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Thread: Torn Acl

  1. #1

    Default Torn Acl

    I torn my left Acl this last weekend in a tournament. I my have to have surgery on it. Has anyone had this surgery and where they able to compete again.

  2. #2

    Default

    Ouch, that sucks. And welcome to the club. In fact, if you do a search for 'Torn ACL Club', you may find an old thread which covered the injury, surgery and rehab in some detail.

    I tore my right ACL over a year ago, didn't have it operated on, and it still ain't right. I still train, but I'm stupid. I'm going to get it MRI'd soon, and surgery may be on the cards.

    Everything I've heard about the surgery leads me to believe that a return to full strength is very likely.

    Good luck, and get well soon.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the info.

  4. #4
    falstaff Guest

    Default ACL surgery

    I tore mine about six months ago, and did have to have surgery. I did all the rehab and what not and am back training, but no competeing for another six months.

    I had what is termed a "bone block reconstruction". It is where they graft a piece of the patellar tendon in to replace your ACL. There is another surgery that they use a cadaver ACL as well. It is my understanding that the first procedure is the more durable one. If you got to www.webmd.com they have a pretty good illustration of what the surgery is all about.

    Also, the sooner you get rehab the better. My doctor had me do 3 weeks of (p)rehab before the surgery and it shortened the recovery time by a couple of months. Hope this helps, and good luck!

  5. #5
    boku_wa Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by Mike Williams
    And welcome to the club.
    Ain't that the truth. It's amazing how common this injury is. I tore my right ACL. After the surgery, walking around with my leg/knee immobilizer and crutches, I noticed that a fair amount of people actually have had the reconstruction surgery.

    An attendant at the health club mentioned that she tore both and had surgery on both but staggered the surgery so that she would be able to walk on one leg at any point in time.

    I was a bit squeamish about surgery, but the doctor stated bluntly that I could avoid surgery if I gave up my activities which aggravated the ACL injury. Realizing that, I opted for the knife.

    I had the hamstring option. Perhaps procedures have changed now, but when I received mine, the patellar procedure left nastier looking scars. With the hamstring, there are two minute "hole" scars the size of a pen/pencil above and to the side of the knee cap. There is also a 1" incision scar to the lower right of the knee cap.

    The patellar option had a nastier scar right on the knee cap.

    After your surgery, walk proudly with your crutches and later with your scars. You'll be surprised at how many "I've been there" looks you get.

    Again, welcome to the club.

  6. #6
    falstaff Guest

    Default

    The patellar option had a nastier scar right on the knee cap.
    Your right, it does have a fairly nasty scar, but mine has faded enough that most people don't notice unless I point it out to them. Fortunately, the majority of the operation was arthroscopic, which made recovery much easier.

    The doc who did my surgery is a sports medicene/orthopedic specialist and supposedly the bone block is the stronger option, but I suppose that it depends on who who talk to about that.

  7. #7
    MarkF Guest

    Default

    I'm going to move this to Budo and the Body. As Mike said, you'll find more than a few on the same subject. Search the judo forum and Budo and the Body, or so a E-budo search.

    You may get more responses there.


    Mark

  8. #8
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    Don't rush into the surgery. Here's a point of view from a different angle.

    I tore my ACL in half playing college football more than 15 years ago. At the time I consulted with a doctor who was an orthopedic surgeon for the US Olympic Training Center (he was a personal friend of my college coach) and he advised me to hold off on the surgery if I was not planning on being a pro football player. He stated that due to my particular injury (complete tear but healthy cartilage), the muscle density in my leg and the downsides of the surgery, I should consider holding off. The doc said that if I could reduce my body weight and keep my leg muscles strong, particularly my hamstring, the knee joint had a very good chance of remaining healthy, even while maintaining an athletic lifestyle. Since I wasn't going to continue playing football after college I took his advise.

    Since then I've continued to follow his advice. I've kept my bodyweight 25 lbs lighter than when I played football and I continue to lift weights to keep the muscles strong. In addition, I've practiced jujutsu and other martial arts ever since. I've competed in judo and jujutsu tournaments and I've practiced full contact stand up arts, too -- all without further injury to the knee.

