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  1. #1
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    Torn ACL Question

    Hi, a little over two weeks ago I went off a jump and my foot slipped off the pedal resulting in me landing the jump on my leg and twisting my knee. i wore a big brace and used crutches untill a couple days ago when i decided to get rid of the crutches and big brace and just put on a small knee brace and walk around, which i could without any pain. i thought i just bruised it and the swelling hasnt subsided yet but anyway i got an MRI yesterday just to see and I guess i tore my ACL and now have to get surgery on my left knee. My question is for those of you who have gotten surgery for a torn ACL is How long did it take you after surgery until you were riding on the bike normally again? I just turned 18 so i hope my young age helps the recovery time. thanks

  2. #2
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    Well, good news is the longterm prognosis for ACL repair is quite good. Actually, you'll have full use and far less complication than say, a meniscectomy. The bad news is the recovery is MUCH longer after surgery. I think I was off of my knee for like 8 months or so when I had my ACL repaired as a teenager. Take the Physical Therapy seriously. It helps.
    Good Luck!

  3. #3
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    I run a men's adult soccer team and torn acl's are practically an every day thing for us or at least those within our league. Nowadays the surgery is less invasive than it was years ago and the recovery time is about half of what it used to be. You'll have to wear a soft brace for quite awhile and you won't be running any windsprints for a few months but with good physical therapy, like mentioned before, you'll be back on the trail in no time.

    Soccerdude

  4. #4
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    i tore both ACL's in a dirtbike accident when i was 17, had surgery on the right and then surgery on the left a month later. recovery time is a lot less than it used to be, but it still takes some time. you'll stary physical therapy before surgery, and it's really important to keep leg muscles strong before and after surgery. it'll probably be several months minimum before you're allowed to mountain bike, especially with the risk of falling or landing funny and re-injuring it. the good thing is, that light stationary biking is an important part of physical therapy so you may be able to do some light road biking before you can hit the rough stuff. it took me a long time to recover, and still can't move like i used to before the crash. the good thing is that once you recover, biking is one of the least stressful exercises for your knees, and it's actually the reason i started biking. my biggest advice is to take it easy, ice your knee after exercising/therapy, stretch a lot (following therapist's advice, certain stretches can do damage initially), and most of all, keep your exercise up ASAP after surgery and watch what you eat, knee surgery can make you gain weight pretty quick because of the lack of activity.

  5. #5
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    I tore my ACL, MCL and fractured my tibial plateau. I was riding motocross 90 days after surgery. The surgeon I went to does over 200 ACLs a year and regularly repeats the results that I had. No braces, no crutches and walking the day of surgery.

    Most docs only do about 20 a year. Make sure whoever does yours have a lot under their belt. Do not let them use cadaver parts on you.

    Check out some of the post op videos.
    http://www.sandersclinic.net/postsurgery/index.html

    You can go here and read for days about other people that have had great results.
    http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=48

    You can post questions at the above forum and get feedback from other guys like me. It is a unique scenario because you can't generally access a doctor's patients to find out the real deal. I almost made a huge mistake and let the wrong guy do mine. I would have been screwed. Almost forgot, his name is Dr Mark Sanders. His cell number is in his posts on the forum and the hospital will pay for you and a family member to fly to Houston and put you up in a hotel. He takes most insurance. He is the real deal and a great guy to boot.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMK331
    I tore my ACL, MCL and fractured my tibial plateau. I was riding motocross 90 days after surgery. The surgeon I went to does over 200 ACLs a year and regularly repeats the results that I had. No braces, no crutches and walking the day of surgery.

    Most docs only do about 20 a year. Make sure whoever does yours have a lot under their belt. Do not let them use cadaver parts on you.

    Check out some of the post op videos.
    http://www.sandersclinic.net/postsurgery/index.html

    You can go here and read for days about other people that have had great results.
    http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=48

    You can post questions at the above forum and get feedback from other guys like me. It is a unique scenario because you can't generally access a doctor's patients to find out the real deal. I almost made a huge mistake and let the wrong guy do mine. I would have been screwed. Almost forgot, his name is Dr Mark Sanders. His cell number is in his posts on the forum and the hospital will pay for you and a family member to fly to Houston and put you up in a hotel. He takes most insurance. He is the real deal and a great guy to boot.

