DEPRESSED: Just tore my left acl and meniscus .. now what?

Page 2 of 2 First 12

  1. Quote Originally Posted by boomdaddy3 View Post
    I have had 6 ACL replacements (3 on each knee) and numerous menisectomies ... just had my left knee totally replaced ... been lifting for over 35 years ... just want to share what I know from personal experience ...

    The suggestion to choose cadaver tendon (vs patellar or hamstring graft from you own leg) is dead on ... recovery is much faster ... if you take graft from your own leg, you are recovering from yet another injury ...

    You probably have learned what I'm about to share from your ortho surgeon (if he is any good) but for the record ...

    During ACL replacement, they essentially take tissue (the middle third of the patellar or hamstring tendons, either cadaver or your own) and install it in the previous ACL location, anchored by bio-absorbable screws into your tibia and femur. This tissue only provides a structural framework for your body to build scar tissue around to stabilize the knee. In some cases, the new graft does reestablish its own blood supply but not that often. The interesting thing is the patellar or hamstring tendon is structurally much stronger than your original ACL but lacks the integrity necessary to withstand the torsional forces it is designed to absorb. It takes a year for the connective tissues, scarring, and blood supply to get properly established where you can return to all previous activities. You you will be off of crutches in a day or two and can resume most non-ballistic activities in 6 weeks. The movements you must avoid with an ACL replacement are torsional or twisting movement. I blew my last ACL (which had already been replaced twice) reracking a loaded bar after deadlifts ... just twisted the upper body a little while holding the loaded bar and heard it pop. So you need to avoid those types of stresses, which surprisingly you experience every day ... think about how your left knee is torqued when you get in & out of the driver's seat in a car ... see what I'm talking about? Bottom line for your ACL, follow your physical therapist's recommendations, give yourself a break (no big deal if you take a little more time to recover versus reinjury - I have lots of experience with stupid over achieving during PT), know you will lose ~50% of your leg strength just from the surgery but it will quickly return within a few months. You should be able to begin squatting (not monster weights but full squats) in 6 months. Recognize that squatting puts significant stress on the ACL because your upper and lower legs want to go in different directions ... there are many other exercises you can do that won't put the shear force on the ACL that a squat will. Do all the "silly" exercises they give you to stabilize the knee ... the strength of the knee stabilizers is the key to successful recovery ... that is why Adrian Peterson recovered so well ... his leg & knee strength were enough to compensate for the lack of structural integrity in his ACL. But in all cases, I was squatting heavy again within 9 months - of course, always paying the utmost attention to form and gradually building up the leg.

    During a menisectomy, they are almost always removing or trimming the torn cartilege, very rarely do they repair by suturing two pieces together. In the long run, the torn cartileges were my undoing ... there was no more cartilege cushioning my left knee, hence knee replacment (at age 54) and now no pain whatsoever in the knee. Even doing both ACL & cartilege in same surgery, you will be off of crutches in a day or two. Full recovery time for the menisectomy is only 6 weeks ... just long enough for the cartilege to heal where it was removed. However, the "gotcha" for cartilege repairs is compression since you it serves as a cushion for the joint. So you really don't want to put any major compression on the joint for the full 6 weeks or you run the risk of irritating or retearing it where it was repaired. Once again, follow the PT advice, do your exercises, take it easy, and it will be in your rear view in no time.

    You should be able to do ALL of your upper body work except standing movements ... even with light weight, it would be too easy to reinjure the leg. So there is no reason you cannot maintain your upper body through recovery.

    One thing I found as a result of my surgeries (I have also had ankle, shoulder, & back surgery ... lots of extreme sports with accidents!) was my joints and strength actually improved after the surgeries. This was the result of learning new ways to strengthen and stabilize through my physical therapist. I set shoulder & leg PRs AFTER having surgery on those joints. So look at this as an opportunity to learn more, try new movements and regimens, and find ways to work around injury.

    With respect to HGH & T, I think they would help accelerate your recovery but in no way to the degree suggested by some in this thread. I don't think you are a professional athlete, just a guy like myself who wants to look & feel good as we invariably get older. It will not make a huge difference in the big picture if you take 3-6 more months to get back to baseline versus the risk of reinjury and the long-term implications on your body as you get older. I had little respect for all the damage I did while younger - I always thought they could cut, reattach, whatever, and I would work out to get back to 100% ... but in the last 10 years, all that earlier foolishness has come back to haunt me ... so be smart ... a few extra months is insignificant in the big picture ...

    That's my 3 cents ...

    Good luck!
    Damn man - 6 acl replacements. Thats insane.
    Thanks, I appreciate all the info and shared experiences.


