partially.  work on exercising what you can, upper body strength never hurts to be improved.  those might be some exercises you can do without aggravating the injury

When you get the surgery, listen, do the physio EVERY DAY, get the water cooling sleeve if its suggested.  It makes a big difference for other knee surgeries.   Stay off it as needed.  don't be a hero and go back early.  you'll just extend your injury, make it worse, or slow down your healing time.

physio

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2017, 07:27:36 AM »
Hey ReadySet

I don't post on here much but I am a PT and orthopedic certified specialist (OCS) who works in a sports med clinic.  I see 3-5 ACL recoveries a day so I can answer most of your questions. 

Let me preface the following with since I don't know the full details of your injury take my advice with a grain of salt.  If you wanna divulge further details we can private chat or email.

As for the surgery vs non-surgery debate it seems looking at your situation I would opt for surgery.  Conservative treatment can be successful but it requires significant dedication and long term effects are still questionable. 

Your initial timeline will be determined by what they do to your meniscus.  If it is repaired your recovery will be less progressive at first.  IF they go into shave the meniscus when they reconstruct your ACL you will be in a brace for approximately 1 month (locked at first then unlocked as your get stronger).  By two months after surgery your day to day stuff will be mostly normal and for MOST my patients we are jogging at around 3 months. 

Obviously I'm biased but please go to a good PT and get it right after surgery at least for 3 months then if you wanna take over your recovery after that it's doable.  BTW the research for the passive ROM machines that have been mentioned is not good and not necessary as your should begin PT the day after surgery, or at least within a week depending on your set up.

undercover

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2017, 08:11:21 AM »
Things break. We fix them.

Also, this is a (fairly?) common injury.

I've had the exact same injury for I think 4-5 years now (opted not to get surgery). I can bike, walk/jog, do basically anything except hard running or crazy lateral movements like skiing or snowboarding would demand. I have no pain most of the time. Occasionally something feels "stuck" and there's mild discomfort but most of the time there's no pain. Of course, YMMV.

I may eventually get surgery, but it's optional in many cases if it makes you feel better.

wenchsenior

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2017, 08:47:44 AM »
First of all, if this is your first big injury or health-related setback in life, it is a good opportunity to self monitor and try to work on mental health skills and flexibility for dealing with future health problems as well as this one.  The mental setback can be much more challenging than the physical.  Think of it as practice for aging.  This is one thing I wish I'd done better at, when I blew out my right ACL in college in a freak accident. Instead, I kept viewing it as 'unlucky' and 'the big injury' that I was going to have to deal with.  Now I just laugh at myself. If only all health problems were as fixable as an ACL!

I would get the surgery, and make sure you diligently do the PT for at least 3 months. It will hurt. Do it anyway.  My surgery was back in the 90s and I'm sure things have advanced, but it took my knee about ?3? years I think, to feel normal with no sense of tightness or 'pulling' against the screws. It has functioned fine since, even when I'm active, but I did write off sports that involve sudden stop-and-twist motions (e.g., skiing), just to be safe.  If those sports were my favorites, I probably could have built my knee up and braced it, and been fine. 

One thing I would caution you about...my surgery seemed to very slightly alter my leg length, which I think slightly altered my gait. I didn't notice this for many years, and failed to counteract it with stretching, shoe lifts, core training etc.  It exacerbated my mild scoliosis/misalignment over many years.  Watch out for that. Otherwise, you should be fine.

Laura33

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2017, 10:15:06 AM »
First of all, if this is your first big injury or health-related setback in life, it is a good opportunity to self monitor and try to work on mental health skills and flexibility for dealing with future health problems as well as this one.  The mental setback can be much more challenging than the physical.  Think of it as practice for aging.  This is one thing I wish I'd done better at, when I blew out my right ACL in college in a freak accident. Instead, I kept viewing it as 'unlucky' and 'the big injury' that I was going to have to deal with.  Now I just laugh at myself. If only all health problems were as fixable as an ACL!

