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  1. #1
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    2 torn meniscus and torn ACL

    Well, just found out a a couple weeks back that I had 2 torn minuscus and a torn ACL in my right knee. Both the surgeon and I were surprised that the MRI showed a torn ACL. I didn't have any complaint about a lack of stability, we think I might have hurt it years ago. Long story short I opted for just the meniscus surgery since the recovery time is 4-6 weeks. My doc says I am one of the 10% of the population that can function with a torn ACl. Just had my surgery yesterday. Can't wait to get back on my road bike then the mountain bike. Feeling pretty sore and drugged up at the moment. It was a tough decision, but didn't want to be laid up for a 4 to 6 month recovery process.

    Any stories from my fellow riders on what there success was for a quick recovery?

  2. #2
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    Thought I tore my meniscus a few weeks ago, went to PT, found it it was an IT band, psoas, butt muscle issue. Other "unrelated" symptoms I was having became "related". Went through PT, strengthened, stretched and got cleared this weekend to run again. Ran a couple of miles, MB'd for 9.5 miles and NO pain.

    I know no surgery, but my point is, do your PT, Do it right and your recovery will hopefully be faster.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by db09jku View Post
    Thought I tore my meniscus a few weeks ago, went to PT, found it it was an IT band, psoas, butt muscle issue. Other "unrelated" symptoms I was having became "related". Went through PT, strengthened, stretched and got cleared this weekend to run again. Ran a couple of miles, MB'd for 9.5 miles and NO pain.

    I know no surgery, but my point is, do your PT, Do it right and your recovery will hopefully be faster.
    My initial injury was in October. I took allot of alternative methods to heal. At the end of the day, I needed surgery. Feeling better already. I plan on doing PT even though I was not recommended that I need it.

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    I tore my left ACL skiing a few years ago. I opted for an autograft from my patellar tendon. I was crutching around about 4 days after surgery, road running about a month after surgery. Rock-climbing and riding about 3 months after surgery. Took about a year to get to 100% strength. Since then I've skiied, played soccer, rock-climbed (my drop-knee's have actually gotten better - go figure), ran a trail ultra-marathon, mountain biked, road biked, all with no problems. Left leg felt a bit lazy till I started mixing up activities a bit more, right around the 3-4 year mark. The center of the patellar tendon never filled back in (they took the center third with bone plugs on each side and made a new ACL, set screwed in place) so it feels a little funny to the touch. Superficial sensation near the incision still feels a bit funny, but nothing to worry about. Kneeling discomfort (i.e. direct pressure on a hard floor) is almost gone (although that's hard to tell right now since I think there's some bits of a canary island palm frond stuck in there right now - I hate those things). All-in-all, I'd recommend to anyone active, get that **** fixed and get the recovery over with. I can't imagine a life with only linear motion based activities.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack and coke View Post
    My initial injury was in October. I took allot of alternative methods to heal. At the end of the day, I needed surgery. Feeling better already. I plan on doing PT even though I was not recommended that I need it.
    That has been my approach so far, I was going to give PT a few weeks then go from there, and so far, I'm good. I could still end up having surgery, going to see what happens this season. Riding I have not had any problems, my running was causing the issues. If the worst case happens, and i did tear something, I hope to make it through the fall and then have surgery.

    Oh, and Jack and Coke, switch over to Jack and Coke Zero while you are off and not riding!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by db09jku View Post
    That has been my approach so far, I was going to give PT a few weeks then go from there, and so far, I'm good. I could still end up having surgery, going to see what happens this season. Riding I have not had any problems, my running was causing the issues. If the worst case happens, and i did tear something, I hope to make it through the fall and then have surgery.

    Oh, and Jack and Coke, switch over to Jack and Coke Zero while you are off and not riding!
    That cracks me up. I don't really drink all that often, but when I do, I actually do use coke zero.
    There were a few reasons why I skipped getting the ACL fixed this go around. Once I get a few things taken care of in the job market, I will be able get it fixed. Like I stated earlier. I didn't even know I had torn my ACL. I was functioning just fine. It wasn't until I had an MRI for the injury I suffered in October.

  7. #7
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    I'm lazy to type up another response to a torn acl but here is what was said to another rider asking about what to do or recover from a torn acl and my response. I would have typed and not copy-past but, it's 05:00AM.

    Full ACL tear here myself. Long story short. I tore it back in 08 at boot camp which I didn't not know I tore it nor did I have it looked at so I took my web belt and put it around my knee for three months. Flash forward two years I have a MRI done. The doc say's I have a full tear, partial meniscus tear. I have two options 1) get it fixed and basically sit around to my EAS 2) Med sep out. I chose the second option. Reason I didn't get it fixed was the 12 month wait and honestly it really didn't bother me that much but I did have to be way more careful twisting during high impact stuff or sports. Thus I wear a nice knee brace but after I got home I got back into MTBing and through that and PT my knee I would say is back up to 85% were it used to be. Does it bother me sometimes, yes. The weather has a huge impact on how it feels.
    Yip yip yip nope nope nope

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    I would have just gotten everything repaired. ACL surgery kind of sucks, but to forgo the surgery because you want to ride a bike seems a bit silly to me.

