My ACL surgery story, part 1...

Since tearing my ACL and damaging my meniscus and knowing that I would need surgery, I have been reading as much as possible about what to expect, as I’ve never had surgery. So… I had my surgery yesterday and I thought I would post what happened to help others in the same boat…

My accident happened 3 months ago. While riding on a windy day, a gust of wind grabbed me mid-air in a jump. I instinctively stuck my left leg out to balance and then landed with it straight out. Me and the bike kept going, but my foot hit the ground hard and twisted at the knee. I never fell off the bike, but I immediately knew my knee was a wreck.

Long story short – x-rays and MRI confirmed a non-displaced tibial plateau fracture, completely torn ACL and damaged medial meniscus. 6-9 week of non-weight bearing to let the bone heal, then I spent a month pre-habbing including daily sessions on the stationary bike. I had full extension and flexion, no pain (a little discomfort) and walking normally with a slight limp. I wanted to see Dr. Mark, but couldn’t swing it. I met with two local orthos, and chose the one who only does patellar ligament same side ACL reconstructions (plus his other ortho procedures). He seemed to have solid aggressive protocols and made me comfortable with my decision.

The day before surgery they delivered to my home a CMP machine and a neat auto cooling unit that uses glycol and water, is very quite and automatically administers the coolant and compression to the knee and shin, plus compression to the foot.

Finally, day of surgery (yesterday, 10am). Was easy; they shaved my entire leg (!), and they administered a femoral nerve block. I was then wheeled into the OR and woke up in recovery – don’t remember a thing, which was great. I was hooked up to a CPM, which was set at 0-60 degrees to start, and the cooling unit. Other than the nerve block, no other pain meds were given (yet). Surgery took a total of about 2.5 hours.

Recovery was easy vs. what I read from others. No pain, no nausea, no sore throat – just a little thirsty. After about an hour in recovery I was wheeled into my semi-private room for my overnight stay. Tough to get any sleep though, as you have to stay on your back with the CPM, plus they check your vitals every 3 hours. Again, no pain, and I could move my toes and foot and slowly started to move my quads and other leg muscles. As the nerve block began to wear off very slowly, I could increase muscle movement and some muscles started some twitching. In my IV was anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea meds.

At about 8am, they gave me 2 Percocets and removed my monitoring devices. CPM was increased to 0-70 degrees, with no pain or problems. By 10am I was taken off the IV, and CPM was increased to 80 degrees. At 11am, physio came by to put on my post-surgery brace, to only be used for a week or so when walking to help stabilize the knee. As I swung my legs down from the bed, I was worried about the pain and throbbing others have reported – but nothing! No pain. I got up on the crutches easily and could weight bear; I walked (with crutches for stability) around the ward. I was discharged shortly thereafter.

I’m at home now with the cooler and CPM set at 0-90 degrees with no issues. Plan is to do the home PT exercises and use the CPM for the week (staying in bed most of the time) and the cooler for 2 weeks.

I have my first PT in 3 days, and I’ll post a follow up soon. Sorry for the long post, but I hope it’ll help others who are about the get their ACL done and allay their fears or anxiety. For me, so far, it’s been easy with very minimal pain yet great results, and I hope that’ll continue…

And the plan is back to racing by October!

next morning now, and definately the nerve block wore off overnight. Can really tell when the 4 hours is about up and time for 2 more Percocets.. and can tell when in 10 minutes they start to take the edge off the pain. Maybe at about a 3-5 range in the pain scale. The Perc's also make me itch sporadically and lightly, very strange feeling. - but no problems with nausea. Have set the CPM at -5 to 92 degrees now, and today will start some additional PT self-exercises while lying bed. In general, the knee feels like pressure all around it and can feel the stitches lightly rubbing on the tensor bandages. later today it'll be time to change the wraps.

Again - hope this post is helping others. Any comments or similar experiences from your ACL reconstruct with same knee patellar ligament?