This, exactly.  I hate to tell you this, but what you have here is called real life.  "Normal" isn't just skating along, working, doing hobbies, etc.; normal also includes unexpected injuries or illnesses and stretches of bad luck that feel like they will go on forever, until they don't.  So the more flexible you can learn to be in the face of things that push you off your chosen track, the happier and more successful you will be in the long-term.  If you want to hit a billables target for a bonus/promotion, then find a way to do it -- find ways to work at home, set aside some extra time one evening or weekend day a week, really focus on wisely using your time in the office (like, umm, staying off MMM boards!), set up your PT appointments either very early or very late, and you can do it.  Weight/exercise: coordinate with your doctor and physical therapist, check youtube or the magic of the Google for ideas (I have seen a video of a guy doing a rowing machine with his bad leg on a skateboard, for ex.).  Sex:  dude.  Probably more man-hours in human history have been dedicated to figuring out a gazillion different ways to have sex; I am sure that with a little research and creativity, you can come up with something.

Beyond that, are there things that you have been postponing that you can take advantage of your downtime to do?  Things like some Netflix series that you never have time for, or some giant space opera that you've always wanted to read?  Always wanted to try knitting?  The way to make forced downtime feel less stir-crazy is to use it to do something you wouldn't otherwise do.  Yeah, it's not as good as hiking (because if it were, you'd have been doing that instead of the hiking, right?).  But it is something that you can enjoy doing rather than just sulking over not being able to hike.  Make some homemade popcorn, put some real butter on top, and snuggle in with that adorable wife of yours.

FWIW, I think there is a period in late-20s/early-30s in which you still "feel" young but your body just can't handle as much any more.  My DH managed to rupture a disc in his back, also on the company softball team (what's worse is it was MY company team) -- honestly, he should have known better than to try to stretch a double into a triple, because, come on, he's never been Speedy Gonzales.  So I too got to spend part of my first year of marriage in the hospital and managing doctors' appointments and helping him with the pain and the medicines and all of that.  20 years later, it's nothing more than a funny story.  But do take the lesson to take care of yourself -- wish I had done a little less laughing at him and a little more focusing on my own flexibility and strength, because let me tell you, picking up Crossfit at 50 is a bitch. ;-)

BDWW

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2017, 11:09:46 AM »

Obviously I'm biased but please go to a good PT and get it right after surgery at least for 3 months then if you wanna take over your recovery after that it's doable.  BTW the research for the passive ROM machines that have been mentioned is not good and not necessary as your should begin PT the day after surgery, or at least within a week depending on your set up.

That's very debatable. I researched it extensively prior to my second surgery. It's basically a cop out of the insurance industry to not pay for them. The vast majority of studies involving them only looked at final outcomes.   Meaning that they only looked at the end result, i.e. if the surgery was considered a success 6 months later.  None of the studies I found included any investigation of the quality of the rehabilitation, i.e. pain, at what dates full range of motion and flexion were achieved, etc.

Basically, the end result may be the same but the journey is different.

Beach_Stache

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2017, 07:04:10 AM »
I had the same issue about 11 years ago, it sucks, especially b/c I'm big into soccer and coach as well, and this was terrible to me.  I took a day to feel sorry for myself and then looked forward.  You can't change it, so why bother looking backwards.  My recommendation is to strengthen it as much as you can before surgery and then get right into PT after surgery.  Do everything they say to do and more, make strength, rehab and flexibility just a normal part of your day.  I didn't (and still don't) stretch as much as I should and it's cost me.  I have arthritis in my knee mostly b/c of the meniscus and cartilage damage although I still coach a lot so put some wear on my knees.  I'm hoping in a few more years that technology gets better and I can get a good knee replacement or stem cell treatment or something that I can go back to normal function.