  2. ^^^^ wow , it's inspiring to hear from guys that go thru all that and still lift. Right on man!
    •   
       


  3. After surgery, you're on a serious time frame to get your knee extension and flexion back. Typically your doc is looking for full knee extension and 125-130 degrees of knee flexion by week 4. The advice about torqueing your knee is good advice, you will have to be more careful even when you are 2-3 months. One thing to keep in mind are the ACL re-rupture rates. 33 percent chance of rerupture after ACL repair, then it jumps up to over 66 percent, and so on. In the early phases the ligament needs time to fully heal adhere to the bone, and your knee stability will not be great for a while.

    We are all weightlifting gung ho type people who will push through the pain, but now is not the time for that. Please listen to your physical therapist, he is only trying to help you, and it may seem like the things he is having you do is easy: early weight bearing through the effected limb, early motion, passive range of motion, pain control, balance and proprioception, and swelling control. Each place has about the same protocols but imho and experience I would not expect to return to higher level activities for at least 3 months. Your entire healing time may be 6 months to a year. Your meniscal tear repair will depend on what type of tear you have in there.

    If you have any questions about your post operative rehab please msg me and I'll try to help you as much as I can.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by KimChee View Post
    After surgery, you're on a serious time frame to get your knee extension and flexion back. Typically your doc is looking for full knee extension and 125-130 degrees of knee flexion by week 4. The advice about torqueing your knee is good advice, you will have to be more careful even when you are 2-3 months. One thing to keep in mind are the ACL re-rupture rates. 33 percent chance of rerupture after ACL repair, then it jumps up to over 66 percent, and so on. In the early phases the ligament needs time to fully heal adhere to the bone, and your knee stability will not be great for a while.

    We are all weightlifting gung ho type people who will push through the pain, but now is not the time for that. Please listen to your physical therapist, he is only trying to help you, and it may seem like the things he is having you do is easy: early weight bearing through the effected limb, early motion, passive range of motion, pain control, balance and proprioception, and swelling control. Each place has about the same protocols but imho and experience I would not expect to return to higher level activities for at least 3 months. Your entire healing time may be 6 months to a year. Your meniscal tear repair will depend on what type of tear you have in there.

    If you have any questions about your post operative rehab please msg me and I'll try to help you as much as I can.
    Had the surgery last Thurs the 14th. Ended up using my hamstring tendons to reconstruct acl. PT has been rough this past week - pushing it hard and sore as hell. Range of motion is improving greatly every day. Started at only 40 and now up to almost 100 degrees. Today was the first day I was able to make full revolutions on the bike. I am making some progress, but it is still killing me to not be back in the gym going all out or on the bball court.

  5. Good work so far, props on the full revolution on the bike that is a big deal for most people. Just take your time you'll be working out and playing BB before you know it, as for now just take care of that ACL until it heals, it's going to be vulnerable til about June 14th..
    PT, DPT, OCS Clinical Residency
    •   
       


  6. Quote Originally Posted by KimChee View Post
    Good work so far, props on the full revolution on the bike that is a big deal for most people. Just take your time you'll be working out and playing BB before you know it, as for now just take care of that ACL until it heals, it's going to be vulnerable til about June 14th..
    Thanks - appreciate the encouragement.

  7. I agree with everyone else on rehab. I had total knee reconstruction in 1988. Tore the acl, mcl, and icl in a football game. I was only fifteen years old. I didn't have a choice about material for surgery. They used silicone ligaments and screws to hold everything together. I had to stay in the hospital for six days hooked up to a huge machine that moved my leg for me. After release I was on crutches for 7 months. Zero weight bearing. They just removed all the cartilage from knee. I tore it up in rehab and got to play football my junior and senior years. About six years ago I tore my rotator bench pressing. Repaired and rehabbed like crazy. Four months after that tore left rotator. Surgery for that and retore it three weeks later in rehab. Fixed and rehabbed, now stronger than ever. Got bigger and stronger for years and then last October I hearniated L5 and S1 discs and tore the ligament that goes around L5. Most painful injury I had. I am almost back to 75%. Once again I give all the credit to the physical therapists. I didn't lose anything but strength this time. I think being older does slow recovery some but our body holds on to gains better.
  •   

      
     

Similar Forum Threads

  1. just got my t-bol and enanthate
    By mdavid82 in forum Anabolics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-28-2011, 07:12 AM
  2. epistane and RPM.... now what??
    By luxxor in forum Supplement Logs
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-09-2007, 02:07 PM
  3. Replies: 44
    Last Post: 03-06-2007, 04:16 PM
  4. Replies: 20
    Last Post: 03-21-2005, 12:57 AM
Log in
Log in