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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.

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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 07:39 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!
    "Though my life is changing fast,
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    Who I am, is who I want to be
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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
    1.. 2.. 3... 4...........FIFFFFFFF !!!!!!!!!!

  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.

  26. #26
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    ***
    Last edited by mtbikernc69; 02-22-2010 at 07:37 AM.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbikernc69
    Almost forgot! Got some pictures of my new hardware.

    Nice here is mine

    1.. 2.. 3... 4...........FIFFFFFFF !!!!!!!!!!

  28. #28
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    So today is the official 3 week mark from surgery. Leg is getting stronger, but hamstring is still week. Hamstring attachment on front, inside of shin gets sore and tender doing hamstring exercises. Will have to keep working on that steadily. Last Thursday the PT stretched my knee to 125 degrees. Today can get it to 125 degrees "after" having the cold therapy wrap on for 15 minutes without pushing it. Can get to 130 if I push. Worked out good on Sunday along with an hour and half of walking in the snow on the trails. Gluts on my left a** are really sore and the leg is a little sore from pushing it. Will just do some spinning and stretching tomorrow then back to more PT on Wednesday. I can also get 99% full extension. Will see doc in another week for my 1 month eval.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbikernc69
    So today is the official 3 week mark from surgery. Leg is getting stronger, but hamstring is still week. Hamstring attachment on front, inside of shin gets sore and tender doing hamstring exercises. Will have to keep working on that steadily. Last Thursday the PT stretched my knee to 125 degrees. Today can get it to 125 degrees "after" having the cold therapy wrap on for 15 minutes without pushing it. Can get to 130 if I push. Worked out good on Sunday along with an hour and half of walking in the snow on the trails. Gluts on my left a** are really sore and the leg is a little sore from pushing it. Will just do some spinning and stretching tomorrow then back to more PT on Wednesday. I can also get 99% full extension. Will see doc in another week for my 1 month eval.
    Are you using a foam roller for your glutes? It hurts like nobody's business but with time it gets easier. Another thing is some resistance band work . If not doing some ask your PT about the glute bridge and laying on your side , and doing some leg clamps
    1.. 2.. 3... 4...........FIFFFFFFF !!!!!!!!!!

  30. #30
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    Stripes,
    Regarding follow-up surgeries, Depends on a lot of factors. In my case, I blew mine the first time playing soccer getting hit really hard, 6 years later hit again , repaired again, Now 8 years later I did it again playing soccer and will hold of surgery until October so I can ride all summer. I will be riding with my custom brace though. Needless to say soccer is a thing of the past ( I have said this before though) since I want to concentrate on riding. Good luck with your MRI, A couple of words of advice learned the hard way if you need ACL reconstruction;. Keep exercising right up the surgery and try to kick the pain-killers as soon as possible since they slow down recover since they affect your sleep and appetite.

  31. #31
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    Five weeks post op and I've got 145 degrees in the knee. The PT called that full range of motion. My idea of full range of motion is when I can sit my a** on my heel. Strength is getting better. Still hurts some and I've got a little tendinitis on the upper inside of the tibia where the hamstring and several other muscle group tendons attach. See the DR tomorrow.

  32. #32
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    Make sure you get the cooling device that circulates cold water over the knee for first few weeks after surgery.
    Thing is a g-dsend. Amazing.
    http://www.dme-direct.com/donjoy-ice...-1100-don-joy/

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    Go start a thread about your own danged knee!

    HEY!!!! Thread poachers!! Go start your own thread! This one's mine!!

    Thank you.

  34. #34
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    Dude chill the f#*K out.

    BTW How's the knee? Hope you're doing well. Stay strong.

    Walt

  35. #35
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    It must be hurting with that re-action
    1.. 2.. 3... 4...........FIFFFFFFF !!!!!!!!!!

  36. #36
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    NAh . Just trying to throw some gas on the fire.

    I, myself am a little over a full month out (surg on 1/13 ACL recon).
    Flexion is good , Extension is 0-1 degree without effort. Riding the bike for
    30 - 45 minutes and walking the dogs for 1/2 - 1 hour. Working on balance
    with bosu ball and all other exercises with resistance. Still have some pain
    doing single leg squats on total gym. not pain in knee but pain at patellar tendon
    site on tibia. Feel good and core seems to be getting quite strong. We'll see.

  37. #37
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    If you have Netflix check out this dvd
    http://www.collagevideo.com/workout-...ong-knees-5706

    I just a copy and it is pretty good. The best thing about it is the bonus features were you can create your own routine. Pretty simple moves but helpful and the stretching really helps. I'm in a lot of pain due to all the atrophy I have from 3 surgery's in 3 yrs. So I'm going slower then I should be but would rather go slow then to fast. I was told my recovery time is minimum 18 months and I'm only about 7 months into to it. I'm also having a lot of pain from patellar tendon site on tibia just sucks. My stumpjumper is sitting in the garage. They don't won't me riding cause they know me So I get ride the hamster wheel at the gym
    1.. 2.. 3... 4...........FIFFFFFFF !!!!!!!!!!

  38. #38
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    Update. Now at 11 weeks post op from surgery. Knee is getting stronger with less swelling every day. Have some pretty good definition in the knee cap now. Continue to work on PT. Seeing the Physical Therapist once a week and doing other PT on my own. Next Dr.'s visit a week from this coming Tuesday. Will then take over my PT completely on my own. Tired of the $50 co-pays every week. Been riding on the road and the trainer some with no hill climbing for the past 2 weeks. Will start doing longer rides soon. Still getting some pain from the lateral, front of the patella. Guessing that it's just some scar tissue that needs to be broken up or a little tendinitis in the Patella tendon. Dr. said "6 months" before hitting the trails on the MTB. So that would put my first ride at July sometime. Dr. wants to see everything 100% healed up in case of a bad fall or get-off in the woods. I may test it out sooner on an easy/smooth/non-technical trail.

    Things I have learned...having a major injury like this makes you realized a few things:
    1. That when you're 40, you're not 17 N E more.
    2. You heal slower the older you get.
    3. Patience "IS" a virtue.
    4. Medical bills are heinous.
    5. How much sh*t my wife really can put with.
    6. Life is short so enjoy it while it lasts.

    And last but not least...

    7. Everyone heals at they're own rate.

    I sat reading a lot of forums about how "Joe" recovered from ACL surgery in "X" amount of time and was riding his bike on "X" date.

    News flash! Healing is not a competition. By listening to my own body my recovery is happening the way it should. It's a slow process sometimes but I'll be back on the trails and back to 100% very soon. Which is good cause we just finished a sweet new section of trail that I'm dying to ride! Just glad I've been able to get out and do trail work.

    Anyway....carry one. ACL is doing well!

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    Another update. Dr said I could ride in the woods as long as I was careful. Did my first 6 miles on the dirt a little over a week ago (4/11) so that's 3 months post-op. Was a little painful at first but got better. 2nd ride felt even better. 3rd ride just keeps getting better. Fighting the temptation to take to the air but not willing to risk it. Graft should be super strong by this summer. I'm measuring at 142 - 145 degrees of flexion and have had at least 125 degrees since 2nd week post-op. Best advice...keep moving and stretching everything! Hamstrings, calves, quads, inner thighs, etc...Got off the prescribed PT and doing it at home. Wife works for the local college (Davidson) so the gym is free. Knee still feels like it has "Gunk" in it so I'm working on breaking up that scar tissue. I expect I'll be hunky dory by July/August.