    I got my surgery about 5-6 years ago. The weekend after my surgery, I was on stage playing music. Between the pain and the pills, I was a bit out of it. I played two shows and had to bow out of a third. It was a lousy road trip. The next week I was on a plane to Florida for a soccer tournament. That also sucked. It's tough to fly on a plane with a leg that doesn't bend. Nowadays I don't even think about my knee.

  9. #9
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    Bilateral ACL's here with all the other shite that come with blowing up both knees,16 & 18 months on both. I took my surgens advice completely and did not try to push me knees out side of PT and related excersices for 15months. I didn't ride anything but a stationary bike for 7 months. Every Time I said I feel good he'd say,"that's what the guy said just before he ruptured his reconstruction in a pick up basketball game after 7 months".

    It was a no brainer for me. I had done enough research to know I could be walking again in about 2.5months and thats all I needed to do for now. I also figured that if having an arthritic future was in the mail, I'd might as well get the surgery and at least enjoy full function until it gets here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justin_amador View Post
    I tore my left ACL skiing a few years ago. I opted for an autograft from my patellar tendon. I was crutching around about 4 days after surgery, road running about a month after surgery. Rock-climbing and riding about 3 months after surgery. Took about a year to get to 100% strength. Since then I've skiied, played soccer, rock-climbed (my drop-knee's have actually gotten better - go figure), ran a trail ultra-marathon, mountain biked, road biked, all with no problems. Left leg felt a bit lazy till I started mixing up activities a bit more, right around the 3-4 year mark. The center of the patellar tendon never filled back in (they took the center third with bone plugs on each side and made a new ACL, set screwed in place) so it feels a little funny to the touch. Superficial sensation near the incision still feels a bit funny, but nothing to worry about. Kneeling discomfort (i.e. direct pressure on a hard floor) is almost gone (although that's hard to tell right now since I think there's some bits of a canary island palm frond stuck in there right now - I hate those things). All-in-all, I'd recommend to anyone active, get that **** fixed and get the recovery over with. I can't imagine a life with only linear motion based activities.

    Justin - I tore my ACL on Superbowl Sunday running. I have an appointment on Monday with a new doctor to discuss my options. With the patellar graft, did your knee or other part of your leg feel weak after the surgery? Does it feel weak if you fall on it?

    I'm leaning towards the patellar graft too, even though alot of people seem to push the hamstring. How does the surgery affect yout leg/knee after long days of riding?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsvwx View Post
    Justin - I tore my ACL on Superbowl Sunday running. I have an appointment on Monday with a new doctor to discuss my options. With the patellar graft, did your knee or other part of your leg feel weak after the surgery? Does it feel weak if you fall on it?

    I'm leaning towards the patellar graft too, even though alot of people seem to push the hamstring. How does the surgery affect yout leg/knee after long days of riding?

    OMG, the pain.......probably the worst pain I 've ever felt in my life.

    My leg was unbeleivably sore for the 1st week and was weak for a long time after.

    I'm not kidding, brutal pain, and I've busted a fair bit of stuff in my life.

    The patellar repair is da bomb, btw. I got mine done 21 years ago. The meniscus is mostly gone on one side so stay skinny if you can; being skinny is the only reason I'm not a cripple.

    After surgery I got a black belt and boxed on and off for a few years. I've been mountain biking since 1992. Knee can't take much impact now without 90% of one of the menisci, otherwise I'm pretty damn lucky. I do miss running.... however, enjoying riding more than ever. Rode somewhere near 200 hours last year. Never ever have issues with the knee; doesn't matter how hard I hammer.

    Drew
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  12. #12
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    What are the symptoms of a torn meniscus?

  13. #13
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    lots of things. Pain, intense. lots of swelling. The feeling like something is jammed in your knee. the knee won't fully bend. the knee wont fully straighten. A tear can fold over intermittently which is a rreal nice surprise!

    Drew
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    Both my tears folded over. I didn't skip the ACL surgery so I could ride a bike. I need to pass a medical. I have been given 100% clearance by my orthopedic surgeon. So I am thrilled with my decision for now.

  15. #15
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    Damnation, this thread is bringing up lots of unpleasant memories....

    Jack, what'd they do? Stitch up the tears or clean out the damaged tissue?

    Drew
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru View Post
    Damnation, this thread is bringing up lots of unpleasant memories....

    Jack, what'd they do? Stitch up the tears or clean out the damaged tissue?