Home - you can still do all that crap, should be walking in a few days, they will want you off crutches.  It'll take a while to be able to bend completely but you'll work on that.  I tore my ACL and was 6 weeks post-op at my wedding and still was able to dance and get around.
Work - I was home for 3 days where I didn't work, then started teleworking.  You'll be able to get into work, should be off of crutches in a few days, so that shouldn't affect you, unless you do manual labor.  PT will take 3 hours/week, just schedule it before/after/lunch hour.
Recreation - you may have to change some hobbies, my doctor finally told me no running after more issues, so I don't run, but I can bike, swim, lift, do all sorts of other stuff.  Hiking shouldn't be an issue unless you do it "free running style".
Exercise - get used to the bike, you'll rehab on it and you can still do plenty of exercise and will do.  You'll be able to get back on the elliptical soon.  As I've gotten older I've made a bigger shift from cardio to weights, you can get a good cardio working from weights as well if you do it right.
Finances - Yes, it'll cost, but stuff happens, if you want to live in a bubble and not do anything  you may be safer, but cars will break, homes will need repairs, you'll need stuff done on your body, it happens to everyone.
Goals - these are good.  If life were so easy then everyone would be great at it.  I tried to be positive and look at this as a challenge.  Something additional to overcome, life was too easy before, so I was just given something to overcome and deal with!  If you can look forward and be positive then it'll make you stronger in the long run.

Good luck!


Sun Hat

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2017, 10:21:43 AM »
I'll echo two thoughts from Laura 33:
1) This will not be the last challenge that you face, so use it as an opportunity to set up some good coping habits. Personally, I love the practice of meditation to calm my mind when I get caught up in unrealistic catastrophic thinking.

2) Re sex, recently married and injured is just about the PERFECT time to get creative. Lucky you! There are books on this.

As for staying fit, I highly recommend swimming and canoeing / kayaking. The former will keep you fit and the latter will get you outside, which may make it a good substitute for hiking. If you need tips on how to get in and out of a boat, look for a local para-canoeing club to get someone to teach you.

Also, venting and a measure of self-pity are perfectly fine, but I've found that it helps to schedule yourself time for it so that it doesn't consume all of your day.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2017, 07:08:35 PM »
Shortly after getting all these replies, I scheduled surgery for 8/24 and then hauled ass at work to make sure I could take adequate time off. Sorry for not responding before now.

I had surgery on 8/24.  I opted for the hamstring graft for the ACL, and they also operated on the meniscus. The surgeon also found built-up cartilage on my kneecap and scraped that off.

Progress thus far:
-Per the advice in this thread, taking PT very seriously. Doing all my stretches religiously 3x per day.
-Able to walk with brace and no crutches.
-Swelling is mostly down, although it's still definitely not normal.
-Going back to work for my first full day tomorrow.

The biggest setback for me thus far has been some severe and unanticipated lower back pain. I have never had back issues, but from what I gather reading online, the hamstring graft obviously caused damage to my hamstring, and now my calf/lower back are over-compensating. I've made lower back stretches part of my PT, but I'm still having pain and much difficulty sleeping. Did anyone else experience this? What did you do?

Again, thanks for all the replies.



jane8

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2017, 09:19:05 PM »
Get the surgery. Find and research doctors and go with one you like. Find and research PT specialists. Also read my story with a grain of salt. I'm an outlier.

I tore my meniscus in my right knee. Was apparently a severe tear. Had surgery. Unbeknownst at the time, the surgeon left behind a piece of cartilage. Knee didn't get better, actually got worse (go figure, there was a piece of cartiledge banging up in there that was not fun). Long story but lost job, got job, lost job, got new job and the insurance issues that go with that. Waited for surgery. Had more drastic surgery. Long recovery.

There is no way to predict. I can't speak to ACL but the meniscus will not get better on its own. The thought of hiking up any sort of incline on a torn meniscus makes me wince. Post surgery do the rehab to a T. It'll probably take longer than you think/want. The unfortunate thing is, while you can control a certain amount of your recovery, sometimes our bodies have their own plans. Take it one step at a time. What you think you'll be able to do 6 weeks post op and reality are two different things. 

Neva6

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2017, 09:52:44 PM »
Shortly after getting all these replies, I scheduled surgery for 8/24 and then hauled ass at work to make sure I could take adequate time off. Sorry for not responding before now.

I had surgery on 8/24.  I opted for the hamstring graft for the ACL, and they also operated on the meniscus. The surgeon also found built-up cartilage on my kneecap and scraped that off.

Progress thus far:
-Per the advice in this thread, taking PT very seriously. Doing all my stretches religiously 3x per day.
-Able to walk with brace and no crutches.
-Swelling is mostly down, although it's still definitely not normal.
-Going back to work for my first full day tomorrow.