    BTW Clipless pedals never gave me a problem with the knee. It's actually more of an ankle movement for me and I don't tend to pull on the up stroke.

    Going for a ride today...later.....

  40. #40
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    Mtbnc69,
    Glad to see your getting out on the mtbike. Sounds like your north of Charlotte. Poplar tent area and that lake up there. I remember those places. Wierd thing is my doc gave me the go ahead to ride the trails after my 1st month visit. I had my reconstruction of ACL on Jan 13th. He told me to just not crash."clean what ride, or walk it". I really just rode outside alittle for that period of time though from month 1 -3 on the road and inside. I still do PT every 2 wks and every day on my own. I live in Colorado and just rode at fruita and Moab this past weekend. Easy stuff. It seems more mental now . I still don't have full flexion. Take care,
    Walt

  41. #41
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    This will be my last report. The knee is fine. Only a little scar on the outside. Can sit on my knees with my heels on my but. Still a little pain but clearing the final bits of scar tissue out. Saw the Dr. for the last time on 8/11/2010. Said results were great, don't call me unless you need me! Saw PT today to get a reassessment and see where there were any muscle weaknesses. And to learn a bunch of agility exercises. Found the weakness! Dang calf muscles are still weak! Been working hard on flexibility, quad, hamstring and glut strength and totally forgot about the calves. Not anymore!

    Anyway..."Life is Good"!

    Later...

  42. #42
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    Moderate to severe MCL/ACL sprain (did it in martial arts). Four months in, I'm back in business. Started riding at one month but I was very weak in the right knee and could not climb at all. Now, I'm pretty much hitting most stuff i hit before the injury. I was contemplating surgery but now I don't think I need it. I pushed the knee almost immediately (my dr. had a nervous tic when i mentioned mtb) and don't regret it. Get active and stay active asap, even if it's only light to moderate road biking.

  43. #43
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    Well, I Jacked up my left knee skiing last week. The Dr said probably not ACL but likely MCL, LCL and miniscus. Pain is on mostly on the inside of the knee, tender on the outside and the back of my knee is very painful as well. Upper calf is tight/painful and so is the lower quad area. There is swelling but not massive. Anyway I did get an MRI on Friday, should have results from radioligist on Wednesday. Then I will make an appointment with a good ortho doc.

    I have a couple of questions:

    1. Has anyone had their knee drained? Dr. said that could improve range of motion.
    2. What about the muscle pain, is that normal?
    3. Did anyone else experience the pain in the back f the knee?
    4. It has only been a week and I am starting to get depressed and I don't have any definitive answers yet.


    Thanks,

    John

  44. #44
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    Thanks Stripes,

    Behind the knee is quite painful not behind the knee cap. Lateral instability and range of motion or lack thereof is what is really bothering me the most. I am hoping the range of motion improves when the fluid is drained out.

    I made great progress with my fitness and weight loss last year and should be training for a 12 hour coming up in June. I was really looking forward to that race as well as organizing clyde rides around SoCal this year. Worst of all is no skiing with my son in the near future. We were supposed to be a Kirkwood this weekend and Brighton/Solitude for a week in February. Hence the depression.

    John

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes
    Surgery is tomorrow. Will have an update after I get less loopy from the meds.

    Unfortunately, with the early spring in California, my allergies have been horrible to the point my throat is sore

    Scared of surgery, but I think that's normal. Update after they upgrade my knee.

    You're going to be fine man, surgery is a breeze. I tore my ACL,MCL 6 months ago. It took about a month before I finally talked to a doc and found out what was going on. I had surgery 3 months ago in November. Since you were doing prehab, it's going to be so much easier to bounce back from.

    I had a donor ACL surgery just like you're doing. Surgery is definitely intimidating but it's really easy. You fall asleep on their bed and wake up with a new knee. My surgery was on Thursday, I was on crutches in a straight leg brace but mostly on the couch all weekend. I never had any pain that 1 of the pain pills didn't take care of, and I was back to taking tylenol within a week (gotta save the codines for recreational use). Monday I saw the surgeon again to change the dressing and Tuesday I was at physical therapy. PT is really basic range of motion stuff for the first month. I would say week 4-5 I was making full pedal circle on the trainer bike.

    3 months post surgery and I walk normal with or without the brace and I ride my road bike but I'm not allowed to stand up out of the saddle. I'm allowed to do low impact running (elliptical). Surgeon said at the end of this month if everything stays on track I'll get to start running and moving sideways. Back on the mtn bike at month 6.

    It seems like a long time, and it is quite awhile but it's really made me realize how much I love riding and how hard it blows not to get to do it. My biggest tip would be do your home exercises for PT.

  46. #46
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    What grade was your mcl sprain? I'm still recovering from a grade 2 mcl sprain & tearing my quadricep where it attaches to the knee also labeled a grade 2 by my ortho. He told me on the mri it looked like I had torn it almost completely through, but he told me it would be better to have it heal naturally without getting scoped.

    It's been about 9 months, and it still bothers me, but I can function. My knee pops alot now & is much loser within the joint. I was injured on the job along with my back & it's been a real nightmare recovering
    Fortune favors the bold-Alexander the great

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    Well glad to hear everything went well, sorry to hear that you may need more meniscus repair.

    My knee is feeling pretty good, I am seriously considering waiting until fall to have surgery, I rode over 100 miles last weekend; the knee got sore in the hammy ligament area but i really don't want to miss out on a riding this summer.

    keep us updated on your recovery

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes
    Thanks everyone. Surgery was yesterday. New ACL is there, a lot of of the medial meniscus that has been removed.

    Doctor and nursing staff were excellent. The pain management time, not so great. Supposedly I had a nerve blocker during the surgery, but it didn't help my knee pain when I woke up.

    Lots of pain meds and water right now. Hopefully, my appetite will come back. I'm also using a CPM to increase the ROM in my knee. Up to 30%, and the doc encouraged me to keep the weight on the kne. I can't do full body,but I can do a little with crunches.

    I might need further meniscus work, but I'll find out on Tuesday.

    The lack of appetite (and im guessing constipation) is from the pain meds. Once you get off those for a day or two you should be good to go. That's a bummer about your meniscus, but as your doc said the sooner you get fixed the sooner you'll be able to ride.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes
    I was able to ride, even with the damage to my knee. I rode up until the Saturday before the surgery.

    I can walk with full weight on my leg as of 3 days ago. Doctor's appointment today (hopefully to get the stitches out), and PT starts tomorrow. I have 60 degrees flexion with the CPM, 40 degrees unassisted. Full extension since I can remember post-surgery.

    For right after the surgery and the first day post-surgery, I don't remember much. I haven't had the greatest time coming out of the anesthesia. I'm only taking percocet at night for sleeping help, and ibuprofen during the day. That ice cooler thingy is the best.

    The pain killers suck, but today is better painwise. I think the percocet as needed is a big help. I'll be taking it on the first day of PT, because everyone has mentioned that's a very good idea.
    My professional recommendation is ganja. Helped with the appetite , sleeping and pain. The ice cooler thingy is a must have.