    Good luck!

    great advice, definitely do some research on doctors. my mom is a nurse so she knew immediately which doctor i should let slice me up. i was told that the general rule is no significant weight on your knee if it's bending 90+ degrees for a year, but less than 90 degrees, you can do whatever feels ok to you. you should be able to walk very soon after, even to your car post-op (carefully, besides you'll prob still be somewhat out of it from surgery), and jog comfortably in a month or less, been 5 years so i can't remember exactly when.

  7. #7
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    thanks for the posts guys. I can walk fine now and even jog around a bit. I am even able to ride my kona stinky on my street which is all downhill and I live at the bottom so I have been climbing to the top without pain in the granny gear and riding back down. only problem is that i cannot stand up on the pedals.

    that clinic in Houston looks good but I live on Maui and will have to settle with the doctors here. I will do some research on my surgeon and will try to get the best. I am scheduled for surgery this Friday after school. I hope I am not off the bike for months because I just started to get comfortable jumping with my brand new stinky and brand new gear

  8. #8
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    after school, you're going to be hungry and thirsty, can't eat or drink for 24 hours before the surgery, assuming you're going under during. it's good that your knee is strong enough for some climbing, it'll help recovering after surgery. i know that as soon i could kick my dirtbike over i was riding that still, with both ACL's torn completely. the "other stuff" in your knee will support it to a certain degree, but not near as well as the ACL supports, which is why it feels so strong now, because the "other stuff" is getting better. unfortunately, since the ACL doesn't heal it's really easy to stretch and tear all those little parts that currently make it feel semi-strong. you should be able to start light biking pretty quickly after surgery, but heavy biking will depend on your individual recovery. good luck!

  9. #9
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    I tore both of my ACLs at different time with motocross. 4 month was the length of time till I started back racing. The 2nd one I was cleared after 3 month, but I waited another month before I rode. Make sure you are very thorough with your rehab / physical therapy. You are only 18 you have many years of riding ahead of you so make sure you get the knee strengthen back good before you ride off-road again. Oh yeah one more thing. The right knee Wasn't rehabbed properly and now I've had problems with it 10 years later I have no ACL in my right knee presently. I had an operation on it in November and the doctor said. "I didn't have one.????" I ask him what happened to it he said he didn't know. Here is the story of my knee surgery in November. Just scroll to the bottom of the page. Click the archive for 2007 and scroll down to the post on november 2nd and that starts the ordeal I have been having. My case is a freak accident. So don't worry about it.
    http://grayhawkgrinders.blogspot.com/search
    Last edited by speed metal; 03-10-2008 at 04:47 PM.
    Comas aren't as fun as riding your bike, so wear a Helmet.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by speed metal
    I tore both of my ACLs at different time with motocross. 4 month was the length of time till I started back racing. The 2nd one I was cleared after 3 month, but I waited another month before I rode. Make sure you are very thorough with your rehab / physical therapy. You are only 18 you have many years of riding ahead of you so make sure you get the knee strengthen back good before you ride off-road again. Oh yeah one more thing. The right knee Wasn't rehabbed properly and now I've had problems with it 10 years later I have no ACL in my right knee presently. I had an operation on it in November and the doctor said. "I didn't have one.????" I ask him what happened to it he said he didn't know. Here is the story of my knee surgery in November. Just scroll to the bottom of the page. Click the archive for 2007 and scroll down to the post on november 2nd and that starts the ordeal I have been having. My case is a freak accident. So don't worry about it.
    http://grayhawkgrinders.blogspot.com/search
    Jesus, you had a bit a bad luck there with the no ACL thing and getting staph from the surgery. i guess i should stop crying about my knee and get over the fact that I wont be able to ride a few months after surgery on Friday. Spring break starts when I get my surgery basically and we have 2 weeks off from school for spring break but I think it is good because I will get to rest my knee and not worry about walking around school for two weeks. even though all I was gonna do was ride for 2 weeks stupid president's day.

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