The biggest setback for me thus far has been some severe and unanticipated lower back pain. I have never had back issues, but from what I gather reading online, the hamstring graft obviously caused damage to my hamstring, and now my calf/lower back are over-compensating. I've made lower back stretches part of my PT, but I'm still having pain and much difficulty sleeping. Did anyone else experience this? What did you do?

Again, thanks for all the replies.

I'm glad you went ahead with the surgery. I had a very similar experience about 10 years back and was really pissed off and depressed about it. I took a few days and then really concentrated on mentally preparing for surgery and getting back into shape. I took PT super seriously and aggressively pursued all my options for healing. After 6-8 months I was back to 90% or so and now don't have any lasting stability problems.

Sorry I can't help with the back pain as I had a patella graft and didn't have many pain issues. Hang in there! It will be worth it in the end!

GuitarStv

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2017, 07:22:19 AM »
Your body compensates for weakness in odd ways, by attempting to re-route muscles that are being used/movement patterns/etc.  My advice would be to keep up with the PT, and play the waiting game.  Check with your physical therapist, but generally as your whole body begins to heal and strengthen it also tends to self correct as it becomes unnecessary to bypass the (previously) injured areas.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2017, 07:32:00 AM »
Your body compensates for weakness in odd ways, by attempting to re-route muscles that are being used/movement patterns/etc.  My advice would be to keep up with the PT, and play the waiting game.  Check with your physical therapist, but generally as your whole body begins to heal and strengthen it also tends to self correct as it becomes unnecessary to bypass the (previously) injured areas.
Yep. This is what I believe is happening. My injured thigh/quad is comically smaller than my healthy leg, and I can't help but think my lower back is taking on some of that load until my injured leg is healthy. But man, it's very uncomfortable for the time being.


Case

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2017, 07:56:29 AM »
Your body compensates for weakness in odd ways, by attempting to re-route muscles that are being used/movement patterns/etc.  My advice would be to keep up with the PT, and play the waiting game.  Check with your physical therapist, but generally as your whole body begins to heal and strengthen it also tends to self correct as it becomes unnecessary to bypass the (previously) injured areas.
Yep. This is what I believe is happening. My injured thigh/quad is comically smaller than my healthy leg, and I can't help but think my lower back is taking on some of that load until my injured leg is healthy. But man, it's very uncomfortable for the time being.

I had a hamstring graft did not experience this.  I don't remember how long I used crutches to help me walk, but I did... If I had to guess, I'd say a few weeks to a month.  Perhaps you can take the pressure off your back by using crutches.

koshtra

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2017, 08:04:09 AM »
The first thing I recommend for low back pain is long hot baths. (You can throw epsom salts in there if it makes you stay in the bath longer, but they probably don't actually have any effect.) I know climbing in and out of a bath is awkward when the knee is still recovering, but hot water can be pretty miraculous for back pain.

You can also do so-called trigger point work by getting a ball like a raquet ball (or there are some great knobby pet toys) -- lie down on your back and wedge the ball under you and move around till you find the place where the pain seems to live, and let let your weight push down on it. (A massage therapist would do the equivalent thing with thumbs or elbow) do a slow count to five and let up.

Also, on your back, lift a leg like you're going to do a hamstring stretch but first push back against your hands, so that the hamstrings fire: hold that a second or do and *then* do the stretch.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2017, 10:29:19 AM »
I had a hamstring graft did not experience this.  I don't remember how long I used crutches to help me walk, but I did... If I had to guess, I'd say a few weeks to a month.  Perhaps you can take the pressure off your back by using crutches.

This is a good idea. I actually put my brace back to zero degrees flexion and that has relieved a lot of pressure.  Seems like when I bend my knee, things get transferred to my low back/calf; but when it's zero degrees flexion, it's all in my quad/hamstring/fatass. Perhaps I'll use crutches around the house.

The first thing I recommend for low back pain is long hot baths. (You can throw epsom salts in there if it makes you stay in the bath longer, but they probably don't actually have any effect.) I know climbing in and out of a bath is awkward when the knee is still recovering, but hot water can be pretty miraculous for back pain.