  50. #50
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    Reading this has been reassuring and frustrating in equal measure.
    I did my ACL at the beginning of October (playing football).
    Hospital examination in A&E didn't reveal much (got some painkillers and a tubular support bandage with some exercises to do ).
    I went to physio privately and made good progress initially but then it plateaued so I went to my GP to be referred for a scan.
    Scan in the middle of December revealed torn ACL but no other damage (yay !).
    Last week I went to see a surgeon but he won't operate right now. I have to go back in 3 months time for a further examination. He was rather negative about the success of the operation and positive about the effects of time and exercise.
    This was a real downer because I'd psyched myself up into needing and having the op.

    Although I've had no knee instability, it hurts too much to run on it and the idea of either playing football or skiing doesn't bear thinking about at the moment.
    Luckily I can still ride pretty well (I was back on the bike, with the physio's blessing, after a month) and I haven't suffered from that.
    If I walk around a lot then I can sometimes get pain and it's worse in colder weather. I've taken to wearing knee warmers even with street clothing.

    So, reassuring because many of you have had succesful outcomes from the surgery.
    Frustrating because I've got to wait (and even then it may not happen).

    I'm 48 and I'd intended still to be playing football in my 50s.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes
    Your doctor: fired. Not sure if I can do that on the UK NHS. I think that there might be some doctor/patient protocols involved.

    Get another doctor. A doctor that doesn't have faith in their own surgery isn't worth it. To be fair to him, I can understand, to some extent, why he might want to wait. I know that it can become "manageable" without surgery.

    What type of football? In the backyard with the kids? Tackle with friends? 5-a-side (what Americans would call "soccer", whatever that is ) on astroturf. No tackle, running quickly*, foot just dug in and Pow ! Pop ! *kin ouch, think I'm going to puke.
    Thanks for the feedback Stripes.
    Best wishes for your recovery
    I hope to be joining you soon.



    * It's relative

  52. #52
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    I haven't had any bone pain. I would bring that up to your doctor

  53. #53
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    Hi Guys,

    didn't think i'd be posting here but saturday took a spill. right foot didn't come out the clip and knee went pop. xray yesterday, MRI this morning. met with UC Davis sports medicine this afternoon and they said my ACL is toast and i tore my meniscus as well. surgery is slated for end of next month. I realize my summer of riding is toast, but what should i expect to be able to do afterwards? how long before i can backpack, walk carrying 50lbs of boxes (part of my job)? i've never had any type of surgery before (i'm 36) and i'm just worried.

    thanks and sorry if this is redundant

  54. #54
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    Thanks for all the tips. i appreciate it. i'm still so bummed about being out for what i think will be all summer. i looked at the paperwork from my dr and it says:

    Meniscus:
    medial meniscus demonstrates a comminuted tear of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus which extends into the body of the medial meniscus. lateral meniscus demonstrates normal signal and morphology without eveidence of intrasubstance degeneration of discrete tear.

    Ligaments: ACL, PCL, MCL and lateral collateral ligament complex demonstrate normal signal and morphology without evidence of sprain or ligamentous laxity. Full-Thickness ACL tear. tehre is a soft tissue edema adjacent to the posterior lateral corner but no obvious injury.

    extensor mechanism: quadriceps and patellar tendors demonstrate normal signal and morphology. normal position of the patella..

    impression:
    comminuted medial meniscal posterior horn tear with full thickness ACL tear and large joint effusion and osseous contusions of the posterior tibial plateua.

    i ride time clipless pedals (atac). they come out pretty easy, but i've known for a while something was up with my knee. i would get sudden bad pain once in a while from just turning my body to one side, and then 10 seconds later it would be completely gone. also if i would sit on the ground and then stand up, my right knee would pop (person next to me could hear it) and while it didn't hurt it felt quite strange. that's been happening for about 6-9 months.

    i did some google searching about the ice cooler thingie. since its just cold water and not ice on your skin does it work as well? right now i can put frozen pea bags, ice, cold packs, etc. directly on my kneee and fasten them to it with ace bandage. seems the colder the better.

    today i can hobble (walk horribly) without the crutches but still can't bend it anymore than i could before. my girlfriend has had her acl and meniscus fixed before and she went with the donor tissue from behind her shin bone. she is suggesting i go the same route but from talking to the doctors they seem to think the donor tissue is less painful and has a faster recovery. i'm not thrilled with the concept of hacking up my leg more to steal tissue as i see it as even more stuff to heal.

    thanks again for the support.

  55. #55
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    Yeah the doc said i need surgery. its scheduled for may 27th. i'm walking again without crutches but not great. i can't quite straighten my knee and i can only bend it about 90*. doesn't really hurt, just feels weird.

    they told me to figure 8 months for 100% but that's just a guess. they recommended the allograph but said they could do whichever procedure i prefer.

    why don't you like direct contact with ice packs to the skin? i find that the colder the better so i usually wrap the ice packs directly to my leg with ace bandage so i can still walk around while icing. do the coolers get as cold as ice packs? do you use them because they last longer? being as it has an external cooler it doesn't look like it would be great for walking around?

    thanks again

  56. #56
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    what brand/model of coolers do you guys like?

  57. #57
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    The cooler I had came from the same rental place as the passive motion leg machine
    I had to use 6+ hours a day for like 3 months. They wrap a plastic circulating dealy
    inside your bandage and leave 2 ports sticking out where you plug the cooler in.
    Definitely get it- most effective pain and swelling relief (wayyy better than pain killers).

    I completely tore my right ACL like 6+ years ago, tore the meniscus and strained the
    MCL and LCL playing my 31st season of soccer. I had a lot of swelling in the days after
    injury and for weeks post autograft surgery (doc drained the hell out of it 3 times (volume
    was ~1/2 of a paper towel tube- dunno how may cc's that is but A LOT!!). I was in a full
    straight leg splint for 2+ weeks... you probably won't be rigged up that way.

    It took me over a year before it felt 90% and two years before I was 100% with full
    flexibility. 6+ years later, it is awesome (I can kick a ball further since all the PT eheheh).
    I can pedal 40+ miles on trails with no problems. Only thing different is when the weather
    changes, I can feel the hardware in there a bit.

    Note: everyone is different in terms of healing, recovery, strength conditioning, etc. so
    hopefully your recovery time will be shorter because you are doing an allograft. Best of
    luck and most importantly, take your time and don't expect too much too quickly. You
    want it to heal properly.

  58. #58
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    thanks for the advice. how much movement did you guys get back before surgery. its been 2 weeks since injury and while i can walk, i still can't bend it past 90 degrees. i can't quite get it straight although it does want to get a little closer to straight now.

  59. #59
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    Today is day ten after my scope. I'm off the Aleeve, off the couch and barely off the crutches; hobbling around the house. ROM is less than 90%. I still can't drive. Riding sounds impossible at this point. Maybe next week.

    A wipeout at the Nevada St DH Championships two months ago left me with a subluxed patella, bone contusion, two medial meniscus tears and a torn ACL.

    The dislocated patella and bone contusion have healed themselves, but the meniscus needed to be trimmed. 25% of my ACL was also removed. I've worked directly with the surgeon for nearly ten years and know the surgery was thorough. I wouldn't want anyone else in there.