    That said, I do some things differently. There are throws I avoid because of the weight and pivot stress it puts on my knee (hane goshi as an example) and I've learned to shift my feet a little differently when I punch and kick for similar reasons. I'm cognizant of keeping my knee slightly bent when I land after jumping during basketball or volleyball, and I switched to snowboarding from skiing because the knee remains stable when both feet are attached to the same board.

    I've kept up with the latest ACL surgery trends and someday, when they can grow new ligament tissue from my own cells, maybe I'll have it done. Until then, I hardly notice it. The knee is healthy and I don't have any ongoing pain. On the flip side, I have several college friends who also tore their ACL while playing football and each had the surgery. They all complain of range-of-motion problems, pain and even arthritis.

    Just be sure you've thought it through and understand what your goals are beyond the surgery. Good luck.
    Rob Canestrari

  9. #9
    MarkF Guest

    Default

    I agree with the conservative (no surgery approach) as well. I recently read a study of knee surgery in general, from open to laparoscopic (closed) surgery. The study, which included all or many different and distinct injuries, compared the long term outcome to a non-surgical approach. It stated that after including the resumption of activity recommended after such injuries, that neither type did anything at all to relieve the original problem.

    This included the "three hole" bandaid types which had a much shorter recovery time.

    It was only a study, but it should make one stop and think before rushing the scalpel.


    Mark

  10. #10
    falstaff Guest

    Default

    Mark-
    Did that particular study go into the rehab aspect of the surgery? From what i have seen and the numerous people I've discussed this injury with ( I got 3 opinions before I had surgery, 2-1 for) every one of them mentioned how important the rehab regime was to success.

    I spent a lot of time and effort on rehab, and have no ROM issues and no ongoing pain. In addition, I also tore the MCL and lateral meniscus, so surgery was more important to my particular case. Also, all of the doctors I spoke with said that if I changed my activities it wasn't neseccary to have the procedure, but given my sport of choice, it was recommended. Then they all continued to say that if I wasn't dedicated to the rehab program afterward, i might as well not have it, because the knee, might be better w/o surgery.

    So, now that I seem to have lost my point, it is IMHO that the important piece of this injury is wheter or not you do the right rehab and get the stabilizing muscles around the joint stong enough to continue any sport or martial art you engage in.

  11. #11
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    Matt, I'm glad the surgery worked out for you. Given the multiple damage points I can see why you opted for it, and it highlights what's most important for Chris: looking at the best solution for his unique injury. Chris, if you have an injury more like Matt's, surgery may make more sense. If it's more like mine, a single tear without collateral damage, you may be able to due without it. In either case, rehabbing like a banshee will get you back on the mat.
    Rob Canestrari

  12. #12

    Default

    Thank you for all your addvice much appreciated.

  13. #13
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    Hi Chris;

    I had a complete tear of the ACL and had the hamstring surgery about 2 years ago. In my case I had to have the surgery. Just walking at a moderate pace would cause my knee to pop out of place and I'd collapse on the ground.

    If you do go the surgery route make sure you stick with the physio all the way through. I didn't and I went back to work way to soon. I still have some problems with the knee today (pain, loss of balance and strength) I'm also overweight, which doesn't help.

    Best of luck !
    Chris Luttrell
    Chris Luttrell

  14. #14
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    Cool Just an Idea...................

    Chris,

    I tore my Left ACL during a tourny two years ago. I refused surgery and instead coughed up a $1000 for a custom "Donjoy" brace. I wore it nonstop for the first year and now I only wear it for training. I had the doc look at my acl not long ago and he said it seemed healthy and had normal range of motion.
    I think it feels a lot stronger then before the injury but I'm not taking any chances.

    Besides, I use my brace as a weapon when I grapple.

    R. Kite
    Budoka 34
    "Study hard and all things can be accomplished; give up and you will amount to nothing".

    -Yamaoka Tesshu

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