You can also do so-called trigger point work by getting a ball like a raquet ball (or there are some great knobby pet toys) -- lie down on your back and wedge the ball under you and move around till you find the place where the pain seems to live, and let let your weight push down on it. (A massage therapist would do the equivalent thing with thumbs or elbow) do a slow count to five and let up.

Also, on your back, lift a leg like you're going to do a hamstring stretch but first push back against your hands, so that the hamstrings fire: hold that a second or do and *then* do the stretch.

I've been using a heating pad and that has helped. Would you recommend a bath over the pad?

Also, I bought a $10 lumbar support for my chair, and that is helping immeasurably. I was basically done for the day by this time yesterday, but with this new support, I'm feeling much, much better and confident I'll make it until after hours here.

Thanks again everybody--this is all improving my outlook.

tthree

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2017, 10:32:48 AM »
I had surgery on 8/24.  I opted for the hamstring graft for the ACL, and they also operated on the meniscus. The surgeon also found built-up cartilage on my kneecap and scraped that off.
Late to the party here, but I am glad you opted for the surgery.  Why did you choose the hamstring graft?

At 17 I tore my meniscus and ACL.  I managed to tear >60% of my meniscus so my knee was essentially jammed at a 135 degree angle.  Once I was admitted to the hospital I did not leave until I had the meniscus damage repaired (ACL replacement was not done at this time).  The recovery was "easy", no brace, crutches for ~1 week, and then it was back to regaining strength and mobility for the second surgery.  For me, this mostly involved biking. 

ACL replacement surgery (patellar graft) was 8 weeks later.  First physio session was in the hospital, and periodic appointments after that, but the majority of the work was done at home.  I was on crutches for  ~2 weeks.  Eight weeks after surgery I started university car-less and was able to transport myself by foot every where I needed to go.

If you are talking about returning to elite athlete form, then the recovery is intense and takes 9 months to a year.  If you are wanting to return to more-active-than-normal-adult levels, you will be there in 3-4 months if you stick to the program.

koshtra

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2017, 11:08:17 AM »
I've been using a heating pad and that has helped. Would you recommend a bath over the pad?

Definitely worth trying, if the pain keeps up. A good long soak is different! You want to convince those paraspinal muscles that they're really truly off-duty.

(It's actually probably the nervous system that needs reassurance, not the muscles. That's just how we talk.)

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2017, 11:20:30 AM »
Late to the party here, but I am glad you opted for the surgery.  Why did you choose the hamstring graft?

Both orthopedic surgeons I saw recommended hamstring graft based on my short and long term goals. I'm not a competitive athlete or anything and just wanted to be able to hike, take long walks, and (God-willing) eventually play basketball in the driveway with my kids.  It was also important to me to get back to work reasonably quickly, and both advised that patellar graft would keep me out for much longer.

Noodle

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2017, 12:02:53 PM »
You are getting lots of good advice about your specific injury. I just wanted to touch on the mental aspect...all the other posters are right that this is frankly a good opportunity to develop your resilience skills (as I am sitting in the middle of a whole city that just had their plans reset for the next couple years). People with more permanent mobility issues than yours work, play sports, have marital relations etc so you can too...this will not be the last time you are dealing with physical infirmity for yourself or your family. It's also a great time to get perspective on disability, which many fully-abled people struggle with. If you can remember what's its like to have put time and effort into daily activities that most people take for granted once you are healed up, you will be way ahead of a lot of people.

Dezrah

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2017, 04:19:36 PM »
I don't remember back pain with my ACL tear (no meniscus damage), but I also freely used my crutches for while.

Discussing with your therapist is a good start, but don't underestimate how much poor ergonomics might be affecting you.  Make sure your chairs have good support, your shoes are sufficiently cushioned, don't slouch when you walk or sit, adjust your driver seat, etc.

My surgery did have one major lasting effect that annoys me to this day.  The surgery jacked up the nerves in my knee.  Now I have a 2"x3" section on my outer shim that has no surface feeling.  I can still feel pressure, but not touch or temperature in that area.  My surgeon was kind of blase (sp?) about it.  He was just like "Yeah, that happens.  Girls seemed to be bothered by it more than guys since they shave."  Thanks for the observation?  Has this happened to anyone else?

GuitarStv

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2017, 07:53:55 AM »
I don't remember back pain with my ACL tear (no meniscus damage), but I also freely used my crutches for while.