    No PT at this time. Knowing me, she feels I'll be doing the same thing at home, although the option is there for me if I can't find the motivation.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader
    Today is day ten after my scope. I'm off the Aleeve, off the couch and barely off the crutches; hobbling around the house. ROM is less than 90%. I still can't drive. Riding sounds impossible at this point. Maybe next week.

    A wipeout at the Nevada St DH Championships two months ago left me with a subluxed patella, bone contusion, two medial meniscus tears and a torn ACL.

    The dislocated patella and bone contusion have healed themselves, but the meniscus needed to be trimmed. 25% of my ACL was also removed. I've worked directly with the surgeon for nearly ten years and know the surgery was thorough. I wouldn't want anyone else in there.

    No PT at this time. Knowing me, she feels I'll be doing the same thing at home, although the option is there for me if I can't find the motivation.
    I'm 9 and 7 months out of bilateral ACL reconstruction and meniscus trimming that I suffered in a DH cash July 2010. All is good, but one leg feels solid and the other is shaky. No more conventional sports for now, but I'm sure I can DH again and plan on it, just not this year.

    Vader, did you have your ACL reconstruction? Do you plan on DHing again or has the crash and everyone got in your head?

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader
    Today is day ten after my scope. I'm off the Aleeve, off the couch and barely off the crutches; hobbling around the house. ROM is less than 90%. I still can't drive. Riding sounds impossible at this point. Maybe next week.

    A wipeout at the Nevada St DH Championships two months ago left me with a subluxed patella, bone contusion, two medial meniscus tears and a torn ACL.

    The dislocated patella and bone contusion have healed themselves, but the meniscus needed to be trimmed. 25% of my ACL was also removed. I've worked directly with the surgeon for nearly ten years and know the surgery was thorough. I wouldn't want anyone else in there.

    No PT at this time. Knowing me, she feels I'll be doing the same thing at home, although the option is there for me if I can't find the motivation.
    I'm 9 and 7 months out of bilateral ACL reconstruction and meniscus trimming that I suffered in a DH cash July 2010. All is good, but one leg feels solid and the other is shakey. No more conventional sports for now, but I'm sure I can DH again and plan on it, just not this year.

    Vader, did you have your ACL reconstruction? Do you plan on DHing again or has the crash and everyone got in your head?

  62. #62
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    Today is day 13 out of surgery. ACL allograft, meniscusectomy, scar tissue removal and a grade III MCL sprain. On day 10 I got my stitches out, was able to hold 110 deg. flexion, so the PTist let me ride the stationary bike. Now I'm riding about 15 mins aday at home. Also plenty, about 9, other exercises I do at home 2 sets/2X/per day. The pain was bad the first 3 days. Now it's nothing at all, hopefully that'll continue. Of course it hurts after excercising daily, but that cooler is, as was mentioned the best thing since sliced bread. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get cleared to use only one crutch, then if all goes well I can ditch the other one in aweek or two. Then when I can walk withiout limping in the brace I can ditch that. Maybe 2 weeks after no crutches. So far all is good, except I won't be riding the Triple Bypass this year, but I will be skiing this winter and I'll ride the Triple next time around. Hopefully this will continue to improve at this pace.
    I have one firm belief about the American political system, God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat P.J. O'Rourke





  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes
    You're really lucky with the pain. I found that it took me about 3 months before my knee didn't get any weird pain (still get pain when stressing it at PT, but that's supposed to happen).

    From personal experience, while the quicker you get better, the more frustrated you'll get. The first four weeks of PT felt like progress. The second four weeks felt like pedaling air because I was doing the same thing over and over again. At week 9, I was cleared to jump and pedal outside with no hills / no dirt / no falling / no traffic. At week 12, cleared to jog, ride easy dirt and not steep hills with easy gears.

    Speaking of pedaling, keep doing that. I pedal now 20-40 minutes daily in addition to whatever daily PT is needed. Icing and knee movement really help with the pain, and later on, the stiffness.

    When did the doc tell you your new ACL is at its weakest? I can't find a common answer. I've heard anything from 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 3-4 months, and 7-8 months. My doc told me 6 weeks, so I believe him for my case
    I still ache after doing my PT every day, but each day it lasts less time. Sometimes it feels like my MCL is "jumping" no pain just a strange "nervy" kind of feeling. So far I totally agree with your take on progress/frustration. I feel and know through measurements that I'm making progress, but both the surgeon and the PTist continue to stress not overdoing it. I feel like I'm going nuts due to boredom. 12 exercises + plus the bike on the trainer, every day is good, but it's boring so I want to do more but....I don't want to ruin what the doc did to fix me up. I can't wait to pedal "for real" but even week 9 is seven weeks away. I pedal about 15-25 minutes/day depends on how the knee feels.
    My doc told me 6 weeks the allograft was at its weakest also. Had to do with the body's bulding of new infrastructure (blood supply, etc.) to the new bone. Obviously the allograft was BTB. So while the bone fits the tunnel tightly and the existing bone is knitting w/ the new bone the lack of blood makes it weak. He said the first couple of days the graft was at its strongest. Decreasing to 6 weeks and then rebuilding. So that's another reason to not overdo it on the PT. Everything is feeling good, but the bone2bone interface is weakening and the next thing you know you've caused the new bone to slip in the tunnel. I'm determined not to ruin what the surgeon did to this knee as frustrating as it is. Whether my other knee is going to last through another ski season is the question. I've put a no-refundable down payment on next seasons pass so besides going nuts from not being able to ride(dirt or road) I have even more incentive to get back to preinjury shape with as few delays as possible.
    I have one firm belief about the American political system, God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat P.J. O'Rourke





  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes
    Also, edubfromktown is right: waay better and more effective than any pain killer.

    My straight leg split had a hinge on it, so it could either be locked at full extension, or locked or loose at any position between 0 and 120 degrees. I *HATED* that thing, but I realize it was for the best at the time.

    Wow, 2 years before full flexibility? I'm almost there now (3 months post-op). What type of autograph did you have?

    That's great you can pedal 40+ miles on trails without any problems. I couldn't do that before the surgery. Did they give you anything special that allowed you to do that?

    His note here is very important. My healing is not your healing is not his healing. It depends on three things: your surgeon, your PT, and ultimately your body.
    The ice circulation cooler dealy RULEZ. To anyone scheduled for ACL surgery: pay for that sucker if you have to

    Straight brace was a real pain for me... had to keep it locked for a couple weeks (sleeping too).

    I had a patellar graft (from the same leg) which takes more recovery time but my ortho dude said it was best for my situation. I know of others who've had hamstring ACL graft and their hamstring was never the same afterward (one of em still plays ice hockey).

    I hit ~90% flexibility at ~1 year and the last 10% took a longggg time. The PT folks could get it there forcibly on occasion but the pain was unreal. I finally told them thanks but I'll do it on my own.

    No bionic implants; I played soccer for 31 years and attribute that to the miles I can spin in one sitting on a bicycle (my record in 1 day is 80+ miles along the foothills of of the Sierra Nevada mountains).

