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  1. #1
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    ACL reconstruction

    First off, what type of surgery did you guys who've had this end up with and howd you like it?
    It's been a week since my bone-patella-bone surgery and I'm wondering how long it took for you guys to saddle up again?
    I'm 16 years old and would like to do some xc races, possibly a 6 hr, this fall- but I don't know if i should expect to be recovered and rding hard again by then

  2. #2
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    recovery

    a typical total recovery time for the bone-tendon-bone acl graft is 22-26 weeks. this is for full recovery (tissue healing and full muscle strength recovery, etc). this is usually a conservative estimate and you could come back faster. really work hard on getting your ROM back and doing everything your physical therapist suggests. one roadblock might be that when they put the patellar tendon in to replace the acl, it is a tendon, not a ligament. the tendon will go through a remodeling phase in which it will weaken some as it remodels, and then it will get just as strong as your "original" acl. this usually happens around month 4, so don't get discouraged if you have more pain than normal and also don't put any undo stress on your knee.

    sorry for the long post. don't try to go too fast with your rehab and concentrate on strengthening your leg muscles and you should be fine.

  3. #3
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    Being 16, you'll be fine. Like sharkripper said, follow the physical therapy instructions exactly. Restoring range of motion is most important although it can be a painful process early on. I always tried to keep in mind that the therapist was there to guide me and that whatever they told me to do was for the best. After I blew my ACL and especially after the surgery, I had trouble separating the sensation of pain from the thought that I was doing damage to the joint. As long as I had guidance, the pain didn't bother me so much.

    Stick with it, work hard, and you'll be just fine. I had my ACL fixed about 11 years ago and it's still going strong. (I had to have an MRI for a meniscus problem a couple of years ago, so I got to see for myself and get verification from a surgeon that the repair is still doing its job.)

    Racing a 6-hour in the fall might be an awfully ambitious goal. Naturally, it will depend on your progress... everyone is different. Be sure to keep your physical therapist and your doctor in on the loop and get their clearance before you hop back on the bike for any serious riding.
    2007 Cannondale Rush 5

  4. #4
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    yeah, i am having some difficulty differentiating the pain from my fear of doing damage that is spo on.

    as for your guys recovery estimates thats really reassuring- im gonna go do some exercises now

  5. #5
    Outrageously happy
    Reputation: Roeland's Avatar
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    I've had both knees reconstructed. About 10 years ago, my right ACL was reconstructed using the patella method. About 6 years ago, my left ACL was reconstructed using the cadaver method. The injury to my right knee also included a severed PCL, bucket tears on the meniscus and two broken bones. This required two years of physical therapy, but I've had a virtual full recovery. I'm 47 and my surgeon forecast that by 50 I'd need a knee replacement due to onset of arthiritis. None has appeared, so I seem to be OK.

    In each case, I was almost immediately back on the bike. I started with a stationary bike within a week. The knee mobiility machine (no doubt they have given you one) is great, and use it at every opportunity. Also, they probably gave you an electric stimulus machine to keep your muscle mass up. Don't let your knee atrophy! Work as aggressively as possible on range of motion. Do some weights, when the doctors gives you approval. And try yoga. Did absolute wonders for both my knees.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Masher
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    I had a complete ACL tear and Patella replacement surgery in 1999 and my best advice is follow your physical therapy and finish the program. I quit early becasue I felt strong and I experienced significant atrophy in my left thigh muscles. I was 17 when I tore the ligament and I was told that I would feel 100 percent at about 2 months but that I wouldn't be. I ignored this advice and I suffered for it.

    Still, being 25 now, I feel 100 percent. I run 5 miles a day and ride various distances everyday. So take it seriously but don't worry too much. You should be fine.

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