ACL tear- what's my future?

I injured my knee skiing on Feb 6th. MRI showed a complete ACL tear and some bone bruising, everything else is aok. I've been physioing, going to massage and riding the trainer 1-1.5 hrs/day. Felt pretty good and thought that I should be able to get by with no surgery if I used a brace.

I went skiing 6 wks after injury, definitely not up to my usual self but no incidents. I then went dirt biking (trail) 2 weeks later and blew my knee out on a basic "push off over the log" movement. Nothing dramatic. Hurt like hell this time and I'm out of action for a few weeks again.

I'm not sure if this is just the way it'll keep going? In normal activity, my knee doesn't give out, it's just really stiff still. I did use a CTI OTS brace for skiing (which felt good) and a new CTI custom brace when I was riding (didn't like as much). Not sure if the custom brace just didn't work or if a brace isn't going to be the solution anyway?

Question- I've heard my age (48) and gender makes me not an ideal candidate for surgery. Anyone know someone my age or age/gender who is very active (and likes challenging trails) who either could make do without an ACL or had successful surgery?

Appreciate hearing your input and, Dr. Sanders too, if you're able to respond.

My bother in law had the same injury last year, tore his ACL from a nasty fall off his 450

his age is 48 or 49. was told that he could have the surgery done or elect not to do it. realy didn't matter when you get it done the damage doesn't get any worse..

so whith that in mind, he never had the surgery and just went about life. now a year later he has no pain has no real issues with it. He told me he just took it easy, worked out / rode a stationary bike and did little weight work out. He belives it is or was just a way to get money out of him and the insurance company.. I would take it easy for a while, ride a bike for excerise, and see how it feels.. just my 2 cents. Now I have never had this injury, but I have broken more bones than allowed. jaw x 2 ankle, wrist, Back, ribs, had cast on both legs, arm, and several fingers & toes.

when I did mine all was good after a few months other than my knee would try to go backwards out of the blue.. if that would not have been a issue i would not have had it done.. But it was a big issue if I planed on being active..

What a 48 year old lacks in healing potential compared to the teenager, he/she more than makes up for in mental toughness and maturity.

I perfer a 48 year old patient for ACLR to a 16 year old, seven days per week. Age is absolutely no barrier. The question is whether or not you plan to maintain an active lfestyle. If not, you don't need the work done at all.

I have no intention of slowing down, if I can help it. I ride +50 times/yr, ski as much as I can and windsurf a bit. I'm willing to give up Hare Scramble racing and steep skiing but want to keep riding challenging stuff and skiing trees/bumps.

The stuff I've read about older population ACL surgery is different from the younger population stuff. Can I ask for general suggestions for which type of graft, and where it comes from, for me (48F)? I don't believe anyone does opposite leg here in BC, Canada. I do think most do autografts. It's tough to even get in for surgery anyway so my expectations as to what I want may make it an even tougher/longer wait so getting picky, if it's really not a big difference, for older me, might be a bad thing.

The recovery is twice as fast when the autograft is harvested form the opposite leg. The benefit is particularly stong in the 40 somethings.

Unfortunately, I have had the opportunity to experience active life with an ACL repair (middle patellar tendon graft) '96, and the other ACL not repaired (injured in '02). Didn't have repair done on second knee mainly due to the knowledge of the commitment to rehab required for optimum outcome - too busy at work and surgery didn't fit in. I did re-establish weight training and functional training asap after injury. The unrepaired knee has done better than I expected - but there is absolutely no question that my best knee is the repaired knee - it is very solid and I have a ton of confidence in it. The unrepaired knee is reasonably solid but my confidence in it is around 70% at best. Overall, I can do about 90% of the things I used to do. Alpine skiing is no problem but telemarking can be a little freaky at times. Riding is no problem unless I have to dab a foot out - especially if the weight of the bike is falling to the bad knee side (mostly when hill climbing). If I stay on the track, I rarely have a problem. I also wear a CTI2 on the repaired knee and a Don Joy OTS on the unrepaired knee. The things that I feel would get me in trouble at this point with my unrepaired knee are sports such as rugby and soccer - but I hardly ever participate in those activities now - so I probably will go on as I am. Hope this helps.

What a 48 year old lacks in healing potential compared to the teenager, he/she more than makes up for in mental toughness and maturity.

I perfer a 48 year old patient for ACLR to a 16 year old, seven days per week. Age is absolutely no barrier. The question is whether or not you plan to maintain an active lfestyle. If not, you don't need the work done at all.

:thumbsup::worthy::lol:

The recovery is twice as fast when the autograft is harvested form the opposite leg. The benefit is particularly stong in the 40 somethings.

I donated one of my hamstrings for my repair......

I am 58 and had mine repaired Dec 31st, I tore mine back when I was around 21 years old and opted not to have the surgery back then since they were still cutting your knee open. It took around 4 or 5 weeks and I was back to racing in the desert but had issues with the knee playing baseball, basketball and water skiing that took about a year before the knee stop folding on me.

I started having a lot of pain last year in my knee and went to the docs and all he could say was you're getting older and it's most likely arthritis so I went to a Orthopedic doc and had a MRI done and he told my ACL was torn and he asked me if I was going to be active and if so I should get the knee fixed so I went in and had it done and he repaired the ACL and some tendinitis and removed some arthritis.

Sorry for the long post, I guess it's do it now and get it over with or wait until to can't stand the pain anymore. BTW mine is starting to feel great but I will be off the bike until next year...

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