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  1. #1
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    Badly sprained MCL and possible torn ACL.

    Alright. Who's sprained their MCL and torn their ACL and what did you do to recover? Did you have the ACL repaired and what type of graph to you use? What PT did you do before and after the surgery? Messed my left knee up bad 2 weeks ago. MRIed 2 days ago (took longer than I would have liked) and will see doctor next Tuesday for the "official" results. I want to ride and get this thing back strong. I can bear weight on it with now pain but there is still quite a bit of swelling at the 2 week mark and I can get 90-100% of flexion in the knee.

    Please discuss.


    Sincerely,
    Disgusted in NC

  2. #2
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    MCL sprain no problem, that will heal, just make sure you work on maintaining your range of motion during the healing process (6-8 weeks best case). If the ACL is in fact ruptured you will most likely have to have it reconstructed. There is far more rotational and lateral load on the knee when riding mountain and this won't go well without an ACL. You could be just be a roadie and live without an ACL if you are an older guy (50 plus) and don't care about any sports that require lateral stability. Easy choice on the graft choice as allograft is really the way to fly. No need to give yourself two injuries by harvesting from yourself. Basically if you are young and like mountain get it done and get to PT. Will likely take you 4-6 months to get back to noncompetitive solo sport and 10-12 months to get back to sports (you could crash in like mountain biking or) compete with someone.

  3. #3
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    I blew my knee out about 3 years ago. Tore my ACL and did some meniscus damage. Went ahead and had it reconstructed using a hamstring graft - wouldn't necessarily say that there is an "easy graft choice" as there are pros/cons with whatever choice you go with.

    PT was pretty intense. Several months of really getting after it in the gym. If I recall, I was back on my road bike (with flats) after about 3-4 months. Back on my mountain bike with clipless after about 10 months or so. There were some mental blocks along the way....but you'll certainly get back to where you were before.

    If you have any questions, feel free to drop a line. Best of luck with MRI results.

  4. #4
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    Torn ACL, took about three years before I would trust clipless again. You should be ok with flats within a year. Do the PT as long as your insurance will pay for it then do it at home. I still do knee bends. It still hurts and swells up after eight years.

  5. #5
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    I am mid recovery on a sprained/torn MCL (and some bone bruising) after getting hit by a car on my bike riding home from work. Thankfully not bad enough to require surgery to repair.

    I got on October 15th and finally stopped wearing my knee brace on the 1st (doctor and physical therapists request after 6 weeks). The doctor said I could be back on a road bike again after 2 weeks (while still wearing the brace). I am doing physical therapy 2 days a week with very little weight on leg lifts etc (only 3lbs-5lbs).

    I still have swelling and the doc/pt said that should completely go away hopefully around 8 weeks, but can last up to 12 weeks.

    Regular straight movement is ok, I can run up/down stairs, but any kind of knee twisting like putting a knee out on a corner or turning while walking still produces pain on the MCL and under side of my knee cap. They say this will all get better over time and everything just needs more time to heal up.

    Good luck on the MRI results, hopefully things aren't as serious as originally thought.

    PS - I have been riding clipless on my road bike for the last 3 weeks. That seems to be ok, I am just cautious when un-clipping just in case.

  6. #6
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    I don't understand why it should take 4-6 months to get back to regular 'solo' riding. Sh**! That's like early summer almost! How about lite, easy, sitting in the saddle pedaling type of XC riding on an FS bike? Crap.....I'm 40 but still not that danged patient.

    Update: Saw the Dr yesterday for the MRI results. And here they are....

    HAT TRICK! Yup. Torn MCL, which is healing quite nicely; torn ACL, will require surgery probably early Jan.; and Meniscus tear on the inside and outside, which he said is not unusual for they way I injured it. He said one more week with the brace locked out, which actually make's it stiffer and hurt more, then on to physical training. Back to see him on the 22nd and start scheduling for surgery. Probably will go with the bone-tendon-bone allograph. Bone-tendon-bone seems to be the most natural and strongest healing of all the choices and allograph so I don't have to worry about healing the donor site as well.

    Poop. Guess I'm stranded for awhile...GD this sucks donkey balls!!