    My new ACL and the PT on it made my leg stronger than it was prior to injuring it. Above all, do the PT by the book and don't get wound up when you can't do things on a self imposed timeline (or based on what you read about others' progress). Worst things for me 3-4 months down the road were walking down stairs and walking in the sand at the beach!

    Ohh yah, one other thing: make sure you slap sunscreen on your knee... scarred skin burns a lot easier.

  65. #65
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    I tore my ACL playing collegiate ultimate frisbee in October of 2010. Planted my right leg to cut to my left and tore completely through the ACL and drove my femur into my tibia, bruising both bones. I didn't want to miss classes, so I waited until Christmas break to get a complete reconstruction w/ a cadaver graft. I'm five months out and have been hitting the xc and dj pretty hard for the past month and a half. My physical therapist told me I had a fast recovery because I did PT 3 times a week between my injury and surgery. I had my first full-speed ulty game last week and the knee felt great.

  66. #66
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    Yesterday was my pre-op appointment. i've been having some worries lately about being out of commission all summer. i talked to the surgeon for quite a while. he'd had the same procedure himself twice in his younger years. he suggested i wait until winter and told me that i should go get back on my bike and have some fun. he said as long as my knee is bent it should be strong and just to be careful about falling- don't stick my foot out to catch myself rather just fall over if i'm gonna bail on my right side. i've ridden the road bike a couple times lately and it feels ok- not 100% but better than i figured it would. i don't play basketball or soccer. i guess part of my decision to wait was that i've finally started feeling pretty good and have good range of motion again. i made an appointment for 2 months from now to see how i feel any maybe set a date for the surgery. its been 6 weeks and my knee is a little swollen still. he said after about another month it will be as good as its going to get w/o surgery. he did recommend the cooler unit and gave me a prescription for one.

    i feel relieved right now and hope making the decision to wait wasn't the wrong one. i just really don't want to kill my summer.

    thanks for all the support guys.

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    Well fellas, looks like I'm joining the party. I was playing basketball on April 22nd. The front of someone else's knee hit the inside of my knee, and then there was pain. The official diagnosis is a torn ACL with severe bone bruising on all surfaces. The MRI showed no meniscus damage, but we won't know for sure until we get in there. At this point, my pain is minimal, unless I twist the wrong way. I have nearly my full range of motion back, but still have some pain when fully bent. I'm scheduled for an allograft on Thursday. I asked for a ligament from an Olympic athlete, but I'd settle for an NFL player. I gotta say I'm not looking forward to the months of rehab, but I want to get this over with. I might just go for a ride today. A last hurrah. Or at least a filler for several months. I'll let you know how the ride goes today and how the surgery goes Thursday. Thanks for sharing your experiences. It helps me to know a little about what to expect.

  68. #68
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    Sorry to hear about that. Reading here made me feel a lot better and i opted to wait til winter so i can still enjoy the summer. Best of luck with your recovery!

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    Man this is blowing my mind reading some of this stuff. I'm sure some will have some strong opinions on this but you guys are sitting around letting your muscles shrink and losing all your flexibility. If your acl is blown don't sit around and let your other supporting muscles, ligaments ect loose strength and flexibilty. Thats all you have supporting you now!

    I'm a former motocross guy who was riding moto 5 days a week. I got my left acl twice and right once.

    My last ACL recon was done on my right leg by Dr. Mark Sanders at Sanders Clinic in Houston TX. The thing I'm having trouble reading is the downtime you guys are having. I was on my road bike two days after tearing my ACL and riding about 30 miles a day everyday a month before my surgury. I was on a stationary bike 24 hours after surgury for 30 minutes to an hour for a week and then back on my road bike for a month. Riding mtb after a month and back on a motocross bike in 3 months.

    No knee braces but an absolute ton of PT and had fun while doing it.

    I swear I'm not spamming for the doc but for anyone that needs acl recon I would look him up. My insurance covered my trip from VA to TX. his website is sandersclinic.net

    Anyone have any questions with my acl recon feel free to ask as I've been there and done that three different ways. Good luck to all you guys who have or will go through this surgury.
    Last edited by asetliff; 06-17-2011 at 01:47 PM.

  70. #70
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    Here is a few pics of my trip down.

    Me and the doc


    Here is the trainer Ed and I checking my flexibility on day two after surgury. I did this also 15 minutes after I woke up from surgury.



    rehab at his clinic on the stationary bike for 30 minutes.


  71. #71
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    It's been eight weeks since I had two meniscus tears cleaned up, and 25% of my ACL removed. My patella that dislocated isn't giving me any problems either. I did my PT at home and was back on the bike three weeks ago. I'm only riding my singlespeed (34X20) and am not doing any extended climbing for the time being even though my knee feels like it was never injured.

    I work with my doc nearly everyday suppling her with implants(see avatar) and it was her advice to skip the formal PT since they would mostly have me on the bike and she knew I would be dillegent with recovery. Other stretches and exercises were/are included in my routine and I almost have my leg back to normal size.

    I'm hoping to both ride and snowboard at Mammoth next weekend for my 41st birthday, but that may be too ambitious.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  72. #72
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    My bike ride on Sunday was excellent. I was slow, but not as slow as I had anticipated after being sidelined for 6 weeks. I had my ACL reconstruction yesterday. While he was in there, he found a tear in my meniscus near the back of my knee. He trimmed it up I was told. Anyway, waking up from anethstesia is a unique experience. I'd never done that before. I also had two pain blocks, a femoral and a sciatic. Those are both still in effect about 26 hours after surgery. It's kind of nice not to be in pain, but my leg feels like it's asleep, and I have no movement above my toes. My doc told me to do some stretching when the block wears off and then put the massive immobilizer brace back on. They wrapped the Polarcare 300 knee cooler right into my brace, so all I had to do was fill it and plug it in. Asetliff, I see your pics, and I envy not only your pain tolerance, but your youth. I suspect since you've gone through this three times and by the way you cranked your knee 15 minutes after waking up that you have a different set of inhibitions than I. I only want to do this once. My doc told me that my graft won't be secure enough for mountain bike riding for 6 months. I think road riding comes sooner, but he doesn't want the graft to be damaged. I'm cool with that, just disappointed that I can't ride my motolite until Christmas. Thanks for your support. I'll let you know how my first post-op check up goes.
    Last edited by coombs; 06-18-2011 at 12:22 PM. Reason: grammar errors

  73. #73
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    Coombs

    It's a long road no matter what procedure or what doc you use I promise. I assure you the last R acl is a lot stronger than my left x2 acl's. I feel like I really had no down time and its good to go until I do something else that would damage a normal person's acl. I don't plan on tearing it again nor do I think the doc's protocall was bad for me. I was back to my office job in one week. Drove a car, walked everywhere ect. Hell if I had long pants on no one would have known I had surgury.

    All of my other acl op's were just like I read on this thread. Lots of braces and sitting around. While I'm not putting those methods down or saying my last is better my first two acl's recons sucked. I couldn't take the sitting in a bed using crutches and knee braces.

    As far as the last recon I used my a third of my left patella tendon (kneecap) for my acl in my right leg.





    Tips I've learned about ACL's

    -If you hear it, feel it pop and then you can barely walk on it. You probably tore your acl.

