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Joe_Poulton

Torn ACL

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Went up this weekend. Skiing through the trees making tight turns and had to make a quick correction to avoid a tree...but it sent me off a weird kicker that made me fly sideways through the air as my leg was forced to go from bent to straight faster than my ligaments wanted to react...I think I tore my ACL as a result of the forces...any ideas on recovery times?

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Pod climber has a free podcast by Eric Horst (author of how to Climb 5.12) where he discusses common injuries such as Climber's elbow, A2 Pulley finger injury and ACL tears.

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Joe,

 

Look back in the archives for info on Portland knee doctor or something. it really depends on who your doc is and the type of surgery you elect to have. I had a Patella tendon surgery for my torn ACL (complete tear)in Dec '05, in the gym two weeks later and was training for triathlon by february and running hard by March. Completed an Olympic and 1/2 iron in June. I did not have a PT or anything. Just rode the bike a lot and tried to stretch it alot. I still do not have full range of motion though and it gets sore easily. Supposedly this does not happen if you elect hamstring, but recovery time is a lot longer. I met a guy in the gym my 1st time after surgery who said he was on crutches for 3 months. he had the hamstring. it also may depend on the doctor. I used the Portland Knee Clinic - Dr. Rubinstein. He is awesome, will push you and does a lot of work on skiers and other outdoor adventurers. I got his name from two othert pewople who had ACL surgery by him, both skiers and climbers and were psyched at how short the recovery was.

 

Good luck and PM me with any more questions.

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how did you know you tore it Joe..? I did something very similar on my board two weekends ago and although my knee feels better it still is not right

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The only way to know for sure if you tore it completely is an MRI. If it was completely torn it can only be repaired surgically. If it was partially torn it can heal on its own. You have to get in and see a good sports medicine Dr. My wife tore her ACL. It was misdiagnosed by her primary care doc and the movement in the joint eventually led to significant meniscus damage. The recovery from ACL repair is down to as little as 6 months. You can elect not to have it repaired if you have good stability still, but if you ski hard I expect your doctor would recommend surgery. Good luck.

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I still do not have full range of motion though and it gets sore easily. Supposedly this does not happen if you elect hamstring, but recovery time is a lot longer. I met a guy in the gym my 1st time after surgery who said he was on crutches for 3 months. he had the hamstring. it also may depend on the doctor.

 

The crutches vs. brace seems to be a doctor issue versus a type of repair issue. My wife chose the hamstring and had a very short recovery. She was on crutches for a few weeks, but never wore a brace. I have a friend who also had the hamstring. She never used crutches, but was in a full brace for 6 weeks. Different doctors, different recovery processes.

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Joe,

 

Look back in the archives for info on Portland knee doctor or something. it really depends on who your doc is and the type of surgery you elect to have. I had a Patella tendon surgery for my torn ACL (complete tear)in Dec '05, in the gym two weeks later and was training for triathlon by february and running hard by March. Completed an Olympic and 1/2 iron in June. I did not have a PT or anything. Just rode the bike a lot and tried to stretch it alot. I still do not have full range of motion though and it gets sore easily. Supposedly this does not happen if you elect hamstring, but recovery time is a lot longer. I met a guy in the gym my 1st time after surgery who said he was on crutches for 3 months. he had the hamstring. it also may depend on the doctor. I used the Portland Knee Clinic - Dr. Rubinstein. He is awesome, will push you and does a lot of work on skiers and other outdoor adventurers. I got his name from two othert pewople who had ACL surgery by him, both skiers and climbers and were psyched at how short the recovery was.

 

Good luck and PM me with any more questions.

 

No offense Ryland, but your recovery was atypical - the typical return to pre-injury activity timeline is 7 - 9 months and with or without a brace, depending on the surgeon. I had hamstring, was off crutches at 5 weeks, cleared to road-bike at 2 months, jog at 3 months and did Ingalls peak south ridge about 5 months post surgery with trekking poles and aleve. Feels great now, and pretty much full range and no soreness at 10 months. I'm climbing, AT skiing etc, and don't notice it being any more sore than the rest of me.

 

As far as docs, if you are truly splitting time between CO and PDX, the steadman clinic in Vail has some phenomenal surgeons... (See Bode Miller) I tore mine at vail, and considered staying for the surgery, but found a great doc in SEA.

 

The main thing is have an MRI, and see if it is fully torn.....if it is, have it surgically repaired as it's better to endure the short term suffering and have the long term stability.

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Thanks for the additional info...soon as I get my insurance kicked in I'll get the MRI...but for now I've done some hiking and biking without problems...

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If you don't have insurance currently it would be wise to not offer information that the injury occurred before you bought insurance. The insurance company will call it a pre-existing condition and will not pay for it. Be careful, because falsifying this info is insurance fraud.

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My friend tore his ACl when he hit a tree skiing behing a car and climbed in the gym with one foot for a few months until it recovered.. he got really good with one foot.. I think he was still sending 12's

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