Discussing with your therapist is a good start, but don't underestimate how much poor ergonomics might be affecting you.  Make sure your chairs have good support, your shoes are sufficiently cushioned, don't slouch when you walk or sit, adjust your driver seat, etc.

My surgery did have one major lasting effect that annoys me to this day.  The surgery jacked up the nerves in my knee.  Now I have a 2"x3" section on my outer shim that has no surface feeling.  I can still feel pressure, but not touch or temperature in that area.  My surgeon was kind of blase (sp?) about it.  He was just like "Yeah, that happens.  Girls seemed to be bothered by it more than guys since they shave."  Thanks for the observation?  Has this happened to anyone else?

How important is feeling in your shins really?  :P  After about six years of competitive Muay Thai, I've only got very dull feeling of any kind in my shins (pretty much ankle to knee).  I think that it's just a thing that happens to your body after trauma in the area.  I can feel pressure if I'm leaning them against something that's hard or if I bang them really hard, and if I rip the skin on them open there's a tiny amount of sting . . . but that's about it.  It doesn't seem to have caused any other problems.

Sailor Sam

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2017, 11:34:06 PM »
My surgery did have one major lasting effect that annoys me to this day.  The surgery jacked up the nerves in my knee.  Now I have a 2"x3" section on my outer shim that has no surface feeling.  I can still feel pressure, but not touch or temperature in that area.  My surgeon was kind of blase (sp?) about it.  He was just like "Yeah, that happens.  Girls seemed to be bothered by it more than guys since they shave."  Thanks for the observation?  Has this happened to anyone else?

Yes, I have a pretty large numb spot on the outside of my knee. Starting from the scar, and wrapping 180 around the outside and to the back of the knee. And if I run my fingers along my patellar scar, I feel sensation on the outside of my knee, in the numb spot. That part is weird.

The surgeon warned me it would probably happen, and after 2 years I no longer notice. Except when I shave ;)

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2017, 11:13:03 AM »
Update: I'm almost two months post-op.  I've been doing everything to a tee (with a few exceptions here and there). Things were steadily improving until earlier this week, when the interior side of my knee began hurting a lot during my PT and during walking. I'm a bit concerned and hoping this is some minor blip. Any other similar experiences?

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2017, 08:12:04 PM »
It's not so bad! I tore my ACL and had surgery. I waited a full year to have surgery because I wanted to avoid doing that. I tore my ACL at 25, I'm super fit, and even with one year of doing my best to strengthen it and rehab it, I just found that I was concerned about it. My knee always felt insecure and there were things I couldn't do because of my torn ACL.

I had surgery, and honestly it wasn't that bad, at all. It hurts, for sure, but you can get back to what you love. Pro athletes tear ACLs all the time and go back to their profession. I went to PT for about 3-4 months, and my PT was consistently shocked that I was actually doing what he told me, apparently this is unusual. I also stressed to him what I wanted, and what level of activity I expected to reach post rehab, and he worked with me.

I strongly recommend working with surgeons and PT people who work with athletes. They will push you more and help you achieve your goals. I went to three different PT who said I could "never" get my hyperextension back. I found a PT who said, " yeah, you can, if you sleep with books piled on your knee." and I went with him. I have 100% of my hyperextension back and all my other flexibility. It's true that my knee is not quite the same as it was before surgery, but it's pretty damn good.

Go for it!

BDWW

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2017, 08:49:30 PM »
Update: I'm almost two months post-op.  I've been doing everything to a tee (with a few exceptions here and there). Things were steadily improving until earlier this week, when the interior side of my knee began hurting a lot during my PT and during walking. I'm a bit concerned and hoping this is some minor blip. Any other similar experiences?

You probably just worked it a little hard, possibly bursitis of some sort. Pain in the interior is usually that or meniscus injury/inflammation. Did your doctor say anything about your meniscus when he did your acl. It's very common to have injuries to it when your acl goes.

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #42 on: October 24, 2017, 10:50:03 PM »
Hey ReadySet,
I'm quite late to this thread but I'm glad I stumbled upon it.