    -After you feel better and pain subsides have a wife, girlfriend whoever learn a lachman's test http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lachman_test#Lachman_test Do this before you spend bigbucks on a MRI. A completely tore acl should definetely be evident using the test.

    -I loved the donjoy cryo cuffs for icing the knees. Got mine off ebay.

    -If you injured your knee and weeks later walking normal and all of a sudden fall over cause your knee is giving out you probably tore your acl.

    -There is a ton of info online about acl's and arguments for each and every way to fix them. Do your own research and don't be afraid to get a second opinion or drive.

    -ITS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Cycling was rehab for me and now its a passion.

  74. #74
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    Well today i went boating with my girlfried and when we came in i jumped from boat to dock to tie it up. Water was really choppy and i landed and twisted something in my injured knee. Made a huge pop and hurts worse than when i first injured it in april. I sure hope i can walk tomorrow as i really dont want to do surgery in the summer!

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  75. #75
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    I had my first post-op check up yesterday. The nurse practitioner was pleased with the incisions and my range of motion. In fact, she told me to take it easy when I asked her how far I should be able to bend my knee. I've exceeded her 45 degrees. But I still have to wear an immobilizer. And I still can't get my knee wet until the stitches come out next week. I was hoping for a hinged knee brace and shower privilages. She showed me pictures of my surgery. My ACL was a ball of goo sitting in the back of my knee. The grafted ACL was tight and shiny when they were finished. The nurse told me that the type of graft that I have was "press fitted" into the hole they drilled in my tibia, then screwed down with a "bio-absorbabal" screw. It is attached to my femur with a button. Not sure about all the mechanics, but she was concerned about anything that might dislodge, stretch, or loosen the graft. Hence the immobilizer. BTW, my leg looked like a stick of beef jerky when they unwrapped it. Pretty nasty. It's normal today (aside from some swelling and bruising) Anyone else have that? So ,in summary:
    My incisions look great.
    My flexibility is better than expected.
    I'm stuck in an immobilizer brace.
    No shower.
    And my leg looked like a slim jim.
    Pain is bad today too for some reason. I suspect it is disappointment related!
    I'll check in again when I get my sutures out. I'm hoping I'll get permission for many things at that point. Thanks guys!

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by coombs View Post
    I had my first post-op check up yesterday. The nurse practitioner was pleased with the incisions and my range of motion. In fact, she told me to take it easy when I asked her how far I should be able to bend my knee. I've exceeded her 45 degrees. But I still have to wear an immobilizer. And I still can't get my knee wet until the stitches come out next week. I was hoping for a hinged knee brace and shower privilages. She showed me pictures of my surgery. My ACL was a ball of goo sitting in the back of my knee. The grafted ACL was tight and shiny when they were finished. The nurse told me that the type of graft that I have was "press fitted" into the hole they drilled in my tibia, then screwed down with a "bio-absorbabal" screw. It is attached to my femur with a button. Not sure about all the mechanics, but she was concerned about anything that might dislodge, stretch, or loosen the graft. Hence the immobilizer. BTW, my leg looked like a stick of beef jerky when they unwrapped it. Pretty nasty. It's normal today (aside from some swelling and bruising) Anyone else have that? So ,in summary:
    My incisions look great.
    My flexibility is better than expected.
    I'm stuck in an immobilizer brace.
    No shower.
    And my leg looked like a slim jim.
    Pain is bad today too for some reason. I suspect it is disappointment related!
    I'll check in again when I get my sutures out. I'm hoping I'll get permission for many things at that point. Thanks guys!
    Good luck Coombs (and everyone else).
    Fingers crossed here

  77. #77
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    Hey gents,
    I had my 2nd post-op checkup today. My doc said that my graft felt great. He was pleased with the way my knee moved. Now I can shower (don't tell, but I was...), sleep without the knee immoblizer (I hate that thing!), start physical therapy, and my stitches are gone! I still have to wear the immobilizer (I hate that thing!) while I walk for two more weeks. After that, no brace of any kind! Woohoo! I have two weeks to get my knee completely straight (I'm really close) and bent to 125 degrees (not as close) when I go back for the next checkup. So tonight I did some slightly more aggressive stretching. I felt some "crunching" when I extended my foot staight out in from of me (like a quad extension). I'm hoping that's scar tissue waiving the white flag. Hopefully, physical therapy will help my shrinking (near invisible) quad, my lousy flexibility, and my "crunching." Oh yeah, my doc said that I should switch to tylenol from ibuprofen. He said that there are studies that indicate ibuprofen interferes with graft adhesion. Tylenol doesn't help me nearly as much, but I'd much rather eliminate ANY risk that my graft doens't take. Here's to a good night's sleep. Thanks for reading guys. Hang in there. We'll be winning our age division before you know it!

  78. #78
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    I didn't take any pain meds last night. I quit taking oxycodon (I don't like feeling "off"), doc said no ibuprofen, and we were out of Tylenol (go figure). I got about 2 and a half hours sleep, so not a good move on my part. I almost took a couple ibuprofen at about 2am, but my stubborn streak won out. I believe my surgeon lumped all the anti-inflammatory meds together (ibuprofen, advil, and alleve) in his warning about graft adhesion studies. I know that alleve uses naproxen, but it's in the same category. Alleve doesn't seem to help me anyway. I'll have to figure out a new bedtime routine because 2 1/2 hours won't cut it.
    I'll work on my flexibility. It's never been my strong suit, but I've never had someone else's femoral tendon in my knee either. The crunching and popping was a little more pronounced this morning. In fact I heard it once... It's creepy for sure. And Stripes, I agree, ice is the best. I'm quite fond of my polarcare 300 knee wrap. I'll let you know how my 1st physical therapy goes.

  79. #79
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    Yep, stretch those quads. Pelvic tilts are very good. So I'm like almost 10 weeks post op. Full ROM (140 degrees flexion, full extension). Doing among a million other things in PT leg presses and leg curls with weights, that ridiculous looking take a step bend and lift your leg to the back exercise, it's hard to explain but, if you've seen it you know what I mean. Roman chair and a bunch of step exercises. Doc said I can ride the road bike which I've been doing for the last 2.5 weeks. He told me not to clip in, but on the road bike w/ flats it felt like I was going to get thrown off the pedals every bump I het, so I put the clipless back on, really loose, and it feels great to be able to ride. Riding about 25 miles @ a 17 mph pace. The knee is feeling pretty good.
    Next week I see the doc again and I'm going to attempt to get permission to hit some dirt. My fingers are crossed.
    I've been finding that not overdoing the PT is just as important as not "underdoing" it. Keep stretching and work both legs.
    Good luck all.
    I have one firm belief about the American political system, God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat P.J. O'Rourke





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    I had my 1st physical therapy today. It went pretty well, or at least less painfull than I had anticipated. The first 15 minutes were filled with questions about my injury and measurements of my knee. Then we did about 35 minutes of exercises. My therapist kept saying that if there's pain in the exercises/stretches, then my body would resist to protect the injury, and I would do more harm than good. So I was just "uncomfortable" in stead of "in pain" during most of the moves. We finished up with 10 minutes of icing. When my surgeon measured my flexion on Wednesday, I was at 75 degrees. I worked on it a little in the past two days. Before we started therapy today, my PT measured my flexion at 83 degrees. Just before we quit stretching it was 106 degrees. I'm supposed to be at 125 degrees by the 13th. I'd like to be at 140 and scare my doc! I'm hopefull that he will clear me to ride a stationary bike.
    So the switch from ibuprofen to tylenol has been lousy. I gave in and took an oxycodon before bed last night... and had my best nights sleep in weeks. Uuuggghhhh... I guess we'll go that way for a bit more. Take care fellas!

