ACL injury medical advice

Apparently, i have torn my right anterior crucial ligament… playing football, go fig… I have gotten numerous differing opinions on what surgery to have, and whatnot. Has anyone had this surgery… are there any ortho surgeons on board? What should i do… I’m having an MRI and I am currently scheduled for a scoping… which i don’t think will be sufficient (but then, I ain’t no Dr.) should i have the reconsruct? I need to be able to play contact sports. No WAG"s please… thisis my health.

“C’mon, it’s not even tomorrow yet…” - Rupert

If you need a graphic solution, http:\\Piglet

Well, since no one here can see it, all you’re likely to get is WAG. If your health is so important, get another opinion and discuss it with some qualified medical people.

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I’m not an orthopedic surgeon, but know this is a very individualized decision based on the qualifications of the doc, the goals of the patient & the nature of the actual injury.

It is often done arthroscopically - a WAG is that that has been standard of care for about 6 years.

Here are some web sites to review so that you can feel more confident talking to your doc about these issues:

Good luck & I hope you have a swift recovery!

Sue from El Paso

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

I tore my ACL playing HS ball and the biggest thing I regret is not seeing an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in sports medicine right off. The first doctor I saw told me all I needed was 6 weeks in a brace and told me I could go play full contact lacrosse as soon as I got it off. I was only 16 but could see how much muscle mass my thigh had lost. I asked him if I needed physical therapy or a brace; “No” he told me, “go play”. Fucked it up even worse the first day back. Later on, he did prescribe PT, but didn’t tell the therapist that my ACL was completely torn in two. Fucked it up again. Saw a new doctor.

I was getting recruited by Division I schools in two sports as a Jr. and never played for real again. Ask around and go see someone who knows what he’s doing.

I guess majormd posted at the same time as I did and I checked out the links she posted. The surgery looks like what I had done in '86, only they used a cadaver tendon and staples. The scars are a lot better than those from the old techniques; one of my coaches had two 8 inch scars along his knee from his surgery. I guess the post-op rehabilitation has changed though. I wasn’t allowed to put any weight on my knee for 3 months and then had to spend 9 months in PT to build it back up.

I’m glad I had it though. I’ve played full contact club sports and still snow ski without any problems. You just always have to maintain the muscular strength in your leg to protect the joint.

my boyfriend had ACL surgery in May. In addition to the torn ACL, the torn ligament had fused to the bone because of the length of time he sat around doing nothing about it. This complicated the surgery slightly. My advice is not to spend a bunch of time ruminating!

he had the choice of splicing a piece from one of the other ligaments from his knee, or getting a donor ligament, with a slight chance of rejection. He chose the self-splice. Had the surgery at a big university hospital (Univ of Michigan).

Either way, he had a very good recovery. The hospital had him in a Phys therapy program – 3 weeks before to strengthen the leg, a session right after the surgery (same day) and several times a week thereafter for several months. He now uses his “light” brace only occaisionally and hikes, rock climbs etc without feeling impaired. His doctor said he had an excellent recovery. he was EXTREMELY dedicated to the physical therapy program, which I’m sure helps.

Immediately after the surgery there was quite a bit of pain & swelling and he got stir crazy cause he was pretty immobile for about a week. After that, the large brace was an annoyance but he was able to go back to work.
that’s my tale.

I had ACL surgery and meniscus (cartilege) repair in April, 1998. You need to get to a knee specialist ASAP and educate yourself about your options. If you’re in a city with a pro football or hockey or basketball team, you might want to go to their team doctor. There’s a good bulletin board called (get this) Bob’s ACL Board–the address is (sorry, I don’t know how to set up a direct link). You have several options with your surgery–cadaver ligament/tendon or part of one of your own leg tendons (patellar tendon, hamstring, or quadricep tendon). My surgeon used part of my quadriceps tendon, which is not widely used in the U.S. I’m very happy with it–physical therapy seemed to be much easier for me than for people I saw at therapy who used their patellar tendon. Educate yourself and decide what you want and then find a surgeon who prefers that technique. Also, you want a surgeon who does hundreds of these per year (yes, there are docs. out there doing that many–mine does at least 200/year). Find out ahead of time what the rehab protocol is and make sure you’re on board with it. Mine was sort of middle of the road–doing stuff on my own and then formal therapy a week after surgery for 3 months–some people are in physical therapy the day after surgery, others wait weeks (which I think is a bad idea, but that’s just me). I don’t need a brace (thank God) and the knee feels great–I’m back to doing everything I did before. Also, check out the website for the Steadman-Hawkins clinic in Colorado–lots of info. Good luck–your knee will occupy most of your time for the next 9 to 12 months.