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Thread: PCL Injury?

  1. #1
    EnduroGuy
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    PCL Injury?

    So I just got the word that my little misadventure a few weeks ago has caused a "high grade PCL tear" What do I have to look forward to? Everything I find on the net says surgery is 'controversial" and if surgery is done that it will take 4-12 months of recovery and therapy to return to my old self? I'm 44 and ride 2X a week at a fairly aggressive level and in pretty good shape. I'm kind of freaking because the thought of 4-12 months off my bike is a tough pill to swallow. Any Orthopaedic surgeons out there or previously injured folks that can give me some insight? I see my surgeon tomorrow AM to hear what his thoughts are. Thanks, EnduroGuy A.K.A.- ENDO GUY!

  2. #2
    Perpetually single track
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    Dunno about a PCL....ACL you def. don't need for biking though. Can you bike w/o knee pain and instability? If so, push surgery to the Oct/Nov time frame, when you'd likely be off your bike much more anyways for the winter. If you're not a roadie, maybe you will be for awhile, for part of the recovery.

    And ask the surgeon a TON of questions. A Dr. will usually only tell you the most conservative answer unless you dig deeper.
    The more out of shape you are, the steeper the hill looks.

  3. #3
    EnduroGuy
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    Unfortunately I can't ride at all right now. Hell, walking is tough because I also have other injuries to the joint Inc. a sprained muscle and a bone contusion. Crap, such a low grade endo resulted in some high grade injuries! Lets of questions? ABSOLUTELY! I want to know all I can prior to making any decisions!!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    re: PCL repair

    Quote Originally Posted by enduroguy
    So I just got the word that my little misadventure a few weeks ago has caused a "high grade PCL tear" What do I have to look forward to? Everything I find on the net says surgery is 'controversial" and if surgery is done that it will take 4-12 months of recovery and therapy to return to my old self? I'm 44 and ride 2X a week at a fairly aggressive level and in pretty good shape. I'm kind of freaking because the thought of 4-12 months off my bike is a tough pill to swallow. Any Orthopaedic surgeons out there or previously injured folks that can give me some insight? I see my surgeon tomorrow AM to hear what his thoughts are. Thanks, EnduroGuy A.K.A.- ENDO GUY!
    i tore my PCL (and ACL...and MCL...and...) a few years ago in a head on collision with a car. i had surgery to attend to the immediate trauma but went without repairs to the ligaments for a couple of years. much of my wait was due to dramatically different opinions from various doctors regarding the prognosis for reconstructive surgery. i was definitely able to ride in the interim (in fact it was a big part of my rehab) but the feeling of "looseness" in the knee was pronounced during other activities - running, basketball, etc. i did a LOT of research into knee injuries and surgeries and finally decided to go with a hot shot surgeon-to-the-stars and have my PCL replaced (it was a complete tear). surgery was arthroscopic and over before i knew it.

    every body is different, and so recovery varies among individuals. i really was enthusiastic about rehab and physical therapy, and enjoyed the challenge. i can't remember exactly but i believe that i was back on the bike in under 3 months. my knee will never be "the same" but i'm happy that i went through with the surgery. it was worthwhile for me. hopefully that should tide me over for a few more years!...

    do some research of your own and go from there. there are definite differences of opinion regarding the levels of success to be expected for PCL repair, and a number of choices on methods - grafts, etc. good luck!
    eddie would go.

  5. #5
    well educated dolt
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    Might not be too bad

    Quote Originally Posted by enduroguy
    Unfortunately I can't ride at all right now. Hell, walking is tough because I also have other injuries to the joint Inc. a sprained muscle and a bone contusion. Crap, such a low grade endo resulted in some high grade injuries! Lets of questions? ABSOLUTELY! I want to know all I can prior to making any decisions!!
    I completely tore my PCL a few years ago playing soccer. It is a strange injury. When it happened there was a loud pop and my knee basically buckled. It hurt but I was able to walk it off so to speak and continue playing. After about 10 minutes of walking around and then jogging some I was able to run again and continue playing. (Obviously I didn't know the extents of the injury at this point).

    After the game some of the guys were goofing off juggling the ball. Suprisingly, juggling with a ball caused far more pain than running and I had to bow out. Later than night my knee was very sore and swollen and I had a difficult time with stairs.

    Fortunately the injury occured shortly before christmas break so I had a nice month or so to let the knee recover. After about a week the knee stopped hurting completely diring normal walking. However, when I would stub my toe, it would a cause massive amount of pain. It was odd to say the least (I still hadn't seen the doctor yet).

    My first day back from christmas break I tried playing footbal with my buds. It took one attempted cut to realize that something was really messed up and to schedule an appointment. An MRI later and it was immediately clear that my PCL was completely severed yet fortunately there were no injuries to the rest of the knee. This situation allowed the doctors to use me as a guinea pig to demonstrate exactly what a isolated PCL tear feels like to all the young sports medicine interns.

    I was also told that the surgery wasn't as effective as other types of knee surgeries (such as ACL or MCL repair) and it would require months of complete immobilization. I opted to not have the surgery and went with rehab instead. Rehab isn't too bad (not anywhere near as bad a ahoulder rehab for reference) and is effective quickly. Basically they strengthen your quads and hamstrings which together act to stabilize the knee. Moreover, cycling is often part of the rehab so you might not be of your bike for too long. (Although I would suspect the doctor would rather you not ride off road for a while).

    I have gone about 8 years now without the surgery without too many problems. The only activity that I enjoy that really bothers the knee is skiing. On the other hand snowboarding causes no pian and has become my winter sport of choice these days. Running down hill can be painful too but I hate to run so that isn't an issue with me.

    Keep in mind, my knee injury was completely isolated to the PCL and I was younger at the time (21 or 22) so I am not sure how your respnse will compare to mine.

    -Joe

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