  81. #81
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    Physical Therapy #2 was today. I pushed a little harder. I started at 109 degrees of flexion. I got to 123 degrees before I left, but that was pretty painful. We added some lightly weighted squats on the hip sled and some calf raises to the previous stretches. I had pain near the top of my calf in the back instead of along my incisions in the front (the normal place when I'm stretching). What's that about? So I have 2 degrees to go by next Wednesday (my next doctors visit). Like I said before, I'd like to be well beyond that. I have 2 more PT visits between here and there.
    Different subject. When is you pain the worst? Almost without exception, I wake up around 4 with moderate pain. It's not sharp, but an ache that fills the inside of my knee. In the morning, it's usually pretty stiff. Then somewhere around 10am, it gets going. Thanks again guys!

  82. #82
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    I had a disappointing day of PT. I was only able to get to 124 degrees of flexion. A 1 degree improvement is not enough. I seem to have good days and bad days. Today I was just stiff. I still have the pain in the back of my knee when I really bend it. I'm starting to wonder if I pulled the insertion of my calf somehow. Stripes, I have been doing heel slides. At first, I thought they were just worthless pain, but during my 2nd PT session, I got some really good movement. Maybe that's why the back of my knee hurts... I still have to get to 125 degrees by Wednesday when I see my surgeon. I'd like to be much higher than that. I'm starting to think I need to ice more to reduce inflammation. We'll see how PT goes on Monday.

  83. #83
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    My surgery was on June 16th, so I'm almost a month out. I'll continue to do heel slides and whatever else my surgeon/PT ask me to do. We have never done anything on a ball, but it sounds like it might work well. My PT has a "glider" which is a horizontal hip sled that uses thick rubber bands as resistance. It works well for the most part. We also do alot with me laying on a table having my feet pointed up the wall. I slide my feet up and down the wall, almost like a vertical heel slide.
    I have to confess that I'm not a patient soul. It causes me problems in most areas of life including this. I want to be better now, not in 6 months to a year. I think I fight mental demons as much as physical pain. The pain I can deal with. The demons keep flying around in my head. It's frustrating to be at less that full capacity. I can't play ball, ride my bike, chase my little girls, help my wife with chores around the house. When I didn't have a good improvement at therapy yesterday, I was pretty bummed. So you try to keep your chin up, understand that this takes time, look forward to the next day of progress, and understand that there are folks in the world who have MUCH bigger problems. We live within a couple hours of Joplin, and I can't imagine how hard it is for those families. We pray for them, and try to send aid through our church, but I was frustrated that I couldn't go help clear debris. Anyway...
    I have an idea about my lack of progress. I walked a mile on Thursday, and pushed the girls in our double stroller for a mile on Friday. All this while icing less than normal. In fact, I only iced once on Thursday, and once after PT on Friday. It seems entirely possible that swelling and inflammation gave me some stiffness! So, as I type this, I have a bag of ice on my knee. I was concerned that icing it and then exercising would be tough on my knee. I'll try to ice twice more before bed tonight and several times tomorrow, Monday, etc.
    So in summary:

    1. I'm impatient and expect my knee to make great progress every minute.
    2. I probably push too much (We were out all day today on a family outing, which was nice, but tough on the knee).
    3. I need to ice more!
    4. I'm blessed more than I deserve, and some folks would love to have my problems instead of their own.

    Thanks for the responses Stripes. It sounds like you're doing well! You'll be cooking up and down the switchbacks in no time (I'm jealous).

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    Today, I had good and bad news. I'll start with the bad so we trend in the right direction. One of my incisions is infected. After I got out of the shower last night, I notices a red bump at the edge of my scar. I pushed on it a bit and it exploded with blood and pus . So I put as much triple antibiotic ointment in there as I could. Today, I saw my family doc, and he have me a script for an antibiotic. He didn't seem overly concerned. Hopefully it will clear up and close up.
    The good news is that I've reached my surgeons goals for ROM for my checkup on Wednesday. I'm at 0-128 degrees. I was on my feet all weekend, but I tried to ice as much as possible. Maybe I'll have even more range by Wednesday. Hoping to get stationary bike clearance!

  85. #85
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    I had my latest check-up yesterday. I doctor was called in for emergency surgery, so I saw the nurse practitioner. She was pleased with my range of motion and my level of pain. She said that my incision was most likely infected because of an internal stitch that would have dissolved, but poked out instead. She wasn't too concerned, so now I'm not either. No more leg immobilizer of crutches. She gave me several new PT exercises and permission to spin on a stationary bike! It's been 4 weeks to the day since my ACL reconstruction. She said they might be able to clear me to ride on the road in two more weeks. I'm supposed to go back again in 3 weeks, so that will probably be when I'm cleared. Stripes, I have a tibial tendon allograft. I finally feel like I have my knee back. It's still weak, but I have stability. I don't feel like it's about to blow apart at any minute. Better days are coming!

  86. #86
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    Ten and a half weeks after two meniscus tear clean ups, and 25% of my ACL removed, plus a subluxed patella and major bone contusions, I placed 4th in a super d race last weekend. My only pain is the lateral patellar tendon, which I think is due to muscle atrophy. I also have about 600 mostly flat miles on my SS (34X20)
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  87. #87
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    Wow I sure am having different results than you guys. Maybe it's because I had a hamstring graft? What method did you guys use? (I had ACL reconstruction using my own hamstring)

    Tuesday was 4 weeks out for me. I can walk fine, but me knee is still slightly bent when I walk, so my PT has advised me to STILL be on crutches until I can walk with the knee straight. Apparently walking with your knee bent can develop bad habits, poor muscle balance, etc.

    I can get full extension and probably about 115 degrees flexion. I'm doing the stationary bike 10 mins a day, no resistance. Rehab is monotonous and boring but makes a huge difference, especially at this stage. I started pushing a little harder for a few days and saw results practically instantly.

  88. #88
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    i tore my acl 7 years ago snowboarding and fully severed it 3 years ago playing football along with damaging my mcl and cartilage. had the hamstring graft and i was mtb riding within about 4 months of having the surgery (stupid risk). my leg healed up very well and cycling is the best exercise post surgery for removing the swelling and pumping blood through the joint. do yourself a favor and go see an osteopath, they are hands down the best at working out the kinks post surgery. i have my knee scar tissue stripped out every 6-8 months and it helps alot. you would be surprised how much can be affected once they start hacking around in there, from back pain to foot pain that you wouldnt think would be related. all the best to you on your recovery!