Since tearing my ACL and damaging my meniscus and knowing that I would need surgery, I have been reading as much as possible about what to expect, as I’ve never had surgery. So… I had my surgery yesterday and I thought I would post what happened to help others in the same boat…

My accident happened 3 months ago. While riding on a windy day, a gust of wind grabbed me mid-air in a jump. I instinctively stuck my left leg out to balance and then landed with it straight out. Me and the bike kept going, but my foot hit the ground hard and twisted at the knee. I never fell off the bike, but I immediately knew my knee was a wreck.

Long story short – x-rays and MRI confirmed a non-displaced tibial plateau fracture, completely torn ACL and damaged medial meniscus. 6-9 week of non-weight bearing to let the bone heal, then I spent a month pre-habbing including daily sessions on the stationary bike. I had full extension and flexion, no pain (a little discomfort) and walking normally with a slight limp. I wanted to see Dr. Mark, but couldn’t swing it. I met with two local orthos, and chose the one who only does patellar ligament same side ACL reconstructions (plus his other ortho procedures). He seemed to have solid aggressive protocols and made me comfortable with my decision.

The day before surgery they delivered to my home a CMP machine and a neat auto cooling unit that uses glycol and water, is very quite and automatically administers the coolant and compression to the knee and shin, plus compression to the foot.

Finally, day of surgery (yesterday, 10am). Was easy; they shaved my entire leg (!), and they administered a femoral nerve block. I was then wheeled into the OR and woke up in recovery – don’t remember a thing, which was great. I was hooked up to a CPM, which was set at 0-60 degrees to start, and the cooling unit. Other than the nerve block, no other pain meds were given (yet). Surgery took a total of about 2.5 hours.

Recovery was easy vs. what I read from others. No pain, no nausea, no sore throat – just a little thirsty. After about an hour in recovery I was wheeled into my semi-private room for my overnight stay. Tough to get any sleep though, as you have to stay on your back with the CPM, plus they check your vitals every 3 hours. Again, no pain, and I could move my toes and foot and slowly started to move my quads and other leg muscles. As the nerve block began to wear off very slowly, I could increase muscle movement and some muscles started some twitching. In my IV was anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea meds.

At about 8am, they gave me 2 Percocets and removed my monitoring devices. CPM was increased to 0-70 degrees, with no pain or problems. By 10am I was taken off the IV, and CPM was increased to 80 degrees. At 11am, physio came by to put on my post-surgery brace, to only be used for a week or so when walking to help stabilize the knee. As I swung my legs down from the bed, I was worried about the pain and throbbing others have reported – but nothing! No pain. I got up on the crutches easily and could weight bear; I walked (with crutches for stability) around the ward. I was discharged shortly thereafter.

I’m at home now with the cooler and CPM set at 0-90 degrees with no issues. Plan is to do the home PT exercises and use the CPM for the week (staying in bed most of the time) and the cooler for 2 weeks.

I have my first PT in 3 days, and I’ll post a follow up soon. Sorry for the long post, but I hope it’ll help others who are about the get their ACL done and allay their fears or anxiety. For me, so far, it’s been easy with very minimal pain yet great results, and I hope that’ll continue…

And the plan is back to racing by October!

That's exactly how I tore my left ACL. Who did your surgery? What procedure? I had mine done back in Jan by Dr Lyman.

Went with Dr. Rocowitz, who I think had been very good. I only wanted to use patellar ligament for both strength and speed to heal. Now on third day after surgery and will be goingn to PT later this morning. Slept really well last night (probably 6-7 hrs of sleep) while on CPM and cooler. Can feel the PL stitches when bending the knee and doing heel slides is really tough, especially the first 6-8 inches when the PL is active.

Post op, day 4: Went to my first physio yesterday; have 6 to 115 degrees ROM. They said at 3 days I have the progress most make at 2-3 weeks. Did some exercises and also the electro-muscle stimulation, which is very cool. Also rode a bike for 5 minutes, and could have done more. Today I’m going to cut back on my Perc’s to 1 every 4 hours, as the only real pain is when I stand up or stress the PL stitches site. Very little bruising and swelling has decreased I think. This morning I can walk, albeit carefully, without crutches and with no pain. I do keep my knee straightish for stability.