  7. #7
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    I'm 52 and tore my acl last may on my dirt bike.I had reconstructive surgery in june.Therapy started 3rd day after surgery,my PT just released me to ride dirt bikes again, been riding MTB for over 2 months.I had the hamstring graft,dr said my patella wasn't in good enough shape and I didn't want some dead guys parts in me.Overall its doing good,therapy has been real good for me,I've lost 20 #.Before surgery I rode a stationary bike,after I did lots of squats,lunges,leg press,step ups and step downs also 20 min on eliptical.

  8. #8
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    I torn my acl about 5 months ago....still under recovery after reconstruction (in june too) and some repairs in the meniscus, I just cant bend the knee completely....it really hurts...I'm 31 and until a few months, had 18 years being a skateboarder, now I have like 4years being a bikerider

    I go to gym every day, ride bicycle every day ( a short ride), on weekends go for longer rides ..downhill...so sometimes I realize the concern I should have, on the other hand riding bike...you can just try to land on any other part but your hurt knee.

    I started riding dirtbikes again and there's where I really get worried, I alreayd ordered a knee brace (don joy armor), my plan is to use it for a long time. I'm just about to sell the dirtbike and wait for a while, get a new one in a few months and in the mean time ride mtb as much as I can..skateboarding is in the past.....surfing will replace it
    Last edited by Memo; 12-03-2009 at 06:39 PM.

  9. #9
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    So here's an update. Had the MRI then saw the DR on 12/1. Hat Trick! Yup...Torn MCL, ACL and Meniscus tears on the inside and outside. He said this was common with the way I injured my knee. That was last week and he told to be in the brace, locked out for another week then start PT. Well I started PT today and man oh man did that feel good!!! Light stuff like leg lifts and shallow squats to build the quads back up and heel raises to strengthen the calves. I've been stretching every muscle I can almost every morning and been to two acupuncture treatments which have helped as well.
    Took myself off of the Advil over a week ago. Been using my compression knee brace plus the brace the Dr. gave me. I tend to respond to homeopathic medicine well so to take the place of the Advil I use Arnica ointment for general pain and discomfort and Bromelain as an anti-inflammatory plus ice...lots of ice.
    I see the Dr. again on 12/22 and will probably schedule surgery for January. Going to go with the cadaver graft as the Dr. is proficient and confident in using this type of graft and it's once less thing to heal on my body.
    After three weeks I've finally resigned myself that this will take a little while to heal and I need to be patient. So I'll just make the best of it and do my PT every morning in anticipation of my first post-op MTB ride!

  10. #10
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    ACL blown out 2 years ago requiring surgery. Had my ACL reconstructed with my patellar tendon and some meniscus cleaned up. I did everything possible the first time around in that I went to PT religiously, continued with PT on my own at the gym following strict guidelines, and did PT at home. I rode my bike with flats, but after about a year I was able to ride clips again.

    I am scheduled for surgery on 12/14 to fix my knee now that the screw has been giving me grief, there is more meniscus damage, scar tissue that needs to be cleaned out, and my ACL has come laxity again so they need to check on it before it's damaged.

    Swimming, cycling, and body weight leg exercises were huge in my rehab. Also RICE as much as possible to keep it going.

    Good luck!
    I take pictures...

  11. #11
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    i am in the same boat as you. blew my acl/mcl on a collegiate level ultimate field. it kills me that i cant ride. and will most likely have surgery.

    stay up!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin_Federline
    i am in the same boat as you. blew my acl/mcl on a collegiate level ultimate field. it kills me that i cant ride. and will most likely have surgery.

    stay up!
    Dude!! I feel your pain!

    Update: After two days of PT the knee and leg are feeling much better and much more stable. Taking the day off as a recovery day. My plan is 2 days of PT (There or home) and 1 day recovery. Again, I see the doc on 12/22 for a check up and schedule surgery. I guess it's good that I picked the winter to do this cause if it would have been in the summer I would have slit my throat by now...

    All in all I'm doing really well. I think this type of injury messes with your head more than anything. Plus I'm getting some pretty hot ladies to hold doors open for me!

  13. #13
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    Torn ACL...went with allograft

    I tore my ACL in November, 2008. Had allograft (cadaver) reconstructive surgery beginning of January. Surgery went perfectly. Started rehab the day after surgery albiet slowly such as leg lifts and bending my knee. Started riding the stationary bike the 3rd day after surgery for 30 minutes with no resistance. Increased the resistance and time weekly.