I really related a lot to your OP. I was 29 just like you, had never had a major injury before, and was feeling in the prime of my life! Then boom, tore my ACL (and partial meniscus) while playing ultimate frisbee one day, in mid-2015.

Funny thing for me, it turns out my knees are super-stable. This meant that even after tearing my ACL, I could still walk and could still pass a Lachman Test. So instead of getting a proper diagnosis, my orthopedist just told me to take it easy, do some general strengthening, keep an eye on it. This continued for 4 months after the injury, I built up my strength again (particularly the quads and glute medius), and all the swelling from the initial injury went away. I thought I was good! Then I tried playing sports again, and within about 15 minutes my knee buckled ... so I knew my ortho had missed something. Finally got a proper diagnosis, which is when the ortho explained that I have abnormally stable knees. But yeah, it was time for surgery.

But anyway, I digress. I wanted to say, I think you made the right decision opting for surgery, and I was glad to see that you got a hamstring graft instead of patellar tendon. My research and some second-hand testimony indicated that a patellar graft can leave the quadriceps of the donor leg permanently atrophied and/or inhibited -- and evidently hamstring tendons are much better at regenerating fully.

For me though (as others have pointed out) the physical challenges of recovery were nothing compared to the mental battlefield. I was "crushed" as you said AFTER my surgery, because I wasn't mentally prepared to be cut off from all the physical activity that I loved, not to mention halfway out-of-my-mind due to narcotics in the first 1-2 weeks, not to mention being largely unable to drive and see friends. Being someone who craves personal contact (and most of us do, in some form) I was pretty starved of mental nourishment for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery.

However, as others noted, I was able to find a good PT who knew her stuff, and I focused all my spare energies on knocking out those reps every day. With some momentum growing due to the gains from PT, I got to experience something that I still find somewhat sacred -- recovering your strength is a little bit like growing younger from some ripe old age, e.g. Benjamin Button-style. I remember the first day that I was officially cleared to walk without crutches -- I found a neighborhood park, brought some alpine trekking poles as canes, and ambled around the track at a speed of probably 0.5 mph. And it felt like absolute magic, because I had spent the past 3 weeks bound to crutches.

And of course, with every new milestone after that -- being able to do real strength training again, being cleared for running, being cleared for cutting and turning -- you get to re-appreciate the wonder of having a working body that can transport you to physical enjoyment.

I suppose, by now, you've gotten to experience a lot of this, given that your surgery was already 2 months ago.
Hope it's been good! I'll get off my lackadaisical soapbox.

As for long-term prognosis though, I did want to touch on that. I related strongly to your feelings of being "crushed" and wondering if your future held any of the same kinds of joys as your past. Well, my advice is to keep focusing on those PT exercises long term, and do any kind of extra credit you can for your body. Be more aware and 'woke' to the state of your joints. Follow some bloggers or YouTubers who give tutorials on mobility, foundational strength, and flexibility. Especially watch out for the damage that working a desk job can do on you (I'm assuming most of us have desk jobs) and take active steps to compensate by lengthening your quads and hip flexors, working on hip extension, thoracic extension, continue strengthening hamstrings, and so on.

^^ And in the meantime, appreciate how much you're going to be able to still enjoy!

As a parting encouragement: today I am about 20 months post-surgery, and I'm probably in the best shape of my life. I play ultimate frisbee regularly and I am one of the fast people on the field -- sprinting, cutting, jumping, etc. I still have to pay attention to my knee, but when I've done my homework (e.g. exercises above) I can use the knee as though I'm still 20 years old.

Hope you're doing well! Feel free to reach out if you wanna discuss your recovery any further.

bluewater

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Re: How to Bounce Back When Life (Torn ACL) Happens
« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2017, 03:32:01 AM »
I had my ACL repaired around the same age and I'm now 40. I was lucky at the time and had a gym and basketball court right where I lived. I was pretty active playing in rec leagues so without a doubt it was a bummer being sidelined for a while. However I took my PT pretty seriously and consequently was at the gym frequently. I wouldn't say I came back at 100% but was significantly stronger from a consistent work out routine and my jump shot and dribbling skills were much improved. I'd just putter around after working out on the court and it really improved my game. Use that mandatory PT to develop a great exercise routine. Good luck!