  89. #89
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    I've been spinning on my trainer and at PT for the last 2 days. It usually takes one revelution to loosen up, which isn't bad. I went for 15 minutes last night with no problems. In fact, my knee felt really good for about 20 minutes after that. I've developed a scary catch/click/pop when I start to bend my knee from straight with pressure. Like if I'm standing with my knee locked and push off, I feel a small pop. It doesn't happen going from a bent position to straight. I'm a little nervous about that. My mind races with thoughts of a chunk of meniscus getting caught... Anyway, I still have good days and bad in terms of pain. I've been on my feet alot at work, which makes my knee puff up like a beach ball. Ice is so good. I can go up stairs without problems. Going down is quite painful. Hang in there ak57. I've enjoyed your recovery blog.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by coombs View Post
    I've been spinning on my trainer and at PT for the last 2 days. It usually takes one revelution to loosen up, which isn't bad. I went for 15 minutes last night with no problems. In fact, my knee felt really good for about 20 minutes after that. I've developed a scary catch/click/pop when I start to bend my knee from straight with pressure. Like if I'm standing with my knee locked and push off, I feel a small pop. It doesn't happen going from a bent position to straight. I'm a little nervous about that. My mind races with thoughts of a chunk of meniscus getting caught... Anyway, I still have good days and bad in terms of pain. I've been on my feet alot at work, which makes my knee puff up like a beach ball. Ice is so good. I can go up stairs without problems. Going down is quite painful. Hang in there ak57. I've enjoyed your recovery blog.
    i had that too, turns out it was just the kneecap having healed too tight and it clicks or pops when you bend under pressure. for me it was when i started running again. get a massage therapist or osteopath to look at it and stretch it out for you.

  91. #91
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    I've had another frustrating week of PT. I pushed to 134 degrees yesterday. It was painful, and I paid for it today. Puffy, stiff and tender. I've also developed a sharp pain underneath the top of my long incision when I straighten my knee (with force). I still pop, or get stuck straight occasionally, but not nearly as bad as before. On the positive side, the pain in the back of my knee is all but gone. My quad is also getting stronger. I can go up AND down stairs with little discomfort. Spinning on the trainer is easy, and it usually makes my knee feel better. I'm hopeful that my surgeon will clear me to ride on the road next Wednesday, but I'm supposed to have full range of motion by then. I've gained 6 degrees in two weeks. Not good! Any suggestions?

  92. #92
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    PT was much better today. My knee wasn't as stiff or sore. It's always funny to me how my knee changes from day to day. I havne't figured out the conditions that make a good or bad day. Anyway, I made it up to 137 degrees today, without nearly as much pain and pushing. I might have been able to get more, but didn't push it. Stripes, thanks for the encouragement. I'll get there. I just want to be there now. I had a posterior tibialis tendon allograft. The pain was at the top of the "insertion" incision. It wasn't as bad today as Wednesday, but it was still there. If I keep my leg straight for a while during stretching, it doens't hurt. It's when I bend it and then try to straighted it that I get the pain. I need one more good PT day on Monday before my checkup on Wednesday. C'mon 140+!

  93. #93
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    I saw my surgeon today. It went very well. He said more than once that my knee looked "great." I was pretty pumped after the check-up. He told me that I could ride my bike again as long as I was careful. In fact, he said that biking is a great thing for my knee right now as long as I don't crash. He didn't spell it out, but I can't ride my mountain bike on a trail because of the increased risk. He said no running for another 6 weeks (not a problem for me). He was pleased with my flexion and extension! I hit 141 degrees at PT on Monday. So things are good. He also gave me a new PT script. OK, something gross... Last Saturday, I had puss coming out of that same incision again. So I started in with the triple antibiotic ointment. Then Monday night I dug a stitch out of the hole. There was a huge knot and about another half inch of "thread" left in my knee. Yuck! It never dissolved. My surgeon said today that this situation is pretty common. The good news is my incision looks alot better. So tomorrow you might catch me cruising around town on my bike!

  94. #94
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    Last night, I went out for a spin on my motolite. I just putted around town to the college campus. I wasn't out for long, but it was great to pedal a moving bike again! I'm 8 weeks out from surgery. At PT, I did squats, step ups, and some other crazy deal where I smash a ball against the wall behind my knee. It was easy until I got that sharp pain in the front of my knee (under that same incision). But all in all, my knee has felt pretty good. Looking forward to a ride tomorrow.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by coombs View Post
    Last night, I went out for a spin on my motolite. I just putted around town to the college campus. I wasn't out for long, but it was great to pedal a moving bike again! I'm 8 weeks out from surgery. At PT, I did squats, step ups, and some other crazy deal where I smash a ball against the wall behind my knee. It was easy until I got that sharp pain in the front of my knee (under that same incision). But all in all, my knee has felt pretty good. Looking forward to a ride tomorrow.
    I know EXACTLY how you feel! Went on my first ride last night since knee surgery 7 weeks ago. Going out riding is 1000x better than riding the stationary, even though I probably only went 3 miles. Got a few light trails in too.

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    Been out on a few rides. Just pedaling around town. No dirt yet. But it feels good to feel the wind and breathe fresh air. I even stood up and pedaled a bit. No sprints, just moving around on the bike. ak57, it's good to hear your back in the saddle as well. Keep turning the cranks.

  97. #97
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    So I was in therapy yesterday doing squats with the big exercise ball behind me. I've done them several times before with no problems. Not sure why, but I felt something "rip" in the front of my knee just to the inside of my kneecap. It was right between two of my short incisions. So I quit doing the squats. It didn't hurt when I was stretching or doing range of motion moves on the glider. It only hurt when I engaged my quad and only at a specific spot in my range of motion. My PT thought it might be facia connected to my quadriceps tendon or scar tissue. He wasn't concerned about my graft at all (phew...). So today it feels pretty good. I rode my bike for a few miles in the morning and in the afternoon. Hopefully, PT on Monday will be better. Anyone had similar? Thanks.

  98. #98
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    At PT on Monday, everything went well. I went slow, but I was able to do all my exercises, including the one that gave me trouble last time. I was encouraged. Hopefully, it was just scar tissue breaking up in a healthy way. I haven't used aspercreme yet. I may look into that. Thanks.

  99. #99
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    Yesterday was my 1 yr anniversary of my first ACL reconstruction (right knee) and so far I think it has been a success. Hardly any problems, I don't think about my knee being injured. It will be 1yr on the left in 60 days and I don't have the same feelings about it, but it works. I'm hoping with some more time it will continue to improve.

  100. #100
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    Sadly, I've had a pretty significant setback, I'm afraid. On Friday, I was standing in my classroom (I'm a high school teacher). I wasn't moving, pivoting, jumping, or even walking. I was just standing in the front of my room. It felt like I got a cramp lateral to my kneecap. it intensified up my quad and down my calf to the point where I couldn't stand. The pain was most intense on my femoral head I think. So I limped around the rest of the day, worried. This morning, my knee was as swolled as it's been in 2 months. The inside of my knee was very tender to the touch. I assume that's because of the fluid that filled the inside of my knee. Sometimes I get intense pain when my leg is straight and there is any pressure on the outside of my leg. It's the worst post-surgery pain I've had. So I'm scared that I've torn or disconnected my graft. I've also thought that I somehow have a fracture somewhere. Or possibly, I've just torn some significant scar tissue and will be fine in a few days. Monday night, I rode my bike for about 6 miles. I had PT on Tuesday and Thursday. I was a little stiff, but did well. So I have no clue why this happened. I have to wait until Monday morning to call my surgeon. Am I overreacting?

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