    I began riding on the road with my clipless pedals one month post surgery. Fire road mountain biking 3 weeks after that (with clipless.) All the whole time, increasing my physical therapy using resistance training for my legs (hamstring curls. step ups, partial squats, wall squats but NEVER LEG EXTENSIONS!!)

    3 months post surgery I was riding my old trails (single track, descents, etc) like before injury. Leg is stronger than ever...doing full squats (275lbs. 5 sets of 5 reps) as well as any other exercise I want for my legs. Running 3-5 miles 2x's a week, etc.

    ACL / knee feels like nothing every happened. Aggressive rehab is the key to quick, strong recovery. It will hurt but you won't hurt yourself. And I can't recommend the allograft enough. I am very pleased with the results.

    Good luck with surgery / recovery.
    Contrary to popular belief, Pomeranians do not hail from Pomerania.

  14. #14
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    Alright. It's been a little over 5 weeks since my injury and the knees is doing very well. Had 108 degrees of flexion 1 week ago. Went to PT yesterday and now have 124 degrees! I can spin on the trainer now and work the Quads, Gluts and Calves to exhaustion with no sharp knee pain. Saw the Ortho Dr. this morning and he said " you're doing great!" Waiting for their office to call a schedule surgery. Will probably be Jan 11th or so. So he's gonna repair/smooth out the meniscus and replace the ACL with a bone/tendon/bone allograft. This is his area of expertise and research. If the Meniscus is repaired VS smoothing out, I'll have to have the knee locked out/braced for 4 weeks so it heals properly. But I can still do PT and full weight bearing, just no bending. After that it's lot's of PT and lot's of looking forward to the spring (April) riding season. Wooo Hoooo!

  15. #15
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    Just make sure you do the excersise your physio gives you.

    I tore my ACL, cartlidge mcl bone bruising etc.. and my first op was on 14th Feb 2003 and on 14th feb 2004 i was in for my second acl reconstruction on the same knee, both ham string graphs from right and left legs.

    Its not easy getting back but keep yourself motivated and youll be fine. I find cycling good for muscle build up as its easier on the joints beeing non impact. obviously not if your jumping but.

  16. #16
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    ACL surgery on July 31st.
    Complications (infection, which everyone seems to get) put me in hospital a week after my outpatient surgery for a 3 day stay (grrr). If Tom Brady can get it, anyone can.
    Went with cadaver as most people who self-harvest have issues down the line.
    Lots and lots of PT (do the work!).
    Been riding since November.
    Don't push it until you get results, a loose knee will tear up all kinds of stuff.
    Moreso, get some rigid isolation- a brace with metal on the sides and ideally geared pivot points that prevent overextension.

  17. #17
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    Completely ruptured the ACL in my right knee 5 years ago playing soccer. My orthopod reviewed and would not reconstruct. Instead, went in, scoped the knee and cleaned out all the muck. Folded the ruptured ACL stump back and attached it to the PCL. Told me to go away and do tons of hamstring rehab as these act in the same manner to stabilise the knee.

    Did 6 months of duradisc rehab on the leg, next MRI showed the ACL had attached itself to the PCL. I had a +1 on the draw test (a test of ACL stability) which my specialist claimed I would have after a full reco anyway and I was off skiing.

    Never had a problem and ski both the southern and northern winters (150+ days) going hard. Same with mtbing. Specialist said to me that I would have to demonstrate knee instability before he would reconstruct..... there are still lots of issues with reco's!

    Good luck!
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  18. #18
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    Mmmmm....Jan. 11th is getting a little closer. Knee still stiff but bends pretty well. Been doing the PT 2-3 days with one day of recovery in between. Been spinning on the trainer and doing a lot of walking. Funny thing is, the knee hurts more on my recovery day than on my PT days, but I know if I push it too many days it gets ornry.

  19. #19
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    My cadaver'd ACL knee always hurts more on days with less activity. The exercise and work keeps it loose, warm and flexible I guess.
    Weather has been a monster. Never understood the correlation between barometric pressure and post--surgical discomfort, but it's becoming clear... swiftly.
    I'm having great results with pain abatement through beer consumption. Two to three Duvel or Chimays and I'm usually feeling no pain.