Hey thanks for the posting!

I just popped my ACL yesterday and will be following you down this road.

Similar crash, slow speed hop over a downed branch, rt. foot flies off pegs and hits terra firma w/ knee locked while falling to the right.

Keep us posted!

Juan

Nevada City

Very interesting and detailed post when you're concerned with ACL as I'm...Thanks for that and wish you a good rehab !!

Seems crazy to walk after 4 days without crutches and no pain !!

Got mine without fall down, forgetting that my Michelin foam was too soft, we were riding some very technical rocky and muddy sections. At noon, we drove back to our camps and met a flat corner at good speed.... my rear wheel moved...i touched down with my left leg to avoid a big crash and even if i wore Asterisk.........i stopped 20 meters after and was suffocating for 5 mn, due to the pain !

I did the same thing 6 months ago and shattered my navicular, I hate wind! I also tore my acl and meniscus about 5 years ago and wasnt walking without the brace for 6 months! I tore my lateral meniscus in half and it flipped over locking my leg at 30° for a week until I got surgery, that was a lot of fun. I ended up getting 14 stitches in my lateral meniscus and I still to this day cannot bend that knee all the way.

Good to know that I am not alone in my ability to get men with ACLrs to walk like men on the timely basis.

May 9, one week since my surgery, and went to work today. Went to PT today, and ROM is 0-120 (though the last few degrees are painful on my knee cap and stitches area). Did the bike for 10 minutes plus many other additional and new exercises. The PT was more worried about me doing too much and progressing too fast, which is funny I think. Walking more or less normally with the brace, but I think I’ll stop using it now; I seem to walk better without it and my muscle control is very good at this point. Swelling seems less too, and still using the cooler every evening. Appointment with my Ortho next Wed. and the plan is to remove the stitches. I’ll post again if anything new or interesting comes up, but otherwise I think the worst is over and I’m on my way…

PS. Glad to see that this post is helping some of you in a similar situation with your ACLs. I know I wasn’t sure what to expect, and therefore expected the worst. While there was some pain, etc., overall not as bad as man posts I’ve read.

You guys do any PT before surgery?

How long after injury was surgery?

Tore my ACL on Fri, start PT on Wed. (5 days later) to help minimize swelling and inc. ROM.

PT is a must before ACL surgery. It needs to last as long as it is needed. When an athlete has good leg control, full motion, expecially in extension, and a normal gait, ACL surgery will carry a good prognosis. Rush it, and your in for big trouble.

I had 3 months from the injury before my surgery, including 2 months to let the tibial plateau break to heal (plus had some work travel to conduct). I spent a month on the stationary bike (30-45 minutes per day), had complete ROM and muscle control, no swelling - just a very unstable knee. As Dr. Mark states, this contributed greatly to my quick recovery in the past 7 days since surgery.

Man, was I lucky reading what everyone else has done, I have been blown in the air off a reasonable size jump and put my leg down on landing, ended up just hurting my back from the force and the bottom of my foot. Another time I was just kicked sideways and put my leg down on landing too, broke my toe (unofficially) on that one, it is now 1/2 and inch shorter, man it hurt!!

Very interesting to read everyone's experiences, I tweaked my MCL the other day but only sightly and could walk with a limp and was back on the bike in 6 weeks.

Unfortunately my father just wrenched his MCL, tore his ACL in half and I believe broke off a bit of his Meniscus in a fairly small and unusual crash where he just low sided into a turn. He is very worried about the surgery he has to undergo in a month and so far is still in disbelief that it happened. It was very badly swollen and he has to walk every where with crutches in a fair bit of pain sometimes, he has been given a large knee brace from the doctor but he said it is less painful without it on as it crushes his MCL and causes a lot of pain.

Is there anything I can tell him to give him hope before he has the surgery, I've never seen him so down cast about anything. He has had heaps of broken bones over his whole life and this is third time on crutches, but he finds it hard to believe it won't heal by itself unlike bones in a cast.

Thanks for any help!