    Drew
    They cut out the tears and cleaned it up. My ACL has scarred up against the PCL which is why they think I don't have that feeling like me knee is going to give out. I plan on getting the ACL in the next few years, or if I feel it giving me issues. So far I am 3 weeks out of surgery and I already rode some trails and have been getting around pretty damn good. Just taking it easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    What are the symptoms of a torn meniscus?
    As others have said the symptoms can be rather dramatic with lots of swelling, significant pain and limited motion. Other cases may be more mild with intermittent joint line pain or pain behind knee. Clicking or snapping and even occasional catching and locking as well. Often times worse pain with attempted pivoting or lateral movements.

    ACL injuries are something I deal with daily and I tell patients that If I tore mine at my age that I would try to avoid reconstruction as long as instability was not an issue. You basically have to have an ACL for cutting and pivoting sports like basketball, tennis etc: activities Ive basically quit. You don't need an ACL for most cycling activities.
    Last edited by ashaw; 02-24-2012 at 05:41 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack and coke View Post
    I plan on getting the ACL in the next few years, or if I feel it giving me issues.
    It won't really give you issues....instead, if it lets go you'll tear the bejezus out of the menisci.

    The lack of menisci is the issue that will give you arthritis down the road. In the old days they were big on cutting it out. My problem was self inflicted in part; I tore the ACL in 85 and there was no fix at the time. Even in 88 when I got a clean up like you, the doc said to wait. By 1990 the patellar graft was proven so I got it done. However, I dislocated my knee 5 times between 85 and 90. That is why I have only 10% on one of them.

    I'm 48, and have been really lucky. I've had a few worrying moments 10 years back when I was still boxing. The knee was swollen for nearly 2 years after. I dosed on a lot of Ibuprofen for that entire time. Very rarely now I'll get sudden intermittent pain. It has always gone away right after, even during a ride. The pain will hit for 1 pedal stroke, and then it's gone. On the other hand, running or any other kinds of impact lets me know right away 'don't do that'.

    I know guys who are crippled. It aint pretty. Take really good care of your knee, especially if your ACL isn't 100%. When you are old the cartilage will be the issue, guaranteed.

    Drew
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    ... and if we just ...

    Yes this^^^^^^^ is true, people who lose a lot of meniscus develop arthritis at an extremely accelerated rate. I've seen guys in their 30s who basically need a knee replacement because they had a torn meniscus in the late 80s as a teenager before arthroscopic technology was available. In those days you got a large incision and the whole c-shaped meniscus was cut out and patients did great initially and were able to get back to athletics no problem. The downfall was they lost their natural shock absorber and like tread on a tire the joint cartilage (articular or hyalin cartilage) would wear down thus causing arthritis.
    Thats why in young college and hs athletes who tear their ACL we generally recommend reconstruction. If gross instablility occurs relatively frequently your gonna chew up the meniscus and joint cartilage. The plus side for us is one of the best exercises to optimize knee function is cycling.

  20. #20
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    Well known complication of ACL surgery is premature DJD in the joint.

    If you go for an ACL surgery, opt for a double bundle reconstruction a la Dr. Freddie Fu if midsubstance tear . If avulsion off the condyle opt for a "healing response" surgery a la Dr. Steadman.

    Either way prepare yourself for premature DJD.

    Best thing, dont injure in the first place. Thats why I ski with Don Joy acl braces to protect my knees.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsvwx View Post
    Justin - I tore my ACL on Superbowl Sunday running. I have an appointment on Monday with a new doctor to discuss my options. With the patellar graft, did your knee or other part of your leg feel weak after the surgery? Does it feel weak if you fall on it?

    I'm leaning towards the patellar graft too, even though alot of people seem to push the hamstring. How does the surgery affect yout leg/knee after long days of riding?
    Hamstring is not a good option. Yes, it's less painful and the recovery is easier, but it stretches out over time. It's a nice way to go for people who aren't very active, but if you want the most function from your knee possible, patellar is the way to go. The first surgery was when I was Div. I athlete and had the surgery done by the team Dr., who also repaired knees for the US ski team. The graft removed from the hamstring also doesn't regenerate as well as the patellar graft so you can end up with hamstring problems down the road.

  22. #22
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    I definitely would prefer achilles allograft than hamstring, and while I went with quadriceps on my second ACL reconstruction on my left knee (had patellar first), in retrospect I wish I had gone with achilles. That being said, the knee still functions quite well so I have no strong complaints.
    While it is the choice of a surgeon, if the surgeon suggested hamstring graft for an active athlete, I'd find another surgeon. The "success rate" is misleading because it doesn't measure the looseness that tends to develop with hamstring graft, so while it is technically successful because the ligament is still in tact, if often results in a looser joint than the other options. The hamstring graft is three braided pieces of hamstring, and over time it stretches out to the length of the longest strain of the braid.

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