  20. #20
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    Bad news. Was skiing yesterday and hit an edge and felt some tearing on the outside of my knee. Was dowrn and extremely nauseated and sweaty for 10- 15 minutes. Wierd thing is that my knee did not feel extremely painful any longer, just a slight aching. My wife wanted to flag down ski patrol but I asked her not to and just to wait a little. The nausea went away and we skied back two runs and then rode the gondola down. We were in the outback at keystone when it happened. I was on Teles w/ hammerheads so I just skied wide turns parallel; childsplay. I did have some pain with walking but not much.
    Immediately iced knee on drive home and called a practioner I know. I was not having much swelling at all and pain was minimal . We decided to rest it at home elevate and ice and see how it was doing in the morning.
    This morning knee is not in any real pain only pain I have is when I straighten out the leg while standing on it with some weight. Feels wierd and not super stable. Also pain with palpation of the lateral aspect of knee near where the LCL connects with the fibula.
    We go to the urgent care (they have Mri), there the MD does Lachman test (drawer) and there is not really any movement. There is some slight swelling on the outside of the knee cap but not much. Also some slight laxity in the lateral/medial movement of the lower leg.
    Mri is done and there is a complete tear of the ACL with a avulsion fx of the tibial plateu. Bad news; surgery needed. Good news if any is that there is no disturbance of the meniscus.
    I see the surgeon on Thursday for an eval. We will see.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by petersbike
    Bad news... We will see.
    Hang tough, you'll be back.
    FWIW go cadaver on the ACL replacement. People I've spoken with who self-harvested have residual issues in the area of harvesting.
    You'll be charging Keystone next spring, just be smart, be safe and do your PT.

  22. #22
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    Had my ACL surgery yesterday afternoon. Reconstructed with my very own Patellar tendon. Today I am feeling "good". Yesterday I had a few bouts of nausea. Today though has been good. Nerve block wore off about 10 - 11 am this am . Taking Percocet and Ibuprofen. Saw ortho surgeon at noon and said swelling looks good. I go to PT tomorrow for my first visit.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by petersbike
    Had my ACL surgery yesterday afternoon. Reconstructed with my very own Patellar tendon. Today I am feeling "good". Yesterday I had a few bouts of nausea. Today though has been good. Nerve block wore off about 10 - 11 am this am . Taking Percocet and Ibuprofen. Saw ortho surgeon at noon and said swelling looks good. I go to PT tomorrow for my first visit.
    Take your drugs, don't be a hero.
    Do the PT.
    You'll be fine, maybe better than fine.
    I'm of the belief my new ACL is like a Tommy John for my knee.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by petersbike
    Had my ACL surgery yesterday afternoon. Reconstructed with my very own Patellar tendon. Today I am feeling "good". Yesterday I had a few bouts of nausea. Today though has been good. Nerve block wore off about 10 - 11 am this am . Taking Percocet and Ibuprofen. Saw ortho surgeon at noon and said swelling looks good. I go to PT tomorrow for my first visit.
    Make sure to take your meds before PT cause it is gonna hurt like nobody's business. Also wash them down with some caffeine they kick in quick style LOL. Also if you can handle it take them on a empty stomach more effective that way
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  25. #25
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    Here's an update. Had surgery on Monday, Jan. 11th. What an experience. Dr. said he just smoothed up the meniscus in a couple of spots and then put in the bone/tendon/bone allograft (cadaver) in. Surgery was at 8am, left hospital at 2:30pm. Block wore off by Tuesday afternoon. Yea...that hurt! Never stopped taking the Vicodine so would have probably hurt even worse without. Stopped taking the Vicodine Wednesday morning and went off to my PT.

    Side note: Physical Therapy is my pain med of choice. Nothing has made my knee feel better than some rigorous exercise and lots of stretching. I do PT every morning when I wake up. I can do the same exercises at home that I can do at the Physical Therapist's place.

    Back on course...after PT knee felt really good so started using Advil instead of the Vicodine. Still hurts but it's manageable and the Advil doesn't make me feel loopy like the Vicodine and it allows me to drive. Went to PT again yesterday (Monday) and felt even better. Quads are back on line now and I can walk although the Dr strongly advises protecting it with the brace and/or crutches so I use my best judgment. Got to 100 degrees of flexion as well. (But had to push it) Saw Dr. today and had the stitches removed and more xrays. He said everyone looks really good. Just be careful and protect it and keep doing the PT.

    That's it for now.

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