Just read my posts and from others... it sucks, but by taking the time to do things right like pre-hab, choosing the right surgeon and graft, doing the re-hab, he will heal over time. Take solice in that only the top MX'rs and athletes wreck their knees LOL. Now he's in the club.

I feel your fathers pain, literaly!. . . I tore my ACL and damaged the miniscus 2 weeks ago and am in the process of evaluating treatment options. VERY depressing, riding dirtbikes 2 -3 times a week has been my life for years. Its how I say in shape, socialize and stay sane. I've got a ten year old son who is developing into an excellent rider and riding with him have been some of the happest times of my life.

But it is what it is and all we can do at this point is work hard to get fixed and rehabed ASAP. It could be worse, I was sitting in the orthos waiting room yesterday feeling sorry for myself when i noticed another guy waiting had his right leg amputated below the knee. This thank god its only temporary, I'll be roosting again sooner or later!!!!

I feel your fathers pain, literaly!. . . I tore my ACL and damaged the miniscus 2 weeks ago and am in the process of evaluating treatment options. VERY depressing, riding dirtbikes 2 -3 times a week has been my life for years. Its how I say in shape, socialize and stay sane. I've got a ten year old son who is developing into an excellent rider and riding with him have been some of the happest times of my life.

But it is what it is and all we can do at this point is work hard to get fixed and rehabed ASAP. It could be worse, I was sitting in the orthos waiting room yesterday feeling sorry for myself when i noticed another guy waiting had his right leg amputated below the knee. This thank god its only temporary, I'll be roosting again sooner or later!!!!

We are in the same boat....I missed all of last year because of ACL surgery. I just got back on the bike last thursday and rode with my kids. I felt like a beginner but nevertheless it was great to get back on it and my knee actually felt better(looser) after getting off the bike. Friday night I squat down to warm my son up at his LL game and feel this sharp pain. I find out the results of MRI on Friday but my Dr. thinks its torn meniscus...Not as bad as an ACL but it looks like another surgery and a few weeks of rehab and no riding....its tough to stay motivated and getting hurt is getting old....

We are in the same boat....I missed all of last year because of ACL surgery. I just got back on the bike last thursday and rode with my kids. I felt like a beginner but nevertheless it was great to get back on it and my knee actually felt better(looser) after getting off the bike. Friday night I squat down to warm my son up at his LL game and feel this sharp pain. I find out the results of MRI on Friday but my Dr. thinks its torn meniscus...Not as bad as an ACL but it looks like another surgery and a few weeks of rehab and no riding....its tough to stay motivated and getting hurt is getting old....

Jeez, thats encouraging :smirk: . . . let me know what u find out.

Jeez, thats encouraging :smirk: . . . let me know what u find out.

Yea it stinks for sure...I guess one good thing is that the MRI Tech took an extra set of images on the ACL so it will show me if that has healed up properly or not. The meniscus is a bummer but not that big of a deal when compared to a ACL. My Dr. said if he has to scope it, it will be 10 days and back to normal so hopefully that is it.

The ACL was tough, but get it done right and follow the rehab and you will be ok. I would have went to Dr. Mark but it just wasn't possible at the time.

MORNING COFFEE CHECKING IN WITH ACL THREAD ON THUMPERTALK

ACL004.jpg

2 weeks into injury with my new Bledso Extender articulating knee brace.

I picked up 2 of these 'zero gravity' chairs on sale from Big 5 for $49.95 ea.. I keep the other one on the back deck to enjoy the May sunshine while not working. Be careful putting excessive weight on the foot end of these chairs as they tend to ratchet down. Comfy lightweight and portable.

Done w/ the pain pills, I take 400mg of Ibuprophene at bed time, and 400mg at wakeup for swelling/stiffness. Doing PT 2x / week. ROM 10-90 degrees. MRI sched .for next week. Ice, exercise, elevation.

Great thread! Keep the stores coming, thanks for moderating Dr. Mark!

Juan

Nevada City, CA.

BETTER DAYS -MOVIN' DIRT ON THE KTM 380 VIDEO

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